Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Over the years I practiced fingering patterns I was taught when I was about 16 from my teacher at the time. It was mainly blues/pentatonic. A few years ago, I took lessons from a local heavy hitter who taught a CAGED approach. The I read an interview with A Rogers who recommended Segovia.

    I took some lessons a few months ago and my teacher recommended 3NPS and 4NPS.

    Now I feel as if I don’t really know what to do. “All” is not an option.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Bach5G
    Over the years I practiced fingering patterns I was taught when I was about 16 from my teacher at the time. It was mainly blues/pentatonic. A few years ago, I took lessons from a local heavy hitter who taught a CAGED approach. The I read an interview with A Rogers who recommended Segovia.

    I took some lessons a few months ago and my teacher recommended 3NPS and 4NPS.

    Now I feel as if I don’t really know what to do. “All” is not an option.
    Everyone has their own experience.

    My experience was that "All" was the option, but the path to it was actually not really knowing what to do - and continuing to not need to know. I taught myself, and from day one I did not follow any systematic fingering (or picking, for that matter) other than my ear requesting my hands to figure out for themselves how to produce what I wanted to hear. This turned out to be an excellent method because now I absolutely never think for a moment about how to execute playing anything; my hands know. I never think of whether to start a phrase or line with an up or down stroke, never think about string skipping, what position I'm in, or which fingers play which frets.

    The result is that I use all of those you mention and some that my hands have invented or discovered that probably don't have names. At any one instant I might finger anything within a five or even six fret span, I use all four fingers, and if shifting positions meant anything to me I'd conclude my neck has 19 positions.

    There are a lot of things about learning the guitar where one looks back and thinks, "That really worked for me, but there is no way that could be a method one could teach another", in this case because the learning is not verbal or even in the mind as a concept; it's "underneath" where motions are not deliberately consciously fully controlled, yet perfected with experience.

    Anyway, I would advise not to exclude the "All" option; at least be open to multiple solutions - I think most guitarists use multiple approaches to encompass their range of technique.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    "all" is impossible unless... *avoiding rabbit hole text here*.
    But it's a matter of attitude. Instead thinking "all", think "bonus".

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    I'm never going to be done learning. Every time I think that I "just need to master X, then I'll be able to play anything" I find that after mastering X, it leads me to something else that requires me to learn some other technique. Let your musical interests drive your choices for developing technique, rather than the other way around. For example, 3NPS is great for some things and it's just not gonna matter for others. So work on whatever helps you realize your musical intentions, but don't think you won't need to learn something else later

  6. #5
    Well, I will stop learning in the sense that I’ve just turned 65. The clock is ticking.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    What's going to come out is a combination of what you put in. I've always tried to go by player and the music they play. Want to play like Wes, try fingering like him. Same for Adam Rogers, etc. Everything you learn counts and pushes you forward. There's always many ways to play stuff,I wouldn't worry about it.

    I change picks all the time, picking technique also often enough. I find if you practice that way, the hands tend to gravitate towards the most appropriate technique for what you want to play.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Sounds to me like you've depended on being told what to do by others instead of finding out for yourself.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I don’t think I ever practised fingering patterns as such. I already knew the basic scales and arps from my classical guitar lessons. Really I just dived in learning bebop heads, melodies of standards, transcribing solos, etc. I just worked out the most convenient fingering in each case. Eventually you arrive at a mixture of fingering solutions to cope with everything.

    Not that different from playing classical guitar pieces really, you often have to work out your own optimum fingering for that too.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    I think if you're looking for too much advice, you've come to the right place!

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    If someone has learned caged I carry on with with that. If you can’t play all the positions fluently, work on that to start with.

    What’s more important is that you can play moving between the positions. One you can do that the exact nature of the fretboard pedagogy melts away more.

    4nps is a good way to practice that. Another way is to play a scale from the lowest note of your guitar to the top and down again, choosing a different path each time.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Bach5G
    The clock is ticking.
    Some practical advice in the previous responses so that gives me the freedom to be philosophical.

    The clock starts ticking the day we are born with no guarantee or knowledge of how many ticks we are granted. It's a great relief, to me at least, to realize that we're really not going anywhere and that the only sensible thing to do is enjoy the journey.

    Decades ago I read an interview with Howard Roberts in Guitar Player magazine and his advice to aspiring guitarist was something to the effect of "enjoy where you are and have fun". I remember that article 50 years later because as a teenager it made no sense to me! I wanted information, I wanted the answer, I wanted to know the secret. At the time I couldn't see that HR had revealed the secret.

