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🎸 Here’s a Cool Guitar Finger Exercise for You!

Are you having trouble moving your fingers from chord to chord?

Or, perhaps having problems trying to play some kind of cool solo?

The Finger Crawl exercise is great for your left hand coordination.

However, if you really want your fingers to work the way you really want them to, try this exercise.

I call it Diagonals.

As you do the exercise, you will see why it is called that way. Your fingers move in a diagonal direction across the fretboard.

You don’t have to be a lead guitar player either. Every guitarist should do this kind of exercise.

I do need to tell you that if you have never done it before, it will be hard.

Press through it. I assure you that you will be able to play it well in a short amount of time.

As long as you practice it.

Even if you have a handful of minutes available, this could be a good one to keep the fingers in shape.

=> But, a word of caution, if you have never done this before: start slow! It might hurt a little if you overdo it.

Take your time building up to it. You will definitely do well in time.

“All good things come to those who are patient”

Hop on over to the blog to get a detailed description (w/TABS) and the video on how to do the two methods:

Here’s the Blog that describes it in detail: Diagonal Finger Exercise

Want the video? Here ya go:

Good luck!

A Couple Fun Songs to Play

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words.” — Victor Hugo

“All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.” — Frank Zappa

“I’ve been imitated so well I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.” — Jimi Hendrix

Here are a couple of fun songs to play.

Working Man (Rush)

Believe it or not, there are some Rush songs that you don’t need a music degree from Berkeley to play! 🙂

Rush has been my favorite band since I was a kid.

I even play in a Rush tribute band in the Chicago area (Animation a Tribute to Rush – check it out: https://atributetorush.com/)

However, I can tell you that some songs aren’t really out of reach for many of you.

Working Man is one of them.

In fact, there are a number of my beginning students that actually are making great progress with this song (even on acoustic guitar!).

And, even if Rush isn’t your main band, you can still learn a lot by figuring out how to play this song.

Here ya go!

Working Man

Here’s the TAB that contains the main parts: Working Man TAB

Day Tripper

Beatles songs are timeless. It seems that every generation at least knows about their songs (seen the movie Yesterday yet? Go see it!)

So, it is always a good idea to have some Beatles songs in your back pocket to play.

Here is a video on how to play the main riff to the song Day Tripper.

Here is the TAB to the lick: Day Tripper TAB

I hope this helps make you more successful in your playing!Have fun!

Rock on until the next time!

playing guitar with good posture

Guitar Posture Problems: 4 Ways to Correct Them

Guitar posture problems can be a real pain.

When you are playing songs on guitar (or any instrument), you know you are in the moment when you put your whole self into it.

Everything is really clicking.

Moments like that are really awesome.

But, there are also times when putting our whole self into it can be detrimental to our playing.

Let me explain:

Many times we suffer from what I like to call Poor Guitar “Body English”.

And it can really hinder our playing and prevent any reasonable progress in our playing. It can be one of the main reasons our songs don’t always sound good, or a lead line just isn’t right, or that those chords don’t sound clear.

I do see it more with beginner players (which is normal) but I also see it with many who took on bad habits learning on their own or via the internet.

So what is Bad Guitar “Body English”?

While much importance is put on how we place our fingers on the strings, what can be missed is how our guitar posture can affect our playing.

And that matters. Poor guitar posture problems like, moving our arms, shoulders, and elbows in unnecessary ways really don’t help those fingers do what they need to do.

Here are some examples of Bad Guitar “Body English” . At the end, I’ll show you the right way.

Check your own self to see how you are doing.

Guitar Problem #1: Rock Star Drift

This guitar posture problem is the one where as you play, your left arm starts drifting, thus pulling the guitar neck further and further from your body.

I see this a lot. Now, if you want to do your best hair band rock move, by all means, go ahead and make that move! But that is all for effect. You can’t really play well always looking like that.

As you drift your arm further and further away, it becomes harder and harder to play those tough chords or melodies. You don’t give your fingers (or your thumb and wrist for that matter) any chance to play correctly.

What you really want to do is make sure you keep that arm back in a relaxed, comfortable position. The key word is to “relax”.

Guitar Problem #2: Shoulder Drop

Here is another one of those guitar posture problems I see with students. This oftentimes happens when we are trying real hard to play a song or work on something real difficult.

So, there is this natural tendency to want to “put our shoulder into it”. Thus, the shoulder tends to drop.

Relax! Yes, relax your shoulder! You don’t really need it much to play your guitar.

It will make your playing life so much better!

Guitar Problem #3: Elbow Swing

Bad Elbow In:

Bad Elbow Out:

Good Elbow:

Sometimes, while trying to get that barre chord to sound right (or any chord, really), the left elbow sometimes wants to compensate and twist and turn.

If you catch yourself doing it, stop! Relax (this seems to be a common theme?) your elbow! It shouldn’t swing out or in.

In fact, one simple test for not swinging inward is to imagine sticking a small pillow between the elbow and torso. It should easily fit there. If not, change it.

Guitar Problem #4: Sit Up!

Yes, just like your mom might have said: “sit up straight and stop slouching!”

While you don’t have to sit up straight like a board, if you end up slouching on the couch too much while playing or practicing, you will either simply play bad, or pick up some really bad habits that will ultimately hinder your progress.

So, sit up! Or, simply stand up, that works too. Your fingers (and your mom) will appreciate it!

Guitar Success: You Look Marvelous!

If you aren’t sure, look in a mirror while playing. Sometimes it can be hard to really see how you look with the guitar.

Often you will see some of that Poor Guitar Body English show up and you can adjust to correct it.

Once you get this down, techniques like strumming your guitar or playing barre chords get much easier!

I hope this helps make you more successful in your playing!Have fun!

Rock on until the next time!