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Parker Lounge => ON MUSICIANSHIP AND THE ART OF PLAYING => Topic started by: simonlock on September 02, 2007, 10:53:38 PM

Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 02, 2007, 10:53:38 PM
I recently made a very strong connection with a concept that I pretty much knew for quite some time. One day when i was about 18 I could play about 3 times as fast as the day before and i was so excited I nearly played until my fingers bled. The next day I was almost as fast but i could tell I wasn't at the same level as before. By the 3rd day I couldn't get that feeling again. I was disappointed to say the least. Not because I could play like lightening but because everything was so easy to play. Like playing air.

Fastforward ten years. I started to become very serious again at about 28. Some days were better than ever but that feeling was still very elusive. It was like some of my fingers had it and others didn't. Some days none of them :( For the past 2 years I got closer every few months with a month or so in between where my fingers would forget the feeling.

I found an interesting book called "The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar" and it really got me thinking about unlocking that gift I had had more than 10 years before that I'd lost. I bought the book and read it. It is good and I'm sure it helped me in my discovery but i found the book a very dry read and the discriptions sounded like something you'd tell a Kindergarden class playing a Ukelele(do you guys have Kindergarden in the US?). So anyway the "pillow belly" and "floating fingers" and"firm fingers" adjectives didn't quite get the messages across for me and I was left as confused as before.

So anyway recently I've made a much more advanced personal discovery in my perception of this feeling. I call it a feeling because to me what I'm talking about to me is about how my hands feel when i play. Loose and floating. In my YouTube videos I'm tense and for the most part not very floaty.

I don't know how much any of you will know about Type 1 and Type 2 muscle fibres but i used to bodybuild and know a few things about muscle. Type 1 is for heavy lifting and for sustained tension situations. Type 2 is a twitchy fast muscle and is for very quick precise movements like those used in Sports, Martial Arts and MUSICIANSHIP! Playing guitar is for the most part about training your brain to only turn on the Type 2 fibers. Beginners use only Type 1 and thats why they look like they're going to have an annyerism making a C chord. You'll be able to tell which one you are using by listening to your body and sensing if there is any applied muscles in between notes that you play. If you spend enough time with it your perception will grow and you'll be more aware of which fibers you are employing. To use an analogy, if a golfer were to use Type 1 muscle in his drive it would slice into the bushes. If Berry Bonds used Type 1 he'd hit maybe center field. If Bruce Lee didn't have absolute control of his "fast twitch" Type 2s he would never have been famous.

This is something I've spent a lot of time researching and trying to understand because after 20 years of my pesky Type 1"slow twitchers" trying to rule my playing I've finally started to listen more closely to my quiter electric signals. A lot of the best players just pick up the guitar and naturally use the right type. Others never figure it out. I didn't want to be one of those guys because I always knew that deep down I had the ability to be a Vai Martone or Guthrie if I could get past it and practice my ass off.

I really hope this helps someone like me and starts discussion that may unlock a better concept of the same thing so that those that don't understand me may get it.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: blancacat on September 05, 2007, 02:15:23 PM
I think your on to something there.
I wouldn't think it would be a stretch to suppose then that some people could possibly have more type II muscle fiber than others--genetically.  Since all muscle needs an energy source (initially from amino acids) to be useful and/or at the apex of its utility, some bodies would have more of that at any given time. ADP is one energy source for muscle fiber that I remember and it needs oxygen and probably more than I am aware of to be used to the maximum.  Have you read anywhere that the type II muscle fibers require a different type of energy source--i.e. a slightly different form of ADP or something else alltogether?  Maybe some bodies or even the same body produces differing amounts of this at different times.  Different times of the day even.  That would be a large factor.  Our bodies break down amino acids differently--it's just genetic. That might explain the difference in speed from one day to the next, one person over another etc.  Seems that diet and overall health would be key factors.  Or a genetic anamoly would be a tremendous boost for a guitar player if he had more II fiber AND the proper apparatus and diet to get the fibers to fire up and run smoothly.  Some of us are better energy producers and burners than others; we utilize the amino acids from our diets differently.  Buce Lee was a vegeterian, wasn't he.  Maybe his diet was a factor.  Dunno.  I would say his body was composed of more "fast twitch muscles" and produced the necessary energy to utilize them.

I don't quite see how one could volitionally "will" only the type II fibers to come into play if they are both present. But I still think you're somehow right about that, too. I know about muscle memory.  Right practice will get your fingers to cooperate.  But isn't that just what the psychologists call a non-conditioned response--an operant.  Enough practice with the proper reinforcement leads to like responses (hopefully the correct ones) and speed is a by-product.  That's how I think of it.  

Here's why I consider your argument interesting.  From time to time, I'll do alot of scales.  From the start, I've always been able to do ascending faster than descending.  In fact, I have to watch that or I get ahead of my metronome and I get all out of whack.  It's the index to pinkie that slows me down and you know, that's the natural way to produce music; the index is the lead.  I've thought alot about that.  You know, when you're "drumming" your fingers on the desk as if lost in thought, I've always been much faster pinkie to index than the opposite.  Surely, my muscles in the pinkie are not stronger than the index (?)--maybe that direction of "drumming" for me uses different muscle fibers (?).  I dunno.  I certainly haven't willed it, it's not a volitional thing but it's just natural.

I haven't studied physiology since my sophomore year in college and that was decades ago.  What are you reading to get some ideas on this??
By the way, I, too have the Jamie Andreas books. I found them too slow for my taste.  I've gone back to it several times, and just found it not particularly useful for me anyway.  I've seen too many great guitarists with their fingers flying just all over the place for his method to be foremost for me.


99 Classic--thanks Simon
60 LP reissue
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Alvarez Yairi dy84
Carvin AC 375
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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 05, 2007, 02:29:30 PM
Huh, very interesting! I've never heard of this concept before now. [:0]

 
quote:
I know about muscle memory. Right practice will get your fingers to cooperate. But isn't that just what the psychologists call a non-conditioned response--an operant. Enough practice with the proper reinforcement leads to like responses (hopefully the correct ones) and speed is a by-product. That's how I think of it.



That's called tactile memory. It seems to me that some people have great tactile memory, I think those are the type of people that can play anything all over the neck with their eyes closed. Some people aren't as strong in that area and have to look at what they are doing. The latter group will get criticized more, but it's not a matter of one or the other being superior - they're just different. No more or less valid than the other. That's how I see it, anyway. [8D]


__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 05, 2007, 02:38:04 PM
Actually studies have shown that most people have basically the same amount of fibres with only small amounts of variance. UNLESS these muscles are trained as in athletes like sprinters etc. I've noticed that the signal from my brain associated with the type1 fibres is so strong/loud that it overrides the quiter/weaker electrical impulses sent to my type2s. This is probably why the Type1 fibres need to be shut down first.

I'm thinking that genetics aside possibly a Persons's predisposition is towards a stronger control of either Type1,2 or both.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: blancacat on September 05, 2007, 02:54:37 PM
So, are we talking left-brain, right-brain sort of thing?  Is that how my brain tells the rest of my nervous system to shut down the type Is?  Or is it that the type IIs will become stronger and dominant with proper use and right practice?


99 Classic--thanks Simon
60 LP reissue
00 Strat Deluxe
Alvarez Yairi dy84
Carvin AC 375
Fender Cybertwin
Carvin Belair
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 05, 2007, 04:04:25 PM
quote:
So, are we talking left-brain, right-brain sort of thing?


I think it's more the difference between a surgeon's hands and a construction worker's hands. I don't think it's a left side/right side kind of thing, but maybe it is. Maybe that's why impressionist artists paint like they do - because they are incapable of a really delicate touch?

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
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www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 05, 2007, 05:02:42 PM
Obviously I'm not sure exactly why there may be a difference but Paul's annalogy sounds good. And yes the different fibers can be strengthened and the electrical circuits that control them as well. Basically MOST people will approach the guitar with type1 and very few with type2. If you've been playing for a few years and still can't play as fast as you've heard others play(except Rusty Cooley he's just a freak)then you're probably using too much of your type1s. Not that you have to like playing fast but if you have type2 control it's just as easy as playing slow passages. Type2 is also responsable for the accurate transferance of your emotions to the string.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: blancacat on September 05, 2007, 06:05:47 PM
I think this is pretty intriguing stuff.  Where can I go to learn more about this topic??  Got a good reference that is readable??

99 Classic--thanks Simon
60 LP reissue
00 Strat Deluxe
Alvarez Yairi dy84
Carvin AC 375
Fender Cybertwin
Carvin Belair
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 05, 2007, 08:01:03 PM
What I've learned over the years has been mostly about bodybuilding or athletics. Search typeII muscle fibers on google and some stuff should come up. What I'm interested in is finding excersices that isolate the type2 fibers in the hands and forarms. It's said that plyometrics(meaning fast springy movements like jumping) is one of the top ways to train them.

