How important picking dynamics relax left hand in order to make your singing phrase?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Tomo, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    I think it's really easy to pick harder with overdrive pedals than you need to.

    Here is example go from clean sound into od pedal.

    I set my OD tone a bit louder than clean(just a hair). When I go solo with od pedal. I use my picking control
    to play a bit softer, I add more picking nuances as go with my solo...

    This way you have 3 steps picking dynamics control by your picking. Please remember this...
    You really need to work on how to relax your left hand/fingers too. No too much pressure!
    It's not easy at all. Because we look after the positions too much, we rends to forget about
    how important these approach.

    Hope you find more fun playing. Above all. It's supposed to be fun. Not work.

    Clean tone to OD tone playing picking dynamics

    Listen this and think. Hope you will notice something.

    Tomo
     
  2. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Yep, hand control of a guitar is difficult - thanks for reminding me to release my "left hand grip of steel", Tomo.

    "Hand dynamics" is way more important than what gear you're using for tone control!!!

    Best, Pete.
     
  3. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    Great post Tomo! You have an amazing touch.

    Many players, IMHO, are "heavy handed". When I first played through my Fuchs ODS, I discovered that I could go from clean to dirty by varying my pick attack.

    Funny thing is, when I gave my guitar to other players, they couldn't do it.

    It's like speaking. Whisper, speak softly, talk in a normal tone, speak loud enough to be heard, shout, yell, scream. (Just an example of the dynamics in our speech.) I suggest trying the same thing when playing.

    Left hand too. Try playing without your thumb behind the neck. You'll soon discover how little left hand pressure is needed to fret the notes.

    All great players have dynamics. SRV, Larry Carlton, to name just two.
    Relax, and don't forget to breathe.
     
  4. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Hi Pete,

    I have taught many "Hard hitting" players. So no problem.

    Once you get technique you will have Tone control & Volume control
    built in you! Very cheap way!

    Your gears will express more with your touch! It's all fun.

    I just wrote this somewhere today. It works really well.
    Many versions of these...

    ???I am really picky about my clams, muting technique. I was just teaching
    my tape lessons.

    I have many lesson ideas... but this one really works.

    1) Play slow blues in A. Using triads & bend(very specifc line as a etude)

    2) Play with overdrive pedal. Brighther setting.

    3) Play like a clean tone. So you have to pick notes
    really soft. If you hit normal, you will hear gain from od pedal.

    4) Play chords. 9th riffs with overdrive on. So that you can hear
    your noises from your left fingers.

    There are many things to follow this ex. That's what I do everyday.
    That's why I am into my lawn!

    Tomo
     
  5. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Thank you so much for your kind words. Most player tends to play without amps or set too low volume
    ,not enough brightness, too much mids, bass... these covers all essence of good technique to produce
    good tone, touch and nuances. I have been working on these issues with many students at Berklee and others.

    I do same way to explain this as your voice. Most people sounded like screaming all the time.
    Whisper, some sexy talk(someone good at your own voice! Just transfer that idea into your guitar playing)

    Thanks for adding. Left hand without thumb is really easy way to see the difference. Many other way
    to understand this left hand problem. Most people tends to follow "right hand shapes" so shape sounds
    are correct, but tone isn't sometimes.

    I think if someone has better tone control(feel & technique), people could enjoy more playing through even
    just amp and guitar.

    Hope this will help some degree to people.

    Thanks,

    ES335 soft nuance R&B solo


    Tomo
     
  6. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Tomo,
    A quickie for you.

    My daughter is 9 going 10 and because she had a great year at school I just bought her a Strat and a Marshall (mini of each)........

    As an unschooled member of the guitar playing fraternity can you suggest to me a book course that I could use in conjunction with me to teach her?
    I have some bad habits that I don't want to pass on........She's beginning to read at school whilst learning the Recorder and she starts on the Flute in September. Grateful for your advise.
    Btw which Metronome do you recommend?


    Best, Pete.
     
  7. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Yes, I can help you deeply. Please email me. I would like to
    make this suggestion more personal. ok?

    Teaching children .... really important to have a few choices.

    Thanks,

    PS, Music is supposed to be fun. No homework! We have to
    do some trick for that.

