Kamis, 13 September 2012

Fix Your String Skipping Problems On Guitar

String skipping on guitar is the simplest skill to learn. Not even! Virtually every single guitarist will have a number of string skipping problems over the learning process. And yet with just a bit of focused work, the openness to allow a great deal of errors, along with the easy drills you are about to find out about, you will find yourself jumping over strings with wild abandon and sticking those landings just like an Olympic gymnast.

"String skipping" means picking notes on non-adjacent strings. Such as playing a note on your second string, then one on the fourth string. To make it easier to correct your technique let's work with the right-hand using just single notes.

You will see me continuously describe restricting the range of motion in the right-hand. That sounds like a negative thing to do. However, we're going to use it for the forces of good to allow your right hand a finite region to operate in to help you to create the muscle memories for the space in between your strings.

1. Rest stroke. In a "rest stroke" you'll pick the string and let the pick come to a stop against the subsequent string. For instance: Pick your open fourth string and allow the pick to come to rest on the 3rd string.

Here is this finite movement in operation. The guitar pick is going to move the exact same distance each and every time and your muscles should learn this distance easily. When you become comfortable with this rest stroke, your hand will be able to determine the length between several guitar strings readily.

As a bonus, the rest stroke also will improve your tone and right hand accuracy and precision as a whole.

2. Anchor. I am not referring to the 3-ton seafaring equipment. Although that could help keep you in one spot to practice for a longer time! Using a right hand anchor means resting your right hand pinkie finger on the body of the guitar. If you are using the bottom strings you will attach it to the top string. Same point here. It limits the mobility into a smaller space on the guitar.

A few guitar players will disagree with me on the use of an anchor. Many don't use one at all. Having said that, in my 2 decades of teaching guitar I have seen anchors help to tidy up poor right-hand technique numerous times.

3. Those blind dudes had the right idea. Now that you've got a solid rest stroke and pinkie anchor we'll do some actual string skipping, though with your eyes shut. This is also a trust exercise. A bit like that exercise where your partner falls backwards and you are supposed to catch them. However there is no possibility of a head injury here. Instead you are going to learn how to put your trust in your hands. You WILL mess up quite a few times at first, but that is entirely ok. Ignore those mistakes and try once more. Your technique will get better faster if you don't let the mistakes frustrate you.

To keep it simple, we will just use the open strings for this exercise. Close your eyes then start with the sixth string. Always keep your pinkie anchor and rest strokes under consideration. Then pick every other string: 6th, 4th, 2nd. Next start on the first string and pluck every other string coming back down: 1st, 3rd, 5th.

Keep it slow, mess up a lot, then repeat the process.

Then do it in reverse. Go down on strings 2, 4, 6 and go up on strings 5, 3, 1.

When you're able to achieve that comfortably, have a go at skipping a pair of strings: 6th/3rd, 5th/2nd, 4th/1st. Very same thing backwards. And then you can try skipping three strings, and so forth.

Whenever you shut your eyes, your mind shifts gears and places additional concentration on your senses of hearing and touch (and scent, but I really hope you don't need that here). That's why playing guitar with your eyes closed can help you develop this technique more quickly. All those ridiculous "guitar player rocking out/having a bowel movement" faces are optional, yet seem to go with the territory.

When you have it down, have a go with your eyes open, but do not look at your hands. You don't have to anymore. While you're playing, your eyes should be on the written music or the 1000s of screaming admirers in front of the stage.

Just follow these steps and fight through the mistakes. You may see that guitar string skipping is really rather easy after all!

For more guitar brain hacks and effective practice tips visit www.GuitarNotesForBeginnersHQ.com

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