Guitar Playing

Poul Hansen

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The problem that I have with a footrest is that it induces a curve into your spine when you raise your leg. This is not ergonomic and can create back problems.

Many classical guitarists have come to understand this and now avoid the footrest. The better solution is to use guitar supports.

I use three:
Alexandra Whittingham uses the Guitarlift. I heard that it's more stable than the Ergoplays.

So does Stephanie Jones and yes they are very stable

 

Peter Frary

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For full sized guitars I use a Dynarette cushion. Easy on the leg and guitar! Not everybody likes it—say it's not stable enough—but I like the wee bit of looseness. The only negative for me is it sometimes squeaks and can ruin a close mic session.

 

LukuleleStrings

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Sorry, Lukulele, I don’t quite understand. Touch the x’d string with what finger?
Whatever fretting finger is next to it.

I’ll use uke chords because I know them better, but if you wanted to play and F chord 2X1X instead of the full chord. You would extend your fingers a bit so you fret the notes but there’s part of your finger pads on the muted strings and then play all four strings. Only the two actually fretted notes would ring, though.
 

Poul Hansen

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For full sized guitars I use a Dynarette cushion. Easy on the leg and guitar! Not everybody likes it—say it's not stable enough—but I like the wee bit of looseness. The only negative for me is it sometimes squeaks and can ruin a close mic session.

I tried that type but found that I angle the guitar slightly and then the cushion didn't support it very well.
 

Down Up Dick

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Whatever fretting finger is next to it.

I’ll use uke chords because I know them better, but if you wanted to play and F chord 2X1X instead of the full chord. You would extend your fingers a bit so you fret the notes but there’s part of your finger pads on the muted strings and then play all four strings. Only the two actually fretted notes would ring, though.
Okay, Lukulele, I think I got it. More or less, just use whatever finger that‘s in the neighborhood to touch the X string to keep it from soundin’. I’ll work on the Xers and see what happens. Thanks very much. Chords are not my forte’.
 

LukuleleStrings

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Okay, Lukulele, I think I got it. More or less, just use whatever finger that‘s in the neighborhood to touch the X string to keep it from soundin’. I’ll work on the Xers and see what happens. Thanks very much. Chords are not my forte’.
I hope it helps!
 

OregonJim

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I’ve been using a classical guitar foot riser. Does anyone else use one? It works pretty well for me.

I do. Even though I'm of average height, I have a long torso and relatively short legs. The footrest gets my upper leg closer to being parallel to the floor. Otherwise, my guitar tends to slide away from me. Straps work too, but I don't like to mess with them unless I'm standing.
 

LukuleleStrings

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I dunno . . . If one’s playin’ a D - x02220 there’s nuthin’ left with which to kill ol’ 6 — is there?
I would fret those with my second, third, and fourth finger and mute with my index, but that’s just me.

But I would also just ignore the muted string in that particular case if it’s not adding anything to the tone of the chord.
 
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Down Up Dick

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Right now, it seems to me, I’m better off with my 4 string, tenor guitars. The ol’ guy in The Rolling Stones took his sixth string off. I’ve thought of doin’ that too. The 5th string gets Xed too sometimes. If I took that off too, I’d have a 4 string, fat necked, tenor guitar.

But I got the Classicalele to see what I can do with one, so I’ll bang away at it for a while longer.
 

OregonJim

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The notes in the D chord are D F# A.

On an A to A tuned instrument D = 002220 = A D A D F# A. There is no need to mute the low A string, it has a low A note that is part of the chord.

If the instrument is tuned E to E, D = x00232 = x A D A D F#. So in E to E tuning, you mute the low E string.
The reason for muting the low A is because it can make the D chord sound muddy. It's the same reason for muting the low E string on an A chord on the guitar (same shape, x02220), even though E is part of the A chord (A C# E).
 

OregonJim

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And a good reason as well.

My advice to those who are learning to play a six course instrument who are struggling with muting, is to keep it simple at the beginning and forget about muting until you have trained yourself a bit more. After some training, your fingers will be ready to be able to do the muting. This applies to whatever tuning you use.

Muting is a cool advanced technique, don't let it get in the way when you are not ready for advanced techniques. Just follow the lesson plan in the book or video series or from your physical teacher until you get to the section on muting, then it will still be a challenge, but if you completed all the prior training, it will be a challenge you will master as you do the lessons.
Very good advice!
 

Down Up Dick

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Yeah, I agree, Bill and Jim, and thanks for all the help.

I started playing music 75 years ago, and I’ve played lots of different instruments from harmonica to tuba, but always winds and a little piano. Then I started playing strings in 2014. However, I’m not sure I understand the guitar. Some of the music that I’ve looked at seems to be mostly accompaniment with little bits of melody. Most of the melody is carried by voice. I’m usta playing straight melody with some improvisation and tinkering. I’m almost completely self taught so I’ve had a lousy teacher.

I need to understand regular guitar better. When it’s instrumental it seems a lot like piano, which was one of my music failures. I have a lot of trouble with chords too. Mebbe I should‘ve stuck with the winds.
 

clear

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Yeah, I agree, Bill and Jim, and thanks for all the help.

I started playing music 75 years ago, and I’ve played lots of different instruments from harmonica to tuba, but always winds and a little piano. Then I started playing strings in 2014. However, I’m not sure I understand the guitar. Some of the music that I’ve looked at seems to be mostly accompaniment with little bits of melody. Most of the melody is carried by voice. I’m usta playing straight melody with some improvisation and tinkering. I’m almost completely self taught so I’ve had a lousy teacher.

I need to understand regular guitar better. When it’s instrumental it seems a lot like piano, which was one of my music failures. I have a lot of trouble with chords too. Mebbe I should‘ve stuck with the winds.

Hey, as long as you enjoy playing the instrument, nothing else really matters.

WRT muting, an alternative is to simply not strumming those bottom strings. Initially, this may feel very difficult or even impossible, but with time, it becomes very easy and second nature. I usually don't bother muting the strings unless it is super trivial like in cases where I can just move my chording finger a bit up to mute the next lower string.

Self-teaching is perfectly fine; I think most guitarists are self-taught anyway. There are many resources for self-teaching; and some, IMHO, are way better than others. If you are interested in playing mostly melody, then have a look at Delcamp classical guitar. It's an excellent (and free) for self-teaching because you get feedback on your playing.

 

Down Up Dick

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Thanks for the helpful words, Clear. I’ll think about the guitar class, but, for now, I think I’m gonna stick with my book. I can still learn things if I understand ‘em, but, without understanding, I get frustrated. That’s where I was before.
 

Down Up Dick

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Some guitars have nylon strings — right? Well, what’s the difference between one of them and a Classical Guitar?
 

merlin666

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Some guitars have nylon strings — right? Well, what’s the difference between one of them and a Classical Guitar?
Classical guitars usually have synthetic strings such as Nylon. This is in contrast to steel string guitars that are used for most other guitar genres.