4 Simple Steps for Effective SoundCloud Music Promotion

Music is an integral part of our life and most of us are passionate about it. If you have planned to start out as a musician, you must have spent all your time writing lyrics and composing the songs. But, if you want to spread your songs to a wide range of audiences in the world, you must know more than to create great tracks. The knowledge to efficiently market your tracks in the web world is imperative. It is also the shortest way to promote your sounds without shelling any money.

SoundCloud is the number one platform for worldwide artists to gain recognition for their tunes. There are around millions of users in this audio-streaming site that offers the chance for more exposure. A decade ago, music promotion was a hassle, but now it’s an easy task. In this audio-sharing site, you can easily gain as many followers and likes as you want to widespread your popularity.

Many major musicians are also on SoundCloud due to its wide reach and influence. It is a great platform for them to construct great tracks and spread them. For effective music marketing, you must be able to identify your target audiences and develop your goal as a tunesmith. As we all know, the shortest way to promote your songs is to hire an agency or company, but if you’re doing it on your own, then you must follow these points.

Mandatory Marketing Plan:

It is rather important to develop a marketing plan as it is a guide that can help you attain your goals. With a plan you can easily understand your next step, but without it, there is a high chance of losing focus and getting diverted from your goal. Therefore, it is compulsory to have a solid direction with an unwavering determination to promote your music on a competitive platform.

Sharing is More than Caring:

When it comes to music, all of us have shared our favorite songs with others. Likewise, sharing on SoundCloud is essential to gain popularity and recognition in the massive music community. Mumbai to shirdi taxi is the ultimate way to promote tracks and get more followers, reposts and downloads. Along with SoundCloud, you can further share it on other popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Follow to become a Leader:

Following is one of the best ways to get noticed. When you follow someone on SoundCloud, they are notified and most likely to return the favor by following you back. Even if they don’t follow, they checkout your profile and like your tracks. However, it is important to ensure that you’re following people in the same music genre or style as you, so that they appreciate your work. Moreover, it is recommended to be genuine when you follow, don’t just follow to spread your tracks.

Grasp the Power of Consistency:

The best of profiles can become unnoticed due to lack of consistency. If you are not dedicated to your music sharing, then your profile can go silent. Thus, it is smart to become consistent and upload fresh sounds that creates a niche for you, establishes your reputation and makes you discoverable on SoundCloud. Besides, this is a great way to form a consistent relationship with your listeners and audiences worldwide.

Is Buying Instrumentals and Beats a Good Idea

You may think it strange but in the music world today, music doesn’t have so much to do with lyrics and vocals. An artist can still enjoy great success when the beat is really good. The beat has become an important factor in the success of an artist and therefore it is being given a lot of attention today. There are different kinds of beats that you can choose and there are also different categories. The kind of beat you choose can determine the classification you are given.

Choosing the best beat for your genre

Sometimes you may come up with a cross as you experiment with different beats. Finding that correct beat can go a long way in enhancing the performance you give in the most noticeable way. As an artist, you should have correct beats to elevate your performance and it will complement the talent that you have.

There are so many elements that ought to be considered when you are choosing a melodic instrument. It is always important to give the audience, whatever they want. So as to have an outstanding performance and one that people will remember the beat, vocals, and lyrics work together to appeal to the people. Choose carefully because different beats go well with different genres. For example, hip hop and rap beats have the bass, and drums as a driving force.

Getting to the top of the chart

When a song has a great instrumental beat, it is much easier to elevate to the platinum level, even if the artist lacks in some areas. If you look at all the songs that have reached platinum level, you will notice that the drums, the bass and the percussions are simply outstanding. Today, people love a deep beat that shakes the soul. Regardless of the genre, beats move the crowd. There are some genres that require simplicity in the instrumentals. This is usually to allow the artists to explore their creativity in a better way.

