Category Archives: Essays on Playing

Keeping hands and fingers healthy

We often take the use of our hands for granted – until something happens that makes us unable to keep doing what we usually do! As guitarists, we are highly dependent on our hands for our ability to play our … Continue reading

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The Value of Theory

A lot of guitarists don’t want to learn about music theory. I have always taken a different view. Music theory helps you to talk about music, and to understand how music works. Why wouldn’t any musician want to learn as … Continue reading

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Mental Practice

We seem to be living in an increasingly busy world, and I am often hearing my students tell me that they simply are too busy to practice every day. Practice works best on a daily basis – even a small … Continue reading

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How to tune the guitar

So you’ve just got your guitar, and you’ve had your first lesson, but somehow the notes seem funny. You’re guitar has probably gone out of tune! Guitars will need tuning each time you play them! So how do you tune … Continue reading

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C major practice track

Here is a simple practice track for practicing improvising in a C major scale. The chords are |G               |Am               |Bm7b5             … Continue reading

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Keep It Simple

Something I like to tell my students is that good music comes from a place of simplicity. If you are struggling to execute whatever musical ideas you are trying to express with your playing, your attention will be on the … Continue reading

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Practice tracks: Metronome beats

It’s good to spend some practice time each day working with a metronome, to develop precision and consistency in your timing. Not everyone has access to a metronome, however, so here are some basic “metronome” tracks that you can use … Continue reading

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How to Get the Most from Your Practice

Most of my students will have heard me say how a small amount of practice each day is much better than a large amount once a week! It’s something you will hear me say a lot! A daily practice schedule … Continue reading

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Talking About the Blues

One of the styles of music I love to play, and love to teach, is the blues. Much of modern pop and rock music owes its distinctive sound to the rhythms, harmonies and scales used by the American blues musicians. … Continue reading

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