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Finger Trouble!!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by danny3k, Oct 6, 2001.


  1. danny3k

    danny3k Guest

    May 26, 2001
    Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
    Hey all!!

    I have a little problem with my right hand, my fingers are working good, I can play easily with 3 fingers, but backwards: 3, 2, 1. And for some styles I don't feel confortable playing like that, I would like to play better like 1, 2 and 3, what exercises do you reccomend me??
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    3-2-1 is a more natural than 1-2-3 IME, and I use it too when I play with three fingers.

    When you want to practice other permutations, I'd recommend practising 4th, then 8th on one note (e.g. the low E).
    3-2-1
    2-1-3
    1-3-2
    etc.

    Go through the permutations one at a time and try to get to a point when it's comfortable for you.
    Don't start playing scales and such in the beginning.
    Concentrate on the right hand.
     
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I'm with JMX. I play with 3 or more fingers, and it's almost always in the backwards motion. Starting with my index just doesn't feel right. There's absolutely nothing wrong with starting with another finger; whatever is comfortable to you is right.
     
  4. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    An interesting thing I picked up from a Billy Sheehan video (who is my housegod when it comes to technique usually) points out the importance on playing 321-321-321 or 123-123-123 instead of going 123-212-321 or whatever since your middle finger will work twice as much as the other fingers, which arguably will make the technique unbalanced.

    /lovebown
     
  5. danny3k

    danny3k Guest

    May 26, 2001
    Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
    Thank you all, JMX, Angus, Lovebown, pretty interesting answers that you gave me... I'll tell you what have I done ;)

    Thanx
     
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Yeah, I forgot to mention that, thanks lovebown.
     
  7. "<i>...middle finger will work twice as much as the other fingers, which arguably will make the technique unbalanced.</i>"

    Unbalanced?

    I don't get that cult of alterning fingers. It sort of assumes that you're playing a relatively fast set of notes of same length on the same string, without any break between notes. Real life playing is not like that. I use whatever finger is on the string I want to pluck. That's how Gary Willis plays and he certainly doesn't sound unbalanced.
     
  8. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    Hmm...well... real life doesen't really require three fingers in the first place?

    All I'm saying is your middle finger will work twice as much, and that's a fact, use whatever feels comfortable to you.

    /lovebown
     
  9. leper

    leper

    Jun 21, 2001
    just thought id kinda hijack the thread...its related

    I play alot of really fast passages in my band that i just cant cope with using only the standard to fingers...the problem is that I have a really hard time keeping the notes sounding even using 3-2-1 3-2-1 (everything starts to sound like the intro to bonanza...i start slippin towards triplets). I tried using 4-3-2-1 but my pinkeye is kinda short and I have to rotatate my hand as i play, which slows the whole thing down even more...so im back to either 2 or 3 fingers.

    My question is this: can you guys recommend any exercises or books of exercises etc to help develope my third finger?

    thanks a bunch, and i hope that was too confusing;)
     
  10. leper

    leper

    Jun 21, 2001
    come on...in the poll about how many fingers 3 is winning,so i know at least a few of you guys have gotten good at this...how?
     
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Try doing 8th on the same note and accent the beats.
    ONE-and-TWO-and-THREE-and-FOUR-and-ONE...

    It's good to exaggerate a little. Play it much louder than the other notes, at least louder than you normally do.
    You'll notice that you'll play the downbeat with a different finger each time.
    Practice this at a slow tempo until it's convenient.
    Then gradually increase the tempo.

    You also practice this with 16th.
    After a while you'll notice that your 3-finger technique will sound more even, and you won't fall into the "triplet trap" as often anymore.
     
  12. danny3k

    danny3k Guest

    May 26, 2001
    Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
    Explain me that a little, My english isn't good enough.
     
  13. ChrisIsOurTime

    ChrisIsOurTime

    Oct 9, 2001
    That's how I've been learning. Just playing one note and accenting every 4th note.

    Would there be any advantage of 3-2-1 over 1-2-3? For some reason 3-2-1 never even occured to me. Ultimately I'll probly get both down.

    My main problem I find is that the joint closest to my fingernail isn't as flexible on my ring finger as my other 2 fingers. This only seems to be a problem on the G string were my ring finger has more of a tendency to come of the string too hard and the sound and time isn't consistent. I guess I just need practice but does anyone have any advice? I dont take lessons now so I don't wanna start doing something really wrong with this new finger. Anything important I should know?
     
  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    3-2-1 is more ergonomic in my opinion.
    Check out the video of "Live Performance of Recuerdos de la Alhambra" by Sharon Isbin.

    http://www.guitar.com/features/viewfeature.asp?featureID=250#LESSON

    It's classical guitar and she uses four fingers for her tremolo technique, but it shows basically the same technique. Her fingers move like the legs of a millipede - very smooth!
     
  15. The best exercise I've found so far is what Gary Willis does in his video.

    3rd on G, 2nd on D and 1st on A.

    Pluck G with 3, mute G with 2. Pluck G with 2, mute G with 3

    Pluck A with 1, mute A with 2. Pluck A with 2, mute A with 1.

    Reset to initial position.

    Do this very slowly and softly. Do it by putting accent every other note (well, modify that part at your will). More important is to practice stuff you already know with the discipline of muting a note before playing another one and to keep every unused fingers on the strings, ready to play. Using three fingers won't make you faster by itself, it's how you use them.