Page 1 of 2
#1
Hey guys.
Recently I've began my guitar practise schedule and eventhough my 1-2-3-4, 1-2-4 and other typical warming up excercises seem to have sped up my tempo I don't find myself being able to play faster songs using these techniques...
There is one important issue I've noticed.
Perhaps I would be able to play some songs fast enough but my fingers are to late to cover the frets.
My fingers are flying all over the place-especially pinky.
I keep lifting unused fingers high above the fretboard and maybe that's the thing that stopps me from increasing speeed.
The other thing is right hand moves-the distance it covers is to large for me to be able to pick some things fast enough.
As a result it gets tense and playing is over...

Could you recommend me any excercises that will help me to limit those holdbacking symptoms?
BTW: Do you happen to know ANY rock/heavy metal song that DOESNT require me to sweep pick or be extremely good guitarist?
It's very frustrating to not be able to play entirely a single song because of difficult solos.
Gettin' better ^_^
#2
man i'm in the same situation as you! do this, dont do 1234, do 12 then 23, then 34, or 13, 14, as you like, but dont stard doing it with legatos, use your pick, when you think that is very easy for you to dod that start with legatos.
note: doing 34 with pick increases really a lot your pinky, but i mean, a lot!!
start with hard rock solos and then move to heavy metal, its the base jaja
theres one solo, the fade to black intro, its easy, amasig and you can improove a lot learning it well
#3
ive tried doing some of those excercises before but i got much more progress with just practicing songs wich were just a little too hard at the time and slowing them down and then speeding them up when i got better and then playing along with them.
give that a try maybe it will help.

edit: dont try to play solos way above your level just play the rythm, try learning easier solos first as well and you will get better at it, when your overall skill increases try out a harder solo and move on, its the same with riffs and stuff :P
and just play the rythm guitar if you want to play a song without being able to do the solo
Last edited by Benjami at Nov 21, 2009,
#4
This exercise was pretty good for me when i had these types of issues, it helps to stretch out pinky/ring finger, and may help you control your fingers better.

Its also a great warm-up

do it over and over and over

|135-------753-------579-----1297-----91215----------------------------------------------|
|135-------753-------579-----1297-----91215----------------------------------------------|
|135-------753-------579-----1297-----91215----------------------------------------------|
|135-------753-------579-----1297-----91215----------------------------------------------|
|135-------753-------579-----1297-----91215----------------------------------------------|
|135-------753-------579-----1297-----91215----------------------------------------------|
>|start |gets a little more difficult

Start slow with these, make sure theyre played CLEAN and then you can increase tempo, practice with metronome.

Also, dont give up! If you get something wrong, thats completely ok in practice.

Keep at it, hope this helps
#5
Any rock/heavy metal songs without sweep picking? Yeh, MOST OF THEM!

Have you ever heard of ACDC? or Led Zep? or Jimi Hendrix?

I think what you're doing, though, is trying to play things that are way too difficult at the moment. Try some easier songs, and start slower!
#6
ChrixtianB Do you focus on excercises or more on the songs?
I already can play Fade to Black intro but I prefer Sanitarium one xD.
I know the 34 excercise and it really is a good workout for pinky.

Benjami That's what I do.
Take a song and slow it down and I to see a noticable progress.
Can you name any easy solo that doesn't use sweeping/tapping/extreme legato or alternate picking? ;P.
Perhaps some ZZTop would fit in, but I really fall asleep while listening to those guys.

But still guys I dont know how to remove biggest worries in here-flying fingers and right hand.
Gettin' better ^_^
#7
easy solos, go check out ac/dc, you shook me all night long was the first one i learned and they have more easy ones.

and i think your problems with your fingers will just go away when you practice more and stuff, if you will use all your fingers while playing you will be able to control them all at some point.
#8
I've heard that aswell: "it takes time", but actually how am I supposed to improve my speed if my fingers keep flying so unefficiently all over the fretboard?
Gettin' better ^_^
#9
you need to keep playing on the level you are now for a while to improve your tecnique and then it will get better with your fingers as well, when thats better speed things up a little
#10
You're trying to play too fast...ultimately all that exercise does is teach you how to play that exercise, so by practicing it all you've done is get good at that exercise.

