Monday, October 6, 2008

Squeeze Your Fingers Around Her Neck

Gary Willis of Tribal Tech on finger pressure.

And man, it's good advice. Even on guitar, although I think it's worse on bass. But I have tried to teach two of three sons how to play guitar, and they've driven themselves to tears from squeezing the strings too hard.

One of the Guitar Craft things I've heard and not been able to internalize is Fripp saying you have to control how far you pull your fingers from the strings if you want to have efficient playing. I think I pull off too far, but then you can't get a decent hammer-on without some distance, too. But pushing down too far is probably just as bad. The death grip slows you down, it pulls you sharp, and it hurts your fingers, and it gives you nothing in return.


agatzebluz said...

Pus, you can get out of tune
Try the E major chord in open position and squeeze down the third.
That's certainly a good advice, but hard to follow in my case.
The same kind of problem I encounter in the strengh of my picking hand. I pick too hard and that's a waste of energy.

Dave Jacoby said...

Exactly. I did mention how fretting too hard makes you go sharp, but it's good to repeat it sometimes.

For picking, on electric it doesn't make much of a difference in volume if you strum or you wail. There's only so much energy you can shove into a pickup. On acoustic, there is a marked dynamic difference between strumming and wailing. I'll admit that I default to pounding too hard, trying to get every last bit of volume out of my flattop. I have pulled the low E string flat and I will again.

Thanks for reading!