Back again this week with the 3rd installment of this new program I’ve developed for teaching guitar technique. The first two exercise routines focused only on the picking hand and consisted of playing only open strings. In this 3rd installment you will focus on the most fundamentally important skill of the FRETTING hand: LANDING.
In the world of guitar teaching, the term “Landing” is not widely used. Most guitar teachers talk about developing the ability to “fret notes”, or to “stop the strings”. These are the terms that I was taught and the terms I used during my first several years as a guitar teacher. The big problem with these terms is that they direct the student’s attention to the fretboard or to the strings, when it is the fretting hand and its fingers that should be focused on.
Using the term “Landing” directs the student’s attention at the posture and movement of the left hand, particularly at the crucial instant when a finger tip makes contact with the guitar string. This is one of the most critical points in developing good technique. Students who takes the time to develop a natural sense for how to consistently and firmly land on the strings will have a rock-solid foundation on which many more important skills can quickly and easily be acquired.
Without this foundational skill, any student who tries to proceed toward learning melodies or chords, or any other skill, will soon feel frustrated – as though their fingers are uncoordinated and they themselves are untalented. The point I would like to stress here is that developing the ability to competently land on the strings is not a matter of whether or not you have talent. Just take the time to slowly and carefully repeat these simple exercises over the 7 CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF PRACTICE, and you’ll have the skill you need. When building guitar excellent technique, I like to say the recipe calls for REPETITION, ATTENTION, and TIME. The subject of “Talent” is another story for another day.
And you can also practice along with my real-time demonstration of any of these exercise routines, which can be found on my YouTube channel. Good luck with your practice and I look forward to seeing you back here again next week for the next skill in this series!