The music instrumental quality

An instrument should sound great regardless of where it gets played. Even when you are creating a mixtape, you should choose the instrumentals as carefully as possible. When you mix and master an instrument well, then it will sound really good and it will definitely move hearts.

If you are a new artist, you may not be able to afford the beats that are of a high quality. However, today you can access some great beats. You should always pick the one which highlights the talent you have without detracting anything from it. The beat needs to be great but it should also show off your talent.


It is always important to note that as much as the instrumental is important to your career; your talent is also as important. Practicing helps you perfect the craft. When you have a perfect beat, you can enhance your talent in many amazing ways. When you have the perfect instrumental, you can make a turnaround in your music career in a very short time.


How to Gain A Lot of Fans Without Changing Your Sound

Are you ready for a business secret? As an entrepreneur myself let me tell you what your #1 priority as an artist should be! Your #1 priority as an artist should be PROFITABILITY! Not fame, not respect, and not females. The only way to be able to make your best music and to keep doing it is to have a decent amount of revenue coming in to cover your expenses as an artist (artwork, studio, beats etc… ) and to have some left over for your personal life.

A lot of artists do not understand this and look to chase fame with YouTube views, Instagram videos etc.. instead of finding what makes them money. As we all know there are an unlimited amount of ways for artists to make money (shows, advertising, selling music and merch etc… ) Bottom line is that the average artist chases fame and not revenue which is why most fail.

With that being said there is no need to change your sound just to appease everyone. Chasing superstar fame is a dead end. That will happen naturally. You should be chasing revenue so you can re-invest your money into your music brand and grow. The fame will come as a side effect. You do not have to change your sound to gain more fans. Instead you should stay true to your own sound and try to find fans that like what you do! So once again instead of wasting time trying to push your music on everybody, push it to the people who dig your sound. This will make you stand out. You do this by strategic marketing to your specific demographic.

For example, take my beats. Rather then switch my style up and try to get every artist to listen to my beats, I only cater to the ones interested in my sound. Just like I found you… You need to find your fans. If you like your sound then there are other people who like your sound as well! It is your job to find them through marketing. Once you find like minded fans then you keep hitting them with material, marketing, music etc…

By staying true to your original fans and marketing to new ones who like your sound already you will win. As an artist it is always best to start locally within your city and state. It is not hard to find fans who will like your music. People are looking for new music ALL THE TIME. Music is a High Consumption Product. All it takes is $50-$100 in Facebook ads or Instagram ads in your city with a high quality video and also social media presence and then you are in it. So what are you waiting for? The world is at your fingertips, real talk.


The Real Reason Why Facebook Ads “Don’t Work” For Musicians

One common thing that I hear a lot from musicians is “I used Facebook ads once and it didn’t really work for me.”

And that’s common for a lot businesses not just musicians. But as musicians we’re not selling a solution to a problem like a dentist, or a lawyer. So we have to go about marketing music differently.

What a lot of musicians do is they have an album or a single to promote. They make a post that says something like “Check out my sweet new single!” Then they put a million different links to iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud, YouTube, Bandcamp, and tell people to listen to it for free.
There’s a few problems with this method.

The first problem is when you send someone to a 3rd party platform like Spotify it’s pretty much impossible to keep track of how many people went there from your ad. Also you can’t follow up with these people because you don’t have an email or way to follow up with them again.

But the second problem is more related to human psychology. As humans when we meet someone for the first time we are really unlikely to do anything they ask us to do.

So if a stranger walks up to you and asks you to do something it’s not going to happen. If a friend asks you to do something you are much more likely to do what they want.

This “GO CHECK OUT MY MUSIC” ad is doing the exact same thing.

I like to make an analogy to explain this.

Lets say I want to promote my cool new country music album, so I go down to my local country music bar, walk up to the first person I see and say:

“Hey I got this cool new album I really think you’d like it. You can listen to it for free but we have to listen to it outside in my car because I only have one copy of it. So you want to come check it out?”

The chances of that person doing that are slim to none.

