Hand Picking Consistency: Gaining Discipline

Hand picking opens doors to expansive opportunities, but staying disciplined can be difficult. If you’re self-taught, or, if you’re having trouble keeping up outside lessons, a few tips can help you learn to play guitar. Playing fast, and not playing sloppy, takes time, practice and consistency. A lot of guitar players have difficulty playing higher strings without sounding a little sloppy. Even more have difficulty maintaining a steady hand to avoid ringing low strings. The following tips for playing clean, concise notes may help you achieve hand consistency:

Tip One: Mute Lower Strings

Many guitar professionals advise “muting” lower strings when playing with the palm of their dominant hand. Musician Tutorials examines the practice, focusing on the picking hand’s thumb to do the work. When the thumb is rested atop strings lower than the pick’s position, the thumb can mute all others.
The first finger, too, can be utilized for string muting, and several muting techniques exist to bring a song’s chords into unison—creating consistency. Practicing thumb muting techniques may seem frustrating, but they soon become natural when practiced alongside other movements.

Tip Two: Avoid the Burnout

Sure, practice is important, but it isn’t everything. In fact, practicing consistency requires considerable rest between sessions. Rest is needed due to musical “burnout”. Burnout will occur when your consistency training runs over itself, becoming disproportional to your fatigued ear’s concept of heard notes. Sometimes, less is more. If your hands become inconsistent, you might be fatigued. Take a break, do something different and return later.
Practicing alternate picking, each day, is advised according to Guitar Mastery Coaching. 20 minute consistency sessions will create a positive habitat for learning, and real power can be developed from quick, on-and-off sessions.

Tip Three: Improve the Upstrokes

Your upstrokes will create your strumming “backbone”. Your hand’s shape naturally adheres to a set rhythm during upstrokes, so use them to your advantage. Control and accuracy should be practiced in upstroke-heavy songs, and utilizing only upstrokes can create some healthy consistency lessons.
Guitar Lessons for Beginners Online provides insight to upstroke practice sessions, ranging from hand position to picked notes. Over time, your hand picking will have more control, more accuracy and more consistency. Mastering quick upstrokes is a fundamental cornerstone to guitar picking, and confidence is easily built when upstroke-heavy songs are played.

Tip Four: Use a Thin Pick

Thin picks are easy to pluck. Many guitar players use thin picks to practice hand consistency, as fluidity is achieved with ease of motion. A lot of professional musicians actually prefer thin picks when recording to create consistent sound volume.
When using a thin pick, don’t hesitate. Hard strumming will neutralize the remaining resistance, placing most pressure on your fingers. This feeling will hammer in consistent movements while increasing intensity. Remember: Avoid string buzz. If you’re hitting too hard, the strings will buzz, and your consistency will be lost.
When practicing hand consistency, remember to train smart. Consistent techniques are forged from healthy movement assertion, not overworking. Take breaks, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Fortunately, hand consistency increases with time—regardless of your play style. Don’t fret, and keep on playing!

Works Cited

Beginners, Guitar Lessons for. Get Control Of Your Guitar Picking Hand — Improve Your Upstroke Guitar Picking. 2015.
Coaching, Guitar Mastery. Alternate Picking Practice – Improving Your Consistency. 2008 – 2012.
Tutorials, Musician. Picking Hand Discipline . 26 July 2006.