How long before my right hand knows where the strings are?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by tomkatzz, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. tomkatzz

    tomkatzz Member

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    I've been playing since Feb 2007. I play/practice about an hour or more each day. But I don't seem to be improving.

    I watch my left hand's fingering on the neck. But my right hand w/pick is all over the place.

    How long before my right hand knows what the heck it's doing?
     
  2. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    Skip using the left hand for a while and try this: pick the notes alternating between up and down strokes playing from the Low E to the high E. Try all kinds of approaches, triplets, skipping strings - E to D for example.

    There are many things you can do without using your left hand. Personally, I think people focus far too much on their left hand while neglecting their picking hand.
     
  3. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    practice and patience, and a few exercises, try string skipping and one string solos, to get used to playing on a string. also playing each string in order going up and down, with a chord,

    a couple suggestions,

    1) my palm is on or above the bridge when I play, so I can palm mute the strings,

    2) for single note solos it helps to mute the unplayed strings, SRV could mute all six strings when he played which allowed him to continue his strumming while soloing, once you know how to do its pretty easy, thumb over the top to mute the E and A string, fretting finger will mute the string above and below the played string with the padds of the finger, the index finger can mute the high e and b strings, you know you have it when you can strum all the strings only play the one you want, after a while it becomes second nature, its a skill you need in a band, since all unmuted strings will actually sound because the noise on stage alot of the time, you can also palm mute which will restrain the strings that are not played with the pick.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
  4. Ooogie

    Ooogie Member

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    What right hand exercises are you doing now? If you don't have a good routine Tomo's AYGP has some great exercises for building your technique.

    Mark
     
  5. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    As noted above, your right hand is actually the important hand. You have made the common error, often encouraged, of thinking that he left hand is where all the action is. Ask yourself, why do you voice the notes with your dominant hand ?
    Your right hand is never going to magically "know" where the strings are, until you train it.
    Tomo's stuff is undoubtably good, Petrucci's Rock Discipline is very good too.
    Close your eyes and start to find your way around without looking, that really helps.
     
  6. doublee

    doublee Member

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    AustinRocks thats a great description you gave there, it gives me some ideas thank you...
     
  7. Qman87

    Qman87 Member

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    I had a similar problem for a while. What I ended up doing was planting my pinky on the pickguard so my fingers/ pick was always in roughly in the same place before I hit each string. It helped me keep things consistent and feel out the strings. I still doing it when I play sometimes.
     
  8. diego

    diego Member

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    If you want your hands to know where they are on the fingerboard, don't watch them. Your mind is much slower than your hands... which is why you don't watch your feet when you go up and down steps... it doesn't work so well. Take some time each day to purposely play without watching your hands. You might have to slow down at first, but you will be surprised at the difference and improvement.
     
  9. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    :agree with everything above. It will happen, just stay with it and be patient.
     
  10. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    I can't fully agree with this...yes, the right hand is important, but the left hand is fundamental in getting proper tone, muting, vibrato, legato. The magic of guitar is getting both hands to work in sync...

    Why do we use our writing hand as our picking hand....well, probably because picking (esp alternate picking and circle picking) is alot like writing. Small controlled motions with the thumb and index finger working in opposition.

    Cheers

    Kris

    PS: to the OP...it helps (for me anyways) to have some kind of physical reference for your right hand. I tend to play with part of my palm touching the bridge, and often have my pinky finger barely touching the high E string. This gives my some cues as to where the edges of the strings are.
     
  11. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Yes, the left hand does a lot, true, but the right hand creates the music. The OP implied that he had predominantly worked on his left hand, and thus was having right hand issues.
    Of course, both hands together "voice" the note, but so often novices and teachers neglect the right hand. I had a friend totally fail at learning guitar because of this a few years ago. He was so focussed on his left hand, and his right was just wandering and struggling.
    Ironically, it was him starting lessons that triggered my return to guitar, and I did not have the understanding then, that I have now, to help him out.
     
  12. fiddler

    fiddler Guest

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    +1

    I tend to over use this (paraphrased) quote, but, anyway, as Roy Bookbinder says:

    "Your left hand is what you know, your right hand is who you are" (reverse this if you play "lefty"....of course)
    [​IMG]
     

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