And that’s what a lot of musicians are doing with their ads.

You’re basically asking a complete stranger to stop everything that they’re doing and then leave Facebook to go listen to your music.

And there’s actually a much better way to promote your music with Facebook ads.

Imagine this different scenario…

You go into your local country music bar, but this time you go up to the DJ or bartender and say “Hey if I give you a few bucks would you play my new album for everyone to listen to?” They say yes and put it on.

Now you start looking around the room and you notice some people nodding their head and grooving to your sweet tunes.
You go up to them and start a conversation and tell them about your band, that you moved here from a different city. At the end of this interaction you say “I’d love to give my EP for free can I get your email to send it to you?”

They say yes. And boom. You now have a direct connection to someone who is interested in your music, and could potentially become a fan.

We can do this same thing on Facebook by running a paid video ad. Don’t put any links or anything crazy in the text. Just a simple headline. What this does is it lets people discover your music naturally and if they’re curious they’ll click over to your page and learn more about you.
And if you’ve set up your custom audience lists in Facebook you can run a follow up ad to them later on asking them to give you their email in exchange for your album for free.

This method is a much better way of advertising your music on Facebook because you’re not asking a total stranger to do something. Instead you are sharing your music and they can choose to watch your video or scroll onto the next thing.



How To Build A Solid Foundation As A Guitar Player

Guitar has a magnetizing effect on almost everyone who hears it. And a man who can rock a guitar flawlessly instantly becomes the center of attention. Yes, people find it irresistible when they see someone is passionate about his music. That is why lead guitarists are loved by people and many aspiring guitarists look up to them as an inspiration. But what looks easy at first sight, can be a tough ordeal when you actually start doing it.

Yes, learning to play guitar can be both intimidating and challenging at first. In fact, one of the problems which concern a guitarist when he decides to learn the instrument is how he will begin. Most aspiring guitarists give up their dream of becoming a guitarist as they have scant knowledge about learning a guitar.

The first and foremost thing which an aspiring guitarist should have while he approaches the guitar is a positive attitude. Most guitar players lose the plot midway since they think that they are not good enough or they do not have those innate qualities which can make them a successful guitarist. Here is a fact. What you think and feel about yourself makes the difference when it comes to becoming a great guitar player.

Another thing which comes in the way of becoming a good guitarist is insufficient and irregular practice. Most guitarists think that devoting only 30 mins to an hour a day is enough for becoming a good guitarist, which unfortunately is not. You can at least divide your time schedule throughout the day. One session in the morning, second in the afternoon and third in the evening. Try to increase your practice time a little bit each week. Consistency is most important. Make sure it pick it up for a little-focused practice each day.

You can learn guitar from a wide range of sources, but learning guitar by taking guitar lessons from a guitar instructor is a wholly different ball game. A guitar teacher would help you comprehend the techniques of learning a guitar at a faster rate and channel you in the right direction. Such guitar lessons will help you not only in mastering the nitty-gritty of playing guitar, but also help you distinguish between tunes. Guitar rookies are enrolling in guitar classes to know the instrument in depth and to build a strong foundation in guitar. Guitar lessons are thus in great demand since only a good guitar instructor can make all the difference for an aspiring guitarist.


Barbershop Harmony: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

If you’ve never experienced barbershop-style harmony, you really should. Recently I was at a convention of these singers, and overheard two hotel guests talking about all the music being made in the hallways on the lower level. The man said, “it’s a convention of barbershop singers.” His girlfriend replied, “What that?”

I was stunned. I thought everyone knew about us! But, I live in a bubble of sorts and only hang out with these types of singers.

So what is it and why are you missing out?

