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  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    Interesting - I guess it is big for classical music where the nuances are so delicate that it can affect them... but not that it is impossible.
    And I think in jazz it is less important...

    Tbh I think that it is not necessary for every player to learn every possible approach... if it works for someone in position - fine for him, if it works in diagonal playing - fine too...
    I guess each one eventually expands it if he feels he needs to do that...
    Yeah. TBH I thought of switching to more three fingered shifting approach because I just love the players who play that way, but it seemed like too much work. I can do it for a lick or two but my hand goes back to habit soon and it obviously has some disadvantages too. I could break through it if I wanted but I feel its trying to break a natural tendency that’s in built and that this is part of my own style.

    It’s easier to work with what I already have and expand it. It takes a lot of time
    - decades even - to learn this stuff, much more than picking technique IMO

    But I aim for a mobile left hand and aim
    to play more in lower positions. It sounds better most of the time.

    I personally played a lot in 'position' but there was a period when I intentionally broke it and began to study the neck diagonally... and eventually I got some kind of mixture of it.
    me too

    An interesting excersise that Andrey Ryabov showed me: when you play a scale or an arp upside down... you move your hand from top frets to low frets but the arp or scale goes upwards...
    it really breaks some patterns and the way the fretboard is systemized.

    I actually think it is an endless trip... I feel like my mapping of fretboard is always changing and it becomes more and more multi-dimensional.... but I dont fell like I will ever say: I know it...
    +1

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  3. #152

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eck
    Question: is it ok to play a harmonic minor scale root on G string and then kind of shrink your hand a pinkie plays 3 and index the 4 on B string and same on the way down? I feel it’s a bit piano-ish as opposed to just shifting your hand


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    You mean kind of 'underlaying' finger?

    I think everything is possible.. I just woudl not really overestimate the importance of it.
    Probably this is important from point of view of pedagogy.

    Actually when I play serious challenging music on lutes I am extremely specific about fingereings on both hands...
    up to every single note.

  4. #153
    I see what we're referring to as reg's fingerings as just... a way to learn the entire fretboard. It's a road to rpjazzguitar's summit, but I haven't gotten there yet.

  5. #154

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    yea... I know I've said this for years... but many just get lost in the forrest.

    The 1st or starting point.... you need to know yourself. You need to know how you work, both physically and mentally.
    Then decide what you want and where you want to go.

    If you don't know or have difficulty figuring yourself out.... get some help.

    Generally this basic info. will help you make choices as to how your going to learn and play the guitar.
    I went through this BS back when I was a kid in school. And decided on how I wanted to play the guitar and designed my approach from those decisions. You can obviously make changes as you go.

    It's really easy to know if what your doing or using works... We're on a jazz Forum. so I'm taking it that most want to play Jazz Guitar. Anyway... how does your approach work in live performance ?

    Anything will work with rehearsal...

  6. #155

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    I'm neither a psychologist or neurologist but it seems to me that what happens live & extemporaneously is directly correlated to what we've drilled in, and that is true with either simple or complex material.

    We're all human after all.

  7. #156

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Yeah. TBH I thought of switching to more three fingered shifting approach because I just love the players who play that way, but it seemed like too much work. I can do it for a lick or two but my hand goes back to habit soon and it obviously has some disadvantages too. I could break through it if I wanted but I feel its trying to break a natural tendency that’s in built and that this is part of my own style.

    It’s easier to work with what I already have and expand it. It takes a lot of time
    - decades even - to learn this stuff, much more than picking technique IMO

    But I aim for a mobile left hand and aim
    to play more in lower positions. It sounds better most of the time.

    me too

    +1
    Three fingers, rather than four, makes it more likely that you'll move your hand. It also makes it harder to play all the notes of a scale in sequence. The consequence, I think, is that you're more likely to have intervals of more than a half-step or step in your lines. Also, as you acclimate to moving your hand you might be more prone to playing multiple octaves in an idea.

    In Four On Six, Wes plays a descending idea in four keys. When I first tried to play it, with four fingers, it was really hard, Eventually, I found a way (which I suspect he used) to play it with two fingers -- in each of four positions. Easier and sounds way better.

