LH Practice and speed

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detwidkul
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LH Practice and speed

Post by detwidkul » Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:31 am

HI all

Mostly I see many discussion lately about improving RH alternation and speed and analyse what muscle groups to be used.

But what about LH, It has to be the same speed and strength to keep up the sync.

The basic idea that I knows are

- fingertip close to the string
- always release the fingertip whenever can
- practice hammer on and pull of every fingers ( without using RH )
- Improve finger independency

Are there any exercise or tips in practice LH effectively?
need to practice more!

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joachim33
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by joachim33 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:04 am

  • warm-up
  • Play in front of a mirror to avoid angled wrists.
  • Don’t overdo
    • Take breaks
    • Relax your hands and shoulders
    • shake your hands out
    • try to reach the sky with your hands - this will help your shoulders and neck spine.
  • Get your head in top of your body. It is heavy. Stress from the neck spine will affect your hands.
  • Play with bussing strings (scales, melodies) to get a feeling for how little force is needed to fret.
  • EJ43 are beautiful strings for left hand practice (and in general).

robert e
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by robert e » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:27 pm

I like joachim33's list.

You're kind of in luck, detwidkul, because most methods seem to devote at least twice as much space to LH compared to RH technique, as well they should, if only because of the risk of injury. That may be one reason why there's more discussion of the RH around here.

The best tip I have is to learn the fundamentals from a qualified teacher who can monitor and guide you in real time. In person best, but I think these days video can suffice. (I'm not a professional teacher, so there's no conflict of interest here; and by the same token, take my advice with a grain of salt.)

My next tip is to diligently review and monitor these fundamentals as you advance, because they are the key to everything else, including speed, strength, agility, and fluidity. I benefit greatly every time I review them with any seriousness. That's why a teacher is important, because the fundamentals affect everything else.

And the most important of these, IMO, is Relaxation. Even many methods neglect this key LH (and RH) skill--active, purposeful, insistent and instantaneous relaxing. If you want to be able to play fast, learn how to relax fast. For your hands to relax, your arms, shoulders, body, neck must all be in balance, floating, free of tension. The role of the arm in positioning and supporting the fingers and thus allowing the hand to relax should not be underestimated or neglected.

Know and heed the warning signs: pain, effort, tension; do not confuse these with the exertions of a hand doing what it is designed to do. The goal is *effortless* playing. Someone around here coined a term--something like "intelligent laziness". Technique is a puzzle where the goal is to accomplish X in the easiest, most comfortable and natural way possible (which most always turns out to confer speed as a benefit as well).

If a teacher is really impossible, there are so many methods freely accessible now, and demonstrations on youtube, that there is no reason not to cross-reference several soruces on such basics. It's tricky, though, because in the beginning the path to ease involves a lot of effort as one trains and develops the hands and the senses for unfamiliar tasks.

Rick Hutt
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by Rick Hutt » Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:28 pm

I agree with both of the above. With my students I stressed relaxation and flexibility before speed as such. Concentrating on speed in early development can lead to tension, wrist distortion, and cramped fingers.
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closet guitarist
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by closet guitarist » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:49 pm

robert e wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:27 pm
Someone around here coined a term--something like "intelligent laziness".
Laziness in regards to playing has been my motto since I first started. Not to sure,at least for me, about the "intelligent" aspect though. My other motto is that if it hurts you are doing it wrong.

As far as left hand speed what works the most for me is 4 and 5 note slurs - up and down - making sure they are all even.

Cheers

detwidkul
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by detwidkul » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:51 am

thank you all

Yes, for me the more challenging is the left hand speed because there are 4 fingers and can be move in many different combinations.

for 1234 4321 start with IM and play up and down until the pinky at 12nf fret my goal is to reach speed at 130

for other combination such as 1324 4231 or other kinds of combination that slow me down, I try to get the hang of it because it is really annoying when it cannot be done.

-----

also I practice 123 234 , In the hope that it should help with the string crossing in the RH.

There are too many combination for LH and it seems to take too much time to master at least 60 percent of them to the desired speed with RH ( rest stroke )

do the good players need to master all of the different combinations at the same speed? what are the points of mastering all of them ( to achieve adequate finger independent )?
need to practice more!

robert e
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by robert e » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:16 pm

detwidkul wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:51 am

do the good players need to master all of the different combinations at the same speed? what are the points of mastering all of them ( to achieve adequate finger independent )?
I can't speak for anyone else, but I never put much stock in "mastering" finger exercises, at least not to the degree of setting tempo goals. For limbering up and exercise, and building independence (or coordination of you prefer), yes. But once reasonable competence is achieved there, I personally think it's time to move on to more practical exercises based on scales and arpeggios, or etudes. Again though I'm not a teacher.

Gohar Vardanyan is a teacher, and has some excellent videos on technical practice, and a book, The Complete Warmup, that you might find useful.



Again, there are many method books out there with more--well, "methodical"--approaches to training the LH, which seems to be what you're looking for.

