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> A Light Touch
PosterBoy
post Dec 19 2013, 11:46 PM
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I really am not a fast player, and my fretting hand is more the problem than my picking hand.

Today I was working on a Tony Iommi inspired lick and noticed how light I had to do a trill and some other hammer on and pull offs to get it to the dizzying speed of 152 bpm this is just with 8th notes and triplet 8th notes.

Apart from Todd's thumbless fretting idea, what other things can be done to promote a light touch?


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 20 2013, 07:10 AM
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No takers on answering this one? Well, I'll take a crack at it! smile.gif

Apart from my patented "thumbless" technique smile.gif The only way to really work on having a light touch is to practice playing with a light touch. I know that sounds dumb and obvious. But other than taking your thumb out of the equation, you have to focus on fretting lightly. There are of course some things that can help smile.gif

1.)Try playing with only your left hand.
-Take your right hand out of the equation. Like my "thumbless" technique, this is yet another "Isolation Drill". In this case isolating your left hand so that your brain can focus entirely on the pressure being applied and not on picking.

2.)Increase the gain.
-Not playing with adequate gain often results in people over pressuring with pick and fret hands. Try to increase your gain/distortion to the point where you can use only your left hand and still get solid notes. You may need to apply a noise gate to tame the added noise. I use 3 noise gates in my OVERLOUD TH2 patches, set at different levels.

3.)Add "thumbless" to "pickless"
-Yup smile.gif Back to thumbless but this time try it using your left hand only and not picking.


That about covers it for my suggestions smile.gif I hope someone else does say something on the issue. I am suprised nobody has replied yet? COME ON GUYS!!!!!!!






QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Dec 19 2013, 05:46 PM) *
I really am not a fast player, and my fretting hand is more the problem than my picking hand.

Today I was working on a Tony Iommi inspired lick and noticed how light I had to do a trill and some other hammer on and pull offs to get it to the dizzying speed of 152 bpm this is just with 8th notes and triplet 8th notes.

Apart from Todd's thumbless fretting idea, what other things can be done to promote a light touch?



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Kristofer Dahl
post Dec 20 2013, 09:49 AM
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I would do the following.:

* Make sure you are 100% relaxed in your arm and whole upper body. A light touch is impossible to achieve with a tense arm.

* start by practicing without distortion - and see if you can get sound out of your hammer-ons and pull-offs. This will make sure you are hitting the string with the right part of the finger. When you get it right - turn on the distortion to make sure your technique doesn't give you unwanted noise (from other strings etc)

* Never ever push speed - always play within your comfort zone. Otherwise you will tense up, and once again you cannot play with a light touch if your arm is tense.


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 20 2013, 09:53 AM
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Some Killer tips from DAHL man himself!!! Well said!! smile.gif

QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Dec 20 2013, 03:49 AM) *
I would do the following.:

* Make sure you are 100% relaxed in your arm and whole upper body. A light touch is impossible to achieve with a tense arm.

* start by practicing without distortion - and see if you can get sound out of your hammer-ons and pull-offs. This will make sure you are hitting the string with the right part of the finger. When you get it right - turn on the distortion to make sure your technique doesn't give you unwanted noise (from other strings etc)

* Never ever push speed - always play within your comfort zone. Otherwise you will tense up, and once again you cannot play with a light touch if your arm is tense.



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Ben Higgins
post Dec 20 2013, 11:39 AM
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Damn, I didn't even see this thread yesterday and I kept checking the 'new posts' list too ?!?!

Well, my advice would have been pretty much the same as Todd's... after being introduced in his thumbless approach, I'm a big believer in the benefits of the relaxed hand action it promotes. I noticed that gripping the neck with the thumb does increase the overall muscular strain which can be a real downer during repetitive practise. It's a real drag when your fretting hand gets too tired to practise.

Adequate distortion is also another important thing to me.. and something I would extol to anyone. Having notes die off prematurely due to a dry, fuzzy gain is no fun at all. At the same time, though.. an experienced player can make the same sound settings produce more sustain and tone due to their finger movements. So, the balance lies between having enough pressure and control in your finger movements but not needing to kill yourself just to get the notes to sound.

Other factors would be string action.. high high is it ?

String gauge. This doesn't necessarily affect anything other than string bending but if you're having to bend 11's as well as do anything else then that's going to take a toll on your stamina.

Last but definitely not least, Todd said it already. I find a lot of the answers are in the questions themselves. How do I play lighter ?

QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Dec 20 2013, 08:49 AM) *
I would do the following.:

* Make sure you are 100% relaxed in your arm and whole upper body. A light touch is impossible to achieve with a tense arm.


This too ! People often forget the effects of tension.. not just in the arms and hands but in the shoulders and neck area !

This transfers down the arms... so always try to loosen those areas up. Also, be aware of your shoulder height when playing. Do you bunch your shoulders up.. or do they hang relaxed. A good test for this is to play standing up. Try to consciously drop your shoulders towards the floor. Most people might find they can usually let their shoulders fall even further than they thought. It goes to show how much we hold them high without knowing it.


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PosterBoy
post Dec 20 2013, 12:08 PM
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Thanks guys a lot of things to be aware of and utilise in my practice.

I'm also going to work on stretching as I a think a lot of my tension and heavy handedness comes from having a limited reach


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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 20 2013, 05:21 PM
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QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Dec 20 2013, 11:08 AM) *
Thanks guys a lot of things to be aware of and utilise in my practice.

I'm also going to work on stretching as I a think a lot of my tension and heavy handedness comes from having a limited reach


I can illustrate some ideas in a vid biggrin.gif Stay tuned wink.gif here we go:



This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: Dec 21 2013, 05:16 PM


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PosterBoy
post Dec 21 2013, 06:02 PM
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Thanks Cosmin


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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 22 2013, 02:53 PM
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QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Dec 21 2013, 05:02 PM) *
Thanks Cosmin


Glad to help out man! smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 23 2013, 10:24 PM
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VERY SPIFF DEMO and a killer isolation drill!! I'm planning on doing some left hand Isolation drills/work this upcoming wekends video chats so do stop if you can posterboy! smile.gif

This past weekend we did some right hand isolation drills so it's time to balance it out smile.gif

P.S. Thanks very much guys for embracing the "thumbless" technique! smile.gif It has really really helped me over the years once I figured out what I was doing wrong (too much clamping down) and pulled the thumb off, I was able to play with a much lighter touch. Then adding the thumb back lightly using it as a guide. I Hope it helps posterboy too!

Todd


QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Dec 20 2013, 11:21 AM) *
I can illustrate some ideas in a vid biggrin.gif Stay tuned wink.gif here we go:




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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 24 2013, 03:40 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Dec 23 2013, 09:24 PM) *
VERY SPIFF DEMO and a killer isolation drill!! I'm planning on doing some left hand Isolation drills/work this upcoming wekends video chats so do stop if you can posterboy! smile.gif

This past weekend we did some right hand isolation drills so it's time to balance it out smile.gif

P.S. Thanks very much guys for embracing the "thumbless" technique! smile.gif It has really really helped me over the years once I figured out what I was doing wrong (too much clamping down) and pulled the thumb off, I was able to play with a much lighter touch. Then adding the thumb back lightly using it as a guide. I Hope it helps posterboy too!

Todd


Thanks Todd! smile.gif The principle can be applied to more strings of course - but in my opinion, the most difficult thing here is to start the first note WITHOUT using your right hand at all wink.gif As You said, no right hand and things are suddenly more interesting.


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