The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75650   Message #1331399
Posted By: GUEST,Vixen @ work
18-Nov-04 - 03:07 PM
Thread Name: Guitar as accompaniment
Subject: RE: Guitar as accompaniment
Well, Jerry, ya did it again!

I strum a boom-chick-boom-chick or boom-chick-chick rhythm, mostly, but I'm still a bit inconsistent with tempo, and if I can't hear the melody line, or it changes somewhat, I tend to lose the rhythm too, and muck up the chord changes. Consequently, I try to play as unobtrusively as I can, so as not to ruin the song. This is somewhat difficult, since I'm one of a duo. Also, Reynaud says I need to be more emphatic with my downbeat/bass, but I haven't mastered the muscle memory in my right hand to do that consistently either.

Strangely, *I* feel as if I keep better rhythm and tempo if I'm finger-picking, but that's so quiet as to be completely lost under the concertina or dulcimer or fiddle or banjo or mandolin or whatever. Unfortunately, I only know two finger-pick patterns--pinch-2-3 and pinch-2-3-4 well enough to play consistently. The other patterns I just don't know well enough to play at any tempo. And, they're patterns--no expression, no melody, just boring.

I would love to have a workshop/lessons taught by someone who can tell me explicitly what I have to do, so I can practice it over and over. I tried using a beginner's video, figuring I could just replay each segment over and over until I got it. NOPE--the instructor went over the first riff so damn fast I couldn't get it. Reynaud watched it once, and spent an hour working with me to get my fingers going in the right places, so I could then practice it.

Sometimes I think it's because I'm left-handed trying to play guitar right-handed--but I've been playing this way nearly 40 years, so I think it's too late to try to change. Sometimes I think it's because I just don't "get" the guitar, because I do much better on other instruments. And other times I think it's just that I don't have the single-minded devotion to practice a couple hours a day. I mostly manage to play 15-30 minutes a day, with a couple of 1-2 hour sessions every week; I just don't think I give it enough time.

But what I want to do as a guitar accompanist is provide a rhythmic foundation, with bass runs or melodic riffs where appropriate--the kind of unobtrusive embellishment that emphasizes the emotion, mood, and feel of the music. I'd love to have a workshop/lessons that gave me a set of tools to practice using toward those ends.

Whew--that's more like a dime than $0.02--fwiw