I have been a ctc fan for some years now and i am happy to finally post something here
So here is my first Question (i have a wall-of-text-syndrom, if you want to skip right to the question just read the last blocks):
The pickslanting techniques are obviously super helpful.
However, despite this great tool i always had (still have) problems with what seems to be the most “basic” building blocks of progress: Clean and controlled chunks on one string (like the famous yngwie six-note-pattern moved up and down the scale).
In the series and the seminars there seems to be no way around just “learning them”, except the concept of chunking itself (making mental blocks and focusing on the first note of each).
Generally, guitar techique doesnt come easy to me but i always thought of these patterns in blocks or chunks. And mentally anchoring these blocks around the first note is a pretty natural byproduct of playing to the beat… its what i always did when tremolo-picking thrashy riffs. However, that didnt help me much to play, say, ascending 4ths on the high estring.
To summarize: I dont think that 1string-chunks are as self evident and basic as they are treated right now. I also dont see the average “amateur” metal-soloist blazing up and down through onestring-scales, which should be more common if it would really be “just” chunking.
As the mechanical aspects of onestring playing seem to be quite clear, i tried to focus more on the mental side of playing and i made some notable progress since then. Here is what i discovered: My right hand was playing chunks, all the strokes where there, and my left hand knew the patterns. However, there was no proper synchronization happening before i started to think about every hand movement “associated” to a sound. I find cognitive processes hard to describe but this is what i think happens mentally in my head atm:
- I “play” the first note of a chunk, which feels pretty close to playing a note at a moderate tempo
- I think about the other notes in the chunk as “sounds associated with hand movements”, which doesnt feel like i am conciously “playing” them as is the case with the first note. It also feels more in control and paradoxically slower (even though the speed is the same) but also more mentally demanding than if i would apply my interpretation of the hardcore just-focus-on-the-first-note+musclememory approach to chunking of ctc.
Ok, so please notice that i feel a bit stupid when talking about notes as “sounds associated with hand movements which do not feel actually played” but i know the only place people where might take this serious is here
That being said, i hoped that some of you might try to elaborate in more detail what is going on in your minds when you play chunks.
Are you really “just” focusing on the first note and the rest is autopilot?
How much attention do you direct to the notes in between the landmarks ?
Do you dedicate any mental capacity towards “listening” to the chuck as it is played?
Do you feel like you are waiting for it to end? (edit: *the chunk to end. this got unintentionally sinister)
Basically: What would you see if we would put your mind on slowmo during chunks?
I know that these are hard questions to answer. I’d appreciate it if somebody would meditate under a waterfall for a day to come up with an answer because this really bothers me. I suspect that good players are about as ignorant what they do mentally as to what they do physically and that chunking might be a bit of an equivalent to lines like “the secret to alternate picking is to go down up, down up”.
… Also tell me if you think i am overthinking this
Greetings and also thanks to the ctc-team for their amazing work, i love every minute of it!!