The barbershop style of four-part, close harmony dates back to the 1930s or so. The so-called “BEST STUBBLE TRIMMER” chord is a normal triad of root, third, and fifth, with a seventh as the fourth note in the chord. What’s important to note about this type of harmony is that when it is done well, the chord will sound “fuller” because the chord could be producing overtones or undertones. You may not know the term, but you’ve heard it on a guitar when the player lightly touches higher strings, and it sounds light and airy. Or better yet, whenever you see someone lightly touching a wine glass and making a high-pitched noise, those are called harmonics or overtones. The barbershop seventh chord can produce very rich and full overtones and undertones.

A common misconception of barbershoppers, as we are called, is that we’re a bunch of gray-haired men dressed in red and white pinstripes with a straw hat. That’s the classic barbershop look. The sound, however, is anything but old-fashioned. Yes, many of us are retired or in our 50s, but the vibrancy of this music is for all.

In fact, when you look online at some of the Barbershop Harmony Society international champions, they are composed of very young and talented musicians. (Yes, there are competitions to determine the best in the world for that year). As we age, we lose some of the range and stamina we once had, so the younger generation is picking up where we left off.

Now, I will warn you, whenever you get the barbershop bug, there’s no turning back. It’s like a nasty addiction. Normally, you become addicted by actually singing in a quartet and “ringing” the chords. There’s no other way to get hooked that I know of. After that, you are on your own. I cannot help you.

Spring and Fall shows are very common throughout the nation. Often choruses will also prepare music for a Christmas or Holiday show. Find one in your area and see what it’s all about. Admission prices are generally affordable. Show producers often bring in outstanding quartets and choruses to impress and entertain. Often you’ll get to see the best of the best at no additional charge.

Even though there are thousands of barbershop videos online, you do not get the same feeling and experience as when you are in attendance. The mics are great and you hear some very fascinating chords, it’s just not the same.

Where the barbershop community shines, however, is on Valentine’s Day. On that day quartets go out into the communities and deliver valentines that their loved ones have paid for. It’s the event that brings us back again and again.


An Analysis of the Music Industry


When it comes to music, the world has a few EDM growth statistics that prove just how valuable music is to society. Music, more specifically EDM, or electronic dance music, has made quite the impact these past few years toward their target market and listeners all over the world. Just in the U.S. alone, there are several things that prove just how much the EDM market is starting to grow in the country. Here area few statistics that show the impact that electronic dance music has been having on the masses who listen to music every day.


In 2018, Billboard released a market statistic that proved the value and worth of the electronic dance music market. In this statistical statement, the company shows a 12-percent growth within one year where many changes took place with this musical revolution. EDM has since been incorporated in various genres and subgenres, though it has made quite the name for itself as well. While the overall market has been growing, there are a few submarkets that have incorporated into this market growth.


One of the biggest helpers in this EDM market growth was YouTube. Just in the past few years alone,YouTube has incorporated for at least three different areas of subscribers. 60-percent growth has been seen on smartphones of all kinds, 77-percent on televisions, and 175-percent on all gaming consoles. The YouTube versions of the albums released had grossed a total of 2.3 billion views. This is a combination of videos. This growth for EDM on YouTube has brought a few numbers up in the overall market.


Another big supporter of this overall growth trend in the electronic music department is the festivals and tickets to various festivals and concerts. In the past few years, the 2017 sales from festivals and tickets to festivals have been grossed around 146,999,963 total tickets. The money value for each ticket is different, which makes the annual festival season the biggest times of the year for sales in the electronic dance music department. This has also incorporated with that overall growth number mentioned at the start.


2018 seems to have been the big starting year for EDM. Well, in 2017, along with the intense overall growth, 12 of the largest clubs in the U.S. alone began to play EDM in their clubs. These clubs include places like Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Their total revenue was

generated and combined to come up with a total of $900 million just in 2016. It is safe to say that these numbers have grown in the past few years as the popularity of electronic dance music has grown as well.


Albums that specialize in electronic dance music has also contributed to the overall growth of this genre of music. In 2014, there were 12 EDM specific albums that were known in the top 100 selling albums during that year. in 2016 there were 36. This means that 12 albums, covered in electronic dance music, sold enough albums to be in the top 100 albums for that year. Considering how many people were entranced with the music enough to purchase albums is only one reason why EDM has grown considerably in the past few years.


