The technician and the artist

Val Hughes
@val-hughes
3 months ago
23 posts

Thank you Brian and Robin.

Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
3 months ago
872 posts

I neglected to state my playing has been curtailed because I live with my parents due to their poor health.  

 

Sending healing wishes to you, Val and Lexie! 




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
dianapalmer
@dianapalmer
3 months ago
20 posts

I am sorry you two are hurting.

 

Brian G.
@brian-g
3 months ago
103 posts

Val and Robin - I hope you both feel better soon.

Lexie R Oakley
@lexie-r-oakley
3 months ago
355 posts

I am sorry your hand is in pain Val. I know I depend on both mine and when my left hand is buggered I don't play well.

Most of the winter I haven't been able to use my left hand much so my playing has suffered. doh

Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
3 months ago
872 posts

I hope a good remedy is found, Val!  




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Val Hughes
@val-hughes
3 months ago
23 posts

I eventually went to the Doc. after a number of weeks. On tabs for swelling gave blood and have an X-ray on Friday. It is something that flares up every now and then, this time it seems to be lasting longer.

Strumelia
@strumelia
3 months ago
1,763 posts

Oh no, that's a tough one Val!  Has a doctor been able to help?




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Val Hughes
@val-hughes
3 months ago
23 posts

In the same boat as Robin, left wrist giving lots of trouble and pain, it's even difficult to play the whistle. Going on a while now, I fear the worst.

Strumelia
@strumelia
3 months ago
1,763 posts

My first banjo teacher, Dwight Diller of WV, used to say "The right hand is the real meat and potatoes, the left hand is just the gravy".    banjo




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
3 months ago
872 posts

My playing time has been curtailed the past several months.  What suffers?  My strumming.  Though this troubles my mind, I know when I am able to play more again, my strumming will improve. 




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Brian G.
@brian-g
3 months ago
103 posts
I agree with Ken. Both hands are important and the left is good for much more than just fretting the right notes. How do you want to play that next note? Hammer to it? Pull off for it? Slide to it? Bend to it? Fret with a slight lift to mute? Use vibrato? Trill it? Etc.

I do think that people tend to make sure they are fretting the right spots and can ignore the right hand, but I also think that people often stop thinking about the left hand prematurely once they've gotten the notes correct, when there are so many more artistic possibilities to be explored with it.
updated by @brian-g: 03/21/17 03:38:36PM
dianapalmer
@dianapalmer
3 months ago
20 posts

Yet, some say that the left side of the brain (which controls the right hand) is the logical side, while the left side is creative. This sounds like we should be fretting with our right hand and picking or strumming with our left. 

I guess that can't be right, as musicians throughout the years have fretted with the left (creative) hand.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
3 months ago
1,459 posts

I think it's a two-handed sword.   If the left hand does not get the right note(s) held for the correct amount of time (technical), the best strum/pick rhythm/pattern in the world can't make wrong notes sound good.   But with good clean notes, the left hand can turn those notes into fabulous compositions (artistry).  It takes both a technician and an artist to make a masterpiece of music. 

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
3 months ago
886 posts

Diana, truth be told, there is technique and artistry involved in both hands. But Bing's main point is certainly to emphasize the right hand. Too many players worry solely about where to put their (left-hand) fingers on the fretboard. But it is the right hand that determines how softly or loudly we play, whether the tone is delicate or forceful, whether we hit all the strings or just one or two, whether we play exactly on the beat or just ahead or behind it, whether we play things straight or "swing" a bit, whether we accent strums, skip strums, mute strums, whether we play a block chord or an arpeggio, etc.

And when we play in a group, if you make a mistake with your left hand it disappears as soon as the next note is played. But if your right-hand rhythm is off, then your mistakes continue throughout and you are likely to stand out.

I would suggest that the main difference between the great dulcimer players and the rest of us is their superior control of the right hand.  Most of us can follow the tablature written by those folks, so our left hand goes where it is supposed to, but we don't sound as rich and expressive as they do because we have ignored our right hand as we've learned to play.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

"A good song makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think."
-- Pete Seeger
Bob
@bob
3 months ago
97 posts

Sometimes my right hand does not know what my left hand is doing.

dianapalmer
@dianapalmer
3 months ago
20 posts

Bing Futch once said that the left hand is the technician and the right hand is the artist. I am curious if folks here experience it that way, or if there are other experiences.