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Keeping the fingers on the down low

Posted by Andah1andah2 on Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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I have been working along on my usual tunes and other practice, but decided to add another focus. The other day, I was continuing my work on a bluegrass Sally Goodin version by Ian Walsh.  I got through the whole tune and have been practicing at making it smoother.  I decided to try playing with the slow backup track at a measly 85 bpm.  Wow!  It turns out to be break-neck or rather fall apart speed for me.  One thing I noticed is that my left fingers were coming down from the sky to hit each note and, because of my finger distance, I was creating this slapping or flopping of the fingers on the fingerboard.  Not very efficient.

My goal now is to play with my fingers closer to the fingerboard.  Easier said than done, because when you focus on something like that, it is easy to lose your focus on the tune your playing.  I am practicing this with scales and tunes I know pretty well and just accepting that they are not going to sound that great while I focus on finger placement.  Another funny thing I notice is, now that I'm reducing the distance my fingers must travel to play each note, my timing has been thrown off a bit.  I can play a given note faster than usual.

Anyway, just another thing to unlearn and relearn.   It kinda crept up on me without much notice.


3 comments on “Keeping the fingers on the down low”

mudbug Says:
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @2:44:35 AM

Keep at it, Stew. It seems like when starting out, there's just so many details to concentrate on, that you're happy to get it all together, but it's nice to then focus on each little thing in turn, to fine-tune. I'm doing my own fine-tuning at the moment and probably will be fine-tuning for quite awhile.

robinja Says:
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @9:43:35 AM

I do ok on this for all of my fingers except my pinky, which I seem to hold up high in the air and slam it down when needed! I need to work on this, for sure. I was watching another fiddler recently, and his pinky was so well behaved. Guess I'll have to resort to good old-fashioned discipline - not my strong suit!

FiddleJammer Says:
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @10:49:45 AM

And, my pinky has gone all rogue on my lately. It comes down without warning and the nail catches the string and does this quirky pizzicato-ish thing. Sheesh, just when you think you've got 'em under control, they start to misbehave!

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