You need to shift your focus away from exercises, especially pointless ones. Instead, focus more on actually practicing the things you want to play. There's no such thing as "improving speed", only improving control - that's what you need to be aiming for.

Don't "try" to play fast because that only ends in failure, just try to play accurately and controlled -do everything else right and speed takes care of itself.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
Last edited by steven seagull at Nov 21, 2009,
#11
Quote by Shadowy
Hey guys.
Recently I've began my guitar practise schedule and eventhough my 1-2-3-4, 1-2-4 and other typical warming up excercises seem to have sped up my tempo I don't find myself being able to play faster songs using these techniques...
There is one important issue I've noticed.
Perhaps I would be able to play some songs fast enough but my fingers are to late to cover the frets.
My fingers are flying all over the place-especially pinky.
I keep lifting unused fingers high above the fretboard and maybe that's the thing that stopps me from increasing speeed.
The other thing is right hand moves-the distance it covers is to large for me to be able to pick some things fast enough.
As a result it gets tense and playing is over...

Could you recommend me any excercises that will help me to limit those holdbacking symptoms?
BTW: Do you happen to know ANY rock/heavy metal song that DOESNT require me to sweep pick or be extremely good guitarist?
It's very frustrating to not be able to play entirely a single song because of difficult solos.

I used to have the same problem. And I still do to a degree. Whenever I'm not using my pinky, I instinctively curl it in like John Petrucci. But I've learned to compensate for it. I know that it's bad and takes more energy, etc. but I've been doing it for so long it's become a habit. I'd have to go back to the beginning to fix it.

As for songs to learn, take a look at Nothing Else Matter, Fade to Black, or Enter Sandman by Metallica. As well as basically anything from AC/DC.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#12
That's exactly what I mean with a slight modification that my pinky goes straight up when not used.
It's become my habit aswell and I dont really know how would I be supposed to fix it.
Are you able to play fast like this?
Didnt you have to learn how to keep your fingers closer to the fretboard?

I've just tried Back in Black and solo is still a pain in the neck....

steven seagull
I know.
Patience is a word my ego has never heard off, and since 1-2 months I am for the first time patient with the guitar and I practice slooowly using metronome :/.
I can see major improvements after 1 day of practising to be honest.
The next day playing same riff becomes easier, fingers move more naturally to their positions.
Is there any use in slowing down a single part, like 10 seconds one and practise it for 1 hour until I get nail it properly at 100%?
That question regards solos specificly.
Gettin' better ^_^
#13
Quote by Shadowy
That's exactly what I mean with a slight modification that my pinky goes straight up when not used.
It's become my habit aswell and I dont really know how would I be supposed to fix it.
Are you able to play fast like this?
Didnt you have to learn how to keep your fingers closer to the fretboard?

For faster scale runs and stuff, I don't curl it but it still flies off the fretboard by an inch or more. And it's not that my pinky is weak or anything - I work it out everyday - it's just that when I learned to play I didn't learn to keep it close to the fretboard.

For other stuff that requires my pinky, I've learned to compensate for having it curled up and so far away. I move it a fraction of a second sooner than I'd have to if I kept it close to the fretboard. As for how to fix it, look for Freepower's finger independence lesson on YouTube. He knows what he's talking about.

As for me, I'm too far gone to learn it. I've been playing with my pinky curled for over 10 years. I'm so used to it that it doesn't hinder me at all anymore. I've tried learning finger independence, but it's been so long that I might be able to do it as quarter notes as 10BPM if I'm lucky. I'd advise you to learn to be in control of your fingers before progressing any further. It will be better for you in the end.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#14
It's really tough for me to control my pinky at the moment :/.
At first I played veery slowly but graduately I am increasing the speed.
I mean, it still is much slower than the speed I used to play at but I hope that having my fingers close to frets will help in the future.
Geez! It's like learning everything all over again...
Gettin' better ^_^
#15
Quote by Shadowy
It's really tough for me to control my pinky at the moment :/.
At first I played veery slowly but graduately I am increasing the speed.
I mean, it still is much slower than the speed I used to play at but I hope that having my fingers close to frets will help in the future.
Geez! It's like learning everything all over again...

