Re: Fretwork. Easy or not?
- From: Matt McGrattan <matthew.mcgrattan@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 18:20:20 +0000
James Weston wrote:
Sometime ago someone on the group suggested an exercise where the thumb is taken off the back of the neck while playing to limit the pressure you can apply. I have tried this and found it great: I then know how to play with the hand really relaxed. When you put the thumb back to play normally, just aim to keep the same relaxed feeling and to minimise the pressure you apply with the thumb.
yeah, very useful exercise to learn to use the weight of the arm rather than the wrist and fingers to apply pressure.
I can play barre chords on an acoustic with a high action with my thumb not touching the back of the neck. Very instructive as it revealed how much pressure I was using before.
"Adrian Clark" <sfocata@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:sfocata-4287A1.12550616012006@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
In article <43cb8cc6$0$23291$db0fefd9@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Steve <steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
The exact same issue I have - I'd be grateful for any pointers to "train" my fingers to be lighter.
One thing to realise it that it's not just a physical thing... you're also training your ear to recognise the errors, and from there, your ability to react upon aural feedback. Once you learn to hear an 'incorrect' intonation, you'll immediately be able to respond by correcting the note.
Personally, I wouldn't bother using a heavier gauge of string. I'd stick with your normal gauge (or even a lighter one) because that's where heavy-handedness will be more apparent.
You could try the little exercise Matt suggested. Play a note repeatedly on any string (try all of them for best results) pressing firmly to get a clear sound. Veeeeeery slowly release the pressure until the string starts to buzz, then slowly re-apply the pressure, but only enough to make the note sound clear again. If you're like most people you'll find you're now applying a lot less pressure than when you started.
A lot of these "excess pressure" problems, in my experience, are also connected with excessive finger movement. Watch how your fretting hand moves when you play (or film yourself if you have a digicam). If your fingers are flapping around a lot, you're not only wasting energy, you're also making it harder to control how the notes sound when your fingers eventually make contact. For a few minutes every day, play a few of your usual licks and exercises, but concentrate really hard on using the absolute minimum of movement, without compromising the sound of the notes.
It's a lot harder to correct these intuitive movements than it is to learn scales or chords, but it's well worth the effort.
-- BLOG: http://www.spaghetti-factory.co.uk MUSIC: http://www.sfocata.co.uk
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- From: James Weston
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