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  • Noa Kageyama

    September 26, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Ernesto,

    Not being a guitarist, I might be seeing something that’s not there (so take with a grain of salt), but it seems to me that:
    a) when you’re playing at a comfortable speed, your hands/fingers look more relaxed/loose/comfortable, but that as the tempo increases, they start to tighten up. Which I’m assuming will get in the way of both speed and accuracy, and also increase the risk of injury.

    Maybe you could try recording this in slow motion, and seeing if you notice anything else happening as the tempo goes up?

    b) Also, is it possible that your fingers are moving more than they need to? As in, are they traveling a greater distance than is necessary, thus leading to an increase in tension and also the time required to get them where you want them to go? There’s a fast Paganini Caprice (#5) that I found became much easier to play when I worked on making sure my fingers not only stayed as loose and floppy as possible, but also kept my fingers hovering right over the strings instead of lifting and lowering them as far as I had been. Where it became almost more like my fingers were twitching up and down a little bit as my hand moved around the fingerboard, instead of actually pressing down the strings.

    Perhaps you could try something like keeping the hand shape and fingers super relaxed, with the fingers as close to the strings as seems reasonable (so they don’t have to travel as far), and not worrying too much at first whether the notes speak correctly or not, but focusing more on whether it feels easy. And then as you play it faster, and the notes do speak, making sure to maintain that feeling of ease and effortlessness. Because both for health and technical reasons, I think one of the critical elements in practicing this will be to make sure there is no increase in tension when you increase the speed – in both hands.

    Let me know how this goes in the next day or two!


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