How To Fix Sloppy Guitar Playing And Play More Accurate And Clean

Oct 21


Tom Hess

Tom Hess

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

Sloppy guitar playing technique is a big part of why you make mistakes when you play. When you have poor guitar technique, you are unable to make fast progress and your playing sounds unprofessional.


    How To Fix Sloppy Guitar Technique & Make Your Guitar Playing Very Clean


    By Tom Hess


    Fact: Sloppy guitar technique leads to mistakes and frustration. The issue with sloppy technique is that it makes your playing sound amateur and slows down your progress. To solve this issue,How To Fix Sloppy Guitar Playing And Play More Accurate And Clean Articles you need to:


    *Pick out the problems occurring in your guitar technique.


    *Discover why each problem leads to unclean guitar playing.


    *Work on your guitar technique to eliminate inconsistencies.


    Find out how this process solves problems leading to sloppy guitar playing:




    Question: “Tom Hess, how do I know what problems are happening in my guitar technique?”


    Answer: There are two approaches to finding this out:


    1. The simple approach: Work together with an excellent guitar instructor who will observe your guitar technique and tell you exactly what needs to be fixed. This is the quickest way to become a better guitarist.


    2. Examine your guitar playing on your own using the information in this article. This will require excessive patience and intense focus.


    Use this guitar speed resource to master your guitar technique and improve your speed.


    These are the problems that most frequently cause sloppy guitar playing:




    Sloppy Guitar Technique Cause #1: Sound Made By Unmuted Strings


    One of the trademarks of sloppy guitar playing is noise coming from unmuted strings. This issue makes it very difficult for you to actually hear the notes you are playing and is particularly noticeable while using high gain or distortion.


    Use both your picking and fretting hands to mute unwanted noise made by open strings.


    Here are two ways to mute strings using your picking hand:


    1. Use your thumb on the strings lower than the one you are playing on. Look at this image to see the thumb positioning needed to mute:




    2. Use any fingers that aren’t involved in picking to mute strings above the string you are playing on. See how this looks in the image below:




    Use the padding of your index finger to mute the strings with your fretting hand. The padding will rest on the higher strings. This adds another layer of muting to help eliminate any unwanted noise.




    To become a very clean guitarist, you MUST be able to mute with both hands as I’ve described.


    Sloppy Guitar Technique Cause #2: Taking The Pick Out Of The Trenches Between The Strings


    The trench is the area between the strings of the guitar. It is much easier to play cleanly and accurately when your pick stays within this area. When your pick leaves this space, it becomes harder to play cleanly and you start to lose sync between your hands.


    Thumb muting technique makes it much easier to stay in the trench area of the strings. Using this technique helps you move your picking hand in a very movement efficient manner.


    Note: Don’t make the mistake of using a lot of pressure to press your thumb into the strings. Only apply enough pressure to lightly mute the strings. If you use too much pressure, you will cause unnecessary tension in your arm and make unwanted sloppy string noises.


    Sloppy Guitar Technique Cause #3: Wrapping Your Thumb Around The Neck To Play


    Wrapping your thumb around the neck while playing causes two main issues: 1. It adds a lot more tension into your hands 2. It makes playing cleanly very difficult


    Instead of wrapping your thumb like this, place it behind the neck. This relaxes your fingers and helps you play more efficiently.


    Watch the video at 0:17 and you’ll find out just how big of a difference not wrapping your thumb make.


    Sloppy Guitar Technique Cause #4: Not Using Directional Picking And Replacing It With Alternate Picking


    Alternate picking incorporates a lot of unnecessary movement. While using alternate picking and switching to a new string, the pick will have to move out of the trench of the strings, move in an opposing direction and jump across the string you played. This greatly increases the chances of adding noise into your playing.


    Directional picking is very efficient and helps make your playing clean. It keeps your pick in the trench, improves two hand synchronization and eliminates unwanted string noise.


    (Directional picking also uses the same motions used in sweep picking, helping you to make your practice time more efficient as well.)


    This video shows the right way to do directional picking:




    Sloppy Guitar Technique Cause #5: Allowing The Guitar Pick To Move Around In Your Hand


    It’s much more difficult to articulate notes whenever you move the guitar pick around in your fingers. This leads to mistakes.


    What is the solution?: Look closely at how you hold your pick. Make sure you keep the pick still without gripping it with too much pressure. You shouldn’t need to use a lot of pressure to hold the pick in place.


    Tip: Adjusting the pick so that it comes in closer to your wrist joint minimizes its movement.


    Sloppy Guitar Technique Cause #6: Not Fretting Notes With The Tips Of Your Fingers (Using The Pads Instead)


    When you fret notes with the pads of your fingers rather than the tips, it makes clean playing much more difficult.


    You don’t get calluses on the pads of your fingers. This causes you to press down harder in order to produce the note. In addition, this usually produces a muddy, unclear note.


    Using additional pressure when it isn’t needed also leads to unclean playing, and generally makes clean playing more difficult.


    This issues occurs once you collapse the first knuckle of your index, middle and ring finger or by over-extending your pinky to play a note.


    Solution: Use the tips of your fingers to fret notes (unless you are using rolling technique to play notes across several strings). Fingertips do not compress down like pads, and have strong calluses. This minimizes the tension used to fret notes. Fingertips also require less force to fret a note. This causes it to feel much easier to fret notes, making your overall guitar playing easier.


    THREE Steps To Solve Sloppy Guitar Playing:


    Step 1: Make a habit of recording yourself while playing guitar. For better results, use headphones while listening back to your audio files. Do this, and you will make faster improvement in your overall guitar playing.


    Step 2: Spot where your guitar playing begins to become unclean. Pick out the particular notes that don’t sound good.


    Step 3: Think about the specific elements of sloppy guitar playing that are leading to your errors.


    Here is what you need to do:


    *Choose one guitar technique element and focus on it intensely.


    *Make altercations to your guitar technique to improve upon this element.


    *Notice how your playing has changed. If you see tons of improvement, you’ve just identified a main cause of unclean playing.


    *Go back and repeat this same process over again with another guitar technique element.


    Step 4: Refine the guitar technique elements that are causing sloppy guitar playing. Work on them until you master them.


Utilize this approach each time you practice in order to master guitar technique and play guitar extremely clean.

This free guitar speed resource helps you improve your guitar technique in no time.