What Are “The Principles”? » Guitar Principles

What Are “The Principles”?

Most guitar methods do not actually train your fingers to play the guitar well. They give you music and exercises that require already trained fingers to be able to play them well, without struggle. 

Guitar Principles is different. We don't give you exercises, we give you Foundation Exercises...


Foundation Exercises: Not Your Usual Exercises!

The usual book contains exercises, "The Principles" contains Foundation Exercises. Normal guitar exercises, such as scales, pull offs, hammers, etc. actually depend on a foundation already being there, they do actually not build one. In fact, practicing guitar exercises before your fingers have learned to make movements with relaxation and control ( Stage 1 Training) will  cause you endless problems as you try to get better on guitar. 

The tension that is built into the muscles as they struggle to make movements they are not ready to make becomes your normal feeling of playing. You don't feel the tension, you only see its effects, as you try to play something a little bit fast and your fingers lose all control. 

It's just like building the upper floors of a house when the foundation is missing or weak. The upper floors will collapse under pressure. Let's take a few examples... 

Without Foundation Exercises, You Will Have Trouble With...

 Scales & Fast Licks: Unless your fingers are trained to touch the strings very lightly, with no tension (called the "Light Finger") you will never have the finger control necessary to play fast. You must also know how to change the Light Finger into the Firm Finger, instantly. This is what your legs do in walking and running, alternate between tensed and relaxed, Most guitar student fingers are tense all the time!

 Hammers & Pulls: Guitar fingers, when not actually playing, must be able to stay relaxed while other fingers play. Virtually all guitar students keep the fingers not being used tense while other fingers play. This means the tense fingers will not be able to play when needed. The Principles "Foundation Exercises" train your fingers to be relaxed when not used, so they are ready for action when needed, 

 Bar Chords: Doing bar chords easily depends on being able to keep the shoulder relaxed while the fingers work, so the arm weight can be used to press the strings  to the fret. Most guitar students don't know their shoulder is locked with tension, preventing the fingers from placing the necessary force easily. The "Foundation Exercises" train your shoulder to stay relaxed so you can add arm weight to the fingers. This makes playing feel completely different - in a good way!

Most often, when students use exercises found in books, this foundation is not there. So, like a house with no foundation, but new floors added all the time, technique that is built with the usual exercises is often very shaky. So, whether you are a beginner, or a player with the usual problems, here is your Foundation, "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar"!

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