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  #16  
Old 12-28-2018, 05:41 PM
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IMO the end result is to not play tentatively, tip toeing around. That really stands out, at least to my ears. In most cases music should flow with succeeding notes sounding like they were meant to be by what came before.
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  #17  
Old 12-29-2018, 09:13 AM
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I had an interesting encounter yesterday on a gig. One of the singers asked me about buying a guitar and said she was as self taught player and asked if she could play my guitar for a few moments. She said she still had difficulty with her "bar" F chord as well as some other issues. She also said on her current guitar she had eaten a hole through the guitar where there was no pick guard (and only had the guitar a couple years).

As I watched her play it was evident that she was self taught. Her left hand was distorted beyond imagination. Her thumb either curved around the neck oddly for some chords and pointed straight north for others. There was no support in her hand to provide any sort of leverage to press the strings. Her hand had to be very strong to the strings to fret even though the action on my guitar is low and set up well. The way she held her pick between her thumb and index finger gave her no control to strum selectively but created a death-grip in her right hand as she said the pick was always falling out of her hand. I could see by the way she held the pick and strummed how she ate through her guitar in just a short time.

I made a few quick suggestions but know she will need a few weeks of remedial training to correct problems that have stopped her development dead in its tracks. Again... Bad habits take only a few minutes to adopt and exponentially longer to undo.
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  #18  
Old 12-29-2018, 10:52 AM
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The only truly awful habit is failure to practice, IMO. The second worst is failure to listen to yourself and pay attention to your sound as well as your level of relaxation and comfort while playing or practicing. Of course the second is a bit of an open ended description and trying to listen to yourself and connect it to an unwanted or undesirable sound or an unrelaxed, tight or tense feeling while playing is kind of an ongoing learning experience.

I really believe most every other bad "habit" grows out of these two. Schedule time to practice at least 20-30 minutes every day. And always try to improve the quality of your practice by paying attention to the details of the sound and the feeling during your practice and playing.

Search for "discover your discomfort" to read more on this philosophy of practice and improving performance. I've learned some extremely difficult pieces of music simply by starting slowly, learning the piece so I can manage playing it slowly and the systematically working on the challenging sections and bringing up the tempo slowly while repeating the "discover the discomfort" approach. You wind up finding and fixing a lot of your own "bad habits" which become apparent as you try to speed up the piece while maintaining the flow and quality of the notes, etc.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sloar View Post
I’ve discussed whether to take lessons or not on this forum and people always talk about correcting bad habits someone might have when learning by book or the internet. What are some bad habits that I should look for? Thanks.
Hi sloar…

One teacher's/method's bad habit is another's standard technique. And people will fight to the death over them.
  • Use the pinky of the picking hand as a place holder or float the pinky...Probably the most often discussed issue.
  • Ride the fretting thumb along the bass side of the neck (also called wrapping the thumb) or glide the thumb on the underside of the neck is another.
  • Balance the lower bout of a guitar on right knee, left knee, or in the well between them.
  • How to angle/hold a flat pick
  • Thumb-n-one, thumb-n-two, or thumb-n-three fingers when finger picking.

For me (even when I taught guitar for 40 years) these were choices & not always absolutes. If an intermediate or advanced student came for lessons I never even mentioned when they played differently than my basic methods UNLESS their current method was causing issues which prevented them from making progress.

So I put very little stock in the advice that learning from books or video (internet) is problematic, and that lessons in person are somehow better.



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  #20  
Old 12-29-2018, 11:29 AM
Arthur Blake Arthur Blake is offline
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Too much pressure fretting the notes.

It's easy when beginning to use extra force to get the notes to sound cleanly in a chord. Turns out that readily becomes a bad habit.

You need to relax the arm, isolate the fingers so pressing with one does not result in extra pressure on others, and learn to play lightly on the frets.

I began with a lot of bending b string in a thumb over F chords playing blues, and that rapidly tenses the entire hand.
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  #21  
Old 12-30-2018, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Toby Walker View Post

Thanks for that. It's great to see somebody talking principles rather than dogma.

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  #22  
Old 01-02-2019, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
IMO the end result is to not play tentatively, tip toeing around. That really stands out, at least to my ears. In most cases music should flow with succeeding notes sounding like they were meant to be by what came before.
I started playing 6 years ago and find this to be so true. Having the confidence to “letting go” to allow your music to sound musical is a big hurdle most beginners have to overcome.
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  #23  
Old 01-02-2019, 03:59 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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My bad habit: posting pointless replies on threads like this instead of PRACTISING.





(There's a New Year resolution there somewhere.... )
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  #24  
Old 01-02-2019, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
My bad habit: posting pointless replies on threads like this instead of PRACTISING.





(There's a New Year resolution there somewhere.... )
Same way I feel about some of the theory of chord naming threads.
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