Mistake #8: Not Thinking About Posture and ‘Feel’.
It is absolutely crucial to consider posture as a guitarist. After all, it’s our fingers, arms, and nerves that form the pathway from our brain to the guitar. If these are out of kilter, you music will suffer; it will hamper your technique and could cause long term damage.
Remember that old tune?
“Hip bone connected from the thigh bone
Thighbone connected from the knee bone
Knee bone connected from the shin bone…”
Every part of the body affects every other part of its functioning. So if your posture is not good when you play, it is like putting traffic lights on a highway – it will drastically slow the speed and ease at which your hands can move as the ‘traffic’ between your brain and muscles will slow down to a snail’s pace.
If you play with poor posture, you really must sort this out. You will quickly notice some very positive changes in your technical ability. Playing with a good posture can also really help with confidence on stage – body language is everything after all.
Have I convinced you? Good! Now that we have sorted that out, there is an important concept I want to introduce to you that I consider the best way to improve any piece or technique.
The ‘Feel’ in the Hands
The Number One thing I always think about in my practice is: ‘does this passage feel good in my hands? Does this fingering work for my hands? How is this feeling right now?’
This is a higher priority whether a particular fingering pattern or solution makes logical sense. If it simply doesn’t feel good in the hands after I play with it for a while, I reject it.
This simple tip, given to me by the great classical guitarist Tim Kain, has been my most effective strategy for getting music to flow and expressing myself easily on the instrument.
So try to cultivate this type of self-awareness. Ask yourself – how does my hands feel right now? How does my body feel right now? How is my posture?
The results will speak for themselves.
In the next instalment of this Guide we’ll cover a mindset issue that has a long, and deluded tradition across the study of most instruments. I look forward to blowing this myth out of the water for you – see you in the next one!
~ Greg from FretDojo
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