Right hand tecnique

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  1. animitta
    Member

    Hello to everybody.

    Last evening i was watching a Kurt's video on you tube and i tried to watch the video concentrating my attention on his right hand instead of the left one.....

    I "discovered" that really Kurt has a great right hand tecnique, especially the picking, a great sound, that is really precise and dinamically articulated, on chords and single note...big use of down stroke but also sweep picking and alternate...a complete tecnique....i am sure he devoted part of his time improving that picking tecnique...

    So suddendly i had this thinking:
    " Is it possible that typically a guitar player ( obviously i am not speaking of Kurt here ) pays a lot of attention to the left hand ( to know the scales , the patterns, the chords, the grips and many other things ) but most of the time he does not care so much for the right hand?".....

    I had this kind of "epiphany" cause i suddendly understood that my playing recently seems improved, it's still a really really long road : )...Actually i think we could not play guitar if we don't "attach" the note...I think that every sound , melody or chord, it starts in the right hand...the right hand gives the groove too...the dinamic and the good or bad sound...

    I think that i found my "virgin forest" talkingf about the right hand tecnique...this at least for me : )

    So i think that if i am a little better player now it's cause i started a totally new approach ( new for me ) to the right hand tecnique ( picking style ). Before, i was more concentrated on my left hand...I think that now my approach ( i am a little joking here ) is a mixture of Metheny, Adam Rogers, Benson and Kurt : )

    I also remember that Pat Martino once said: " The left hand is the graduate, the right hand is the drop out " : )...Martino has a great right hand tecnique too, not discussion about this....but for myself i would like to makes my two hands two Ph. D Doctors : )

    What you guys think about the right hand tecnique?

    Do you have some kind of specific exercise for that?

    All the Best
    Animitta

    Magical rainbow ponies
  2. Quintricacy
    Member

    According to the bootleg that Sandemose gave out, Kurt doesn't think much of his right hand technique. Personally, I think it's great. I changed my right hand position about 2 years ago. I used to keep my wrist down on the bridge all the time but I changed it so my hand kind of "floats" above the strings and use my elbow as my anchor and it really helps. I also use a mixture of picking and hammer-ons, usually if i'm playing eighth notes I pick the first 2 notes and hammer the third note, if I'm doing a 3 note per string kind of thing. This really works for me in terms of getting a legato kind of sound.

  3. animitta
    Member

    Thanks Quintricacy for your suggestion and compliment for your videos too : )...

    If i don't make a mistake, in that bootleg ( i think you mean the NGW clinic, right ?).... Kurt said that if he wanted to go to the "next level" he would need to work on his right hand tecnique and probabilly change something...cause he already enjoyed his tecnique, he said that it was OK... but he also said that he already did a lot of work on that...he also said that from his point of view there was not so much to learn from his right hand tecnique...but this is his opinion : )....i think...but maybe i misunderstood....

    Anyway...i know that Kurt maybe has not a "perfect" way to keep the pick or a picking tecnique as Johnny Smith had...but i am sure that to reach that level he worked on that a lot : )

    All the Best
    Animitta

    Magical rainbow ponies
  4. Quintricacy
    Member

    Oh for sure he has worked on right hand technique! I think his technique is great but his hand position looks a little strange to me with his little finger used as a anchor. It's almost like the George Benson technique but not quite. Thanks for looking at my videos too!

  5. arewolfe
    Member

    I've changed the way I hold a pick 4 times since I started playing guitar. I've found the most comfortable is the traditional way of laying it on the side of the first knuckle of the index finger. But then in 2008 I read this article written by Tuck and Patti: http://www.tuckandpatti.com/pick-finger_tech.html#1.1.8

    It's extremely long and detailed but fascinating. It describes George Benson's technique as well as the pros and cons of a few other pick-holding techniques. As soon as I tried the GB way of holding the pick I was convinced it was better so I switched, even though it was a big step back in terms of my right hand dexterity. I could get much more clarity when picking single notes with the GB right hand technique and get very full sounding attacks. I use a 207 pick like Kurt, which also helps create "big" sounding notes (as compared to the way I used to hold the pick)... there is a firmness in the attack with the GB technique, and the 207 pick is very hard and rounded off which helps me articulate notes clearly without having a bright tone.

    If you've heard Kurt play "Synthetics" live in the past few years, you have an idea of what I'm talking about. He usually does a solo guitar intro that consists of A LOT of single not picking at high speed and his notes are incredible crisp yet full, even on bootleg recordings. I'm not saying KR holds the pick like GB. Just saying the GB technique has helped me reach a higher level of clarity in my picking, which was inspired by some things I heard Kurt play.

