Precision pressure transfer

Left hand fingering pressure transfer timing...

  • I already knew about this and am using it

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  • I never heard about this and have started to try it

    Votes: 1 50.0%
  • I never heard about this and am planning to try it

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  • I have no idea what you're talking about

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ploverwing

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My teacher pointed out to me that I've sometimes got notes that sort of "ghost" unintentionally, when I transfer frets between strings. I'd noticed this, but I had no idea why it was happening. He said it's because my finger is effectively leaping off of the string to jump to the next string. He is all about the right note at the right time: the fingers need to put just enough pressure on the string and release just enough pressure exactly when it's the right time to do so, and similarly, transferring pressure from one finger to another or from pressure to no-pressure is a precise thing. I had never thought about it, I just placed my fingers on the frets to get the notes that I'm supposed be getting. So this week, I'm working on pieces where I know I'm particularly (and annoyingly) prone to that ghost note feature, and really trying to place this finger there at that point, and disengage the pressure from that string at exactly the point where my other finger is engaging pressure on the other string. Wow, talk about intention! I can actually feel and hear the difference, but this is going to take a lot of focused work to get it close to smooth.
 
Sounds like you have a really good teacher, and he has a good student. Ghost notes and other stray finger noises can be maddening, but it seems like you're on the right track in terms of technique. Good luck!
 
Timing of pressure on/pressure off is so hard to get right. Good luck with it.
 
Sounds like you have a really good teacher, and he has a good student.
I do have a really good teacher - I'm not sure he's got a good student for theory :ROFLMAO: But I'm glad that I understood what he meant about this particular piece of technique. LOTS of other stuff that I still don't grok, but I'm still a noob, I'll just keep working at it.
 
Timing of pressure on/pressure off is so hard to get right.
First it really does take noticing that it's even a thing! Then figuring out when you're doing it. Then figuring out how to do it better. Yup, it's going to be a lot of work!! But it's kind of cool that I took the first step in noticing!
 
It's an interesting topic. When you play a steel string acoustic you can really notice that if listening for it. Kinda like a subtle pull off and or hammer on.
 
My uke group has had the pleasure of having Stu Fuchs come and teach a workshop the last few years. He talks a lot about keeping your fretting hand light and relaxed. I think that goes along with what ploverwing is saying. But it's soooo hard to do in real life. I'm still working on it.
 
It's an interesting topic. When you play a steel string acoustic you can really notice that if listening for it. Kinda like a subtle pull off and or hammer on.
The difference with ukulele strings is your finger will sometimes "stick and break" as you lift off (not a sideways pull-off, per se*) causing it to ring a now open string.

*You can try this by pressing any string at any fret then quickly lift straight off. It will likely ring.
 
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your finger will sometimes "stick and break" as you lift off
Exactly this!! Does it not happen quite the same with metal strings? I am wondering now if I used to have this problem with violin? I never bothered to work on technique to the same extent as I'm trying to do so with ukulele.

My uke group has had the pleasure of having Stu Fuchs come and teach a workshop the last few years. He talks a lot about keeping your fretting hand light and relaxed. I think that goes along with what ploverwing is saying. But it's soooo hard to do in real life. I'm still working on it.
Yes I've watched one of his videos where he demonstrates how to find that just enough pressure, but I never had made the connection with the corollary of just enough de-pressure. I would sure love to have a workshop with Ukulele Zen!! What a great opportunity for your group.
 
One of the most wonderful things about having a wonderfully set up, beautiful sounding instrument (THANK YOU @Patty!) to play is that it is really encouraging me to notice my finer motor skills rather than focusing on the dissatisfying sound. I feel that I am more able, now, to recognize finer distinctions in the motor control than with my other instruments. I am hopeful that once I've mastered those skills more deeply, it won't matter what instrument I pick up, I'll be able to make it sound a lot better because that fine motor control will be much better controlled.
 
