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Shaping the Hands (Guitar Lesson)


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Mark Lincoln

Shaping the Hands

In lesson 46, Mark explains how to maximize your options by maintaining chord shapes while playing.

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln seriesLength: 21:44Difficulty: 1.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (03:50) Introduction
Review
- Warm-up the hands.
- Stretch the wrists.
- Play the major and minor open chords.
- Warm up your strumming muscles by relaxing the wrists and letting the pick flow over the strings.
- Play the E major chord in the new way and play the type 1 barre chords.
- Play the A major chord in the new way and play the type 2 barre chords.
- Practice the "slanting A" technique.
- Practice the type 1 minor barre chords.
- Practice the type 2 minor barre Chords.
- Play all of the type 1 mini-barre chords.
- Play all of the type 2 mini-barre chords.
- Review and practice quantitative and qualitative techniques.
- Review last week's exercises.
- Practice "wrist warming."
- Enjoy!

Ready?

Make sure you review the exercises from the last two weeks, as we're going to build and actually combine all of the material that we've been working on. My ultimate goal here is for you to start combining the skills that we've been developing to make you a better performer. As I've stated previously, take your time with the lessons and make sure that you have a firm grasp of the material so that your next steps forward will be surefooted. Remember, at this point in the series we're really trying to develop smoother transitions between chords, smoother strum patterns, and smoother playing in general, so take your time with the materials and make sure that you're practicing it thoroughly.

So as a quick review, the six chords that we're going to be using should look like this:

Cmaj9/E
E_0_
B_0_
G_0_
D_0_
A_3_
E_0_

Em11
E_0_
B_0_
G_0_
D_2_
A_0_
E_0_

C 6/9/E
E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_0_
A_0_
E_0_

and the three pieces of the open A:

E_0_
B_0_
G_0_
D_2_
A_0_
E_0_

E_0_
B_0_
G_2_
D_0_
A_0_
E_0_

E_0_
B_2_
G_0_
D_0_
A_0_
E_0_
Chapter 2: (08:13) Exercises Exercise 1
Play all six of the chords together using the strum that we've been using or "down, down-up, down-up." Remember to relax your wrist and allow the pick to flow over the strings. Next, hammer onto the first note of the chord like we did in the exercises last week. Again, make sure to position your strum hand so that it coincides with the first note that you're going to strike. Don't make your hand work harder or go further than it needs to!

Exercise 2
Repeat Exercise 1, but change the strum quantitatively. This time, you're going to make a quantitative change of your own. Keep in mind that it

1. should sound good.
2. should stay in time.

Remember that a quantitative change in the rhythm can be done by simply adding or subtracting strums.

Exercise 3
Repeat Exercises 1 and 2, but just as we did last week in Exercise 4, play some notes from either the C or A scales to enhance your sound. You're more than welcome to play the notes in the exercise from last week if you so desire, but I encourage you to try some new stuff of your own. I'll go through these steps thoroughly in the video so watch closely for more insight into these exercises.

Exercise 4
Repeat Exercise 3 with the palm muting technique. If you need to go back and review this technique, now would be a good time to do so.
Chapter 3: (06:22) Hand Shaping Hand Shaping
Because we are, in essence, playing the individual notes of each chord and treating those notes as a chord (because we are playing three notes or more at the same time, right?) it can be helpful to maintain the hand configuration of the original chord. In other words, we're playing the three notes from the C major chord and we could simply hold down each note with our first finger. Or, we could hold down each individual note with our middle finger. Or ideally, we could hold down each note with the finger that we would normally use to hold down that string when we play the entire C chord. What I'm suggesting to you is to use the finger that naturally falls on that string so you have the option of playing the entire chord, or two fingers of that chord, or just one finger of that chord. Regardless, you are keeping your hand in the most advantageous position to play any of a number of chords. This is an important facet of liquid chords: keep your chording hand in the position most conducive to playing as many chords as possible. If you are becoming attached to using one particular finger to play single note chords (like we've been doing these last two weeks), then now is the best time to get out of that habit. Ideally, you want to form your chord hand so that it is in the shape of the chord that you are playing from, whether you're playing one note of that chord or all three. Here’s why:

C major
E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_0_

E_0_
B_0_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_0_

E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_2_
A_0_
E_0_

E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_0_
A_3_
E_0_

E_0_
B_0_
G_0_
D_0_
A_3_
E_0_

E_0_
B_0_
G_0_
D_2_
A_0_
E_0_

E_0_
B_1_
G_0_
D_0_
A_0_
E_0_

All of these chords are at your disposal and can be easily played especially when your hand is already in the C position. Do you "C" what I'm saying?
Chapter 4: (03:17) Final Exercise Exercise 5
Play all of the chords I just listed. Make sure that you keep your fretting hand in the C chord configuration. Use the "down, down-up-down" strum pattern. Experiment with the techniques that we’ve been discussing, including quantitative changes in your strums, palm muting, and adding notes in between chords as transitions to other chords.