Yeah I know the feeling. It little things like this that seem to be the hardest to learn if you're not used to them. Keep at it and eventually it will become second nature. You'll be back to your old self in no time and you'll be playing more efficiently.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#16
Way Cool JR. It seems to be the very same thing I suffer from.
Try playing scales or 1234 pattern veeeery slowly and watch out for your pinky-it MUSTNT get to far from the fretboard.
It must be close to the frets for the whole time.
The closer you keep it, the faster you will be able to play.

Junior#1 I hope that 1234, 4321 patterns are enough, huh? Do you think I will have to relearn every single song begining from such slow tempo?
Gettin' better ^_^
#17
Don't just do 1234 4321 - and dont just play scales straight up and down. If you do you'll find that as soon as you try to use your fingers in a different order it will all go to pooh again. Mix them up - play 1324, 3142 etc, or play scales in 3rds or 4ths or make up your own sequences. Its better for getting your fingers to behave and you'll be praticing something you might actually use in a song too
#18
Quote by Shadowy
Junior#1 I hope that 1234, 4321 patterns are enough, huh? Do you think I will have to relearn every single song begining from such slow tempo?
Quote by zhilla
Don't just do 1234 4321 - and dont just play scales straight up and down. If you do you'll find that as soon as you try to use your fingers in a different order it will all go to pooh again. Mix them up - play 1324, 3142 etc, or play scales in 3rds or 4ths or make up your own sequences. Its better for getting your fingers to behave and you'll be praticing something you might actually use in a song too

+1
Mix up your fingers. Make it impossible to just roll your wrist to play it. There are lots of different combinations you could use. Here's a good spider exercise the Jeff Waters uses:

e|---------------------------------
B|---------------------------------
G|---------------2---4---5---2---4-
D|---2---4---5---------2---3---5---
A|---------2---3---5---------------
E|-3---5---------------------------

Here's a video of Jeff's Spiderwalk

As for relearning songs, you shouldn't have to worry about that too much. Once you get the hang of keeping your fingers close to the fretboard, you won't even have to think about it. So everything that you've already learned should be pretty much there already. You might have to work a bit on some of the more difficult parts, but overall, you shouldn't have to go back and relearn everything. But you still might want to play through some things at a slower tempo a couple times just to make sure that you aren't letting your fingers fly off the fretboard.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#19
I am planning to go for 4321, 4312 and so on once Im sure that 1234 goes right at some basic speed.
Otherwise I will just get frustrated about not being able to play more difficult stuff.
Do you think that I should focus entirely on this practice aspect and stop practicing the songs themselves as I still play them with my fingers flying?

I believe that learning to keep my fingers close to fretboard is the key of being able to move to entirely different range of speeds and playing comfort, not to mention accuracy of fretting.
Gettin' better ^_^
Last edited by Shadowy at Dec 11, 2009,
#20
You're missing the point - focussing too much on those exercises isn't going to achieve much, they aren't all that useful or important. It gets to a point where all you're really doing is teaching yourself to keep your fingers close to the fretboard in that particular situation.

