Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Thu May 09, 2019 11:46 am

Tonit wrote:I surmise what he's saying is, we place LH fingers fraction of a second before plucking by RH fingers, which can't be the other way around. LH fingers before RH fingers, and never RH fingers before LH fingers which is quite obvious without any supporting empirical data.
On the contrary - placing R.H. fingers before L.H. is in fact an acknowledged method for developing propreoceptive response ... also for the management of articulation, synchronisation and velocity.

Visual feedback certainly has its place in the learning process and can be useful in performance too (though usually not essential) - once again the important thing is to understand one's own capabilities and to consciously choose where (and why) one might employ a given strategy.

Tonit
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by Tonit » Thu May 09, 2019 2:42 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:46 am
Tonit wrote:I surmise what he's saying is, we place LH fingers fraction of a second before plucking by RH fingers, which can't be the other way around. LH fingers before RH fingers, and never RH fingers before LH fingers which is quite obvious without any supporting empirical data.
On the contrary - placing R.H. fingers before L.H. is in fact an acknowledged method for developing propreoceptive response ... also for the management of articulation, synchronisation and velocity.

Visual feedback certainly has its place in the learning process and can be useful in performance too (though usually not essential) - once again the important thing is to understand one's own capabilities and to consciously choose where (and why) one might employ a given strategy.
Interesting. Thank you for the info on our proprioception being contrary to the actual sequence of events physically taking place that I now surmise is placing RH -> placing LH -> plucking RH. Still I look at RH when practicing mainly through mirror without being narcicistic. Also still I look at LH when playing without my glasses when I have nowhere to look at.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Thu May 09, 2019 4:05 pm

Tonit wrote:... that I now surmise is placing RH -> placing LH -> plucking RH ...
N.B. I'm not suggesting that in performance we must consistently aim to place the digits of either hand before the other - simply that such a method is a useful practice tool. We are usually seeking to synchronise as closely as possible but sometimes this is best controlled through a carefully practised sequential approach.

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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by Tonit » Thu May 09, 2019 5:03 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 4:05 pm
Tonit wrote:... that I now surmise is placing RH -> placing LH -> plucking RH ...
N.B. I'm not suggesting that in performance we must consistently aim to place the digits of either hand before the other - simply that such a method is a useful practice tool. We are usually seeking to synchronise as closely as possible but sometimes this is best controlled through a carefully practised sequential approach.
Thank you for further clarifying these. I kind of got it before. Nice to ntrovert and explore the mysteries within our little inner galaxy. I am positive with the quest. It is important to digest before get it assimilated, like I know my body is made out of cornflakes kebobs and pizzas that I don't see anywhere on my body, but I know that from what I have been living on exclusively. We can skip metabolism mechanism, but just have to know what is the ingredients of the nails we cut for example, for our well beings, kind of.

Luis_Br
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by Luis_Br » Thu May 09, 2019 6:13 pm

I disagree on sequence playing. RH or LH preparation are useful for stability and aquiring touch sensibility. Sometimes touching the string before might be used in advance, as preparation, but this is not a small sequence to develop the stroke or speed. The preparation is a huge anticipation to enhance stability and security. Correct practice is to press both at the same time. I think probably even neuronal path is different when you do it in sequence or press together, so sequence playing won't help the latter.
On LH visualization, I think it is useful for jumps and for memorization, specially to those with better visual memory. For hand positioning etc., it might help a bit the beginners, but you must judge the best position by the feeling of less effort, which is internal, of the muscles. The eye cannot tell if a curved wrist or a curved finger is easier than a straighter one. How much curved or straight? And elbow, where should it be? The eye can correct big problems and obvious mistakes, intermediary to advanced players correct small details the eye cannot see.

Crofty
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by Crofty » Thu May 09, 2019 10:59 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 10:08 am
Contreras wrote:Doesn't everybody?
Not always - like you, I often find myself playing with eyes closed - even in concert situations. Other times one might be watching the conductor, reading the dots, smiling at that weird looking girl in the second row ...
Blimey, is she still following you around Mark? I've said before - you need to report her to the appropriate authorities [whoever they are...]

Or at least stop encouraging her by smiling.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri May 10, 2019 5:52 am

Crofty wrote:
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote: ... that weird looking girl in the second row ...
Blimey, is she still following you around Mark? I've said before - you need to report her to the appropriate authorities [whoever they are...]
One of many Paul - at least she's moved back to the second row now ... as to reporting? This is the UK, have you not realised yet that "appropriate" is hardly a description to attach to any supposed authority?

