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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Joan Music Teaching Tips....again. (83* d) RE: Music Teaching Tips....again. 18 Mar 00

Just back from away and Rick, your comment about looking in the mirror while playing got my attention. Does it bother people to see their hands do the chording backwards? Just curious.

Everybody starts out having to arrange (hurting) fingers on the strings one-by-one when learning chords. But nothing begins to sound good until you can grab the whole chord at once, let it go and grab the next. So I'd tell my students to (step one) make the chord, look where all their fingers are, take the hand away and make the same one again--and again--and again. Just plop the fingers down all together, and this time it's okay to watch.

After they venture that, I'll have them (step two) close their eyes and grab where they THINK they should put their fingers. Take a chance. Trust that the fingers have learned where they're supposed to be even if the head hasn't. What that seems to accomplish is to take away the visual aspect and go by feel. Surprising how quickly that little trick weans people away from draping themselves over the neck of the guitar and watching their fingers search out individual strings. We'll do four strums per change, then two, then one.

Bet Rick has a lotsa good teaching tricks in his bag, eh, Rick??


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