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My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs

Áine 09 May 02 - 06:47 PM
ddw 09 May 02 - 06:57 PM
Áine 09 May 02 - 07:21 PM
Jeri 09 May 02 - 07:29 PM
greg stephens 09 May 02 - 07:36 PM
Áine 09 May 02 - 07:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 May 02 - 07:44 PM
greg stephens 09 May 02 - 07:45 PM
Áine 09 May 02 - 07:58 PM
Anahootz 09 May 02 - 08:02 PM
ddw 09 May 02 - 08:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 May 02 - 08:17 PM
Dear Hubby 09 May 02 - 08:46 PM
pict 09 May 02 - 09:42 PM
Anahootz 09 May 02 - 10:13 PM
ddw 09 May 02 - 10:28 PM
Amos 09 May 02 - 11:39 PM
bflat 09 May 02 - 11:47 PM
Hrothgar 10 May 02 - 05:36 AM
Rick Fielding 10 May 02 - 10:34 AM
C-flat 10 May 02 - 01:45 PM
Grab 10 May 02 - 01:53 PM
Steve in Idaho 10 May 02 - 04:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 May 02 - 10:31 PM
katlaughing 11 May 02 - 04:59 AM
Tweed 11 May 02 - 08:27 AM
Amos 11 May 02 - 11:31 AM
wysiwyg 11 May 02 - 03:20 PM
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Subject: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Áine
Date: 09 May 02 - 06:47 PM

Go figure! Here I was, grousing to Dear Hubby that the promised money for my guitar lessons had yet to appear (and my birthday's on Saturday, don't ya know) -- and I woke up this morning with the ability to do hammer ons and pull offs!!!

OK, I know that for you long time guitar players this probably is not a big thing. But, for a totally self-taught player, I just can't believe it. I've been working on these two techniques for a few weeks, and getting more and more frustrated. And that was just trying to do a hammer on on the high E string! So, I shunned my darlin' brand new Taylor (ooooh, she's so sweet!!) for two days and played my high action Ventura, not attempting anything 'fancy', just pluggin' along on a song that Amos and I have been working on.

Well, of course, the shunning just couldn't last, and I picked up my darlin' T. this morning and tried to put a little 'flash' in the song. Geez Louise! I could do it -- with all four fingers on my left hand! Of course, my problem now is wanting to put a hammer on/pull off in every dang chord in the song (hahaha). Don't worry, I'll calm down in a few days, I hope.

My question -- Has this kind of 'guitar epiphany' ever happened to any of you fellow 'Cats? Did I really know how to do hammer ons and pull offs; but, I just didn't want to admit it? Please discuss. ;-)

Pluckin' and a-pullin', Áine


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: ddw
Date: 09 May 02 - 06:57 PM

Ain't it a grand feelin? I've been having little breakthroughs like that off and on for the last four years -- just suddenly able to do things I never dreamed of back in the '60s and '70s before I quit playing. Congratulations on getting it right! It feels almost like winning a lottery, doesn't it?

Applause!

david


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Áine
Date: 09 May 02 - 07:21 PM

Hey ddw -- 60's and 70's? You're speaking my language, man! That's when I quit playing, too. But, I still have my Peter, Paul and Mary songbook (hahaha)! And I was just trying to strum to Puff the Magic Dragon ;-)

Yeah, this 'epiphany' is like an early birthday present (official day is Saturday) -- And I still feel like that young teenager with her first no-name, warped necked guitar, feelin' the thrill of making her first sound come out of that box of wood with strings!

Thanks for the applause, darlin'!

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Jeri
Date: 09 May 02 - 07:29 PM

Aine, I was in a funk for a couple of weeks and hardly played at all. Before that I'd been frustrated that I wasn't getting any faster fingerpicking. I got the guitar out on Sun and could pick almost as fast as I eventually want to. I think we get mental blocks when we unrelentingly go after something. We go away for a while and the block just disappears.


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 May 02 - 07:36 PM

I love the cultural differnces I pick up on Mudacat. I well remember the exhilaration I experienced when the pull-offs used by Rambling jack Elliot on an Aminor chord suddenly started happening under my own fingers, but I always thought of it as a "road to Damascus" experience.I never thought of Epiphany like that. what is the word meant to mean? I haven't a clue. Can anyone enlighten? My bible reading has been a bit neglected of late


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Áine
Date: 09 May 02 - 07:40 PM

Dear greg,

From Webster's Dictionary: e-piph-a-ny: (relevant definitions) -- A sudden manifestation of the meaning or essence of something; A sudden intuitive realization or perception of reality.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 May 02 - 07:44 PM

It's one of the joys of being self taught. It must be great having a good teacher, and a lot quicker I mimagine, but there's a special thing about getting there on your own, and with the hints you pick up from friends on the way.

You work away at something, and you give up, and forget about it and think you can't do it. And then you try again and your fingers know what to do, and it's almost as if you are just a passenger.

