Luis_Br wrote:Another useful exercise is to learn finger 1 nodes independence. I mean, learning to press only tip, or only in the middle, or only in the base of the finger, while releasing/relaxing the other parts of the same finger. This enhances internal control for minimum required pressure for each bar part, both enabling applying pressure more to the required parts, or also giving more kinaesthetic perception and control when full bar is required. You have to feel the different pressure each string requires. Like in this F chord example, you can press strings 1 and 2 with finger 1 base, release finger 1 center (maybe arch it a bit if your finger is long) and press string 6 only with the tip.
Saw David Russell describe this in a masterclass. I’ve been teaching it ever since to students who are beyond the first stage of learning bar chords.
Here’s another good way to work on minimizing left hand pressure. Fret a note with any left hand finger and begin playing it repeatedly. As you play this note, gradually release left hand pressure until the note starts to buzz. Then gradually increase left hand pressure until the note stops buzzing. You need not increase left hand pressure beyond the point where the buzzing stops. Any pressure increase beyond this point is excessive and wasted effort. With practice, you should be able to make the buzz come and go with only a slight variation in left hand pressure. You can practice this with any finger, on any string.
What I love about this experiment is that it gives accurate feedback for all circumstances. Whether you have strong or weak hands, whether you’re playing a hard action steel string dreadnought or an Les Paul with Ernie Ball Super Slinks, you automatically get a precise answer for how much left hand pressure you need.
(In response to some critiques, I’ve expanded my article a bit.)
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