1. #1
    Piano players (for instance) needs to change fingerings in order to play other keys, but guitarists don´t. As we all know, practicing in 12 keys is a good advice for everybody, but sometimes it is reduntant (specially for guitar). Do you think the equivalent would be practicing with different fingerings?


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I find that practicing/playing from different positions and in keys roughly a fourth apart helps all aspects of my playing.

  4. #3
    I've spent the last year or so cycling a lot of material in half steps, whole steps, minor 3rds and 4ths. At the advice of a pro on the forum, I limited this to one position at a time, which basically yields the two aspects you're talking about at the same time. It's a pretty good way to approach things.

    In practice, it's not that simple in the beginning, for me. That's more the end goal. Until I have my ears (and fingers) around something, it's often much easier to work things technically in a single key, multiple positions. Once it's under the fingers and in the ears, cycling in single position is another layer of understanding which is really helpful.

    My starting point is basically 2nd position and 7th position for everything. Again, that's just to start.

  5. #4

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    Yes practicing with diffrent fingerings is a good Idea, Just like practicing chords with diffrent fingerings is a good idea. It helps with qucik changes and key changes.

  6. #5

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    I've done some of the same work Matt mentioned above in the Patterns For Jazz study group (which seems to be on a long hiatus now).

    In the Garrison Fewell study group many things are played through "Cycle 5" as Garrison calls it but the fingerings are limited. He doesn't want things played every possible way (-which players such as Frank Vignola and Mimi Fox encourage, and God knows they're great players) but only in a few very specific ones. I find that useful. The fretboard feels increasingly familiar.

  7. #6

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    It all depends on the goal.

    If the goal is maximum flexibility and efficiency for all kinds of music, including slow chord melody and comping at high tempo, then I'd suggest practicing songs in 12 keys, focusing on several (4 or 5) areas of the fingerboard.

    If the goal is to be able to use open strings as needed, then practicing in every key becomes even more important.

  8. #7

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    Also depends on how you actually conceptualize and execute music.

    One extreme is to strive to be able to play anything and everything (all the chords and melodies of all songs, each song in all keys) from within any single given position. This is the tightest of what you could call the "wrapping boundary" because all the fingering is bound within the position and extensions of the first and fourth fingers as needed. From a practicing perspective, this is the brute force of theory, knowing the finger board completely, and knowing the names of everything. From a performance perspective, this is the confidence of keeping one's eyes off the finger board when reading a lead sheet... doesn't mean you have to not look or stay in one position, but you could if you wanted to.

    Another extreme is freely moving all over the place; the loosest of what you could call the "wrapping boundary". This by the brute force of playing by ear. From a practice perspective it is mostly exploratory, learning the span and edges of the boundary. From a performance perspective, it generally lends itself to playing a song in a particular key so the boundaries are known, and knowing that when the limits to the finger board, or playability, or just tone preference boundaries are approached one has to wrap around and shift to a different root string orientation to stay within the boundary. One learns the particular parts of each key where one encounters the wrapping boundary, which extent varies with how each player uses the guitar.

    Most of us probably contract or expand our wrapping boundaries intuitively from song to song, style to style, night to night.