Hey All!

I started playing guitar 7 or 8 years ago and have been stuck in what I call an 'advanced beginner' phase (play seldomly on and off, can play basic chords and memorized songs) for that entire duration.

I'm ready to finally take my playing to the next level and I would just like someone to verify that my mechanics look ok. I have attached a few pics fretting with my fingers, do my finger positions on the strings look right? I know you're supposed to be on your fingertips so I didn't know if I would benefit from adjusting at all.

Any tips/pointers/advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you guys in advance!

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1) Be more finger-tippy. Cut your fingernails to facilitate this.

2) Try to finger up against the next fret even with your chords. In the 2nd photo, two of your fingers are way too far back from the fret.

3) The 3rd photo looks like you're probably pressing too hard.

4) The pinky should NEVER drop behind the neck. Keep all your fingers ready to use.

5) Your thumb is too high up on the back of the neck, probably to compensate for the poor angle of the fretting fingers. This results in excess tension.

I suggest spending a few minutes a day focusing on relaxation. It's kind of a zen thing - bringing a background awareness to what the body is doing. Tension in the hand will usually spread right up the shoulder and elbow, so try to be aware of how your entire arm, back and neck feel and keep them as loose as possible. I would go so far as to wobble your arm and torso around while playing once in a while. Moving around will only throw you off if you're too tense.

Work on music rudiments like chords, scales, arpeggios, and rhythm. If you can spend 10 minutes a day on each of those your technique and musicality will improve dramatically. Work out a 45-60 minute routine that you can just sit down and do a few days a week. And use a metronome!. Make sure to practice actual music as often as you do technical workouts.
Last edited by cdgraves at Sep 25, 2013,
WOW that was extremely helpful, thank you so much! It is definitely people like yourself that give me the motivation to not give this up! Cheers!
ok i will clarifiy this stuff once for all guys. I've been playing around 4/5 years and ive got to tell you i made so much progress concerning my technique recently and evolved my playing recently. How you ask ? I was concerned about finding the perfect finger placement on the fret and how to hold the pick the perfect way blabla Whats the answer ? Feel your fingers !!! make sure that even when you dont look at them you count clearly feel your on the tip of the finger when you're playing that note. your finger will automaticaly go to the right spacing between the fret. Also make sure to press very lightly just enough THATS it for the left hand. Also tip for the right hand ? Make sure you are holding the pick the most comfortable way TO YOU and LISTEN to your amp when you play the right hand is really A LOT of your tone you anchor thats fine if that sounds good ! For me i tend to switch between having my ring and pinky loose on the pick gard (jeff loomis style i guess) and between the paul gilbert style
Also something that I discovered recently try making the best hook shape with your index if you will while playing with the very tip of you fingers i think this is very important when string crossing with paul gilbert or jeff loomis