Posted Feb 15, 2013 02:45 PM
We're here to talk about one of the most looked over aspect in guitar learning and playing process: playing comfortably. Every advanced player knows how playing comfortably is what changed his ability from playing sloppily to playing consistent music which makes all the differences to the listener. This article will hopefully give ideas on how to become comfortable with your playing and how it can help you. Let's begin!
Losing the tension:
I'm sure everyone of you have already experienced tensed hands while playing, and that is hands not just left hand, and after just a short moment your playing get crippled and you start making tons of mistakes until you can't even continue playing anymore, so you take some break and redo the exact same thing! From now on, don't. This is not a healthy practice, and it is holding you back. Notice how the famous players can play fast ad complex music while being so relaxed that they make it look easy for non-guitarists! To become like these great players you need to lose the tension:
1) Starting with the fretting hand, you should make sure that you're using a correct position where your hand should continue the natural curvature at the wrist, don't make you hand and arm like a continuous bar, a curvature or bending at the wrist is needed, but don't over-bend it, keep it on a comfortable level. Next thing to tackle with your fretting hand is the thumb position, which it seems varying a lot from one player to another because of different hand sizes and different necks used; Find a position you feel suitable for you but always remember not to fix or stagnate your thumb to the neck, your thumb should be loose and should slide along the neck when you change positions.
2) Moving on to the picking hand, it seems like not much is going on there right? Wrong, a lot of deserved focus should be given to the picking hand. Let's take the act of picking, a lot use their whole arms to pick and forget about moving their wrists. Wrist is the key to a correct picking, only use your wrist when picking, and use you arm to move from string to another; so if you are picking the same string, your arm should not move at all, and if your sweep picking from the lowest string to the highest string, this sweep motion will depend mostly on your arm, until you want to sweep back to lower string the wrist should change in direction and again the arm take it from here, finally if you're picking many notes per string through various strings you'll have to use a combination of wrist and arm movement.
Taking the length of the strap, too long and it feels to hard to reach and play, too short and it feels too close and awkward to play with. You need to find your sweet point, but as a hint most advanced guitarist have their guitar held at their waste level, so start from there and see if that suits you well.
Facial expressions, this one I have never read about it anywhere and I'm not sure if anybody talked about it, so bare with me. Now you'll be like what the hell, how come face expressions have anything to do with my playing! Well take your guitar, stand in front of your mirror and play an exercise or song that you find difficult to play and see yourself playing, that's right, you look like you're going to sh-t yourself XD don't worry most of us do, but If you work on it, you will feel the difference in your playing. How? Well there's no easy way to explain this so try to put some thinking from your part, you need to try to keep practicing in front of the mirror and try to control your face expressions, try to have a relaxed face, try to smile, be in charge of your face, visualize a crowd cheering for you and interact with them and enjoy the interaction and enjoy your playing! This, after a while will pay off by making you feel the music more, make you more comfortable with your playing and will ease up the difficult exercises.
These are the points that I could think off, I'm pretty sure there are more ideas that might contribute to a relaxed playing, so for those of you have more ideas please share with us. Any comments are welcomed. Rock on!