Developing Independence

October 20, 2005

“The problem with a lot of guitarists who want to play multiple parts simultaneously is that they focus completely on the incredible harmonic and melodic contrapuntal stuff that can be played with what I call the ‘conception hand,’ or fretting hand,” says Hunter. “You must deal with the plucking hand—or ‘execution hand’—which is the rhythm hand that translates esoteric harmonic and melodic ideas into actual musical realities happening through space and time. It’s also easy to get caught up in all of the nifty sounds a guitar can make, so you should put down the guitar for a while, and learn how to play rudimentary things on a drum set in order to understand how rhythms relate to one another. When you feel comfortable with that, pick up the guitar again, and apply that rhythmic independence to your execution-hand approach. Then, get back to what you were trying to do with your melodic and harmonic conception-hand ideas.”

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