2

I am having trouble to quickly change from 4-6 (partial Dbmaj7) to 64434 (Db13). This exact part is inside the red circle. Michelle for jazz guitar, meas3

Separately I can rather confidently play Db13 as 64434 using ring finger for the 3 upper strings (small barre). The problem is to quickly change to it in normal tempo from the preceding 46 (this is Michelle by Beatles, book The Beatles for jazz guitar). I use copy of Gibson 335.

Maybe someone could suggest the fingering, or a tip how to move from 4-6 to Db13. Basically, I can play the complete piece (continue to improve), but this exact place I can't win (if I omit the F note in Db13 I can play it all easily, but that's not winning).

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The other answers have suggested some ideas on how to simplify the part, so I'm not going to go into that. Instead I'll try to offer an approach towards playing the part as written.

Having pulled up the trusty SG, which should be somewhat similar to a 335 in terms of playability, two things immediately become apparent:

There doesn't appear to be any smarter way to finger this than (low to high) 3-1 on the F minor third interval and 2-1-3-3-4 on the Db13,

%X.X.X.XX.6/3.4/1 %X.4/2.3/1.4/3.4/3.6/4[Db13]

There are two fundamental difficulties here: the two-fret shift to the chord and the pinky stretch needed to grab the 13.

Now that we know where the trouble spots are, we can proceed to work on them.

The first thing I suggest is to move the whole section to a higher position - VIII seems like a good place, being neither too far spaced, nor too crowded. Focus on just the one change that's causing you trouble and check the following:

Can you play the change from the minor third interval to a dominant 9 chord without too much difficulty?

%X.X.X.XX.10/3.8/1 %X.8/2.7/1.8/3.8/3.8/3[F9]

How much trouble do you have with going from the interval to just the top three strings of the dominant 13?

%X.X.X.XX.10/3.8/1 %X.X.X.8/3.8/3.10/4

You'll need a clean fingering of the dominant 9 for the last note of the bar, plus the majority of your final dominant 13 will be drawn from this shape, so it's a good idea to get this less tricky change down first.

The pinky stretch with a 3rd finger half-bar is the other tricky move here, so it's worth isolating this particular bit and making sure that it is confidently executed. If you have problems with this simplified fingering, you'll need to practice this change a bit.

So how would I go about crafting a couple of exercises to work on this particular change? Here's a general outline:

Step 1 : Alternate between one and the other, but mix it up in terms of rhythm. You might start with something simple like whole notes, halves or quarters, but you'll want to get a bit more creative as you get better - possibly throwing in some shuffle or swing rhythms in there. Try writing out a couple of bars of rhythm slashes and just playing the change over these rhythms (change every note), ideally with a metronome.

Step 2: Start small: treble strings only. This allows you to focus on getting the half-barre and pinky stretch down. Once you feel more confident, add the 1st finger 3rd on the D string. Finally, add the 5th string root to complete the chord.

 $2.10.$1.8  $3.8.$2.8.$1.10  |  $2.10.$1.8  $4.7.$3.8.$2.8.$1.10  |  $2.10.$1.8   $5.8.$4.7.$3.8.$2.8.$1.10  |

Step 3: Work on changing to both the dominant 13 and the dominant 9 chords. You might also want to add the final 13-12 movement when doing the exercises outlined in step 1.

 $2.10.$1.8  $3.8.$2.8.$1.8  |  $2.10.$1.8  $4.7.$3.8.$2.8.$1.8  |  $2.10.$1.8   $5.8.$4.7.$3.8.$2.8.$1.8  |  $2.10.$1.8  $3.8.$2.8.$1.10  |  $2.10.$1.8  $4.7.$3.8.$2.8.$1.10  |  $2.10.$1.8   $5.8.$4.7.$3.8.$2.8.$1.10  |

Step 4: Once you feel pretty confident with the full change in VIII position, it's time to take it down a step to VII position. Repeat the exercises outlined in the previous steps until you're satisfied with your results and move it down a step again. With each position change you'll need to get a bigger stretch of the pinky, but if you've been dilligent in practicing in the higher positions, you'll have a much easier time, because you'll have only one finger to worry about, instead of four.

Working along these lines you should soon be able to play the change in the target position. However, it might also be a good idea to practice it a bit in lower or higher positions anyway. If nothing else, you will get changing to this dominant 13 shape rock solid.

2

One idea is to play the final dyad with pinky at the 6th fret and third finger at the 4th fret. This positions the pinky near to where it is needed for the following D♭13 chord. Keep the first and second fingers hovering over the strings, then to make the change roll the pinky to catch the B♭ on the first string and form the usual D♭9 with the other fingers.

That stretch between the third finger and pinky from the 4th to 6th frets may prove difficult. You could turn the dyad run between the D♭maj7 and D♭13 into a little exercise: play it up, then back down. Do it in every key. Stretches between the third and fourth fingers (and also between the second and third fingers) come up fairly often and can be difficult to play. These sorts of exercises help prepare you for this and are good for your overall technique.

Another option is to omit some notes:

 %X/X.4/1.X/X.4/2.4/2.6/4[D♭13]  %X/X.4/1.X/X.X/X.4/2.6/4[D♭6/9]

or change the voicing of the D♭13 chord, omitting the 9th altogether:

%X/X.4/1.X/X.4/2.6/4.6/4[D♭13]

One of these alternate voicings may make it easier to switch chords if the final dyad is played with the second finger at the 4th fret and the pinky at the 6th fret. However you solve this, I would try to get the pinky to the 6th fret for that final dyad so that it is in position for the following chord.

0

This is indeed an uncomfortable fingering, for any player. Before I show you some alternatives, I would like to stress that changing given arrangements to suit your needs and technical abilities is a valuable exercise in its own right.

Now for the alternatives: your idea of omitting the F on the D-string is good, IF you add the F in the higher octave, which would give you the following voicing for the D13 chord (from low E to high e):

X 4 X 4 6 6

That should be much easier and sounds OK. The second alternative (which I would probably choose) is to omit the root. This is often done in jazz guitar arrangements, because you don't lose any color notes, and the root is often clear from the context. So you could play that chord as

X X 3 4 4 6

with your first finger (d-string), second finger (g-string and b-string), and fourth finger (high e string). This makes the change from the previous double-stop a lot easier. You could add the root when the melody notes changes to the Ab.

What I also do sometimes (because it looks good and is effective :) is to add the root by tapping it with my right-hand index finger. This makes it easier to play difficult chords, and you can even play chords that are unplayable with your left hand alone.

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