Voice from a hammer

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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As02
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Voice from a hammer

Post by As02 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:26 am

Playing guitar like hammering those six strings! Please suggest some exercises which can help me getting to “eradicate” those habits.

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lagartija
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Re: Voice from a hammer

Post by lagartija » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:56 pm

Hammering with the fretting hand or plucking hand?
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As02
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Re: Voice from a hammer

Post by As02 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:33 pm

Both. The sound never made a legato style.
Last edited by As02 on Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rognvald
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Re: Voice from a hammer

Post by Rognvald » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:42 pm

If you mean playing loudly, I wouldn't do anything since some players have a difficulty playing loudly. If you mean literally attacking the strings/fingerboard with a frenetic and wild abandon, I would suggest a double vodka martini with 2 blue cheese olives before every practice session. If that doesn't work . . . Playing again . . .Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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lagartija
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Re: Voice from a hammer

Post by lagartija » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:12 pm

If you mean you play with volume, as Rognvald has said, there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are comparing your playing with a hammer because you are unable to play a legato melody line, then that is another issue.

I know of two things (at minimum) that can cause lack of legato sound. Lack of synchronicity of right and left hand, and not knowing the exact moment to let go with the fretting hand (either too soon or too late). They are two slightly different things, but will have the effect of shortening and separating notes and lead to a non-legato sound.

To work on the first, synchronicity, my teacher gave me several exercises. While playing a C scale with metronome, place both the fretting finger and the plucking finger at the same time on the string, but do not press down the fretting finger...just rest lightly on the string. Both are now placed. On the next metronome click, depress the string simultaneously with both fingers and play. So the pattern is prepare, then play, prepare, then play. Do this at a speed where you are totally aware of *when both fingers* touch the string. For me, the hardest thing was not to press the fretting finger down immediately, well before the plucking finger had depressed the string. This prepare/play is the default timing. Sometimes the music requires a change in timing, but those would be exceptions. Practicing this while doing scales for just a few minutes a day helped a great deal with synchronicity.

For letting go too soon or too late with the fretting hand in a musical passage, my teacher had me practice the moment in the passage where it was not legato and find the *exact* moment I needed to move. My tendency was to move too soon because I *thought* I didn't have enough time to get to the next place! For getting there too late, he had me use dotted rhythms. Somehow, in a funny way, that seems to change the perception of time so what you thought was not enough time really is enough time and it seems to smooth the gaps in legato playing. I can't exactly tell you why it works, but it has for me.
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Andrew Pohlman
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Re: Voice from a hammer

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:53 pm

Sounds like you are referencing the "purist" mode of notes only. I've had audiences who actually think the extra sounds equate to "expression". But I understand what you mean - the extra noise means you are not in control of technique and execution.

I learned rock first in which I always play with an anchored pinky. SO for me, my teacher just forced me to play like a surgeon - with my hand suspended above the strings and to break my habit of anchoring a pinky. Just that - floating my right hand - fixed many of my "expressive" tapping noises.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Voice from a hammer

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:56 pm

As02 wrote:
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:26 am
Playing guitar like hammering those six strings! Please suggest some exercises...
The answer is in Lagartija's post, but perhaps it is rather hidden.

The answer is SCALES!

If you can't get them to sound right, you are playing them too fast.


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dtoh
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Re: Voice from a hammer

Post by dtoh » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:34 am

There's a super easy trick for fixing this problem........while listening carefully, play scales slowly every day for a few years.

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