View Full Version : How do you play half-step runs?

May-19-2004, 8:47am
In some of the instruction books I've seen, and in tablature of songs at co-mando, I see runs that are a series of half steps. For example, in this (http://www.co-mando.com/music/tabledit_files/RollinMySweetBabysArms-G-Baldry.tef) version of Rollin In My Sweet Baby's Arms at Co-Mando, there are a few places where this occurs.

Specifically, in measure 26, there is this series on the D string:

2-0-2-3-4--4-4 and the next measure begins with 5-4-5 on the same string.

I'm tempted to begin this run fretting with my index finger, fret the 3rd fret with my middle finger, 4th fret with my ring finger, then use the 1/4 note as an opportunity to shift, so that the next time I play the 4th fret, I use my middle finger. This way, my ring finger is available for the 5th fret in the next measure.

Yeah, I could use my pinky on the 5th fret, I suppose. Or I could slide from the 2nd fret to the 3rd fret, which would put me in a "normal" position for the following notes.

What would you do?

Brian Ray
May-19-2004, 9:08am
Hey Kelly_guy,

You'll want to slide your second finger in these cases which will leave your third finger available for the 5.
Notes: # # 2-0-2-3-4--4-4
Fingers: # 1-o-1-2s2--2-2

It may feel awkward at first. Try just the following back and forth real slow for a minute till your fingers get used to it:
Notes: # # 2-3-4-5-4-3-2
Fingers: # 1-2s2-3-2s2-1

Also, I hear you called out Cattle in the Cane the other night at a jam. Yes, my spys are everywhere... even Madison!

May-19-2004, 10:47am
Ha! Dasspunk has me followed! You sneaky guy.

Your brother is a damned good guitarist. Musicianship runs in your family, I see!

Yeah, I thought that sliding my finger for one of those notes made sense. I was trying to slide my index finger. I'll try it your way, and thanks for the suggestion!

Brian Ray
May-19-2004, 11:34am

Yeah, my little brother (as he hates to be called) is my favorite guitar player the world over. Unfortunately, we currently have 2000 miles of dirt between us.

I think the idea here is that each of your fingers is generally responsible for two frets. In the position we're talking about (first position I guess), first finger handles frets 1 and 2, second finger 3 and 4 and so on.

Sliding the first finger to get the 3rd fret would throw you out of position leaving that poor first fret unguarded and perhaps lonely.