| Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com |

Post new topic The Bar Hand Exercise
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  The Bar Hand Exercise
Franklin

 

Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 12:36 am    
Reply with quote

As promised this is how I develop the left hands accuracy for pitch, timing, and tone.......The more technical control a player has, the more freedom the player has to express musical thoughts without experiencing technical limitations....... I use this practice method to overcome a combination of issues.

Although I have never spoken to Buddy about this subject, I have heard from some of my students that he uses a similar method to develop his accuracy. Buddy should get credit here as well for pioneering in depth practice habits. The fret positions I learned from my Hawaiin teacher...She most likely got them from the oahu method...I don't know for sure.....nuff said


Mastering the bar hand is crucial to tone....The more confidence a player has when moving the bar, the more chance his tone will improve...Its all about developing controlled movement of the bar.....First off, I believe there is not enough time in my lifetime to learn all there is to know about music and steel guitars. I accept this as fact.....So with that understanding, I try to make the most efficient use of my practice time.

On the E9th tuning, I first set the metronome to a slow rate than I move the bar from the open position to all of the fret positions listed below while picking two strings consecutively in time with the metronome.....I pick string 7 than 8 and then I move to the next fret position and repeat picking those strings..... I keep repeating this picking pattern at each fret position of this lengthy exercise.

I always start at the open position......Below this paragraph I list the fret moves....pick the 7th than 8th strings as quarter notes through all of the fret positions........Its important to move the bar through all the positions I list below without breaking the quarter note rhythm. Don't stop if you make a mistake, keep moving through all of the frets while continuously picking strings 7 and 8 as quarter notes .....Slow the metronome down until you can do this comfortably. Once you have these moves memorized you can gradually increase the metronome speed.....It is important to memorize this so that your eyes and ears are the main focus. Remember to keep the bar straight....No vibrato.

Here are the fret positions.....

0...2...4...6...8...10...12...10...8...6...4...2 don't stop here play the next line.

0...3...6...9...12...9...6...3 again don't stop that scale type rhythm...now play

0...4...8...12...8...4 and the last step of this circular style of bar practice, play

0...5....10...15...10....5 DON'T stop to rest here, its very important to repeat the whole process over and over for minutes. In a way this is a musical tongue twister....Start out slowly and gradually increase the metronome speed as your accuracy improves......If you have access to a synth, piano, or bass guitar you can record several minutes worth of an E note.....By practicing all of these patterns over that E note, your intonation can be improved by using the same practice routine......

The first line is an E augmented scale pattern......The second line is a E diminsh scale pattern.....The third line is an E augmented scale pattern....The fourth line is a scale pattern of stacked fourths......Because all of this practice is theory based, you can take any snippet from these patterns and use that snippet to play over certain chord changes......Study how to apply augmented and diminish scales and your off to a good start here.......

What gets accomplished with this exercise?

1) Picking the strings with a metronome, while moving the bar, develops timing and physical coordination.

2) The musicality of the notes helps the ears to develop. By hearing intervals outside of the major triad sound, the players ears are expanding beyond their harmonic familiarity.

3) Because the bar is constantly moving, hearing intonation is being perfected..at the same time the players visual accuracy is also being improved. Moving the bar beyond the pocket approach tweaks the players athletics. This exercise is getting the player ready to perform any bar position move with surgical precision.....Look at this type of training as getting ready to run a marathon.

4) playing to a droned E note is a wonderful way to develop the ears. The players ear has to zero in on the pitch of another instrument......As a side note....Speed on this exercise is not important and should not be the goal...Fret accuracy or intonation is the desired result.

5) Timing, playing scale patterns, and visually checking fret accuracy, builds coordination between the ears, hands, and the mind with one stroke of the brush.

As a beginner I was taught to focus on one issue at a time.....As they say hindsight is 20/20......Now I realize that at least with this exercise the combination of issues I mentioned can be dealt with simultaneously....our minds sometimes absorbs the physical aspects of playing this instrument differently...This exercise really helped me....Paul


Last edited by Franklin on 25 Jan 2010 1:04 am; edited 3 times in total
View user's profile Send private message
Cal Sharp


From:
the farm in Kornfield Kounty, TN
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 12:48 am    
Reply with quote

Nice tut, Paul. Thanks.
_________________
C#
Me: Steel Guitar Madness
Latest ebook: Steel Guitar Insanity
Custom Made Covers for Steel Guitars & Amps at Sharp Covers Nashville
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 12:54 am    
Reply with quote

Many thanks, Paul! This will bring some focus and structure to my sometimes-random practice sessions.

Your help is much appreciated.
_________________
RR
(Real men play 'Day'!)


