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Playing fourths

(4 posts)
  1. Sandemose

    Hi guys,

    Ive been posting a similar post, but this is more about how to practical execute stuff. Playing fourth diatonically through keys they in most cases are on the same frets, but also with one fret or even two frets (G-B string) appart. Ive been working on a fingering "system". Its under construction, and far from finished. The thing is that I dont want to bar with anyfinger, which means that I sometimes end up with quite akward fingering solutions. The hand position is key, since you have to make room for all fingers. Problems really emerges when you get up higher on the frets. Im using sweep picking by the way. Starting on the low E-string to the high E-string, B-major. First the notes then the (fingering).

    2-2-2-3-4-4 (1-2-1-2-3-4)
    4-4-4-4-5-6 (1-2-3-2-3-4)
    6-6-6-6-7-7 (1-2-3-2-3-4)
    7-7-8-8-9-9 (1-2-3-2-3-4)


    Any ideas, comments, thoughts about this? Any alternative fingering solutions?

  2. Andrew Green's technique book is about this. When I talked to him last summer, he suggested using the longest finger for the farthest away note, so for your first example, the fingering might look like 2-1-2-1-3-4, or even 2-1-2-1-2-1, with a shift. It might also help to just deal with four notes at a time, on different string sets, rather than crossing the entire fingerboard at once. Just an idea. Getting away from barring is tough, but it's totally worth it.


  3. ...farthest away note = lowest string.

  4. I studied with a guy that wouldn't let me barre 4ths , so things like freedom jazz dance looked like when your a kid taught to play an a chord. He could do this well - perhaps I didn't work on it enough but found that ( for me ) although it had a stiff and clean sound I couldn't get the speed. I found that if I took time to work on lifting my finger just enough to release the note from ringing but not so much as to lose contact with the string ever ( sort of like dampening with fretting hand) I can get a clear attack with out notes ringing over subsequent ones. Sid Jacobs has a Mel bay book that has a section on 4ths called " may the 4ths be with you wich is useful. There is no "good" or "bad" technique though... There are ways of doing things that achieve THAT sound and maybe in the context you have in mind you'll have to find the appropriate thing for what you are trying to do ... Which conversely ,would be a deplorable way to try to achieve a different sound , right?
    Back to practical things, a cool other way of playing 4ths issomething Allan holdsworth has done which is playing fourths on one string ( usually as a hammer on { ...again, a different sound }) a practical example being say :
    ( over Cmaj7#11 ):B to E on low E strng; A to D on D strng;F# to B on A strng; E to A on G strng etc.. I have the hands of a little girl and find that this is totally possible even at 1st position with some work and observing how you hold the guitar or your arm so as to achieve this or not hurt yourself.anyways, it's a fun trick .

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