Today's playing tip

Guitarist magazine asked GT editor Nev for his own personal tips on playing. Here are the first two...

You think it´s your picking hand that´s sloppy; I bet it's your fretting fingers!

You think your poor hand-to-hand co-ordination is down to bad picking technique, yet it´s more likely to be the fretting fingers at fault. I bet you can tremolo-pick one note on one string with supreme accuracy - so there´s nothing inherently wrong with your picking hand. True, playing from string to string is trickier, but that´s just practice. Test your fretting hand by pulling off your fourth, third, second and first fingers from adjacent frets on the first string - quite fast. Do it repeatedly and check how ‘in time´ your fingers are (or aren´t). I bet you´ll find it´s here where you need to do the work.

Tap your feet, move your body.
Many players just can´t keep in time, yet so often they stand like a statue, not tapping their feet or moving in sync with the music. If you´re sitting down and strumming, imagine there´s an invisible steel rod between your strumming wrist and corresponding foot - so when you strum you tap, and when you tap you strum. Now get your body swaying in rhythm and then try going out of time; it´s all but impossible.