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If you secretly find yourself checking out the mirror to see if you look cool holding your guitar, it might be time to start making it a habit. A mirror actually gives you a visual perspective you don't normally have during typical practice. Here are some tips for using a mirror to diagnose issues with your playing:


Looking in a mirror while you play will help you see any issues with posture. Are you slouching? You will identify this immediately with one glance.

Hand Positioning

Examining your hand position in a mirror will reveal potential issues with your technique. Look to see that you are avoiding the hyperextension of your wrist, that your fingers have a good arch and that you are playing on your fingertips. Make sure your fingers are close to the fret and not on them. You can also see if you are moving excessively while playing, which can significantly slow you down.

Finger Placement on Chords

Looking in a mirror while grabbing a chord can reveal any problems getting there. Are certain fingers are moving to their spots too slowly or to the wrong locations? By seeing this while hearing the results, you'll be able to make the fine adjustments needed to place your fingers accurately and efficiently on each note of a chord.

A very important tool for professional musicians is recording their performance on video so they can analyze any technical issues that might not be noticeable while they are playing. So don’t feel too vain about checking yourself out. It doesn’t have to be part of your everyday practice, but looking at yourself occasionally can prevent you from committing to some poor habits over the long term.

For a technique that will benefit from using a mirror, watch this video on delta-style fingerpicking. And if you're not a member of Fender Play yet, click here for a free 30-day trial.

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