I remember one time when I ran into a friend late night at a festival, and we started playing, and for the first time it clicked in and I knew how to play along with someone else in a free way.

And there was a song of mine where I wanted to play with some tricky chord canges, and it always seemed to beat me. And just this afternoon I had another go at it, after having left it aside for a good while, and I felt I'd cracked it.

And it's great to hear that you're up to playing again, Áine.


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 May 02 - 07:45 PM

Wow thanks Aine that was quick.I just had a vague memory of 12th night and Magi or something.Now I see! Have you got it on the Aminor? That's what I really love about pulling off (not trying to be vulgar, honest).


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Áine
Date: 09 May 02 - 07:58 PM

Yes, greg -- I've 'got it' on A minor. That's one of my favourite chords, as a matter of fact -- at least, it tends to show up a lot in the songs I write ;-) So far, I've managed both techniques with Am, Em, G, Dm7, D7, D9, C, D, and B7. More chords to follow (I hope!).

And Kevin -- I'd love to hear the song you 'cracked' today! And I have to admit, that yourself and your songs have really encouraged me in my playing and especially my song writing -- If I live long enough to become just half as good as you are at evoking emotions, colors, and stories in my songs as you are, I will have accomplished a dream of a lifetime.

All the best, Áine


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Anahootz
Date: 09 May 02 - 08:02 PM

That's what I loved about teaching myself to play - The bright light, the voices singing "AAAAAAAaaaaaaaa"...And you would suddenly be the master of a new technique.

Down the road, the epiphanies are few and far between. Enjoy the hell outta them while they are still semi-weekly.

'Hootz


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: ddw
Date: 09 May 02 - 08:14 PM

That's not what I've been finding, Anahootz. If anything, they're getting faster and thicker as I go.

Has anybody else noticed that they seem to come after a rest? I wonder if that's just that fingers are more dexerous when they're rested, or if the learning process actually goes on while we sleep? I'm really starting to think the old "sleep on it" saw is a lot more profound than it used to seem....

cheeers,

david


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 May 02 - 08:17 PM

It certainly works with crossword puzzles.


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Dear Hubby
Date: 09 May 02 - 08:46 PM

Did anybody notice how many times Áine hinted that Saturday is her birthday? Boy, if I forget now, I'm really screwed!

I do have to brag on her though. Her playing has come a long way in a hurry since she picked up the guitar again. I haven't told her this but there have been a couple of times I've walked past her office door thinking the radio or a CD was playing and it was her!

As for that epiphany thing, I have a theory that it's something to do with how our brains work. I think maybe there are different parts of the brain that handle things that we do consciously and the things we have to think about automatically - what players call "muscle memory".

Maybe when we sleep that information gets moved around in our head so that its recalled more efficiently -- or something.

Ah well, Pseudo Science 101.

Now, wish me luck. I've got two days to find a guitar teacher (or suitable alternative).

-- Dear Hubby


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: pict
Date: 09 May 02 - 09:42 PM

Congratulations I remember the feeling well and there's a lot more like that.I had something similar at the beginning of learning to play the guitar with open F,then with the pentatonic scale I suddenly realised that it was a repeating pattern all the way up the neck and it was the same pattern for every key.Then it was modes,and reading music was a classic one where the light just came on unexpectedly after weeks of head scratching but the biggest epiphany of them all for me was the realisation that if I applied myself I could achieve anything that I musically wanted now I can get music out of any musical instrument I can get my hands on after a very short period of time,and that philosophy spilled over into the rest of my life.


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Anahootz
Date: 09 May 02 - 10:13 PM

ddw- Congrats on the "faster and thicker" epiphanies.

I am at a plateau in my playing, right in between "play everything by ear after 15-20 minutes" and "improv in bluegrass keys, even if you haven't heard the song EVER". It is a tough place to be, and advancements come along only so often.

I am currently working on a few tunes, and have scaled back my happiness and knowledge quotient from "epiphany" to "dang, I played 4 bars at performance tempo and didn't mess up".

Tunes are "Old Ebeneezer Scrooge", David Grier version..."Cherokee Shuffle, 240bpm", Steve Kaufmann version...and the killer, "Big Sciota", Russ Barenberg version.

Happy pickin' to y'all


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: ddw
Date: 09 May 02 - 10:28 PM

Hey Hubby D -- Can I make a suggestion? Don't find her a teacher locally, find a good week-long music camp and send her there. Don't know where you are or what kind of music she's looking to learn, but there are camps for just about everything. I went to Augusta Heritage Blues Week last year (in Elkins, W.Va.) and what I got out of it is still amazing me. I hung out and jammed with some of the best musicians around -- mostly just playing rhythm and experimenting with some lead stuff, softly, so I wouldn't intrude, but I got to watch what the real pickers were doing and I absorbed a bunch of it. I think that's a lot of where my breakthroughs are coming from.