  6. animitta
    Member

    @arewolfe
    yes, i know that article about the picking, very informative and also funny ( i mean the part who talks about the 1.2.5 Picking angle: The miracle cure ).
    I think that the picking tecnique it's personal, probabilly in a similar way as everyone of us keep a pencil in his right hand in a different way.
    So i think there is not a "correct way" that works for everyone, each of us must discover his tecnique.
    Personally i always used a not so common picking style since i was a child, i tried many different kind of pick ( thin, medium, hard, heavy...and many brands and many shapes ) and i always felt the pick something not necessary and "alien" to me....i felt this until i found a way to hold the pick in my personal way....I know it's not correct but...i keep a Pro Plec pick ( drop shape ) upside down ( use the large part instead of the thin ) and use 3 fingers of my right hand to hold that...i use my little pinky to anchor my hand....and i used a different angle to attach the note, and this is really important...i think it's about 30 degree...in a way i have seen from Adam Rogers/George Benson...I have not exactly tried to emulate someone...it happen that some months ago i just found myself not soddisfied with my picking tecnique...i could not play chord and line easily...cause i was using my palm on the bridge and that worked good for the single line but not so good for the chord...and also the tone was not the one i loved.....and i worked on that to solve my problem....it was painfull too....especially in the first period....i lost the few dexterity i had....hoping to reach something new....but not sure about....now, after some months i think i did the right...al least for my actual level of playing...let's see in the future....if necessary i will change everything i need to play the music/sound i have in my mind....
    Sometime , in my research abot the good hand tecnique and good picking, i think that as musicians, we guitar players, we are lucky!...if we would play the sax or the trumpet it would be more difficult to change the embouchure...I have read that John Coltrane in his research for the right embouchure and sound, he asked to a dental doctor to shape is frontal teeth, accordingly to his sax....So, we are lucky cause we can easily change the pick, the pick angle, the position of the hand and consequently the sound without the need of a dental doctor : )

    All the Best
    Animitta

  7. Quintricacy
    Member

    Funny thing I heard about George Benson is that his picking technique came about because when he was younger he was always in the back of the bus with bands among all the equiptment and so he was so cramped when he practiced on the bus he had to put his right hand that way! Also using the other side of the pick is something I've seen Wolfgang Muthspiel do. I was at a workshop with him where he said he prefered the softer attack it got.

  8. Hi Quintricacy! Is there anything else you remember from the Wolfgang Muthspiel Workshop? Exercises or general advises he gave? He really is one of my favorite players; extremely gifted and quite special, you can hear his classical training all through his playing. Also, thanks for your reply on the songs from Kurt's 2006 clinic!

  9. Quintricacy
    Member

    Hi Lupo. He told me that the key to a great right hand technique was complete relaxation also he has a phenomenal ear. He showed a cool exercise where you record a completely random chord progression and then try and solo over it by ear using voice leading etc. It was really great for me at the time because I am very much into playing by ear.

  10. animitta
    Member

    @Quintricacy and @Lupo

    I agree with the relaxation, both hands relaxation, as a good advice to follow when playing.
    The best is a total body relaxation but not too much, cause if you will fall asleep you will not play anymore : ).
    In my opinion you must be a "dancer" with your instrument. Deeply connected and relaxed.

    I remember that Pat Metheny said in an interview that when he plays he is totally "loose". He is a great musician and guitar player and i am sure that Pat is totally relaxed when playing but you would' not guess it from his facial expression : ).

    When you look to someone who really mastered his instrument ( Kurt, Pat, Ben Monder, ecc ), you can easily see how effortless he is when playing. Sure i am not talking about myself cause my playing still sucks but at least it sucks less compared to some years ago ( or also just some months ) and now i am more relaxed when i play : ).

    I will suggest to everyone ( not only for the relaxation issues ) to read Kenny Werner - Effortless Mastery

    All the Best

    Animitta

  11. Alvin
    Member

    Hey, guys!

    Talkin' about relaxation, I've been stumbling upon a weird thing lately: when I play, I usually am (or try to be) very loose. But then when my solo is building to the climax, I get so passionate about it (which I really dig), it totally f-s up my technique.
    Haven't figured out how to avoid it yet...
    Any suggestions? Don't get carried away by the music? :)
    Maybe also Kurt himself could share some thoughts, cause we've all seen him playing some really fast-intense stuff on some tunes while still maintaining the ability to handle the instrument.

    to Animitta: Werners book is great. It really takes the edge off of some things :)

    All the best
    Alvin

  12. Quintricacy
    Member

    I know what you mean Alvin. Sometimes if I'm truly improvising I make loads of mistakes because I really don't know what I'm going to play next, it's fun and frustrating at the same time. I can't offer any real answers except just trying to find the balance of total immersion in the music and paying attention to what you are playing. I think it all boils down to experience on the bandstand, it's where you learn most.

  13. pablojuncosa
    Member

    I've been also quite busy the last few months with that stuff. Here in Holland they play more with alternate picking (moving the hand down and up even before playing!). I realize now that we shouldn't care about our right hand and focus in our left hand. But first our right hand should be able to play all the possibilities.
    Well, here is an alternate picking exercise that I'm doing:
    I take patterns like 1234, 4321, 2314, 1432, 1324, .... bla bla bla and rythmic patterns like eightnote,eightnote - quarter - quarter - quarter ... just filling up a 4/4 bar.
    Then I play on beats 1 2 3 4 all the time down and the rest up. That's all. I hope you enjoy it!

  14. Matt
    Member

    Right-hand technique is so hard to build up, at least for me.

  15. silverwater
    Member

    I've been playing for 12 years and I'm still working on right hand technique; changing things and adapting to the kind of sound I want to hear. Bruce Arnold's got a book called "Right Hand Technique For Guitar" I suggest anyone who's struggling with the right hand pick it up; only think you've got to lose is a worthless right hand technique.


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