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learning instruments
muscle memory
muscle training
many different types
careful consideration
repetition
microscope
fingers
phrases
signals
The Importance Of Guitar Technical Exercises
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The Importance Of Guitar Technical Exercises

When studying musical instruments technical exercises are not to be overlooked. The nature of learning instruments is such that you will be making your fingers do things that they have not done before. This can be a hard and frustrating process especially when you are working on a particular piece for a performance or grade exam.

This is where guitar technical studies come in useful. It is necessary to take a break from studying music and focus on the business of muscle training. I often liken learning new techniques to physiotherapy, as you have to build up signals from your brain to your fingers which otherwise would go undeveloped.

This has to be done slowly and with careful consideration paid to technique. The repetition of a technical exercise is what fosters the muscle memory and often it must be repeated over and over, particular as the types of songs and styles become more complicated. Without this necessary part of your technical development you will find that you will never quite master some of the skills necessary to perform certain things.

Musicians often have to spend many hours a day working on technique alone in order to reach greater dexterity. The nature of the guitar is that there are many different types of chords and phrases all requiring nimble and relaxed fingers. This can’t be achieved by playing songs alone, and if that’s how you spend most of your practice time then you will find yourself frustrated when confronted by a new technique and unable to play it.

Ensure that you work on your technique slowly, and practice small sections of exercises or repertoire over and over on a loop to help keep time and to smooth out any mishit notes. By putting your playing under the microscope like this you will find out why things aren’t working the way they should and you will develop that all important communication between brain and hands.

Set yourself targets to reach. For example, try and play the section that you are working on perfectly five times in a row. If you mess it up then start again and don’t feel like you have made any progress until you can do this. When you can do this comfortably work yourself harder by upping the number of repetitions or speed up the tempo. It goes without saying at this stage that you must always aim high with your practice goals.

Always, set aside a good chunk of your practice time on technical exercises. I would suggest that you do this at the start so that you really ‘warm up’ your fingers. When studying complex guitar styles it is never advisable to go in cold, and you will find that your fingers are far more responsive after you have spent good time on technique. I recommend that it’s worth spending a third of your practice time doing this.

All of the best musicians around understand that you must spend good time on all of the above. Incorporate these methods into your own playing and you will notice that your playing will very soon improve many times over.


Street Talk

Deven  

Good lesson, bud. Solid info. Agreed that starting slow and making sure your technique is solid and all the notes are sounding is very crucial.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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