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Amos
Date: 09 May 02 - 11:39 PM

I think its an extension of Complexity theory, Layne -- you line up two pieces of information, or memories or whatever, and then a few more shuffle into line and make sense, and you get a point where a ritical number of cross connections of datums casting light on other datums whichs a certain exponential mass and BANG it all cruystallizes into ability. I've seen it in kids learening to talk, and think, and in poeple learning to drive and play various instruments, same pattern. Add a bit, add a bit, until that critical numbert of bits are interacting and it all elevates to a new order of magnitude; sometimes in the middle of dreams, or taking a break while a big bubble-sort goes down, and sometimes when you're doing something else altogether!

Aine, grandest and most eloquent congrats on the new Flash in your Cache!! Ya got a real moneymaker now, darlin!!!

:>)

A


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: bflat
Date: 09 May 02 - 11:47 PM

Pull offs are easy for me but those hammer ons with the fouth finger are very hard. I think my sound is weak but I'm told otherwise. Wish I had your success. Congrats!

Ellen


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Hrothgar
Date: 10 May 02 - 05:36 AM

The feast of the Epiphany is Twelfth Night, 12th January. It marks the arrival of the three wise men to view the infant Jesus, or the revelation of Jesus to the Magi, whichever way around you want it.

The Macquarie Dictionary gives several meanings, including "a revelation of the basic nature of something, a perception of some essential truth."


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 10 May 02 - 10:34 AM

Yahoo! It's like one of those cartoon balloons with EUREKA! in big letters. Happens just enough to keep us going. My last one was about six months ago when I suddenly played an ascending/descending harmony line WITHOUT THINKING. I'd been trying to get that sucker for years.

Who knows what the next one's gonna be Aine?

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: C-flat
Date: 10 May 02 - 01:45 PM

It doesn't matter how many years you've been playing (over 30 in my case) you'll still have those "moments" when something comes together with your playing. Wether it's in your technique, a new chord shape or just a different way of doing something, the sense of revelation is as delightful as your first pull-off(if you'll pardon the expression). You'll, no doubt, also hit the flat spots, when your playing doesn't seem to be improving and you're bored of doing the same old stuff. Put the guitar away and go out and watch a few players doing their thing, it's always inspired me to pick the guitar up again and try something new. Congratulations on your latest trick!


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Grab
Date: 10 May 02 - 01:53 PM

Lovely, ain't it? :-)

Just had something like it myself, trying to get Travis picking going with that alternating thumb, and the thumb just started doing it.

Good luck with the new techniques!

Graham.


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 10 May 02 - 04:17 PM

Oh what fun!! My experience with these things is I wear them out for a while :-) Hammer ons and pull offs are superlative good fun (anytime I can put three notes where one is I'm a happy camper). I have one song I've been trying to do for, well every since I heard it, and almost had it a couple of times. It will be my next little miracle I think. How's your cross-picking? Almost as much fun -

Now if I could just remember what the song was . . . .

Steve


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 May 02 - 10:31 PM

Thanks Áine!

As for that song I mentioned, when I said "cracked it" I was using that in a loose sense. What I meant was it had clicked to the extent that I can now start singing it into shape without it disintegrating in the middle.

(The complication in playing is that it's a translation, and I decided, in keeping with the original version, to keep on moving the key up by semitones for successive verses and choruses. Which isn't as difficult as it sounds, but it puts a fair strain on hands that aren't used to doing that kind of thing, such as mine.)

But anyway, here's a link to the song, and here is a link to the RealAudio sound file I've put up on my site. A bit rough still, but you asked for it. A sort of birthday present. (Not the most cheerful song, but too damn topical for comfort.)


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 May 02 - 04:59 AM

Fine birthday present, too! Glad you linked to it in the other thread, McGrath..I enjoyed it, very much.

awchee i couldn't stop kat from telling them in the other thread that yer playing is making for continued perky ya-yas...it is really good to hear that you are having a religious experience...love mehitabel


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Tweed
Date: 11 May 02 - 08:27 AM

Congrats on yer breakthrough and Happy Birfday Aine.


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: Amos
Date: 11 May 02 - 11:31 AM

Hey, Tex!

Just be careful with your new powers. Always use them for the good, and remember how strong you are...

Between barre chord muscles and Perkier Yayas, you and Layne could probably really cause some pain if you don't get accustomed to your own strength!! "Oooops!! I'm sorry, darling. Please don't scream!!"

LOL!

A


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Subject: RE: My Epiphany! Hammer ons and Pull offs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 May 02 - 03:20 PM

Not so much guitar epiphones (LOL), but on any kind of learning-- once you do the raw input, if you put your attention somewhere else for awhile, the brain will sort out the raw material and create LEARNINGS out of it. Computers, instruments, memorizing, all kinds of things-- if you dump it in any old which-way, the marvelous mind will sort it out as best it can.... unless there is a knot of rucked-up upsets in the way, which temporarily breaks the sorting protocol and puts the new raw stuff in with the sewage we prefer not to "handle."

See www.rc.org.

Congratulations!

~Susan


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