Sunday, February 04, 2007

playing in position pt. 8b: one string melodies (yet again)

In part 8a, we looked at playing our melody with variable hand shapes in a diatonic context. Despite the variable shapes—‘finger-per-fret’ or ‘extended’—depending on the underlying intervals, those exercises were not much different in principle from our previous work.
Now, for this part 8b, let’s try something different. Same melody (from Morricone’s Cinema Paradiso), same idea (shifting position for each tone), but in this case, we’ll be sounding the fret under the middle fingers (i.e. fingers 2 or 3).melody played with second or third fingerAs in previous examples, I’ve indicated, in each case, the position of the first finger with the (lower) diamond notehead. However, in this case, I’ve additionally indicated the notional position of the fourth finger with the (upper) diamond notehead. By ‘notional position’ I mean that, were all the fingers of a given position be placed on the strings, this would be the position of the fourth finger. Simply put, by notating the positions of the first and fourth fingers, I am notating whether the ‘finger-per-fret’ or ‘extended’ shape is applicable to a given situation.
You may get this one straight away, you may not—this is certainly one of the trickier exercises we’ll be covering—either way, take your time and make sure that you continue to keep in mind that in position playing the guitar player gets their bearing from their first finger. However, in this case, not only should you be thinking of the position of the first finger, you should also keep in mind the (notional) position of the fourth finger.
If you’re having difficulty with this, try variants like the following:ornamented with a 4-1-2 or 4-1-3 fingering sequenceA little like the second example in ‘playing in position pt. 5: one string melodies (again)’, the above should aurally remind you of the positions of the first and fourth fingers in relation to the melody tone.

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