#1
Hi guys.
As you guessed from the title i am a newby, kinda.
I have been struggling with my guitar for more than 2 years now, i do not follow any lessons apart from some youtube videos from specific users.
I am struggling with my ''finger independence''.

The question is, at what extent/grade can you achieve this? I mean is it possible to go for 100% of full finger independency?
I am struggling especially if i have to play something with my index and third finger, then my second finger curles inside my palm.
Also, when i play with my index finger and my pinky, my second and third fingers are curling inside my palm, i guess due to tension.

I tried to control it, they to not curle that my any more but still i do not have full control over them.

As i watch some videos i paid attention to the teachers' index and third fingers when they soloing, and i have noticed that some times when they have to play something using their index and then their third finger (a lick or something) then their second finger presses the fret just before their third finger.

Now, cani do that in order to reduce the excess tension in my arm/fingers?
Is it wrong?
At what extent can i achieve finger independence?
Which is the ''orthodox'' way in playing notes. Say if i want to play a note using my third finger. Is it ok to press my second finger somewhere else that will not affect the sound?Or should i keep it floating above to fretboard waiting to press the note when it will be its ''turn''.

I will appreciate some answers cause i am really struggling and i feel that i am getting nowhere honestly.
#2
I realize it has been a month since you have asked this question, but here is my advice. Every joint in your fretting arm, from the top knuckle of your pinky to your shoulder, should be loose and relaxed. Dont tense up any muscles and use the least amount of effort possible to move each individual finger to fret a note. Practice this slowly and gradually increase the speed. It will take time and patience but it will pay off.

The same goes for unfretting a note. Don't use tension to pull your finger off of the fretboard, simply relax the muscle and apply the next finger.
#3
pasxalis1987 i have a diplome in classical guitar and when i teach electric i always use flamenco and classical exercise and all my students have great benefits, the secret is to alternate tension to relax, if you study only slow that WON'T pay in the long run, the real problem is in our mind, if you can think it you can play it, start slow to learn the fingering and to warm up, then you have to increase speed and alternate relax to tension so speeding up and speeding down. Anyway i just posted a long tutorial 1h 40 minutes with more than 40 exercises and i guarantee you that you will improve at least a 20% the first week if you study it on a daily routine, then after 170pbm it takes time to break to improove but the goal is not speed is a perfect sync because sometimes we thing the right is the problem while it' the left!  Hope this helped
#4
Thnx for the replies guys!
What i did and it pays off, is i focued on my index and ring finger by doing exercises with only those two all along the neck by starting with 30bpm and now i am at 45bpm. It really,really helps.i am not 100% there but im on it.
I started to believe that i have a dystonia or something,even my doctor suggested me to go see a neurologist......
Anw what i have to say to other guitar students or self learners,is that start slow and relax,as you guys proposed. It will take some time.....but hey. Everything thats worth it takes time isnt it?
Cheers!
#5
pasxalis1987 Yes, for sure Rome wasn’t built in a day.. BUT if you don’t have any physical problem (not a doctor) playing slow pay only at the beginning or when you are learning something new, in that case is a MUST to go slow, then your brain=your muscle= your hands need more informations to be able to play faster. 

So that means start to study at a speed that is comfortable but still a little bit challenging, more or less is the same concept on “how to break the 200bpm” (did a video about that) and that is the ONLY way to build a solid technique with every instrument not only with the guitar. My teacher at the conservatory shown me the stuff i am talking you about from the very first year of school.

Going deep.. you have to alternate a sane “tension” to relax and the better exercise to do that are speed burst, then you should apply that at your problem you should practice all the combinations of 1234, it takes time and at the beginning you will feel like drunk because they help your tendons to work properly but you should start to see little improvement very soon.

I leave here 2 videos so that you can understand better what i am talking about, then there are many other on my youtube channel and they all are for hand independence and alternate picking, probably even my dotted note exercise could help you a lot. Try for a week and let me know i am pretty sure that you will have benefits!

This to understand the concept 



and this for improve your independence

#6
Iconte Thanks for sharing! I especially like the 2nd video about sync-development. I do a similar exercise to get my sync better. I think i gonna give it a try
#7
Matt_Hornstein you are welcome, don't forget to write down all the combinations and play it random, your brain will go in crisis but it's worth.. then if you want a super left hand you can try even with hammer on and pull off
#8
In the long run (maybe 8-10 years for guitarists that play regularly) the connective tissue around tendons that project through the wrist will disappear. This allows an increased speed, flexibility, and independence of finger movement that is a joy for those who patiently wait for it.

If you hold your right hand out, palm up, make a fist, angle the fist upward from the arm, and wiggle your fingers in the fist, you will see just before your wrist that your tendons are bundled together. If you have played a long time and do this with your left hand, you will notice that the tendons are not bundled; they are separated and further apart, and their visibility as "cables" under the skin will extend further up the arm. This is even more striking if you lay a finger over them as you do this and feel the difference. Furthermore, if you look carefully you may notice more veins under the skin as well. 
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#10
I agree with Iconte. You hear many people telling you to practice slowly to get faster. That's only true if you don't know the line, or your technique is truly horrendous. Otherwise, you'll never get considerably faster without playing faster. Don't worry about hitting a slop note here or there, just make sure that when you do, you understand what made the note sloppy, and work on correcting it. Also of course, metronome or backing track always useful.

Like getting stronger at the gym. Power lifters don't train with a weight they can lift for 40 reps, they train with much heavier weights like 3-5 reps. To get faster you have to push yourself to the limit, within reason of course.
#11
I'd also like to add that I've seen several virtuoso guitarists talk about playing at a speed beyond what they are capable at, and cleaning it up from there. This includes Shawn Lane and Michael Angelo Batio, two of the fastest guitarists I know. If you do this, it has to be approached cautiously though. Make sure you're not satisfied with sloppiness and make sure your technique isn't garbage and won't get you hurt.