    I can't stop myself from using 4 fingers. Habits are too engrained. Those fingers often play what's convenient outside of my conscious control and I have to remind myself to take charge.

  8. #157

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Three fingers, rather than four, makes it more likely that you'll move your hand. It also makes it harder to play all the notes of a scale in sequence. The consequence, I think, is that you're more likely to have intervals of more than a half-step or step in your lines. Also, as you acclimate to moving your hand you might be more prone to playing multiple octaves in an idea.

    In Four On Six, Wes plays a descending idea in four keys. When I first tried to play it, with four fingers, it was really hard, Eventually, I found a way (which I suspect he used) to play it with two fingers -- in each of four positions. Easier and sounds way better.

    I can't stop myself from using 4 fingers. Habits are too engrained. Those fingers often play what's convenient outside of my conscious control and I have to remind myself to take charge.
    Maybe. When I’ve played around with this I’ve had no trouble playing scale runs up and down; it’s just that fingers play more than one note by sliding on semitones.

    But I think it’s true that none of those players I listed I associate much with straight scalar runs up and down.

    One good example of a guitarist who plays very much this way with lots of scales is Kurt Rosenwinkel. As I understand Kurts technique has changed quite a bit recently, moving to a much more 3 fingered style.


    What it boils down to is - would you rather stretch or shift? In Kurts case the stretching was causing him hand problems apparently. Honestly I think shifting is often the best policy in melody playing.

  9. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Maybe. When I’ve played around with this I’ve had no trouble playing scale runs up and down; it’s just that fingers play more than one note by sliding on semitones.

    But I think it’s true that none of those players I listed I associate much with straight scalar runs up and down.

    One good example of a guitarist who plays very much this way with lots of scales is Kurt Rosenwinkel. As I understand Kurts technique has changed quite a bit recently, moving to a much more 3 fingered style.


    What it boils down to is - would you rather stretch or shift? In Kurts case the stretching was causing him hand problems apparently. Honestly I think shifting is often the best policy in melody playing.
    I did the stretching thing for years and then gravitated, without conscious intent, to more shifting. I'd say that somehow, shifting feels more naturalistic and gets me closer to the direct connection between musical-imagination and finger-execution without extraneous thought. In hindsight, I think it's because I like the sound of lines that ascend more than an octave and may slide into a high pitched note.

  10. #159

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Three fingers, rather than four [...] It also makes it harder to play all the notes of a scale in sequence. .
    I can't see why this should be the case at all. Can you give an example?

  11. #160

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    I can't see why this should be the case at all. Can you give an example?
    Here's what I was thinking.

    Suppose you want to play C Ionian starting on the 8th fret of the low E string with your fourth finger. Your first finger is at the 5th fret. All the notes are right under your fingers except B.

    Now, suppose you want to finger those notes with 3 fingers. If you play the low C with your third finger, you have to stretch, or reposition, for the D. Then, if you repositioned your hand for the D, you have to stretch or reposition for the F. That puts your first finger at the 6th fret (under the one finger per fret rule) and the next note is at the 5th fret. More stretching or movement.

    So, my thought is that if you have to stretch and move that much more, you may be less likely to play all those notes. And, if you leave some out, that can be a very good thing, making your lines sound less like scales.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 03-11-2021 at 07:57 PM.

  12. #161

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    I can't see why this should be the case at all. Can you give an example?
    I think he used to use 3NPS, so to your point I'll take a SWAG that he meant the use of first 3 fingers and no use of pinky?

  13. #162

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    I think he used to use 3NPS, so to your point I'll take a SWAG that he meant the use of first 3 fingers and no use of pinky?
    Oh yeah cos of Warren Nunes. Got it.

    Yeah that’s hard to do that. Makes sense.

  14. #163

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Here's what I was thinking.

    Suppose you want to play C Ionian starting on the 8th fret of the low E string with your fourth finger. Your first finger is at the 5th fret. All the notes are right under your fingers except B.

