" -View" - of the Fretboard after neck surgery

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
lanten77
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" -View" - of the Fretboard after neck surgery

Post by lanten77 » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:27 am

Hi all,

My question relates to what YOU normally "see" when looking at the fretboard / left hand. I'll explain below -- I hope it makes sense...

Here's my situation:

Because of somewhat restricted neck movement (surgery 10 years ago), I am not really able to bend my neck/head forward enough to get a good "view" of the fretboard / strings.

What I mean by that is, with decent posture, but with restricted neck movement, what I see when looking at the fretboard is that all the strings "line up" with each other (like looking straight down at all the strings). So, I can't really see my fingertips contact each string.

I would prefer to be able to see the fretboard and each string "more from the front," especially with more demanding pieces/sections. It seems that almost all concert guitarists lean well forward to get this view (with some seriously bad posture though). Even David Russell gets his head forward a good bit.

I can't really remember how much of the "front" of the fretboard I "used to be able to see" a long time ago (been playing 30 years).

My questions are:

1. Should I be able to play securely/confidently/accurately when I really can only see my left hand POSITION, and not each string and left hand finger placement individually).

2. Should I be able to get used to playing with that restricted view?

2. Do any of you more advanced classical guitarists play without looking more toward the front of the fretboard?

PS I have tried leaning the guitar backward a little more than normal, to be able to see a little better, but that puts the left hand/wrist in an awkward position.

Thanks very much,
Bob

Pepe Romero Spruce/Rosewood 660

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robin loops
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Re: " -View" - of the Fretboard after neck surgery

Post by robin loops » Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:52 am

I try not to look at the fretboard except for big position changes so you might try to adapt first. For position changes without being able to see the frets, you could try fret marker dots on the topside of the neck and try to get used to not looking at the hands when not changing positions. But if you still need a better view a mirror might help.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

lanten77
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:01 am
Location: Florida, USA

Re: " -View" - of the Fretboard after neck surgery

Post by lanten77 » Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:44 am

Thanks Robin. Let me clarify though: I can see the edge of the fretboard fine, and the POSITION (meaning 3rd position, 5th position, etc) of my left hand is easy to see. It's just that I can't see the "front" of the fretboard. Like I mentioned, almost every concert guitarist I see (world class) watches the exact left hand FINGER positions.

I don't need to see it all the time by any means, but on difficult passages (that require exact finger placement) it seems a lot more accurate to be able to see the frets/fingertips. But you are probably right, that I just need to adapt to not being able to see the front of the fretboard.

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robin loops
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Re: " -View" - of the Fretboard after neck surgery

Post by robin loops » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:29 am

In that case I would just try to adapt, but if you find it difficult, you could use a mirror and work towards not needing to look. To develop that ability, I used to periodically practice in low lighting, gradually using less and less light until I could play in total darkness. This helped a lot because of a tendency I had to look at the neck even when I didn't need or mean too (subconsciously).

Looking at the left hand less, along with other posture modifications, such as tilting the guitar a bit so I could see the fretboard (when needed) without moving my neck forward as much, helped with back issues I had.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

ronjazz
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Re: " -View" - of the Fretboard after neck surgery

Post by ronjazz » Wed Nov 26, 2014 8:28 pm

Don't look, practice in the dark. There are too many very accomplished blind musicians to give sight dependency any importance.
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Re: " -View" - of the Fretboard after neck surgery

Post by Stefan Srećković » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:49 pm

In all honesty, I don't remember the last time I've looked at my fretboard. Even when learning a new piece.

Luis_Br
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Re: " -View" - of the Fretboard after neck surgery

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:35 pm

lanten77 wrote: 1. Should I be able to play securely/confidently/accurately when I really can only see my left hand POSITION, and not each string and left hand finger placement individually).
As ronjazz has said, there are several great blind musicians. Ioana Gandrabur is a good one I remember (search youtube).
lanten77 wrote: 2. Should I be able to get used to playing with that restricted view?
Yes, I only consider a piece ready only when I can play it with closed eyes. But I do use to watch my hands sometimes when learning, to visually check some positioning inconsistency. I also like to use a mirror during initial practice. Maybe you can use a mirror to help you too. You can also record yourself in video to check overall posture and so on.
lanten77 wrote: 2. Do any of you more advanced classical guitarists play without looking more toward the front of the fretboard?
Check youtube for Eduardo Fernandez or Stefano Grondona, for example, and you will see they normally do not look at the fretboard. My former teacher recommended me practicing without looking at the guitar all the time.

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