#1
Where can i find a list (if there is any) of rules for economy of motion (mainly for fretting hand but preferebly for both hands)? Id hate to think that im missing out on something important.

When i play, i feel like i can play faster than i really can (but i cant) and i know that the amount of effort i put into what i do is one of the things that holds me back (the other is that i need to practise slowly and im starting to do that now, but boy is it boring sometimes, and thats coming from someone who loves practising scales)

Also, if i was to practise slow, and practise economy of motion, would those 2 things make the biggest difference to my playing (apart from of course memorizing scales and patterns)?

Ive been playing for 20 years, that just goes to show how the basics can be overlooked.
Last edited by leafarmusic at Mar 23, 2009,
#2
well im not sure where you can find a set of rules for it....but basically you trying to do as much as possible with as little movement possible....most of that kind of stuff is just you analyzing how you play and then gettin rid of huge unneeded movements of the hands and fingers....but....to answer your question....it makes a little difference in how fast you can play stuff and how cleanly you can make some things.....but on the picking hand side....i find it takes away from the rythmic patter on most economy picking stuff.....alternate pick everything and it will sound better when you perfect it even if it is a little harder or wierder to do...
This is a G chord....i used to be in a cranberries tribute band.
#3
The only rule of economy of motion is in the name - move as little as possible.

Tips - little movements does NOT mean weak movements. Focus on tone as well.
Stay relaxed at all times.
If you find practicing slowly dull, practice more interesting music/exercises at that speed. It can be challenging and musical, what's important is FOCUS.

Practicing slow and practicing economy of motion will make a huge difference to your playing, I wouldn't say biggest.
#4
A few questions :

You mean moving no more than absolutely necessary in every single aspect? Everything? Is that the basic idea, and its just a matter of applying that 1 rule to all aspects in whichever way i can?

Isnt there somewhere that lists ways to apply that 1 rule?

Ive been playing for 20 years and id say im pretty good. For someone like me how long do you think it would take to see a really noticeable difference? (I know, i know, but go on take a guess, give me something to hope for)

If i dont always play using economy of motion, or if i dont always play slowly, its not going to matter too much is it, as long as i keep coming back to it? The way i see it, as long as i keep practising, and im not doing something really stupid, theres always some kind of improvement to be made.

And what would you say is the biggest thing that will make a difference?
Last edited by leafarmusic at Mar 23, 2009,
#5
You mean moving no more than absolutely necessary in every single aspect? Everything? Is that the basic idea, and its just a matter of applying that 1 rule to all aspects in whichever way i can?


Yes.
Isnt there somewhere that lists ways to apply that 1 rule?


It'd be a stupid list. If someone told you not to walk across a freeway would you ask for a map of every freeway in the world?

For someone like me how long do you think it would take to see a really noticeable difference? (I know, i know, but go on take a guess, give me something to hope for)


The right kind of practice, super focused, for about an hour? You can feel the difference at the end of the hour. Do it every day for a month and you cement that progress.

If i dont always play using economy of motion, or if i dont always play slowly, its not going to matter too much is it, as long as i keep coming back to it?


Sure - but a little consistently is best.

And what would you say is the biggest thing that will make a difference?


Listening to yourself.
#6
Thanks for the advice, and fortunately its pretty much what i was hoping to hear. However i do think that sometimes its easy to lose track and get carried away when playing, and then realise that somewhere along the lines whats being played could be played more economically.

Thats why im interested in specifics, even if (and especially if) theyre obvious. I guess i have to discover them for myself, although someone somewhere must have written something about this. Im surprised that its overlooked as much as it seems to be.

Another thing (and this is more of an observation than a question). I often wonder how come there are so many great guitarists, considering that economy of motion gets overlooked. What drugs do these people take? What about Jimi? I get the impression that he spent more time listening to records and playing along and learning that way than he must have done practising these basics. I find it hard to picture him sitting down sensibly and practising slowly. I cant even imagine him sitting and playing scales.
#7
^Yes, but Jimi had a fantastic ear, and his style of playing was not technical. It was, dare I say it, sloppy. And there's nothing wrong with that, he was a fantastic player and innovator, but if you want to be able to play Vai, Govan, Lane etc stuff then you want to be accurate and precise.
#8
But Jimi was precise. Wasnt he? In what ways was he sloppy? And what about other great players? The way i picture it is like this : A guy picks up a guitar, learns a few chords and a few licks, joins a band, gets better and better and better somehow, and then hes great. Im thinking of Slash when i say that. And Prince too. He started at about 12, and by the time he was 18 or so he was brilliant. What with school and whatnot, how the hell did he get so good? Do you see what i mean? Its always been a mystery to me how these people just get so good in such a short time. I realise that some people have lots of natural talent but at the end of the day a guitar is a very precise instrument, and one wrong move can mess you up. Where do they find the time? Do they go into a dimension where they spend years practising non stop and then come back and time hasnt moved forward?

You know im just ranting.
#9
Define 'brilliant'. Obviously you find it amazing that Prince became 'brilliant' in 6 years. Prince and Slash are not really technicians, however they do have great ideas. Do you have to be playing for a certain amount of time before you can come up with a great idea? They weren't shredders, but they rocked because they had great new ideas about guitar playing.
#11
^lol, when I finished that post I realized I had just called slash an innovator...I actually meant guitarists like Hendrix, SRV etc...
#12
Ok listen to some of my stuff (if you have time of course) here :

www.myspace.com/leafarspace

The ones to listen for are the first ("Lets jam" and no.19 ("stand still")

Ive been playing for 20 years. Tell me if you think my playing has weaknesses. I know it has, but i wonder if you can tell.

I like to think that i also have lots of good, creative musical ideas, and to be honest, ive always used that to make up for my technical flaws. But what id like is to have more technical ability so that i can express my ideas better.
#13
Other than your vibrato, which I think needs work, the playing sounds pretty good although I wasn't a fan of the tone.
#14
I can't listen right now, but PM me tomorrow or something.

By the way, don't forget that the degree of economy of motion you need is relative to what you want to play. You could probably play everything by Hendrix without sitting down and working on economy of motion - but you would need great control of bends and vibrato and rhythmic groove.

However, if you want to play something like this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Yf5eNVik_E - then we're talking lots and lots of practice on technique, simply because you will never play like that without extremely detailed focus on your physical approach to the instrument.
#15
Im interested in both sides, the expressive side and the technical side (although im not really interested in super technical stuff like tapping and things like that, just normal conventional playing). I feel like ive got the expressive side in my playing but i need to be more consistent and tight, so that i can be expressive in a better way. Ill check that video.

Its a funny old thing, this guitar playing lark. Its like the mafia, once youre in, youre in for good.
#17
Yeah id like to have the ability to do that kind of stuff (on the video) but id probably want to be more sparing with the flashy playing.

Id love to be able to play like this (6:30 onwards) :

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=5356793602610954530&ei=mznISc6nA8TA-Abkmom-Aw&q=prince+lets+go+crazy

Its flashy, but in a really expressive and soulful way.
Last edited by leafarmusic at Mar 23, 2009,