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Rhythm playing: five minutes overall

Good rhythm guitar playing is much more important than lead playing. Even the longest guitar solos only take up ten per cent of a song, with the rest of the track being rhythm playing. It pays to have chord knowledge, a good strumming technique and solid timing. Once again, the best approach is to drill these things in isolation. The key to successful strumming is keeping your hand in constant motion, even when it's not strumming the guitar. This takes a little while to get used to but, like alternate picking, once it's an automatic process you won't think about it. As important as they are, though, your strumming action and the different patterns shouldn't be your only focus. Make sure every note of every chord rings out clearly. There shouldn't be any fret buzz (ensure you play as close to the frets as possible) and don't strum any notes that aren't in the chord (like the fifth and sixth strings on a D chord). These seemingly small details make the differe
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Make your Guitar practice more effective

1. Warm-up and technique tune-up: ten minutes overall Warm-up (two minutes): A warm-up is the first part of your practice regime. It's important to limber up and get the blood flowing before you get into anything too challenging. Start by shaking your hands as if you were shaking them dry, then gently massage them. Once you've loosened up, play something simple. Strum some open chords, or play each fret on each string as you try to name the notes. Example 1 An essential technique that every guitarist should be proficient in, this involves strictly alternating between downstrokes and upstrokes. A lot of players naturally use the less efficient 'all downstrokes' method, but you should train your picking hand to alternate automatically. Two minutes a day playing the spider exercise will help you nail this technique. Improvers: if you feel comfortable with this pattern, extend it to go across all six strings and play four notes per metronome click at about 60bpm to 70