Wednesday, May 28, 2014

String Bending Help

Dear Mr Tagliarino,
In the book "Interval Studies and Lead Guitar Technique", you discuss fret hand damping technique - I have a quick question about that.

When bending on the guitar mostly on the high E string, I find that the B string often slides under my bending (ring finger) and then the B string also rings out. 

I have been trying to figure out how to stop that. On bends, I touch the B (to mute it) with my index finger, but because the ring finger is fretting a higher fret, the B string still rings out.

I also always mute with my palm, but on a bend, the palm mutes the B string but sometimes also will mute the sound of the E string as it gets bent up.

The only thing that works but it is not so easy is that i try to have my index and middle finger helping to bend the E string but at the same time touching and pushing the B string up and away and helping to keep it from getting under my ring finger and ringing out.

I was wondering how you keep the b string from ringing out? 

Thank You so much - I know you are really busy!

Yeah Azi! Great question!

Option 3 is the best way: get under the B string and use the fingertip to push the string out of the way as you bend. It will get better with practice. You need a slight rolling motion so the string catches on your fingertip.

I actually use the same ring finger tip to do both: bend the E string, and move the B string out of the way.

While you're working on it, try adjusting your string action a little bit higher at the bridge, especially for the strings that don't want to cooperate with you (mostly the B). It also helps to have jumbo frets on your guitar - I like Dunlop 6105 frets for bending. You can really get under those strings with the big frets under you.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Interleaved Practice

When I started working in LA, the pace was crazy and I'd often get thrown into the deep end. We'd get maybe one or two rehearsals in---sometimes none at all---then start gigging. There'd be lots of mistakes on the first show or two. We just had to play through them (no do-overs allowed of course!) and try to keep the crowd with us.

But I noticed that the mistakes disappeared within just a couple shows. It was nerve-wracking, but the memorization happened much faster there than in my home practice, where I'd play one thing over and over until I thought I had it down cold. This confirmed what I'd been told by my teachers: one hour on a gig is worth ten of rehearsal.

But the research suggests that it's not just the high-pressure environment that makes you learn faster. It's the interleaving-induced forgetting and remembering.

If you have 30 new charts to memorize by Saturday, the traditional approach would be to take all day, going over each chart several times in a row, until you can play it perfectly from short-term memory, probably spending 30-60 minutes per chart. This, however, is no guarantee that you will remember it on the gig. You'd probably just remember the last few songs you worked on Saturday morning.

With interleaving, you play each song once per session, letting your brain know what its eventual target is. Take about five minutes for each song. You allow yourself to make mistakes, because you have to move on. Do that with all 30 songs, then sleep on it, and do it again. Force yourself to remember, and relearn what you forgot. It's more effective.

Barrett Tagliarino

Barrett Tagliarino