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  • Eye discipline

    Posted by Maydog on March 26, 2021 at 1:22 am

    1. I have recently discovered that if I move my eyes to my next chord, string, scale, etc. so that I am looking at it before I actually move my hand in that direction, my accuracy is much better. I still haven’t made this a habit, but I am working on it. As soon as I get to the chord, string, scale, etc. I start looking at where I’m going next. It really helps.

    2. When I am playing E and Am shaped bar chords, if I look at where my middle finger needs to go, it helps my accuracy.

    3. I have decided that I am going to spend a minimum of 10 minutes a day playing with my eyes closed or covered. I am hoping it will help me feel what I am doing.

    Do any of you have any routines or disciplines involving your eyes? I would like to hear about them.

    the-old-coach replied 3 years, 1 month ago 8 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Loraine

    March 26, 2021 at 4:14 am

    I’ve noticed the same thing that if I look ahead to the next chord I am more accurate, but I can also transition better. I do play with my eyes closed sometimes too. I also take the chords of a song and just practice 2 at a time over and over, and then I move onto the next 2 chords, and this is helping with my transitions. I also do the same 2 chords and have to play them accurately and clearly 10 times in a row. If there is even 1 chord that is not clear, then I start over.

    • Maydog

      March 27, 2021 at 8:02 pm

      Thanks. I do the two chord transitions too. Open Dm gives me fits.

  • Sharon_T

    March 27, 2021 at 9:35 pm


  • N-lightMike

    March 27, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    I’m not sure I can add anything to what you’ve said @Maydog , but I totally agree. I must have the next chord or lyric in my brain before I start making the move or I just go blank. Also, I have run across the advice to play with my eyes closed or play in the dark more than once. It works. 😃

    • dr_dave

      March 28, 2021 at 1:39 am

      I have to weigh in on the “eyes closed” approach mentioned by @Mike-Gaurnier . I’ve been doing that for a few years and it’s pretty much of a habit. I rarely play with my eyes open. Occasionally I need to look at my fretting hand for hard transitions or at a sheet of lyrics if I’m unsure about them, but for the most part I play and sing from memory. I usually memorize songs pretty quickly.

      • Maydog

        March 28, 2021 at 10:35 pm

        @dr_dave ,I knew you did this and that helped me decide to give it a shot. I’ve been doing this only for a couple of days now but at times I think I am playing cleaner. If I had to guess, it is because I am more mentally focused with my eyes closed.

  • Michael_D

    March 28, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    Interesting thread, @Maydog. The one minute chord changes are what I try to do. (Justin Sandercoe suggests this). I have read suggestions about playing with a blindfold or eyes closed to learn to play by feel. I have not tried to do so. Let us know how it works out.

    • Maydog

      March 29, 2021 at 9:19 pm

      @Michael, this is what I think after a few days of playing with my eyes closed and/or just not looking at the fretboard:

      1. Ironically, I think it helps my focus. I can’t explain why for sure, but probably because I’m forced to focus on what I’m doing if I am to stand any chance of playing blind. My mind drifts a lot and having my eyes closed seems to help lessen that.

      2. By the 3rd day, noticeably fewer mistakes. I seem to miss my root note frequently and I am missing less frequently since I began playing with my eyes closed.

      3. Licks and runs prior to a chord change seem to come more naturally.

      Here is what might be happening when a person plays “blind”. If a person has been practicing in a focused manner at least several times per week for a few months, that person’s brain has recorded where the strings and frets are. When the eyes are closed, the player has to rely on strumming, plucking, fretting, sliding, bending, etc. based on where he thinks the strings and frets are. So the brain kicks in and says, “Hey, I can help with that.” Either that, or these are just the musings of a wanna-be expert.

  • was-Dan

    March 29, 2021 at 6:04 am


  • the-old-coach

    March 30, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Maydog- and everybody else— This is a great thread!

    It is thoughts, ideas, hints, etc like these that are a HUGE help along the way.

    Mark J

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