    Engage your curiosity, follow your interests. Don't worry about finding the single right answer because there isn't one.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Hi, B,
    There's an excellent book that many beginning Classical guitarists use if you can read music--"Pumping Nylon, second ed." by Scott Tennant. It gives you exercises that any musician can use and from which you can greatly benefit. If you can't read music, you can develop your own approach by learning/playing scales, arpeggios, chords. However, if you don't play with a pick, you'll need to learn proper sequencing for the traditional p-i-m-a construct for clarity and maximum facility/execution. However, most advanced players incorporate into their warm-up exercises problems they are dealing with in certain songs/pieces for example: a tricky chord progression, difficult stretches, fast scale passages, etc. I hope this helps you.
    Good playing . . . Marinero

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    To OP. When I started to learn improvisation in college, I learned those 7 diatonic scales in 3 different fingering each. Not working at all - they were messed up, tangled in various ways. Didn't make sense.
    Learned arps - same thing.
    Then years later, for fun, I learned only 3 positions of diatonic patterns. All was simple. Boring but simple and workable. A relief. Everything started to connect there, in those 3 fingerings.
    Then some more years later, I started playing in between those 3 patterns, going up and down the neck with no trouble. Still boring but it got easier all the time. Those 3 became 3 + something in between.
    Then now, many years later, for fun, I started to play only by ear. Nowadays most of the time I have no clue what pattern I'm in. But it feels better. On brighter days, I can amuse myself already

    Point is, the road may be bumpy if you yet don't have too much clue what exactly you're aiming for. Getting good at jazz, maybe really nailing those chord notes (probably the hardest way to do it?) - insane work for a few years. But then you got decades to enjoy playing like that. Even get some usage for work you've neglected at some point.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    I'd just stick with the one that makes the most sense to you now. As Christian says, it all blends together at some point anyway.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Stick with that but surely test other stuff out. Add on top of what you already know, if possible.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    The problem before the internet::
    Difficult to find information

    The problem today:
    Difficult to find the correct inforation

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    I thought it was new all Christain's thread... I feel a bit disappointed now..

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Ha is that because I give way too much information, or because I might have started a thread with this topic? I'd say both can be true.

    One of the hardest things about being a teacher is making sure you tell the student only what they actually need to hear; that is what will be helpful to them.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    I use CAGED for playing changes and they sit well to me with Pents and Arpeggios. I do some things 3NPS as well.

    I would not worry about the Segovia scales. I'm a classical player and have played them but would never look at them as anything more than a set of exercises for classical players. Not part of the improvisors tool kit.

    Arpeggios, Pents, CAGED, and 3 NPS have served me well, YMMV.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    I've spent the past few months simplifying my approach.

    Regarding scales, I find the root of the scale I'm working on and play as many single octave fingerings in that position as possible. Then I move to the next position or octave. The scale fingering is based on how I hear it, and which finger I'm starting with, instead of a pre-set pattern. Of course, they're all patterns really, but there's less abstraction this way.

    Next, I write out string pairs at the beginning of the week and play the scale across two strings, based on a certain interval. I'm currently working on 3rds.

    No matter what work I've done over a week or how successful I've been, the next week I go up the Circle of 5ths. This keeps things moving and keeps me interested. Everything I learn gets applied to, and built on, with the next key.

    It's working so far. I finished the major scales and I'm into the minor scales as of today. My goal is to do 2 full rotations and then reassess.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    For an adult person learning process presumes the ability to take decision and choose.
    Try many things if you have time and possibility - it won't spoil you... but do not mindlessly dive into serious practice if you do not know why you choose this or that method...

    I think you should choose some basic reference method for fretboard knowledge and add to it whatever you find useful... and interesting.

    Some years ago I met a guy who played 2 nps - it was fun to practice and breaks the patterns (once again!)...

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    When thinking ahead, like 10 years. There is no way telling what you'd need by then.
    So, it'd be very good idea to actually practice "all". That doesn't even require to master those really. Just that when this is needed, it's already kinda familiar and gets usable much faster.

    For example, I practiced.. poorly.. 7th chord inversions. Never needed to actually use them for the longest time anywhere.
    But later it turned out that 1.made memorizing certain types of classical guitar pieces 10x easier. 2. I actually started using them in a different way when comping.
    So, no instant practical value (my case only), but darn glad I went through with them (lazily) so long ago.

    The opposite example was not learning harmonic intervals and chords the way we usually practice scales. Big regret now that I didn't care to do it 20 years ago.
    Had to spend months to learn the basics and still are not confident enough. Now I really need them, but still have to spend so much time to actually learn them... as new things.

    All that stuff needs to be in the long term memory anyway. Meaning it that learning this.. "all", probably spreads to many years. So, if accepting that you play for the rest of your life, better practice "all". Even if you don't really need it and don't care to get it 100% groovy at the time.

    alright. enough of that. it is a rabbit hole
    Stay well!

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Haha, too much advice in this thread already!

    Just nail CAGED, you'll be fine...