Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I mean, they certainly have their advantage, but could not I spend the same amount of practice time even more usefully?

    Pro: I understand the fixed finger exercises help develop finger independence.

    Con: I heard many times - and it sounds reasonable - you will play what you practiced when the time to soloing comes.
    (no, I'm not afraid I am going to play the spider fixed finger exercise as an impro :-)), but it wouldn't be more useful to practice something more realistic that is closer to jazz language?

    Bottom line, practice time is limited, is it worth to allocate part time to fixed finger exercises or not?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor View Post
    I mean, they certainly have their advantage, but could not I spend the same amount of practice time even more usefully?

    Pro: I understand the fixed finger exercises help develop finger independence.

    Con: I heard many times - and it sounds reasonable - you will play what you practiced when the time to soloing comes.
    (no, I'm not afraid I am going to play the spider fixed finger exercise as an impro :-)), but it wouldn't be more useful to practice something more realistic that is closer to jazz language?

    Bottom line, practice time is limited, is it worth to allocate part time to fixed finger exercises or not?
    The wasted time fallacy... There's a point at which you could say that about ANYTHING which isn't just performing tunes straight through like a performance one single time. That's not practice though.That's performance, and they're 2 different things.

    I've gotten a lot out of this exercise. Once you learn to do it in isolation, you can then apply it to slow, technical practices of problem spots in REAL music. I use it all the time, though I don't really do the isolated drill as much now, but that's the best place to start. Once you can do is somewhat, apply it to real music.

    The main thing is that some really excellent players swear by it. You can really clean up some technique if you apply it properly.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Jazz violinist Christian Howes posited an interesting idea.
    He suggested integrating improvising into every aspect of music study if being
    an improvising musician is a goal. Translated to a fixed finger scenario:
    Improvise on a tune while holding one or more fingers in place.
    If this is impossible due to limited pitch collections, try to make as much
    music as you can using the available notes.

    Even with exercises such as the spider, there is still room for a range of expressive elements
    to be engaged via rhythm, dynamics, etc.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    yes they are more than worth the time. What most find is that they help... Picking more than fingers etc...

    the exercises clean up basic picking references and standard patterns.

    The slow and easy approach is just for beginners.... If you don't get your guitar technique together.... it's really difficult to actually play jazz.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    I occasionally warm up with a spider variation I learned from a Joaquin Lievano interview in Guitar Player magazine decades ago. It focuses on moving from each finger to all other fingers, so it makes a good, quick gauge for how in touch I am with my left hand and the synchronization between my pick and fingers at the start of a practice session.

    Other than that, I wouldn't recommend spending any significant amount of time on them unless you are an absolute beginner and it's all you can do to get your fingers to move in the correct order.

    In my opinion, there's nothing that spider type exercises provide that can't be gotten from more musically valid exercises. and technique drills, except maybe the fact that you absolutely don't have to engage your brain to do them. That just means you can do them while watching tv or pretending to have a conversation with the wife. Practicing scales and arpeggios with alternate picking will develop your technique and are actually something you will use to make music. If you get these things worked up to where you don't have to think about them, so much the better.


    Lievano Drill

    e|--1---2---1---3---1---4-|--2---3---2---4---2---1-|--3---4---3---1---3---2--|--4---1---4---2---4---3--|

    B|------------------------|------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    G|------------------------|------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    D|------------------------|------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    A|------------------------|------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    E|------------------------|------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|


    .
    The disgusting stink of a too-loud electric guitar; now that's my idea of a good time - Frank Zappa

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    yes they are more than worth the time. What most find is that they help... Picking more than fingers etc...

    the exercises clean up basic picking references and standard patterns.

    The slow and easy approach is just for beginners.... If you don't get your guitar technique together.... it's really difficult to actually play jazz.
    Hey, reg. Great to see your post. Really Dargo your technique thread from a few years ago. The good old days. Ha !

    as regards technical work, then plugging away material you presented that I could basically find the last couple years . Anyway, probably my biggest pure technical gap with your presented material at the moment is 16th note vocabulary etc. It seems like large part of this is pentatonic for you, mostlyLidian/Dorian Pentatonic, dominant 9 pentatonic, and alt pentatonic. I was wondering if you had any leftover written material on this type of thing, like exercises et cetera.