What's far more important is making the effort to correct what you do when you're playing - practicing spider exercises won't change the way you already do things, you still need to acitively work on. That means to a certain degree you're going to have to re-learn what you already know on account of learning it "wrong". The exercise will help you get into the habit of keeping your fingers close and is also a great warmup, picking drill and helps develop finger independence. However, in itself it's next to worthless - all that matters is whether or not the benefits of that exercise transition through into your playing.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#21
So would you suggest me to pick a song that involves pinky a lot and learn to control my fingers on it? Something like moto perpetuo?
Gettin' better ^_^
#23
The most annyoing thing is that my pinky flies up the fretboard whenever I play using 2nd and 3rd finger together.
And without having that issue corrected I suppose that there is no point in moving ahead for songs as it is all about this motion 2-3-2-3-2-3 -->and my pinky is up in the sky.
It's the hardest thing for me to correct and it will take a few days of a solid routine to fix it (including 1234, 4321, 1434, 1424 and finally 1232).
Without some basic preparation (I've already tried to play Prelude in Cminor) it only drives me mad when I try to play certain songs with my fingers down to the fretboard.
Gettin' better ^_^
#24
You are going to have to slow RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT down. We're probably talking speeds less than 60bpm here (depending how well ingrained the habit is.) And practice it regularly.

|_|0|_|
|_|_|0|
|0|0|0|
▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄▀▄
#25
Quote by Shadowy
The most annyoing thing is that my pinky flies up the fretboard whenever I play using 2nd and 3rd finger together.
And without having that issue corrected I suppose that there is no point in moving ahead for songs as it is all about this motion 2-3-2-3-2-3 -->and my pinky is up in the sky.
It's the hardest thing for me to correct and it will take a few days of a solid routine to fix it (including 1234, 4321, 1434, 1424 and finally 1232).
Without some basic preparation (I've already tried to play Prelude in Cminor) it only drives me mad when I try to play certain songs with my fingers down to the fretboard.

You don't seem to understand...you CAN play anything you want. Your pinky doesn't fly up "whenever you play using 2nd and 3rd finger together"...it flies up "whenever you play using 2nd and 3rd finger together at a speed you're not yet capable of playing at" . You can control your pinky perfectly well, what you can't do is control it at the speeds you want and it's going to take a lot more than a few days of spider exercises to develop that control.

What you need to focus on is developing and maintaining that control throughout everything you play.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
Last edited by steven seagull at Dec 11, 2009,
#26
Quote by steven seagull
You don't seem to understand...you CAN play anything you want. Your pinky doesn't fly up "whenever you play using 2nd and 3rd finger together"...it flies up "whenever you play using 2nd and 3rd finger together at a speed you're not yet capable of playing at" . You can control your pinky perfectly well, what you can't do is control it at the speeds you want and it's going to take a lot more than a few days of spider exercises to develop that control.

What you need to focus on is developing and maintaining that control throughout everything you play.


Listen to this guy, he's right. I got caught up in the frustration of lack of manual dexterity and motor control in my ring and pinky fingers, especially doing trills with them (so effing hard), and it was worse when I didn't feel like I was progressing.

First, do everything as slow as you have to in order to have zero to minimal twitching in your non-fretting fingers.

Second, and this has helped me feel a lot better about it, try moving your right hand fingers like you do your left, see how much independence you have in them in comparison. Unless you also play piano or something (I do, and I still notice this), you will have much greater control of your left hand. That should be motivation enough to show how far you've come. Maybe it's a bit silly sounding, but it definitely helps place things in perspective, to show just how far you've come.
#28
Okay.
But there really is a lot of songs I learned to play badly.
Should I try this new way with every single one or something like 1-2 hours per day spent on one song and then as my tempo increases continue this rotation?

Hm...Actually it isn't as hard as I thought.
After repeating main riffs for about 3-4 times I am at 30-40% of original speed without any "pinky issues" at this songs xD.
Gettin' better ^_^
Last edited by Shadowy at Dec 11, 2009,
#29
I don't know if this has been mentioned because I've not read the thread. If you're holding the guitar neck baseball bat style (thumb over the neck) then you should switch to a more classical position (thumb behind the middle of the neck).
I used to have flying finger issues on my pinky and middle finger but switching positions sorted it all for me.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#30
Quote by She Died Alone

Second, and this has helped me feel a lot better about it, try moving your right hand fingers like you do your left, see how much independence you have in them in comparison. Unless you also play piano or something (I do, and I still notice this), you will have much greater control of your left hand. That should be motivation enough to show how far you've come. Maybe it's a bit silly sounding, but it definitely helps place things in perspective, to show just how far you've come.


