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ok, try this one...

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:54 pm
by rookie
I did warn you there'd be a few dumb questions from now on. But no-one told me there'd be some dumb answers as well (you know who you are!)

Anyway, I'm working on How Long Blues from one of the Fred Sokolow DVDs and am getting on OK with switching from chord to chord. First time, he does one strum per bar, and then on the next runthrough he moves it up to a double strum, which adds a helluva more bluesy feel. But the big difference I've noticed when I try it is that my strings are still vibrating from the first strum so the second one sounds really crap. When Fred does it they're really brief and staccato and for the life of me, I can't see him making any hand movements that could suggest why there's a difference. Any ideas? Appreciate your help, guys.

RE: ok, try this one...

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:16 pm
by rustyslide
I don't have that DVD, but try this:

Lift the fretting hand off a little bit to mute the strings, so the strings aren't touching the frets anymore.

RE: ok, try this one...

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:42 am
by oleman
Another muteing method is to stop the vibrating strings with the palm of your right hand after your down stroke.

RE: ok, try this one...

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:46 pm
by rookie
Yeah, my initial thought was that he was lifting the left hand off a bit, although you can't see his fingers moving. I've already tried doing that though and it seems a little clumsy.

As for the palm technique, I don't think he does that either but I'll rewatch it tonight to find out and give it a go nevertheless.

Don't suppose the fact that I have a cheap entry-level guitar with nylon strings has any part in it? Please say Yes...

RE: ok, try this one...

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:21 pm
by guitarsmurf
Fraid not... I started out 17 years ago on a nylon string classical. In fact a steel string will resonate / sustain even more.

Both techniques mentioned above are correct. I haven't seen the DVD, but from what you describe Fred's probably doing one of those techniques or even more likely a combination of both.

But fret not, rookie dude (pun intended). ;)

Just take it slowly and practice this one part till you've got it down before moving on to the next bit. This is basic stuff that you'll use in many songs, so it's important to get it down.

Just remember, once you've got it down, you'll be smiling man!

Good luck!

RE: ok, try this one...

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:50 pm
by rustyslide
>Yeah, my initial thought was that he was lifting the left
>hand off a bit, although you can't see his fingers moving.
>I've already tried doing that though and it seems a little
>clumsy.


If I'm playing that way, I tend to leave my fretting fingers just touching the strings, and when I play a chord, I squeeze for the duration I want, usually 1/8 or 1/4 notes.

RE: ok, try this one...

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 6:32 pm
by maxx england
I also use, since I don't use a pick, my playing fingers, there's a lot of control available for precise choice of strings that you want to damp.

RE: ok, try this one...

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:42 pm
by rookie
Hmm, still no noticeable hand movements on the DVD - the two strums are so close together that it's really hard to do that thing with the palm in time - if that was the case, you'd think he'd mention it, as it is a beginner's DVD.
As for the left-hand technique, I don't think that will be it either, as the bottom string is an open string on one chord and would otherwise be sounding loud and clear. I'll persevere...

RE: ok, try this one...

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:02 pm
by rookie
Very strange, this - had another look at the DVD last nite and this time I CAN see his left hand moving. So I persevered a bit with this and even though the bottom string is unaffected, it is beginning to sound a lot better.
It's gonna be a long, hard road if I even have to practice watching the DVD!

PS Maxx, are you saying that if you're using a pleccie, you wouldn't be able to do palm-damping?

RE: ok, try this one...

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:23 pm
by ricochet
>PS Maxx, are you saying that if you're using a pleccie, you
>wouldn't be able to do palm-damping?

No, that's quite doable. Look at any heavy metal player, they do that routinely.



"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

RE: ok, try this one...

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:25 pm
by rustyslide
In addition to using your palm, your picking hand can mute strings by just touching a vibrating string with a bare finger, which a lot players who use picks don't do.