    Now, suppose you want to finger those notes with 3 fingers. If you play the low C with your third finger, you have to stretch, or reposition, for the D. Then, if you repositioned your hand for the D, you have to stretch or reposition for the F. That puts your first finger at the 6th fret (under the one finger per fret rule) and the next note is at the 5th fret. More stretching or movement.

    So, my thought is that if you have to stretch and move that much more, you may be less likely to play all those notes. And, if you leave some out, that can be a very good thing, making your lines sound less like scales.

    Playing a c-major scale staring on the 8 fret of the low e-string requires a wee bit of strecthing, and a slight reposition, but it's pretty natural and not big deal.

    You go 3rd finger on e then 1st, 2nd and 3rd there after ... the only place where you have slight inconvenience is not the hitting the D on the A-string, but hitting the B on the G-string if you intent to make a 2 octave run. Plenty of players play like this and at great speeds.

    We are talking this pattern right?



    And yes ... 3 fingers, no pinky! .. Also hand as far as possible angled at a 45 (or even less) degree to the fretboard and not the classical position where it's angled at 90 degrees (in other words where your fingers are pointing straight at the ceiling)

  15. #164

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    Hmmm.

    That's just a CAGED fingering pattern, position V. It includes a shift to position IV on the 3rd string. No stretches involved.

  16. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Hmmm.

    That's just a CAGED fingering pattern, position V. It includes a shift to position IV on the 3rd string. No stretches involved.

    Are we locked into fingerings with stretches here? .. I was just replying as a general comment on 3 vs. 4 finger playing when playing scales .. I have a hard time finding examples where 3 fingers fall short.

  17. #166

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    I'm sure not locked into stretch fingerings, I prefer to avoid them when playing in low and middle positions on my 25.5" scale guitars.



    I'm not sure what you're referring to on the 3 vs. 4 fingers discussion (but that's OK).

    Are you referring to the use of up to 3 fingers (any 3 fingers) on each string? Or are you referring to the general avoidance of 4th finger use?

  18. #167

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    I'm sure not locked into stretch fingerings, I prefer to avoid them when playing in low and middle positions on my 25.5" scale guitars.



    I'm not sure what you're referring to on the 3 vs. 4 fingers discussion (but that's OK).

    Are you referring to the use of up to 3 fingers (any 3 fingers) on each string? Or are you referring to the general avoidance of 4th finger use?
    ]]

    I was talking about no-pinkie. But, I'm aware that great guitar has been played without pinkie, Wes being a great example.

    In thinking about that fingering, a way to avoid any stretching is to play the A note on the D string with the pinkie. That's doable at high speed without difficulty and eliminates any stretching to get the B note at the 4th fret. I think most players don't bother with this because it's not hard to play the B with stretching or repositioning, but it is an efficient fingering.

  19. #168

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    ]]

    I was talking about no-pinkie. But, I'm aware that great guitar has been played without pinkie, Wes being a great example.

    In thinking about that fingering, a way to avoid any stretching is to play the A note on the D string with the pinkie. That's doable at high speed without difficulty and eliminates any stretching to get the B note at the 4th fret. I think most players don't bother with this because it's not hard to play the B with stretching or repositioning, but it is an efficient fingering.
    Not to be a fingering nanny about it (or anything) but there are no stretches in that fingering, only a shift from 5th position to 4th.

    Playing the A on the 4th string with the pinky is indeed doable and kind of reminds me of some classical fingering moves. That too is a shift to the 4th position, so when the 3rd string is reached you are already there (in 4th position, that is).

  20. #169

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Not to be a fingering nanny about it (or anything) but there are no stretches in that fingering, only a shift from 5th position to 4th.

    Playing the A on the 4th string with the pinky is indeed doable and kind of reminds me of some classical fingering moves. That too is a shift to the 4th position, so when the 3rd string is reached you are already there (in 4th position, that is).
    Warren Nunes taught 3nps patterns. In F at the first fret, he played the G with the second finger and the A with the 4th finger. Later in the scale, he'd play a note with the fourth finger and then move the first finger a fret or two (mostly one).

    I recall Chuck Wayne's patterns as similar.

    I also recall being taught stretching back to a lower fret at some point.

