If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering what this “pen test” is... and how a simple biro pen can help you get clearer sounding chords.
After teaching all levels of players (from beginner to advanced...) for over ten years… everyone hates it when their chords don’t ring out.
It’s frustrating when your guitar doesn’t sound the way you know it should…
And it can be demoralising when all you hear are those irritating “thud” sounds.
This “pen test” is something I’ve done on students for years. It doesn’t matter if I’m teaching a child, or a 72 year old…
It’s always helped them to achieve clearer sounding chords.
So what is this “pen test?”
When I see people play chords… oftentimes this part of their finger is blocking the higher sounding strings from ringing out:
This means no matter how hard you try… your guitar will NEVER sound good.
The fix is dead simple though…
All you need to do is get the part of the finger I showed above to stop blocking the sound.
And this is where the pen comes in…
I should be able to pass a pen through someone’s palm like this:
And when this happens… the part of the finger that was blocking the string now can’t.
The “pen test” forces your finger to stay away from the string. And this is what helps achieve clearer sounding chords.
I’ll admit, this is only one piece of the puzzle to get clearer sounding chords.
There are many factors to achieving this… But the pen test is a big one. (Maybe I’ll talk about the rest another time.)
If you (or someone you know…) suffers from this problem… try the pen test.