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Marlene Hutchinson's Blog (128)

Thursday "tip"

Keep your guitar cool and comfortable! With the summer tempuratures soaring you want to be sure that your guitar is happy and here's a good rule: your guitar should not be exposed to climate conditions that you would not want to be exposed to, ideally 40 - 45% humidity and 65-75 °F ~ a cool guitar is cool!



Play on...

Marlene



Marlene's Music

www.marlenesmusic.com

As Seen On PBS, CBS, NBC, AcousticGuitar.com

2014… Continue

Added by Marlene Hutchinson on July 24, 2014 at 11:25am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Take your guitar with you on your Summer travels. One of the coolest things about playing guitar is that you can take your guitar with you everywhere and play in some of the most amazing locations ~ for instance I'm in Santa Barbara and I just played my guitar at the beach!
Play on...
Marlene

Marlene's Music
www.marlenesmusic.com
As Seen On PBS, CBS, NBC
Nominated for 2014 Player's Choice Awards

Added by Marlene Hutchinson on July 17, 2014 at 12:04pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Play a song as many different ways as possible.  Try it with several different strumming patterns (i.e. basic strum, calypso, reggae, etc.), then try it with picking patterns (i.e. basic patterns, Travis picking, etc.), then use a flatpick and then try playing at different tempos ~ let your creative juices flow and you'll find there's more than 1 way to play a song!
Play on...
Marlene


 
Marlene's Music…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on July 10, 2014 at 12:10pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

FInd and perform at a local open mic.  Playing at an open mic event can be a great way to improve your ability to perform in front of others and though it may seem a little intimidating, the audience (other guitarists) is usually super supportive of anything you play ~ so search out your nearest open mic and make it happen!
Play on...
Marlene
Marlene's Music…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on July 3, 2014 at 10:19am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Use the internet as a tutorial resource.  Learning from others is a great way to increase your skills, but it's not always convenient to find someone, so use sites like YouTube and Acoustic Guitar magazine to view video tutorials ~ we've got some pretty cool resources at our fingertips - literally!
Play on...
Marlene
 
P.S.  I'm on Acoustic Guitar Magazine's website!  Check out the interview I did with Mark Kemp, Editor of Acoustic Guitar…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on June 26, 2014 at 4:48pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Play with other guitarists whenever possible.  Every guitar player has their own skill set and playing style, along with a repetoire of songs that may inspire you, so learn, inspire each other and have fun ~ guitar playing brings the best people together!
Play on...
Marlene

Marlene's Music
As Seen On PBS, CBS & NBC
 

Added by Marlene Hutchinson on June 19, 2014 at 5:59pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Go to local guitar shop events. Local guitar shops frequently host guitar events like manufacturers showcasing their latest models and artists demonstrating guitars ~ you'll learn a lot about guitars and guitar playing ~ a win-win!
Play on...
Marlene

Marlene's Music
www.marlenesmusic.com
As Seen On PBS, CBS, NBC

Added by Marlene Hutchinson on June 12, 2014 at 10:36pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Be a prepared guitarist ~ a.k.a. what's in your case?  To be ready for any playing need you should have the following in your case at all times; a set of strings (it's like the spare tire to your car), tuner, capo, nail trimmers and cloth ~ being ready for any guitar need or challenge means you won't have to fret (ha, ha) about anything!
Play on...
Marlene
Marlene's Music…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on June 5, 2014 at 11:56am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Try different volumes of sound within a song.  For instance play your song in it's normal manner and when you come to a pivotal part play louder (a.k.a. crescendo), then bring it back down (a.k.a. decrescendo) ~ it's a great way to add expression and feelings to your music!
Play on...
Marlene
Marlene's Music
As Seen On PBS, CBS & NBC

Added by Marlene Hutchinson on May 29, 2014 at 2:38pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Clean your strings after each playing session.  We have natural oils on our fingertips that build up on the strings as we play, so to get rid of the build up and extend the life of your strings use a soft cloth and wipe down the strings of your guitar each time you play ~ make it your post playing routine!
Play on...
Marlene
Marlene's Music…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on May 22, 2014 at 8:27am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Find creative ways to fit practice time into your day.  Finding practice time each day can be a challenge, so get creative, for example play guitar while chatting with your spouse or include your children in your playing time or have a guitar at your office in case you have "down time" ~ soon you'll find you've mutli-tasked your way to great songs!
Play on...
Marlene
Marlene's Music…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on May 15, 2014 at 7:03pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Change your strings about every 6 months.  Spring is a great time to change out your old strings and an easy way to remember (i.e. Spring cleaning), best of all you'll love the vibrancy of your songs with the new strings ~ so out with the old and in with the new!
Play on...
Marlene
 
Marlene's Music
As Seen On:  PBS, CBS, NBC,…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on May 8, 2014 at 10:51am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Chord sound quality can be assessed by checking the pressed strings.  Sometimes when we strum a chord we know it's not quite right and we're not sure which string needs an adjustment, so you can figure that out by playing individually only the strings that are being pressed (i.e. G chord play 6, 5 & 1) ~ then if you find a muted string ~ press harder!
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Marlene
Marlene's Music…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on May 1, 2014 at 3:38pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Try doing finger stretches each time before you play.  You'll be surpirsed at how much better your playing will go when you take a few minutes to stretch your fingers, like the one in this photo ~ then let your fingers do the talking!
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Marlene…


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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 24, 2014 at 3:47pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Play holiday inspired songs whenever you can.  The holidays are a great time to play songs that are related to the special day/time of year and you'll likely have family and friends who will join in the fun by singing  with you ~ so give this one a whirl...Happy Easter!
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Marlene…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 17, 2014 at 8:35am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Lowering the "action" on your guitar can make it easier to play.  The "action", the distance between the fingerboard and the string, when set lower makes it easier to press on the strings, making it easier to play ~ this can be done by a guitar technician/repair shop or even yourself ~ easier pressing = better songs!
Play on...
Marlene
P.S. Exciting news...I will be featured on 9News (Denver) this Saturday morning.  I'll be teaching the news anchors to play…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 10, 2014 at 9:17am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Use baby oil on the neck/fretboard of your guitar.  The wood on the neck of your guitar should be oiled a couple of times per year (do this when the strings are off during string replacement) and it's been recommended by professional guitar techs to use baby oil because it's a lighter oil ~ so go ahead and baby your neck!
Play on...
Marlene
 
P.S. To oil the neck: put a small amount of oil on a soft cloth, then rub the oil on each fret.  Wait 10…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 3, 2014 at 10:54am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Try practicing in the morning.  If you're challenged to fit time in your busy day for guitar playing, then try getting up a little earlier and play in the morning ~ it's a great way to fit in some practice time and a fantastic way to start the day... "the early bird catches the guitar strings!!!"
Play on...
Marlene
 
 
 
Marlene's Music…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on March 27, 2014 at 10:33am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Play an easy song as a warm up to your practice time.  A song that you "own", one that is simple for you to play and enjoyable, is a great way to get your fingers warmed up for the more challenging skills that you are going to be practicing, plus your mind will feel relaxed too ~ happy fingers and mind = a great practice session!
Play on...
Marlene
 
Marlene's Music…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on March 20, 2014 at 4:59pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

When you're playing, try to keep in mind that you're telling a story with your songs.  We use the tones, notes, chords, rhythmn, volume and vocals to express feelings or thoughts within our songs, so be sure to give focus to meaning of your music, not just the mechanics of the song ~ are you feelin' it?!
Play on...
Marlene
 
Marlene's Music
"As…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on March 13, 2014 at 10:53pm — No Comments

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