Juan del Bosque
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by Juan del Bosque » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:18 am

It seems to me that for the left hand operate with supple movement, the required muscle mass has to be there. Muscle mass can be built faster or slower depending on age. What requires the most muscle mass? For me it's the barre. If I were counseling learners at any age, I would recommend incorporating repertoire with full barres from the beginning. Other than that I have nothing to add to earlier responses, except for emphasizing the cautions about injury.

detwidkul
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Location: Bangkok

Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by detwidkul » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:14 am

Thank you very much for your suggestions, I had a chance to practice last night for 2 hrs. I am not sure this is normal thing happen to most of people.

I find that playing chromatic on the same string 1234321234321.... or 4321234321234...... it makes my speed and synchronisation drops a lot but with normal chromatic run from 6th to 1 st string and back to 6 strings ........ it is a lot more relaxing.

Is this about mental thing that the LH need to repeat at the same note? or is it about active relaxation.

I just don't get that repeating back and forth on the same string same note should be a lot easier than the above mentioned
need to practice more!

guit-box
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by guit-box » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:36 pm

also
1. practice avoiding splaying the fingers when possible by "hinging" from a fixed thumb on the back of the neck. Bring the finger to the fret instead of reaching for the fret with the finger.
2. practice scale patterns: 123,234,345 or 135,246,357 or 1234, 2345, etc.
3. supinate the forearm when using the 4th finger a lot so it is closer and remains curved.
4. keep mid-palm closer to the edge of the fretboard so the hand is more in front of the strings than underneath.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Ricflair
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by Ricflair » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:34 pm

It is very important to develop a left hand position where the thumb is properly aligned with the fingers. In other words, when the fingers go down, the thumb goes down with them and vice versa. Also, most beginning students (and beyond) press down way too hard. There are exercises for developing minimum pressure needed for the left hand. I can link a video if anyone is interested.
Graduate of Trump University School of Music.

robert e
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by robert e » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:58 pm

Ricflair wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:34 pm
It is very important to develop a left hand position where the thumb is properly aligned with the fingers. In other words, when the fingers go down, the thumb goes down with them and vice versa. Also, most beginning students (and beyond) press down way too hard. There are exercises for developing minimum pressure needed for the left hand. I can link a video if anyone is interested.
Don't leave us hanging!

Ricflair
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by Ricflair » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:54 pm

robert e wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:58 pm
Ricflair wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:34 pm
It is very important to develop a left hand position where the thumb is properly aligned with the fingers. In other words, when the fingers go down, the thumb goes down with them and vice versa. Also, most beginning students (and beyond) press down way too hard. There are exercises for developing minimum pressure needed for the left hand. I can link a video if anyone is interested.
Don't leave us hanging!
This is a left hand video I made for my students. I am putting a series of technique videos up for them. More will come. It's not as rehearsed as you would find elsewhere on YouTube, but the material is good and will work. Almost all the videos on my channel are just a cell phone in front of me, no editing. The minimum pressure exercise has start at about 3:00 minutes.

Graduate of Trump University School of Music.

robert e
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by robert e » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:20 pm

Ricflair wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:54 pm

This is a left hand video I made for my students. I am putting a series of technique videos up for them. More will come. It's not as rehearsed as you would find elsewhere on YouTube, but the material is good and will work. Almost all the videos on my channel are just a cell phone in front of me, no editing. The minimum pressure exercise has start at about 3:00 minutes.
Well done, Ric. The video is polished enough for the purpose. You show and explain the essentials pretty concisely--even managed to show the thumb. Thank you for sharing it.

Stating the obvious, but the touch drill can be incorporated into scales or arpeggios for a more interesting/challenging exercise. I also find it a useful troubleshooting tool sometimes for difficult fingerings and passages.

Ricflair
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Re: LH Practice and speed

Post by Ricflair » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:56 pm

robert e wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:20 pm
Ricflair wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:54 pm

This is a left hand video I made for my students. I am putting a series of technique videos up for them. More will come. It's not as rehearsed as you would find elsewhere on YouTube, but the material is good and will work. Almost all the videos on my channel are just a cell phone in front of me, no editing. The minimum pressure exercise has start at about 3:00 minutes.
Well done, Ric. The video is polished enough for the purpose. You show and explain the essentials pretty concisely--even managed to show the thumb. Thank you for sharing it.

Stating the obvious, but the touch drill can be incorporated into scales or arpeggios for a more interesting/challenging exercise. I also find it a useful troubleshooting tool sometimes for difficult fingerings and passages.
I think you could incorporate it into many exercises. However, after having taught about a thousand students now (some of which are very successful in classical and pop music). I think simpler is always better, especially in the beginning. Over time doing this exercise, even within a single position across all strings, it will assimilate itself in the left hand. The left hand thumb is very key. The next couple videos I am making for my students will focus on the left hand thumb. Developing the ability to pick it up and move it across all the strings and during position shifts. I'm trying to develop a series of technique videos of the most important exercises to hone in on for students who don't have six hours to practice a day. I hope some other people can get something out of these videos too!
Graduate of Trump University School of Music.

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