Question: How do I practice (except practicing slowly) the following guitar muscle memory technique you described in order to have little or no finger tension between two notes: "Immediately release finger tension after playing each note, before playing the next note?"

Tom Hess's Answer: There is no big secret to practicing this element of guitar playing. You simply need to concentrate on (and pay attention to) relaxing your hands and your body after playing each note. You first play a note, using some tension to do so and then you release that tension after the note is played.

Think of this like breathing in and breathing out air. When you breath in, your lungs contract (just like your hands do when you play a note on guitar) to take in oxygen and deliver it to your brain and the rest of the body. When you breathe out, your lungs relax in preparation for delivering another dose of oxygen (with your next breath).

This motion sequence is exactly the same as what your hands need to do when they play a note on guitar. The only difference is that your fingers must be trained to behave in this way (this is not something that comes naturally to most people). Practicing for this will help you to play guitar (fast) for long periods of time and drastically increase your guitar stamina.


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