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Picklefish
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October 24, 2012 - 11:08 pm
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jimi-hendrixSo I am taking bluegrass lessons from this "old coot" type gentleman who is actually really nice and talented. He is definately got an old school mentality. One of the tips he offered right away was that if I wanted a good tone was to press really hard on the string when fingering the notes. Harder the better. I had learned from Brian Wicklunds books that he prefers to press and relax. That is press hard to set the note then relax the hand and so on.. It happens really quick and I understand the need for a relaxed hand. So whats the deal? Are you like I was....afraid I might hurt the note (im 6'5 and 280 lbs so I could if I wanted to) or are you like I am now...playing louder, more confident and smashing the heck out of the string? Oh, and now I am getting callouses like I did when I attempted guitar, between smashing the strings and sliding the notes. Having a ball. I think my sound is better, there isnt any more hazy sound as the note activates as soon as I smash it. string changes are better too. So is this in my head or really something I should continue?

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Barry
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October 24, 2012 - 11:23 pm
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maybe a comparison video would help. I think a lite touch has its place just like crunching does.

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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cdennyb
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October 25, 2012 - 2:24 am
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In my limited exposure to playing so far, I am a profound proponent of most of the sound coming from the bow so your observation and the gentlemens suggestion of playing hard are more confirmed.thumbs-up

I find pressing hard and then slacking off on the pressure is really a benefit in creating a unique sound and eases the transition between notes and string changes. Playing hard (or loud) and then softening allows more 'color' to be presented in the music. Add in some vibrato and string changes and a whole new world opens up.blink

Hitting the notes is only a small portion of the total package... the bow does the rest.

brings new meaning to the term "Play it like you stole it"dancing

agressive allows you more freedom of motion in playing. Have you seen Fiddlermans' videos like the Halloween project? He's got a real carefree, hammer on it motion going on and you can tell the differences in notes easily.banana

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Picklefish
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October 25, 2012 - 2:16 pm
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I do notice when I play Piano that I dont press or bow as hard, but to get that sound, move fast and bowing, aggressive (maybe not accurate) seems to work better for all aspects. I have noticed that I can ease into it (non percussive) and also for the bluegrass get that smack sound, two different aggressive approaches I guess.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Worldfiddler
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October 26, 2012 - 1:41 pm
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I don't wish to disagree with your teacher, Picklefish, and I'm only going to give you my own opinion on this.

 

From experience of playing, and teaching others, this is what I've found.

 

The word "you", from now on, means "one", or "anyone", btw :)

 

There's one single degree of finger pressure on the string, just enough to hold it firmly against the fingerboard, that is required to produce a clean note (assuming you are bowing the string properly). Any more pressure is just wasted energy and can tire you out prematurely.

 

There's also a little bit of unseen stuff going on here too - sometimes.

 

Often, when you deliberately press harder on the string, you unconsiously press harder (or move faster) with the bow, and it's really this which makes the difference in sound. By way of experiment, just watch the wood - hair gap on the bow, as you deliberately press down harder on the string with your finger. Sometimes you can see the gap decreasing, so you know you are using more bow weight.

 

It doesn't happen with everyone, one's mileage may vary, but it's worth checking out :)

 

Mr Jim  dancing

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Fiddlestix
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October 26, 2012 - 5:10 pm
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Worldfiddler said
 

There's one single degree of finger pressure on the string, just enough to hold it firmly against the fingerboard, that is required to produce a clean note (assuming you are bowing the string properly). Any more pressure is just wasted energy and can tire you out prematurely.

 

Mr Jim  dancing

I totally agree with you, Mr Jim,,,,,, + too much pressure take's away from the lightning speed that can be attained with one's finger's.

Also, too much pressure add's considerably to callus build-up. 

 

hats_off

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cdennyb
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October 27, 2012 - 1:45 am
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so would extra finger pressure on the string also wear out the fingerboard quicker?

LOL cheersroflol

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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tamlin
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October 29, 2012 - 6:02 pm
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Thanks for sharing the tip!!! I need to find me an old coot to share his secrets.

Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art. Charlie Parker

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tamlin
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November 30, 2012 - 12:19 pm
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picklefish said

jimi-hendrix I think my sound is better, there isnt any more hazy sound as the note activates as soon as I smash it. string changes are better too. So is this in my head or really something I should continue?

Perspective from another "old geezer"...

http://www.violinmasterclass.c.....nd-lifting

Hope you're smashin' out some super sweet, clean runs these days.

Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art. Charlie Parker

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Picklefish
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November 30, 2012 - 1:09 pm
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