How To Economically Control Your Fret Hand

author: JohnMayer4Mayor date: 08/11/2009 category: soloing
rating: 9.2 / votes: 43 
The first thing to do when learning to control your fret hand is to get your fundamentals down cold. Without this step, soloing is 10 times harder than it should be. Those fundamentals are as follows: 1. Tightening your movements down to almost nothing Crucial! On the path to perfecting this skill is to try playing songs and scales using all your fingers, but arching them and moving one finger immediately after you are done with the note. A good pattern for this method is:
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------5-6-7-5-6-7-5-6-7-5-6-7-|
|-------------------------5-6-7-5-6-7-5-6-7-5-6-7-------------------------|
|-5-6-7-5-6-7-5-6-7-5-6-7-------------------------------------------------|
Then, learn to this backwards. Then forwards and backwards. Then forwards and backwards repeatedly until you can do it several times with blinding speed. To put this method to use, play Walk This Way by Aerosmith.
|----------------------------|
|----------------------------|
|----------------------------| Repeat times 4 for verse
|----------------------------|
|-------7-------7------------|
|-5-6-7---5-6-7---0----------|
You just got a free tab. Happy birthday! 2. Switching strings fluidly without losing time or skipping a beat Another biggie. Keeping rhythm while moving around the fretboard is almost necessary for any style of soloing. A good song to practice is Fur Elise. Yes, the classical one.
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-9-8-9-8-9---7--------------------------9-8-9-8-9---7----------------------|
|-----------9---10-7---6-7-9----7-9-10------------9---10-7---6-7-9---10-9-7-|
|---------------------7--------7----------------------------7-------7-------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
Another free tab! It's your lucky day! 3. Breathing with the band and being loose No fancy exercises for this one, but just as important as the rest. Take deep (but not too deep) breaths and exhale slowly (but not to slowly). Be loose. If your all tense and tight, you will screw up almost every time. Holding your breath does the same thing to your playing. The only time you can practice this one is at a band practice or rehearsal. Breath to the beat, but don't hyperventilate. It kills a song if all you hear is "HEE-HUH, HEE-HUH, HEE-HUH!" On that note, I say goodbye. Practice these things and you'll solo like a pro.
More JohnMayer4Mayor lessons:
+ Keeping Rhythm During Your Solos Soloing 10/12/2009
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