    I discovered for myself, much later, that I could stop being cognitively rigid about my left hand being in a position. At that point, I realized that moving it, even just a little, avoiding discomfort and could be smootly executed at my idea of high speed, which ain't that fast.

    As far as I know, Warren played out of these seven positions a great deal. I think that his knowledge of the neck and where to find the notes he wanted was based on these patterns along with big ears and experience. He could barely read a note. When he tried, invariably he played at the nut like a beginner. I'm guessing that he did not know the notes on the fingerboard by name except down at the nut. I could be wrong. While that isn't necessarily my recipe for success, Warren was a brilliant, innovative player. He had developed a lot of his own methodology and it worked for his music, perfectly. He's known for his jackhammer approach to soloing, but he was also brilliant at chord melody and every time he played a song he'd do it completely differently.

  21. #170

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Warren Nunes taught 3nps patterns. In F at the first fret, he played the G with the second finger and the A with the 4th finger. Later in the scale, he'd play a note with the fourth finger and then move the first finger a fret or two (mostly one).

    I recall Chuck Wayne's patterns as similar.

    I also recall being taught stretching back to a lower fret at some point.

    I discovered for myself, much later, that I could stop being cognitively rigid about my left hand being in a position. At that point, I realized that moving it, even just a little, avoiding discomfort and could be smootly executed at my idea of high speed, which ain't that fast.

    As far as I know, Warren played out of these seven positions a great deal. I think that his knowledge of the neck and where to find the notes he wanted was based on these patterns along with big ears and experience. He could barely read a note. When he tried, invariably he played at the nut like a beginner. I'm guessing that he did not know the notes on the fingerboard by name except down at the nut. I could be wrong. While that isn't necessarily my recipe for success, Warren was a brilliant, innovative player. He had developed a lot of his own methodology and it worked for his music, perfectly. He's known for his jackhammer approach to soloing, but he was also brilliant at chord melody and every time he played a song he'd do it completely differently.

    Yeah he had big chops and a good ear. Did you study with him? That must have been cool if so.

  22. #171

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Yeah he had big chops and a good ear. Did you study with him? That must have been cool if so.
    I studied with him for a couple of years in the 70s. At some point, I may post something about the experience.

  23. #172

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I studied with him for a couple of years in the 70s. At some point, I may post something about the experience.
    Sounds like a great idea.

  24. #173

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Hmmm.

    That's just a CAGED fingering pattern, position V. It includes a shift to position IV on the 3rd string. No stretches involved.
    If you were to play that exact pattern, from 5th fret on 6th string, to 8th fret on 1st string, low A to hi C, without using pinky:
    - on strings 6 and 5, there is stretch btw index and middle
    - on string 4, you can play without stretching, fingers 1 and 3.
    - on string 3, you shift position one fret lower and have stretch btw middle and ring finger.
    - on string 2, you shift back to original position and have stretch btw middle and ring finger.
    - on string one there is stretch btw index and middle.

    My Band camp

  25. #174

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    If you define "shifting" as a hand move that also moves the thumb position,
    and if you define "stretching" as a finger moving outside the hand position,
    then you don't need to do either if you fix thumb position and move the hand.
    Doing so lets each finger span 5 frets, so the whole hand may span 8 frets.
    The hand moves so different fingers move opposite the fixed thumb as needed.
    Thumb is fixed, until you move it (you can move it in advance of a hand shift).
    If that seems like unreachable span, reduce it to 3 frets for fingers and 6 for hand.

  26. #175

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    Yes... and generally we never stay in one position anyway.

  27. #176

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan
    If you were to play that exact pattern, from 5th fret on 6th string, to 8th fret on 1st string, low A to hi C, without using pinky:
    - on strings 6 and 5, there is stretch btw index and middle
    - on string 4, you can play without stretching, fingers 1 and 3.
    - on string 3, you shift position one fret lower and have stretch btw middle and ring finger.
    - on string 2, you shift back to original position and have stretch btw middle and ring finger.
    - on string one there is stretch btw index and middle.

    My Band camp
    Thanks. But why would anyone do that?

