In your guitar playing journey, you will learn and try to master countless techniques that are extremely advanced such as Legatos, Tapping, Shredding, String Skipping, Pinch Harmonics and many more. However, there are several techniques that you should master before moving on, as they will provide you a stable building ground for your skills. These techniques are the standard around guitar circles and if you consult a guitar teacher they will most definitely suggest you to start practicing those immediately. The following techniques are the key to master the instrument and to advance into higher levels of playing the guitar. Doing these is possible with almost any guitars. I own a Taylor 110e guitar and i mastered the techniques below on it.
1.Holding the pick
This might sound a little simple and some beginners will assume that there is no wrong way to hold a pick, but they couldn’t be more wrong. As there are different ways to hold a pick, correct and incorrect. It depends on the accuracy you need for a certain song, the node you need to achieve and your personal style.
The most common way of holding the pick is the “O” shape achieved by forming an O shape with your thumb and index finger. After experimenting for a while you’ll find the technique that feels natural to you and I would recommend you to stick with that.
This is also a complicated issue, as some beginners form bad habits while starting out, and they follow them further into their journey.
First off, I would suggest you to learn a good thumb position. 99% of the time, except when you are fretting with it, your thumb should rest on the back of the neck vertically on the opposite side of your index finger, as this will allow you the most control and quickness, just try it.
Furthermore, your fretting fingers should be curved so you can hit notes accurately and in a fast manner, it is also important to bend your wrist inward a little to ensure proper control, but not a lot as this can lead up to tensing.
After you learned how to play a note on a guitar, the next step is to learn how to hammer-on. This technique essentially allows you to play two notes successively with just one picking, to create a continuous sound that sounds harmonic and smooth. It has a very basic execution, you simply fret a note first, then pick the string and fret a second note higher up the same string without removing the finger of the first note. Congratulations you just did a hammer-on, one of the simplest, but most powerful techniques, and as you progress you will see its importance.
This is the opposite of the Hammer-Ons, and you should learn them both to achieve excellent sounds. You can accomplish a pull-off, by fretting two notes on the same string, plucking the string and then stop fretting the higher note. Simple but effective, great sound and faster playing.
Try to master these as fast as possible and in no time you will be ready for more intricate techniques that require more skill. These will give you a solid understanding that is required for more advanced techniques and will improve your hand dexterity. A great base for any playing style.
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