2 Quickie guitar based questions

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1. say if i play :

-----
--4--
--4--
--2--
-----

Is it okay to mute the low e string and play the 4 strings as i find this so much easier than just hitting the A-D-G strings on their own.

2. Is there a technical or musical term for strumming the strings behind the 1st fret, between the nut(?) and the tuners, saw someone do it once in a video earlier and did actually make a good sound with distortion.

ty :)
 
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1. yes it's okay if you can mute it well enough, but it'd be good practise to learn to strum only the strings you want to play. It'll result in cleaner playing in general, which is one of the most important parts of guitar playing.

2. I haven't heard a term for that but I've seen it done also.
 
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1. yes it's okay if you can mute it well enough, but it'd be good practise to learn to strum only the strings you want to play. It'll result in cleaner playing in general, which is one of the most important parts of guitar playing.

2. I haven't heard a term for that but I've seen it done also.

I often use my thumb to mute the E string. Shouldn't but I do.
 

Nix

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It's fine but it will probably limit you in terms of technique later on. That is, you may well find yourself having to un-learn bad habits.

As said, it's fine to do it for now but don't rely on it forever. Make sure you keep practising until you can do it properly. Honestly, you'll probably just wake up one day and bang, it's there.
 
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The term "shoudln't" when referring to technique always grinds my gears. Everybody has different technique, as long as it's efficient, that's all that matters. I would never ever advise anyone to leave their thumb out of their playing. Keeping the thumb against the back of the neck is poor technique imo as it's cutting out a whole other digit that could be playing. Having your left hand thumb in on the dance is invaluable when you're playing bass lines, chord tones and melody at once.
 
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I would suggest you persevere, if you always rely on having your low E muted then what happens when you have to play a chord rooted on the A string which requires all of your fingers? When you're practising strumming, look at your A string, eventually hand-eye co-ordination will help. Also, think about strumming in an 'arc', don't strum down/up parallel to the strings, strum inwards towards the lowest string you want to hit and outwards from the said group of strings in one continuous strum, correct rotation of the wrist whilst strumming should help here.
 
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No, I think it's wrong.

The root note is all important for a chord.
Instead of playing B5 you'd be playing Esus2.
I don't think you could mute that well enough and have the A string sounding out properly.
 
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I usually do a mixture of the two. Of course, you should always aim to play the strings that you wish to sound, but invariably, if you leave open strings unmuted, they will sound as well.

Learning to mute strings you're not playing is almost a necessity in my opinion.
 
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Alright thanks guys :D

Another quick one when a tab has :

tabp.jpg


Do you pick the string on the 5 then quickly slide to the 7? or hammer quickly?

*edit : 10 points for naming the song :D
 

v0n

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The term "shoudln't" when referring to technique always grinds my gears. Everybody has different technique, as long as it's efficient, that's all that matters.

Well, in truth, everyone should have the same technique. As with most instruments there is one correct way to achieve certain effect, and all other ways are just mimicking the effect "close enough" at cost of sound, articulation and/or ergonomy. Electric guitar is one of the very, very few instruments where bad habits in urban mythology are allowed to be treated as "different technique" and are excused. But at the end of the day for every genious sloppy technician - like Jimmy breaking all canons or "slowhand" Clapton who never learned proper right hand synchronization for effective fast picking and does virbrato by shaking whole neck in his hand rather than vibrating from wrist (I do the same, my wrist just doesn't move the B.B. King way) - for every one of those - there are few thousand players that won't progress any futher because their bad technique just doesn't produce sounds that would amount in the future to any coherent total.

Keeping the thumb against the back of the neck is poor technique imo as it's cutting out a whole other digit that could be playing. Having your left hand thumb in on the dance is invaluable when you're playing bass lines, chord tones and melody at once.

Isn't keeping thumb against back of the neck actual correct, classic technique and wrapping thumb around the neck so it protrudes above E string the icorrect, sloppy one? Although I'd like to see most bluesmen doing vibrato or deep gilmouresque two string bend from thumb at the back grip. :D
 
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Alright thanks guys :D

Another quick one when a tab has :

tabp.jpg


Do you pick the string on the 5 then quickly slide to the 7? or hammer quickly?

*edit : 10 points for naming the song :D

Bridging like that denotes legato, so hammer on in this case yeah. If it were a slide it would look like 5 / 7.
 
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I could not disagree more. :p The simple fact of the matter is, we as individuals, are all hugely different. Everything about us is different from our personality to our body and thus, how can one way of doing things be right for everybody? Taking an extreme example to demonstrate my point, think of the Flamenco technique 'picado' ie fingerstyle equivalent of alternate picking. One alternates between picking with the index and middle fingers. Now what if a guitar player wishes to learn the technique but is missing an index finger? He adapts and plays the same thing with his middle and ring finger (obviously on the right hand, assuming he's playing right handed guitar). If it sounds exactly the same and is efficient, how can one say it's 'incorrect'?

I don't get your criticism of vibrato as you're saying that blues guitarists are incorrect, as the correct method is to vibrate from the wrist? :confused: 'Correct' vibrato is achieved via a means of rocking your finger from one fret to the other, but remaining within a semitone gap. This achieves the effect of altering the pitch of the note both lower and higher, rather than just higher which is what happens with blues vibrato technique. Eric Clapton doesn't 'shake the whole neck' as you put, he rocks the string up and down, ie he pushes in the direction of the strings either side of it. Not 'correct' vibrato technique, but it gives a great sound and is efficient, so what's wrong with it?

