[thechat] Guitar Stuff

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Fri Mar 7 15:11:14 CST 2008

Joel D Canfield noted:

>>capo should work.

Excellent!  Thanks, that's a relief.  I'll give it a go.

>>nylon strings should be easier on the fingers, too.

Hmmmm.  Currently fitted with outwound steel.  Hadn't thought of nylon!  Interesting idea!  [1]

>>will playing in the middle of the neck really be better than just learning A D and E in first position?

Yeah.  I think so.  I was reading about some guitar teacher somewhere who was using this technique for his greenest beginners.  Concentrating on getting them to first learn what a clean note felt and sounded like, then adding rhythm and note time values, and then (only after weeks of playing) getting into sight reading and learning notes in first position and playing "Jingle Bells".

I wish the heck *I* had learned from someone like that!

When you're six and you haven't played "Little Brown Egg" for the very first time yet, trying to get that C# to sound clean is physically painful.  It hurts.  And because it hurts, kids don't want to practice.  They argue with parents and then they quit playing.  Nope.  I want this to be fun.  The middle of the neck has significantly lower tension.  It's easier to sound a clean fretted note.  So it gives the beginner a sense of accomplishment.  It makes 'success' easier!  That should make him *want* to learn more.  It just sounded like a very good (and very simple) idea to me.

Maybe we'll make it a game to see how far up and/or down the neck he can go and still get a clean tone ... gonna have to go over all the old 'little finger' exercises, chromatic scales, alternating up and downstroke picking exercises ... I just don't want to overload him in 'work' ... I want this balanced more to the 'fun' end of the scale.  There is always time for 'work' - later.

Unfortunately, all of my old beginning songbooks are written for learning notes and songs in first position.  So if the capo doesn't work ...  ;-(

>>(as if I know anything about gut-tar playing.)

Pppppppppppft!  Actually, that's another thang I plan on working on with him.  Starting with lesson # 1 we will take some of the lesson time and just strum all the open strings while singing some song ... Church song, Spongebob theme, doesn't matter ... {even without barre chords and progressions} ... just getting him used to playing while singing ought to be a good idea.

Have Gibfiddle, will ... Uh, Fiddledeegib!

[1] I might keep that in mind for future projects.  She (the Gibson) is fitted with vintage Kluson tuners.  Tuners that pretty much define the phrase "fiddly bits".  Temperamental tuners AND nylon strings?  Wow!  Sounds evil ... I'll have to remember that!  Mhu-Ha-Ha!

Little Brown Egg tab:

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