  • 147,000,000 EDM festival tickets are sold annually
  • The global economic value of the EDM Industry is currently estimated at $7.1 Billion
  • Only 45% of EDM listeners are female
  • In Europe, 1 in 7 people have recently attended an EDM event
  • North America is estimated to represent around 29 percent of the EDM industry
  • Spotify commands 12 billion streams from electronic music genres alone

Music Licensing – What, How and Why It’s Important for Your Business

Music licensing commonly refers to ‘royalty free music’ or ‘production music’. This is music that has been written and produced with the sole purpose of being used in another project. Anyone can then license this music for a fee, to use in their project.

What about commercial music?

Commercial music, written and performed by artists like Adele, M83 and U2 for example, cannot be used for any purpose other than personal/private performance. When you buy a CD or download an MP3, it is specifically stated that you cannot do anything with that song or music track except listen to it yourself. Any business use is prohibited, even playing it on the radio to customers at a hair salon.

To play commercial music to the public, a public performance licensed is required by the appropriate performing rights organisation of that country. In the UK it may be PRS or PPL. In the US/Canada, it may be BMI or ASCAP. These organisations arrange a fee to the proprietor of the business, based on the size of their business/location. This can be expensive, and time consuming just to play the radio to your customers on your premises, but does permit the business to play the radio to its customers without legal issues.

This is not a suitable solution for video production and filmmaking, as the usage and purpose of music is not the same. As many video production companies produce content for clients, they need background music for their video/film that is cleared for its intended purpose. When licensing commercial music, arranging such a license for online, public performance, in-store and mass distribution quickly becomes expensive and convoluted.

Royalty free music licensing offers a simple and cost effective solution to acquiring well produced music with all necessary rights for the client, within an affordable, transparent license.

Who needs to license music?

Anyone creating digital content with the intention of publishing it online or publicly. It’s really that simple. You cannot legally use music you have not written yourself, or licensed from a music library.

What about ‘home movies’ and ‘personal projects’?

The same rules apply to home movies and personal projects, but because these are produced not-for-profit, nor professionally on behalf of a client it is possible to use commercial music in this type of content. However, when this content is published to social platforms like Facebook and YouTube, you may find your video is blocked in certain countries, or deleted entirely. This is because commercial artists and record labels have an agreement in place that monitors use of their content on these platforms, and can enforce accordingly. There is however, many commercial artists and record labels who permit the use of their music in exchange for advertising. An ad will be attached to your content as a pre-roll, overlay or half-time break during the video in exchange for permission to use their music track. If you’re producing something personal, ‘for fun’ then this shouldn’t be an issue.

The risks of using commercial music in professional video

A client may want the latest chart hit in their video because it resonates with their target audience, or they feel it represents their brand. However, as outlined previously this could end up immediately being blocked or deleted with further implications like account suspension. If the video is not blocked or deleted, then it will be served with ads.

This is the last thing you want for your client. You’ve produced a video promoting their new product, and before the video has even started, viewers are being shown ads for competing brands and products. It degrades the potential of the video and the brand.


There are THREE key reasons why licensing music correctly is hugely important.

1. You’re using music that will NOT be subject to copyright claims, blocks or deletion when it is published online. This means you can deliver your end-product to your client without fear of any music related issues.

2. You can MONETISE the content you produce. If you’re producing the content for your own online channel on YouTube, you’ll no doubt be entered into the partner program, to earn money from ads displayed on your videos. You cannot earn money from these ads if the music is not licensed, as it will go straight to the artist/producer of the music. Pay for the music license, earn money from that music license. Simple.

3. Create an identity for your video. Whether you’re producing something on behalf of a client, or yourself. If you use a hugely popular, well known commercial music track, chances are that song will resonate with the viewer more than your content. However, if you create really good video content AND license the perfect music track nobody has heard before, you’re offering a completely unique audio/visual package that is new and fresh.

