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Lessons

Humidify Your Guitar This Winter

By | Lessons | One Comment

This is my annual appeal on behalf of your guitar. Winters can be particularly harsh on your instrument because humidity levels drop. I explain everything in the following video…which I recorded about 3 years ago. It’s still relevant, and I still use the home-made humidifier I made in this video. Remember – never leave your guitar in your car for extended periods of time. If you have no choice, try to let the guitar warm up to room temperature before opening the case. Room humidifiers are nice, too. Stay humidified,…

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Chord Extensions 101: Suspensions

By | Lessons | 3 Comments

Chord extensions, simply put, make you sound like a better guitarist. Common chord extensions include: suspensions (today’s topic), add9, Major 7, Minor 7, Major 9, 6th, etc. This is the first part in a little mini series about how to use chord extensions to your advantage. I welcome any questions and hope to be able to help you use these in your own clinical settings. When we are talking about suspensions on the guitar, we are typically talking about adding the 4th. This creates a little tension, and thus, a…

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3 Ways to Keep Your Guitar Happy This Winter

By | Lessons | 3 Comments

This is your annual reminder to take the necessary steps to keep your guitar happy this winter. You see, Jack Frost can be quite mean-spirited. He likes to make the air very dry, which can have a negative effect on your instruments. The dryness of the air will dry out the wood, which can lead to shrinking, warping, and cracking. If you happen to live in a part of the country that experiences significant humidity changes during the winter, this post is for you. There are a few simple things…

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How I Buy Guitars

By | Guitar, Lessons | One Comment

UPDATE 10/23/14 I still use these strategies for selecting guitars. One model has consistently been my go-to guitar for the last four or five years now, and that is the Yamaha FG730S. This is the model I’ve routinely recommended to music therapists and music therapy programs buying several guitars at a time. They are accessibly priced, they are durable, and with a proper setup, they play very well. ——– Original post: In October, I did a guest post for Michelle Erfurt about choosing an acoustic guitar. Be sure to check…

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Video Lesson – Developing Finger Strength and Dexterity

By | Lessons | 2 Comments

This video is in response to a comment from Rachel a few weeks ago, wondering about developing left hand finger strength.  These simple exercises will help you improve finger strength and dexterity, contributing to a better overall sound on the guitar.  They might be frustrating at first, but a few minutes a day will yield impressive results.  Good luck, and keep the comments, suggestions, and questions coming! -Matt

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