I CAN feel the difference and CAN order each type seperately to fire. It's taken years of a lot of patience and fumbling around. Remember that I didn't know what I was chasing for may years. I'm trying to lay this out so that I can help others that have tension as the only thing slowing them down.

The problem for me is that my TYPE1 brain messages are so powerful and are clearly my go-to output center that over-riding it with the weaker type2 messages has and still is a struggle.

Watch Guthrie Govan play. That's ALL type2. Believe it or not Joe Satriani struggles with my same affliction. He has gotten to a certain level of coping with it but it's very clear that a lot of what he does is done with type1 muscle. Other times he's loose and uses type 2. That's how I am. Most of the time I can play with type2 but it's those pesky moments when the index type1 muscle flexs that it's like tripping a sprinter.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Lwinn171 on September 05, 2007, 08:43:05 PM
This is pretty fascinating... I've often wondered about something. When I've done a bunch of work in the wood shop, I don't play as well, usually. Is it that my muscles are tired, or am I simply still in Type 1 mode? Am I in Type 1 mode mentally, physically or both? I'm confident that if I pay attention to it, I can figure it out. I've never been aware of the concept, but I'll start paying attention. My hands have been slowing me down all this time. I can think things much faster than I can play them. Granted, I'm not looking to become a shredder, but I think this may well be at the bottom of the question, "How does (your fave guitarist here) make it look so effortless?"


Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic,1998 Classic
Boogie MK IV, Behringer ACX-1800, Zoom A2, various effects
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 05, 2007, 08:46:14 PM
quote:
The problem for me is that my TYPE1 brain messages are so powerful and are clearly my go-to output center that over-riding it with the weaker type2 messages has and still is a struggle.


I'd suspect that this is where I am at, to some degree.

quote:
Watch Guthrie Govan play. That's ALL type2.


I'd say the same thing about Allan Holdsworth and Scott Henderson.

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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Bill on September 05, 2007, 09:03:04 PM
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/exercisephysiology/a/aa080901a.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_unit

I'm not sure one can will themselves to use fast twitch or slow twitch in a selective way. I think you go to do the task and you fire a group of muscle bundles. Then your make up within that bundle of fast twitch/slow twitch determines whether you are more suited for sprinting or long distance (or playing rythym versus shredding). Your ratio of fast twitch/slow twitch might change depending on excersize (or  more likly  the size of the cell rather than the number of cells). But I don't recall any evidence for voluntary or even learned selection of a particular muscle fiber type.

I'm no expert either and its been a long time since I studied this stuff. There may be lots of new findings since my day.

Anyway, I wonder if " Fine motor skills" versus "gross motor skills " is really what we are talking about here. This would have more to do with the ratio between nerve endings and muscle fibers. The fewer fibers controled by a single nerve ending, the more fine control (and less strength and visa versa).

Lawrence, after working out, we do seem to temporarily deplete some of our fine motor skills due to exhausting large groups of muscle bundles. I doubt you will see a microscopic surgeon pumping iron the night before a big brain surgery case and I doubt you'd find an accomplished lightning shredder pumping iron  before a conceret either. Of course Bruce Springstien would, just to get pumped up enough to roll up his sleeves but not Eric Johnson.

Interesting topic.



Custom '03 Hardtail Artist;Custom '98 Artist w Duncans;Ruby Red Fly Deluxe 2000; Gorgeous Gibson ES137(4sale); 1974 K.Yari DY85; SchecterDisposable; Martin Backpacker/paddle combo;VoxAD30VT;SWR California Blonde
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 05, 2007, 09:14:39 PM
quote:
Anyway, I wonder if " Fine motor skills" versus "gross motor skills " is really what we are talking about here. This would have more to do with the ratio between nerve endings and muscle fibers. The fewer fibers controled by a single nerve ending, the more fine control (and less strength and visa versa).


I had this line of thought initially. The part about nerves, anyway. What you say here makes some sense. My hands aren't all that strong, so maybe I have more nerves in my fingertips. I have very steady hands with a delicate touch. Do I qualify? [;)]

EDIT: I just thought of this, and maybe it has nothing to do with anything, but I trim my rose bushes all the time without gloves - I can pickup the clippings without gloves and not poke myself 95% of the time, even though I can feel the thorns on my fingers and hands. Seriously. Of course, I try to avoid the thorns when handling them, but if I start to feel one, I automatically back off. Sometimes they are just too sharp to do that, though. My wife tells me to wear gloves when doign gardening, but I can't stand wearing them - it feels like my hands went numb or something when I have them on.

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 05, 2007, 10:39:20 PM
Bill have you ever played baseball and the coach told you not to try so hard at swinging the bat? He was trying to tell you something. Don't turn on all those type1 muscles and keep it loose. It IS a CHOICE! Selecting Type1 is swinging with every muscle contracted and stiff. Type2 is swinging the bat nice and loosely letting momentum and speed increase your power. It's not how hard you swing but how fast and type1 fibers are slow. Power=mass x speed.
 
It's not something that you can pick up and automatically choose which fibers and true you may not have ABSOLUTE contrrol over which you use but you can learn to adapt your brain to use them selectively. Look at a golfers swing. They are loose and in control from start to finish. The body rotates and the arms loosely float on their pivots in an elegant arch striking the ball at incredible speed. Increasing muscle tension does not increase the force because it is neither speed or mass and only causes the arch to fall apart and the ball to slice into the brush.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 05, 2007, 10:43:35 PM
Lawrence, when I've been beating on ball joints of big ugly rusted trucks all day I can barely play for days and sometimes as much as a week later. My hands are so stiff that it literally requires the use of type1 fibers to overcome the stiffness. Sure it could be that they are just "turned on" but it could also be that with the damage set in the neural pathways may not be as sensitive.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Bill on September 06, 2007, 06:51:27 AM
I'm not sure I agree with the physiology here Simon,  but I like the overall concept a lot anyway.

Relaxing enough to keep unneeded muscle units from contracting is a key. Extraneous muscle groups are sometimes conflicting or distracting or can generally cause fatigueing of the groups you are really trying to use. At first we over engage a bunch of groups because of weakness of the ones we need(lack of practice to build strength) and then later because of anxiety. Exta epinenphrine induces the fight or flight responce. This keys up all muscle fibers a notch without us knowing it. We actually over contract for a given task as a result.

Its frustrating that when I'm by myself, relaxed and in the zone, I can play and sing what I think may be a pro level performance. My hands are loose and automatically fly all over the place.

As soon as I sence someone is watching, or if I'm recording, all of that instantly vanishes as I go back into the realm of self conscious.

I think if it helps to "visualize" things in a way that makes since to you in order to improve your chance of an "in the zone" performance, then that is a good thing, reagardless of the physiology. Pro atheletes use this tool a lot.

The important thing here is that you're actin on your myosin 'cause your ichin for some faaast twitchin. [:D]



Custom '03 Hardtail Artist;Custom '98 Artist w Duncans;Ruby Red Fly Deluxe 2000; Gorgeous Gibson ES137(4sale); 1974 K.Yari DY85; SchecterDisposable; Martin Backpacker/paddle combo;VoxAD30VT;SWR California Blonde
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Gixxernutter on September 06, 2007, 07:37:43 AM
quote:
As soon as I sence someone is watching, or if I'm recording, all of that instantly vanishes as I go back into the realm of self conscious.


That's where I find a pint or 2 of strong lager helps me slip back into the realm of self conscious [:D]

Peter
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 06, 2007, 08:58:09 AM
quote:
Relaxing enough to keep unneeded muscle units from contracting is a key.


I have noticed this in my own life, in many ways.

quote:
Its frustrating that when I'm by myself, relaxed and in the zone, I can play and sing what I think may be a pro level performance. My hands are loose and automatically fly all over the place.

As soon as I sence someone is watching, or if I'm recording, all of that instantly vanishes as I go back into the realm of self conscious.


Hey, get out of my head! [;)]

I'm very much like that. Even more so since I never really get to actually play in front of real, live, breathing people. [:I]



Thinking some more about this topic, this morning I was thinking about a gardening accident I had about eight years ago. I was trimming some ground cover with some pruning shears and nearly cut off the tip of my left index finger - it got about 1/2 way thru when I realized I was cutting myself. Naturally, I was bummed because it meant I couldn't play guitar for a while. A few weeks later, it was all healed up, but there was a fairly large area that now felt quite numb compared to before. It took a long time to really learn how to compensate when playing guitar, probably a year or so. It stinks because the cut was almost exactly how my finger contacts the guitar strings.

Then about 2-1/2 years ago, I accidently hacked my left thumb with a very sharp mini hacksaw blade - went right thru the thumbnail, too. That took a few weeks to heal as well, and I just escaped stiches. So, you guessed it, my thumb is numb in that area, too. It didn't take as long to compensate, but it is exactly at the point where my thumb contacts the back of the neck. I guess I would attribute the numbness in both cases to nerve damage as a result of the injuries.

