What are your bad habits?
How do you recognise them? Does common sense tell you? Or logic? Watching others? Or the sound you're making? Or your teacher, if you have one?
What steps do you take to combat them?
And to what degree have you – in your estimation – so far been successful?
Kicking off, just three of the many currently concerning me are:
a) failing to consistently position my left-hand thumb in the optimum position under the neck. My teacher pointed this out a while back, and logic continues to reinforce the point. But I forget to, simple as that. I need to concentrate very hard during shifts – particularly when returning within a beat or two to the same position I started from.
b) collapsing my left-hand little finger (bending it at the final joint). Pointed out by my teacher. I find it hard to stop this – my instinct insists that collapsing it gives me greater security on the string and I'm less likely to slip off it (particularly the top string). But it isn't efficient, could damage the joint and is clumsy.
c) Crouching and craning too far over the guitar, particularly in more intimate pieces. I feel sure this is a bad habit, and not a little self-indulgent. I was watching a masterclass where it was pointed out to the participant that he was too crouched over, as if trying to draw the guitar into himself, rather than projecting outwards. Loosen the body and let the sound out.
I have many more I'm tussling with. But I'd like to hear yours.
"She ran the whole gamut of emotions from A to B."
(Dorothy Parker on Katharine Hepburn)