Daybreak is an arpeggio study for p,i,mArpeggio means to play “harp-like,” sounding notes of a chord one after another in succssion.  In guitar this typically begins with the thumb on a bass note and is followed by fingers on treble strings.

Sympathetic Motion

Arpeggios are often played using a special right-hand technique called sympathetic motion which allows your fingers to move quickly and powerfully.  Sympathetic motion means having all fingers in front of the strings and flexing them together, but with a slight delay between fingers.  Typically, i begins and then “pulls on the rest of the fingers to follow.  You’ll learn sympathetic motion in two steps.

Step 1
With your guitar/hands correctly positioned, place p on (4) and have the fingers flexed into your hand (shown below).

As p plays (4), release all fingers, placing i on (3) and m on (2).

  • p should now be resting lightly against i.
  • Play (3)-(2) with i-m, following through with all fingers into the hand. At the same time, prepare p back on (4).
  • Repeat the pattern, watching your hand until you feel secure.

Step 2
With your guitar/hands correctly positioned, place p on (4) and have the fingers flexed into your hand.

  • As p plays (4), release all fingers, placing i on (3) and m on (2). p is now resting lightly against i.
  • Play (3) with i (shown below).   As i begins to follow through, play (2) with m and follow through with all the fingers.   This is the sympathetic motion!
  • As you play m, prepare p back on (4).
  • Repeat the pattern, watching your hand until you feel secure.

Left-hand considerations

At measure 8 there is a downward slur (or pull-off) indicated by a curved line from the C to the B.  To slur, play the C, then pull your left-hand finger (1) off the string.  The effect of pulling 1 off the string, sounds the B.

In addition, there are notes in the higher fingerboard position that should be studied before playing.  Looking at the diagram to the left, notice F and G on (4) and B and C on (3).  These are played in the bass from measures 16-24.

Practice playing/saying the upper-position notes while watching your left-hand fingers, guiding them to their frets:

Pre-Reading and Visualizing

When you feel secure with the sympathetic motion, you can apply it to Daybreak.  Work slowly and carefully, perhaps one line, or 8-measures at a time. It’s always best if you approach learning music mindfully in a series of steps.

Step 1
Begin by understanding the rhythms, counting and clapping, if necessary.
Step 2
Understand the notes, vocalize them out loud and imagine where they are on the fingerboard.
Step 3
Think about what your left hand needs to do. Look at all the notes in each measure and play them as a strummed chord—it doesn’t matter which strings you play…the main thing is to concentrate on your left hand.
Step 4
Play your right-hand movement alone. You can do this by reading the music, and thinking only about which strings your right-hand needs to play.
Step 5
Finally, put it all together.
To listen to Daybreak and to learn more about pre-reading, visualization, and sympathetic motion, check out the following video (and see The Shearer Method: Classic Guitar Foundations Book I):
To watch all ASF videos including the Mindful Learning series, check out the Video Library at the Shearer Studio.

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