  28. #177

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    If you define "shifting" as a hand move that also moves the thumb position,
    and if you define "stretching" as a finger moving outside the hand position,
    then you don't need to do either if you fix thumb position and move the hand.
    Doing so lets each finger span 5 frets, so the whole hand may span 8 frets.
    The hand moves so different fingers move opposite the fixed thumb as needed.
    Thumb is fixed, until you move it (you can move it in advance of a hand shift).
    If that seems like unreachable span, reduce it to 3 frets for fingers and 6 for hand.
    OK. But we don't define it that way. That doesn't mean we can't do what you've described, it's just not how it's defined.

    In both traditional and contemporary formal guitar studies, each finger is "assigned" to one fret. So it's "one finger per fret". "Position" is defined in terms of the placement of the first finger. William Leavitt slightly modifed the traditional definition of position as being "one fret lower than the second finger" (paraphrasing). A classical guitar department head who I briefly studied with said "what's the difference and why define position that way?". I replied that it was because some of Leavitt's fingerings used the first finger to cover two frets lower than the second finger, while leaving the 2nd finger anchored (i.e. not shifting).

    A "shift" is when we move the hand higher or lower to another position, where we again assign one finger per fret. In Leavitt's fingering approach, the 2nd and 3rd fingers are anchored to assigned frets while the 1rst and 4th fingers can cover two frets, using stretching.

    A "stretch" occurs when we alter the "one finger per fret" placement by using any two adjacent fingers to cover a span of more than one fret. This typically occurs with the 1rst and 4th fingers.


    As was stated above, this doesn't apply to chords, and much of what is played in terms of melody involves shifts.

  29. #178

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    OK. But we don't define it that way. That doesn't mean we can't do what you've described, it's just not how it's defined.

    In both traditional and contemporary formal guitar studies, each finger is "assigned" to one fret. So it's "one finger per fret". "Position" is defined in terms of the placement of the first finger. William Leavitt slightly modifed the traditional definition of position as being "one fret lower than the second finger" (paraphrasing). A classical guitar department head who I briefly studied with said "what's the difference and why define position that way?". I replied that it was because some of Leavitt's fingerings used the first finger to cover two frets lower than the second finger, while leaving the 2nd finger anchored (i.e. not shifting).

    A "shift" is when we move the hand higher or lower to another position, where we again assign one finger per fret. In Leavitt's fingering approach, the 2nd and 3rd fingers are anchored to assigned frets while the 1rst and 4th fingers can cover two frets, using stretching.

    A "stretch" occurs when we alter the "one finger per fret" placement by using any two adjacent fingers to cover a span of more than one fret. This typically occurs with the 1rst and 4th fingers.


    As was stated above, this doesn't apply to chords, and much of what is played in terms of melody involves shifts.
    That doesn't look any different from what I wrote except:

    - why claim a finger is assigned to one fret and then immediately resend that claim for stretches?

    - if the meaning of position is limited (to 5 or 7, etc. other than anywhere), that limits your definition of shift

    - if your definition of stretch is corrected to, "using any two adjacent fingers to cover a span of more than two frets". (A span includes both its ends)

  30. #179

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    We are talking this pattern right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Hmmm.

    That's just a CAGED fingering pattern, position V. It includes a shift to position IV on the 3rd string. No stretches involved.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan
    If you were to play that exact pattern, from 5th fret on 6th string, to 8th fret on 1st string, low A to hi C, without using pinky:
    - on strings 6 and 5, there is stretch btw index and middle
    - on string 4, you can play without stretching, fingers 1 and 3.
    - on string 3, you shift position one fret lower and have stretch btw middle and ring finger.
    - on string 2, you shift back to original position and have stretch btw middle and ring finger.
    - on string one there is stretch btw index and middle.

    My Band camp
    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Thanks. But why would anyone do that?
    I do not know. I certainly would not do it.

    It's only that in context of what was discussed, starting scale pattern with ring finger from C/ 8th fret/ 6th string, you said, as quoted above, that there are no stretches.
    I just listed stretches as I would probably do it, if I ever would. I use pinky. I find 3 finger playing highly uncomfortable, exactly due 1st finger and 3rd finger stretches.
    My fingers are rather short, on hands not particularly large.

