Economy 7

September 16th, 2020

I have posted the link to this video before but it’s instructive to watch it again.

Specifically, at 2.55 in the video.

In my earlier post, I mentioned the upward trajectory of the ‘a’ finger at this point, mainly to refute the ‘knuckle’ school of guitar playing, or the ‘follow-through into the palm’ pedagogical trend.

But there’s one aspect that I did not mention and that is what’s driving the ‘upward’ movement in the ‘a’ finger.

One of the most efficient ways to perform a task is to base it off a counter force.

The principle of the lever works along these lines.

When you use a lever to life an object, you’re using the lever to push into the ground thereby producing an opposing force to produce the upward lift.

This is the principle behind the upward trajectory of the ‘a’ finger.

The opposing force in this case is the thumb.

We’ve heard of the opposing thumb principle but this is a bit more subtle.

The thumb not only opposes the fingers but creates the force necessary to drive them.

To do this in the most efficient way, you have to move the fingers upward, not in a hooking motion but in a natural ‘fist-closing’ movement.

Another way to describe the sensation is a kind of ‘squeezing’ action between the thumb and the fingers, or a cork-screw motion.

To bring back my point in the previous post about nothing working in isolation.

Yes, when we see JW’s ‘a’ finger moving upward, it’s tempting to think that this is all there is to it, that all you need to do to reproduce his technique is to move the fingers upward.

But the upward movement is a result of internal opposing forces in his hand.

If you do not replicate the opposing forces, the movement in itself would lack the effortless drive to produce the stream of energy you see in the video.

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