All that to say that I never really realized or thought about it that much until this topic came up just how much I rely on the feeling in my fingertips, and how besetting it can be when something happens to that. [B)]

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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 06, 2007, 09:09:35 AM
Paul you need to stay away from sharp objects!

When I'm in the zone(not recording video or audio or feeling like someone is watching/listening) I can imagine all the music and hands position inmy head. It's the best place to be and it kind of removes the conscience from them mess of incoming signals from your nerve endings reporting that you indeed made the finger touch the string. I see these inputs as useful for slower stuff but when you start moving then they are kind of slow. Imagine the event happens then the signal travels to the brain where a section has to interpret it then it is understood. There is a small delay but it's there. Kind of like trying to play to some latency sound generator. Sort of a different topic though.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 06, 2007, 09:31:24 AM
quote:
Paul you need to stay away from sharp objects!


Yeah, I am careful most of the time. When I hacked my thumb, I was just being stupid and not practicing good safety habits. [B)]
 

quote:
When I'm in the zone(not recording video or audio or feeling like someone is watching/listening) I can imagine all the music and hands position in my head.


I have been doing that from time to time when practicing in the mornings lately. It is kind of freeing. [8D]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Lwinn171 on September 06, 2007, 01:51:49 PM
quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

Lawrence, when I've been beating on ball joints of big ugly rusted trucks all day I can barely play for days and sometimes as much as a week later. My hands are so stiff that it literally requires the use of type1 fibers to overcome the stiffness. Sure it could be that they are just "turned on" but it could also be that with the damage set in the neural pathways may not be as sensitive.

Simon
Vancouver,BC


I hear you, man. When I'm in the sanding stage, using a random orbit sander for hours at a time, I get that "fist full of bee's" feeling, and can't play well for quite a while. Gloves help, and I need to get some of the one's designed for shock reduction (padded with gel packs or the like). Anyway, the feeling is like whacking a steel I-beam with a aluminum baseball bat...buzzzzzzzzzz.

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic,1998 Classic
Boogie MK IV, Behringer ACX-1800, Zoom A2, various effects
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 06, 2007, 07:37:50 PM
I'm really glad that this topic has been of interest to you guys. When I first posted it nobody touched it for about 3 days. I thought my words had fell on deaf ears or just wasn't interesting enough to respond to. I'm glad you've put in your thoughts.

This is mainly an attempt to help others and also to further my own understanding. The whole concept is a very fine self awareness excercise and kind of borders on some sort of bhuddism. Since it's so different for each person in their perceptions of the same thing it's important that we hear what others are experiencing.

One of my big goals as a musician is to write a book on how to master the physical aspect of guitar performance. Jamie Andreas's book is the first I've seen make an attempt and I thought it did a very poor job of explaining anything. I've tried all the exercises from all the best books and none of them will work if you don't learn this stuff for yourself. Running scales day and night will only work if you ACCIDENTALLY figure this out.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: uburoibob on September 06, 2007, 08:24:05 PM
I had never really considered Type 1 or Type 2 muscles. But I would guess that it's the natural shift from Type 1 to Type 2 that happens by practicing the same scales over and over and over and gradually going from having to move your fingers to your fingers moving seemingly by themselves. It's probably the point where tactile memory takes over, addressing those Type 2s. Then, it's continuing to practice those scales, moving faster by fractional amounts. I would guess that's where the Type 1 to Type 2 shift happens in a musician. I would guess that's what's happened in me. It's kind of critical to practice and master at least the major and minor scales all up and down the neck, moving onto substitutions, etc. Eventually, the entire fretboard gets mapped to your Type 2 muscles and tactile memory.

For me, it's about 4 solid hours of practice a day. That comes at the expense of a lot of other things. Fortunately, I haven't worried about speed for the last 20 years or so. Instead, I've been focused on shifting notes in scales to create more interesting melody/linear harmony and investigation of the subtleties of rhythm. Speed just seems to be there if I need it.

Simon - just out of curiosity - do you have recordings from that perfect day or time? Just curious if the performance was as strong as the memory of the feeling. I know that some shows I do where I think I really nailed it are nowhere near as musically interesting as shows when I thought I was having a hard time. Not always, but more often than not.

Bob

1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 06, 2007, 09:44:56 PM
Bob I was 18. I was playing Steve Vai,Metallica, Joe Satriani and Yngwie type songs. Even then I improvised a lot but the most I knew about making music was the major/minor and pentatonic scales. I used some of what I knew from songs and mostly my ear to come up with things I wanted to hear.I could play fast but it wasn't terribly musical. Certainly not like the level of craftsmanship you've achieved Bob. I'm still miles from there. However it was crazy speed. I don't have any recordings as at the time I had nothing to record with and computers were still Ataris and such. It was basically such a dramatic change in skill level that I was immediately thrilled that i was finally getting "there". Wherever that was at the time for me.

When I hit record on anything be it a computer recording or video I lose about 30% of my ability and about 50% of my creativity. Nothing flows. I think what i need to do to record is loop record and then spend a lot of time going through the material. I figure if I play long enough I'll stop caring that someone or something is listening.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 06, 2007, 09:59:32 PM
Anyway guys I'm investigating the application of "fast-twitch" or Type2 fiber training to the hands and forearms of guitarists. Or any other musician for that matter. So far the most popular method for increasing the strength,speed and endurance of these fibers is through Plyometrics.

One excercise I've been trying out is holding all fingers in there natural RELAXED(most important) curve and starting with the index(or whichever you like) you bounce your finger off that fingers corresponding fret. Think of your finger as you jumping off the floor over and over without bending your knees when you land. In the air you'd be loose you'd come down and your calves would absorb your desent and SPROING! back up just like Tigger! It's that fast twitch that you want to get combined with absolutely nothing in between. Now this is meant as an excercise to train the muscle not as technique practice.

When you practice scales or chords or arps or whatever. It's the same idea but you 've got to start out very moderately so that you can get that feeling repeatedly and reinforce it. Now it's not as exaggerated but you go from no tension to quick little twitches that get your fingers moving. The added speed and the weight of your finger are all that are needed to hammer onto the fret sending the string into full vibration. The speed that type one muscle will bring it down will barely produce a note on it's own if at all. Beginners are often faced with this and in response PRESS HARDER!!! Pressing harder only brings in the type1 muscles you don't want interfering.

For me chords had always been the worst for tension. I think I'd have about 30lbs on my index finger and about 20lbs on every other finger for each and every chord. Even now it's very difficult to play chords without reverting back to this feeling. Remember I played an awful lot during the 20 years I cultivated my type1 habits.

Bob, how hard are you pressing your fingers down after the chord is struck? How about during a chord series? 6 string barre chords?

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Lwinn171 on September 07, 2007, 12:11:38 AM
Simon, I agree. Chords really get me sometimes. When we did the "Twin Peaks" shows, there were tunes where I'd have to arpeggiate big bar chords, letting the notes ring, and making the changes between chords as quickly as possible. All in a very slow, dreamy torch song. That fatigued me very quickly, even though it was "easy" stuff. I'd just start cramping up. I can sit around and strum chords all day long, usually, but those slow tempo, very exposed chords were killers.

Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic,1998 Classic
Boogie MK IV, Behringer ACX-1800, Zoom A2, various effects
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 07, 2007, 06:34:17 AM
quote:
When we did the "Twin Peaks" shows, there were tunes where I'd have to arpeggiate big bar chords, letting the notes ring, and making the changes between chords as quickly as possible. All in a very slow, dreamy torch song. That fatigued me very quickly, even though it was "easy" stuff. I'd just start cramping up. I can sit around and strum chords all day long, usually, but those slow tempo, very exposed chords were killers.


I know what you mean. When I first started playing guitar, I did a lot of acoustic playing with barre chords. As a result, the muscle between my thumb and index finger has become highly developed and feels pretty hard to the touch when I flex that muscle. On my right hand, this muscle is virtually completely undeveloped. Even so, on those kind of tunes, my left hand will tend to cramp up sometimes, even when playing the electric guitar. [:(]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 07, 2007, 08:24:28 AM
Oh thank God I'm not the only one!! But, it's possible to press a lot less and achieve the same thing. I've found barres the hardest and it's mostly because some areas of our fingers don't contact the string as well and so we have learned to squish it into place. In a lot of cases if it's relaxed it'll bend into shape more easily. I've watched Martone play and he can control areas along his finger to control the notes along it.

I figure that playing it lightly and missing a few notes is better than cramping up and missing the whole solo that follows. Obviously the barres take a little more because there are six strings but I think most of us overshoot the requirement. Not many Jazz players hang out on barre chords and maybe that's why.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 07, 2007, 08:54:02 AM
quote:
Oh thank God I'm not the only one!! But, it's possible to press a lot less and achieve the same thing. I've found barres the hardest and it's mostly because some areas of our fingers don't contact the string as well and so we have learned to squish it into place. In a lot of cases if it's relaxed it'll bend into shape more easily.


