How to develop guitar technique
Guitar technique is part of the constant coordination we utilise, to learn how to play sounds on the guitar. You may develop technique by repeating mechanical movements, or you may develop technique by placing fingers on frets and strings, as a consequence of the sound you hear in your head.
The difference between one approach and another, can be that of avoiding boredom, pain and frustration. It just makes true sense, to put your fingers in a place, because you can hear the sound in your head and not only guess where the sound is, by visual cues.
Is this difficult to achieve?
No it isn’t. It is actually easier, and more satisfying, to play the guitar this way. But, you must dive into the world of singing. Do not worry, we all can sing. It does not matter if you sing totally in tune. The rule is, if you can sing it, you can play it. If you cannot sing it, you will be a slave to unnecessary repetition.
Initially, this involves a slow learning process, but the satisfaction you will feel, will be enough to get you practicing hours on end. You will hear what you are doing, and anticipate where you have to place your fingers, to enjoy the desired sound.
But how do we start singing if we have never done it before? How can we sing, and then find the sound on the guitar?
It is much easier to sing a sound and then find it, than to actually memorise the sounds as the consequence of putting your fingers on the guitar.
I suggest a simple, but effective manner for learning all melodies. It is called the L.I.S.P approach.
- L: Listen
- I : Imagine
- S: Sing
- P: Play
With the under-math of a constant tempo, time frame, I teach my students to listen to melodic fragments, to imagine them ( in tempo ), to sing them and to play them.
At the same time, I also teach my guitar students, the necessary pathways on the guitar, where those sounds will be found.
I teach the guitar students, to identify the sounds, in relation to the total center. That is, we learn to hear sounds, in relation to each other, and to the chords. There fore, we learn to feel the sensation of the sound, where the sounds are.
We learn to play the music in tempo, we learn to sing the sound and while all this is going on, we are using mechanical movements, guitar technique, to look for the sounds; to play and produce the musical passages.
To articulate correctly is to help deliver with clarity musical passages. As a guitarist, we must learn to be aware of the lyrical quality of music, and how to relate it to the instrument; guitar technique. Once again, if we can sing the melodic passage, we then have the core ingredient to relate to, to imitate.
When we sing, we can produce long notes, short notes, loud notes and soft notes. In musical terms, we relate this to legato, staccato and dynamics.
If you are starting off on the guitar, you should be aware of the lyrical character of music, and immediately try to perform all passages, in this manner. However, only through musical structured repetition, will you develop the guitar technique to achieve the desired goal.
You will constantly learn to develop your guitar technique at all guitar courses at my Music School. The technique will also be a consequence of the style , whether you follow play acoustic guitar, blues guitar, jazz guitar or flamenco guitar.
A slow start
Starting off on the guitar is a slow learning process, but also a personal adventure where we will express our emotions and let go of daily life. I strongly suggest to make music every day, to practice with kindness, never with a harsh judgement, to accept our limitations, and open up to the new unexplored world of musi .
How to develop more guitar technique
The more melodies you know, the more songs you can play, the better your technique will be.
However, in order to make sense of it all, the guitar student must have a thorough knowledge of chords, scales, chord scale relationships; in triad and seventh harmonic settings.
In all courses and levels at the Creative Guitar School, all students develop a solid guitar technique, either with pick or finger-style. I gradually will introduce to you exercises, so you may articulate with clarity, fast and slow passages. I will gradually introduce you to solo guitar, where the guitar has no need of accompaniment, and you will play both the accompaniment and the melody of the song, at the same time.
All students explore blues, jazz, folk and flamenco guitar styles. Once again, since guitar technique is a consequence only of what you can hear, students quickly grasp the L.I.S P concept and progress swiftly, if they implement a discipline in their learning.
Music learning is a discipline that requires constant daily training and repetition. I strongly recommend never to practice beyond the limit of discomfort, and always to produce music in a manner, where you are able to play a song from beginning to the end on the guitar.
I impart advanced guitar courses on one on one sessions and through my masterclasses, regularly held in Australia. I recommend studying levels 1 and 2 in a group environment. As a guitar teacher, I favour group environments as you will have the opportunity of seeing how others learn and the outcome will be most satisfying.
When you are starting to play the guitar you will achieve great satisfaction but also got through stages of frustration. In both of these cases, sharing with others your concerns and success, can be a most rewarding musical experience.
Melbourne Guitar Concerts
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