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Get 5 Guitar Playing Tips to Help You Play Better Guitar.

Anna Rowe

In this helpful article, you will get guitar playing tips designed to help you improve your playing skills. So let`s get started

1) The first guitar playing tip is to use good posture while playing the guitar

You should sit up straight in an armless chair. If the chair has arms, you will not be able to hold the guitar properly for playing. Sit up straight to protect your back.

If you get a backache after a bit of playing, you will realize how having good posture while playing the guitar is so important.

2) The next guitar playing tip is to hold the pick firmly but not too firmly.

If you do not grip the pick firmly enough, you may lose it during a vigorous bout of strumming! But if you grip it too tightly, you may find your whole arm getting tired. Middle of the road is the best guitar playing tip I can give you where pick grip is concerned.

3) Choosing the right pick is another guitar tip that is important.

Picks come in finger and flat styles. Most guitarists use a flat one. They also come in three different levels of flexibility.

Several professional guitarists have given me the advice of getting the softest, flabbiest pick I can find for learning to keep up with fast strumming. It`s easier on the arm. Flab

After some practice with a soft pick, you will probably want to move on to a firmer one. A final guitar playing tip about picks is that the firmest picks make the richest sounds.

4) Here is a guitar playing tip - learn to play arpeggios.

It`s fun, great for old folk songs, and sounds beautiful! You won`t be able to use a pick, though. Finger the chord. Now, pick the bass note of the chord with your thumb. You can use a thumb pick for this, however, it works just fine to use your thumb. You will grow a little callus there which will make it easier.

Now use your index finger to pluck the third string. Next, pluck the second string with your middle finger. And then pluck the top string with your ring finger. You`ve picked four notes.

If you repeat the sequence, giving each note the timing of an eighth note, you will fill a measure of a song written in four/four time. This guitar playing tip will make people sit up and take notice, but it does require practice, and calluses, to play this way. Try playing the strings in different order, and alternate bass strings.

5) A final guitar playing tip involves the chord D.

While playing the D chord, try adding your pinkie finger to the chord at the third fret. This new chord is often called "D-suspended" or "D-sus." Then play D again. Now try lifting your middle finger so that the top string of the chord is open. And back to D again.

You can do the same thing with the A-chord, but have to do the change on the second string. Up one fret to the third makes A-sus, and you can also lift that finger to go down a step on that second string. C-suspended requires you to go up a half step on the fourth string. G-suspended requires you to do it on the fifth string. Learning suspended chords is a guitar playing tip you`ll find yourself using when you play contemporary songs.

I hope you`ve found these guitar playing tips helpful. It`s important to remember that the best way to improve your guitar playing skills is to practice, practice, practice. Good luck!

Guitar: An American Life

American Music Teacher , Dec, 2005 by Glenn Caluda

Guitar: An American Life, by Tim Brookes. Grove Press/Atlantic, Inc. (841 Broadway, 4th Flr., New York, NY 10003), 2005. 339 pp.

This is an extremely interesting and entertaining book about the guitar and its development in America. While it is not primarily a history, it does include tantalizing facts and stories that are not readily available elsewhere. The author, an amateur guitarist, treats the subject with great affection, humor and occasional criticism.

The book is organized around Tim Brookes`s quest for the perfect guitar to replace a long-loved, but unfortunately damaged, instrument. He includes chapters about searching for and finding the right guitar maker, sound, style, choice of woods and decorations--with fascinating digressions into inlay work and rosette designs. Although not present for the whole process, Brookes documents the actual building of the guitar with colorful descriptions of this semi-magical process.

Interspersed among these chapters are discussions of the guitar`s rise to popularity. From a supposition of the first guitarist in America (a Spanish solider named Juan Garcia y Talvarea, 1576) to jazz, blues and rock, these chapters contain some of the most beguiling stories about the instrument, its players, promoters and other assorted personages. Brookes elaborates on the Hawaiian guitar "craze" that swept the nation in the early 1900s, the guitar`s use in country music, the advent of the electric guitar and much more. One highlight of the book is the glossary that lists Brookes`s own, unorthodox and humorous, but insightful definitions (opinions).

However informative, Brookes has not written a textbook, which may be good or bad. There are no footnotes, index or bibliography, although he does make liberal use of quotations. There is hardly any mention of the guitar`s European evolution and heritage, but it is obviously a book about the development of the "American guitar," which for Brookes equals the steel string guitar. The modern classical guitar is barely touched upon, but it is clearly appreciated. The book is written from a "folk" guitarist`s point of view. There are statements that other guitarists might disagree with, for example, "everything important that happened to the guitar actually happened between 1928 and 1941."

Besides being a player and lover of the guitar, Brookes is a commentator for National Public Radio. He has certainly brought his talents, thoughts, experience, research and opinions into creating a delightfully endearing book about this wonderful instrument, the guitar. Reviewed by Glenn Caluda, Stephens City, Virginia.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Music Teachers National Association, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group

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