Developing physical capacity of both hands

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by dinvincible, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. dinvincible

    dinvincible Member

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    I am learning guitar in a way that I broke down the whole process in segments and then focus on those individual segments separately.So one of those segments is developing physical capacity of both hands to perform most difficult and variety of techniques used on acoustic guitar.

    Watched hundreds of videos and jotted down some major areas which I need to work on.I have been working on them and I guess I am making really good progress in all of them (thanks to this practice schedule thing)

    I noted following things:

    1.Travis Picking exercises

    2. Chord Transition exercises

    3.Slides,Hammer ons & Pull offs

    4. All percussion techniques like thumping,thumb slapping,tapping,strumming along with drumming etc


    I am sure there are a lot more things like different finger picking patterns or more techniques like percussion etc

    But the thing is I am not aware of those.So I request you senior players to throw some light on

    1.First of all if its alright to learn all these fancy techniques and develop capacity of both hands to perform all difficult stuff?

    I mean after all its about repetitions and muscle memory.I have been doing these exercises from last 15 days for about 10 hours a day.I used to see people like sungha jung and wonder how they can do it and now I feel I can easily copy what they are doing i.e. atleast the physical aspect over 5 minutes song.

    2.If I am going the right way,then please tell me about more such things,maybe difficult fingerpicking patterns or some really difficult songs which can use to train my fingers to do some tough stuff or things like slap harmonics etc etc

    And its not that I am just focussing on physical part.

    I am learning music theory from kostka and payne + youtube lessons,
    following steve krenz's L&M and fingerstyle lessons to understand guitar.After learning the basics and getting familiar to sounds of different chords,I will start trying to play songs by ear too.
    and obviously I will be going in great details while doing those too.

    But right now I just want to know about more techniques and difficult stuff so that I can include exercises related to them in my practice schedule to train fingers and hands.

    Sorry if I sound naive and some of the questions doesn't make sense at all.And thanks in advance
     
  2. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Can you play a song Joe, the barber, will like? Do you ever play with others? That's the most important technique.
     
  3. dinvincible

    dinvincible Member

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    Well I am a beginner Sir.Never played with anyone.I bought guitar about 4 months ago but first three months I just tried to understand things related to it.I mean different aspects of playing guitar.
    I prepared a rough practice schedule which included different aspects of learning guitar.Started working on them separately and I guess I am really liking this way.
    I mean watching some of the beginner's videos look waste of time now.Though they are important from understanding point of view but atleast I am able to do some travis picking,play a few fingerstyle songs,do complex percussion exercises,difficult chord transitions.For instance this barre chord thing sounded like a difficult thing but after a few days practice I can do it.So I guess its not a bad idea to develop the physical part and keep developing other aspects alongside.

    So the only reason why I asked the question is to know somethings which I am missing in my practice schedule or guitar workout :D
     
  4. dinvincible

    dinvincible Member

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    Or maybe I should have made it simple.

    I just want to know if I am missing some things like tapping,slapping or some complex finger picking pattern?
    I am sure there are so many possible finger picking patterns but the idea is to learn difficult ones,so that easy ones won't feel hard to learn.
    I never picked a plectrum,so don't want to practice with it.But if there are things which are considered as difficult,physical capacity wise,then please throw some light on them.

    thank you
     
  5. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    What do you strive for musically besides playing Twister on the fingerboard?
     
  6. MartinPiana

    MartinPiana Supporting Member

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    Technique is a wonderful thing in the service of music. It is so frustrating to me to not have the technique I need to play something I want to play. And so I constantly have a part of my daily practice that is strictly about teaching my hands to do something new (and help me get a better conceptual grasp of the entire fretboard). There are endless exercises like this. Right now, I'm playing simple major mode scales, four notes per string - one way to get up and down the neck smoothly. And I'm playing major mode scales in each of the five positions with a different three-note pattern than I've used before (for instance, Bb mixolydian starting on the A string, 5th fret: D C Bb/ F Eb D/ Ab G F etc) . And for the right hand (and my sense of rhythm), I'm working on samba patterns from Nelson Faria's Brazilian Guitar Book. Those things are a mf for me, but I love that music.

    But I think it's important to play something musical each day, something where I am making music, where I feel the music and feel it come through me. That's what makes the practice worthwhile. I once told a teacher I was working on technique more than songs so I'd be better able to play the songs later. He said, "That's like being a stockbroker who wants to write poetry so he works hard to he can retire and write poetry but then goes most of his life not writing poetry." That made a big impression on me.
     
  7. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Sure, if you want to.
    Sounds like it's working then.... :)
    My problem with these questions is it sounds like you're more interested in learning techniques than in playing songs.

    Do you want to be a guitarist, or a musician?

    It's just my personal view, but it's always been music that's my main interest, and the guitar merely a tool (an imperfect one, and not the only one) for achieving that. So I always learned only whatever techniques were required to play the next tune I wanted to learn, and no more.
    Naturally, I steadily acquired more skills that way, most of which were applicable to many songs, so the process became easier. But the music was always the governing thing. So, in the 50 years I've been playing, I never learned things like (eg) sweep picking, hybrid picking, tapping, pinch harmonics, because I the songs I wanted to play didn't require those things. I don't thereby regard myself as deficient: I never need to play those things.

