5 Things to Check that Might Be Adversely Affecting Your Guitar Playing
1. Pick: There is a lot to be said about using the right pick. If you are picking fast or intricate lines, using a thicker or harder pick usually offers better results. Transversely, if you are strumming, a thinner pick can be better, especially in studio settings. Different materials produce different tones. There are various shapes, grips, tips, etc that may affect your playing greatly. Try several different kinds before settling in. Here is an article entitled How to Pick Your Pick by Premier Guitar.
2. Action: The “action” refers to how high or low your strings are, and how your guitar “plays” over all. A lot of guitar students bring a guitar into their first lesson that they have been practicing on, and the action is too high for me to even fret notes! I immediately send them to get the guitar set up by a luthier(someone who makes or repairs string instruments). Action is a preference thing, so make sure you figure out how high or low you enjoy the strings on your instrument. Having it too low can cause a guitar to buzz. I personally don’t mind a little buzz. You have to strike a balance between how low you want the strings, and the tone you are going for. Here is a link to a local luthier in Columbia: Strings Attached
3. Guitar Teacher: With so many people playing guitar, there are a lot of “guitar teachers” out their that have no business teaching anyone. Make sure you do your homework, and find someone that has a good reputation for teaching. There are a lot of great players that can’t teach a lick. Here’s a great place to look for guitar teachers: 😉 Freeway Music
Here is a great blog about: How to Pick Your Teacher
4. Technique: Playing guitar requires a lot of fine motor movements. You could be holding your hand slightly wrong, and move it just a touch to make a chord sound way better. It’s not how hard you press, but how you press the strings that counts. Not only can you adversely affect your guitar playing, but you could be on a track to injuring yourself if you are not careful.
5. Guitar: Let’s face it, there are some guitars that are just pieces of junk. I don’t have enough time to go into how many I have seen pass through my guitar lesson room. The basic rule is go to a local store that specializes in selling music instruments, not a department store that specializes in selling toys. There may be a little more investment up front, but it is totally worth it. A good guitar is crucial to making the learning experience more successful. A great store to check out here in Columbia, SC is: Sims Music