Archive for November, 2006

Playing Guitar 11/20/2006

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

Rented the Brent Mason video from Netflix the other night and watched it. Good video. Brent’s a killer player, so this is chock-full-0′ great chicken picken’ guitar licks/ideas. However, he doesn’t really slow the licks down. So the video leaves it up to you to slow them down or learn them from the sheet music (not provided by Netflix). One thing I got out of the video was that he uses a thumb pick, which effectively gives him back the index finger someone like me loses by using a pick (because both my thumb and index are occupied with the task of holding the pick). Seems like a great thing to have the attack and feel of a pick, but to be able to use all 5 fingers to play. So I bought a couple of thumb picks (Dunlop M) from a local music shop. I placed it on my thumb for the drive home just to get a sense of what it feels like to have one on. What I didn’t like about it was the feeling of my thumb being constricted. Perhaps these picks are too small for my thumb (which isn’t a big thumb by any stretch). I understand it should be very snug to allow you inflexibility if you need it without the pick falling off or getting loose. But it felt pretty foreign. Trying to play with it on was kind of interesting. In some ways it was easier than I thought it would be to play some thing (travis style picking), but then using it for the type of picking I’m accustomed to on single note lines wasn’t very smooth. I could tell it would take a reworking of my approach to picking in general. I’m not sure if I’m up for that task. Anyway…

I was pretty psyched to see that Amazon actually quickly shipped two recent purchases I’d made and they were waiting for me when I got home. One was the book “Effortless Mastery – Lubricating the master musician within” and the other was the Johnny Hiland “Chicken Pickin'” instructional video, that for some reason I thought was a new video but rather turned out to be his first video and was filmed in the early 90s (I think). He has another one out about bluegrass guitar. So I got right on watching the Hiland video which is pretty cool. He’s definitely good at teaching b/c he’d show you a cool lick and then explain it and slow it down. I didn’t really work out any of the licks, but I plan to visit the video to scarf as much from it as I can. The video also features some great performances by Johnny with Arlen Roth sitting in (Arlen’s got some great tone!).