I'm curious...how exactly would we test this? I want to see the difference between the 2 hands
#31
Quote by Moonshield17
I'm curious...how exactly would we test this? I want to see the difference between the 2 hands


Anything that requires fine motor control can be used to test the dexterity and independence in your fingers.

If you have a guitar made for a left-handed person, I suppose you could just do that to see, but that's not likely.

Other than that, be creative. You can test it in most ways. Not everyone will notice a similar discrepancy, I just happen to see all the tension in my right hand, when compared to my left. I can't trill on the right as well as I can on the left, etc.
#32
Quote by Aleksi
I don't know if this has been mentioned because I've not read the thread. If you're holding the guitar neck baseball bat style (thumb over the neck) then you should switch to a more classical position (thumb behind the middle of the neck).
I used to have flying finger issues on my pinky and middle finger but switching positions sorted it all for me.


Yes, I used to put my thumb over the neck but I learned to keep it lower so it's an issue anymore. The good thing about relearning this whole stuff is that because of my flying fingers I couldnt play really fast now there is not that much to relearn really.
And it really is a pleasure to see your fingers playing effortlessly.


I've got one question though.
Should my pinky remain totaly still while playing other fingers or can it move as long as it is close to the fretboard?
Gettin' better ^_^
Last edited by Shadowy at Dec 12, 2009,
#33
Quote by Shadowy

I've got one question though.
Should my pinky remain totaly still while playing other fingers or can it move as long as it is close to the fretboard?


Eventually, and this takes a looooong time, it will be more or less still when using your pinky and middle. It will always move a bit (and vice versa) when moving the ring - they share a tendon. In the meantime, don't sweat it if there is a bit of sympathetic pinky movement, as long as it isn't too much. Trying to get it absolutely still all in one go can add to the tension - you find yourself applying tension to keep the pinky still - not the goal here.

In fact, when you are focusing on what your fingers are doing, the first thing I'd pay attention to is how relaxed they are, how much they are moving second. Just by learning to relax, they will come down quite a bit without even specifically working on the size of the movements (though you should work on that too).
#34
So it's a bad habbit if I put tension into my pinky to keep it close to fretboard?
Gettin' better ^_^
#35
Play with your left hand stuck against something, that way, your finger just CAN'T fly all around, Pratice like that every. single. time. you. play. It sounds nazi, but it make wonders.
Quote by RazorTheAwesome
Lol at Bender

Quote by So-Cal

Quote by theguitarist

I got to warn you for spam though...

Quote by Shredoftheday
Nicely put good sir

I witnessed Night Of The Pear 2
#36
It sounds good but there is one problem: how am I supposed to block my pinky? Using what?
Gettin' better ^_^
Last edited by Shadowy at Dec 12, 2009,
#37
Quote by Shadowy
It sounds good but there is one problem: how am I supposed to block my pinky? Using what?

The side of your desk, or the thing where musician but their music sheet ( I don't know the name, but in french it's a lutrin )
Quote by RazorTheAwesome
Lol at Bender

Quote by So-Cal

Quote by theguitarist

I got to warn you for spam though...

Quote by Shredoftheday
Nicely put good sir

I witnessed Night Of The Pear 2
#38
You're jokin', right?
Blocking one finger using a whole desk/lectern and still being able to do anything on the fretboard in such awkward position?
Gettin' better ^_^
#39
... it's a really stupid idea. At best it won't injure you and at worst it ****s up your arm and your muscle memory.

Quote by Shadowy
So it's a bad habbit if I put tension into my pinky to keep it close to fretboard?


All unnecessary tension is bad. Your fingers should be as relaxed as possible when you're not using them.
#40
Quote by Shadowy
So it's a bad habbit if I put tension into my pinky to keep it close to fretboard?

Yes, tension is always a bad thing in guitar playing.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
Page 1 of 2