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What To Do If You Feel Completely Stuck

Hi there,In This Issue:
1) Paul’s Notes And News: Cheat Sheet Posted On Blog
2) Feature Article: Guitar Finger Stretching Exercises
3) Q&A: I feel completely stuck…What Can I Do?


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1) Paul’s Notes And News

If you’re finding barre chords difficult or challenging,
then you’ll want to check out the CHEAT SHEET I posted on
my blog the other day.

The CHEAT SHEET reveals my 3 step system for playing barre
chords more easily, and I’ve even posted a video of myself
walking you through the 3 step sytem to make it even easier
for you.

This CHEAT SHEET is my gift to you, so make sure you check
it out here before I take it down:

2) Guitar Finger Stretching Exercises

The demands guitar players place on their fingers is often
overlooked. Guitar playing is rarely equated with athletics, but
warming up the fingers with stretching exercises prior to playing
is no different than track-and-field athletes stretching before a
contest. Loosening up is key to a successful and confident
performance. Finger-stretching exercises keep hands limber and
ready to respond to the music.

1-2-3-4 Pattern

One of the most effective finger-stretching exercises can be
achieved by playing a simple pattern of four chromatic notes across
all six guitar strings. Start with the forefinger on the first fret
of the sixth string. Pick that note and follow by fretting the
second, third and fourth frets in succession with the middle, ring
and little finger. Continue this pattern on the fifth string,
fourth string and onward to the first string. At the first string,
move up one fret and repeat the “1-2-3-4″ pattern back across,
ending at the sixth string. Again, move up one fret to the third,
and continue back toward the first string. Repeat until you’ve
reached the highest fret where you can continue the pattern.

Ring to Little Finger

Many guitar players rely on three fingers–fore, middle and
ring–for the majority of their playing. The little finger is often
the weakest link, but it can be favorably strengthened and
stretched to take an active fretboard role. This exercise also
stretches the ring finger in a pattern that will probably feel
awkward at first.

Fret the first fret of the sixth string with your ring finger.
Sound the note and then play the second fret of the fifth string
with your little finger. Then play the first fret of the fifth
string with the ring finger and the second fret of the fourth
string with the little finger. Carry this step-like pattern across
to the first string; you should end with the little finger on the
second fret.

Turn the pattern around by playing the first fret of the firstst
string with the ring finger, followed by the little finger playing
the second fret of the second string. Again, carry this figure
across to the sixth string, where you’ll end with the little finger
on the second fret. Then slide the ring finger to the third fret of
the sixth string and start the pattern again.

Hammer over Five

The five-fret stretch is one of the boundaries beginning players
try to break. This involves developing muscle memory and playing
with loose and relaxed fingers.

An exercise to increase fret span and improve legato begins at the
sixth string, first fret. Play that note and follow by hammering
onto the fifth fret with your little finger, then pull off to the
third fret using your middle finger. Strive for a consistent and
fluid tone, ensuring each note is sounded with the same volume.
Repeat this pattern across and down the fretboard. Start slowly and
use a metronome to stay in time, then increase speed as your
fingers stretch and ability increases.

3) Q&A: I feel completely stuck

Q: Today I don’t know if it’s one of those days, but I’m feeling
like I CAN’T play anything. And I feel like I reached my limit
with the guitar, I mean, I can’t play perfect, but I feel like
I can’t play better (and I can’t play “hard stuff”), I don’t know
what is going wrong.

What can I do? Cause I feel like practice is useless….

A: If you find yourself in a similar situation as our fellow
reader here, then here are a few things you can try:

1. Start a band. The progress you make playing with a band is amazing,
and it’s really fun too. And if they’re better then you, then naturally
you’ll have to raise your standards which means you’ll get better more

2. Try playing another instrument. This may sound weird, but leaving
the guitar for another instrument such as the bass, drums or vocals,
can have you coming back to the guitar feeling refreshed, and ready
to practice.

3. Step out of your comfort zone. You need someone to push you so
you step out of your comfort zone. You can do this by joining a band,
playing with people who are better then you, or even hiring a guitar

The bad news is that what our fellow reader is going through is called
a ‘slump’. They happen, and they can happen often.

Don’t beat yourself up, don’t get discouraged… Don’t quit, and
don’t stop playing.. play when you feel like it..

Getting with other musicians will help, stepping out of your
comfort zone and learning something new helps too…

Get used to it.. it won’t be the last time you go through one,
unless you quit altogether.

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