Question: Hi Tom Hess, thanks for the excellent free guitar practice eBook. I was intrigued about your “relax" theory to eliminate unwanted string noise on guitar. This makes a great deal of sense. However, this is going to take me a great deal of work. Is there an exercise that one can do to start ingraining this new technique so I can finally play guitar clean?
Tom Hess's Answer: Here is one exercise to use:
Choose a guitar lick you want to practice and set your amp to a distortion setting (with NO effects). Then, play through the lick at a slow speed (using strong articulation in the picking hand). While playing slowly, make sure you play exactly as you would while playing at a higher speed (this means using the SAME motions, same pick attack, and same hand positions). Then, focus on listening for string noise after each note you play. If you DO hear noise, analyze where it is coming from and determine the corrections you must make to fix it. Play the guitar lick again several times at the same slow speed as before. Once it is clean, practice the lick at a faster speed and repeat the same process.
Additionally, make sure that you are using the most effective techniques for eliminating guitar string noise in both hands.
Work with a great electric guitar teacher to quickly correct mistakes in your playing and become a killer guitarist.