THE FRETTING HAND

The VP-1 super guitar has been created for the advancing, technically-minded electric guitar player. Its uncommonly wide, convex fretboard is clearly a bold departure from the traditional straight neck and fretboard found on conventional guitars. This is something truly NEW -- and it's all very logical...


The main function of OUTWARD STRING BENDING requires the player to at least develop a basic understanding of 'classical' or flamenco BALANCED       fretting hand position. Many of the world's finest metal and jazz players are already quickly progressing toward this understanding -- giving them a finger dexterity and fluidity to play notes/scales, chords and arpeggios very quickly and accurately. The player's thumb does NOT wrap around the top of the fretboard, but instead, simply rests on the back of the neck while the fingertips stay curved and very close to the strings at all times.


Indian Sitar and Chinese Pipa players have long ago come to this understanding. It's basically like having 'proper' keyboard typing technique... Complete independence of fingers and economy of movement is the ideal to be aimed for...


There are two basic fretting hand mechanisms to understand: One you will NOT use (much), and the other you WILL -- to great advantage!


1) THE CLAMP

The human hand naturally and most often relies on a very useful "clamp" that exists between the thumb and the first two adjacent fingers. This is the primary tool we use for many practical jobs, like turning a machine head (tuning peg), holding a pencil, or picking up a cup of coffee, etc. Because of the extensive use of this clamp in daily life, the 'first' and 'second' fingers of the fretting hand have a distinct dominance over the 'third' and 'fourth' fingers.  It's a reliance on the clamp that makes the use of the pinkie so difficult for many guitarists. The straight guitar neck as we know it has been designed to rest in the palm, cradled inside the clamp - giving dominance to two fingers, but leaving the other two at a disadvantage....

Important need-to-know for playing a VP-1

TECHNIQUE


In playing a VP-1 super guitar,  the rake rules supreme!  In fact, completely turning off the clamp in your hand is the ideal that you should aim for. In order to best do this, we STRONGLY recommend that the player study and master the "Segovia scales" - the standard fretting hand technique-building exercises of the modern classical guitarist. With this foundation the hand gains a new level of control and the advanced techniques of downward PULLING and upward PUSHING -- the new terms used to describe OUTWARD STRING BENDING -- will eventually become second nature.





MORE ON TECHNIQUE COMING VERY SOON....

2) THE RAKE

There is a second, more advanced way of using the hand to play a stringed instrument. Let's call it the "rake". Named for being similar to the gardening tool, the fingers of the fretting hand function much more symmetrically and with much more direct efficiency. All four fretting fingers are equalized, with their tips being pulled toward a central point in the player's wrist and elbow. The player approaches the strings in a symmetrical "square" manner.

In playing the VP-1 super guitar the clamp is NOT your friend. The sooner you can remove its influence from your playing the better.... It will no longer be the main mechanism that you'll use for string bending. There is a much more efficient way to move forward....