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  #31  
Old 05-30-2017, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by CaptJack View Post
Thanks for the encouragement and hints. I think part of my issue is that I'm always thinking about what I'm supposed to be doing. But when I think about my left hand my right messes up and vice versa. I'm going to try the one bar at a time approach to see if that helps ingrain things a bit.
One bar at a time, so slowly that there are zero mistakes. The only draw back to doing this is that you first learn finger placement and then when you can speed up you have to watch that you are doing the right relative timing for the notes, the "musicallacy" of the tab can get lost a bit.

As far as memorizing goes, it's the best way to go if you can. I record most of the tunes I post way before they are memorized, with the exception of One Dime Blues. Almost all the stuff I have on sound cloud that are covers are being sight read as played. When you memorize a song it becomes so much smoother.
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  #32  
Old 05-30-2017, 01:39 PM
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Most important, and hardest, part; keep the alternating bass going when you make a mistake. Don't stop and noboby will notice
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  #33  
Old 05-31-2017, 10:51 AM
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Toby Walker Toby Walker is offline
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I can only echo what the others are saying here when it comes to learning not only this piece but any piece that is completely new. All the advice is exactly what would encourage you to do. Here's how I go about learning a new arrangement:

First, I listen to the arrangement numerous times before attempting to play it. This really gets the song into your ears and your head. As I recorded this in video form, do this with your eyes closed. After that, watch the video over and over again, to get a feel as to what I'm doing with my hands.

Even before I was fingerpicking arrangements, I was copying lead guitar solos as close as I could. I must have listened to these solos endlessly for weeks before I tried to figure them out. There were no books or videos back then, just the record. Consequently, once I did attempt the solos I could almost feel what the next should or shouldn't' be.

Next, take a look at the tab to scope out the chords. Don't try to play it exactly yet, just get a feel for what your left hand should be doing. If there are any fingerings or chords that are new to you, now's the time to work them out... without trying to fingerpick. You're just concentrating on your fretting hand right now.

The measure by measure system: This is a good way to approach the piece, but don't forget that once you have a couple of measures memorized, your next step is to CONNECT them slowly and seamlessly. Memorizing different parts without doing this will only trip you up when you try to put it all together.

Like anything else, it takes persistence and patience. Don't try to do too much in one sitting. Smaller practice sessions during the day can be more productive than trying to squeeze everything in all at once. Every day is optimal, but sometimes that's impractical. However, everyone can usually find 10 minutes during their busiest day. Use that small amount of time to practice just the part of the piece that gives you the most trouble. This way, you're reminding your muscles what they just worked on the other day.

Keep at it. Remember that you're at the beginning stages of learning a technique that while wonderful, is definitely difficult to do at first. At first is the operative term here, because once you get it, you'll never forget it and you'll be amazed at what you can start learning and playing at that point. It really is like learning how to ride a bicycle: once you get your balance and master that first turn, you'll wonder why you never were able to do this in the first place and you'll never forget it.


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  #34  
Old 06-01-2017, 04:59 AM
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Thanks for the encouragement. I'm having a ball working on getting these fingers into shape. I'm lucky to be retired so I can pick up the guitar a couple of times in the morning and then do a long practice at the end of the day when everything else is done.

I just got Toby's ''Blues Foundation Series''. I'll be able to roll into that when I finish the Beginner Series. He is having a Birthday Sale for three more days if anyone else wants to take advantage of it. Being an old guy, I started learning guitar to exercise my brain and hands. Looks like they will be getting exercise for a long time.
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  #35  
Old 06-01-2017, 05:09 AM
srick srick is offline
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Toby's post regarding learning a piece of music is probably one of the best summaries I have seen in ten years on AGF:

The process never really depended on your finger position or dexterity, it has always depended on your ears and brain.

Once you know where you want to go, you keep at it until your fingers can create what your brain hears. Learning to play guitar is all about setting up a feedback loop between the ears, the brain and the hands

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Last edited by srick; 06-01-2017 at 06:26 AM.
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  #36  
Old 06-13-2017, 08:34 AM
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Update:

Oh Suzy page 2 is smooth and steady whenever I play it, but my 67 year old brain still can't remember it even though it is just about the same thing all through. All the songs I practice, I have to look or I get lost. Best thing I did was to leave the 4 string open in the last pinch of C to get me into G.

Oh Suzy page 3 is almost smooth but I've made a lot of changes to get it to flow through my head. In every bar I break the second pinch to a base-pluck and I moved some plucks around. I like my way better.

Spike Driver is about half way. I think it's easier than Oh Suzy

Thank you Toby, this is great. And my brain thanks you for the work-out!
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  #37  
Old 06-13-2017, 05:23 PM
joe paul joe paul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srick View Post
Toby's post regarding learning a piece of music is probably one of the best summaries I have seen in ten years on AGF:

The process never really depended on your finger position or dexterity, it has always depended on your ears and brain.

