The Ultimate Practice Method In Learning To Play The Guitar With A Strap
By Antony Reynaert
In the attempt of becoming a more complete guitar player, many things can totally wreck your growth when you’re not aware of it. One of the crucial things to get right is the ability to transition from bedroom guitarist to being able to start playing with other guitarists and musicians in general. I’ve worked out a proven strategy that will help you with realizing that without this you won’t grow to the next level. It’s an often neglected area of your development as a guitarist, but so crucial in preventing lots of problems in becoming more interactive with other guitar players.
The Four Levels In Learning To Transform From A Bedroom Guitar Player To An Amazing Live Performing Guitarist
The first step in the process is the one you are probably already doing. You practice the guitar in standard position such as shown in the image below. It’s however extremely important to have a correct practice routine or this method won’t work at all. In one of my previous articles I go over the best way to practice guitar for blues guitarists. Make sure you read this first so you can give your current practice routine a reality check and finally grow the fastest way possible in your guitar playing. Once you’re comfortable playing a certain lick, solo or song without making mistakes at least a few times in a row with this standard posture, it’s time to take it a step further in the process of learning this certain guitar part with a guitar strap.
The second part is to change your sitting posture from the standard position to the classical position. It’s not a huge difference, but you will notice right away that your fretting hand has to reach a bit further in order to play close to the head of the guitar. The change and adaption of your wrist is the first step to make your whole body ready to play comfortable with a guitar strap. A lot of the time playing in the classical position won’t make it more difficult and it actually makes it more beneficial to play as it has a more natural feel. The way you must practice in this position is basically identical to your normal practice routine on guitar. Once you’re comfortable playing a certain guitar part without mistakes, you can move on to step three in the process.
In the third step we’re going to play the guitar for the first time in standing position with a guitar strap. We must however set the strap with the correct length first. When you’re still sitting in classical position, you put the strap already on. Then adjust it so it fits exactly the way you’re sitting. After that, you simply can stand up and start the whole practice routine again in this standing position just the way I explained in the first paragraphs.
If you’re comfortable playing with the posture explained in step three, you can stop here. Still, a lot of guitarists prefer to wear their guitar lower because it looks ‘cool’, but this is for sure not necessary. So if you want a more Slash type of look instead of a Tom Morello type of look, then this fourth step in the process is for you. Adjust the guitar strap just a tiny bit, so the guitar moves a bit down. Don’t exaggerate because the whole body needs to adjust itself and the muscle memory needs to be reprogrammed. The wrist of the fretting hand needs to bend every time more and more. Also the picking hand moves down. Every time you move the guitar lower, everything needs to fall in place again: your two-hand coordination, your chord shapes, your solo techniques, your picking finesse, etc.
Without These Last 2 Steps You Will Screw Up Your Live Performance
Now that you have the knowledge of how to practice the transition on guitar from sitting down to standing up with a strap, you need two other crucial tips or you will mess up the live performance you’ve practiced so much for. In one of the guitar articles you find in my free guitar tips on my website, I go over these 2 other hugely important tips to play with a guitar strap.
If you’re struggling to express yourself through your guitar and create a guitar solo filled with tons of emotion, I suggest you to take a look at my free guide on how to play emotional guitar solos, which you will be able to download on my blues guitar website as well.
About the author
Antony Reynaert coaches blues guitarists in Belgium and online. His website Best Blues Guitar Lessons is packed with free articles and resources to become the blues guitarist of your dreams.