Improving Tone

May 5, 2016

 

Are you hearing clicking, popping, mutted, or uneven tone when you play? If so, there are a number of easy ways to improve you tone.  Here are a few ideas that will help improve your tone.

 

1) TIP-JOINTS

Try relaxing your right-hand tip-joints when you play. Think of you finger tips as feathers that brush across the string rather than as hooks that pluck the string. 

 

2) RIGHT HORIZONTAL HAND POSITION

Try moving your hand around, horizontally, while you play. Play toward the fret board, toward the sound hole, behind the sound hole, and close to the bridge. Notice how this changes your right hand tone. Use this technique as another expressive tool.

 

3) UPWARD, NOT OUTWARD

When playing arpeggios or free strokes, make sure your fingers are play upward -- fingertips move toward forearm -- instead of outward.  Use your large knuckles and avoid clawing at the strings. 

 

4) EVENNESS

When playing arpeggios, listen to your fingers. Make sure that the note produced by each finger sounds even (i.e., same volume, same quality of tone).  If they don't sound even, do a bit of trial and error to try evening them out. Use the tips mentioned in this blog to help make that happen.

 

5) NAIL SHAPE & LENGTH

Having properly shaped and nails at the correct length makes a huge difference in your tone.  Having your nails just long enough so that the tip of the nails are barely past he finger tip is ideal.  There are a number of ways you can shape you nail: 1) round, 2) angled left to right, 3) angled right to left.  The most ideal shape is different for everyone, but here are 2 great links that can help you find what works best for you:

- PART 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFpLo2HtE5A

- PART 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCoSL-_oL7I

 

GOOD LUCK!

 

 

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