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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Hand position


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.flatpickerhangout.com/archive/7029

KI4PRK - Posted - 01/23/2009:  08:15:46


Hey all: After nearly a year of noodling around on a cheap, 40 year old, absolutely horrifying classical guitar strung with steel strings, I borrowed a good quality Yamaha dreadnought. And Whabam! I can suddenly play all my solo's smoothly and nearly (not quite ) perfectly (I'll post a sound file eventually), as well as pick decent Old Time and Bluegrass rhythm. I'm really happy.

Anyway, the actual question: I noticed that I am resting the heel of my right hand on the bass strings of the guitar. When I pick the bottom 3 strings, the "problem" resolves itself, and there are no problems that I know. Indeed, when I pick the treble strings, unwanted vibrations are muted. However, will this impede my picking?

Thanks in advance, Brennen

73, Brennen KI4PRK age 14

Blue Yodelin''

15bassman - Posted - 01/23/2009:  17:35:17



I sometimes use the heel of my hand to mute the strings if I am playing fingerstyle like Merle Travis, but I don't recall doing it while flatpicking. I never could get the free hand style of lead playing smooth like you will see Rice or Kenny Smith execute. I always tend to rest on the top of my bridge pins for a reference. May not be the best way to do it, but it works for me.

Don''t give God instructions.....just report for duty.

JohnTheGrey - Posted - 01/24/2009:  22:20:12


It depends how obsessive a person wants to be about something that is difficult or impossible to actually hear. Professional players try to dampen the strings that they aren't actually playing to reduce the possibility of feedback through high-power application systems. I find that if I stightly dampen the low strings when I'm flat picking the high strings it sounds a little cleaner - maybe. It also sounds a little richer - maybe - if I don't touch the wood of the top when flat picking the low strings. Thus, I attempt to pull the fingers I have normally lightly planted on the top up against the high E string. Finally, when playing the high strings I press a little on the top to kind of put the top under tension and make it stiffer. This - might - improve the treble response.

"We have the stars to guide us.
Guitars here beside us
To play as we go" - Three Caballeros

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