Chords are Hard!

This forum will provide lessons for getting started and exercises for gaining proficiency.

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Andy
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Chords are Hard!

Post by Andy » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:57 pm

I feel like I’ve spent the past three weeks playing this little tune, tripping over my fingers and cursing like a sailor, but it’s finally starting to sound like something.

Take away from this lesson: Chords require confident fingers, and confident fingers require practice, practice, practice. Also, I need to toy around with the gain on the new microphone.

https://youtu.be/WD7bIRzSbgI

NutmegCT
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Re: Chords are Hard!

Post by NutmegCT » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:44 pm

Andy - as I mentioned in my YouTube comment:

That really is progress since Alles neu macht der Mai. Bravo! Mic gain doesn't seem a problem to my ears, and I like the differentiation you make between melody and accompaniment. I hear you on the "three weeks" bit; I feel the same about my own progress.

As you mentioned in your email, keeping track of the "home finger", and using rest stroke, does help me. But finding the other notes of the chord with the two other fingers is still quite a hurdle for me. In theory, my right hand should move as a unit, but it doesn't!

Well done on your progress!
Tom M.

Andy
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Re: Chords are Hard!

Post by Andy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:11 am

Hey all,

I was curious about how you would play some of these dyads I am seeing. For example, here in ‘Der treue Husar’, the very first dyad is E and G. These exist on the same string, I am confused about how you would form this. The next one, E and A seems to make sense, I assume E on the D string and A on the A string.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated! Thanks y’all!
- Andy
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NutmegCT
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Re: Chords are Hard!

Post by NutmegCT » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:44 am

Andy - you are moving forward for sure!

Until more expert players reply, I'd say you play the E G combination by moving your left hand out of "first" position. So you play the G with 4 on the D string, and play the E with 2 on the G string. Then just use 3 to play the A, leaving 2 on the E. Anyway, makes sense to me.

Let's see how others would do this.

Tom M.

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Dave
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Re: Chords are Hard!

Post by Dave » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:50 pm

Hi Andy, you'll find as you practice zither pieces that much of it is a finger puzzle. For chord progressions, try to come up with fingering that promotes fluidity, not choppiness. I had a look at the piece you posted this evening and have some suggestions, though I would say there are other variations that can be offered. As Tom pointed out, use your g and d string mainly for these chords.
Husar_finger_positions.jpg
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Best,

Dave
We do not take humor seriously enough. —Konrad Lorenz

NutmegCT
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Re: Chords are Hard!

Post by NutmegCT » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:19 pm

Dave - to help me understand what Andy is asking, in that Treue Husar, would the zitherist actually play all those right hand notes at the same time? Four notes of accompaniment, with two notes of melody, all at once?

Or does the zitherist "strum" the accompaniment like on a guitar? It almost seems impossible to try to play all six notes at the same time, especially with the finger position jumping in the left hand. Wow.

Thanks.
Tom M.

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Dave
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Re: Chords are Hard!

Post by Dave » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:45 pm

Tom, yes, all at once. It's really not that difficult as long as your right-hand position is correct. Here's a photo to illustrate the hand position over the strings. 4th over the G, 3rd for the b and 2nd for d and g. With the heel pad of your palm on the bridge and fingers in position, all at once, pull toward you and downward at a 45 degree angle. Your 4th will land on C and you're ready for the next chord.

A good exercise for the right hand is to break up the chord as well. Say, for example, play the G and b together, followed by d and g.
right_hand_position.jpg
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Dave
We do not take humor seriously enough. —Konrad Lorenz

NutmegCT
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Re: Chords are Hard!

Post by NutmegCT » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:07 am

Thanks Dave. Funny, I can break the chord up easily. That's the way they're written in the early stages of the Darr.

But playing all four notes at once is tough, as the fingers don't stay in position when they return to play the chord again. Relatively easy to play G chord to C chord for example, as the fingers just move toward you. But going G to C and back to G, or playing G to C to D, for example, is difficult when the fingers/hand move back away from you.

I just found your PM reply. Thanks. I didn't get notice of your reply, so just found it this morning. I'll reply a bit later.

Tom M.

Andy
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Re: Chords are Hard!

Post by Andy » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:36 pm

Hey Dave,

Thank you for the finger notation, that is a great insite! I know the Treue Hussar piece is a ways away, but I do enjoy knowing how to tackle obstacles before hitting them. Also, I completely agree about fluidity. I’ve taken a step back and have been forcing myself to to incorporate the Keyes fingering method into my lessons. Hopefully that will help even things out.

Just about to a point where I feel confident enough playing the “Für die Kleinen” lesson to move beyond it. I’ll post a follow up once I do.

- Andy

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