I think it would be more of a way for intermediate or advanced players to get faster than beginners. Beginners shouldn't be worried about speed at all though, to be honest.
Last edited by jlowe22 at Aug 15, 2017,
#12
Quote by jlowe22
I'd also like to add that I've seen several virtuoso guitarists talk about playing at a speed beyond what they are capable at, and cleaning it up from there.  This includes Shawn Lane and Michael Angelo Batio, two of the fastest guitarists I know.  If you do this, it has to be approached cautiously though.  Make sure you're not satisfied with sloppiness and make sure your technique isn't garbage and won't get you hurt.

I think it would be more of a way for intermediate or advanced players to get faster than beginners.  Beginners shouldn't be worried about speed at all though, to be honest.


Absolutely true! You have to start pushing yourself to your limit and get out of your "comfort zone" to get faster. But what is even more important then just playing fast is how you can integrate all your licks, arpeggios, different technics, etc.
So beside working on speed i always try to be able to integrate the new things, before or while i am working on my speed.
I made the experience that beginners or early intermediate players also only focusing on speed, not realizing that speed is worthless, if you can't apply it
#13
Quote by jlowe22
I'd also like to add that I've seen several virtuoso guitarists talk about playing at a speed beyond what they are capable at, and cleaning it up from there.  This includes Shawn Lane and Michael Angelo Batio, two of the fastest guitarists I know.  If you do this, it has to be approached cautiously though.  Make sure you're not satisfied with sloppiness and make sure your technique isn't garbage and won't get you hurt.

I think it would be more of a way for intermediate or advanced players to get faster than beginners.  Beginners shouldn't be worried about speed at all though, to be honest.

The idea is a three tier thing. First you get something under your fingers at a tempo where you can play it perfectly. Then you work up to your limit. Then you exceed your limit and let it fall apart a few times. Then you go back to your limit. The real practice happens at the lower tempo, where you perfect the motions. The rest is about finding and pushing the limits of your controllable technique. 
#14
Quote by cdgraves
The idea is a three tier thing. First you get something under your fingers at a tempo where you can play it perfectly. Then you work up to your limit. Then you exceed your limit and let it fall apart a few times. Then you go back to your limit. The real practice happens at the lower tempo, where you perfect the motions. The rest is about finding and pushing the limits of your controllable technique. 

Yes, absolutely right,  But the idea that "You have to practice slow to get faster" is a gross oversimplification of what is really going on.  You have to find and push your limits.  
#15
Going slow is for the mind's benefit (grasping the order and timing); going fast is for the fingers' benefit.

Playing fast is different - there are mechanical dynamics involved, like adjusting the spark ahead of top-dead-center when setting the timing on an engine. At slow speed you can "place" the fingers individually for the duration of each note. At fast speed you have to start the placement motion earlier and it is more like "throwing" the fingers because of their inertia, and then you have to "brake" their momentum and throw them in anticipation of their next position, all this adjustment comes from moving the instructions slightly forward in time and making the motions with more force to be faster (without speeding up or playing too hard). Your fingers figure all this out from practicing fast (but you have to go slow to get it right in your mind, first; then take it up to speed).
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#16
Quote by PlusPaul
Going slow is for the mind's benefit (grasping the order and timing); going fast is for the fingers' benefit.

Playing fast is different - there are mechanical dynamics involved, like adjusting the spark ahead of top-dead-center when setting the timing on an engine. At slow speed you can "place" the fingers individually for the duration of each note. At fast speed you have to start the placement motion earlier and it is more like "throwing" the fingers because of their inertia, and then you have to "brake" their momentum and throw them in anticipation of their next position, all this adjustment comes from moving the instructions slightly forward in time and making the motions with more force to be faster (without speeding up or playing too hard). Your fingers figure all this out from practicing fast (but you have to go slow to get it right in your mind, first; then take it up to speed).

Ideally this kind of anticipation is developed at lower speeds as part of one's general technique. Especially for classical guitar, it's absolutely essential. It's a healthy habit no matter what, because it reduces overall motion by allowing for the most efficient use of technique rather than the most convenient (or worse, inconsistent technique for the same passage). It shouldn't be particular to high-demand playing, but it often is.
#17
Hi guys......moved from 35 bpm to 60 and going to 70 on my 1 3 exercises....
On the pentatonic though i moved from 35 to 80 and by next week i'll try to hit on 100bpm......boy that slooooooooowwwwwwwww and booooooooring exercie sections are all gone since i managed to ''fix'' my and build on my finger independence with my index and ring finger.......
Anw i am practicing some hammer-ons and trills on 60bpm and hopefully by the end of the month i will increase the tempo........
#19
Quote by pasxalis1987
Hi guys......moved from 35 bpm to 60 and going to 70 on my 1 3 exercises....
On the pentatonic though i moved from 35 to 80 and by next week i'll try to hit on 100bpm......boy that slooooooooowwwwwwwww and booooooooring exercie sections are all gone since i managed to ''fix'' my and build on my finger independence with my index and ring finger.......
Anw i am practicing some hammer-ons and trills on 60bpm and hopefully by the end of the month i will increase the tempo........

Just remember the important thing which is How is this affecting your ability to actually play things? Exercises are an important part of your practice but they're a means to an end, not the end itself. Always make sure you're judging the effectiveness of exercises on how well you're playing, not how well you're practicing.
Actually called Mark!

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