Introduction To Country Style

MAIN TUTORIAL

INFO & EXPLANATION

STRING STRETCHINGIt's important that we discuss the technique necessary for effective string stretching. Many players have difficulty with this. They do a fair job of stretching but it's not comfortable to them. It's "real work" rather than "real fun." So let's get to it.

HAND MOTION - Probably the best way to describe the motion your hand has to have in order to execute a string-bend in a relaxed way is the same motion you use to turn a door-knob. So go now to the closest door-knob and turn it. Wait a minute, why are you still sitting there. I'm serious, get up right now and walk over to the closest door and turn the knob to open the door. then come back and study the examples below.

FINGER PLACEMENT - When executing a string stretch, you'll find that it helps to place fingers on the string behind the one that's being stretched. In other words, if you're stretching a note with your 2nd finger, place the 1st finger on the string in the fret directly behind your 2nd finger to support the 2nd-finger stretch. If you're using the 3rd finger to stretch a note, place the 1st and 2nd fingers behind it and so on. Take a look at the quicktime video below. Play it as many times as you need to. And by the way, if you haven't downloaded and installed quicktime, you should do that now. Click here to go to the quicktime site and get the free player.

Don't get hung up on the direction of your hand rotation. This stretch example uses a clockwise turn of the hand but there are many stretches that you'll execute using a counter-clockwise turn. So whether you're turning the knob or releasing the knob the hand motion is the same.STRETCH NOTATION

A stretch is notated in TAB with an upward arrow above the string/fret you should finger. You always stretch the string from the fingered note until it sounds a note somewhere above the pitch of the fingered note. So what determines how far you should stretch the string? The notation for that is found directly at the top of the arrow. In the example below you see a measure taken from the tutorial of this lesson. Rembember, the example below is taken from the main tutorial in the key of A which means that all F's, C's & G's are F#, C# & G#.

The word "full" is placed directly above the arrow. Sometimes you'll see a number "1" rather than the word "full", but both mean the same thing- stretch the string to the point at which it sounds the same pitch as the note you would finger one whole step (which is a distance of 2 frets) above the note in the fret you are stretching from. You'll sometimes see "1/2" placed at the top of the arrow. This indicates that you should stretch the string until it sounds the note that lies 1 fret (which is a distance of one half-step) above the note in the fret you're stretching from. If the idea of the 1/2 step and whole step is confusing to you, be sure to go through the guitar music theory lessons in the theory area of the site. It's a simple concept but it's already explained there so I don't need to go into it here. Study the image below.

Also, you should study how this stretch is represented in the standard music notation line directly above the TAB line. Looking at it you see a smaller note on the B line directly in front of the C# note. That is the fingered note and the note you stretch to is C#. The line that extends up from the C# note and then back down to the full-size B note that follows it indicates the stretch-and-release that takes place in this lesson.

HANDS/VIDEOS

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PRACTICE AUDIO

NOTATION