    Tomo
     
  8. SouthernShred

    SouthernShred Silver Supporting Member

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    Great lesson Tomo. Still enjoying your first DVD. Hope to see more English versions of the rest of the series. I just toured Berklee last week as I was up there for a conference for work. Now to figure out how to get my wife to let me quit my job and apply...
     
  9. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Thank you so much for your kind words.

    I hope so .... I am going to produce more Accelerate series.
    Drums 4 and Bass 3 !!! AYGP has 1,2,3,4 and special etudes dvd
    (based on tunes).

    So you were at Berklee. I don't teach summer aat Berklee.
    but if you come down here in Boston... you can catch my private
    lesson? Sooner to strat is better than waiting. "Just do it"
    thing. If you want to do that, just email me in advance.


    Tomo
     
  10. mr.mattphisto

    mr.mattphisto Member

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    Tomo,

    What an amazing clip! I am really trying to develop "my" tone as of late because the answer cannot always be, get another pedal for that tone.

    Some of the great jazz players can cover a lot of ground with very little gear. I didn't realize that I was a heavy-handed player until I read this thread and heard your samples....man do I need to practice playing in a new way now.

    I like the way you equate the guitar to the voice of the musicians. I am really good at screaming all the time, now I need to learn of to whisper.

    This helps me understand the connection between my guitar and my hands in relation to my tone. Great stuff!

    Less time looking at my next pedal purchase, and more time playing guitar...:crazy
     
  11. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Tomo,
    Email sent.
    Many thanks!

    Best, Pete.
     
  12. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Thank you so much! It's really easy to follow finger shapes, positions, because it's visual
    and quick satisfaction. Same as pedals. buy one, it seems like you are getting that tone,
    maybe... but if you could control your own playing more, you could have many tone variation
    texture in both of your hands as if you have many pedals.

    Sometimes jazz guitar player could stay that "Jazz guitar sound" many believing about
    must have "13-56" strings for big jazz tone. Rolled off guitar tone? I believe that you are
    limiting your tone range and it's easy to dig in and play hard, because you can't hear
    the subtly over your top end sound as if it muted. I like 10-46 for regular electric guitar.
    This way you can play with relax feel of your left hand... It's tough to understand by words.
    I usually do this mostly explain by sound.... with simplest example.

    This is another example playing by feeling, finger picking, more like plucking ..
    and a bit edgy not all sweet stuff. Sometimes you want to show your emotion,
    anger, sadness, other than just sweetness. Maybe some bitter sound?

    Play music! Good blues. No scale and no theory. So I played those simple
    phrases on 2nd string only(for a while).... A lot of feeling!

    just blues with harder tone dynamics

    PS, We all like overdrive sound, but clean tone has some beauty too.
    Just plug your guitar into your amp and just enjoy your TONE!
    Try to speak with your guitar, even just one note... Depth into your note,
    You want to feel your guitar playing as extension of your body....
    your tone will speak to you. You just need 2nd string to play E blues.
    I want to say more... I should stop here. More later....

    Thank you for listening.

    Tomo
     
  13. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Hi Pete,

    Thanks for your email. Sorry for waiting. I get so many emails
    lately or I can't catch up. I just to have to finish another 250
    emails in Japanese and English! Glad to not know another...

    Thanks for asking this. It's really important for me too.

    Good Luck,

    Tomo
     
  14. Brian D

    Brian D Member

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    This clip from the "Let’s See Your Favorite YouTube Vids" thread might give some insight into the potential to create tone and dynamics with the hands and fingers alone. He doesn’t use a pick, but if you listen to the whole thing you can hear how he gets an impressive variety of tones from both of his hands.
     
  15. e-z

    e-z Member

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    Tomo,

    This is an important idea you've brought up. My classical teacher has had me do exercises where I have to apply only enough pressure to sound the note without buzzing. It's difficult! This thread reminded me I need to keep at it so last night I practised this on the electric. Thanks for inspiring me to work harder.

    ez
     
  16. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for this "clip" Master! I wish I studied classical guitar. So many things to do!

    Many guys into more soloing. So I made myself into more groove and tone, nuances,
    other beauty with simple thing.

    Thank you so much for this. Great way to learn from acoustic instrument. Even acoustic
    people could dig in too much.

