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Marlene Hutchinson's Blog (217)

Thursday Tip

Learn about the various woods used to construct the top of the guitar neck.  The wood used on the top of the guitar neck (click here to learn about the woods) can affect the sound and play-ability, so it can be helpful to learn about the wood preferences, generally Ebony and Rosewood ~  wood knowledge, just in the "neck" of time!
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Marlene
P.S. Check out this…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 28, 2016 at 9:24am — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Sing while playing your guitar.  Singing helps keep the song moving along, helps us maintain the rhythm of the song and it makes the song really fun, you can even sing with "style" as described by a vocal instructor in this video  ~ singing while playing guitar is like peanut butter & jelly, they just naturally go together!
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Marlene…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 21, 2016 at 3:05pm — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Play your guitar in front of a mirror.  It's a great way to keep your head upright, rather than down, to see how you're fingering your chords/notes and when playing your rhythm patterns (i.e. strumming and picking), which can lessen neck strain and give you a new perspective on your playing ~ reflect on your music!
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Marlene
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As seen on PBS, CBS,…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 14, 2016 at 11:40am — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Listen to different versions of a song.  By listening to various artists' interpretations of the same song you can hear other ways to play it which can inspire you to try that song using a variety of playing options like a tempo change (slow, medium, fast) or strumming instead of picking, etc., to make the song your own ~ variety is the spice of (guitar) life!
Image result for listen to radio images
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Marlene…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 7, 2016 at 11:40am — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Improve your ability to hear your guitar music. Developing your "ear" for chord/note sounds can enhance your playing abilities, so give this a whirl; play a familiar song trying to anticipate, predict and make the song's chord/note changes without relying on written music, instead rely solely on what you hear ~ it will be music to your ears!
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Marlene…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on March 31, 2016 at 3:04pm — No Comments

Thursday Tip

With new songs, work on the weakest hand first.  When playing a new song it's a good idea to work on the left hand (fretting hand) skills first because it's often the weakest hand and needs more time to get oriented to the fingerings and movements (i.e. chord transitioning) ~ just think, with some fret "workouts" your song will work out!
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Marlene
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on March 24, 2016 at 9:43am — No Comments

O'Thursday O'Tip

Play songs relating to a theme or holiday.  Since it's St. Patrick's Day, try playing this Irish song called Galway Girl (here are the words & chords, and this is the song in case you're not familiar with it) ~ Happy St. Patrick's Day!
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Marlene
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on March 17, 2016 at 9:50am — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Learn about the science of your guitar sounds a.k.a. resonance.  Resonance: noun ~ is the quality in a sound being deep, full and reverberating, and acoustic guitar resonance is the science of the guitar body's ability to reflect the vibrating air (i.e. Helmholtz Resonance) ~ so let your good vibrations resonate!
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on March 10, 2016 at 1:45pm — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Boost your brain power by playing guitar. Scientific studies have shown that playing a musical instrument can increase cognitive thinking, memory and focus as illustrated in this recent (3/1/16) CNN article, Six Tips That Could Make You Smarter ~ playing guitar = brain food!
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on March 3, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Try playing your guitar while standing up. The feel of playing your guitar while standing is a little different than while seated and it's a terrific way to experience your skills/positionings in a new way, without the support of the guitar body, but of course you'll need a strap (bonus: a fun strap can up your "cool factor")  ~ so stand up for guitar!
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Marlene
As…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on February 25, 2016 at 12:13pm — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Create your own song.  You might have some meaningful words in your head that you'd like to put to music and the good news is you can by simply starting with easy chords and strumming, and then go from there ~ you never know, you could be just a strum away from a beautiful new song of your own!
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Marlene
P.S. Check out this song by Jessica Hull, a Learn to Play Guitar in a…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on February 18, 2016 at 1:25pm — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Learn songs for special occasions.  It's nice to serenade that special someone for a special occasion like an anniversary or a special day like Valentine's Day and if you're stumped on which song to try, take a look at these 10 easy acoustic guitar love songs - sharing your guitar love, how sweet it is!
Image result for guitar love images
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Marlene…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on February 11, 2016 at 8:00am — 6 Comments

Thursday Tip

Try using a capo with your songs.  A capo (click here for more detail) is a tool that is clamped over the strings to raise the musical pitch, which means you can adjust the song to fit your voice without having to re-learn the song a new way/with new chords ~ it's a simple way to get in your musical comfort zone!
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Marlene
As…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on February 4, 2016 at 10:20am — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Learn the meaning/history of your songs.  Finding out the history, background and/or inspiration/motivation of a song can help you play and even perform the song with clarity and feeling, for example the song Michelle by the Beatles which includes some words in French ~ knowledge helps you play "tres bien" (very well in French)!
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Marlene…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on January 28, 2016 at 9:48am — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Learn about the woods used to make acoustic guitars.  Wood has "characteristics" (click here for wood descriptions & be sure to click on the wood names) which can contribute to a variety of tonal differences and can appeal to different playing styles based on the tonal qualities ~ discover your own wood preference by test driving guitars!
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on January 21, 2016 at 5:59pm — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Try out various guitars for neck comfort.  Guitars are constructed with playing style and physical comfort in mind, including the guitar neck thickness and shape (see the diagram below), which can enhance the play-ability ~ so "test drive" a few guitars to get in your (neck) comfort zone!
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Marlene
As Seen On PBS, CBS, NBC
2014 Player's…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on January 14, 2016 at 10:31am — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Keep your flatpick from slipping.  When using a flatpick to play guitar it can easily slip and move while strumming/picking, so below are 10 ways that can help you to hold on to your flatpick and play without fretting (ha, ha) about it slip sliding away ~ go ahead and get a grip!
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Marlene
As Seen On PBS, CBS, NBC
2014 Player's Choice Award…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on January 7, 2016 at 12:27pm — 3 Comments

Thursday Tip

Give yourself the gift of singing with your songs. It can be challenging to sing while we're playing, so the key to success is to meld your singing and strumming (or picking) rhythms using these 4 steps; 1)  hum the song first, 2) play just the song (no humming/words), 3) hum the song while playing it, and 4) play the song and sing the lyrics ~ Merry Music!!
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Marlene…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on December 24, 2015 at 12:31pm — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Play holiday songs and encourage a sing-along.  In the words of Buddy The Elf, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."  ~ so you can get things started and then keep it going with these songs (click here for Holiday songs with the chords/tabs) ~ fa, la, la, la, la - la, la, la la!
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Marlene…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on December 17, 2015 at 11:08am — No Comments

Thursday Tip

Find reasons to practice. Guitar playing success is directly related to the amount of consistent practice time you put in and let's face it, there are many reasons not to practice (i,e, click here ), so look for reasons TO practice like "I really want to get that song down" or "I've just got to play Travis picking" ~ you are your best motivator!

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Marlene…


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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on December 10, 2015 at 9:25am — 1 Comment

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