13 Typical Questions Asked by Beginner Guitarists (Part 2)

13 Typical Questions Asked by Beginner Guitarists (Part 2)

As discussed in the previous entry on questions 1 to 7:

13 Typical Questions Asked by Beginner Guitarists (Part 1)

we will now move on to the remaining questions.

8. How can I prevent my left hand from touching other strings?

A: Work on the joint mobility and increase your range of motion. Build up the independence of your ring finger and strengthen your little finger. Use both your fingertips and finger pulps to press the strings. Play more scales and chords with different tempos accurately can also help.

9. How can I avoid my little finger from tilting upwards while playing the guitar?

A: Let’s try the semitone exercise on the fifth fret of the second string with finger-by-finger control. Press the fifth, the sixth and the seventh fret with your index finger, middle finger and ring finger respectively, while keeping your little finger on the eighth fret of the first string, without actually pressing it with strength. Repeat the above steps one by one on a daily basis until the little finger no longer goes sticking up.

10. Are there any ways to improve on sweep picking?

A: You are suggested to working more on scale. Spend 5 minutes each day on practicing different scales. You may also buy a metronome to help you count the beats more accurately. Start at a slow tempo with simple rhythms, such as quarter notes, eighth notes, one eighth note followed by two sixteenth notes etc.

11. How can my left hand be more flexible and independent?

A: As for the left middle finger, keep pressing the sixth string (the thickest string) while having your right thumb plucking. Then, left-hand index finger and ring finger pluck the first string (the thinnest string) consecutively. Do the following slowly in three beats, with all three beats having your left-hand middle finger pressing the sixth string and right hand plucking; the second beat left-hand index finger plucking and the third beat left-hand ring finger plucking.

The exercise for the left ring finger should be almost the same as above. But the middle finger should be changed into ring finger, while the index finger being changed into middle finger and ring finger being changed into the little finger, with all other factors being constant.

As for the left little finger, the same principle applies. The difference is that the only neighboring finger to little finger is ring finger. Given that the little finger is too short to press the sixth string, just leave it to press the fifth string while the ring finger pressing the first string. One more thing to be noted—always bend with the little finger.

12. How can I change chords smoothly?

A: Haste makes waste. Never mind if you are slow at changing chords. Just make sure you practice until your fingers can move simultaneously. Soon, you can change chords more efficiently. When you are going to play a song, work on the chords within first. Then add accompaniment into it. This makes a better way to practice.

13. How can I prevent touching other strings during semitone exercises?

A: Make sure your hand gesture is correct. Slow practice in this case is necessary. Play every note accurately at a slow tempo is fine. And always remember: Practice makes perfect.