Fun Resources for Musicians
Do you want to work on your timing, solo improv, or just want to have the sound of a full band playing behind you?
Check out http://www.guitarbackingtrack.com/ They have tons of free "backing tracks." A backing track is a sound file that basically has the full rhythm section of bass, drums, and keyboard, without the guitar. That way you can practice playing rhythm or lead. You can search for a lot of popular songs. Are you a blues fan? Type in Jamtracks in the artist search bar and you will find tons of 12 bar blues backing tracks.
Another tip: You can download the mp3 for free, burn it to a cd or put it in your ipod then play along with it. Once you practice it, you can download a free audio recording software, Audacity. Then you can lay multiple tracks of your music along with the backing track into a professional sounding song. For example, add the backing track, then you can add your guitar track, vocals, piano, etc. I like to help my students do this as a fun goal.
Check out this recording of my 8 year old student, Hanon, jamming some slide guitar along with a backing track.
Tips and Tricks
Right Hand Technique-
A lot of my students lately have been asking me how to improve their right-hand technique. This is often times the most avoided technique. The right hand does the rhythm of the song while the left hand does the chords and notes. To practice right hand technique, lightly touch your left hand on the strings so they don't ring, this is called "muting" the strings. This way you can practice rhythm patterns with your left hand without being distracted by the sounds of the strings.
Practice strumming with your right hand
Down, down, down, down (1, 2, 3, 4) Repeat this until you can do it comfortably, then try
Down, up, down, up down, up, down, up (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and) Repeat this until you can do it comfortably, then try
Down, down up, up down. (1, 2, and, - and 4) It's harder than it looks at first. Try going slow, and say the words out loud. This helps connect your senses together.
Another tip: Practice with your left hand technique first. If your fingers get sore, just mute the strings with your left hand and work on your right hand technique. This way you can keep practicing without having sore fingers.
Direct Phone: (651) 285-8301
Guitar, ukulele, and harmonica instructor. Instruction books and guitar rentals available.