After reading your post I noticed I do the same thing with my little finger, didn't know it was bad though! I wonder if using it for plucking in exercises would help with developing some more control? (disclaimer: I am not a guitar teacher and this could be very bad advice!)Probably the hardest is the pinky, followed by the slightly bent thumb. I have my 9 year old boy sometimes sit and watch for all the issues, and last night I couldn't get through more than 20 seconds before he'd call out "pinky!!". It's weird how uncontrollable it is, it's like it's got a mind of it's own. What it has is 38 years of neural training that sticking out is just fine!
Even JW's pinky sticks about a bit so it can do so to some degree without upsetting the hand. It becomes an issue when it causes the RH to close up internally as in this image shows. My teacher would say to me "Your RH needs to feel like you could fit a tennis ball in the palm" more like the following image shows.zinc1024 wrote:Thank you guys for the guidance.
My practice time is now a fairly slow set of exercises (I use the kith ones) and a few relatively simple pieces, with a maniacal eye on the mirror, looking for:
- straight, slightly bowed wrist
- thumb slightly bent on all strokes
- pinky finger always relaxed and "in", not sticking out
- stable hand, no hand bouncing, particularly on p strokes, but also on i/m/a alternating strokes.
Probably the hardest is the pinky, followed by the slightly bent thumb. I have my 9 year old boy sometimes sit and watch for all the issues, and last night I couldn't get through more than 20 seconds before he'd call out "pinky!!". It's weird how uncontrollable it is, it's like it's got a mind of it's own. What it has is 38 years of neural training that sticking out is just fine!
However, I'm confident that with continuous focus over time, it'll all become natural, and then I'll have a solid basis on which to work. My whole objective is to get my playing up to a higher level, and not have blockers to achieving yet higher levels, and I'm finally addressing the root issues that have been blocking me.
Yep there are 163 things you need to know/do to be able to play the guitar well and you are getting a few of them down now. Hard work isn't it! Well done!zinc1024 wrote:Okay, another couple of weeks and another lesson later...I have my wrist reasonably and consistently "straight" now re: my problem of cocking it down significantly. I have my pinky under much better control. I usually have my thumb slightly bent at the knuckle, and with just a little more nail growth I should start getting a consistent nail stroke going with p.
My big issue now is that I don't have my wrist arch under control. I start with it arched properly (my instructor says it's right when the flat of the hand between the wrist and knuckles is roughly parallel with the top surface of the guitar), but once I start playing and stop focusing on it, boom! I flatten it out, and the flat of the hand is angled up relative to the top of the guitar.
Additionally, I'm flailing with my i, m and a strokes, my instructors wants minimal motion in stroke prep and precision overall. This was revealed dramatically when I played Carcassi's study #2 for him, and how pointed out my flailing fingers vs. his very precise and almost mechanical a-m-i-m-i sequence (that's not the sequence Carcassi suggested, but he says this is the modern accepted and proper fingering). So he wants maniacal focus on planting with both arpeggio work and scale work. Scale wise, I also have the habit of using i-a instead of i-m, and similarly I flail.
So it's Guiliani arpreggios and Segovia scales for me, with planting, with my eyes focused on my right hand to make sure I keep that wrist up!
I'm actually pleased because I feel like I'm making progress, knocking off problems slowly but surely. Interestingly, I can clearly hear a difference when I properly arch the wrist, the volume increases and the tone warms up, it actually quite surprising how much it affects the stroke and tone.