    The best.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    My thoughts on these sorts of exercises is that they are worthwhile in moderation.

    I also think that almost anything can become very worthwhile once rhythmic variety is introduced. I have some basic technical exercises I've been doing for many years, and I just keep adding (1) speed and (2) rhythmic variations.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Yea everyone is different... but I would guess most don't have the technical thing together. The good thing about the spider or whatever one calls that type of exercise is.... that it is just that... technique, both picking and fingering. That's the point... they're not musical. ....Practicing playing musically is different....

    They require very little time....and are great to use as one warms up. I do agree with the poster above that said that they are for beginners.... but that is what most are when performing jazz.

    I posted them years ago... start on single strings then move on to multiple strings etc... Your just working all possible finger patterns and picking them... gets much more difficult when playing across strings.

    The results are you'll develop clean, relaxed picking patterns which become.... your basic References. How you finger and pick note patterns that repeats .... without having to think.... and then you'll eventually not have to practice everything you play.

    I know they helped me when I was young.... back in the stone ages.

    Generally when one just works on musical material... tunes etc... your technique becomes what you beat into your hands.... and brain.... you develop non consistent fingerings and picking patterns that you memorize etc... you'll have gaps and conflicts etc...

    (I'll skip the sight reading aspect)

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Where can I find these exercises that you gentleman are speaking of?

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor View Post
    I mean, they certainly have their advantage, but could not I spend the same amount of practice time even more usefully?

    Pro: I understand the fixed finger exercises help develop finger independence.

    Con: I heard many times - and it sounds reasonable - you will play what you practiced when the time to soloing comes.
    (no, I'm not afraid I am going to play the spider fixed finger exercise as an impro :-)), but it wouldn't be more useful to practice something more realistic that is closer to jazz language?

    Bottom line, practice time is limited, is it worth to allocate part time to fixed finger exercises or not?
    Never used them, so I can't comment on their utility.

    But, I would offer this observation. Improvising is about executing ideas. You need enough technique to execute your ideas comfortably. For many, that's a lot of technique!

    My impression, over decades, is that the speed bottleneck is more likely to be in the right hand than then left. The "clarity bottleneck" is in both hands.

    So, I would suggest spending time with any practice method that increases speed while maintaining pristine clarity.

    Economy picking with attention to making every note speak evenly and perfectly is one way to conceptualize the goal.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    I haven't did them for quite awhile, but I did them off and on for about 2 or 3 years back in the day and got great results.

    I had about 4 different variations I learned from the Pumping Nylon book.

    I did them most mornings as part of my warmups at the time.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    Where can I find these exercises that you gentleman are speaking of?
    I've recently came across on the following and that make me ask others opinion in this forum. In general you can search on youtube for [spider exercise] or [fixed finger exercise], then when you get the visual idea, search for variation tabs or pdfs.

    The fixed finger part starts at 2:30, but somehow the ?t=150 ending in the link is ignored...



  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    It's one of those things that are worth doing yourself... but

    so numbers are fingers and each group is an exercise, you start on single strings then move on to 4 string groups

    1234 2341 3412 4123
    1342 2413 3124 4231
    1423 2134 3241 4312

    then retro or backwards

    4321 3214 2143 1432
    4213 3142 2431 1324
    4132 3421 2314 1243

    example... play 1234 at 5th position starting on low "E" or 6th string and move up... 5th string, 4th etc..up to 1st string and back down. Then move up a position or fret and repeat. Usually play from 5th up to 10th or 12th position and back down.

    Then play the same pattern across strings... instead of one string, use 6th, 5th,4th and 3rd strings with same 1234 pattern. Then play starting on 1st string, so... 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th string then 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th etc.

    So there are 24 patterns and each pattern has 3 possible ways to play... single string, 4 string groups up and then down.

    Anyway they usually are just part of your practice routine ... great to start with for a few minutes .... maybe slow at first.... but get them up to a fast tempo.... that's the point, to get your technique together ASAP.