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Left Hand Speed Exercises

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Da_Niet, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. Da_Niet


    Jan 23, 2003
    Hey all, it's been a while since I last posted and checked this site. Anyways, I would like to know what is the best method for my left hand to pick up the slack. My right hand seems more adept at picking(I use my index and middle fingers) speed than my left is for its fretting job. The result is slightly less than desireable arpeggios, scales, and runs. Don't get me wrong, they might sound ok to someone else(probably a non-string player), but to me, I think I can play better.

    Thanks for any info you can forward.
  2. ryuujin


    Jun 1, 2003
    Delaware, OH
    I too have this problem. Any advice on speeding up my left hand would be greatly appreciated.
  3. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I also like doing arpeggios... start slowly,go up chromatically and increase in speed with every knew arpeggiation
  4. 12notes


    Jul 15, 2003
    Learn the techniques from the spanish flemenco guitar players. ;-)
  5. Da_Niet


    Jan 23, 2003
    Learn the techniques from the spanish flemenco guitar players. ;-)

    Ha! If only it were that easy.:rolleyes:
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I'm in the same boat so I guess we're 'weird'...most of the stringed instrument players I know have an 'overdeveloped' fretting hand vs. their striking/plucking hand(they'll cheat by using hammer-ons, pull-offs, etc).

    I would never say I play 'fast'.
    That said, I have improved a little over the past 30 years. A finger-per-fret approach with minimal movement(i.e. 'economy of motion') PLUS thinking fast is what to strive towards.
    Muscle memory plays into this, too.
    There have been a few threads about some, what I call, mindless exercises(can be done while watching the NFL, NHL, etc) that can help with keeping the fingers 'on-the-neck'.
  7. I think I'm in the same boat here...I can get pretty much all the speed I need out of my right hand by either using 3 or 4 fingers (whatever I need) but it just doesn't seem to match up with my right as well as it should. I guess it's just that I need more practice....on to that..:D
  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The only way to play fast, is to play slow.

    General left hand speed excercises I'd say, would be just running scales and arpeggios and stuff, simple stuff.

    but, when it comes to playing a song, it's a whole different ballpark, the songs phrasings and patterns might be totally different than any arpeggio or scale that you are used to, and thus your fingers need to work more to get the songs movements down, and the only way to do that is to practice *VERY* slowly, lock it in your muscle memory, and then you should be able to play it as fast as your fingers will possibly allow.

    of course, you don't want to rely too much on muscle memory and stuff, because then you stand to risk getting caught up in the patterns and movements and then you need to start from the beginning and stuff.

    I'm not making much sense I'm sure, but think of it like this, a lot of people don't know the alphabet, they know a song, you ask them, what letter comes after P chances are they will think for a moment "A-B-C-D-E-F-G" singing the song to themselves, until they get to P in which case they will respond Q of course, but they had to go through that song to get there, it's a similar thing if you only internalize the movements, and don't actually learn and break down a song, and really learn the notes and their relationships to eachother...etc etc blah blah blah.

    hope that helps :meh: