Imagine your sound
You have a goal you want to achieve on the guitar.
Maybe it's playing cover songs. Maybe it's creating a new style
of music. Visualize success. See it in
See yourself on stage, rocking
the music you're making. Nod your head, tap your foot and
hum along. Listen to this concert day and
as soon as you feel
comfortable. Don't think about
words. Sing rhythmic tones and make sounds.
It's ok if it sucks.
Record it if you like it. Use a portable Zoom recorder (150$) or a cheap dictation recorder
This "invites" music into your head.
You'll hear melodies and sing them. You'll manifest a new reality and reach your goals.
"I heard in my head
a whole concert situation, with
a band and singing and a large audience. Those first five or six
songs I wrote I was just taking
notes at a
fantastic rock concert that was going on inside my head."
The music I hear in my head,
"I can't get on the guitar.
a thing of just
daydreaming or something. If you pick up your
guitar and just try
to play, it spoils the whole thing." -Jimi Hendrix
and finger motions can be practiced without a guitar. Visualization is 80% as
effective as practice.
Doing both is
the most effective. External link
Right hand strumming
while listening to music, or when you hear a rhythm in your head.
Strum "the air" to the speed of
Your hand should go up and
smoothly. Don't try to play the rhythm yet, just strum up and down.
when the strums match up with what you're hearing.
Do they happen on an upstroke or
a down stroke? Don't think too hard. Just
notice. Slow down
and simplify the rhythm if you have to.
Now "play" on top of
your other hand with your thumb and first finger
(as though holding a pick)
This way you'll feel the strums
and get feedback.
and brush your left hand with the rhythm you want to play.
Keep strumming up and down,
but hit or miss, depending on the rhythm.
Feel the connection between the
rhythm in your head and the
up and down motion.
Try strumming without maintaining
the up and down motion.
Strum when the note "occurs".
It's more efficient,
but you'll probably play more rhythm cliches.
you watch Jimmy Page play rhythm, he never stopped strumming. Even
playing 16th notes he always kept a little wiggle in the pick.
Right hand fingerpicking
Try this while
listening to music, or when you hear
music in your head.
your 1, 2 and 3 finger on the table
in any combination.
This simulates a down stroke while
fingerpicking. Tap to the
rhythm. Try to do it with just one, and also with all three
Tap those fingers "up"
into the bottom of your other hand.
Roll your fingers
smoothly. This simulates an "upstroke".
Tap to the
You'll play twice as fast when you combine downstrokes and upstrokes.
Pretend your left hand 1 finger
is the "string."
an L shape with your left hand 1 finger and thumb.
Put your right thumb on your left thumb and your right hand 3
finger at the end of your left hand 1 finger.
Play to the
rhythm using upstrokes and down strokes.
Try using alternating down strokes and upstrokes.
patient, slow down, and simplify. If you're doing this to music,
try hitting the important, structural
Get to the essence of what you're hearing.
Play any combination of movements you like.
Add finger 3 and try that as well.
Try it with the thumb.
the thumb to play across the a finger using alternating
Try all variations, consecutive upstrokes and
down strokes and combinations.
Left hand scale exercise
Try this when listening to music or hearing music in your head.
Hold your left
hand up like it's fretting a
guitar. Notice the curve in your fingers.
Roll your fingers on the table in
time to the beat.
You can also do this on your chest
(to feel it)
Or into the palm of your other hand
Things to try:
Tap any fretting finger to a rhythm you hear.
Roll multiple fingers in time with multiple notes.
If the notes pause,
let your fingers pause.
If the notes go "up", start at finger 1 and roll upward
to finger 4.
If you reach finger 4 and the notes keep going up, start over at finger
1 and roll
Do the opposite when the notes
If the same note
repeats, put the same finger back down (following the rhythmic
If the note bends, bend that
finger to simulate it.
Hold down finger 1 and work the other fingers.
This simulates a bar chord.
Slide that "barred" finger 1 back
and forth (on your chest) and roll and tap the other
This simulates sliding into a new position.
At the end, move your
fingers as fast as you can in any combination you can
point is getting your fingers moving when you "hear
You're probably not using the right fingers
for the right notes. That's GREAT.
You have the rest of
your life to get stuck playing cliche patterns. This
will help keep that problem at bay.
is usually when
you're making mistakes that you find out other places to go"