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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by Tonit » Fri May 10, 2019 7:52 am

Hi closet guitarist,
closet guitarist wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:38 am

I did not read it that way since he was discussing watching the hand and its effects on playing and not synchronization specifically.

I didn't quite understand the rest of your post Tonit maybe if you could re-word it? I might be a little slow.
Well Frank does discuss the syncing:
Frank Nordberg wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 6:55 pm
Contreras wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 9:04 am
I suppose following the left hand imparts an extra level of accuracy.
The hand you watch will always be a fraction slower than the other hand and that means they tend to go out of sync, reducing both precision and speed.
For the benefit of doubt, "The hand you watch" refers to our left hand that you visually verify before executing the maneuver, unlike your other hand doing without the visually cognitive step that the left hand does, making it one step ahead of your left hand. This may be arguable.

But the important fact is; if someone visually prioritizes one hand over another, then he/she fails to explain the reason why looking at only left hand benefits us when both left and right hands are engaged in the action.

The rest of my writing is about difference between our practice and performance situations, as to how our consciousness and subconsciousness work or must work therein.

In our daily livingroom practice situation we better draw on as many info sources as possible to spot out any physical issue, bringing it up to our conscious level, and further correct them in accordance with the info, including visually available info, possibly through addition of mirrors. The goal of any such practice is to put it back into our subconscious level once it has been corrected, so we do not have to consciously focus on the corrected issue thereafter, or have the case closed.

However, when we perform, we have different set of visual priorities, like the other band members, stompboxes, dancers, palmas, and quite importantly the audience.

Flamenco in particular requires the guitarists to look at dancers and singers whom the guitarist sould follow, because the form and many aspects of a flamenco tune is intuitively set and led by the singers and dancers, allowing me very little time to look at my left hand or right hand or anything else.

So being without anything else to look at, I know I can go without it, but I do look at the left hand anyways.

I hope it is clearer now. Any further question just ask, and thank you for asking.

closet guitarist
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by closet guitarist » Fri May 10, 2019 11:18 am

"The hand you watch will always be a fraction slower than the other hand and that means they tend to go out of sync, reducing both precision and speed."

My mistake Tonit about the syncing though my request for empirical data still stands. I would like to see the info on "hand watching" impairing speed and precision. Doesn't seem to fit with my experience.

Watching the well known guitarists perform they all appear to be looking at their left hand a majority of the time. I do as well, though at times I will concentrate on my right hand, because the left typically moves more and further than the right.

Tonit
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by Tonit » Fri May 10, 2019 1:03 pm

Hi closet guitarist,
closet guitarist wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 11:18 am
"The hand you watch will always be a fraction slower than the other hand and that means they tend to go out of sync, reducing both precision and speed."

My mistake Tonit about the syncing though my request for empirical data still stands. I would like to see the info on "hand watching" impairing speed and precision. Doesn't seem to fit with my experience.

Watching the well known guitarists perform they all appear to be looking at their left hand a majority of the time. I do as well, though at times I will concentrate on my right hand, because the left typically moves more and further than the right.
I suppose what I was asked initially is not the empirical data, but what Frank meant that can be understood not empirically but by logic, that is:

ACCORDING TO FRANK:
If we need to look at left hand only, quite roughly,
Right hand follows:
1) Brain to command to pluck
2) Finger to react and pluck

Left hand follows:
1) Brain to command to fret
2) Eyes to verify that the finger is at the right place
3) Brain to receive the signal then send to execute the fretting
4) LH to fret

We can argue Eyes are not in fact verifying. But then eyes are in fact not any functional part of it, so that we can skip the eye verification part.

That's how I understood.

But again this is only logical understanding of what Fred said. Empirically I do look at the fretting hands, but also I know I can go without it, making same amount of mistakes as when I look at my LH. It is more of psychological than physical for me.

claudiabarton
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by claudiabarton » Fri May 10, 2019 5:08 pm

I never really thought about it - but yes, I sometimes look at my left hand while playing; and sometimes at my right hand. I guess I look from hand to hand - as well as at the score... and also sometimes around the room, or rather, unfocussed gazing into space... I don't think this is a very effective way of playing, but I have no technique at all. I am hoping to learn, and basically am a complete novice!

