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Reasons to Ditch Your Guitar Pick
Lately, I haven't been using my guitar pick all that much. I got this tab book of some good ol' Gatemouth Brown finger picking blues. I've been enjoying myself so much trying to get this fingerpick thang goin'."
I'm starting to understand the arpeggio-phrasing technique a lot more. Gatemouth Brown is a legend and a true musician. He plays acoustic / electric guitar in all genres. He can also play the fiddle like nobody's business. He is also a drummer, harp player, and banjo playing fool.
So, let's cover some of the techniques I've found to be very effective in my playing. Using these techniques can add color to your performance. Think of it as a small toolbox of tricks you can pull out to add character to your songs and live set. Effective pick-hand technique provides the kind tone and textures that can give a personal touch to an old classic or to provide a step off point for other creative musical endeavors.
Try Different Styles and Genre
Play the root notes with your thumb. The down-strums with the tips of your fingernails, and upstrokes with just you finger tips. Get yourself a metronome and play to different speeds, Do some stagger strumming. Strum to the off beats. Download or find music that you might not jam to. Try a calypso feel. Do some cowboy songs and "Yes" hammer-on those top bass strings and get into some alternate picking, etc. Try a walking bass line while playing the three higher strings open. These are just ideas to opening your mind!
Turn Your Acoustic into a Percussion Instrument
Bang on it like a hand drum. Strike or tap the strings with the inside surface of your fingers as if you swatting a fly. Now? don't bang on it to hard. I don't want to be blamed for someone's guit-box being damaged. Let your fingers kind of bounce off and away from the strings for them to ring-out. Experiment with different taps all up and down the fret board and back side of the neck too! Use the top of the guitar as a drum. I've seen duos with one person playing the guitar and the other person playing the percussions on the back of the guitar laid flat across the their lap. Remember to use the different parts of the hand to include knuckles, fingers -rings, etc.
Slap and Pop Technique
Bass players use this technique for rhythmic power. Use the outside of your thumb joint to attack the strings. If you experiment with this approach, try getting bell like tones out of those bass strings.
Put Some Snap into Your Playing
Use your index finger to snap those high strings when playing lead solos. Try yanking lightly on each string, releasing it against the fret board with a bright snap. Give those strings a real pinch when needed too (Don't be shy...). This is good for rock and blues flavored solos.
Use Muting and Volume in Your Playing
Slap and pop with some funk. Use your thumb and middle finger playing octave notes. Kinda like a cat claw approach. Don't forget to use the heel of your pick hand to mute and use as a volume control for the strings. Rest the heel of your hand lightly on the saddle. Now practice strumming and muting the strings while the heel lightly lays across the strings. Next, mute the strings with your chord-hand by lightly touching the string while strumming your guitar with your nails on your finger-tips. Kinda like playing percussions on the strings. I call it chickin'- scratchin' those strings.
"Again, I hope I've sparked some imagination for playing without a pick. These ideas will help you develop your own style too!"
Guitar Players...Get a Balanced Guitar Practice Diet
Do you have a wide variety of things that you practice. Or do you like to binge? (You know.
Home Run Gigs
Are you still playing your heart out to small audiences on gigs at unappreciative dives (excuse me, I meant to say nightclubs) that feel paying you a couple of hundred dollars for a 3-4 hour gig is also paying you about $150 too much?Unless you are a masochist, why do you continue to take such beatings? Is it due to laziness, complacency, cynicism, your now being jaded, or a combination of any of the above?Are you aware that you could dramatically improve your live performance income by making simple changes in the types of performances that you accept?For instance, see the below list of gig types and the average earnings possible, compared to traditional nightclub work:* Weddings ($1,000 *minimum* for 2-3 hours work)Instead of working yourself to death, so to speak, by chasing wedding performance opportunities on an individual basis, consider approaching a number of area caterers and offering your services to them as an add-on to their own services as, obviously, they will have significantly more client opportunities.Not only will your music service now give catering companies more value, as the client can now also purchase the wedding entertainment through a single source as opposed to contracting performers separately, but this single joint venture alone will dramatically increase your income, and on a more consistent basis.
