April 30, 2006

#129: Tricky Roll Choice

Matt from Germany writes:

I've found a habit which I can't tell is good or bad.  I will frequently cross over my thumb to the other side of my index finger to make a roll happen.  For example, I'll roll from strings 4 to 3 to 2 using thumb, index, thumb.  It's not comfortable and I'm not sure it should be.  Should I make this habit second-nature, or try to avoid this kind of rolling where possible?

Matt,

Comfort and good sound are your two judging criteria. The roll you describe is doable (I use it sometimes), but you can also consider playing those three strings TIM. I do that a lot. It's unconventional to play the M on the 2nd string, but I find it easy and comfortable. If you do too, I recommend that. The way you're doing it is sometimes the better alternative (if for some reason you need to put in a note (M) after the first three, and then come with the thumb on note 5 of the roll). But whatever you come up with, weigh its do-ability against the do-ability of an easier alternative and consider whether the (ideally) better note choices are worth the extra effort to overcome the chance it won't sound good under performing conditions.

Good luck!

Pete

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