Tuesday, November 28, 2006

playing in position pt. 7a: learning the geography (again)

Last time we took steps to learn the geography of the fingerboard, we were only using the ‘finger-per-fret’ shape. Let’s now go and try and apply the extended shape we learned last time to this task.

Within reason, you should be able to use whatever scalar pattern you want, but I’ll use the run-of-the-mill major mode here if only because its general familiarity. Most of the procedures covered in learning the geography last time are still applicable so I won’t rehearse them here. Needless to say you should be able to play the scalar pattern (major mode in this case) with the first finger with no problems.
One you do that, all that’s apparently left to do is add the other fingers (as before, the position of the first finger is marked my the diamond notehead):descending major scale patternThe corresponding hand shapes are as follows:three corresponding hand shapesThe first two hand shapes will be familiar by now, so shifting from A to B should be logical and straightforward. Shifting from B to C, on the other hand, requires you to shift, and think of, your first finger while simultaneously changing hand shapes. Keep in mind what I’ve said about this. Specifically:

…as you shift up [or down] the neck of the instrument, you’d be getting your bearings from the first finger, and be thinking in terms of two positions with two corresponding hand shapes….
I wouldn’t rush this—there’s a lot of information to be encoded and absorbed into your mind and body—so I’ll leave it there and continue in part 7b.

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