Strict Finger Positioning When Learning Scale Boxes?
buttmonk
Aug 2 2008, 07:59 PM
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Hi guys,

Am learning some new scale boxes, but when learning boxes should I try to learn to finger them strictly according to the 'position' they fall into? What I mean by this is that for example, pentatonic boxes are by and large no wider than 4 frets, so if you are playing a box whose notes are between frets 1 and 4 say, you can play it in first position where ur 1st finger does all notes on 1st fret, 2nd finger all notes on 2nd fret and so on. This makes sense up to a point, until you think about boxes that are not so easy to finger with strict positioning cos they span more than 4 frets, or when you consider that songs don't "care" necessarily about boxes and there are often passages that it makes more sense to play with different fingering than you may have learned when learning ur boxes e.g. if you have some big bends to do which you can't manage with your little finger...

Of course I know that boxes are only a tool for getting to grips with scales and ideally you should be able to transcend all this and play any scale with any fingers and probably with your toes as well:)...but it would be good to get some pointers on what is a good way to tackle this from learning perspective, don't want to cultivate bad habits.

Is there an acknowledged standard for the way to finger boxes? If so anyone got any links?

Cheers,

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Matt23
Aug 2 2008, 08:12 PM
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If your just playing the notes of a scale 3nps then you should use your index for the 1st note, pinky for the last note, and ring or middle for the one in between.

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buttmonk
Aug 2 2008, 08:38 PM
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QUOTE (Matt23 @ Aug 2 2008, 10:12 PM) *
If your just playing the notes of a scale 3nps then you should use your index for the 1st note, pinky for the last note, and ring or middle for the one in between.


Thanks! So actually what I was saying above was all wrong then? So if there are 2 or 3 notes on the string you are playing, then you are always supposed to fret the first note on that string with 1st finger no matter what fret it is on e.g. on string 1 your 1st finger might be on 1st fret, but on the next string it might need to be on 2nd fret, then back again on the 3rd string. And then rest of fingers as u described. Now that I think about this it makes much more sense cool.gif Not sure where I got that positioning idea from, some book I read a while ago I think...

So if I take the 3rd minor pentatonic box, it should be played thus, or at least this is 1 of the "right" ways of playing it (numbers correspond to fingers):


|---1-3--
|---1--4-
|--1--4--
|---1-3--
|---1-3--
|---1-3--


...where as I was trying to play it "wrongly" something like this:


|---2-4--
|---2--4-
|--1--4--
|---2-4--
|---2-4--
|---2-4--

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This post has been edited by buttmonk: Aug 2 2008, 08:43 PM


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Matt23
Aug 2 2008, 08:43 PM
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Yeh you should nearly always have your index at the lowest fret of the set of notes for that string.

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kaznie_NL
Aug 3 2008, 01:03 PM
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I first tried to learn like your "fault" way, but I also saw it didn't work.. Now I do it more like your "good" way tongue.gif for the B and high E string in the second minor pentatonic box I (e.g.) use index and ring, where some teachers use middle and pinky. The second way is more technical, and maybe good for practicing your middle and ring finger. It also takes less hand movement.

I think it's both fine, but I prefer the "good" way.

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fkalich
Aug 3 2008, 01:53 PM
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I used to preoccupy myself with fingerings. I just do what makes sense in the piece now.

I remember using my ring finger rather than my middle. None of the teachers did that much, they would always play index, middle, pinkie. But it was so much easier for me to use my ring finger most of the time in those situations. Later I found out that Gilbert most of the time does the same thing. So just don't think you have to do it one way or the other. I do fingerings all kinds of ways, depending on the situation. I use my middle some in those situations, if it makes sense to me.

I would learn a lot of lessons, even if you don't learn to play them well for a time. On number 81 now. It breaks you of the habit of thinking you have to see things in boxes, or in fingerings. Remember each teacher thinks a certain way. But when you are picking and choosing from maybe 20 of them, you are going to see things differently than any of them. Individual teachers may believe in this or that. But if you create a Frankenstein teacher out of 20 of them, and stick your brain into the mess, that monster does not think like any of them.

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buttmonk
Aug 3 2008, 02:12 PM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ Aug 3 2008, 03:53 PM) *
I used to preoccupy myself with fingerings. I just do what makes sense in the piece now.

I remember using my ring finger rather than my middle. None of the teachers did that much, they would always play index, middle, pinkie. But it was so much easier for me to use my ring finger most of the time in those situations. Later I found out that Gilbert most of the time does the same thing. So just don't think you have to do it one way or the other. I do fingerings all kinds of ways, depending on the situation. I use my middle some in those situations, if it makes sense to me.

I would learn a lot of lessons, even if you don't learn to play them well for a time. On number 81 now. It breaks you of the habit of thinking you have to see things in boxes, or in fingerings. Remember each teacher thinks a certain way. But when you are picking and choosing from maybe 20 of them, you are going to see things differently than any of them. Individual teachers may believe in this or that. But if you create a Frankenstein teacher out of 20 of them, and stick your brain into the mess, that monster does not think like any of them.


Yeps. I have spent most of my time learning lessons and bits from songs and I have been playing them as it feels natural to me, and that is as Matt23 describes. Recently I decided to start learning more boxes and that is when I came up with the idea of strict positioning somehow, but that is certainly not natural for me. So actually, til now I haven't been thinking much in the way of boxes or fingerings at all, just what is the most natural way for me to play a certain piece, but yes, I agree with your point.

Thanks guys biggrin.gif

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Gerardo Siere
Aug 3 2008, 06:42 PM
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It´s a good idea to use your styrongest fingers if the strech isn´t big or there isn´t any particular hard shift, for some pentatonic fast sequencing some times is better to use 3 instead of 4 so you don't have to move your wirst to put your 4 finger in postiion, and also you should check fimngerings again when playing in highers positions.

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kjutte
Aug 3 2008, 10:30 PM
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Just make sure you're using all your fingers, and that you're able to stretch. if you can stretch, and got strength in all fingers, you're good.

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Ivan Milenkovic
Aug 6 2008, 08:35 PM
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THere isn't really any specific rule about it, but with 3-note-per-string patterns I use index-ring-pinky combo almost exclusively. Also when using pentatonic boxes the choice is really simple, and logical. Often it is required to play some boxes with different positioning, depending on the thing that came before or will come after that position if you know what I mean.

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buttmonk
Aug 6 2008, 08:40 PM
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Thanks guys. Have now learned all the minor pentatonic and blues boxes, yeh!

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Ivan Milenkovic
Aug 6 2008, 08:54 PM
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That's pretty good man. I recommend some my pentatonic sliding lesson to connect them smile.gif

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