Fingering Exercises

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Re: Fingering Exercises

Postby keener » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:41 pm

Thanks, Craig, for noting the exercises can be done on both hands. Very good point.

I know what you mean about the turtleneck ... all they ever made me look was warmer, not better :)

All my best
Bruce

Oh, and thanks also for the additional thumbs-up on Parkening's books.
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Re: Fingering Exercises

Postby RandyBuckner » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:15 pm

My problem was that the sweater made me look sophisticated but didn't help my pickin' - not one lick.

Randy

:lol:
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Re: Fingering Exercises

Postby keener » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:32 pm

Ditto for me, Randy.

I did idolize Parkening when I was about 30, though. What he could accomplish on the guitar amazed me. He's the reason I decided to get classical instruction (for a few months) and to start using my nails for picking (after about 15 years of using just my finger tips). I was convinced that forcing myself to learn to use nails would give me more precision, and ultimately better control, if it didn't kill me first. Thankfully I survived it and I think it was a good decision for me.

BTW, I still think Parkening is one of the All-Time Greats. I'm not much for idols at my age, but I sure do admire him. (I do idolize Norah Jones, though.)
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Re: Fingering Exercises

Postby albertgen » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:52 am

I believe Hank Garland used "Sugarfoot Rag" as fingering excercise, which turned into a great song. Chet did a latin song using modes, but I don't recall the song at the moment. Al
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Re: Fingering Exercises

Postby keener » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:05 am

"Sugarfoot Rag" would surely make a good warm-up exercise. I think for now I'll settle in on the arpeggios described by Chet, the material in Parkening's books, Craig's exercises (developed by John Knowles), and Huttlinger's exercises from the linked video (I'll probably also buy a DVD he has on practicing).

I'm finding that the relatively simple arpeggios that Chet described in the linked article are a real challenge for me, which means I need the exercises very much.
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Re: Fingering Exercises

Postby keener » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:21 pm

By the way, I read in one of Parkening's books today that Andrés Segovia practiced 4 hours per day until his death at age 94.
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Re: Fingering Exercises

Postby RandyBuckner » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:35 pm

I've read in interviews that Laurindo Almeida and Julian Bream practiced that much also.

I guess it's like Chet said, "There are no short cuts".

Randy
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Re: Fingering Exercises

Postby keener » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:49 pm

There really aren't any shortcuts, that's for sure. But, I don't see me putting in 4 hours of practice a day. To me, it's all about the joy it brings. Admittedly, part of the joy, a big part, is learning something new and/or learning how to play better. But, I also have to have time to just monkey around, and I don't even devote 4 hours a day Total to the guitar. For most of the past year, that might have been what I played in a week (when I was playing at all). I am trying to get back to playing regularly, but that will probably mean 1 to 3 hours a day, total.

Anyway, the most important reminder I've gotten out of Parkening's books, so far, is a reminder to Go Slow and Get It Right. Then speed up slowly until you can get the result without mistakes at the desired speed. Way too often, I work out a lick at a slow enough speed, but then speed up too quick and wind up with bugs in it.
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Re: Fingering Exercises

Postby RandyBuckner » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:29 am

I agree with what you're saying, Bruce. As adults it's hard to devote that much time to practice. I'd love to be able to practice 4 - 6 hours a day like I did as a kid, but I'm lucky to get 2 - 3 anymore.

Randy
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Re: Fingering Exercises

Postby RandeDager » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:44 am

We all have different psychological makeups and degrees of "the sense of obligation" which effects our decision
about how much time we will devote to daily practice. There are all kinds of rationalization that goes on.

I can personally say that if playing the guitar were my profession, I would feel no "guilt" about practicing 4 to 6 hours
per day because it would all be part of what it takes to be able to support my family. It would also be perceived that way by my wife.

Right now I devote a lot of time to preparing for my classes and grading papers. That is considered natural and necessary. Any time I devote to the guitar (1+ hours per day) is considered to be "discretionary" and unnecessary
to those around me, regardless of how enjoyable it is to me. It's in the same category as building birdhouses or
oilpainting. It's recreation to everyone else, regardless of how seriously I view it. That's one huge reason I wish it
were a profession.

Then there is the issue of our personalities. Would we all put 4 to 6 hours per day into practicing the guitar if our time was our own? That probably depends upon how much progress we feel we are making by doing so. If we feel we are just "spinning our wheels" and not progressing after a 4 hour session, then it wouldn't feel as enticing to sit down for another 4 hours the next day. Then there's the issue of "how much" progress we feel is necessary in order to be worth our time to continue on such a schedule. For some, just a tiny amount of progress is enough. Others expect more or they feel they are wasting their time. Many just don't have the personality that would allow for them to be so disciplined, even if they are super-talented. Then there are those with very little talent who continue to put in that daily practice time because they are very patient and disciplined, as well as hopeful.

I would absolutely love to be in a position where I could devote 4 to 6 hours per day practicing the guitar!

I guess what I'm saying is that it is a very complex issue........or maybe I just made it that way........lol.
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