Advice Sought on Weird Left Hand Fingering Problem

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Misterwogan, Jan 26, 2013.


  1. Misterwogan

    Misterwogan

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    The problem applies mainly when I'm played 8th note patterns at around 120BPM.

    So image a G Major scale played at that tempo.

    When I use a pick, I can play that pattern at that tempo all day. Now put the pick down and pluck with the index and middle fingers - the plucking fingers are fine with the tempo, but the left hand fingers suddenly become retarded, as if they've forgotten how to do it. I can do it - but at only 60% of tempo.

    My left hand feels very, very different when I'm plucking with the fingers, less capable if you like. Then use the pick again, and the left regains its confidences. The right hand feels the same with pick or fingers.

    Any ideas on how to deal with this?
     
  2. cjmodulus

    cjmodulus

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    It kinda sounds like a left hand/right hand coordination issue. What I'd do is slow down your metronome to half of where you're at (so 60) and play the pattern in 8th notes at that tempo. Then bump it up by 20 bpm and do it again until your comfortable at that tempo. Use smaller increments if you feel it's necessary. Whenever I'm working through a tough pattern doing this tends to help my hands to work better in sync with each other.

    Also, run a search through here on plucking hand exercises. There are a lot of great ones on the forum that can help you to build some confidence in your right hand technique. Once that confidence is built up it shouldn't be too hard to get your hands to work well together.


    As always, IMO, YMMV, etc. best of luck!
     
  3. fearceol

    fearceol

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    Seems to me to be a coordination problem. Start with the tempo you are comfortable with, then increase gradually.
     
  4. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

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    What you are experiencing is the left hand and right hand fingers not co-ordinating...its a common issue. Your hands are working together, because you can play with a pick, so you left hand fingers all play to the string your pick hit. Now add the fingers, you are using in effect two things to hit the strings now, not one any more.
    So there is a 'lag' in the fretting hand because your fingers are trying to relate what fingers match up.

    You have to be careful when practicing scales you do not create a dependancy for the fingers to expect to work to patterns, which a scale is. So practice scales changing the leading finger each time, so the depedancy does not become an issue. on the fretting hand start our scales and play over two octaves at least, with the forefinger, then the middle finger, then the ringfinger, then the little finger.
    Play each note eight times, then repeat four times, then twice, then once. You will get the feeling you are getting faster, but all that is happening is the changes are coming round sooner, the tempo is still the same, but you will trip or hesitate as your brain works out what is what to co-ordinate the hands.

    This link demonstartes the exercice being played over a single octave C scale, but the framework applies to all practice of scale, triads and arpeggieos at some point in a players development.

    http://youtu.be/u_DV8jtZSm4

    You will have to find new routes to play the scale starting on a different leading finger, some will be individual of each other, some are blends of each other, but they all start with a different finger.
    On the plucking hand changes the lead finger each time, and when using a pick alternate between leading on a down or up stroke. Do them slow and deliberate and all will come good, then just add the tempo you want.

    Tempo can only be worked on once the hands have worked out the motion and co-ordination...if not they 'trip over each other trying to match tempo and co-ordination.
    If you have ever ran a three legged race you will kow exactly what i mean, its the same principal.
     
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  6. Misterwogan

    Misterwogan

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    Thanks for the highly detailed response. I've had another go at analysing this and what I've come up with is very simple. My plucking fingers seems to be spending too long on the strings, so as to get the right volume and so the left hand slows down to stay in sync. Whereas with the pick, I get full volume with just the minimum contact.
     
  7. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

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    You have it, its the lag effect, the fretting hand is lagging to the plucking hand. All techniques in plucking, whether with fingers or pick require the plucking hand follow the fretting hand.
    The timing between the two is barely noticable with a good technique. If the note is not fretted fully, then plucking it will not create a true note with tone, in effect you are either plucking to early or plucking to late (the string has just been released so it is still not fully fretted, in each case the note is no fretted but the reasons are different.

    This is why we practice evrything slow and deliberate, it allows both hands to work together, we never try and make one hand come up to the other, if it couls it would have already done so and there would be no problem.
    What we do is we bring the dominant/use hand down to match the level of the other, then practice slow to allows them to snyc at that speed, then we just increase the speed gradually and the two hand learn to deal with it and their use is balanced.
    Only when this is done can a technique be truely worked on because now both hands now work as one, learn as one, develop as one because both hands have the ability to match each other as one.

    The golden rule, if you cannot play it correctly slow, you will never play it correctly fast....it all about to relationships to timing, that is the timing of the music to the technique and well as between the brain, the senses, and the hands, the faster the reaction time here the smoother the technique.

    Good luck with it all, and practice slowley.:)
     

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