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Marlene Hutchinson's Blog (162)

Thursday "tip"

Be able to control the volume when using a flatpick.  The dynamics of a song, how hard or soft you're playing, helps to present the feelings and emotions of a song (see the example below), so practice strumming and/or picking using a

flatpick with your focus on controlling the volume both loudly and softly ~ soon your song will feel dynamically controlled!

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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on March 26, 2015 at 10:55am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Sing the words to your songs as you're playing.  We generally learn our songs in phases, for instance we begin with the chords, then work on the rhythm and then lastly we add the words because they can trip us up, but challenge yourself to add the words, even before you think you're ready ~ like pieces to a puzzle, it will magically come together!
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Marlene
Image result for singing while playing guitar images
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on March 19, 2015 at 10:35am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Memorize chord shapes.  Chords have a shape and thinking in those terms might make finger placement a little easier, try this with the E chord; position your fingers, once you have your fingers in place, look at the shape of your hand, then take your fingers off and see if you can re-place your fingers in the same shape ~ it's a great way shape it up!
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Marlene
Image result for e chord images
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on March 12, 2015 at 10:27am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Use a timer to gauge your playing speed.  A strategy to help you improve on the speed of a skill (i.e. chord changes, rhythm pattern, solo riff, etc.) is to time yourself playing it slowly, then replay it with the goal of shaving off a few seconds each time, but (of course) without giving up quality sound ~ you'll find improvement in mere seconds!
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Marlene
Image result for timer images
 
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on March 5, 2015 at 9:13am — 1 Comment

Thursday "tip"

Try playing your guitar first thing in the morning.  Starting your day out with a song is likely to set you up for a positive day and it's kind of fun to just grab your guitar and play whatever comes to your mind ~ music mornings = marvelous days!
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Marlene
Image result for guitar morning images
Marlene's Music
As Seen On PBS, CBS, NBC
2014 Player's…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on February 26, 2015 at 12:21pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Look up unfamiliar chords on-line.  There are hundreds of chords and it would be tough to know them all, but don't let an unfamiliar chord prevent you from playing songs because we can simply look up the chord on the many internet resources available to us ~ in no time at all you'll be playing acchordingly!!
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Marlene
P.S. Here's one of the many chord websites …
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on February 19, 2015 at 10:05am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Try playing with a pick and try different thicknesses.  You might like to see what it's like to play with a flat pick and feel a bit confused so here's the 411, picks come in various gauges, heavy, medium and light, and each has a different feel/sound (i.e. heavy picks= a louder, deeper sound, light picks= a softer, clearer sound) ~ experiment with each gauge by playing the same thing so that you can pick your pick!
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Marlene…
Image result for images guitar pick gage
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on February 12, 2015 at 12:16pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Write on your music.  Sometimes we need little reminders (i.e. capo 3, go back to chorus, 1 strum here, etc.) to rock our songs, so go ahead and make notes right on the paper, then you can focus on playing the song ~ in fact keep a pencil/pen in your book so you're ready to write, rock and roll!
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Marlene
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on February 5, 2015 at 9:40am — 1 Comment

Thursday "tip"

Try different types of strings to hear and feel their variances.  Strings are made with a core material (nylon - nylon strings, steel wire - steel strings) and then wound with various types materials (i.e.bronze, silk, aluminum, silver, etc.) to create differing sounds ~ so test drive several types of strings to find your vibe!
Play on...
Marlene
P.S. See how strings are made …
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on January 29, 2015 at 10:45am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Play guitar frequently, just because it's good for you!  Playing an instrument (in our case a guitar) has been scientifically proven to be good for your mind, body and soul  ~ check this out http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-playing-an-instrument-benefits-your-brain-anita-collins
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Marlene
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on January 22, 2015 at 8:45am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Regular practicing is the best way to master a skill.  Playing your guitar daily is more important than the amount of time you spend, for example it's more productive to play 20 minutes each day rather than 2 - 3 hours on just one day ~ improved playing can be routine!
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Marlene
Marlene's Music
As Seen On PBS. CBS. NBC
2014 Player's…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on January 15, 2015 at 9:25pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Create your own guitar playing "style."  You can have more fun and add pizzazz to your guitar playing by allowing your personality to shine through ~ a good example is today's birthday honoree, Elvis Presley!
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Marlene
P.S. A simple version of Hound Dog can be played with 3 chords (C, G & D) and a lot of fun rockin' attitude!
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on January 8, 2015 at 10:07am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Set a guitar New Year's resolution that you will complete before the end of the year.  Sometimes we set goals and expect to complete them a few days or weeks later, but new songs/skills can take us a little while to master, so just try to complete your goal by the end of 2015 and then enjoy the journey of making it happen!
Happy New Year and
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Marlene
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on January 1, 2015 at 3:13pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Celebrate the day by putting your thoughts to music.  Attached is the song We Wish You A Merry Christmas to play for your family and friends ~ spread the holiday cheer via music!.
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Marlene
Marlene's Music
As Seen On PBS, CBA, NBC, Acoustic Guitar
2014 Player's Choice Award nominee…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on December 25, 2014 at 9:48am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Learn all you can about guitars.  Strings, for instance, are made with a core material (wire or nylon) and then wrapped with a material, usually bronze (steel) and silver plated copper (nylon) ~ check out this cool video to be more of a guitar string expert! 
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Marlene
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on December 18, 2014 at 12:24pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Have song lyrics ready for your family and friends.  Music is a wonderful way to spend time together and a sing-along is always fun, but most of the time they will only know the first verse of a song or the chorus, so have the words ready for all to join in ~ you'll all have a blast belting out the songs together!
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Marlene 
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on December 11, 2014 at 11:06am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Inspire others to play guitar, a.k.a. don't be a secret guitarist.  When you share with others the fact that you've learned to play guitar and show them how much fun you're having, then you will likely prompt them to want to try and let's face it, we shouldn't be the only ones having all the fun ~ the more guitarists the merrier!!
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Marlene
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on December 4, 2014 at 12:07pm — 1 Comment

Thursday "tip"

Sing along with your music to increase memory abilities.  Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN correspondent and neurologist, recently shared that when you sing you're using your left brain for the words and your right brain for the tune, and let's face it, singing while playing guitar is a great way to keep the song moving ~ so go ahead and belt it out!!
Play on...
Marlene
 
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on November 20, 2014 at 5:43pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Keep your guitar warm during these cold spells.  Remember as the weather cools our guitars still like 74-76 degrees and 40% humidity, so keep the room temperature comfortable and use a humidifier as the heater can dry the air ~ if you're comfortable, your guitar will be comfortable!
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Marlene
 
Marlene's Music
As Seen On PBS,…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on November 13, 2014 at 2:21pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

To move quickly from chord to chord eliminate extra movement.   When you eliminate extra movement you're able to move faster, even a nanosecond can make a difference, so you should only be a 1/2' or less away from the strings at all times ~ less movement = quicker chord changes!
Play on...
Marlene
 
Marlene's Music
As Seen On PBS,…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on November 6, 2014 at 10:25am — No Comments

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