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Post new topic Palm Blocking Glove
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Author Topic:  Palm Blocking Glove
Buck Rodgers


From:
Virginia (Yorktown)
Post Posted 11 Nov 2017 8:43 am     Reply with quote

I'm having one heck of a time "palm blocking" with the heel of my right hand. Just wondering if anyone has ever developed a "blocking glove" (something similar to an archery glove that would slip over the right pinky, extend along the heel of the hand and attach around the right wrist) ??
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Franklin


Post Posted 11 Nov 2017 10:29 pm     Reply with quote

Hi Buck,

When I started playing I experienced the same problem trying to master palm blocking... Because my palm was more elevated as I strike the string that positioning was making the palm block a struggle to perfect.... I discovered it felt more natural and therefor easier for me to just put my finger tips back down on the strings. That resolve to my problem is known as the pick block. Both palm blocking and pick blocking are valid muting techniques and are used by many.....

I can honestly say a glove would only worsen your technical prowess in the long run. One day you may want to play chimes with the palm as I do a lot these days. Or do a marimba sound effect which is also accomplished using the palm....I would try pick blocking for a few weeks.

Here is a pattern on the E9th to test which is best for you. There is an excerpt of pick blocking in a video example over on any of the PFM threads. Please watch how I explain the pick block....

Play this pattern one string at a time and repeat it without stopping:

M T I M M T I M
4 6 5 4 3 5 4 3

This is part of a Buddy Emmon's lick

..Practice pick blocking this pattern using the fingering shown to get you started for a few weeks....The key is to keep practicing at a slow ballad speed...If you find this style of muting is easier, Go with pick blocking...If not, keep practicing palm blocking and lower the back of your hand closer to the strings until that feels comfortable....I believe you will get there...Another tip is to not beat yourself up over this topic every time you practice....Slow everything down...If you are playing along with rhythm tracks trying to block at that tempo, stop. Just play your lesson with a metronome at a very slow speed....My teacher made me slow everything down..Its human nature especially when we start to feel mentally confident to speed things up...Resist that urge.
Hope this idea helps!

Paul
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Glenn Demichele


From:
(20mi N of) Chicago Illinois, USA
Post Posted 11 Nov 2017 11:27 pm     Reply with quote

I read a post here somewhere that was a great "philosophy", and as I'm getting better, I realize that that's the right way to think, on steel, and on bass (my main axe) and I suppose on any instrument. Don't think about stopping notes, think about playing them. If you're not playing anything, you are blocking. Blocking is your "default state". Lift your palm to play a note, then return to your default state. You can practice blocking by just leaving the edge of your hand on the strings, and not moving. That's easy.
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Franklin D10 8&4, NV400, Rumble 40, Twin, Carvin BX500 or Peavey MiniMax to BW1501 neo speaker in open back or TT-12 in closed back.Goodrich/Moyo pedals, homemade buffer/overdrive, GT-001 effects, and an elephant graveyard of empty speaker cabinets in my garage.
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Roger Rettig


From:
An Englishman in Naples, FL
Post Posted 12 Nov 2017 7:35 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for that, Paul. I'm at a bit of a crossroads myself.
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RR
Emmons LG3 D-10, JCH SD-10, Zum Encore


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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 13 Nov 2017 3:09 am     Reply with quote

Glenn Demichele wrote:
Blocking is your "default state". Lift your palm to play a note, then return to your default state.

That's how the inside of a piano works and I certainly find it helpful to think that way. I'm reluctant to give advice on a thread that has Paul Franklin on it! but bear in mind that people's hands are different shapes and sizes and you may need to find your own individual way to get the best bit of your palm on the string.

The pick- versus palm- thing is a bit of a non-debate as the best players seem to use either as required.
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No-name 60s D10 8x5, homebuilt Uni 12 7x5, Hilton pedal, pair of Fender 112s
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Glenn Demichele


From:
(20mi N of) Chicago Illinois, USA
Post Posted 13 Nov 2017 6:03 am     Reply with quote

Ha ha. At least in my defense, I wasn't suggesting HOW to do it, just how I have come think about it. I didn't claim to be any good at it either.
_________________
Franklin D10 8&4, NV400, Rumble 40, Twin, Carvin BX500 or Peavey MiniMax to BW1501 neo speaker in open back or TT-12 in closed back.Goodrich/Moyo pedals, homemade buffer/overdrive, GT-001 effects, and an elephant graveyard of empty speaker cabinets in my garage.
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Buck Rodgers


From:
Virginia (Yorktown)
Post Posted 13 Nov 2017 5:38 pm     Palm Blocking Glove Reply with quote

Thanx for the great dialogue and suggestions, Franklin, Glenn, Roger and Ian. Guess I need to work a little harder on these techniques.
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David Neslony


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 18 Nov 2017 6:35 pm     Blocking Technique Reply with quote

Hi Buck.

Right hand blocking technique is a matter of first, teaching your brain and then allowing your brain to teach your hand.
You have to break down the task into digestibly sized bites that the brain will accept easily.

First, lay your right hand palm against the strings. Shape your picks so that you can pick the strings while your palm is laying across them. While keeping the strings muted with your palm, pluck the strings in different combinations (grips) across the muted strings. The strings should make nothing but a "thud" sound. When you are comfortable performing this exercise, proceed to the next exercise.

With your right hand palm resting on the strings, lift your palm just enough to allow the strings to ring as you pick the strings. Do this with different string grips and single notes. Now make the actions of plucking the strings and lifting the palm one single movement.
Limit the amount of movement as much as you possibly can. From a slight distance, it should look like your hand is not moving at all. It may help to play in front of a mirror. The mirror is a good motivator as you see yourself as another steel player.

For left hand technique, practice moving the bar from one fret marker to the next, as fast as you can across the strings, (while keeping the right hand muted). Don't try to make the strings sound. All you want to hear is the "thud" of your picks against the palm. I suggest you do this exercise sitting at your steel, with no amplification, watching and listening to the TV. It doesn't matter what you are watching. This is a way to get a ton of practice while your brain effortlessly drinks it all in. Just think of what a night of TV watching can do for your playing.

David Neslony
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