    If you wanted to say that stretches are not needed if pinky is used for 8th fret while position is shifted on 3rd string, I can only agree with you.
    That is the way I would do it and the way, I think vast majority of player would chose, for that particular pattern.

  31. #180

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    That doesn't look any different from what I wrote except:

    - why claim a finger is assigned to one fret and then immediately resend that claim for stretches?
    Good question. The classicist that I reffered to wasn't crazy about Leavitt's definition either. But it's not really so much about his definition as it was his approach to playing, was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    - if the meaning of position is limited (to 5 or 7, etc. other than anywhere), that limits your definition of shift
    I'm not following your point. Nevertheless, if we assign one finger per fret and are in the fifth position and then move up one fret (still with one finger per fret) we are in the sixth position. Moving from position A to position B or vice versa is considered "a shift".

    Span vs. distance etc. etc. Whatever, I'm certain that you understood what I meant. If the distance between any two adjacent fingers is greater than one fret, it's a stretch.

    I don't mind clarifying a bit, as long as we're not playing some kind of a game. They're not my definitions, of course.

  32. #181

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    Is it possible to agree on anything.

    Position.... usually uses 1st finger as reference, yes?
    We usually also expand that to imply fingers at rest with one finger per fret using 1/2 steps. Yes?

    You could say playing A min, Dorian in 5th position could be... starting on low 6th string

    Fret.......fingers
    5 7 9 ....1 s2 s4
    5 7 9 ....1 s2 s4
    6 7 9.....2 3 s4
    6 7 .......2 3
    5 7 9.....1 s2 s4
    5 ..........1
    5th position with stretches, Yes?

    But why.... The point of fingerings is to make playing the guitar easy, based of hands as well as performance.

    Old days.... performance was the point, rehearsed performance. Over and Over etc... We don't perform jazz in that tradition. So fingerings have evolved to reflect the jazz tradition. You can still use whatever you choose.... but there is organization behind the changes.

    If you look at fingerings as reflections of playing chords on the guitar, like caged.... just expand that approach to playing Jazz chords. That's how I organized my approach as a kid...And because I've always had notation and sight reading as part of my playing, performance... that's where I ended up. I generally always thought my 2nd finger was the strongest and 1st finger most mobile etc...

    And I always liked playing pentatonics back in the 60's and 70's...LOL

  33. #182

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan
    If you wanted to say that stretches are not needed if pinky is used for 8th fret while position is shifted on 3rd string, I can only agree with you.
    That is the way I would do it and the way, I think vast majority of player would chose, for that particular pattern.
    Yes that's what I meant. Interestingly enough, people/books often show those CAGED fingering patterns wihout showing assigned fingers. It's well established that all four fingers with shifts and without stretches is the convention.

  34. #183

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan
    If you were to play that exact pattern, from 5th fret on 6th string, to 8th fret on 1st string, low A to hi C, without using pinky:
    - on strings 6 and 5, there is stretch btw index and middle
    - on string 4, you can play without stretching, fingers 1 and 3.
    - on string 3, you shift position one fret lower and have stretch btw middle and ring finger.
    - on string 2, you shift back to original position and have stretch btw middle and ring finger.
    - on string one there is stretch btw index and middle.

    My Band camp
    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    If you define "shifting" as a hand move that also moves the thumb position,
    and if you define "stretching" as a finger moving outside the hand position,
    then you don't need to do either if you fix thumb position and move the hand.
    Doing so lets each finger span 5 frets, so the whole hand may span 8 frets.
    The hand moves so different fingers move opposite the fixed thumb as needed.
    Thumb is fixed, until you move it (you can move it in advance of a hand shift).
    If that seems like unreachable span, reduce it to 3 frets for fingers and 6 for hand.
    Assuming you were commenting on my above post, my definitions:
    - stretching is whenever you cover a number of frets with lesser number of fingers, while staying in position.
    - position is defined by index finger/ Hand movement where index finger changes position is shifting position.
    - You can shift with, or without moving your thumb.
    - You can have stretch within hand position.