    Of course, if you're the sort of person who enjoys skills for their own sake, that's fine. I won't be coming to your gigs, but I doubt you'd miss me... ;)
    Good. You should be doing that from the start, IMO. I mean, it sounds like you're well beyond the basics already, and could easily start doing it now.
    Why do you want "difficult stuff"? Personally I try to avoid difficult stuff!
    I mean, I often find myself having to learn difficult stuff, in order to get a song right (or to be able to improvise in a certain way), but I don't seek it out for its own sake.
    It all makes sense, and you sound like you have a commendable commitment to learning, and loads of energy!

    From what you say, you're doing nothing wrong (your theory resource, at least, is about the best). I would suggest focussing much more on tunes and songs you want to play, if only because you may be in danger of feeling "all dressed up and nowhere to go".
    IOW, ask yourself what you're learning all these techniques for? If you know music where they can be applied - and you like that music - fine. But if you're just developing physical dexterity (and theory) to an extreme because you think that's the most important thing, I'd disagree. It's a little like weight-training until you're muscle-bound, way beyond the strength you'd need in everyday life, just because you think big muscles look good.

    My advice would be: develop the techniques you need, in order to play the music you like. Don't go beyond that (until you need to, of course).
    Don't practice techniques; practice playing music. (That contains all the techniques you really need.)
    But then, like I say, that's just my $0.02. Technical skill, by itself, doesn't interest me much, but others set great store by it.
     
  8. dinvincible

    dinvincible Member

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    First of all thanks for taking your time to reply,especially when questions are related to some fancy stuff :aok

    "My problem with these questions is it sounds like you're more interested in learning techniques than in playing songs"


    I am sure my questions sound like that.But its not that I just want to learn techniques.
    I added these things to my practice routine bcoz first of all I like playing drums.So percussive techniques looked awesome.

    Secondly I wanted to learn in a way that I get a head start.I mean in a way where I can start as many things as possible right away.Obviously I cannot start composing music straight away but developing physical capacity is something which anyone can do just by repetitions.

    And most importantly It gives extra motivation to practice.Practice become interesting.



    "Do you want to be a guitarist, or a musician?"


    I thought a lot about this in past few months and came to conclusion that obviously I want learn music,that is the priority,but I want to become a good acoustic guitarist too,who can make arrangements interesting using different techniques.
    Afterall good music is something which sounds great to anyone who hears it.

    "I would suggest focussing much more on tunes and songs you want to play, if only because you may be in danger of feeling "all dressed up and nowhere to go"."


    Yes I want to learn some songs but only those which help in becoming a better player.I asked for such songs in original question.

    I mean its even more interesting to learn a song which can teach you some new techniques or fingerpicking patterns.
    I am searching for some good songs by fingerpicking greats.I am trying to learn those just for sake of exercise and developing fingers and hands.

    But I don't wanna learn songs to play them for people around me.No friend of mine knows that I have a guitar.I guess I just love the instrument and want to learn the best I can.

    Its something like delayed gratification.I wanna wait until I can figure out songs by ear and then make some original arrangements of mine instead of imitating sungha jung or others like him.

    In short,I feel that if one loves playing an instrument then he/she will automatically try to get the most out of it.

    Thanks again for reply Sir
     
  9. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Subscribe to Guitar Player magazine young Jedi.
     
  10. GLB98

    GLB98 Member

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    I have had somewhat the same approach as you describe to my playing, albeit with probably less energy and discipline. But the statement 'I'll get my technique to an 'acceptable' level and then make music' resonates with me.

    But I think it's wrong.

    Firstly a realization I've had- for years I perceived playing as primarily a problem of the fingers. I'd get those fingers working, and the music will come. I don't see it that way now. Making music is firstly a matter of hearing. You ( or I do anyway) have to play music to really hear it. Your ability to hear will progress along with your ability to play, in a synergistic and interdependent way, IF you play music.

    Secondly, it's easy to make habits. You're making the habit of thinking that you're not ready to make music yet. At whatever rate your skills increase, your perception of your deficiencies will increase further. You run the risk of never being ready. So start playing music now.

    So pick some songs you LIKE, regardless of whether they are challenging* or require some technique, and play them. Record yourself, judge yourself, play them some more.

    Also I totally get your point that your aren't interested in playing for friends, that they don't even know you have a guitar. My recommendations above apply equally, even if you only ever want to pursue playing as a solitary thing.

    * It's my opinion that to play the 'easiest' song in the world, to play it well and fluently and musically, is not so easy.

    Now off to take my own advice, instead of 'working' on technique and vocabulary.
     
  11. dinvincible

    dinvincible Member

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    I kinda knew that you'll will confuse me with someone who just wants to learn some fancy stuff and I totally understand your concerns as experienced musicians.

    But I made it clear in original post itself that I am working on most of the areas on which a beginner can work and I guess I am doing more than a beginner in most of those areas.

    Again I totally understand your concerns.You'll know what is worth pursuing and focussing upon and I am working on those areas too.

    Thanks everyone for ur replies :)
     
  12. LagunaMan

    LagunaMan Member

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    Great musicians can make the most beautiful music using only minimal skills. The way they do it, is they listen to what they're playing and make it more musical by altering timing, phrasing, rhythm, etc. They understand music and what it suppose to sound like. If you can get to this point then the technique will come naturally the more you play. No amount of technical skill will make you a better musician if you can't hear the music you want to play. Start by making simple chord progressions and single note melodies. Keep practicing until it starts to sound musical, imo.
     
  13. dinvincible

    dinvincible Member

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    That makes some sense :bow
    Thank you :)
     

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