To Look Or Not To Look

You know a common question lately has been whether or not to look at your hands while you practice and play your guitar.

The simple answer to this is to look at your hands every chance you get.

But in practical terms, that's not always so simple. I'll explain…

When you first learn a piece of music, you have to read the music, at least to some degree. Even if it's just TAB, you have to look up and see where to put your fingers.

This tends to create the tennis match between your hands and the page:

– you look at the music to find the note
– you look at your hands to make sure you've found it
– you look at the music to find the note
– you look back at your hands to make sure you've found it

… and on and on and on. It's very tedious.

So try this – don't look at your hands when you look at the music. Just try and put your hand down where you think it should go, and play the note.

Once you've struck the note, if it sounds wrong, then look down and fix it.

But if it doesn't sound wrong, it's probably right, and you should continue on. In this way you'll get better at not looking.

HOWEVER – once you kind of have the music, or at least some portion of it, memorized – you absolutely should look at your hands.

Learning the music and practicing the music are 2 very different things, and it's important that you look at what you're doing.

In other words, look at the music when you're *learning* the music, and look at your hands when you *practice* the music.