On an electric, if your action is low enoguh, you can use a pretty light touch and not have buzzing. It's a lot harder on an acoustic guitar, though, you really have to press the strings down a lot harder. Thank goodness the Fly was invented! Acoustic guitar sounds without the trauma to the fingers and hand. [:0]

quote:
Not many Jazz players hang out on barre chords and maybe that's why.


Maybe. To me, barre chords sound kind of plain and boring. I've always liked using open strings with my chords to get some interesting sounding chords. Not many jazz players use open strings in their chords, but you can do some cool stuff using them. The jazz players I have known just try to play as efficiently as possible using the easiest chord shapes. And then I have known a few people that don't, they are doing things more like Allan Holdsworth would... [8D]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: uburoibob on September 07, 2007, 09:04:50 AM
quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

Bob I was 18. I was playing Steve Vai,Metallica, Joe Satriani and Yngwie type songs. Even then I improvised a lot but the most I knew about making music was the major/minor and pentatonic scales. I used some of what I knew from songs and mostly my ear to come up with things I wanted to hear.I could play fast but it wasn't terribly musical. Certainly not like the level of craftsmanship you've achieved Bob. I'm still miles from there. However it was crazy speed. I don't have any recordings as at the time I had nothing to record with and computers were still Ataris and such. It was basically such a dramatic change in skill level that I was immediately thrilled that i was finally getting "there". Wherever that was at the time for me.

When I hit record on anything be it a computer recording or video I lose about 30% of my ability and about 50% of my creativity. Nothing flows. I think what i need to do to record is loop record and then spend a lot of time going through the material. I figure if I play long enough I'll stop caring that someone or something is listening.

Simon
Vancouver,BC



Hey Simon,

I wasn't trying to be critical at all. I was just making a personal point that for me, having that feeling doesn't always equate to playing well. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't. In general, I lose about 30% - 50% when I hit record too. I realized that a long time ago, so for me, I always sound better when it's just me sitting there and playing, and I know that I've always gotta be on top of my game to get as much out as I can.

Probably like that for most people, so it's kind of humbling to know that all of the artists people love and want to emulate are 30 to 50 percent better than we ever hear!

Anyway, not sure there's science here. I think Paul hit it with tactile memory, and it's probably that memory that controls the Type 2 muscle fiber. So, the age old regimens of practice, practice, practice - with some sense of discipline - is a good one.

My advice (to everyone)... learn the major scale in every position on the guitar. Then link the positions, and play them. Learn it backwards and forwards. Learn it by playing every other note. Now every third note. Now 1, 3, 2, 4, 3, 5, 4, 6, etc. NOW learn it in double stops.

From there, anything is possible. Once your fingers know that inside and out, it's such an easy leap to the minors, diminished, augmented, chromatics, etc. It's just that it takes hours of rote playing. And rote playing can be done with minor mental attention. I watch TV while running scales as fast as I can and reading email and the Parker forum. There's seldom a time when I am typing here, that it is not being done by reaching over the top of one of my Parkers.

Anyway, that's the secret, from what I've discovered. Give it 4 hours a day - 3 1/2 running scales, and the last half having fun. If you want to have more fun, take it up to 5 hours a day.

Bob

1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 07, 2007, 09:10:52 AM
I didn't take it as critical Bob and you're right it probably wasn't half as good as I thought it was. But it was faster than I was used to.

This is a great discussion in that we now have two sides. Mine and the view that it's just practice. Also since everyone is different, approaches to regime are different. If I play over an hour the fatigue becomes so great that I start doing more damage than good. I can rarely play 3 hour sessions let alone 4hrs. What works better for me is an hour in the am and an hour in the pm.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 07, 2007, 09:12:44 AM
Bob you must tell us what you experience when you play chords.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 07, 2007, 10:16:05 AM
Man, if I had four hours a day to practice instead of one hour, the possibilities are scary! [:D]

I agree, a lot of it is just route practice until your fingers do what you want automatically.

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: blancacat on September 07, 2007, 11:56:07 AM
Simon, after you started this thread, I went to check out your YouTube clips.  Geez, it seems to me that you are plenty fast as it is.  Just had to put that in here even tho it is out of sync with the rest of the conversation at this point.  Anyway, if that is about 1/3 of what you can do when the record button is off, then you are plenty fast indeed.  I can only approximate that kind of speed and when I do, it is for relatively short little bursts before I start making too many errors and get frustrated.  (I'm more the rhythm guy who aspires to play lead).

If I think of the "bouncing" exercise that you suggest as applying the firm finger (J. Andreas) with one finger repetively before moving to the next finger, is that what you have in mind to force the type IIs into play?  I see myself trying that out.  Actually, it seems that just bouncing the finger tip off the surface of the string would require more tactile agility than pressing the string down fully to the fret.  Never tried what you have suggested but I will.  Actually,  when doing scales, my instructor insisted I hold all the fingers down before moving onto the next string.  I only aspire to this.  (my fingers have never been completely independent of one another--e.g. a movement of my ring finger will cause a symapthetic rising of the pinkie etc....)  If this bouncing thing will help improve that, well then I'll be a happy camper.  Hey, maybe if I develop my type IIs, my fingers will become more indepedent of one another.
For the first three years or so of my playing, I, too played at least 3 hours daily, sometimes more.  Well, it wasn't what you'd call playing--I did scales and modes and just noodled.  Couldn't play an actual song, not one. That was when I was still working.  Now that I'm retired and have all the time in the world, I'll play maybe for an hour in the morning and then again late at night after the wife has gone off to bed.  But now, I concentrate on the tunes I like, a new one here and there and all the while trying to improve the songs I know.  I also just noodle.  I'll unplug when I don't like what I'm hearing any more--when there's no direction or something or if I'm just repeating what I already know.
Anyway, I'm older--don't aspire anymore to be like Stevie Ray and I'm generally happy with my speed but if I can increase my speed, well then I can see something new going on.  My real aspiration is to develop more of  a "feel" for my playing as in BB King.
So, I've appreciated this thread and I'm glad you brought it up. Academics applied to the guitar.  Cool.


99 Classic--thanks Simon
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00 Strat Deluxe
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Carvin AC 375
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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: uburoibob on September 07, 2007, 01:59:17 PM
quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

Bob you must tell us what you experience when you play chords.

Simon
Vancouver,BC



Well, that's where the initial move to double stops comes in. Learning the immediate relationship of the note you are on to those within your reach. Initially, when you play guitar, you memorize chord forms. And those all remain valid. Using the scalar system, you build chords as you go - looking at where you are and adding tones to get the chord/inversion you are after. So, eventually, if you are playing a melody and want to punctuate it with chords, you simply grab the notes within your grasp (literally) that work.

The And Your Bird Can Sing solo piece I posted ( http://forums.parkerguitars.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5508 ) was done that way. I worked it all out, but in working it out, started with a single line of the melody, added the harmony to the melody, added bass and then the chord tones. Granted what I did there is a pretty simple approach to it, as there is no counter point or anything like that - the rhythm is very linear.

I didn't get a lot of comments on the arrangement and was hoping to generate a bit more interest in arranging for solo guitar by posting it. Just wondering if no one is interested in playing in that manner....

Anyway, I am not sure this answers your question, but in general, it becomes a tactile mapping of the entire fingerboard and learning who your neighbors are for any given location. My weakness here is that I don't tend to think about all this in notation terms, but instead have relied on my ear for working with melody, harmony and rhythm. I have really gotta work on rhythm and the ability to do counterpoint.

Bob

1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 07, 2007, 02:26:24 PM
Nope missed it by a mile. No worries.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: uburoibob on September 07, 2007, 03:04:41 PM
quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

Nope missed it by a mile. No worries.

Simon
Vancouver,BC



Hmmm... What do I experience when I play chords?  Utter joy? Orgasmic enjoyment? Twisted fingers? Harmony?

REALLY not sure by what you meant when you typed: "Bob you must tell us what you experience when you play chords."

So... couple of worries. I'd love to be able to answer the question, if only I understood it!

Bob

1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: uburoibob on September 07, 2007, 03:38:43 PM
quote:
Originally posted by simonlock

Nope missed it by a mile. No worries.

Simon
Vancouver,BC



Or were you just being funny? Usually, I get funny.

Bob

1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 07, 2007, 04:10:00 PM
What I mean is related to the topic of this thread. Finger pressure,effort and what its like for you to change from one chord to another. I'm sorry I thought since I was re-asking the question that is was understood. It's very common that I am misunderstood as sometimes my communication is a little off. Sorry Bob.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 07, 2007, 04:16:54 PM
I can't play 3x's as fast as my youtube videos. I was referring to a differnt moment in time. I can play maybe 30-40% better than the videos at this point.

