Monday, January 16, 2012
Intermediate - Advanced: String Skipping Excercise
-Start slow! Try 80-90bpm before warming up to 120bpm and beyond! -Palm mute that E string! (Palm muting the E on the D string is optional - try alternating each time)
-Try Alternating between accenting the E played on the D string, and playing the high-E, observe the tonal differences.
-Play to a click! (PLEASE) -Don't be intimidated by the single then double string skip, keep a close eye on your picking hand - make sure the tip of your pick isn't moving beyond what is necessary to pick from the low E, to the D(string), to the high E -Use strict alternate picking throughout
-->>> And here's the "advanced" part of the lesson, probably the most useful / important part I think Economy of Motion This phrase 'economy of motion' will be mentioned and leaned up heavily through this series of lessons found anywhere on my blog. It represents a certain finesse, in other words, using the least possible amount of motion and energy (with precision) to attain the notes you are trying to play. (*A guitar is a musical instrument, essentially a device carved from wood with some electric components popped in for some simple purpose. Music? Yes obviously, but more importantly the guitar is a tonal sound reproduction device. It is simply a tool to produce sounds waves. I guess what I'm saying is a capable guitar (and they aren't as few and far between as one would think) in the right hands could sound jaw-droppingly amazing being played fluidly and correctly, and in someone else's hands, that same guitar could be played in a fashion that didn't leave good impressions (for the guitar AND the player - i'm sure we've all witnessed this in a sense..)
Enough rambling - The pictures below demonstrate economy of motion applied to this excercise, the points where the grey line (pick) crosses the black line (the string) are when the pick hits the string. Simple enough? The whole point of these silly little .jpgs are to demonstrate how you should visualize WHERE THE TIP OF YOUR PICK IS AT ALL TIMES (bar legato)...scrutinize your picking hand and nitpick every unnecessary motion or movement or whatever - just remember be as comfortable as possible when picking...don't grasp the pick too tight - nor should you hold too much tension in your picking (or fretting) hand. Simple points, picking moving too far beyond given string = more time to get to the next desired string = fractions of a second 'latency' or 'lag time' before you hit that next note, a.k.a. BAD TIMING, and yes, to a developed ear, timing discrepancy from 60 milliseconds down to 20, 15, maybe even 10 and below can be detected - and your sound will reflect it mercilessly. Enough rambling part 2 - Here are the pics Rectangles Containing 6 Lines, representing the strings of a 6 string guitar, regarding the MOTION OF THE TIP OF YOUR GUITAR PICK... From top to bottom, E,B,G,D,A,E, and from bottom to Top, E,A,D,G,B,E...i'm sure you already know this. But for those who don't......