The­ory God­mother

Guitar Techniques - - • Contents • November 2014 • -

An­swers to your mu­si­cal and the­o­ret­i­cal is­sues.

Posty­our­play­ing­poser­sandtech­ni­cal­teaser­sto:The­o­ryGod­mother, Gui­tarTech­niques,QuayHouse,TheAm­bury,Bath,BA11UAore­mail info@david­mead.net.Every­wishisy­ourGod­mother’scom­mand!

SPEED­KING DearThe­o­ryGod­mother

I’mnew­tothe­gui­tarand­have­ac­tively been­learn­ing­foraboutayearnow. In­theAu­gustis­sue,Ide­cid­ed­to­take acrack­atPhilHil­borne’sOne-Minute Lick:Pow­er­fulPen­ta­ton­ic­sand­came away­won­der­ing.Atav­erys­lowBPM Ican­playthis­rel­a­tive­lyeasily,bu­tas soonasItry­to­bumpitupIbe­ginto lose­fo­cus,and­myfin­gers­don’tco­op­er­ate. toin­crease­thetem­poand­by­how much,tomax­imise­mylearningofa par­tic­u­lar­piece?Thankyou!

Pe­dro Therule­with­ad­vanc­ing­metronome speed­sis‘slowly,slow­ly­win­s­ther­ace’. Youfind­aspeed­wherey­ou­can­play al­ick­o­r­riff­per­fect­ly­with­nomis­takes, andtheny­outakeitu­pas­in­glenotch ata­time.Wheny­oufind­thes­peedat whichit­be­gin­sto­fal­la­parta­gain,you re­mainthere­and­prac­ti­seitun­ti­lyou can­play­it­cor­rectly–and­soon,un­til it’sup­tospeed.How­ever,ifyou’re­new tothe­gui­tarthis­lick­calls­for­some­fairly ad­vancedtech­nique(seeEx1).Iasked Philto­com­ment,and­he­saidthis:“That lick­isalit­tle­unusual;al­thoughit’sbased on­aPen­ta­ton­ic­scale,thei­deawas tou­sein­ter­val­san­dle­ga­tovi­aslides, ham­mer-on­sand­pull-off­s­tom­akea less-than-typ­i­calclichédlick.Ithinkin this­case,somein­ter­valex­er­cis­eswould help–as­would­workingat­be­ing ac­cu­rate­withtheafore­men­tioned tech­nique­sand­po­si­tion-shifts,too. Also,Iput­fret­ting-handfin­geringon this­lickan­di­tisim­por­tant­to­fol­lowit, par­tic­u­lar­ly­in­re­gard­to­get­tin­gitup tospeed.”Wise­words­fromthe­mas­ter him­self–hopethishelps!

FINGERINGQUANDARY DearThe­o­ryGod­mother

As­gui­tarists,when­we­learn­scales intheirindi­vid­u­al­boxshapes,they come­with­theirownsetoffin­ger­ings forthat­par­tic­u­lar­shape.How­ever, when­weim­pro­vise,arewe­sup­posed toad­her­e­strict­ly­tothosefin­ger­ings? There­a­sonIask­is­be­causeIhave re­cently­been­teach­ing­gui­tarto some­teenagers,which­has­mademe close­lyex­am­ine­howI­doth­ings;and

Ex1

Ex2 AmPen­ta­ton­icBoxShape1,5thfret–cor­rectfin­ger­ing

Ex3 has­made­me­won­derifthe­wayI’m teach­ingth­emiswrong.Manylicks are­some­time­seasier­to­play­with fin­ger­sthataren’tinac­cor­dance­with the­way­we­learn­scale­shapes–and some­times,cross­ing­be­tween­shapes or­bend­ing­note­sisal­soeasier­with the‘wrong’fin­gers.Arethefin­ger­ings we­learn­forscale­shapes(andin­deed arpeg­gios)pure­ly­tolearn­wherethe note­sare­and­buil­dourtech­nique? Oris­there­amethod­be­hindthe mad­ness,and­should­we­st­ickto thosefin­ger­ingswhen­im­pro­vis­ing?

Ria Rockand­blues­gui­taris­not­known forit­sortho­doxy.Bu­tifI­thinkbackto the­dayswhenIwaslearn­ing­clas­si­cal tech­nique,Ire­mem­ber­play­ingscales an­darpeg­gios,strictlyad­her­ingto there­c­om­mend­edexam-syl­labus fin­ger­ings.Butwhen­it­came­timeto lear­nanew­piece,myteacherandI would­often­spendtheen­tire­les­son workingout­the­me­chan­ic­sof­play­ing it.Thatis,we­woul­dad­ju­s­tand­mod­ify fin­ger­ing­sun­tilthe­p­iece­wasaseasyto playaswe­judged­pos­si­ble.The­same,I be­lieve,istrue­with­rock­tech­nique.We learn­thePen­ta­ton­icboxshapeswith fin­ger­ings­liketheoneshown­inEx2, in­order­to­prop­er­ly­co­or­di­nate­hands, pick­sandfin­gers.Then,when­we­be­gin to­tack­le­tran­scrip­tions,weadaptin or­der­tomakethe­lick,rif­for­what­ever aseasy­forthefin­ger­ston­av­i­gateas pos­si­ble(seeEx3­mor­phin­toEx4).

Inorder­to­pre­parestu­dents­for vary­ingth­efin­ger­ings­they­have learne­datthescale-play­ingstage,I would­be­gin­byshow­ingth­emvery sim­plePen­ta­ton­iclick­stha­tre­quire sub­sti­tut­ing­th­ethirdfin­ger­forthe morescale-ori­en­tat­ed­fourth.As­long as­theyre­alisethatthethings­they’ve learnedinthe­class­roomhave­tobe ad­just­ed­forthe­re­al­world,thenthe pro­cess­will­slowly­be­comeau­to­matic. Spen­da­cou­ple­of­lesson­sshow­ing Soweal­l­knowwhatwe’retalk­ing about,aki­ne­si­ol­o­gis­ti­samed­i­cal pro­fes­sion­al­whos­pe­cialis­esinthe me­chan­ic­sof­body­move­ment.Iwould al­sosaythatI’mnoti­nany­wayqual­i­fied toof­fer­med­i­cal­ad­vice–it­wouldbe reck­lessto­doso,in­fact.Hav­ing­said that,thead­viceI­givepeo­ple­tostay­out oftrou­ble­with­con­di­tion­s­likeRSIisto keepthewrist­sasstraigh­tas­pos­si­ble andt­hearm­sas­re­laxedasy­ou­can. Amis­takeIsee­often,is­gui­tarstraps worn­solowthatthere­sult­ing­play­ing po­si­tion­in­volves­thewrists­be­ing­bent atright-an­gle­sandthe­backarched.I knowatleasttwopro­fes­sion­al­gui­tarists who­suf­fer­back­prob­lem­sasare­sultof the‘lowslung’syn­drome.It­might­look cool,bu­tit’snot­good­foryou!Ihave been­toldthatAlexan­derTech­nique can­be­ofhelp­with­e­lim­i­nat­ingten­sion; ayo­gateacher­canof­fer­ad­vice,too. You’ve­tak­en­the­firstim­por­tantstep inask­ing­forad­vice,butI­would en­cour­agey­outo­con­tin­ue­seekinga med­i­cal­lyqual­i­fiedan­swer,ify­ouwant tomakesureyou’re­play­ingsafely.

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