Getting your fingers out of the way

edited October 2023 in Technique Posts: 4,776

When playing this arpeggio at a faster tempo, I make this unwanted pull-off with my pinky over the B string. This is over Bossa D backing track. I start with 1/4 notes, then 8th, then 1/4 note triplets, all good, then at 16th notes this stuff happens, it's in the last part of the video.

Anyone else had this happen that you solved and how? I suppose focused practice is the most obvious but there could be an aha moment waiting out there...

Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel


  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 874

    you change your lines, they are not consistent across the board, that said no secret, they should be all picked if you are trying to accomplish what I think you are trying to accomplish. The other side of that is so you pull off, who is going to care at a fast tempo. personally I pick every note of that figure...but not sure who cares.

  • edited October 2023 Posts: 4,776

    Oh the reason for inconsistency is I had the backing track looping the section of E7 so then I could only play parts of it during more stretched time feels. it's based on the same arp though. Maybe you're right and it's not a big deal. But I wanna be able to be fluid. Occasional fart is fine but consistently doing it, I'll either practice to clean it up or I won't be trying to play it at that tempo. For a while at least.

    It could be that I had my answer, a part of it in nothing else, in the mailbox this morning at the same time I decided to post this. I get newsletters from Noa Kageyama, performance phycologist, and this morning he sent out an email with this interesting study. It's about "positive errors". They studied two groups of people trying to improve hitting a baseball. One group studied hitting the ball the right way the whole time and followed the tips from coach telling them how to improve. The other group was asked to hit the ball in all the wrong ways. Then one practice session was devoted to hitting the ball the way they should. Both groups improved in the end. But the 2nd group improved more. The one that was told to do it the wrong way at first. So, doing it wrong and getting a feel for that before switching to doing it right, will make doing it right stick better once you clearly know what not to do. Positive errors.

    Now to find a way to apply this to guitar practice...

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 469

    I tend to stay in the positive errors phase.

  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 874

    Others will say you are training muscle memory to do it wrong. I don’t have the answer, I just know there is two sides to that one.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,312

    I've heard that too. That is why people always say to take it slow, so that you build the correct habit first. At least, that is the reason given. It would be interesting to read the results of this study.

  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2023 Posts: 874

    Maybe playing guitar using a bat is the solution, or hit a curve ball with a guitar.

  • ChristopheCaringtonChristopheCarington San Francisco, CA USANew Dupont MD50, Stringphonic Favino, Altamira Chorus
    edited October 2023 Posts: 187

    Hey, something I might be able to help you with!

    I struggled (and still sometimes struggle) with certain complex passages. Practiced slow, nailed slow. Built up to speed fine. In the wild fast I'd miss.

    I added cold-start fast practicing licks "muscle memory knew" but I would miss in the wild. I would warm up before hand, but then go straight to fast tempo practice with those specific licks. Marcus Miller and Danny Gatton talk about how fast speeds can need a different technique, that's actually harder slow. You have to just try things fast and sometimes adjust for only that.

    What I end up doing is figuring out "which of two paths do I go down?"

    1st - Do I adjust my technique? For example Adrian Moinard uses pull-offs in the top string when going fast, but picks everything when going slow on the same lick:

    Or 2nd - Do I have to consciously think about this lick when played fast? If I've figured out my issue and what needs to be different, I let my fingers auto-pilot. I focus on nothing but the issue for a split second and what I need to do. Not timing, not dynamics, not the rest of the band - just landing the flashy move.

    Sure, I have to take a small pause or slow note afterwards, but that just gives people time to digest the flash.

  • richter4208richter4208 ✭✭✭
    Posts: 522

    For that lick I use my ring finger instead of my pinkie for that note on the 5th string, Maybe unhelpful for you and your practice, but it's better for me

  • Posts: 4,776

    Regarding practicing bad habits, Noa makes it clear that these are two different things, enforcing bad habits vs trying things even if it means the wrong way to then make it right. It's too bad I can't link his newsletter here, I couldn't find this same article on his website.

    You hear that a lot, you can't make mistakes when you practice, practice perfect in order to play perfect. To me it's a difference between practicing and playing things wrong without hearing that there's anything wrong vs being conscious of it and striving to clean it up. Noa actually sent a newsletter prior to the last one called "the perils of perfect practice". That one also touched on that subject of how much perfect practice is valuable really. I don't want to put words in their mouth so that one is here if anyone's curious

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Posts: 4,776

    When you said 5th string, you probably meant B string (on A string I am using the ring finger) which is where I use the pinky. Yeah I'm kinda stubborn about using the pinky. But what I do is the pinky is supported by ring and other fingers. My feeling is people avoid using the pinky because they see it as the weak finger. Well maybe it is so but it's the only that has no support from it's neighbors so my theory is if you keep it close to the ring finger, it's not the weakling anymore. You can kinda see in this video how I do that.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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