-------------------------
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Gary Lee Gimble


From:
Fredericksburg, VA.
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 1:03 am    
Reply with quote

Paul,
For this exercise, where should the bar be placed on the guitar? Covering all ten strings or pulled back to where strings 7 & 8 are being fretted towards the bar tip?
gary
_________________
Assorted gear and a set of hands...
https://www.facebook.com/garythelee
https://www.youtube.com/user/ZumEmm
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Billy Murdoch

 

From:
Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 1:06 am    
Reply with quote

Paul,
Many thanks for taking the time to post this gem.
I hope We will see You again at Dallas in March.
Best regards
Billy
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Franklin

 

Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 1:11 am    
Reply with quote

Roger, Billy, and Cal,

Thanks, I got so sidetracked trying to pay the bills, I almost forgot to post what I promised in that last thread.

Gary,

Both ways....start with pulling the tip of the bar back to about the 6th string....the next time have the tip at the 5th string and then the 4th and so on.....The idea here is to cover all the bases.......lets go for a grand slam Wink

Paul
View user's profile Send private message
Gary Lee Gimble


From:
Fredericksburg, VA.
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 2:30 am    
Reply with quote

Quote:
lets go for a grand slam...

Thanks Paul, I need all the help I can get. Occasionally, I will record myself at a gig and after this past weekends performance, my ears tell me there is a significant need for improvement.
gary
_________________
Assorted gear and a set of hands...
https://www.facebook.com/garythelee
https://www.youtube.com/user/ZumEmm
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Ben Lawson

 

From:
Brooksville Florida
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 3:20 am    
Reply with quote

Thank you Paul. I hope you realize how much your posts are appreciated on the forum. You and Buddy are the standard of excellence the rest of us strive for. Thank you again.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Kenny Martin


From:
Chapin, S.C. USA
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 5:38 am    
Reply with quote

Paul,

Thanks for posting this especially! I have never had a lesson and or been taught by anyone other than my daddy showing me how to use the bar.

I have been kicked around alot by how i play, how fast i like to play and recently how i use the bar! I started watching everything i did to the point i got very critical of what i was doing! Man had to take a break from that!

Everything i learn is from watching you guys and any other player i see and hear! This and the other bar advice you gave me is like taking my first lesson after playin for over 30 years!

Buddy told me way back i think early 80's, the one time i met him, that pitch and how clean each note is would be very important as long as i worked on being a steel player! I have tried to do this all my life but still a little sloppy some times!

I'm teaching my 13 year son how to play so this will be an awesome tool for him as well!
Thanks for taking the time to post this!
KM
_________________
www.youtube.com/krmsr59
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Chuck Hall


From:
Warner Robins, Ga, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 5:47 am    
Reply with quote

Paul

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to help us.

Very Happy
_________________
Chuck
MCI D10 8/4 Nashville 400 and a Profex.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
George Brown


From:
Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 6:33 am    
Reply with quote

Paul,
Thanks much for sharing what you have learned about this important aspect of picking. It will surely be a "leg up" for many of us.
George...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Hook Moore


From:
South Charleston,West Virginia
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 6:35 am    
Reply with quote

Very good !
_________________
http://twitter.com/hook_moore
www.facebook.com/hook.moore
Blaine Moore
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
George Kovolenko


From:
Estero, Florida, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 7:10 am    
Reply with quote

Great tip..... If I'm playing C6th (lap steel), would the base note be a C instead of an E?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bent Romnes


From:
London,Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 7:32 am    
Reply with quote

Thanks so much Paul. I printed it off and will try to apply it in my practicing.
It seems my biggest problem is to sit with it for a length of time that it does some good. At my age and frame of mind, it seems stamina and concentration is the biggest hurdle to overcome.
_________________
BenRom Pedal Steel Guitars
https://www.facebook.com/groups/212050572323614/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
CrowBear Schmitt


From:
Ariege, - PairO'knees, - France
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 8:34 am    
Reply with quote

Thanx a bunch for takin' the time out to share this w; us Paul Very Happy
May we take heed !
i done translated this for the French Fo'bros
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Dick Sexton


From:
Greenville, Ohio
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 10:09 am     Practice Tip...
Reply with quote

Thank you...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Paul Sutherland

 

From:
Placerville, California
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 10:11 am    
Reply with quote

I just wanted to add my thanks. I will put this to use momentarily.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jim Lindsey (Louisiana)


From:
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana (deceased)
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 10:21 am    
Reply with quote

Paul, thank you so very much for sharing this exercise. I couldn't sleep, so I got up to browse the Forum and came across your post. I printed it out, dug out an old Beat-Bug with a click track to use as a metronome and immediately started working on the exercise. Also gave me a chance to dig out and use my old Ibanez sampler to drone an "E" note on my steel. Smile

I love it and it's a fun exercise to do. As well as all the improvements that the exercise is designed for, I believe it may also help me in rehabilitating my right hand from some ulnar nerve damage I've been suffering for a long time. I think it's going to be like an answer to prayer for me in helping me get some dexterity back in my right hand.