    What you describe is just mad shifting, in order to avoid stretching.
    Last edited by Vladan; 03-15-2021 at 11:53 AM.

  35. #184

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    I learned to go to a position and play one finger per fret. I also learned 5 frets for 4 fingers, using stretches.

    Much later, I figured out what 3 finger players had to know, which is that keeping the position of your hand loose (flexible, not fixed) can be an advantage. Also, that thinking one finger per fret might cause you to miss some good fingering possibilties (eg in the C major scale starting on the low E and fret 8 with the fourth finger, you play the A on the D string with your fourth finger to make a seamless shift to get the B with your first finger on the G string).

    Of course, great jazz has been played every which way.

  36. #185

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Is it possible to agree on anything.
    Is that a trick question? It's the internet, lol.

    But seriously, at the end of the day there are a lot of variables. Length of finger, length of fretboard scale, position location, what is being played, player preferences, fingering "logic", increased/decreased probablity of performance success based upon choice, etc. And even then we all have to both shift and stretch at times.

    So what are we talking about really? I can only speak for myself and say that after being influenced by Leavitt I chose his system of fingering that utilizes stretching as a default technique - but likewise found that it strained my left hand after rigorous practice sessions on a long scale guitar, so decided to use more traditional fingerings - fingerings that short guys with small hands tend to use in other words. What's the result? More shifting of course, and a few of those shifts kind of suck just like a few of the stretches kind of suck. But my left hand is happy so I just work with it.

    And I'm no improv master but I think I understand that improvisation entails a lack of predictability (duh). For that reason, a default technique that utilzes stretches may better accomodate split second decision making while position shifting may lead to "misses". The counter balance to that reality as far as I'm concered is that jazz language has to be practiced, it doesn't just fly out by itself without pre-practice. So I practice the jazz language with my fingerings (occassionally involving stretches BTW). If I can play it, I can repeat it. I rather expect that's the way it works for others as well.

  37. #186

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan

    What you describe is just mad shifting, in order to avoid stretching.
    I stretch... most often on the 1st string, three consecutive whole tones, using fingers 1 2 and 4. Sometimes same thing on the others.

    Don't misunderstand - when the thumb is fixed and the hand moves up or down the neck a little to further place the fingers, I'm not considering that a shift of position (nor a stretch)... the "position" in this case is more defined by the thumb.

    This is what I was meaning by saying earlier that I don't use a "fingering system"; I use a set of mechanical principles and let the fingers figure it out. I'm thinking this now after noticing my perspective that it is the thumb that determines the position. Seems too relative and not easily given a numeric integer label, but maybe it is more mechanically real?
    Last edited by pauln; 03-15-2021 at 04:05 PM.

  38. #187

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I learned to go to a position and play one finger per fret. I also learned 5 frets for 4 fingers, using stretches.

    Much later, I figured out what 3 finger players had to know, which is that keeping the position of your hand loose (flexible, not fixed) can be an advantage. Also, that thinking one finger per fret might cause you to miss some good fingering possibilties (eg in the C major scale starting on the low E and fret 8 with the fourth finger, you play the A on the D string with your fourth finger to make a seamless shift to get the B with your first finger on the G string).

    Of course, great jazz has been played every which way.
    Why would "loose position" be somehow exclusive to 3 fingers playing?
    That "interesting possibility" is de facto 4 fingers playing. Iin no way it is more obvious to 3 finger players than it is to 4 finger players.
    There are ways to switch positions. What you described is one of them. It is one example where 4 fingers playing gives advantage over 3 fingers.

  39. #188

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    I stretch... most often on the 1st string, three consecutive whole tones, using fingers 1 2 and 4. Sometimes same thing on the others.

    Don't misunderstand - when the thumb is fixed and the hand moves up or down the neck a little to further place the fingers, I'm not considering that a shift of position (nor a stretch)... the "position" in this case is more defined by the thumb.

