Need help with right hand

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by ned911, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. ned911

    ned911 Member

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    First off I'm severely left handed but play right handed guitars. Right hand technique is what is holding me back at this point and mainly just trying to get my right hand to loosen up and relax.

    Anyone have any suggestions for exercises or other practice techniques to help.
     
  2. guildchild

    guildchild Member

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    ross bolton has a funk guitar book. the first chapter is all about isolating each 16th note. "1" and "&" are both down strokes and "e" and "uh" are upstrokes. 1-e-&-uh = D-U-D-U

    start by playing nothing but the 1's: 1-e-&-uh; 2-e-&-uh etc. then isolate the &'s. still a downstroke, sounds like the reggae beat. then isolate the E's and UH's individually etc...

    granted, this is mostly about timing in general, but if you do these exercises a LOT it will loosen things up for you. this book is basically the funk curriculum from GIT (at least it was when i was there). bolton made us do nothing but 16th note scratching for the 1st week, then we isolated the 16th's as described above for the following week. if you really take the isolation exercise seriously, your timing will become great and it should loosen you up. just make sure you use a metronome religiously and don't cheat yourself into thinking that you've truly got the "uh"s.

    lastly, i remember that when we shifted from straight time to swing is when i really figured out how to play loosely with ease and minimal movement.

    i'm sure tomo could shed some light!
     
  3. ned911

    ned911 Member

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    I've got Tomo's video/book but haven't had a chance to spend much time with it. Lately been doing warm up and scales with nothing but up strokes as that is far weaker than my down and it's been helping. Always with a metronome.
     
  4. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Maybe I can suggest something. Before I do that.. I need to know how you play.. Could I ask you a few?

    1) What kind of guitar, pickups do you play?

    2) Do you use an amp all the time? If you do, what is your amp setting?

    3) What gauge strings?

    4) What kind of pick, thickness do you prefer?

    5) Could you tell me more ...what exactly do you want to improve on your right hand? Many areas.... More specific please. Single note stuff?
    or chord/groove stuff?


    Tomo
     
  5. AndyFender

    AndyFender Member

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    When I play a lead, I noticed that my right pinky ever so slighty touches the pick guard. I noticed when Tomo plays a lead his fingers do not touch at all. I tried to play like that, with my richt hand kinda cupped. Only touching the guitar with my right elbow. I have not much control that way. My pinky helps to keep it balanced. I mean it just touches, like the thumb on the left hand it just acts as a guide and a stablizer. Should the pinky or ring finger touch at all? Confused!

    -Andy
     
  6. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Andy,

    Watch this. I slightly use my pinky (very very little)... but I constantly use my right hand palm to mute unwanted ringing strings...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70NQIkprTtU

    When you fix your technique.. you can't expect that you can play same way or same phrases... you need to expect 80% slower, 80% less notes, more space between your notes so that you can see/hear/notice something.

    I wanted to be able to play freely.. wanted to enjoy my life.. So I really commited to fix my technique. It was great idea for me.

    When you want to accomplish something big.. sometime you have to give up or make HUGE effort not to compare with others.

    Life is too short. Andy enjoy your guitar!!!

    How about finger picking and switching a front pickup to rear pickup?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb5SlQFXhAk

    Watch 16th feel solo.. I needed to move my picking position for those tone..

    Tomo
     
  7. ned911

    ned911 Member

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    Tomo-

    1) What kind of guitar, pickups do you play?
    Usually a Wolfgang or my Axis Sport or Super Sport, all have stock pups, bridge and tuners

    2) Do you use an amp all the time? If you do, what is your amp setting?
    Rarely use an amp. Live I've been using a POD XT Pro direct to the board. At home I've been using a Digitech GSP1101 with a Rockman XPR in the loop into my GuitarPort so I can practice silently.

    3) What gauge strings?
    10-45

    4) What kind of pick, thickness do you prefer?
    Picks are Everly with the star in the center 1mm thick.

    5) Could you tell me more ...what exactly do you want to improve on your right hand? Many areas.... More specific please. Single note stuff?
    or chord/groove stuff?
    Both single note and chord/groove. When I watch myself in the mirror it's very obvious that my right hand is really tense, just doesn't want to loosen up and be relaxed. Even when I think floppy it's still tight.
     
  8. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Thanks for your time. These questions are very important before you start.

