Tone of the right hand

guitar lessons melbourne tone of the right hand

Today I would like to discuss the right hand technique of guitar playing. Many of my guitar students in Melbourne mention how they don’t feel like their strumming sounds as good as the strumming on the song they are learning. Much of the tone of your guitar is coming from your right hand (strumming hand) so lets give some attention to it now. The strings are an active element that responds to how they are hit. If you are looking for dynamics and tone in your playing try accenting the strong beats with harder strums with your right hand. Usually the strong beats are 2 and 4 however listen to the song you are playing and find where the accents lie. In order to give the strong beats accent you need to allow space on the other beats so they can be heard properly. Listening is essential to this skill. Guitar students must be able to parrot what he or she hears as well as express themselves improvisationally. This is a constant pursuit of technique, dynamics and tone. Talk with your Melbourne guitar teacher and find how dynamic your guitar can be. Check out “I see fire” by Ed Sheeran to hear some exquisite use of guitar strumming.

Breaking free of the box

breaking free of teh box, guitar lessons melbourne, in your home guitar lessons

Guitarists are notorious for playing pentatonic scales. This is mainly due to their easy block pattern on the fretboard. Many Guitar students like easy patterns; our minds have an easy time of remembering them and regurgitating it. As a guitar teacher in Melbourne my aim is to help guitarists enjoy their playing and master music. The pentatonic scale is one of the first scales I teach but breaking out of the “box shape” is something many players are reluctant to do. In order to master your scales you have to know them ascending, descending, intervallically and basically inside out etc. The infamous Myamoto Musashi wisely wrote “If you know the way broadly you will see it in all things”. He was a master samurai swordsman but he also believed in mastering other techniques such as Calligraphy and Sculpture. In your guitar lessons knowing the Pentatonic scale in one pattern is going to limit your playing and expression so try these exercises:

  • Play the scale only on 1 string
  • Play the scale in all 12 keys
  • Play the scale in intervallic jumps 1,2 1,3 1,4 etc.
  • Sing the scale or try playing it on another instrument

In this way you will develop a much stronger understanding of the scale and your ability to use it musically and “speak” it will be well on the way to playing real music!