Blancat I'm happy you are getting something from this thread. Yes being able to use more type2 muscle fibers will allow more finger independance. I find it's actually the muscles that are tense still from working the last finger that interferes the most with the next finger to work. It's about turning off the muscle fast enough and thats what type2s do. Type1s take too much time to release. Now keep in mind that motions of one finger will often affect another because of the tendons and tissues in your hand. Not much you can about that.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: uburoibob on September 07, 2007, 04:27:53 PM
Simon, SO sorry for misunderstanding. I just went back and found your original question that I had missed....

In direct response, I guess it's got to have been 35 years since I used Type 1 muscles in playing guitar. So, finger pressure for me, as a result of just following the regimens I outlined, are very natural. I don't feel a need to press too hard or worry about not pressing enough. It could be that I play a wide variety of string gauges, and practice on a variety of instruments... on my acoustic archtops, I tend to use medium strings (13-50whatever), on my flat top, light (12-40 or 50 whatever), on my gipsy guitars I use gypsy strings which are very flexible but not thin, on my flamenco guitars I use hard tension, on my Flys, I use 10-46s, on my electric archtops I use light 12-52 electric strings.

I guess using all these different instruments and playing guitar a LOT just sort of takes care of me having to micro manage my fingers. Ultimately, they just do what they need to do. It all worked in a very evolutionary way for me. Plus, I am double jointed and can pull chords that many can't. In other words, I worried more about what I was playing and how I was playing it rather than worrying about how to make it happen.

So to answer your question in as simple a way as possible, I press just enough.

Again, I ain't no pro. I just play one on the Parker forum. Seriously, I think you are on to something here, and if you can come up with better exercises than the more traditional ones I've indicated, then that would be great. Anything that makes people realize their goals is a good thing.  I am very open to innovation.

Bob

1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 07, 2007, 04:49:52 PM
thanks Bob. You're answer doesn't suprise me actually. When I asked Martone about how he controlled his tension he raised an eyebrow and said"Huh? What do you mean?"

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: prjacobs on September 08, 2007, 07:28:46 PM
Hi All,
I'm jumping in way late, but I wanted to mention a few things I've experienced playing both guitar and piano.  
I competed in some classical piano competitions, practicing very physically demanding music, hours a day for months and what I've found, and it's really no secret, is:
The only way to really learn how to play extremely difficult music is to play it slow enough to be relaxed, not only physically, but equally as importantly, mentally.  If I bring tension into my body or mind at the beginning stages of learning something, it will be extremely hard to lose it.  If I could be patient, not press and try and learn too fast, I would get positive feedback from my tension free playing:)  There are some techniques that would be a strain for me, so I'd find alternatives, perhaps leaving out a note of a chord, etc.  I also would pick pieces that would let me show off what I do well.
I also played competitive tennis and I had to stop when I started competing on the piano.  What I found, and I think that it relates to other peoples comments about their inability to play after strenuous work, is that my left hand muscles got so big from tennis that they seized up playing the piano, specifically the muscle below my left thumb.  You'd think that having big strong muscles would help you, but they just get in the way of speedy playing, since they seemed to fail much quicker than the muscles in my right hand.  Also, my teacher pointed out that when I used my thumb, I tended to bend from the joint at the base of the thumb instead of thinking of the thumb as extending through your hand all the way through the next bone, ending near the wrist.  This gave my thumb much more support and I think this might help anyone experiencing fatigue.
When you'd see a tall, skinny boxer like Tommy Hearns, he'd punch with much more power than his musclebound opponents.


Paul
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 08, 2007, 09:04:05 PM
quote:
I competed in some classical piano competitions, practicing very physically demanding music, hours a day for months and what I've found, and it's really no secret, is:
The only way to really learn how to play extremely difficult music is to play it slow enough to be relaxed, not only physically, but equally as importantly, mentally. If I bring tension into my body or mind at the beginning stages of learning something, it will be extremely hard to lose it. If I could be patient, not press and try and learn too fast, I would get positive feedback from my tension free playing


Several people mentioned being relaxed. I think this is a major key for playing well whatever situation you are in. I tend to get tense mentally and physically sometimes, and bad playing somtimes ensues, although other people will tell me I sounded good, I am just about ready to chop the guitar for firewood. That's how it was in the past, anyway. I would say from personal experience that 50% of the battle really is in your head. If you don't think you can do it, you probably won't.

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 09, 2007, 09:19:08 PM
Paul (prjacobs), thank you for chiming in. I knew I was on to something and your reply is very well put together, first hand application and compelling observation.

That tension free training principle is paramount. Moving your fingers without tension like you describe IS using Type2 muscle. If you strain, it's Type1.

I have to agree that muscularity is a hiderance. My forearms are probably a little overcrowded muscle wise and my hands are often stiff from my workouts and work. Seriously I've had a year off work and it made a LOT of difference in my consistency day to day.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: David Tomkins on September 10, 2007, 09:14:05 AM
so are people suggesting that those grip exerciser things are counterproductive to playing smoothly and well?

2005 Green Quilted Maple Custom Mojo, 2006 Parker Fly T-Shirt, 2006 Parker Fly Baseball Cap.  A triple-whammy of Parker goodness!!
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 10, 2007, 09:24:55 AM
quote:
so are people suggesting that those grip exerciser things are counterproductive to playing smoothly and well?


Not necessarily, at least from my point of view. I think they have their place, but I never felt like I needed one of them.

In my experience, the key really is relaxing and using proper technique. If you're tensed up, you'll use your muscles the wrong way and lose a lot of your fluidity. You only need enough strength for stamina and fretting the notes solidly.

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 10, 2007, 04:02:52 PM
Those excercise gizmos are ok if you use Type2 while using them. In other words fast twitch movements. If you simply do it over and over with the type1 it'll only strengthen that mental pathway and it could be counterproductive. There is likely some use for having well conditioned type1s too though i don't know.

The best tool I know of for finger strength/dexterity/warmup are chinese excercise balls. And they're about a 1/3 of the cost of those gizmos in the music store.


Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: prjacobs on September 10, 2007, 07:31:19 PM
I agree with Simon and Paul above, and I have a feeling that no one using a grip strengthener will use it lightly, with type 2 muscles.  If it were me, I'd probably absentmindedly grip and grip until I was tight.  One observation about "relaxed" playing....  Sometimes you have to be a bit tense playing something that, for example, requires a big stretch.  I think that it's important to release the tension as quickly as possible when coming off of the notes.  Lastly, for me, I guess I've had my own built in grip strengthener ever since my teenage years... well, earlier.


Paul
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: David Tomkins on September 11, 2007, 06:11:18 AM
quote:
Originally posted by prjacobs

 Lastly, for me, I guess I've had my own built in grip strengthener ever since my teenage years... well, earlier.  Paul


would that be for type 1 or fast type 2 muscles?...[:I][:D]  Perhaps you should patent it and put adverts for it all over the internet.  I wish i had thought of sharing that little earner when i as a teenager...[:D]  Might encourage a few more female musicians.  ok, i'll stop there.[B)]

the reason i asked before is that i have recently gotten into a bit of rock climbing and found that i didn't have grip stamina in my hands and fell off near the top.  got the dexterity but not the endurance.  so i started using a squidgy grip ball.

2005 Green Quilted Maple Custom Mojo, 2006 Parker Fly T-Shirt, 2006 Parker Fly Baseball Cap.  A triple-whammy of Parker goodness!!
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 11, 2007, 07:56:45 AM
Just start doing deadlifts with no straps. That'll build your grip strength. But the thing is it's going to cause your muscles to be tight for up to a week at a time making it hard to play.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 11, 2007, 11:22:04 PM
So I had a chance to analyse why it's hard to play with stiff aching muscles. From what I can feel there is so much stiffness that in order to move the joints it takes more of the Type1(slow-twitch stronger) fibers just to get the hand in motion. Now as always it's not like flipping a switch from one type to another. It's almost always going to be a blend but our objective is to train ourselves to lean on the faster type of muscle. So because my hands are stiff and sore I found it hard to move my fingers and wrists with that nice free floating feeling and it took far longer to warm up. I'm not sure but it's also almost like when my muscles are sore the type2 signal isn't strong enough to fire the motor units required.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 12, 2007, 04:10:52 AM
quote:
So I had a chance to analyse why it's hard to play with stiff aching muscles. From what I can feel there is so much stiffness that in order to move the joints it takes more of the Type1(slow-twitch stronger) fibers just to get the hand in motion.


That sounds reasonable. It's also in line with my own experiences. [8D]

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www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: blancacat on September 12, 2007, 12:20:10 PM
Yes, that sounds perfectly reasonable. Doesn't lactic acid buildup bollux up everything all together; energy sources are used up to fire the muscle fibers and/or blocked by the lactic acid floating around in there.

What are thoughts on why people "freeze" up when in front of an audience or camera?  If there has been adequate warm up time, what would the mechanism be that causes the type I to crossfire on the IIs?  How to turn off the stage fright thing and just have a good time???