What about free music?

If you look for it, you will find music that is available to use for free. But ask yourself, why is it free?

Free in exchange for ads and revenue.

The creator could be giving you permission to use their music in exchange for ad-revenue online via YouTube and Facebook, and you won’t know this until you publish it and get informed ads will be displayed alongside your video, with all revenue going to the artist.

A poor quality sample

The free music track you’re using could be a low quality sample of something an artist is trying to sell. This could be a low 128kbs MP3 that appears suitable, but when played back against high quality content, will sound quiet, muted and generally not as good. When music is licensed from a library, it should be available in broadcast quality WAV or 320kbps MP3 as standard.

Who else is using it?

You won’t be the only one looking for free music. People creating content purely for personal projects don’t have a budget for music licensing so they need something free. If you’re producing a project for a client who is paying you, would they be happy with you using the same free music track as everyone else? If it’s free, chances are a lot of people will make use of it.

Clearance and Assurance

Anyone can upload a music track online. There is no vetting, no quality control or legal assurance. Any Blog or digital content platform can host a music track for others to share. So, when you’re downloading a ‘free music track’ how do you know the provider actually has the rights to provide it to you? When you license a music track from a professional curated library, you have the assurance that every single music track has been reviewed, contracted and published legally for you to license and use.

Why pay for music?

There are thousands of music tracks online. What difference is there between ‘Track A’ and ‘Track B’? As a video producer/filmmaker, ask yourself this question: “There are thousands of video cameras available. iPhones can shoot 4K video and you can plug a microphone into them. Why should a company hire me to shoot their video”?

When you license music from a reputable library, you’re paying for the expertise in writing and composing the music track. From the start, middle and end. The quality of instruments used. The production of dynamic audio, the builds and crescendos. The post production mastering and edits so that a 3 minute piece can be condensed into a short 30 second edit without losing any of the magic of the music track.

The difference you get when someone films a corporate video on their iPhone compared to someone filming the same video with a professional camera, lighting and staging is painfully obvious. It is no different when it comes to music or photography. There is the technology, the knowledge the skill and ability to combine them to achieve the highest quality result.

What can I do with licensed music?

Whatever you want. Music can be licensed for limited use or global distribution, mass production and broadcast. You can license music for a specific purpose and tailor it to accommodate any additional requirements at any time.

Licensing royalty free music is intended to be the most cost-effective and practical solution for using music in your professional projects. General online distribution is commonly a one-time license fee per track for lifetime usage.


Are Music Reviews and Music Press Helpful Tools in Promoting Your New CD Release

Well, some might say that by asking me, you may be asking the wrong person. As a professional music publicist and music marketing consultant myself for hundreds of successful independent music artists, I can only tell you what I have experienced over the last 27 years plus of doing this for independent musicians. A good music publicist can facilitate interviews for you and get your music reviewed. Its positive impact on your project and career can be more than considerable.

I am writing this article to bring this to the attention of independent artists. Most indie musicians may feel that their music does not stand a chance out there in the sea of hundreds of thousands of independent music releases annually. Unfortunately, with that kind of competition, this is not far from the truth. Most CD releases, without professional promotion, no matter how good, usually get lost or forgotten. However, a good indie music publicist can move your music to the forefront and bring it to the attention of the industry and the public alike with press, interviews, and music reviews. As long as your music is noteworthy, this makes generating the exposure and creating the buzz (if you will) much easier. CD reviews, interviews, and the press can do this efficiently if it’s done right and by a credible professional music publicist.

Album and single reviews, written by professional music critics on credible music blogs and in the music media are read by thousands of potential fans, music journalists, booking agents, music publishers, and A&R representatives from both major and independent record labels on a daily basis. Professional Music Publicists are the curator of these creative placements. This being said, there are still a lot of indie musicians that are just now aware of the positive impact favorable CD reviews, interviews, and the innovative press can have on their project and new record release; while accelerating their music career to the next level.

