#1
So as the title suggests, I have this major guitar playing problem. The fingers that are not playing notes hover about 4 cm off the fretboard. Please chime in with your advice and/or exercises to help.
#2
The fingers don't do it themselves. Since you have conscious control of them, concentrate on keeping your fingers close to the strings as you play. As with anything, you can develop a habit of keeping them low with repetition. I think the conventional wisdom is that if you do almost anything for 21 days straight, you'll have developed the habit. As with almost anything guitar (or music), start slow and work up to speed.
#3
OK, I'll try that. I've also heard about the 21 days rule. I think of playing through the major scale REAL slow, making sure my fingers stay close to the fretboard. How's that sound?
#4
One thing I will say about this is: don't force it. Forcibly holding your fingers close to the fretboard will cause a tonne of tension in your hand which is infinitely worse than flying fingers.
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#5
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
One thing I will say about this is: don't force it. Forcibly holding your fingers close to the fretboard will cause a tonne of tension in your hand which is infinitely worse than flying fingers.


I've heard some guys mentioning practicing up against a wall... What do you think?
#6
I think it's mostly tension. Fingers with a lot of tension tend to splay out all over the place. Fingers that are nice and relaxed tend to hover around wherever you last left them.

I think one good exercise for developing a relaxed left hand (as well as a really good alternate picking exercise) is this one:



Then you'd just move up to the second fret and play it from the high E back down to the low E, repeat until you get to the 12th fret, then change it all to descending lines (12-11-10-9) and go back down to the first fret. Practice that WITH A METRONOME. Over a period of a few weeks, as you gradually build up speed and become really relaxed with the exercise as you've played it a gazillion times, your left hand fingers pretty much have to stay close to the fretboard because otherwise they won't be able to get to the next note in time. And since it's just the same thing over and over, it's easy to take the tension out of your hand. And hopefully that tension free practice carries over to your actual playing You can always say to yourself "just make it feel the same as that exercise".

It helps with alternate picking a lot too as you have to minimize the pick movement to get it up to any sort of speed and also keep your right hand relaxed.
Last edited by gtc83 at Jun 16, 2014,
#7
Quote by CostasNoir
So as the title suggests, I have this major guitar playing problem. The fingers that are not playing notes hover about 4 cm off the fretboard. Please chime in with your advice and/or exercises to help.



Sounds like you have flying finger syndrome just watch this video it has an exercise to solve it. Flying fingers is a huge technical problem it can limit your playing ability in so many ways it makes you less accurate, and you won't be able to play with speed so correct it ASAP it's a horrible habit that needs to fixed as soon as it's been noticed.


Here's the link

http://justinguitar.com/en/TE-004-MinimumMovement.php

#8
Quote by CostasNoir
I've heard some guys mentioning practicing up against a wall... What do you think?


Personally I wouldn't. I'm sure people have gotten good enough results from it but in my opinion it's attacking the wrong problem.

gtc83 has the right idea focusing on relaxation but no exercise is really going to do it for you, you need to make sure your fingers are as relaxed as possible at all times and no exercise is going to do that for you.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#9
Quote by Black_devils
Sounds like you have flying finger syndrome just watch this video it has an exercise to solve it. Flying fingers is a huge technical problem it can limit your playing ability in so many ways it makes you less accurate, and you won't be able to play with speed so correct it ASAP it's a horrible habit that needs to fixed as soon as it's been noticed.


I second that, once I realized I had flying fingers I kind of got depressed seeing what a major limitation it is. But I started practicing today, only I play the major scale in all 5 positions - real slow of course, and I really think I will sort that out. Even when not practicing, I make sure my fingers don't fly all over the place. Maybe I will give that chromatic exercise gtc83 mentioned a try as well.