I was super excited about a new technique I learned while struggling through the Albeniz last week. There is this one section that requires extended bar chord positions in my left hand that I’ve ALWAYS struggled with. It involves pressing down all of the strings at one time with one finger while the other fingers play other notes (See pic below). Even when I gig with Hilary and play for hours at a time, I’ll even get cramps in my left hand sometimes debilitating for short periods. I always thought it was because I needed to develop the muscles in my hand, or my endurance needed to improve.
I had THOUGHT that playing bar chords involved squeezing the neck with your finger and thumb. Thank god for the internet! When I did some light research on the topic, I wasn’t the only one have this problem. After all, I’ve been playing this instrument on and off since I was 7. How much more muscle development does one need?
What I learned was that some instead of squeezing the hand to press down the strings, one technique is to actually use the forearm to pull the hand back and press the strings. This way, there is less hand pressure than there is forearm action to press down the stings sufficiently enough to get a clear sound! Amazing right??!?! This might not be for everyone, but all I know is that I can now practice that bar chord section of the Albeniz without tiring, and it’s the breakthrough I needed to build back some momentum.
Only 7-10 more pieces to go lol! We’ll get there 😊