    This is what I was meaning by saying earlier that I don't use a "fingering system"; I use a set of mechanical principles and let the fingers figure it out. I'm thinking this now after noticing my perspective that it is the thumb that determines the position. Seems too relative and not easily given a numeric integer label, but maybe it is more mechanically real?
    I understood you well first time. As I already said, what you describe, I consider to be "shifting position by stretching the thumb". I do it all the time. I think it would benefit me to do it less.

    BTW, i am more of a "stretcher" type than I am "shifter.", although it is changing a bit. Couple of years ago, in 5th position, I would always stretch pinky for B note on 4th string 9th fret.. Nowdays, sometimes I shift back to 4th position, for B note on 3rd string 4th fret. Also, I much more stretch with pinky than I do with index. Probably due fingers given length.

  40. #189

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    Wow Pauln... I like that ...no finger stretches... position defined by the thumb. never heard of that. I believe thumb needs to be below neck, with space etc... to create freedom of movement for fingers. So now just need someone to have position details below neck.

    I'm not joking. I don't need to stare at fretboard when I play or read. And I like 7 positions because with fingering organization, somewhat of a seamless connection between positions helps with the need to stare at fretboard thing.
    And the frets are the markers or what we feel as we move etc... (obviously becomes internal).

    Do you have any posted vids of your playing.... would dig seeing. I'm going to checkout some of my posts.

  41. #190

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Wow Pauln... I like that ...no finger stretches... position defined by the thumb. never heard of that. I believe thumb needs to be below neck, with space etc... to create freedom of movement for fingers. So now just need someone to have position details below neck.

    I'm not joking. I don't need to stare at fretboard when I play or read. And I like 7 positions because with fingering organization, somewhat of a seamless connection between positions helps with the need to stare at fretboard thing.
    And the frets are the markers or what we feel as we move etc... (obviously becomes internal).

    Do you have any posted vids of your playing.... would dig seeing. I'm going to checkout some of my posts.
    I don't have anything to show, but I think can describe what it might look like. But there is not much to see.

    Audience people who were not guitarists have complimented "my playing" saying things like, "Great bass play'n, man." I have had to just smile and say, "Very kind of you to say, I'll pass that on to him, I'm actually the guitarist." I think this may be because my hand spreads out, I use four fingers and don't lift them much off the strings, and make fewer smaller shifts, more larger shifts as needed... so maybe similar to how a bass player's hand looks and move on the bigger bass scale finger board?

    On the other hand, guitarists tend to more wonder where all my notes are coming from because my picking hand is virtually motionless (flexing my thumb and index - Chuck Wayne picking). If more than eight feet way it looks like my hand is just "there" without apparent movement.

    The mapping of the finger board, positions, and fingerings is eminently logical, especially when approached from music reading and a practical visual, geometric, pattern correspondence to the desired "note/pitch to string/fret/finger" relationships, which becomes internalized. My approach (self taught) was not logical, but strictly aural ("by ear"). I left my hands and fingers to figure it out for themselves with just brute faith that they would. One of the results is that my thumb position itself is "shifty" in anticipation of what my fingers are about to play; my thumb positions itself in advance. That is not really noticeable since the usual place to look for stuff happening is over the finger board, not under it.

    All seemed normal to me, like a sax player moving his right leg and the bell closer to each other when playing some low notes, or how a trumpet player swings his horn down between phrases.

  42. #191

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    Cool thanks... yea I've toured playing bass. Loved it. Obviously one the the reasons I'm always lookin for the groove of pocket

  43. #192

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    Don't misunderstand - when the thumb is fixed and the hand moves up or down the neck a little to further place the fingers, I'm not considering that a shift of position (nor a stretch)... the "position" in this case is more defined by the thumb.
    pauln,

    I went to a clinic with the great French bassist Francois Rabbath.
    He is a proponent of a fingering approach that sounds exactly like
    what you are describing, perhaps even more extreme given the scale
    length of that instrument. He conceives of the entire bass in six positions
    while pivoting around a stable thumb for the higher and lower notes.
    Open position//5th //octave //8ve+5th//2nd 8ve//2nd 8ve+5th.

    I make use of this idea more frequently while playing cello and to a
    lesser extent on guitar. Rabbath also differentiates pivoting and shifting.