How to Hold a Flat Pick

It may seem very natural to hold the flat pick with the thumb and the tips of the first two fingers. This is ok for initial experimentation. However, it fails to make the best use of the power in the wrist and elbow. Instead of using the two long fingers of the picking hand, make a loose fist and hold the pick against the second knuckle of the first finger with the thumb. This may feel awkward at first. Once you become accustomed to holding the pick in this way you will see that it gives you much more leverage, … Continue reading How to Hold a Flat Pick

Beginning Fretting Hand Techniques

The fretting hand moves along the neck pushing down the strings against the frets to make the desired notes. To make a note, push down on a string behind any fret. Move the finger as close to the fret as possible without being on top of the fret. This will give the clearest note with the least amount of pressure. Be sure to let each finger take a turn fretting notes on each string. In the beginning you may find that some fingers are easier to control than others. Over time each finger will become more responsive. You can spend … Continue reading Beginning Fretting Hand Techniques

Electronic Tuners

There are generally three kinds of electronic tuners. The clip on tuner, the hand held tuner, and the plug in tuner. The clip on is by far the most versatile. It will allow you to quietly tune your instrument while in the midst of a noisy room full of other acoustic instruments. The hand held tuner does not have that much going for it, but it will do in a pinch. You’ll have to find a quiet place to use the handheld tuner because other acoustic sounds will interfere with its ability to “hear” your instrument. The plug in tuner … Continue reading Electronic Tuners

How to Test Guitar Intonation

Intonation is how in tune an instrument is with itself when it is as in tune as it can possibly get. Fretted instruments suffer from the problem of never being completely in tune in every possible chord shape at any given time. This is a complex problem of physics that is caused by the varying string sizes combined with the fixed positions of the frets. A fretless instrument such as the violin allows for a bit of adjustment of finger placement from string to string. The piano has dedicated strings for each note. Brass instruments only play one note at … Continue reading How to Test Guitar Intonation