*Note-Inevitably, I would like you to start seeing the fretboard as a liquid, flexible vehicle of musical expression. More and more, you should become aware that although there are rules to follow, they can be broken. Although there are guidelines to adhere to, they can be bent.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


urbansavageurbansavage replied on May 30th, 2016

Hello Mark, Thanks for your clear passion for teaching the guitar that shows through in your lessons. I have a question about the scales that you mentioned that we should try and learn on our own. Do you have any advice on which scales are the best to start with as far as being widely used? Secondly I was wondering why you didn't mention any place on JamPlay where we could find good lessons. Do you have any advice on this? I looked in the scale library but to me it seems confusing and I don't know which one of the scales to start with. Thanks.

abesterabester replied on October 7th, 2012

Great lesson mark I'm just going up and down the fretbord and exploring.

YucatanEdYucatanEd replied on February 3rd, 2010

Hey Mark. This was great practice. I found myself on exercise 3 just strumming C then A. Then found myself hammering on C then hammering on A, then back to hammer on each note of C then the first note of A then double-hammer on the last two quickly then transition back to C. Without even meaning to do it, i found an really cool rhythm. Only two chords, but lots of stuff coming out of experimentation. Thanks Mark!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 8th, 2010

Hey Ed sounds like you're really starting to put some great stuff together and I for one am impressed with your progress! Hope to see you tonight in the trivia, Mark

alshyalshy replied on January 25th, 2010

love it mark, looking forward to some more, keep them coming thanx

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on July 30th, 2009

I love the lesson but why does he say "ok" so many times?

stratmusicstratmusic replied on July 30th, 2009

I don't know...but it is endearing! On a serious note Mark, another great lesson. Thanks for reiterating how to take something simple and explore and expand it to make something new and beautiful. I love that stuff!

Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Learning the basics of the guitar, the building blocks if you will, is an extremely important step in learning and mastering the guitar. This series is all about the basics.



Lesson 1

Guitar Basics

This lesson is all about the basics. Mark explains guitar parts, holding the guitar, and more.

Length: 13:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Tuning, Gear, and Chords

Mark begins by discussing equipment every guitarist should own. Then, he introduces chords and proper tuning methods.

Length: 17:28 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Chords and Strumming

Mark finishes his discussion of the "open" chords. He applies these chords to basic rhythm and strumming concepts.

Length: 17:33 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Minor Chords and More

Mark reviews the major chords and introduces the minor chords. He also covers strumming techniques in greater depth.

Length: 25:48 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Expanding Chords

Mark introduces a few more minor chords. He also provides a monster chord exercise.

Length: 16:36 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Strumming Exercises

Mark Lincoln continues his discussion of chords and strumming. He introduces several new exercises in this lesson.

Length: 19:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Music Theory and Barre Chords

Mark covers several topics in this lesson. He explains scales and barre chords. He also demonstrates how to find notes on the fretboard.

Length: 21:45 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

E Shape Barre Chords

Mark Lincoln covers E shaped barre chords in greater depth. Mark refers to these chords as "Type 1" barre chords.

Length: 15:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

A Shape Barre Chords

Mark covers the A Shape / Type 2 barre chords in greater depth.

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Minor Barre Chords

Mark introduces minor barre chords that utilize the shape of the "open" Em chord.

Length: 13:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

A Minor Shape Barre Chords

Mark introduces minor barre chords based on the shape of the "open" Am chord. He refers to these chords as "Type 2 Minor" barre chords.

Length: 12:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Mini Barre Chord

Mark demonstrates abbreviated versions of the "Type 1" and "Type 2" barre chords. He calls these "mini barre" chords.

Length: 17:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

A Shape Mini Barre

Mark teaches the "mini barre" version of the A major shaped barre chord. He also explains dissonance.

Length: 20:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Minor Mini Barre Chords

Mark Lincoln applies mini-barre chord concepts to minor chords.

Length: 12:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Guitar Technique

Mark Lincoln explains essential components of guitar technique.

Length: 15:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Guitar Dynamics

Mark Lincoln explains how dynamics can enhance your playing. He covers topics such as volume, tempo, rests, and more.

Length: 27:48 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

Transistion Strums

Mark Lincoln explains more about guitar technique. This time around he introduces "transition strums" and continues his discussion of liquid chords.

Length: 26:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Harmonic Technique

Mark Lincoln explains what harmonics are and how they are played.

Length: 15:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Expanding Liquid Chords

Mark Lincoln expands on the concept of liquid chords. He explains new chord variations and how they can be changed in mid-strum.

Length: 16:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Spicing up Chords

Mark demonstrates how chord progressions can be spiced up by adding hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Length: 12:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Chord Fingering

Mark explains how chord fingerings must be altered when applying "liquid chord" concepts. He also provides a few new "liquid chord" exercises.

Length: 11:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Precision Strumming

Mark returns to the land of chords. This time around, he provides an exercise that contains four variations on the A chord.

Length: 14:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

D to D in Six Steps

Mark provides a chord progression that shifts from one D chord to another in six steps.

Length: 15:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Chord Voicings and Construction

Mark delves deeper into chord construction and alternate chord voicings.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Quantitative and Qualitative Changes

Mark tests your guitar knowledge with a pop quiz. Then, he discusses quantitative and qualitative changes.

