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George Clinton guitar exercises

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Guitar exercises

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George Clinton guitar exercises

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  2. 2. EXERCISES for the independence and flexibility of the left and right hand fingers by (¡sones CLINTON LEFT HAND (m i or i m for all exercises) These exercises aim to give independence and flexibility to all fingers, strengthen the barre position, and facilitate scale playing. Each exercise takes the finger or fingers con- cerned to the maximum extension and consequently helps the playing of many extended posi- tions that are to be found in most of the difficult works. The student is advised not to grip the neck tightly when stretching the fingers, this will contract the muscles of the hand; rather should the stretch be made with a light and relaxed movement. Also the hand should be rested each time muscular tiredness is felt. In the early struggles to produce clear notes while holding down the barre, the force used is often out of all proportion to that required to do the job. Also, fingers 2, 3 and 4 lose their independence needed to position them properly. The inclination of the fingers is to worktogether as agroup, and this is the basic difficulty in developing instrumental technique. The secret in using the barre is muscle economy - to train the big muscle which lies between the thumb and 1st finger to apply just enough force and no more. This can be demon- strated by the following experiment: put the 1st finger across all the Strings, making a barre at the 5th fret. Squeeze hard. Maintaining this pressure, move the 2nd finger up the 4th string as far as possible. Tension in the hand inhibits the flexibility of the 2nd finger. After relaxing the hand for a few moments replace the barre, but this time apply no pressure; just lay the finger across the strings with the thumb touching the neck. Move the 2nd finger as before. If the hand is properly relaxed it will be noticed how easily the 2nd finger moved away from the barre finger. Although in the second experiment the pressure was not enough to stop the strings from buzzing, it will be found that perseverence along these lines as part of daily practice develops just enough pressure without affecting the action of the remaining fingers. Note also that in separating the 2nd finger from the barre, the whole span of the hand is improved. Exercises 2 - 5 are designed to increase flexibility of the fingers and at the same time strengthen the barre. Inefficient syncronisation of left hand stopping and right hand plucking is often the cause of uneven playing, especially in scale passages. Exercise6is designed to overcome both these difficulties and generally speed up the action of both hands. The rhythmic nature of each bar ensures for one whole beat that the action of the particular finger being exercised is given a burst of speed, so the choice of tempo should be taken in regard to the ease with which the first four quavers can be played. Points to watch: (1) strictly observe the rhythmic form of each bar. (2) Do not move the hand about in order to reach the notes. Three exercises of Tarrega are included: the first to develop the stretch between the 2nd and 4th fingers, and 2nd and 3rd fingers. The extension of the 4th finger diminishes as the exercise is taken up the fingerboard, whereas it is in these higher positions that the suppleness of the 3rd finger is tested because of the greater width of fingerboard. It is important that the 1st and 2nd fingers remain on the strings throughout. The second exercise tests the weakness between the 3rd and 4th fingers whilst the last represents a marvellous little study in legado (hammer and snaps) playing. In this exercise ensure that the ‘snap’ action is executed downwards bringing the fingertip to rest against the adjacent string (as in apoyando). © 1977 by Musical New Services Ltd.
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  6. 6. RIGHT HAND These exercises. supplement the arpeggio as a foundation of right hand technique. Present day musical requirements demand a much greater degree of independence between the thumb and fingers of the right hand, and the arpeggio which tends to designate each finger to a particular string is opposed to this development. Independence of the thmnb means being able to play aline of music with the fingers and at the same time either keep going a regular flow of notes with the thumb or else use the thumb for damping unwanted notes. In the beginning damping is hard to do, but if tackled slowly and systematically it comes without a great deal of trouble. These exercises use a recurring pattern, but in each one the rhythm and therefore the thumb pattern changes. In exercises 7 - 9 play the thumb pattern through until it is mastered then use them for damping in the following way: Take the first simplest exercise, first play the E in the bass and the E in the treble together using the thumb and the index finger. Then play the next E with the middle finger. Now, as you go to play the third E put the thumb lightly onto the sixth string and keep there while you play the third E, making sure that you take it off the string in time to play the next bass note. The damping of the three top strings (quaver rests) in exercise 16 is done by putting fingers im a back onto the strings immediately after plucking. Basic rhythm patterns ‘U o FF 9
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