I’m sure I’m not the only one. I constantly play by looking down at my fretboard — a bad, bad habit.
Closing my eyes or looking elsewhere work to some extent, but today I discovered another trick that really mess it up for me, in a good way.
Play half-step down.
Plenty of recordings are done with half-step down tuning. Instead of concert E, the Es are turned to Eb.
Play along those with standard-tuning guitar.
Now, you can’t look at your fretboard. Because you can’t get that E by pressing where Es normally are. It’s confusing and frustrating, so I’m forced to look away, and play only the notes I’m sure will work.
A great way to practice playing by ear. If you’re trying to unlearn playing visually by looking at the fretboard, then try it.