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Watch the Pentatonic Picking Exercise 2 online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Beginner Blues-Rock Soloing

I'm going to take this opportunity to talk about keeping your body as relaxed as possible when playing or practicing. Keep your fingers low to the fingerboard and keep your pick motion as economical as possible. I highly suggest using something like your iPhone to video yourself playing and take a look at your technique. This is extremely helpful as it may show you things that you cannot see while you are playing or from your vantage point. It also gives you an opportunity to listen back to how you are performing the exercise, which brings me back to what I was talking about in the earlier section: Ask yourself, does it sound good? Am I playing in time? Are my notes enjoyable to listen to?

These are excellent questions to ask yourself at all times. I still record almost all of my gigs so I can listen back to myself. More often than not, I'm horrified! But what’s always clear is what I need to work on, and what things I think I'm doing pretty well. Both are extremely important to know.