During my runs through of the exercise this morning, I have been alternating picking the strings with thumb & middle finger, then the whole exercise again with thumb and forefinger, then again with thumb alone, again with forefinger alone and then again with middle finger alone. Last, I tried it alternating between the forefinger and middle finger (this one was more difficult for me with this nerve damage). I'm having a blast with it and sincerely appreciate this exercise. Smile

Thanks most kindly for all the tips that you give to us and for sharing your time with us.
_________________
1986 Mullen D-10 with 8 & 7 (Dual Bill Lawrence 705 pickups each neck)
Two Peavey Nashville 400 Amps (with a Session 500 in reserve) - Yamaha SPX-90 II
Peavey ProFex II - Yamaha R-1000 Digital Reverb - Ross Time Machine Digital Delay - BBE Sonic Maximizer 422A
ProCo RAT R2DU Dual Distortion - Korg DT-1 Pro Tuner (Rack Mounted) - Furman PL-8 Power Bay
Goodrich Match-Bro by Buddy Emmons - BJS Steel Bar (Dunlop Finger Picks / Golden Gate Thumb Picks)
View user's profile Send private message
Richard Damron


From:
Gallatin, Tennessee, USA (deceased)
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 11:25 am    
Reply with quote

This needs to be bumped to the top.

Here it goes.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
George Kovolenko


From:
Estero, Florida, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 12:22 pm    
Reply with quote

Are the 7th and 8th string tuned to E & G#? If not what?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Larry Bell


From:
Englewood, Florida
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 12:40 pm    
Reply with quote

He's talking the standard E9 tuning
7th would be F#
8th would be E

The interval is a whole tone. Move it up 2 frets at a time and you get a whole tone scale (E F# G# A# B#(C) D E). That scale is typically used over an Aug chord. (The actual notes for the exercise would be E F# at 0; F# G# at 2; G# A# at 4; A# B#/C at 6; B#/C D at 8; D E at 10; and back to E F# at 12)

Move it up 3 frets (a minor 3rd) and you get a scale where the first interval is a whole tone and the next is a half. (E F# G A A# B#(C) C# D# E F#) That's called a Dim whole/half scale. It's used over a dim or dim7 chord.

Move it up 4 frets (a major 3rd) and you get a variation of the first one -- again a whole tone scale that works well with an Aug chord.

Move it up 5 frets (a 4th) provides stacked 4ths (E F# then A B (each a fourth up from the first two) then D E then G A -- each pair of notes is a 4th up from the previous pair.

The point is it's not just a finger exercise. All those intervals are useful in improv.
_________________
Larry Bell - email: larry@larrybell.org - gigs - Home Page
My CD's: 'I've Got Friends in COLD Places' - 'Pedal Steel Guitar'
2003 Fessy S/D-12 8x8, 1976 Emmons S/D-12 7x6, 1969 Emmons S/D-12 6x6, 1971 Dobro, Fox Vintage 5F8B Amp


Last edited by Larry Bell on 25 Jan 2010 1:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
George Kovolenko


From:
Estero, Florida, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 12:55 pm    
Reply with quote

Thanks Larry, I counted the wrong way (low to hi). I play c6th lap steel so I'm trying to adapt the exercise to make sure I get the right interval. So for c6th, I could use the A & G strings for the exercise, with the base tone of A. (I think????)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Larry Bell


From:
Englewood, Florida
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 1:26 pm    
Reply with quote

Correct. It just needs to be two (adjacent) strings that are a whole tone apart.
_________________
Larry Bell - email: larry@larrybell.org - gigs - Home Page
My CD's: 'I've Got Friends in COLD Places' - 'Pedal Steel Guitar'
2003 Fessy S/D-12 8x8, 1976 Emmons S/D-12 7x6, 1969 Emmons S/D-12 6x6, 1971 Dobro, Fox Vintage 5F8B Amp
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Archie Nicol


From:
Ayrshire, Scotland
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 2:58 pm    
Reply with quote

Thanks, Paul. By this time next year...?...I'll still be struggling. Smile

Arch.
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Dunn

 

From:
Suffolk, England
Post  Posted 25 Jan 2010 3:12 pm    
Reply with quote

It's those big intervals that get me when they come around! Great stuff Paul.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  
Please review our Forum Rules and Policies
Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction, and steel guitar accessories
www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 S. Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Click Here to Send a Donation

Email SteelGuitarForum@gmail.com for technical support.


BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron