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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:37 am 
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Hi all,

recently I've been discussing the matter with a friend of mine (we sort of learnt to play the guitar together, had the same teachers, methods and what not).

Question goes like this:

I always thought that the basic principle was "one finger per fret":

--5-6-8-9 here no debate for A,A#,B,D on the high E string, one finger
---------- per note.
----------
----------
----------
----------

but when you have to play three notes (root, major 2nd, major 3rd) like let's say C D E on the 6th string (high E string) on the 20th 22nd and 24th fret, my question would be which fingers would you use?

I would normally (like everywhere else on the neck) Index, Middle, Pinky, and my friend noticed that in "intense rock"video paul gilbert rather used (for high notes) Index, Ring, Pinky...and to my great surprise it's indeed much easier.

Now I know that PG has huge hands(mine are pretty big too) and it contradicts a 15+ years habit of how to play these notes...

Which fingers would you use for those high notes (middle vs Ring finger)?

Do you know which ones steve uses?

I'd be curious to know which one uses which fingering, but the matter was too complex/specific to make a simple poll question...

thanx in advance for your replies,

:)


:peace


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:58 am 
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I just tried it, and my first instinct is to use index, middle and ring. I'm not a strong pinky player and tend to use a lot of vibrato, especially in that area, so my instincts keep me away from using my pinky on that.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:54 am 
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Index, middle, little finger. I forced myself to use my little finger as much as possible when I was beginning and I'm glad I did.

Gilbert has said, elsewhere that he got into this habit almost by mistake and simply feels comfortable with it now and that it does have its advantages.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:00 am 
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With regard to Paul Gilbert (like BBB said), I believe whenever he plays three notes on a single string he will always use his index, ring and pinky fingers - even when he does stretches like playing G-A-B in the 3rd position on the high E. I think I saw him stating this on video somewhere.

As for Steve, I can't speak for him (or for anybody else, for that matter) but I'd say he doesn't limit himself by sticking to just one approach to fingering. In fact, you may see him doing the G-A-B thing with his index, middle and pinky fingers in the 3rd position, but you may also see him do the same three notes in the 15th position with his index, middle and ring fingers. Then he sometimes does the "multi-grace-note-effect" where he plays one note with all four fingers in sequence - like on For The Love Of God.

I also remember reading an interview with Eric Johnson where he mentioned that, when writing guitar parts, he chooses fingerings depending on how a given finger sounds on a given note - regardless of how awkward that fingering may feel at first. You know, a B on the D string sounds completely different than a B on the high E string. Try also playing that same note with different fingers - you get the picture.

I would say that worrying about whether you are doing something right is reasonable and legitimate, but I think you'll necessarily have to get past that phase at some point. I think the bottom line is - do you want to construct your fingerings depending on how comfortable they feel to you or on how the notes sound best to you? Then you will find peace of fingering... sorry, I meant peace of mind.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:46 am 
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First of all thanks a lot for your detailed replies.

samuele I agree with what you say entirely my worrying was not about doing something "right" but rather about me having completely ignored an obvious technnique wich would facilitate shredding at high velocity(for high notes above 15th fret anyway).

I 'm (alas? lol) aware of steve acrobatics on frets and I know that he is alternating between all of his fingers and coming to think of it it's actually very rare to hear him playing straight shred runs using conventional positions anyway.(I remember the shock when I first saw the performance of answers with those main chops covering 4,5 frets)

eric jonson scares me a little lol.( someone who goes as far as choosing a specific battery brand for his pedals according to the nuances they would create in sound is a little deranged IMO)

I think I will incorporate it in my playing once in a while, actually a couple of years ago I used to do that as an exercise(alternating between middle and ring finger) to warm the fingers and increase accuracy. I'm currently trying to catch up since my hectic life has recently me kept me off my axe for a good while and those muscle have memories but it's hard-ouch- work!


:peace


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:49 am 
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Quote:
I believe whenever he plays three notes on a single string he will always use his index, ring and pinky fingers - even when he does stretches like playing G-A-B in the 3rd position on the high E. I think I saw him stating this on video somewhere.


Not always, I think.

Paul once said in an interview that the uses the 1-2-4, 1-2-3 AND the 1-3-4 finger combo (1 being the index etc...), it always depends on what you played before.

For me, I found it easier to play mostly with the 1-2-3 fingers (or 1-2-4) when it comes to things like these. I tend to avoid 1-3-4 fingerings, because they simply do not feel natural to me, though that has not to be for everyone, it's just my point of view.

But:

Fingering 1-2-3 has one main aspect which the 1-3-4 combo is missing most of the times, the possibility of bending strings. It's very easy to bend strings with your ring finger (and the two other fingers supporting), but with 1-3-4, I found it VERY difficult to maintain a clean bending technique, since you don't have that much power in your pinky and your ring finger.

In the end, do what feels good, and stop when it hurts :D


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 1:09 pm 
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What fingers do you use?

What's ever needed at the time. All the rest is covered above.

Your find as you go DOWN the neck that finger uses change anyway. Same for above 12th fret also.

Best thing to do is practise your scale books. Look at the fingering's given & follow them. After some time you can edit them/experiment.

Try also to watch the people your into & how they execute their playing. Take a couple of different playes. Then see how you are going to do things. Is it easyer/correct to execute method...A....this...way...like....________ or method.....B.....that way...like......_______?
What about the abstract stuff? ie Jimmy Hendrix thumb at Woodstock? Now there's a run. Thumb goes 5 fret's on the low E.wo

As you can see because people have different ways there is in fact no right or wrong way.

However you must take into consideration why/how player A does it that way & player B does it another.

Technical advantage? They have done it that way since the dawn of time? Their teacher advised them? Couldn't do it another way?

Take these three amazing players for example.

David Gilmour.........SLASH...........Clapton.
Ya cant' tell me that these guys don't have fast runs at some stage of their music. O.k so it's not MAB stuff but ya get my drift.

Are these not all pentatonic players.

Pink floyd Live in...... & any Live G & R......Live Cream.
^
They are food for thought in any playing situation.

Take any G3 dvd. This will give you the correct things to view in many playing subjects. Fast runs being one of them.

I think your also find that the more a player becomes better at what they do, the more a foundation is laid & built upon. This then gives them the abillty & confidence to gain their own voice.

The real foundations though are done sitting in, night after night. Day after day. Month after month. Class after class.

You can be guaranteed of two fact's. They started like you & they practised....practised....practised....practised....practised.....practised.........


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:18 pm 
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:)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:39 pm 
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yeah on the higher frets (maybe above 15) i use my ring finger for most things normally reserved for the pinky. it just doesn't makes sense to me to use the pinky for such a short distance..especially fast things.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:24 pm 
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for the CDE I'd use index, middle pinky. Ring finger was just goofy lol. I'd only use index, ring, pinky if I was doing something like the lick out of Mystical Potatohead Groove Thing where it's

e-12-16-17-16-12---12 etc....
b-------------------17

it's gotta be a stretch between the first two notes before I'll engage ringy.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:13 am 
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Same here. I've got idiot ring/pinky coordination, meaning they kinda stick together, so if I'm gonna do a legato run that's 5th, 7th and 8th frets I use index, middle and ring finger. Index, ring and pinky would be really, really difficult for me and wouldn't sound smooth at all. I've tried to work with this, but it's just impossible. The fingers don't want to work independently. :?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:03 am 
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Zebula77 wrote:
I've tried to work with this, but it's just impossible. The fingers don't want to work independently. :?
You should get this book http://www.triplets.com/ugw/index.htm and work through the exercises and I bet you'll note a great improvement-it did wonders for my third/fourth finger independence.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:53 pm 
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I don't have independence issues, just pinky strength issues. It does half ass ok for chords, a bit worse for quick picked runs, and all but useless for legato or single finger vibrato though it does so so for three finger bends. I generally do bends with one finger though so that habit overrides most other habits.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:15 am 
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Try bending strings with nothing but the pinky - that'll give you some pinky strength! :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:15 am 
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Big Bad Bill wrote:
Index, middle, little finger. I forced myself to use my little finger as much as possible when I was beginning and I'm glad I did.

Gilbert has said, elsewhere that he got into this habit almost by mistake and simply feels comfortable with it now and that it does have its advantages.


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