This article was originally written for Guitar-Muse -
Getting the basics of technique down
For beginning guitarists, establishing good technique is important. If one starts with bad technique it could mean spending hours of practice down the road to correct bad habits, or in some cases developing repetitive stress injuries.
But what exactly is good technique? We guitar teachers tend to talk about it in absolutes: “Always keep your wrist straight,” and “Never put your thumb over the neck.” But really, it’s a bit tricky. For every technical rule there’s usually one exception, if not ten. And really no two people play exactly the same way. We’re all built differently, so technique from person to person varies in the details, but there are some generalities that can be followed to set yourself on the right path.
To me, good technique is simply that which is ergonomic, efficient and effective. That is to say, what ever you’re trying to do on the guitar, do it with the least amount of effort and strain possible. In this article I’ll go over some general tips for developing good basic technique and perhaps even dispel some myths.