Beginner Club 3 with Lee | Invisible Player Deep Dive

Hey there!

Here is the Q&A from our last Beginner Club #3 with Lee - Invisible Player Deep Dive. Feel free to share your thoughts, help each other out, and discuss these topics. :slight_smile:

Guitar Questions on a Forum

  1. How do I determine the gauge of strings on my guitar?
  2. Considering a switch to lighter strings, but lacking access to a luthier/shop, are additional adjustments necessary?
  3. For beginners, what’s a reasonable number of songs to work on simultaneously?
  4. Any advice for improving timing? What could be causing timing issues during guitar playing, especially with solos or rhythms?
  5. Tips for changing chords quickly during guitar playing?
  6. Dealing with a finger injury that causes unintended string muting. Any suggestions for adapting to a wider and shorter finger?
  7. In the context of practicing for a light touch, is it normal for strings to sound buzzy when not pressing hard? Should I prioritize the best sound over light pressure?
  8. As a beginner with a new guitar and factory strings, should I consider changing to lighter strings?
  9. Tips for playing with finger numbness? Raynaud’s Syndrome
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#9 1. Tips for playing with finger numbness? Raynaud’s Syndrome
Tip shared by a participant with Raynaud’s Syndrome during class – drop your hands in warm water for a few minutes, and wear wrist warmers.

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As far as I’m aware the only way is to measure with a micrometer or dial calipers.

Going up or down a gauge shouldn’t require an adjustment to the truss rod. In any case, changing your own strings is a skill every guitar player should have. It’s not difficult at all. You only need a string winder (get a decent one, not a $5 ebay one) and a pair of wire cutters. The cost of the tools is likely to the same as the luthier. After that you’re making money every time you change the strings youself. YouTube has loads of videos on how to do it.

Definitely.

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Thanks for answering. (2) I’ll change those strings then myself. Interesting topic this evening.

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This is actually quite an in-depth question. The easiest way to explain this one I believe, is practice with the metronome at a reasonable rate that you can handle. Ultimately it will be depending on how far along and your skill sets at this time. Om the beats at first, then Introducing 8th strumming 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +. With the metronome really making sure you can keep with the metronome. Again, depends where you are exactly in your journey. Then 16th strumming 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a. The rhythm is SOOOO crucial. So practice slow and perfect and work your way up. Playing to songs is always fun! But keep a time boxed practice in place.

Soloing is the last step you should be thinking about. First know the chord structure extremely well, practicing the soloing slowly and separately from the song playing… It will probably take time before you can add it to the song. The chord structure and rhythm are the most important parts. Lieven had an excellent class on this.

This will also help with how many songs you should be practicing.

Download the resources from the resource tab. This will help alot!!

Hope this helps.
Rock on!!
Darren

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Even doing some adjustment to the action of the guitar (on electric at least) is pretty easy, if you go slow and steady.

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One big takeaway from last night for me was that I realised I am pressing my fretting fingers on the strings far harder than I need to do.

Thanks Lee @LeeMB

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Is there a download for the light finger exercises?

You’re welcome Mat, and I’m really glad you got something out of the session :slight_smile:

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Hey guys, thank you all for being a wonderful crowd last Thursday. Sorry I’m a little slow getting to this thread - things have been so crazily busy since the new year.

OK, so to answer some questions:

  1. How do I determine the gauge of strings on my guitar?

I’m not totally sure, although jacksprat seems to have answered this above (thanks mate) :slight_smile: That said, it’s a good idea to be mindful of what strings/sizes you’re putting on your guitar going forward. I use Elixr nanoweb super light acoustic strings. They last ages (because they’re coated) and they’re really easy on the fingers, which for me, allows me to play with more ease and a lighter touch.

  1. Considering a switch to lighter strings, but lacking access to a luthier/shop, are additional adjustments necessary?

I can’t say for certain. Although, every time I’ve made a switch to lighter strings no truss rod adjustment has been necessary.

  1. For beginners, what’s a reasonable number of songs to work on simultaneously?

The more time you devote to less songs, the quicker you’ll improve those songs. Providing you remain inspired, I’d personally put more energy into less songs, because visually seeing improvement sooner rather than later is motivating. There’s nothing wrong with working on lots of songs if you’re continually motivated and inspired though.

  1. Any advice for improving timing? What could be causing timing issues during guitar playing, especially with solos or rhythms?

Our sense of playing in time lives in our brains. This is then transcended through our muscles into our guitar playing. So I think it’s first a really good idea to develop a solid sense of time and rhythm in your mind through clapping. If you can clap a rhythm first, you can usually play it too, providing it’s not something out of your technical comfort zone. Justin’s book on reading Rhythms is brilliant!

  1. Tips for changing chords quickly during guitar playing?

I think this might be the topic of the next class so stay tuned.

  1. Dealing with a finger injury that causes unintended string muting. Any suggestions for adapting to a wider and shorter finger?

Which finger are you referring to, 1, 2, 3 or 4?

  1. In the context of practicing for a light touch, is it normal for strings to sound buzzy when not pressing hard? Should I prioritize the best sound over light pressure?

If the string is buzzing, it means you’re not pressing down quite hard enough. That buzzing sound is the exact point where you need to add just a tiny, tiny bit more pressure. The simple fact that your strings are buzzing is a good sign that you’re developing a lighter touch in your playing though, so very well done :slight_smile:

  1. As a beginner with a new guitar and factory strings, should I consider changing to lighter strings?

I think so. Factory strings are not usually that great.

  1. Tips for playing with finger numbness? Raynaud’s Syndrome

I’m not sure about this one. I’d have to look more into Raynaud’s Syndrome to really understand what’s going on.

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