So You Wanna Learn How To Start a Record Label?
Well, you love music so much that you have decided you want to start a record label of your own. This can be a very exciting step and a fun one.
Is the Mainstream Ready Once Again for Dance Music?
Not since the heyday of Dance/Pop Artists like Taylor Dayne and Paula Abdul has Dance Music been a mainstream category. Today, "Dance Music" as defined by Billboard's Dance Club Chart represents only a very small segment of the music market.
Where To Download Music On The Internet
Virtually all of you have probably heard of the RIAA's quest to crush online music piracy. The illegal sharing of copyrighted songs via the MP3 format on top the Internet costs the music industry billions of dollars.
How I Compose a Piece of Music
A number of people have asked about my own methodology for creating a complete piece of music at the piano. At the risk of oversimplification, the steps are as follows:1.
A Brief History of Gongs
The gong is one of the oldest musical instruments in the world. Archaeologists have unearthed gongs built almost four thousand years ago.
SOUNDS GOOD TO ME - Eliminate Throat Tension
As a vocal coach, I hear it all the time. I love to sing but when I do, I get hoarse and need to shout to be heard after only a few hours.
The Music Industry and Its Lack of Talent
So it has come to this..
Guitar Practice - Make It Your Priority!
Every student realizes that guitar practice is important if they wish to become a better musician. Even so, many have trouble establishing a regular practice routine.
14 Ways Musicians Can Increase Their Tips
I was listening to NPR the other day when they did a report on tipping in the restaurant industry. One they had a list of tips on how wait staff can increase their tips.
How to Download Music From The Internet
Most of you have probably heard of the RIAA's quest to crush online music piracy. The illegal sharing of copyrighted songs via the MP3 format over the Internet costs the music industry billions of dollars.
How to Make State-of-the-Art Video Singles Cheaply
When it comes to promoting their new music releases, I have found that most musicians only consider radio as the vehicle for exposing their music to the public.Rarely do they consider publicity, in the form of print media, i.
Eminem: A Social Commentator
In an interview given to Musik Magazine in 2000, Eminem comments some of his lyrics: 'Please Lord, this boy needs Jesus/Help this child, help him destroy these demons/Please send me a brand new car and a prostitute while my wife is sick in the hospital'. What I'm trying to say is we've got all these preachers going 'Jesus, Jesus! And then they're molesting kids.
Does Reading Make Music?
When you read music you are deciphering the printed page and transferring the information to the keyboard. You might say that you are decoding what the composer or arranger put on the page .
Setting Up In-House Retail Sales
Now, that you are familiar and likely connected with online music sales sites, such as CD Baby, or combination online/offline retail sites, such as The Orchard, you are probably comfortable in having your music distribution and sales fairly covered.But, what if you could get even more music sales, and even more profitable income?I'm speaking of consigning your product to retail stores, but, with one exception.
Music Business Contacts: Music Business Registry connects artists, managers, publishers, producers &
"The difference between success and failure is information," notes Ritch Esra, and he should know. Along with his partner, Stephen Trumbull, Esra is a leading part of the number one most-reliable source of information on "who's who" and "who does what" in the music business.
Dont Censor the Music and Artistic Expression
Ann Powers said: "Don't censor the music and artistic expression. Eminem's music, in particular the songs "Kim" and "Stan," is a continuation of a tradition in music and American art in general: the Gothic murder ballad, which has been with us ever since the blues or Appalachian folk music.
Shopping For Your First Drum Set
Your first drum set purchase is very exciting! You have probably waited a long time to buy your first drumset and have thought a lot about it. Even though it is exciting, it is important to be patient and do your research before you buy a drum set.
Review: Coheed and Cambria - Second Stage Turbine Blade
Ever wonder what would happen if you mixed the progressive showmanship of Rush with Dashboard Confessional's emotional escapism? Me neither, but Coheed and Cambria has been described as that exact mix-up more times that I'd like to recall. While it's easy to understand the Rush comparison, with lead singer Claudio Sanchez's high-pitched vocal delivery.
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