Tonit
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by Tonit » Sat May 11, 2019 8:05 pm

Hi claudiabarton,
claudiabarton wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:08 pm
I never really thought about it - but yes, I sometimes look at my left hand while playing; and sometimes at my right hand. I guess I look from hand to hand - as well as at the score... and also sometimes around the room, or rather, unfocussed gazing into space... I don't think this is a very effective way of playing, but I have no technique at all. I am hoping to learn, and basically am a complete novice!
It really doesn't matter before it starts mattering. If you take extra efforts to control where you look when playing, then it might be useless after all.

Or, I would suggest you to relax, look at wherever you want, because it matters by far less than everything else.

If I would suggest to look at somewhere, look at a mirror in front of you when playing, checking your posture or movement from a third person perspective to compare it with what you see when pros are playing. You may have two or more mirros. I usually have two.

Example:



This seems to be unpopular among classical guitarists, but is very popular among flamenco and metal guitarists.

I hope this helps you.

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Frank Nordberg
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by Frank Nordberg » Sun May 12, 2019 6:43 pm

Tonit wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:03 pm
I suppose what I was asked initially is not the empirical data, but what Frank meant that can be understood not empirically but by logic...
Yes, the logical explanation covers much of it. I don't think there is any emprical data but lots of experience from generations of musicians .. and typists actually - seems it's the same issue ther. If you want to type very fast, you don't watch the keyboard, you watch the screen.

But there are six other factors too:
  • The fingers of the hands you watch have to deal with conflicting messages from your eyes and your muscle memory. It takes a fraction of a second to sort that out.
  • When we watch and focus very closely on something we do, we always have a tendency to hesitate a little bit, just to make sure we get it exactly right.
  • When watching the hand, it's very easy to focus on where the hand and fingers are rather than where they are going and we start thinking movements from rather than to. This factor is especially important and easy to demonstrate with position changes. Place your hand in first position, watch it closely and move it to twelfth position. Then try it again but this time, focus on the twelfth position, not the first position where your hand is (you can look if you like for this test). Notice how much easier it is? How much faster and more precise the movement is? This applies to all kinds of movements I know of, not just playing a musical isntrument: focus is on the target, not the starting point or - as Pepe Romero (I think it was) put it - imagine your pulling, not pushing your fingers/hands.
  • For real precision, we need to feel the strings underneath our fingers. Us humas are such visual creatures. 30 percent of our brain capacity is dedicated to processing what our eyes see, only 8 percent is dedicated to touch. We always have a tendency to give priority to the visual input when there are confilcts between our senses but when it comes to fretting a guitar, the fingertip feel (literally) is always far more reliable than sight.
  • This may depend a bit on how each individual is built but most people at least don't actually see the fretboard at all in a perfect sitting position. All we see is the back and side of the neck. So to see at all, we have to twist and turn both guitar and body into less than ideal positions.
  • And even them we don't really see very well. The hand is too far away and the view angle is too awkward for us to actually see the minute nuances in finger position required for precision fretting.

closet guitarist
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by closet guitarist » Sun May 12, 2019 7:21 pm

I have to say, at least in my mind, logic is empirically determined. Some of what has been stated previously is personal experience and might not be able to be conveyed to another person. How you "feel" things does not necessarily mean it is logical.

Cheers

Tonit
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Re: Do you look at your left hand while playing the guitar??

Post by Tonit » Sun May 12, 2019 7:33 pm

Frank Nordberg wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 6:43 pm
Yes, the logical explanation covers much of it. I don't think there is any emprical data but lots of experience from generations of musicians .. and typists actually - seems it's the same issue ther. If you want to type very fast, you don't watch the keyboard, you watch the screen.

But there are six other factors too:
Finally the man is back in the room.
I actually work as a translator for over two decades and as a freelancer for the last 15 years, and I need a filco happy hacking keyboard to really perform and maximize my output. So, it takes a while to work on laptop keyboards. Even though I am not a programmer, typing for me is like just as talking, with some errors that I need to spell-check and eliminate before delivering.

And I should admit also that when I have to change positions often and drastically, then I yield better accuracy by looking at my LH. But when I overdo and look at the fretting hand all the time, it actually works for the worse and none contributing to any musical results IMPO.

But again maybe it's just me who just set my scope in the fretting area for no reason.

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