Keep it Loose: Stretches for Guitarists

If you’re anything like me, you have felt the pain of playing the guitar. I’m not talking about the blues, or the pain caused by being smacked by the singer; I’m talking about pain and tension in your muscles and joints. We guitarists put our hands through a lot of punishment. Bending strings, holding barre chords, rapid-fire picking – it all adds up, and none of it is good for your muscles or joints. When your hands are aching or your shoulders are locking up, your performance suffers. Worst of all, you might be doing long term damage.

Gigging at the Edge of Reason, Episode 1

Working musicians know that the key to a positive gig experience isn’t just in how prepared we are, but how well we are able to deal with and respond to the things we never thought to prepare for. We know not to flip out over a bad monitor mix or because the Jagermeister is the…

Tales of Love and Loss and Gear

Once upon a time, there was this guy who bought a thing. He raved about this thing to anyone who would listen. It was the best thing ever. Superior in every measurable quality to everything else possessing qualities which could be measured. Of all things, this one thing reigned supreme; ultimate champion among the elite echelon of awesome things.

Don’t Tickle Your Guitar: Playing Like You Mean It!

Back in the mid-1990s, when I was a young teenager just starting to learn to play the electric guitar, I read an interview with Angus Young in an issue of Guitar World that has stuck with me to this day. The gist of the interview could be summed up in one elegant quote. On the subject of growing up with and learning to play guitar himself, Angus recalled this gem from his brother (and brilliantly understated co-guitarist) Malcolm: “Don’t tickle it, hit the bugger!”

Write With Your Brain, Not With Your Hands

My whole leg is asleep to the hip. My guitar, poised restlessly in my lap, has been cutting off the circulation for… a while? I’m not even sure anymore. Shifting position in my computer chair, I brace for the agonizing needle-rush of blood back into numbed limbs while my bleary eyes refocus in the wash…

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