I'm extremely critical about my playing and technique, but I would never inhibit myself by learning a factory technique that doesn't feel right for me. Efficiency is king for me, and that is attained via quick, easy and comfortable technique, regardless of whether it's traditional or not.

As for the second paragraph, yes, the technique of keeping your thumb pressed against the back of the neck is 'correct' technique. My point was that I disagree with that and thing that it's ridiculous thing to do so, as you're eliminating a whole digit from the guitar neck. Obviously there are times when the thumb is not needed and it maybe more comfortable, or efficient to keep it behind the neck, but my point is, everyone is different. There are some chord voicings that I quite simply would be unable to play if I didn't use my thumb. I would have similar problems playing bass lines under chords and melody if I didn't use my thumb. And for the record, I can produce any vibrato that you wish with my thumb bent around the neck.

But ultimately I'm saying, everyone is different and do what's best for you!
 

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I could not disagree more. :p The simple fact of the matter is, we as individuals, are all hugely different.

But the sound we are trying to achieve is the same. And there is only one way to get it. We can admire players for coming up with very interesting sounds while trying to mimick the correct effect by using different means (many lefties, like Hendrix are prime example) but if you think about it, watching majority of guitarists trying to achieve very often simple elements without correct technique behind it is a lot like watching self taught classical pianist trying to add a bit of Deep Purple to Chopin by lifting piano with his knees and dropping it repeatedly to help delayed attack.

Taking an extreme example to demonstrate my point, think of the Flamenco technique 'picado' ie fingerstyle equivalent of alternate picking. One alternates between picking with the index and middle fingers. Now what if a guitar player wishes to learn the technique but is missing an index finger? He adapts and plays the same thing with his middle and ring finger (obviously on the right hand, assuming he's playing right handed guitar).

It would still remain two finger picking, however, imagine the player deciding to pull "knopfler" on technique and replace middle and index finger with quick fencing up and down with a thumb. Now, we know Knopfler himself, would pull the trick just fine, the man has freakishly agile digits, but where he would succeed mimicking effect of correct technique, several thousand fold would fail completely, never comming close to desired sound. And it's only because it's such a popular thing among guitarists (myself included) to do everything by ear - starting from not reading music, not understanding very often simple theoretical elements down to never asking or learning correctly how certain things are done.

If it sounds exactly the same and is efficient, how can one say it's 'incorrect'?
I can't think of a single thing I do incorrect (ie. not standard or classical) way that wouldn't come at cost of something else in a long run.

I don't get your criticism of vibrato as you're saying that blues guitarists are incorrect, as the correct method is to vibrate from the wrist? :confused: 'Correct' vibrato is achieved via a means of rocking your finger from one fret to the other, but remaining within a semitone gap.
Only for classical guitar. Correct vibrato, and the only vibrato to universally reach semi tone on electric guitar regardless of string gauge etc etc is always from the wrist and from the wrist only.

Eric Clapton doesn't 'shake the whole neck' as you put, he rocks the string up and down, ie he pushes in the direction of the strings either side of it.

Clapton's vibrato is well known faux pass technique - it comes from forearm movement with wrist locked and has massive, massive ergonomical penalty. For starters he can use almost exclusively only his middle finger to vibrate the string, because there simply isn't enough force without pivot point to achieve that with index finger. He can sometimes use ring finger on lower strings in higher positions, but that way of mimicking blues vibrato (and I should know, as I have the same bad habit and my wrist just isn't taught to do the full arc movement) means he has to always enter and come out of vibrato from middle finger, and any deep, slow vibrato on pulled string must be done with forearm shaking whole neck. Clapton's example might defend this vibrato well, but anyone who doesn't learn to rotate wrist will have a lot of control problems.
 
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Soldato
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Well, we're going to have to agree to disagree because I really don't agree with you. :p

Just for the record, I have Grade VIII guitar and Grade V classical theory qualifications, so don't think I'm the kind of person that says things like this because I'm too lazy to put the work in.

What you said about Mark Knopfler's technique has just contradicted your point in my opinion. There are countless lists of musicians that rule the world with their 'bad' technique: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Mark Knopfler, James Taylor, Martin Taylor, Joe Pass, Barney Kessel, and countless more... I don't get the mentality behind saying that if something sounds the same and is done in an equally efficient, but different, way, then it's wrong.. :confused: The reason Mark Knopfler is so good at guitar, and so good at playing the way he can has nothing to do with his freakish hands, or magic. It's solely down to the fact that he worked his absolute arse off and practiced like a demon. There's nothing more to it than extreme dedication and hard work, you could play like him if you put enough hours in.

With regard to:

And it's only because it's such a popular thing among guitarists (myself included) to do everything by ear - starting from not reading music, not understanding very often simple theoretical elements down to never asking or learning correctly how certain things are done.
That's a dreadful assumption to make, that musicians that don't learn how to read music are hindering themselves. Do I really need to go to the effort of naming guitarists that have learned how to play solely by ear? The fact is, you quite simply cannot notate the soul of a piece of music, to play it 'properly' one would invariably need to listen to it. Playing by ear, and having a good ear is a necessity to becoming a good musician and player (within reason), learning to sight read is not. Also for the record, yes I sight read score and am not saying this because I'm lazy.

We obviously don't share a similar opinion, so I'm happy to agree to disagree. :p
 
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