Economy 4August 7th, 2020
Do this little exercise.
Place your three right-hand fingers against the side of a desk or any flat surface (or vice versa if you’re left handed.)
Now, push the hand through.
Your fingers will naturally follow, clear the desk and fall to the underside of the desk.
Now, do it again, this time letting the fingers clear the desk one by one in sequence. So as you push your hand through, let the ‘a’ finger first clear the desk, then the ‘m;, and then the ‘i.’
It is important that you do not apply any force in the fingers as you do this.
In other words, the movements in the fingers are totally passive.
Now,we’ll apply the principle to the guitar.
Place the three fingers on the first string. Pull the hand back (back as in toward your elbow) slightly, feel the tension in the strings as you do this.
Again, don’t exert any force in the fingers. Let them respond to the tension produced by the hand pulling at the strings.
Next, pull the hand back more and as you do so, let this action cause the three fingers to clear the string together. This is analogous to pushing your hand past the desk.
Do this again, this time instead of letting the fingers move together, allow them to release the string one by one.
Do this a few times to understand the sensation,
You’re not actively plucking the string. It’s the pulling action in the hand that’s causing the plucking to take place.
When you pull the hand back, this action is causing your fingers to release the string.
This principle is one of the secrets to speed on the guitar.
You’re actively playing with your hand and the fingers become secondary participants in the actions.
All they do is release the actions.
In actual application, it’s a bit more complex, because there’re other elements at play but the basic principle is the same.
So when trying to get speed on the guitar, think beyond finger speed, think of how you can utilize the energy in the hand to help you move your fingers.
Next, how to apply the principle in rest-strokes.