A Big Tip For Fixing Bad Habits On Guitar And Improving Your Guitar Technique

by Tom Hess

During the Q&A part of a recent live class, a new student of mine asked for help with fixing bad habits on guitar.

He showed me his fretting hand and commented how his thumb felt like “it has a mind of its own”.

I watched him play for a while and… 


When he shifted positions, his fretting hand thumb pointed at the tuning pegs and he’d look like he was hitchhiking.

(It’s one of the more common bad guitar playing habits I help my guitar students fix in their fretting hand.)

I smiled at him and said:

“This may sound crazy, but… I kind of wish I was you right now.”

“Huh??? Why?” he asked.

“Because when it comes to fixing bad habits on guitar, an issue like that, as frustrating as it is, is VERY easy to fix.

Meanwhile, if you think of any of your favorite players… 

Their fretting hand technique is already so refined, it can sometimes take WEEKS of trial and error just to get clear on ‘what’ to fix next. 

And then - a few more weeks to drill the new habit into the muscle memory.

The better you become, the more challenging it becomes to improve your guitar technique. So, enjoy your easy, low-hanging fruits (of fixing bad guitar playing habits) while they last. 

And for this fretting hand thumb issue, all you have to do is…”

I then proceeded to teach him my technique of ‘ghosting’ the motions that make it super simple to rewire bad guitar playing habits (and improve your guitar technique).

And at the pace he was going when the class ended, I think he will totally fix the issue within a week or less.

Let this be a reminder that…

The more you’re bothered by some persistent problems in your playing, the closer you are to massive breakthroughs that can catapult your playing, not just “to the next level”, but more like - to the next 10.

Want to see an example?

Check out this fretting hand guitar technique video:

That said:

Simply knowing what to do to improve your guitar technique (and fix bad guitar playing habits) isn’t enough. What you really need is to have an expert guitar teacher (who is world-class at fixing bad habits on guitar) watch you practice.

When that happens, you become aware of other flaws in your guitar technique (in your fretting hand, picking hand and approaches to practicing guitar in general)... and can fix bad guitar playing habits very fast.

Especially when that same guitar teacher also tells you what to practice by giving you customized lesson strategy designed to take you to where you want to be as a guitar player. 

(That is something I can do for you in my Breakthrough Guitar Lessons.)

And to see another example of fixing bad habits on guitar (involving fretting hand guitar technique), check out this article on fixing flying fingers in your fretting hand.

Tom Hess
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.

Become a better guitar player by studying with the best rock guitar tutor online.

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