My teacher pointed out to me that I've sometimes got notes that sort of "ghost" unintentionally, when I transfer frets between strings. I'd noticed this, but I had no idea why it was happening. He said it's because my finger is effectively leaping off of the string to jump to the next string. He is all about the right note at the right time: the fingers need to put just enough pressure on the string and release just enough pressure exactly when it's the right time to do so, and similarly, transferring pressure from one finger to another or from pressure to no-pressure is a precise thing. I had never thought about it, I just placed my fingers on the frets to get the notes that I'm supposed be getting. So this week, I'm working on pieces where I know I'm particularly (and annoyingly) prone to that ghost note feature, and really trying to place this finger there at that point, and disengage the pressure from that string at exactly the point where my other finger is engaging pressure on the other string. Wow, talk about intention! I can actually feel and hear the difference, but this is going to take a lot of focused work to get it close to smooth.
This has opened my eyes to a problem I’ve been having. I even considered posing a query about it to UU but I couldn’t think how to describe it! And THIS is it!

Often when I lift a finger from a string, I inadvertently sort of pluck that string in removing the finger. Eureka. Now I know (sort of) why. I haven’t relaxed the pressure before removing the finger. I will now watch for this. Thanks so much, Amie!

PS: Does your teacher do Zoom lessons?
 
My teacher pointed out to me that I've sometimes got notes that sort of "ghost" unintentionally, when I transfer frets between strings. I'd noticed this, but I had no idea why it was happening. He said it's because my finger is effectively leaping off of the string to jump to the next string. He is all about the right note at the right time: the fingers need to put just enough pressure on the string and release just enough pressure exactly when it's the right time to do so, and similarly, transferring pressure from one finger to another or from pressure to no-pressure is a precise thing. I had never thought about it, I just placed my fingers on the frets to get the notes that I'm supposed be getting. So this week, I'm working on pieces where I know I'm particularly (and annoyingly) prone to that ghost note feature, and really trying to place this finger there at that point, and disengage the pressure from that string at exactly the point where my other finger is engaging pressure on the other string. Wow, talk about intention! I can actually feel and hear the difference, but this is going to take a lot of focused work to get it close to smooth.
In my other life as a trumpeter I studied with a guy in NYC named Carmine Caruso. Many of the top dogs studied with him. The most famous is Herb Alpert. Herb had quit playing at one point due to some mechanical issues involved in playing.
Carmine was what we brass players call a chop doc.
The irony is that Carmine was a saxophone player. His approach was to get the student to play by reflex. He did work with students outside of brass. I remember a violinist coming in after my lesson was done.
Look up whatever is available on his approach. I use some of his techniques on ukulele when working on a difficult piece.
 
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In my other life as a trumpeter I studied with a guy in NYC named Carmine Caruso. Many of the top dogs studied with him. The most famous is Herb Alpert. Herb had quit playing at one point due to some mechanical issues involved in playing.
Carmine was what we brass players call a chop doc.
The irony is that Carmine was a saxophone player. His approach was to get the student to play by reflex. He did work with students outside of brass. I remember a violinist coming in after my lesson was done.
Look up whatever is available on his approach. I use some of his techniques on ukulele when working on a difficult piece.
With a name like Carmine Caruso, I’ll bet he was fantastic. I’m gonna check him out.
 
Indeed, there is a video bio of Herb Alpert on YouTube, and in the video Herb talks about Carmine Caruso and how he helped him. I don't have the exact quote but Herb said something to the effect of, Carmine told him the trumpet itself is just a piece of plumbing, and Herb needed to focus on himself, etc. The video is called "Herb Alpert Is . . . " If you're a fan of his, as I am, you'll enjoy it. Wish I could tell you where exactly the discussion of Carmine Caruso is, within the video, but I can't, unfortunately.
 
Enquiring minds want to know: was there anyone here that has been inspired to explore this concept after reading this post?
 
Enquiring minds want to know: was there anyone here that has been inspired to explore this concept after reading this post?
Your post brought up that I had this issue previously. Recall (not necessarily reliable, lol) was that I had this on a particular song while barring near the nut. It might have been a Matt Dahlberg session whereby he recommended coming off the strings at an angle. I also recall that it was not always there and may have been related to dryness of the fingers or something similar. Believe it was mostly barre chords and not single notes for me. I am also a follower of Stu Fuchs and he emphasizes light fretting of notes with a relaxed hand.

In either event, it was out of sight, out of mind until your post.
 
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