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Here are some tips for beginners that will improve your playing immediately:

  1. When fretting a note, place fingers of the left hand next to fret, and as close to the fret as possible without being on top of it. You'll get the best tone and eliminate any ”buzz" that beginners
    usually experience.
  2. Use the tips of the left hand when playing a note for the best possible sound. Avoid letting your joint "collapse" and playing "flat fingered." You'll hear a difference.
  3. When playing a melody, or riff on the same string, don't lift your fingers up when you are going to the next note. Keep your fingers down and don't lift them up for a more legato sound. This will eliminate a staccato or choppy sound.
  4. Right Hand Picking: Play rest strokes when possible. Let right hand follow through and rest on next string for a fatter sound and better articulation.
  5. Angle your pick to add more bass and reduce resistance to make alternate picking (consecutive down and up strokes) easier.
  6. Strum with side of pick, not point, to reduce resistance and make rhythms easier to play. Eliminates need to stop and "reset" pick while in the middle of playing.
  7. The Fretboard: If you know one note, you know them all! The seven letters of the musical alphabet and familiarity of the chromatic scale will multiply your knowledge of guitar tremendously!
  8. Half-steps (one fret), whole-steps (two frets) and minor thirds (three frets) are the key to learning scales on the guitar. They are very easy to "see" on one string.
  9. Half-steps, whole-steps and minor thirds are a little more difficult to "see" vertically on the guitar. The benefits are definitely worth looking into.
  10. Take two aspirin and don't call me early in the morning! However, please send an e-mail if you have any questions and I'll be glad to respond.

Hope these ideas make a big difference in your playing.

–Carl Filipiak


©2005 Carl Filipiak