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6 Responses to AMI Arpeggio Pattern

  1. pickerdad September 19, 2018 at 1:26 pm #

    Hi Allen. Great lesson. You are the Mr. Miyagi of classical guitar. By breaking the skill into simple motions, where each triggers the next, my AMI is already faster than it was, and I’m confident it will get t me to the speed I need. I had a couple of questions:
    1. Is it normal for the picking finger to touch the string before stroking the note? Do you do that all the time?
    2. Why do you extend the Middle and Index fingers together, rather than one at a time?

    • Allen September 20, 2018 at 6:21 am #

      Hi David,
      Thanks for the comments.
      1. In practice. That way we can get consistent with the placement on the string in each preparation. When not wanting to stop the string vibrating, we’ll still prepare with the same movement, but let the finger hover just above the string instead of touching it. Then playing “through” the string. If you slowed down a video of it, the string would still stop and replay, but it happens so fast it seems like there is no break in sound.

      2. There are many reasons to use “sympathetic motion”. Here are a few:

    • Speed: it uses less energy to bring both out together. It also makes “chunks” in our memory, instead of each note being separate (so we can think faster)
    • Security: we have to think ahead of which fingers will play next, so we’re always ahead of the game
    • Confidence: when we know what’s coming and we’re fully prepared, we can play more expressively and powerfully. Also, in nervous situations, planting down the fingers can be the antidote, or at least an answer to, shaky hands.

      Those are a few. I hope that helps. Keep up the great work!

      All the best,

  • pickerdad September 19, 2018 at 1:18 pm #

    Hi Tullie,
    I’m a fingerstyle steel-string acoustic player, so I don’t have a classical background, .but always come here for technique. I too had a lazy picking-hand ring finger. I played with my M&I probably 95% of the time. Then when I tried to learn a favourite piece, I found it had a long section of strings 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3 ,,, The piece itself is very fast (over 200 bpm) and even if I slowed it way down, I would never be able to play that section with 2 fingers. I tried using my ring finger “as required”, i.e. for that section and a couple of others, but couldn’t get it working. So I forced myself to play the entire piece with Ring finger for the first string, Middle for the second, and Index for the third. That way when I hit the tricky section, I wouldn’t have to mentally shift gears. It felt awkward for a few days ( I play 2-4 hours per day), but in less than a week it felt reasonably comfortable, and within 3 weeks, it started to feel so natural that I began playing everything that way. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not as far away as you might think!

  • Tullie Flower March 23, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

    I have been playing incorrectly for so many years. Thank you Matthew for your help away from those years.

    Unfortunately those years make this arpeggio very difficult. My ring finger resists just dropping into position by itself.

    I’ve tried the scissors.exercises.

    Do you have any suggestions? I am considering joining Guitar Shed for your help.

    • Allen March 23, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

      Hi Tullie,
      I don’t think it comes easy to any of us. Just keep at it. Those synapses need time to re-connect.

      Have you done rasqueados off the guitar? I think they’re one of the best for independence and control.

      Good luck!
      All the best,

      • Tullie Flower March 23, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

        Thank you Allen.

        I’ll keep trying.

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