Length: 22:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Quantitative and Qualitative Review

In the 26th installment of his basic guitar series, Mark reviews the quantitative and qualitative changes he presented in lesson 25.

Length: 17:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Rhythm and Guitar

Mark provides exercises designed to make you a better rhythm player.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 28

Expanded Rhythm Exercise

Mark Lincoln expands on the rhythm exercise from lesson 27. This time around he incorporates several C based chords.

Length: 14:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

Hand Structure

Mark discusses proper playing technique. He provides a few exercises that facilitate right hand mechanics.

Length: 17:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Cadd9 and Dsus2

Mark provides an exercise that features two new chords - Cadd9 and Dsus2.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 31

Finger Glue and Flexibility

In the 31st lesson, Mark discusses his "finger glue" technique. This technique improves speed and accuracy.

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 32

Reviewing Chord Changes

Mark takes a step back in lesson 32 to explain how to make quick and accurate chord changes.

Length: 22:14 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Sliding

Mark explains how to use the slide technique between chords.

Length: 19:24 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Keeping Time While Playing

Mark reviews qualitative and quantitative changes. He explains how to keep time while performing these changes.

Length: 21:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

A Minor Progression

Mark discusses qualitative and quantitative changes within an A minor progression.

Length: 19:56 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Chord Transistions

Mark Lincoln discusses several techniques that can be used when transitioning between chords.

Length: 21:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

Chord Transistions Revisited

In this lesson, Mark once again covers the subject of chord transitions. This time around, he focuses on barre chords and includes several helpful exercises.

Length: 23:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 38

Playing Individual Notes

In lesson 38, Mark discusses how playing single notes rather than chords can spice up your playing.

Length: 22:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 39

Rocking Out

Lesson 39 is all about rocking out. Mark discusses some tips to take your playing to the next level.

Length: 18:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 40

Slash Chords

Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.

Length: 14:42 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Lesson 41

Strumming from the Wrist

In lesson 41, Mark reviews the warm-up section and provides new tips on playing adequately from the wrist.

Length: 22:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 42

Raising the Barre

Mark builds further on barre chord techniques and liquid chords.

Length: 17:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 43

Building on Your Chord Knowledge

In lesson 43, Mark discusses additional skills related to learning and playing chords, specifically "liquification" of chords.

Length: 20:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 44

Experiment With Playing

Lesson 44 is all about trying new things. Mark discusses experimenting with your playing in order to take it to the next level.

Length: 17:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 45

Diversifying

In this lesson, Mark once again talks about changing up chord derivatives to create a more unique sound.

Length: 20:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 46

Shaping the Hands

In lesson 46, Mark explains how to maximize your options by maintaining chord shapes while playing.

Length: 21:44 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 47

Precision Strumming

Today, Mark takes in depth look at strumming.

Length: 23:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 48

Shine Like the Sun

Mark Lincoln teaches an original song entitled "Shine Like the Sun."

Length: 18:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 49

Changing Chords : Accuracy and Speed

Mark teaches some useful information on how to mix postures, "finger glue," and techniques to make your chord changes speedy and more effective.

Length: 30:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 50

Play Along with Mulitple Chord Voicings

In this lesson, Mark guides you through the world of alternate chord voicings. He teaches several shapes and shows how they can be used to enhance your playing.

Length: 23:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 51

Understanding Liquified Chords

Mark brings us a very appealing aspect to better understand the guitar. With his explanation of "liquified" chords, mark will explain how to move up and down the guitar to create different chord voicing.

Length: 25:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About Mark Lincoln View Full Biography Mark Lincoln was born in S. California but was raised near Portland Oregon in a town called Beaverton. When he was twelve years old, he began his journey into the realm of the creative by composing poetry and was later published in a journal called "In Dappled Sunlight." He wrote for four years until his older sister blessed him with his first guitar, an old beat-up nylon stringed classical guitar. Mark played that guitar for five years, continuing to compose his own lyrics and starting the process of matching his own words with chords that he was learning on the guitar. He learned to play chords from his friends and from music books that he both bought and borrowed. Mark cited his four biggest influences, at that point at least, as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones.

Mark cites his most current influences as Radiohead, U2, older music by REM, and Peter Gabriel amongst others. He performs with two acoustic guitars, one being a six-string M-36 Martin with a three-pieced back for increased bass response, and a Guild Twelve-string which is his most recent acquisition. Mark is fond of saying that the twelve-string guitar is better because you get two guitars for the price of one, but he still plays his Martin equally as much and with the same passion.

Mark ended up in Fort Collins Colorado where he currently lives, works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and continues to write, teach and perform music. He currently performs with a group called "Black Nelson" as well as with a number of other seasoned professional musicians including his cousin David, a virtuoso lead-guitar player. Mark has performed in many of the smaller venues in Denver and Boulder, as well as some of the larger ones including the Fox Theatre, The Boulder Theatre, Herman's Hideaway, and also at The Soiled Dove where he opened for Jefferson Starship as a soloist. Some of Mark's originals are also available for your listening pleasure on MySpace.

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