Mudcat Café message #584410 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #40703   Message #584410
Posted By: Rick Fielding
02-Nov-01 - 01:33 AM
Thread Name: Practice tip, odd but verrry effective.
Subject: RE: Practice tip, odd but verrry effective.
Actually Bob, you ain't too old to learn this finger roll. Possibly too old to win Mr. America...Definitely too old to become an Olympic 100 yard dash medalist, and probably too old to wear a thong to the beach......but FINGERPICKING? Nah....I learn these things to pass time between now and the grave!!

No TV? (lucky sods!) This technique works just as well with a big picture book. Go to the library and get a book on Dali, or Picasso or especially Toulouse-Lautrec (sp)

Absorb for an hour. Page turning? No're not using your left hand (open tuning, remember?)

Actually you can cut the noise to an absolute minimum by simply putting a bunched up kleenex under the strings (or you can send me twenty bucks for one of the brass banjo mutes that Mudcatter Bouzouki Bob and I invented and build!!

This whole right hand "repetition" thing cannot be overemphasized. The vast majority of experienced players that I work with have one little flaw that keeps them from being happy with their playing, and that is that they're still making conscious decisions with their right hand. Gotta be sub-conscious. I see the right hand as being the "tools". Once the "tools" work well the rest (and left hand) is very easy. If the right hand is still a bit hesitant it makes EVERYTHING much harder.

Here's a little "flat-pick excercise" that can really help you nail your "country" playing. If you want to learn some speedy runs like Doc Watson or Norman Blake play, this is a great one. (hard though)

Once again, tune to an open D. Pick your Baseball or football game (anything with music or dialogue is too distracting and this won't work)

Pick the sixth string (down)

pick the fifth string (down)

pick the fourth string four times (down-up, down-up)

The rhythm is two quarter notes and four eighth notes, so (like the fingerpicking pattern) it's BUM, BUM, BADABADA.

You gotta do this several hundred times, first really slowly and gradually as you get more into the game it'll get faster.

As you get a bit more comfortable, move to the 5th, 4th and 3rd. Then the 4th 3rd and 2nd, and finally the 3rd, 2nd and 1st. This is important, 'cause the muscle memory for flatpicking is quite different between bass and treble strings.

Once again, you should be able to accomplish weeks of normal practice in a couple of hours. When you're ready to tackle a real tune (in regular tuning) your wrist will already know the "down" and "upstroke" drill.