Poor fretting hand technique?...discuss.
I was actually joking (given the guitarist in the pic). However, I enjoyed your long and detailed post and I encourage everyone to read it.Poor? No. Inefficient? Yes.
One can have incredibly inefficient technique but still make great music. It actually becomes an identifiable part of what makes the sound unique.
"Good" and "bad" are somewhat ill defined when it comes to technique. People confuse the word technique or the phrase "good technique" with a rigid style of playing, but it really is the opposite. A person with great technique can mimic all sorts of different styles and a variety of guitarists. From tight technical playing to loose free flowing riffage.
Most of the best guitarists I've met in life went through 3 major phases in their playing:
1) Really loose (arguably "bad") technique that is "part of my style man". A lot of people never get past this stage. Nothing wrong with that at all. Many great players play and write great music without ever getting past this phase.
2) The desire to improve and the obsession with rigid technique and the ultimate in efficiency and speed. Generally at this point they seem to play scales and technical exercises when they solo rather than melodies and expressive/emotive music. This is the thing most people seem to associate with advanced technique. I think that's because most players who make it this far never get past it. It's almost as if the desire for advanced musicality is replaced with the desire for advanced technique. Some guitarists notice this in themselves and intentionally revert back to phase 1. They stop here because they get the (mistaken) impression that they'll lose their "soul" or their "feeling" by focusing on technique. Few people go on to phase 3 because quite frankly, this 2nd phase is boring and takes years of disciplined practice to be useful musically.
3) At a certain point, technical skill begins to progress exponentially, rather than linearly. It becomes easier and easier to learn new techniques and incorporate them into your playing. At this point the player is able to focus entirely on the musicality of their playing, and technique almost never limits their ability to express themselves musically (a limitation that the majority of us guitar players experience.) These are the guys that walk in unrehearsed and can seemingly play anything in any style of music without ever missing a note. The kind of players you love to hate because everything they do sounds so damned good, you have to wonder if there is some genetic component that you just don't have. When in reality, it's just years of hard work doing the right kind of practice to get them to that level.
Fun food for thought... There's a reason traditional instruction for all instruments starts with a heavy emphasis on musical fundamentals and progressive technical improvement. The goal is to get people to "phase 3" ASAP. But in order to get there, technique can't be a limiting factor. Most of us rebels just want to play (insert favorite songs here) and took as many short cuts as possible to get there (myself included.) Now we have to deal with years of bad habits and technical inefficiencies hindering our ability to express ourselves musically, so we limit ourselves intentionally (and by necessity.) Again, nothing wrong with that. A lot of great music out there that doesn't require crazy speed or advanced technique. While having advanced technical skill is certainly useful, it isn't always necessary.
FWIW, I was one of the guys who hit phase 2 and eventually reverted. As a guy who went through a bit of music college and tried making a run as a session player, I've played with guys whose skill level was absolutely mesmerizing. Screw jamming with them, I could just sit and listen to them improvise random stuff for hours because everything they did just sounded great.
Bahahahaaaa... Leave it up to me to miss the joke and over-analyze to the extreme. lolI was actually joking (given the guitarist in the pic).
Aww thanks. Joking again?However, I enjoyed your long and detailed post and I encourage everyone to read it.