99 Classic--thanks Simon
60 LP reissue
00 Strat Deluxe
Alvarez Yairi dy84
Carvin AC 375
Fender Cybertwin
Carvin Belair
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 12, 2007, 01:42:54 PM
quote:
what would the mechanism be that causes the type I to crossfire on the IIs?


For me, I think that's where the mental part comes in. If you're all stressed out about performing and/or not being to pull it all off, you'll probably mess up because you're already all tensed up going into it and then you wil tend to use your muscles differently than you would when you're relaxed and not trying to perform. That has been my experience, anyway. [B)]

That is why I much prefer just doing stuff at home in my own "studio" - no one to perfom for, I just relax and have fun. [:p]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: David Tomkins on September 13, 2007, 07:05:51 AM
fear of mistakes and overcompensating i reckon. the artists we admire are often fearles, evenwhen improvising.  The fear makes us overcompensate to ensure the note rings out - more strength is used.

2005 Green Quilted Maple Custom Mojo, 2006 Parker Fly T-Shirt, 2006 Parker Fly Baseball Cap.  A triple-whammy of Parker goodness!!
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 13, 2007, 09:21:33 AM
quote:
the artists we admire are often fearles, evenwhen improvising. The fear makes us overcompensate to ensure the note rings out - more strength is used.


From my viewpoint, that nails it on the head. I am a weirdo when it comes to playing guitar, I guess. Improvising - that's really all I have ever done with the guitar. It's when I have to try and play a song that is actually written out and stuff where I have problems, that's when the performance anxiety surfaces, which I suppose most people can identify with. I enjoy improvisation, risky as it may be, but it's where I am most comfortable being.

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Lwinn171 on September 13, 2007, 11:47:23 AM
I always find I play best when relaxed, and even better when I'm not really thinking about how I'm doing what I'm doing. I'm thinking about the part, the song, the sound of the notes coming out of my amp, and thinking less about my fingers. When I played soccer, I would visualize the ball going where I wanted (say, a shot to the upper corner), and would just put it there. Not looking at the ball as I struck it, but focusing on where I wanted it to go. More accurately, I would shift my focus from the ball to the target while striking it. It was such a natural thing, it's hard to analyze how I did it, but I was a very accurate shooter. Clearly, some people can do this kind of thing more easily, and I don't claim to have the same level of skill on guitar. On a good day, I can approach that higher plain. On an average day, it's  more of a struggle. Sometimes muscle fatigue can be a factor. Some days the mind is the obstacle; distraction and the like can foul up my playing a well, usually in the form of my hands not being perfectly in sync with each other on fast stuff, AKA the slop factor.

When I am in the zone, improv is one of my greatest joys. I tend to judge my live shows by how well I'm able to get "off script" in an intelligent and soulful way.  


Lawrence Winn
2001 Classic,1998 Classic
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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: prjacobs on September 13, 2007, 12:38:02 PM
Stage fright and playing from my experience: Or NERVES!
I did my first big tour in 1979 with Meatloaf when his record, (yes LP), was the #1 album in Canada.  Suddenly I was playing Toronto stadium and other huge venues, which I'd never done before.  In many cases the piano/keyboard part started the song and while I was nervous, I survived and got through it.  To be totally honest, if perhaps not humble, the music was so easy for me I could play it even at 50% of my capability and it would still more than cut it, which brings me to my point:
You have to know your music cold so that even if nerves kick in, you'll still pull it off.  Be at 150% so that when nerves kick in, your still good enough.
On the other hand, when I play classical piano for even 6 people I'm more freaked out then playing rock guitar or keyboards in front of 125,000.  I guess for me, the stakes are a lot higher and I feel much more vulnerable playing, usually alone, than I do in a rock band.
I once played with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in front of 125 pianists, many who had competed against me for the privilege, the entire piano faculty of Texas Christian University and many young professional concert pianists, plus the public. I knew that many of these people were familiar enough with the concerto that I was playing to know where all of the hard parts were and how you could screw up when you played them.  Given that situation, I just decided to get down with my bad self and play it as I felt it. So, for me, I did what I've done before when playing a classical concert.  I took drugs... Inderal, to be specific.  What that does for me is it stops my hands from shaking and calms me down.  As much as I prepare and feel great about my playing, sometimes when I play classical music only, my hands shake in spite of myself.  I should also explain that the touch involved is so fine tuned, that for me, taking out the shakes and calming myself down makes all of the difference.  I also feel that the more performance one does, the less it scares you.  I got so used to playing huge outdoor concerts with "Meat" that going out in front of 100,000 people felt the same as playing at home, only much cooler with a 185,000 watt p.a.  I'm not advocating drugs in any way here, I'm just reporting... After all, growing up in the '60s as a musician, drugs were unheard of.  I do think that there are issues for any musician to face if they want to perform, and it that's one's desire, great, but in the most elemental sense, I play music because I love it, for myself.
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 13, 2007, 12:50:31 PM
All good points that I can relate to, Lawrence. [8D]

And, Paul, too. [;)]

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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: blancacat on September 13, 2007, 03:50:02 PM
This has been such a cool thread.  I've only been playing 6 years--I've lots of questions as you can see.  I play with accomplished musicians (all non professionals but with a fiddle player who has won top prizes at state contests, and with a classically trained person who sometimes plays "old timey" and blues/rock music with us.)  The guitar guy I admire the most has played practically all his life and he is just a little younger than I--means 40+ years.  He plays constantly, my wife was his principal and believe me, he incorporates music into his classroom teaching so that even at work he gets in an hour or so daily.  What perturbs me is that when I ask questions like "how do you do 'x' or 'y', I'll get "I don't really know, I just do it" or works, "I just can't explain it--just listen and you'll get it". That sort of thing. All the time.   This has also been documented here-e.g. "Whattua mean by tension?, from Martone.  I best relate guitar playing to what I know best.  I studied psychology in school and the last topic I truly studied thoroughly was in perception with a mentor who is now becoming tops in his area of expertise.  Bear in mind, what I learned then, is now hopelessly outdated.  Of all things he is now studing what he broadly calls the perception of musicality.  Back then we ran all kinds of studies on what I'll call here "visual tracking".  Generally, try to visualize tracking an object of varying shapes, sizes, velocities on a computer screen when suddenly it bumps into an object of varying sizes, shapes etc or gets occluded--meaning it is invisible for a predetermined interval.  In real life, think of a tight end realizing the arc of the thrown pass when it may be out of his immediate view for seconds at a time or a markman trying to hit a moving target that is bouncing around.  Our subjects would be well practiced or not, given varying types of trials and we would map performance. Briefly, if a string of responses is overlearned, fewer errors are made and speed increases up to the minimal response time.  There is a carry over to novel material that is not too new.  There are individual differences; some people were better trackers than others.  
This is exactly the kind of things I'm reading here.  Given lots of practice, we overlearn and do not have to think about playing.  Take the cognitive aspects out of playing ( the use alcohol or drugs has been suggested-now, I can't do that because I've used up all my drug experiences)and playing just happens smoothly.  With well learned passages, the type I muscles are dominant.  Make a mistake, fret just a little off or hit a sour one and hear the difference and the type IIs come in and we have to relax back into automatic playing or we'll continue to tense up and play bad for the night.  Improvisation is like our occluded studies--one can only have an educated guess at what happens next. Speed is decreased, more errors are introduced but one concentrates on the "feel" of the playing with attentive listening.  It's fun.
So, if I am ever going to get over my stage fright and be able to play as fast as I do at home, I'll "overlearn" to the point of absolute certainty that I can perform.  Or learn to improvise better.

99 Classic--thanks Simon
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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: prjacobs on September 13, 2007, 05:06:56 PM
Why is it that we believe that if we make a mistake it's bad?  What if we lived in a world where everyone who played music in front of people was applauded enthusiastically for just making the effort?  We'd all be dying to get up, play and feel the love.  We, and I include myself here, all apply too many standards, comparing ourselves to others, which does nothing for the musical process.  We make a mistake and suddenly we're a bundle of bound up nerves, useless on our instrument and worthless as a human being. It's our beliefs that make us freeze up. My god, what if I forget the notes?  Not the end of the world.  A bug on the windshield of life.  How about visualizing a performance without any stage fright and see what happens?
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 13, 2007, 05:19:58 PM
quote:
We, and I include myself here, all apply too many standards, comparing ourselves to others, which does nothing for the musical process.


Yeah, I will testify to that. As soon as I quit the comparison game and just starting being myslef, my playing improved/changed dramatically. It really is liberating! [:p]

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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: blancacat on September 13, 2007, 06:45:25 PM
I recall an interview with Buddy Guy, I think, where he said that when he made a "mistake", he simply played that note over and over again and accentuated it as if it were actually part (and even an integral part) of the solo.  There are no mistakes then, just unintended outcomes.  Works for me.  
Actually, when I think of my own abilities on guitar, I can't help but compare myself to my friend and further from that to classical guitarists in general who don't seem to tolerate "mistakes".
Anyway, I was just trying to figure out how I could relieve myself of stage fright or how I more often than not get stuck in type 1 muscle misuse on any given night (as some others have also recounted here.)

