07.05.13

5 Surprising Mistakes That Most Guitarists Make And Don't Know About

top five mistakes

Whenever someone decides to learn to play a musical instrument, a majority of the times the choice is a guitar. It is maybe because of the cool, ‘rockstar’ kind of image associated with it, or maybe because since a majority of people are learning it anyway, a person is bound to learn the same thing. Whatever be the motivation behind learning, there are some common mistakes that almost all guitarists make and don’t realize.

Here are five of them, so one can know them, avoid them, and play better:

  1. The holding position
    While some guitarists can vouch for the fact that they play better when they are sitting down instead of standing up, most professionals go against that and say that guitars can only be played properly in the standing position. The main reason behind this thought is that whenever a person is sitting down, the pressure is bound to be more on the right leg, making one hold the guitar in an angular fashion, which tilts the head even higher. Hence, the position of the left hand tends to become more awkward and ineffective when it comes to controlling. Plus, if the guitar is too big, it forces the right arm to move in an upward direction, causing problems on the shoulder joint. This spoils technique considerably.
     
  2. Dialing your tones
    It’s common for a lot of guitarists to dial their tones at home or at their rehearsal space, before a gig. While that may seem like good preparation, it doesn’t really come out useful because the tones in an open, big space will translate very differently from how they were translating back home. You need to have proper sound checks, to be able to know that your reverb and delays etc. are going as per the venue’s requirements. Get a trusted sound person to work with you, so you know that your tones are coming out nice over the PA system. Even try asking one of your teammates to walk through the venue at various points as you play, so you know which part of the crowd is hearing you, how.
     
  3. Using gain too much
    In playing the guitar, using too much gain can be a loss! More distortion necessarily doesn’t mean better, heavier tone. You will lose the punch and attack that way. Best way is to balance the gain with saturation, such that you don’t lose the punch and attack. If you are using an amplifier for distortion, take down the gain just a little down than where you’d normally keep it, and raise the master volume just a little bit to get sharper, stronger, clearer tones.
     
  4. Spending money over nothing
    Many guitarists want to keep upgrading to newer models, every time a new one is launched. One needs to understand that while an upgraded guitar may give a slightly better sound or quality, it may not necessarily improve your playing technique. Plus, not all new models in the market are always better than the old ones. Sometimes, older versions are good for long, till some really great model comes in and an upgrade seems reasonable.
     
  5. Too much pressure on the strings
    More pressure on the strings is not going to give better sound. What gives the correct tone is the correct amount of pressure applied on the strings, with the right position. So work on your positions, and then apply just the needed pressure. Otherwise, you will just end up spoiling your guitar, and your technique.

This guest post is contributed by Jim Thomas. He is a talented guitarist and an ardent fan of Jimi Hendrix. He gives online guitar lessons to promote young and raw talent.

 

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