Don’t Wash Your Face Before a Fingerstyle Guitar Gig!

I have a tip you will thank me for later, and it’s all about right hand fingerstyle guitar technique.

Don’t wash your face before you play a gig.


Yes that’s right. Don’t wash your face.

It’s a great tip that my classical teacher showed me when I was 15 years old, and somehow my memory served it up the other night as I was going on stage.

Sometimes when you perform, you’ll find that your hands and guitar get sticky. Yes, if you are not used to it, it can freak you out and make you nervous.

Here’s what happens to me a lot of the time:

The audience finds their seats. So now, lets say 100 people or more are sitting a room and everyone is breathing for 25 minutes, and windows maybe are not open.

Trust me, it gets hot and sticky.

If you are coming in from a place (maybe backstage) where it was relatively cooler and dryer, the sticky-ness will descend upon you and your guitar very suddenly. YUCK!

If this happens to you, try this (I only do it with my right hand finger tips, not the left.)

Rub your fingertips (or fingernails) on your greasy nose. Yes, get that grease & oil all over your finger tips. Then rub your fingertips together (one hand only) to spread that lovely nose grease evenly all over the tips – where the strings will touch.

(Try this now if you are at home.)

Now, go to play your guitar and watch with amazement as your fingers slip off the strings more easily.

Cool, huh? You just beat the sticky-ness at least for a few minutes.

And – after the gig, you can wash your face.

If you liked this post, please comment below!

Adam Rafferty Rethinks Recording CDs & Distribution

Note: This article is NOT a gripe & whine session. It’s an inquiry of “what should musicians do now that the game has changed?”

  • Below I will outline 12 points.
  • Items 1 – 6 diagnose “the problem” with doing things the old way in the today’s environment (it’s a mismatch)
  • Items 7 – 11 become solution oriented, so yes there is hope! (we have to think differently)
  • Item 10 is my big AHA moment and I describe what I may do next

[Read more...]

Practicing Music or Practicing Guitar Technique – What’s Better?

Adam Rafferty guitar technique
Often when we hear a soulful musical performance we can’t imagine that the “wonderful music” had to be practiced technically.

Even though we are “feeling it” as listeners, much more than “feelings” had to go in to it.

Master musicians look at music from all angles, musical and technical.

Master musicians love it all…music and technique. They go together.

[Read more...]

Announcing – the “Fingerstyle Favorites” iPad Mini Winner!

Thank You!
Thank you to everyone who bought “Fingerstyle Favorites” last week! If you purchased between July 8 – 15, 2014 you were automatically entered to win an iPad Mini.

Here is the Prize Drawing – Captured on Video…
It’s about 5 minutes long, and I want you to see how I did the drawing. A few of you asked how I would do the drawing so that it was fair and random.

Watch Now to find out if YOU won:

4 Tips for Keeping Your Guitar Arrangements Under Your Fingers

A student just asked me the question from the “Ask Adam” page.

“Adam…..I have a problem of remembering songs I’ve already learned
when they haven’t been played in a couple of weeks…usually when I’m
concentrating on new material. How do you keep it all under your fingers?”

When I learn a new song, or am writing a song I have to almost have to “forget” every other song I know.

For example, I recently came up with an arrangement for “Killing me Softly” and I had to
play nothing but that song for a week.

[Read more...]

For Fingerstyle Guitarists – Effects & Tapping vs Melody

Two Hand Guitar Tapping

This weekend I got a chance to listen to some wonderful young guitar players, but it brought me back to an issue I try to explain over and over when I teach workshops.

Many fingerstyle guitarists today are forgetting about the most important aspect of music – melody. I think this is due to a basic lack of musical study, and the lack of asking the basic question “what is music?”

Without an inquiry into what music actually is, one can get lost by simply copying whats trendy and popular on Youtube and in magazines.
[Read more...]