Our Band is on a Shoestring Budget. How Much Does a Publicist Cost?

The cost for a professional music publicist can vary greatly, depending upon how good they are, how much experience they have, and the extent and quality of their professional Rolodex (contacts-reach). A lot of musicians don’t even bother to inquire on the cost of a publicity campaign with a professional publicist fearing upfront that the cost will be astronomical. A lot of artists and bands are marketing their music on a shoestring budget, and they believe that they just can’t afford the services of a professional music publicist and marketer. They just keep pounding and going the DIY route. Not because they want to, but feel they have to. If you inquire, you may be surprised how reasonable a publicity campaign can be with an established professional music publicist who is willing to work with you. (willing – being the key word here).

It’s unfortunate as well that music media blogs, and credible music critics, much like record labels, do not honor unsolicited requests to review music that is submitted by the artist themselves. This is mostly reserved for professional music publicists and labels with whom they work with on a relatively exclusive basis. It is true of course that money can be a major deterrent to your efforts to solicit the services of a professional. I can only tell you that if you are truly serious about your music, you just need to find a way. If your music is there, this may be one of the only ways to get it noticed. Simply put; find a publicist who is willing to work with you and your budget. Work out a payment plan, find an investor. Just do what needs to be done. Save money on other things – not publicity. It is important though to remember not to pick the least expensive publicist. As with anything else in life – “You Get What You Pay For.” Artists that do not professionally market their wares, or stop marketing their music to save money are like those who try to stop a clock to save time. Pretty Crazy –Right?

© 2018 Ken Cavalier All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Ken is a veteran music publicist and music marketer in all genres of music. He has assisted numerous independent artists with successful publicity and promotional campaigns for their new record releases over the last 27 years. He has facilitated thousands of CD reviews, interviews, and a ton of press for his artists. Having been a struggling musician himself at one point in his life, he has a passion for working with indie’s on a budget and helping them succeed. For more information on how Ken can help you visit his website


How Copying Your Favorite Guitarist Harms Your Guitar Playing

Copying your favorite guitar players does not necessarily make you a better guitarist. Some great guitar players use inferior techniques even when they are proven to be inefficient.

Question: “Tom Hess, so why should I play any differently than my favorite guitarist? If it works for him, it must work for me… right?”

While some guitarists are able to play well using inefficient technique, this doesn’t mean you should do the same. Copying inefficient playing habits from them harms your guitar playing and keeps you from reaching your musical goals as fast as possible.

Here are a few things guitarists do that harm your guitar playing when you copy them:

Wrapping Your Thumb Around Neck While Playing

A lot of popular guitar players keep their thumb wrapped around the back of the neck while they are playing. Copying this prevents you from being able to play scales, arpeggios or licks that require stretching to play frets that are far apart. This also puts a lot of unnecessary strain on your fretting hand/wrist. Instead of wrapping your thumb around the neck, keep it around the middle of the back of the neck.

Wearing Your Guitar Very Low

It is popular among guitarists to wear their guitar low while standing. Playing guitar very low while standing makes it more difficult to play accurately. This occurs because you are unable to keep your thumb below the top of the neck. It forces you to bend your wrist, neck and back in ways that can lead to injury over time. By simply raising your guitar, you make it easier to reach notes and play accurately with less stress on your body.

This approach can also be practiced while sitting down. Simply sit with your guitar strap on to get used to how it feels. This way, when you play standing up it is easy to do because you are already used to the feeling of where the guitar sits around your shoulders.

Exclusively Using Alternate Picking

Some great guitar players exclusively use alternate picking in their music. Copying this prevents you from playing fast and clean by wasting tons of movement. Learning how to use directional picking saves a ton of movement in your picking motion and makes playing fast and clean feel effortless. Directional picking uses either alternate picking or sweep picking to reach the next note in the shortest possible path.


Scroll to top