Wrong fingerings that prevent developing your guitar speed
Did you ever find, that playing a guitar solo is difficult and complicated for you? In our minds, guitarists, who play awesome solos are like humanoids with octopus-hands? You would like to be able to play guitar solos as cool as they do, but you don’t know, where to start?
Some time ago I felt the same way too, and a lot of guitarists, who come to my guitar class never played a solo before have a lot of difficulties with mastering it.
As I noticed, difficulties are mostly the same. You can have troubles with hand position or isolating unwanted noises, or synchronization etc. which won’t let you play fast solos straight and accurate. I see a lot in my lessons, that that is often not the biggest problem, sometimes people, who never played a solo, just don’t know, what fingerings are more proper to use to make it go fast and smooth, and not vice versa.
Fingering – is basically defining, what finger to put on which string and fret.
So, if you will use proper fingerings, or change them in proper ways, you will have these advantages:
1. You will need much less tension to play fast
2. You will hit right frets more accurately and your fingers won’t “mess up on speed”
3. You will be able to change positions better, without playing wrong notes
4. Different fingerings will make your playing more diverse
5. Learning new solos will take much less time, because you will practice in the right way
In this series of articles I would like to show you, which fingerings are more, and which are less effective in different situations and why.
Four fingerings of the same musical part.
As you may notice, first and second fingerings are the same, except the fingers
you use (numbers above).
First fingering is the most proper and academic, in which every of four fingers match one four frets, following each other on the fretboard.
Second fingering can also be used, but it is more useful for playing on the higher frets (12-24), where frets are very thin. It is not very comfortable around the fifth fret because of the big stretch between point and middle fingers.
In the third fingering, the fourth note is played not on the fifth string, but higher in the sixth. Basically it is a position shift and the whole hand moves to this note on the tenth fret. So notes on the fifth string should now be played with different fingers, because we have moved to a different position (meaning, that we play three notes per string)
The problem, that i see very often in my classes, is that people learn music with tablatures like this, and don’t think about things like this, and so, they use weird tablatures, because on the internet, fingers numbering is often missing.
The fourth fingering literally contains no information on how to play this part. It can be played with o
ne finger, or two, and then two other with hand shift. Tablatures like this are all over the internet and a lot of beginners, who learns to play a fast solo, just can’t play it, because it is physically very hard.
This last example is played in fact, in three positions. If you understand this, then you can remake this fingering into another one, for example, like the first one, which is way easier to play.
Don’t forget also about phrasing techniques. In this case it is a slide from 8th to 10th fret
in the third fingering. This technique will make the part sound different from the first fingering. In the internet tablature there is often no word about it. So there can be 3rd fingering in the original song, but in the tab you will find the 1st , and after learning music with this tab you will perform it in the wrong way! That is why the best way to learn a song is using your own ears, analyzing what plays a guitarist on the tape and finding different fingerings by yourself. This will develop your neck and notes visualization, as well as you musical hearing and further you will be able to compose the music you imagine much faster! If it is hard for you to detect music by your ear, you can use special soft , which allows you to slow down the track and loop it’s parts for easier learning.
For example, the fourth fingering could be played like this:
1. Learning music with tablatures limits you as a musician
2. You should always keep in mind, which fingerings you can use for one musical part, which of them are more comfortable, which will help you to create unusual sound
3. The knowledge of different musical scales can help you to use different fingerings more confidently in performing the same musical part
The discussion will continue in the next article.
About the author:
Pasha Bocharov is professional guitar player and guitar teacher in Moscow. If you want to learn how to play guitar in Moscow check out his teaching studio.