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Melody Farrand

Playing higher on the fret board

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I have been working on Nina Zanetti's arrangement of Annie Laurie.  I am playing this fingerstyle since that is what Nina does.  However, when I get to the second half of the song I find the following:

1. Notes difficult to pluck

2.  Notes sounding tinny, sharp and separate

3. Difficulty in making the music flow.

4. Some buzzing also

 

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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It sounds like you may not be pressing hard enough on the frets.  That could account for issues 2, 3, and 4.  They tend to require more pressure on the higher number frets.  I've had difficulty with this myself.  Recently I've been working on playing a version of Whiskey Before Breakfast that plays in the upper octave (7th fret up) and all of these are true.

The notes being more difficult to pluck is due to the shorter vibrating string length when fretting higher up. 

These are inherent problems in playing in the upper notes.  Some things that might help:

  1. Try tuning down a whole step and see if it's easier (If you're playing DAd, try CGc for example)
  2. Lighter gauge strings may make it easier to play
  3. In addition to the above, a thinner pick may help with the strings being harder to pluck.

Hopefully some of that will help.  Let us know what you try and if it's helpful.

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Thank you for your response.  I have been playinging this piece finger style, like how Nina Zanetti plays it.  When I use my pick, I don't have a problem playing the notes.  Its just when using my fingers that it becomes quite difficult.  Suggestions?

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Make sure you move your right hand as your left hand comes higher on the fretboard; so that your picking is occurring half-way between the fretted location and the nut.  That's where the 'action' will be easiest.

I'm assuming  here that you have a low action height -- at a minimum a "nickel & dime" low height.  

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The nickel and dime means that the string height should just touch the top of a nickel placed on the top of the seventh fret and the top of a dime next to the first fret.

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