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Practicing my guitar...without a guitar...

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(@thegrimm)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 119
Topic starter  

I find I spend a lot of time waiting in places where I could be, oh, practicing on my guitaring...For example, I spend a good 10-15 minutes a day waiting in my car.

Sadly, carrying my guitar along is a bit impractical, and it's a little difficult to play a guitar in a car anyway. But I could be practicing / learning scales, if only I could carry the neck of my guitar along.

I was wondering if anyone had some tricks for such occasions? Would a piece of cardboard with the frets and strings marked be worth trying? I would at least be able to work on the scale patterns? Or perhaps a piece of wood with actual strings. Or an old guitar neck maybe? Is it possible to buy such thing? A practice-guitar-neck sort of thing?

And has anyone else resorted to such desperate measures?

Anywhere else, I suspect I'd get shot as a freak for asking such questions. But not here...no, definitely not here...


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(@davidhodge)
Member Moderator
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4485
 

Or maybe you're thinking about something like the PraxAx, which you can read about here:

https://www.guitarnoise.com/review.php?id=225

Don't even know if they still make these but I would imagine you could make your own if your somewhat handy.

But an important thing to remember is that there are a lot of things you can practice without a guitar at hand. Strumming rhythms, ear training, sight reading are three important parts of playing that don't require an instrument. Getting to know more theory is right up there, too.

Peace


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(@lee-n)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 142
 

At bed time I used to count frets instead of sheep :)

Seriously, a lot of my practice gets done while laying in bed at night or sitting around with nothing to do. Just visualise the fretboard and run through scales, chords, keys, intervals, notes, arpeggios or whatever. If you are sitting around with a notepad and a pen then there is tons you can get on with and for some things it can be more bennificial as it forces you to think more.

Lee


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(@ak_guitar)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 48
 

I have a Traveler for such occasions:

http://www.travelerguitar.com/

Wouldn't part with it for anything. Of course, I wouldn't want it to by my only guitar either.

Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:2-4


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(@coloradofenderbender)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1120
 

I try to visualize the fretboard and work on scales, etc., when I am sitting around, waiting in traffic, etc. One way I found to help me do this, is to print out a fretboard, with a scale on it. Check out this website, it was set up of bass players, but you can print out scales for just about any stringed instument, in just about any tuning:

http://www.studybass.com/tools/chord-scale-note-printer/


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(@guitarteacher)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 46
 

If you play classical or fingerpick, you can practice arpeggio patterns on your leg. It will provide just enough resistance to imitate the strings. I've worn out many a right knee in a pair of jeans doing this.

If you want to be good, practice. If you want to be great, you must constantly change the way you think.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 52 years ago
Posts: 0
 

The problem with a travel guitar (I'm assuming) is that you wouldn't want to leave it in your car because of heat, etc. If you're willing to have to remember and lug it, then it would be a nice way to pass the time.


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(@gallileo)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 14
 

Here's a good left hand exercise I do when I don't actually have my guitar with me. Many stringed instrument players do it.

With a relaxed left hand, hold all fingers together gently.
Now move your first finger as far as possible to the left, leaving all the other fingers in place.
Now move the second the same way.
Now the third.
Now the fourth.

Now go back the other way.

The third and the fourth will be pretty hard to move independently. That's why you are practicing it. To work on independent movement.


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(@coloradofenderbender)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1120
 

Not sure I understand the exercise. I tried doing it, as you described it, but how can you move the middle fingers without having the outside fingers in the way? I must be missing something.


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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

If you don't mind the comments, the weird looks and the possible intervention of the vice squad, you could always buy a "Little Fretty", an invaluable aid for just such occasions (or many others for that matter)
http://www.fretocizer.com/

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


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(@coloradofenderbender)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1120
 

Greybeard:

I have seen those things in the various guitar magazines. I am not sure a police officer would believe that it is a guitar teaching aid, if you were pulled over and that was on the passenger seat!


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(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1472
 

I bought an $85 half size lightweight guitar for such occasions. If something happens to it, i'm not losing much. the guitar brand is called Amigo; it has a real spruce top so it's actually not too bad quality.


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(@gallileo)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 14
 

Not sure I understand the exercise. I tried doing it, as you described it, but how can you move the middle fingers without having the outside fingers in the way? I must be missing something.

Let me try to show it with characters. Pretend these are your four fingers on your left hand:
||||
Now move your first finger right as far as you can:
|||/
Now move your second finger right as far as you can:
||//
And so on:
|///
////

Then back the other way.


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(@coloradofenderbender)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1120
 

Okay, got it now. Do you put your hand on a table or hold it out in the air?


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(@nexion)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 536
 

Did they have to make the Little Fretty so suggestive? I'm sure there were some better designs that one. Just the name Little Fretty is bad enough.

"That’s what takes place when a song is written: You see something that isn’t there. Then you use your instrument to find it."
- John Frusciante


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