Not so loud! How to play quieter rhythm?



  • woodamandwoodamand Portland, OR✭✭✭ 2015 JWC Favino replica
    Posts: 227
    Kind of what Michael said - I just use less force, more like a kiss of the strings, rather than a Lousiana lip-lock, if you get my meaning.
  • Thumb has a different sound from soft pick. Not better or worse, just different, different attack.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • bohemewarblerbohemewarbler St. Louis, MO✭✭✭✭ Jordan Wencek No.26, Altamira M01D-12 fret
    Posts: 243
    Here is a trick I use that might be helpful to you, and it's useful in keeping the pick from slipping around: lead with your knuckles and/or nails and let the pick follow that. Think of the pick as the "back-up" to the skin of your knuckles and or nails, depending on what technique you're going for. Your pick will strike the strings, but it's more like a follow-through. It's all one motion and you should include a rake on beats one and three while keeping your wrist and grip on the pick fairly loose but balanced. When you lead with your fingers you will forget about the pick even being there and the pick becomes one with you, kind of zen-like. When I'm accenting with the tremolo technique, I will use only the pick.
  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    Posts: 393
    Interesting. I haven't thought about that. And Robin Nolan seems to agree (his third tip here):
  • geese_comgeese_com Madison, WINew 503
    Posts: 465
    Matteo wrote: »
    Interesting. I haven't thought about that. And Robin Nolan seems to agree (his third tip here):

    I just saw this video this morning. Good tips here.
  • LorenzoLeJazzHotLorenzoLeJazzHot Naples, Italy✭✭ JWC Prima Jazz
    Posts: 41
    Well, I might be nobody to give a valiant advice, but since the right hand movement comes from the wrist, you should be able to relax the whole right arm when you play. I know it seems weird, but I have noticed that, expecially when you try to play fast you easily tend to contract the biceps. If you can just relax the arm you should be able to play quiter without changing the tone quality. I think that all the great masters of this music have always the right arm stuck and tender at the same time.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320
    At faster tempos it's easier to use all wrist rotation and less whole arm movement. At slower tempos you can use more whole arm movement if you want to get that kind of tone.

    I like his 3rd suggestion to allow the fingers to brush the strings and certainly a lot of players do that (and get the black marks on the fingernails/skin at the end of a gig). The only caveat is if you are just starting to do this don't jump right in and play 2 hours of rhythm without working up to it or you might end up bleeding all over the top of your guitar which won't be fun if you are right in the middle of a gig (don't ask how I know). Toughen up the skin a bit first by working up to it. Also, I don't know about others but my index finger has worn a permanent flat on the nail from playing rhythm for years. I've always worried about it wearing thru but it never has so NP but something to watch out for if you really get into letting the fingers of the right hand brush the strings.

    Also, keep the nails on the right hand cut short so they don't catch on the up stroke (which hurts!!) and send your pick flying. Then you have to finish the song with all finger!
  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    edited May 2016 Posts: 1,457
    I thought this video patrick posted on wednesday had some nice dynamics and some "piano/forte" in the rhythm playing

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