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An Introduction To Fingerboard Mechanics On The Guitar
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An Introduction to Fingerboard Mechanics on the Guitar

Your skill as a guitarist depends entirely on the depth of knowledge that you have of your instrument. There are many guitarists who never learn to play in a logical and complete way. Learning form manuals and the internet is all well and good but, more often than not they overlook crucial information regarding technical development that is so vital to any advancing guitarist.

There are certainly many methods out there that can get you to do certain things, which although very beneificial can often overlook vital ways in which you can really get to know your instrument. In other words there are many holes in the majority of guitarist’ knowledge that can only be filled in by really studying guitar properly. When you know the method, the method becomes you, and it can often become more important than the music that it is helping to facilitate. Learning whatever you want to learn is made a great deal more simple and a lot quicker to pick up.

Fist of all you must learn how to use the notes up and down one string, then you must get to grips with playing in positions, that is up and down the neck and back, and then, you must be able to combine both of the above. Position playing is of enormous importance to guitarists and can take years to really come to terms with, but what very few guitarists do is play up and down the string. This is what makes it so important as it has been explored so little.

In Indian music, playing up and down the string is of enormous significance because the instrument is tuned to a chord and therefore modal. But western music this happens very seldom. However, consider this. Playing up and down the string is a really useful exercise in that it helps you to easily visualize the intervals in the scale. Also, it can eliminate a couple of common problems among students of guitar, namely that of paralysis or being locked into positions, and also, fear of using frets higher up the neck.

Moreover, along with visualising the intervals more clearly there are a number of other benefits that come with varying the combinations. Interesting melodic possibilities can begin to occur more frequently along with different types of phrasing and articulation. To add to this, the problem of changing strings is eliminated.

Until you have spent a good amount of time playing up and down one string at a time you will never be able to truly see how the positions all link together and their real advantages. Try playing up and down each of the six strings individually, followed by a combination of going up one string and down another. Study the melodic and harmonic intervals. Then play in the open position, followed by playing in other positions and then try putting it all together. I guarantee that following these stages through and playing in this manner will transform the way that you look at guitar playing and the mechanics of the fretboard.


Street Talk

Awesome! This is very valuable advice. I have found myself stuck in the box before in my playing. Your article confirmed that I am on the right track.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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