    1) I prefer a Strat style guitar for improving rhythms, single note picking..because the shape of strat has very nice ballance like a acoustic guitar. You can strum very wide.. this will improve your right hand.

    2) Single coil... I prefer tone from your guitar all the way up(wide open)
    Brighter is better for listening..

    3) Please use an amp if you could... I had several students who used practice like you (what you mentioned above)... deep picking problems.
    Attack is always very hard...

    4) Do not use any effects. You even want to believe that a reverb is never exist.

    5) Strings.. Pick... very good!


    So you noticed something?

    Amp! I always to tell all my students. If you want to improve, please buy an amp.. even if you need to get a loan!!! Education for TONE.

    Set a bit brighter and louder so that if you pick a bit hard.. it should sound very bad.

    but how you pick... this makes your tone so different.

    Play waaaaaaaay slow. No need to use a metronome first.
    Insane slow!!! I think you still play things as normal speed.. and normal amount.
    Play less... make more space. How about bend ONE note... stay there 1/2 hour!!!

    Hold your pick so soft.... almost you are about drop...

    Left hand... move less...read my AYGP dvd's booklet. All there. Read it a few times please.

    Hope you get a few ideas.


    Tomo
     
  9. ned911

    ned911 Member

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    Tomo,

    Thanks I'll do that. I have an Egnater Mod50 with Vox and SL2 modules but since I'm usually learning cover songs the old lady doesn't want to hear Word Up 20 times :) I'll start using the amp.

    Ned
     
  10. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Hi Ned,

    You're welcome. When you practice, please use small amp if you can.

    "At home I've been using a Digitech GSP1101 with a Rockman XPR in the loop into my GuitarPort so I can practice silently. "

    See above... I am curious... what kind of sound/tone do you get?

    Tomo
     
  11. ned911

    ned911 Member

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    Since it's a Rockman compressed :) But the built in chorus really makes you sound big which helps in our 3 piece. I haven't used it live yet still tweaking. I'd post a sample but Cakewalk is acting up this morning and won't let me mix down a clip. The XPR does smooth and silky very well but doesn't do crunch, the EQ's let you de-Boston the sound and it's very easy to get it dialed in. Plan is to try it with band on Sunday at rehearsal, the built in mid-range really helps cut through too.

    Band's myspace is www.myspace.com/romanholidayband all the clips are Wolfgang --> cord --> Egnater since my pedal board decided to act up the day we were recording.
     
  12. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Thanks. I meant when you practice. Thanks for your clip, myspace page. Great! Take care.. Post something on YouTube!

    Tomo
     
  13. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    To me, the amp, guitar, pickups, etc., are all irrelevant to developing a good right hand technique. The key is to spend lots of time practicing. You can't get around having to put in the time. 3+ hours a day playing melodic patterns or lines is not unheard of. The more important question in my mind is the kind of right hand technique you are trying to develop. If it is funk rhythm playing, get tomo's dvd and spend hours every day practicing it. If you're talking about single line solos, what style are you trying to play?
     
  14. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I'm also left handed playing all right handed basses and guitars in normal
    right handed position.

    Nothing improves your playing more than dedication to practice.

    While playing with an amp or headphones does help you improve
    your attack and your overall tone, you can also work on finger excercises
    any time, watching TV or whatever.

    I have great respect for Tomo's program and as you can see from my post
    about ezrollguitar.com George Pittaway's technique is also worth your consideration, especially for right hand technique.
     
  15. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    He failed to answer the question about what kind of right hand technique he was looking for.
     
  16. ned911

    ned911 Member

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    Actually I did.

    5) Could you tell me more ...what exactly do you want to improve on your right hand? Many areas.... More specific please. Single note stuff?
    or chord/groove stuff?
    Both single note and chord/groove. When I watch myself in the mirror it's very obvious that my right hand is really tense, just doesn't want to loosen up and be relaxed. Even when I think floppy it's still tight.
     
  17. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    What type of single note stuff? SRV, Vai or Joe Pass?

    What kind of chord groove? Wes, James Brown, Scott Henderson or Pete Townshend?

    Your first mistake is posting this on a public message forum. If you wait long enough you will get 360 replies, all offering a different angle of what you should and shouldn't do. Find a good local instructor and get some personal instruction. If you send me a link to a video of you playing I will give you my insights.
     

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