99 Classic--thanks Simon
60 LP reissue
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Carvin AC 375
Fender Cybertwin
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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 13, 2007, 07:15:36 PM
I remember Santana saying something similar to Buddy Guy once. Something to the effect that if you make a mistake, repeat it and it will sound like it was intentional. [8D]

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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Bill on September 13, 2007, 07:38:26 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Marossy

I remember Santana saying something similar to Buddy Guy once. Something to the effect that if you make a mistake, repeat it and it will sound like it was intentional. [8D]

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I hope Britany Spears isn't reading this thread. [:D]

I'd hate to see that again. [B)]

Custom '03 Hardtail Artist;Custom '98 Artist w Duncans;Ruby Red Fly Deluxe 2000; Gorgeous Gibson ES137(4sale); 1974 K.Yari DY85; SchecterDisposable; Martin Backpacker/paddle combo;VoxAD30VT;SWR California Blonde
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 13, 2007, 08:40:09 PM
I really am happy about starting this discussion. This is a very big concept for me and I intend to publish something that will help more musicians become pro level. I'm not there yet but in only a couple of years figuring this stuff out I've already become much better. Like blancacat said that the great players when asked say"I don't know I just do it" is because they practice using Type2 muscles from the start and never learn to become tense. They're few and far between. Sure there are a lot of "great" guitarists but compare it to how many people actually play counting all the people that barely play.

I'd like to know if anyone has realized any gains or unlocked some mystery they've been baffled by for years by reading what we've been discussing. If you're unsure about how it applies to you please ask questions. I'll happily try to help.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: uburoibob on September 13, 2007, 09:28:22 PM
I sorta realized when working through one of Ted Greene's studies that in order to get into the more advanced chord stuff, you are gonna need a pretty advanced balance of Type 1 AND Type 2 to accomplish some forms. Sure, for the speedy single note stuff, maybe just the Type 2's will work. But for chordal and harmony stuff where you are moving a lot of notes at once, and having to anchor some notes while other fingers do the walking, a good set of strong Type 1's with the even more advanced muscle memory will be a must. Take a look at some of the progressions in Chord Chemistry and you'll see what I mean. Not to mention inter-muscle contractions and extensions to lift a partial barre over one string, but be able to barre the two that straddle it - then again across a spread of frets.

YIKES! Real jazz is hard stuff! I dunno if I will ever be a real jazz player.

Bob

1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: prjacobs on September 13, 2007, 10:50:49 PM
Bob, You're correct about needing type 1 and type 2 muscles to accomplish many techniques.  Some techniques require strength, not speed.  In those cases I play slowly and try to learn how to tense and release those muscles in the most efficient way.  For me, it's the only way that works.  I also don't play those passages for a long time so that I don't fatigue my hands, negating the good stuff I've learned.  I've got to build up my strength, can't do it all in one day.  Also, let's face it, it hurts...
Paul, it's an old musician's joke that you repeat mistakes so that people think you meant them.  Why not, just stick to your story.
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 14, 2007, 06:21:04 AM
quote:
Paul, it's an old musician's joke that you repeat mistakes so that people think you meant them. Why not, just stick to your story.


Yeah, why not? [;)]

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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Bill on September 14, 2007, 07:37:54 AM
I agree PR.and Bob.  Now I think we are getting to a more accurate perception of how 1 & 2 function.

The funny thing is, to train type 1 you supposedly choose low resistance with a high number of reps. To opimize type 2 training, its high resistance which results in low number of reps.(and alot of grunting). BTW, speed and strength would be the same fibers(2).Remember 1&2 are within the same bundles--not seperated.

You can train type 1 and/or 2 to beef them up but you can't really voluntarily select using one over the other. They are not innervated seperatly within the bundle. You simply go to do the task, the bundle contracts as a unit, and both 1 and 2 are used simultaneously. The ratio of 1 to 2 w/in the bundle(mostly genetics) and the size of 1 and 2 fibers (influenced by training)then determine the charactoristics of that effort (more % type 2 favors speed/strength ie sprinter or more % type 1 favors a marathoner).

The other major factor is how many muscle fibers are innervated by a single neuron. High dexterity requires a neron to go to few fibers and brute bulky clumsy strength manuvers require a single nerve to control many more times the number of fibers. This ratio is highly genetic but probably can be influenced some by repetition(tactile memory or motor memory?). Here shredders are favored if they have more of a high nerve ending to muscle fiber ratio (1 to 1) in that particular motor unit. Rythym guys who can do bar chords on a bluegrass acoustic all day long are favored if they have a low ratio (1 to many ) ie one nerve ending synapses with many muscle fibers.

Finally the speed of the signal down the nerves varies with inividuals and is likly genetic. Those guys who look normal but have ungodly finger speed on a neck probably were born gifted in this area. Unfortounatly this speed likly declines with age despite practice.Hopefully its not a major factor.

It would be interesting to measure the circumference of the left forearm and wrist in 10,000 rythym players versus 10,000 shredders. They might be closer to the same because rythym players do a lot of bar chords which require strength and shredders require speed and these are both type 2 (which are bulkier). But there are other factors. For example, too much bulk will slow you down. So its bulk only in the right places within the proper ratio with the other anatomy to optimize the task.

I do think type 1 and 2 come into play for us guitar geeks to some extent , but I think we have also been confusing the concept with other factors such as relaxing or tensing collatoral muscle bundles as well as oppositional groups, as well as changing the nerve to muscle fiber ratio within the motor unit (dexterity control) as well as optimizing tactile sensation and proprioception.


The bottom line is the old joke of how to get to Carnigie Hall.

But this is a great thread because it makes me think more on how to practice smart.



Custom '03 Hardtail Artist;Custom '98 Artist w Duncans;Ruby Red Fly Deluxe 2000; Gorgeous Gibson ES137(4sale); 1974 K.Yari DY85; SchecterDisposable; Martin Backpacker/paddle combo;VoxAD30VT;SWR California Blonde
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 14, 2007, 08:43:45 AM
Bill I've never read you being this serious before [:0]

I agree there are uses for type1 muscle and that control of both is required. Bends for instance may require both. I'd know more if I didn't suck at bending. I've always used type1 for bending and vibrato and I'm having difficulty letting my wrist go during these techniques. From what I can tell bends may require both type1and type2. Type1 to move the string and type2 to hold it down on the fret. Sound about right to those guys that can bend like a bluesy?

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 14, 2007, 08:52:35 AM
Oh this blend of types shows up in my picking hand as well. Since the right hand hasn't had much attention here I thought I'd add it to thought. My fingers holding the pick use type1 because they can hold the pick firmly for a long period of time. My wrist and forearm elbow and shoulder use type 1. I keep my wrist/hand position(when I'm doing well)in a nuetral position and change strings with my elbow and shoulder.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 14, 2007, 08:58:22 AM
I think I must have a good balance between the two, because all the things I do seem pretty natural and don't take a lot of effort to do correctly, other than getting the notes right. I can do a lot of the funky jazz chords where you have to use both types of muscles. I think my early use of barre chords on an acoustic helped with that a little bit.

The one thing I am not good at is those sweeping arpeggios like Gambale and others do. I suppose that is partly a function of practice, starting out slow and working up from there. The problem is that my fingers just want to do their own thing when it comes to those arpeggios. That and six fret stretches on chords, like Allan Holdsworth does. I can only do five frets realistically... [:(]

EDIT: I hold my pick pretty loosely. Sometimes it even falls out of my hand and it falls onto the floor. I hate it when that happens! [B)]

I use the black nylon Dunlops, 1mm thick. I have pretty light touch with both hands, and my action is very low, disgustingly low. [}:)]

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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Yoyo on September 14, 2007, 03:57:05 PM
Good edifying post Bill, nice one.
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 14, 2007, 05:45:46 PM
quote:
The other major factor is how many muscle fibers are innervated by a single neuron. High dexterity requires a neron to go to few fibers and brute bulky clumsy strength manuvers require a single nerve to control many more times the number of fibers. This ratio is highly genetic but probably can be influenced some by repetition(tactile memory or motor memory?). Here shredders are favored if they have more of a high nerve ending to muscle fiber ratio (1 to 1) in that particular motor unit. Rythym guys who can do bar chords on a bluegrass acoustic all day long are favored if they have a low ratio (1 to many ) ie one nerve ending synapses with many muscle fibers.


Does any of that have to do with your sense of touch and/or tactile memory? Or having very steady hands that can make very precise movements?

 
quote:
It would be interesting to measure the circumference of the left forearm and wrist in 10,000 rythym players versus 10,000 shredders. They might be closer to the same because rythym players do a lot of bar chords which require strength and shredders require speed and these are both type 2 (which are bulkier). But there are other factors. For example, too much bulk will slow you down. So its bulk only in the right places within the proper ratio with the other anatomy to optimize the task.