Once you know where you want to go, you keep at it until your fingers can create what your brain hears. Learning to play guitar is all about setting up a feedback loop between the ears, the brain and the hands

Rick
I can't comment on Toby's lessons, never tried them, but his comment quoted here has been in the back of my mind for the past few days. I find that intent listening, focusing on the music you're studying is just as important as anything else. In a certain way, it's also very rewarding because it deepens your respect and your understanding of music.
I like to listen early in the morning with my mind still clear before the day kicks in, and get some playing done too, it's a good moment to focus.
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  #38  
Old 06-13-2017, 06:15 PM
CaptJack CaptJack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrider View Post
Update:

Oh Suzy page 2 is smooth and steady whenever I play it, but my 67 year old brain still can't remember it even though it is just about the same thing all through. All the songs I practice, I have to look or I get lost. Best thing I did was to leave the 4 string open in the last pinch of C to get me into G.

Oh Suzy page 3 is almost smooth but I've made a lot of changes to get it to flow through my head. In every bar I break the second pinch to a base-pluck and I moved some plucks around. I like my way better.

Spike Driver is about half way. I think it's easier than Oh Suzy

Thank you Toby, this is great. And my brain thanks you for the work-out!
Thanks for the update. I'm a bit behind you but page 2 is getting there. It's smooth and steady for the most part if I go really slow (so I can look), but once I try without looking I get lost. But I do get Toby's advice... I can do it if I'm paying attention to my hands, not the tab. My 70 year old brain just needs to learn to memorize so I don't need to look.😀
I've started p3 but the first couple bars have me struggling with timing. Hopefully this will be a short roadblock. I've been afraid to look at Spike Driver but maybe I will start looking a bit ahead.

Thanks, and keep the updates coming.
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  #39  
Old 06-14-2017, 05:11 AM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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I don't think the timing matters much when playing very slowly. I've noticed with Oh Suzy page 3 that as it speeds up, it gets kind of syncopated and funky on it's own.

(Third song I'm working on is Alice's Restaurant from arlonet. I thought it was going to be easy; it's not!)
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  #40  
Old 06-14-2017, 08:53 AM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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Who has advice on reducing left hand tension?

I'm fine while strumming, but I guess the added pressure of making each individual note sound cleanly makes me tense up while finger picking--the F shape with the thumb on the low E string is really hard for me to relax on.
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  #41  
Old 06-14-2017, 09:13 AM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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I've only been playing for six month so take it for what it's worth, but could it be a set-up issue causing you to press harder?

Anyway, this morning I went through Spikedriver, still slowly, using three fingers to pick. It was much easier than moving my fingers between the stings. This way each finger has it's job and there's no confusion. Give it a try.
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  #42  
Old 06-14-2017, 09:36 AM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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Thanks lowrider.

I've got 3 guitars well set up and I'm guilty of too much fretting hand tension on all of them!

I agree with you about using 3 fingers and the thumb on the picking hand. I started about 5 months ago with Mark Hanson's Travis Picking book and that is what he teaches, so I just kept with it even though Toby introduces the fingers one at a time. Mark also advocates not using the pinky to anchor, and I see Toby's right hand "floats" as well. That is a problem for me, and while I do try to work on it, I was happy to see someone posted a video of Stefan Grossman with his pinky firmly planted.

Sounds like you are making good progress on your Oh Suzy. I have had to give it a rest for a bit as the wife was begging me to play some rock and roll. Instead I switched to Toby's Begging Back Blues which is a neat little tune and great for working on the F shape with the thumb over the low E string, a pesky one for me. I'm also working on a tune in Woody Mann's Blues book, and like a few others I find those lessons to be very well done as well. No video but that is fine for me, I'm old and learned most of what I know out of a book :-)
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  #43  
Old 06-15-2017, 06:40 PM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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Suzy 3 was just about right. So I switched to using 3 fingers. It's like starting over. It even affects my left hand.
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  #44  
Old 06-15-2017, 09:05 PM
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TBman TBman is offline
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One of the little tricks I learned for these blues tunes is palm muting. I rest the base of my hand a bit on the front end of the saddle and bass strings so the bass has a thumpiness to the sound instead of ringing out forever.
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My signature stuff......

Barry

Me playin' my giTar.....

Flower (Maasaki Kishibe cover):


soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/barry329

Gibson J-45,
Guild D-55
Guild D-120ce
Larrivee OM-05
Martin D-16GT
{and a few others}

If you can't buy happiness, how do you explain a new set of strings?
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  #45  
Old 06-19-2017, 09:28 PM
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I had to buy Toby's lesson for Saturday Night Rub. Too good to pass up. Cincinnati Flow Rag keeps calling me. Tomorrow night, lol. My speed is getting better due to some other stuff I'm working on so maybe its time to finish Cincinnati.
__________________
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.
.
.
My signature stuff......

Barry

Me playin' my giTar.....

Flower (Maasaki Kishibe cover):


soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/barry329

Gibson J-45,
Guild D-55
Guild D-120ce
Larrivee OM-05
Martin D-16GT
{and a few others}

If you can't buy happiness, how do you explain a new set of strings?
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