    I also recommend use just finger pick instead of using regular pick. The point is people
    need to notice something the person haven't notice before.... Having good left hand mute.

    Today I just finished a couple of tape lessons. i did lesson with rear pickup only to
    hear more unwanted noise and hear the left hand sound(comes from pressure).

    I also did "Overdrive lesson" using CJOD to play soft and notice unwanted pull off
    from left fingers. many topics in simple concept.

    Thanks for this clip again.

    Hope we can help more people!



    Tomo
     
  17. Brian D

    Brian D Member

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    I'm glad you enjoyed that clip Tomo, I know that I sure did. The thanks should go to frascati, who posted it on the YouTube thread for us to enjoy.

    It makes a big impression on me to read how you decided to focus on groove, tone, and other nuances in your playing. I realized years ago (back in the 80's) that I wasn't dedicated enough to become the next great lead guitarist, and that it would be better for me to work on adding feeling, touch, and timing to the stuff I could already play. Even though you are far more advanced than I am, your decision to focus on these things as well inspires me to keep doing the same thing in my own playing. I think that your dedication to these aspects of guitar really shows in your playing, and makes you a truly unique voice on the guitar.

    I usually practice my guitar unplugged, and I work on getting touch (from both hands) when I do. But I'm starting to realize that I really need to practice "plugged in" as well, because it is a different thing to get the same dynamics when you're amplified. Even so, there is a lot to be learned from playing acoustically, as you said.

    Thank you for this thread, it has really made me focus on touch and dynamics again in my practice. It also points out that I need to focus more on my left hand pressure, and muting strings. You always have great ideas and bring a unique perspective to playing guitar, and I have learned a lot from reading your posts!
     
  18. Brian D

    Brian D Member

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    I'm going to try this as well ez. I bet it's a lot more difficult than it sounds! Back when I first started playing guitar I checked out a "classical guitar" book from the library and I remember many such exercises. Classical guitar is a whole different world, and I admire you for pursuing it.
     
  19. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for writing. i went to Berklee Fall 87". I was a huge fan of Larry Carlton, B.B.King, Joe Pass.
    Earth Wind & Fire. At that time, everyone was into Sco, Metheny... many styles. I have transcribed a
    few Mike Stern's solo... (I love Wes, Kessel, Christian, Green, Burell... ) I thought I am not good at
    soloing that much. I need to decide something different... Then I realized I was good at playing
    funk rhythm. After I graduated from Berklee... I joined the blues band. My guitar & just Fender
    Pro Reverb. No pedals. That was really hard to make great tone! That was another great lesson.
    I thought I need to get more emotional depth in my tone ...not licks! Everyone can play licks.
    Then I was into making better tone.... just bend one note or stay on one string, you know?
    simple stuff. One night I was trying to imitate my cat's cry sound by my bending & vibrato for
    long time.(just one note... I still do this. ) My wife really thought I went to CRAZY!!! I am also
    really picky about time and I treat as if I am a drummer. I could practice just time.

    So make this story short. Even teaching, now I am specialize those area of playing.
    That what I get from students (at Berklee) People want to make sure their fundamental
    for being better advanced or check their time feel, muting technique, clean technique.
    less pressure on left hand. Many things that you can't see as visual.

    When you unplugged, then you need to imagine as if you are using your tube amp.
    So your picking touch and nuances are not spoiled. Another word, you can't hear
    enough sound from your guitar. Sometimes, I play my acoustic guitar in front of
    my children. Then don't want hear me playing, so I play so soft that nobody can't hear
    but I can hear in my imaginary amp? Same way, I fool around with my Ukulele
    in my living room. Play really soft with my fingers. Play tunes, challenge Uke solo?
    just like solo guitar, any popular tune,"Over the rainbow" ? Jazz blues?

    Thanks for stopping by. We have to share any good ideas to others. I had a good
    conversation with Larry Carlton. I told him my life story... how much I got influenced
    by him. I can't explain the details but he told me... keep playing your guitar
    and we all need to share "Fun" good music. Good music, good tone!

    I will share with you more story. by now.

    Uke Blues to jazz

    Tomo
     
  20. Brian D

    Brian D Member

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    Tomo, all of your clips are great but that Ukulele one rocks my world! I love your phrasing. Well done!
     

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