Interesting proposal. When I was younger (17-21), I had some pretty well developed forearms from doing a lot of BMX bike riding on dirt trails, dirt jumping, stunts, etc. I never really thought about it, but your forearm muscles also have to do some work when you play guitar. I wonder if that has anything to do with why the skinnier guitarists seem to always be the ones who blaze up and down the neck better? Not always ths case, but often is.

quote:
I do think type 1 and 2 come into play for us guitar geeks to some extent , but I think we have also been confusing the concept with other factors such as relaxing or tensing collatoral muscle bundles as well as oppositional groups, as well as changing the nerve to muscle fiber ratio within the motor unit (dexterity control) as well as optimizing tactile sensation and proprioception.



In my mind, it's kind of hard to seperate them all because they are all so integrated.



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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: simonlock on September 14, 2007, 08:49:59 PM
quote:

Interesting proposal. When I was younger (17-21), I had some pretty well developed forearms from doing a lot of BMX bike riding on dirt trails, dirt jumping, stunts, etc. I never really thought about it, but your forearm muscles also have to do some work when you play guitar. I wonder if that has anything to do with why the skinnier guitarists seem to always be the ones who blaze up and down the neck better? Not always ths case, but often is.



Paul the way I feel while playing is that about 90% of the muscle contractions are done in my forearms. I don't feel anything in my hands until i become tense.

Simon
Vancouver,BC
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 14, 2007, 09:18:36 PM
Huh, interesting. I think it depends on how I am playing. When I am doing legato stuff, it seems to be mostly my hand doing the work, more than the forearms anyway. When I play chords and stuff, the forearm comes into play a lot more. If I get cramps, it's either the muscle between my thumb and forefinger or the muscle between my pinky and wrist.

I never really thought much about what muscles are doing what, I just play. [8D]

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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: stelor on September 15, 2007, 01:07:25 AM
Simon, this is such an interesting thread.  I thought I'd share my experiences with you as well.  

I started playing about 25 years ago back when I was in high school.  I took lessons and progressed relatively slowly as I lacked the confidence and obvious coordination at the time.  I was one of those people who never truly "got it" and as a result I would just noodle around playing the same things over and over.  Of course, I got pretty good at those certain songs, licks, runs, etc. that I never evolved as a guitarist.  

As I hung out with people that played more and more, I picked things up, but i was always playing tense.  I over-compensated for my lack of confidence by trying to squeeze the strings through the neck.  After awhile, I put the guitar down for a few years to go to college and then picked it up again about 5 years later.  I found that I retained the simpler things and lost the concepts of the theories, etc.  I couldn't really remember the scales I knew from before but i knew what sounded good when I experimented.  

Being a bit more mature, I was just looking to re-learn and retrain myself (after all it wasn't ALL about impressing girls anymore).  So I RELAXED.  And I played things I could never play before.  I was able to make my guitar do things I could only dream about when I was younger.  When i am playing by myself, it feels like I am hardly even pressing on the strings.  The fact the I now play a Mojo helps even more because the effort to play the Parker fretboard is so effortless.  When I get in the 'zone' I can barely even feel my fingers moving.

Last November I started working out 3 times a week, and it involves a lot of weight lifting and martial arts.  When I lift to build mass in my upper body, my arms will ache for a day or two (or more).  During that time I find that I tense up similarly to when i was younger.  Even though I have the confidence, my muscles refuse to relax and i begin to over-compensate again.  When i work on my lower body during training, I find it much easier to play the guitar.  Just something i noticed but never really figured out until I read this thread.


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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: prjacobs on September 17, 2007, 09:10:09 PM
Stelor,
Yes impressing girls and playing guitar have a lot in common.  No girl wants a guy who's tense.  Let's face it, as we get cooler, older and more experienced, we relax.  Girls like that, ditto for audiences.
Being from both the guitar world and piano world I can tell you that in classical piano, lifting weights absolutely kills your technique and is totally discouraged.  Go swim, that's okay.
Earlier someone brought up picking.  My feeling is that picking without any finger supporting your hand on the guitar is ultimately a more relaxing way to play.  
We're all sharing this very precise information because we've taken the time to feel and listen.  Slow practice has given us the feedback we need. Nothing else works.  As long as you're not some kind of genetic anomaly, and don't have a tin ear, slow practice will give you professional level chops.  My piano teacher used to say that practicing properly, 3 hours a day, six days a week for a year, will give you a good working foundation.
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 18, 2007, 08:57:05 AM
You know, I don't know how, I forgot to mention one thing that is pretty important for me! Stretching. I almost always stretch my fingers before I play.

First, I pull back on each one of my four fingers while holding the other ones down, just enough to where you can feel it really stretching. Second, I try to stretch each finger apart from eachother as far as I can get them to go.

When I am done with this 30 second process, my fingers are ready to do whatever I want them to do, especially the five or six fret stretches. Of course, this has to be done with care as you don't want to hurt yourself, but I find that doing this really helps me loosen up. Especially if I was doing something strenuous the day before and I'm feeling kind of stiff.

I don't know exactly where I picked this up, but it really works for me. I think I just started doing it one day on my own, IIRC.

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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: David Tomkins on September 19, 2007, 11:15:57 AM
stretching is good, but remember muscles are like chocolate bars.  put a bar in the fridge, take it out cold and stretch it.  what happens?  cracks.  warm it up and it is soft, pliable and yummy.  there's a  lesson in there somewhere  (warm chocolate is better than cold, i think)

2005 Green Quilted Maple Custom Mojo, 2006 Parker Fly T-Shirt, 2006 Parker Fly Baseball Cap.  A triple-whammy of Parker goodness!!
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 19, 2007, 11:42:16 AM
YMMV. I get up at 4:00 AM to play/practice with my headphones on. I do my stretching thing and then practice for 60-90 minutes before I get ready to be at work at 6:15AM. I know it won't work for everyone, but it's usually the first thing I do in the morning, and it helps me. [;)]

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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: David Tomkins on September 20, 2007, 02:08:39 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Marossy

YMMV. I get up at 4:00 AM to play/practice with my headphones on.

good grief, you are one dedicated strummer!!![:0]  at 4am i'm still playing my fly in the middle of the second encore at solo gig at a sold out Wembley Stadium concert.[;)]

2005 Green Quilted Maple Custom Mojo, 2006 Parker Fly T-Shirt, 2006 Parker Fly Baseball Cap.  A triple-whammy of Parker goodness!!
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Yoyo on September 20, 2007, 04:57:34 AM
Good on you Paul for having that level of self discipline. It pays dividends.
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 20, 2007, 06:24:23 AM
Well, it's the only time I can really practice. With a 5 yr old girl and a 3 yr old boy around, they want all my attention when I'm awake. And I am too tired at 8:00PM to practice after a ten hour work day, I just start falling asleep because it relaxes me too much. So, if I want to play guitar, that's generally the only time I have to do it. As a matter of fact, it's 4:20AM right now, I better get going! [8D]

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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: prjacobs on September 22, 2007, 04:37:19 PM
Paul,
We are not worthy... I have a 16 year old daughter and a 14.5 year old son.  I just went into my son's room and he was playing the beginning of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's version of Woodstock.  I actually... without showing it... got a little choked up, listening to my son play with such good feel.  He's a good guitarist.  When your kids get a little older, I hope that you have to opportunity to pass down the wonderful gift of music to them.
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Paul Marossy on September 22, 2007, 05:50:35 PM
quote:
When your kids get a little older, I hope that you have to opportunity to pass down the wonderful gift of music to them.


Yeah, that would be cool. I'm not sure what they are going to be interested in wheh they are older - they seem to be interested in everything at the moment! [:0]

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Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: Strandwolf on September 28, 2007, 07:45:04 PM
Great thread, which I'll mull over, learn from, and perhaps research and contribute to, if possible.
While I have it in mind, I'll just say that one of my teachers (or was it a book) said to only practice 20 minutes at a stretch because anything done beyond that time period would likely not be committed to one's long term 'muscular memory'. Get up, stretch and walk for a few minutes, or several hours or longer, then practice again. This also would tend to inhibit carpal tunnel trouble, which is a curse that's shut down more than a few musicians for a long recuperative period, at least.
Also, just read, I think, in Vintage Guitar mag, the interview with Rick Holmstrom (I think it was him) who learned from someone not to press your entire index finger down across all the frets when making a bar chord. Relax the big area that your other fingers will press down to make that E shape above the barre. Clamping down is fatiguing and slows ya down....
Title: Type I and Type II Muscle Fibres
Post by: David Tomkins on October 01, 2007, 09:38:28 AM
the 20 minute things is true.  rather than hammer away at a technique i will have a break and then come back to it.  it often feels like my brain has assimilated the info (like a librarian putting a book back ont he right shelf) and it the movements are coming from a deeper level

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