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Marlene Hutchinson's Blog (176)

Thursday "tip"

Play songs that are holiday inspired. It's fun to gear your music selections to a theme, for instance patriotic songs in honor of the 4th of July !!
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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 July 2, 2015 at 10:34am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Travel with your guitar. Don't leave your guitar at home, it want's to go with you, so keep these simple ideas in mind; don't leave it in your car for long periods of time, bring a humidity pack as humidity levels can be different in a new location and remember an extra set of strings ~ be your own traveling road show!
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Marlene
P.S. I'll be traveling soon to Colorado (with my guitar) to teach at…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on June 25, 2015 at 11:18am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

For faster chord changes, don't stop the rhythm.  Our natural tendency is to stop the rhythm to change chords, but one of the best ways to improve your chord changing finesse is to keep your rhythm hand moving (strumming/picking), which sends a signal to your brain to tell the other hand to "keep going" ~ sort of like a little friendly (mental) competition!
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Marlene
 …
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on June 18, 2015 at 6:09pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Do exercises for finger dexterity. When playing guitar we're asking our fingers to move quickly and in many different sequences, so doing simple spider-like exercises will help to improve finger dexterity which will likely help your playing ability ~ try this video to get those fingers moving!
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Marlene
As Seen On…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on June 11, 2015 at 2:39pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Breathe deeply to relieve tension/stress and make better music. Sometimes when we feel our stress/anxiety in life or just when trying to play a song we hold our breath which causes more tension in our body and makes it more difficult to play guitar ~ be sure to relax and just BREATHE!
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Marlene
As Seen On PBS, CBS,…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on June 4, 2015 at 2:15pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Prevent slippery strings by wiping with a soft cloth.  Sometimes while playing we accumulate perspiration and natural finger oils on our strings and our fingers slip, especially when trying to manage chords, so simply stop your playing momentarily, wipe your strings and then continue to play ~ don't sweat it, just wipe your strings!
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Marlene…
Image result for wipe guitar strings images
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on May 28, 2015 at 9:52am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Play guitar because it makes you happy!  Studies have shown that the brain's reaction to playing guitar can be significant; you release dopamine, reverse the body's response to stress and lower blood pressure ~  so play your guitar and get "Happy"!

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Marlene…



Image result for happy playing guitar images

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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on May 21, 2015 at 1:52pm — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Playing slowly will help your songs progress.  Learning and playing a song slowly, rather than trying to play it quickly right away, will produce a more accurately sounding song and will provide you the opportunity to gain confidence in your skills ~ be like the tortoise...slow and steady will get you there!
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Marlene
Image result for almost there images
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on May 14, 2015 at 10:50am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Step out of your comfort zone and play in front of someone.  When we play our music in front of other people (family, friends, coffee house, open mic...) it helps us gain confidence in our playing, we usually discover that it's not as scary as we thought and that it's actually fun ~ so go ahead and step into your performance zone!
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Marlene
Image result for comfort zone image
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on May 7, 2015 at 11:13am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Rub your fingertips lightly on a soft fabric or your jeans!  Rubbing your fingertips on fabric (denim is good, corduroy is better) will help with the soreness, it will improve circulation in the fingertips and it will bring them back to shape after pressing on the strings ~ soft fabric = fingertip TLC!
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Marlene
Image result for denim images
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 30, 2015 at 10:24am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Be sure to be on your fingertips when playing chords/notes.  In order to get your best sounding chords/notes (whether it's a new chord or one you've been playing for a while) you need to be sure you're up on your fingertips, not the flat of your finger ~ so keep your nails short and "press on"!!!!
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Marlene 
close up of E major fingering
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 23, 2015 at 9:46am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Anchor your practice time.  "Anchoring", which basically means a starting point and then plus or minus you can go from there, is a way to set yourself up for practice success, for example a simple anchor would be 15 minutes each day and

additionally, commit yourself by writing it down ~ anchors away!!!

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Marlene



 

 

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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 16, 2015 at 10:31am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Spring has sprung, time to spring clean your guitar.  It's a great idea to clean/polish/oil your guitar a couple times per year and Spring, being a time of renewal, is a great reminder to give your guitar the TLC that it needs ~ so spring into action and hop to it!
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Marlene
 
P.S. Check out how easy it is to give your guitar some TLC! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjWMHNAf-V4…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 9, 2015 at 8:38am — No Comments

Thursday "tip"

Try some percussive (drumming) effects with your playing.  Adding some simple tapping on the body of your guitar or rhythmic dampening on your strings can add an element of interest and surprise to your songs and it can be done at just one point in the song (i.e. in the bridge, intro, etc) or through out the song ~ drum away!  
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Marlene
P.S. Check out Tommy Emmanuel playing this Beatles Medley ~ his playing is certainly beyond amazing, but really…
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Added by Marlene Hutchinson on April 2, 2015 at 11:34am — No Comments

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!

Play…

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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

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