I am wondering about Justin's thoughts on "fixing bad habits" -- a process of "unlearning" or "re-learning" -- in relation to technique practice.
I have not played guitar in over 30 years and when I did, I was self-taught or taught by friends. Going through Justin's courses from Beginner through Intermediate and Fingerstyle, I realize that I have a number of basic, mostly hidden bad habits that I learned a long time ago. My worst bad habit is the thumb positioning of my fretting hand: I tend to "hold" the guitar with my palm, resting it on my palm. This causes my thumb to lie flat against the back of the guitar and my fingers to slant sideways, such that I clutch the neck between my fingers and the base of my palm, rather than squeezing the neck between my thumb and fingertips. This results in both a cramping of my hand, and muting of the first high E string.
I have a lot of other bad habits - everything from posture and hand positioning, to strumming, picking, string muting techniques, keeping the rhythmn, tensing up - so many! And they are things that pervade all my playing. I feel like because I learned things way back when "fast and dirty" and without a teacher to correct me, I carelessly built motor memory over and over again, and ended up being really good at repeating my mistakes!
I just spent some time looking at Justin's Technique and Practice sections, and the "Golden Rules of Technique Practice" caught my eye as relating to fixing bad habits.
1. PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT: Focus first on changing basic bad habits starting now and practice until it is learned.
2. START NEW THINGS VERY SLOWLY AND ONLY SPEED UP WHEN IT'S CORRECT: Go back and relearn songs, scales, exercises very very very slowly. Focus on quality, not quantity or speed.
3. KEEP ALL MOVEMENTS TO AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM: Economize on the new muscle movements that I'm learning; exaggerated movements are a bad habit, too!
4. UNDERSTAND THE POINT OF THE EXERCISE: Focus on fixing one problem at a time and really hone in on it until it is fixed in a comprehensive way. So I first noticed that my palm was hitting the high E string and either muting it or making a buzzing sound against my ring. I figured out that it was my hand positioning that was the problem, That then became the focus of everything I was doing; my hand positioning had to be good on every song, every exercise. I'm still working on building different muscle memory and strength in relation to that one, and not automatically going to the bad neck grip!
It would be great to hear Justin's thoughts on the best way to fix bad technique habits and how we can use his courses to do that. I'm sure he has many ideas up his sleeve for those of us who did not begin learning guitar his way! Tips, how he thinks about fixing bad habits, the most common bad technique habits, etc.