Become A Guitar God - First Steps

author: GodlyGuitarGuru date: 08/22/2013 category: practice tips

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Become A Guitar God - First Steps
Hello students and welcome the first lesson that the GodlyGuitarGuru is contributing to This is also the first in an on-going series of lessons which have the full intent of guiding your playing to that of legend status. With that in mind please understand that these lessons are set out in a completely progressive format (From absolute beginner to the highly advanced). This first lesson will focus on the biology of how you play and the little techniques that can be used to affect your playing on a muscular level which will in turn better your playing in the long run.

Section 1: Muscular Biology

All guitarists have 1 major thing in common... Muscles. We all use them as we play and our playing improves as our muscles memorize what we are doing. In other words when you are sitting there practicing your scales, not only is your head memorizing the pattern your playing, but so are your muscles. Your muscles undertake this process to ensure that whatever you are doing can be improved next time you wish to repeat it. However this can have a negative affect on your playing too. Say you are sitting there and you are not applying the correct hand positioning or your fingers are extremely tense whilst playing. This information will also be stored within the muscular memory and can lead to both sloppy guitar playing and maybe even more awful consequences like RSI, also known as repetitive strain injury. These consequences can have dire effects on any guitarists overall playing capability and must be avoided at all costs. To do this we must stop and analyse what we are doing when we play the guitar. Our fingers are controlled by tissue known as Tendons and it is these tendons which allow us to play the guitar. These tendons however are moved by a muscle called the Extensor Digitorum. This muscle is located slightly above the wrist and is used to move the fingers into and away from the palm of the hand. It is clearly an important part of any ambitious guitarist, yet it is not considered. It is not consciously thought of and is not considered an aspect of playing whatsoever but from now on... To you... It is god. Think to yourself how horrible it would feel if you could not play, or were limited due to one muscle in your body. Horrible isn't it! An easy way to combat this... WARM-UP. Warming up is another aspect of playing that many guitarists avoid or just plain don't consciously think about, even though it is so important. So to combat this we are going to create you a warm-up schedule section which will ensure that your tendons and muscles are ready to adapt to the information you want to store.

Section 2: The Biological Warm-Up

Are you ready to take your first step towards godliness... Good. Now put your guitar down and stand up. What? Yes you read that correctly, stand up. I want you to stand up and raise your arms to shoulder height at the side of you. Once there I need you to make small circles in whatever direction you choose. Do this for about a minute... Have you finished your minute, now go the other way. This process increases the body temperature between your joints called synovial fluid. This fluid stops your joints from rubbing and lets them move with ease. Now repeat this process but with your wrists. Now that the fluid is warmed up lets start stretching those tendons. Grab the guitar and complete this exercise.
Now I wont lie to you, those chords are both ugly and probably (especially to a beginner) pretty difficult. But you want to repeat that pattern down the neck as far as you feel comfortable to ensure your tendons are flexing. Don't push to hard as that can have negative affects rather than the positive we are trying to install. Lastly we are going to stretch you Extensor Digitorum. To do this we will take your right hand (facing palm down) and grab it with your left hand. Bend it slowly towards the floor until you feel a slight stretch in the wrist area. Hold that for 10 seconds, then repeat with the other hand. Once the biological warm-up is complete you are ready to begin the informational warm-up section of your schedule. This section will be provided in the next lesson installment in this series. Until then, if you have any questions feel free to post them as a comment or message me through my page, until then warm-up and keep playing. Your GodlyGuitarGuru.
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