Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
Forum rules
IV Laws governing the quotation/citation of music


For discussion of studies, scales, arpeggios and theory.
sphinx
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:23 pm

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by sphinx » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:20 pm

guit-box wrote:Paul Galbraith slow motion tremolo .. the actual moment of pluck is a combination of knuckle lift and middle flex .. The uniform motion and ballistic stroke folks *must* see that's what is happening here, no? Sphynx?
I see that's what's happening with a, but not with i and m. With i and m he delays the knuckle lift ever so slightly as to occur with the string release. With a he fails to do so, and as a result the plucked note often sounds weaker than the rest, and is sometimes barely audible.

By the way, guit-box, I never said that all concert players pluck with a uniform flexion of knuckle and middle, nor that those who do so are doing it all the time. All I'm saying is that for a full tone, both the middle and knuckle joints should flex together (though at various degrees) during the pluck.

To avoid futile debates that may result from different perceptions of the visual evidence I suggest using relative instead of absolute valuation. Thus my claim: the more uniform the pluck, the fuller the tone. Conversely: the earlier the knuckle lift, the weaker the tone.

User avatar
Denian Arcoleo
Composer
Posts: 6065
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:39 pm
Location: Somerset, England

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:52 pm

sphinx wrote: To avoid futile debates that may result from different perceptions of the visual evidence I suggest using relative instead of absolute valuation.
Absolutely right. In these kind of discussions people invariably have different definitions for the same thing, and even perceive the same thing in different ways.

guit-box
Posts: 1096
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by guit-box » Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:45 pm

All I'm saying is that for a full tone, both the middle and knuckle joints should flex together (though at various degrees) during the pluck.
I agree that it's possible to get a less full tone by flexing middle and knuckle together, but I'm not convinced that it is a rule. I'm also fairly convinced from the video evidence that world class players will do an immediate knuckle lift in technically demanding situations like tremolo, fast free strokes, etc. For fast free strokes, staying in front of the string is needed to be ready to pluck--immediate knuckle lift is what keeps the finger in front of the string. Sometimes it looks like the lift happens at the release side of the nail, but the knuckle is still rebounding off the string and the knuckle never follows through into the palm for any of the fast stuff. (slow passages are a different story)

I can play off the extreme left side of the nail, slicing through the string, and at an angle that's more on the parallel side of 45 degrees and get a very warm, full and loud sound. When I'm in this position, it is impossible to get the nail under the string to pull up on it and get a slapping sound, or even a thin sound. So, I can pull straight up if I want and that pulling up has zero adverse effects on tone. Also if I pronate my forearm a little bit, use a fairly standard 45 deg angle, make sure the contact is nail and flesh, and slice, I can still get a warm, loud sound while lifting the knuckle during the pluck.
To avoid futile debates that may result from different perceptions of the visual evidence I suggest using relative instead of absolute valuation. Thus my claim: the more uniform the pluck, the fuller the tone. Conversely: the earlier the knuckle lift, the weaker the tone.
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll think about doing that. I agree that often we are talking about the same thing or 99% the same thing and are arguing a small difference. I don't think there is always just a two-sided model that fits, most times there are many differences of opinion. I did explain in my first post that everything I say is just conjecture and mostly observations of what I see in the videos. Others are capable of posting their own videos or re-posting the video and explaining what they see--that's actually what I hope will happen since I'm doing all the heavy lifting so far. People can draw their own conclusions from the video evidence.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

guit-box
Posts: 1096
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by guit-box » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:13 pm

Paco de Lucia slow motion very fast rest stroke scales

Youtube

I originally thought that PDL was not allowing his tip joints to buckle in any of his playings (see the thread: Romeros and tip joints). On closer slow motion analysis, I can see that his tips are buckling slightly during this extremely fast scale passage. This proves that it is possible to let the tip joints buckle and still play very fast and articulate. I also see the middle joint contributing to the pluck.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

guit-box
Posts: 1096
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by guit-box » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:02 pm

In several methods I've read/watched (Pumping Nylon, Effortless Classical Guitar,and more), I keep seeing that the main knuckle should be placed over the string it's playing for free strokes. However, when I look at videos of these players, more often I'm seeing the middle knuckle over the string or at least closer to the string it's playing than the knuckle. Does anyone else see this? Jason Vieaux is the only person I've ever heard teach (in one of his video lessons) that the middle knuckle should be over the string.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

JonL

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by JonL » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:07 pm

Hi Git-Box,

Here is a video demonstration of the same thing you talk about in the written methods - being told to move from the knuckle only with knuckle joint above the string being played. It all seems reasonable until you actually see how the players in your videos are actually playing. Alice Artzt seems to say it just does not work to flex from the middle joint when extending from the knuckle (see about 4.30 in).

Am I missing something?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WYhWy5OqgM

guit-box
Posts: 1096
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by guit-box » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:55 pm

JonL-- yeah, I do see people play with the knuckle over the string, but mainly when they are demonstrating something or maybe during slow things. Maybe someone can post a video of a player who actually plays with the knuckle over the string it's plucking (free stroke) during an actual performance?

Here is a video of Scott Tennant playing free stroke arpeggios. It looks like the middle knuckle is over the strings to me, but ST describes the knuckle joint should be more or less over the string it is playing for free stroke.

Youtube
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

JonL

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by JonL » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:23 pm

Guit-Box,

I think he has the middle joints over the strings. As you say, the focus in describing finger position seems to always be where the knuckles are and he does appear to have them over the string as well (as a result of his straight fingers). Interesting also as another example of the follow through the string being from the middle joint.

guit-box
Posts: 1096
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by guit-box » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:25 pm


Youtube

This video of Pepe Romero shows his hand is more in front of the strings than some, but I still don't see the knuckle as over the string, the middle knuckle appears to be over the string it plays at times and in-between the knuckle and middle at other times.
Last edited by guit-box on Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

guit-box
Posts: 1096
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by guit-box » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:27 pm


Youtube

Jason Vieaux with middle knuckle over string it is playing
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

guit-box
Posts: 1096
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by guit-box » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:34 pm


Youtube

I don't know what Manuel Barreuco teaches on this subject, and this isn't the best angle for telling where the string is in relation to the joints. But, it really does look like the middle joint is more or less over the string.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

guit-box
Posts: 1096
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by guit-box » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:18 am

jonL wrote: As you say, the focus in describing finger position seems to always be where the knuckles are and he does appear to have them over the string as well (as a result of his straight fingers).
Yes, Scott Tennant's finger itself is a bit straighter than some, so that moves the knuckle closer to the string, but I'm pretty sure that if I superimposed a right angle over the video with the x axis sitting on the strings, the middle would be closer to being over the string than the knuckle is--even with the straighter finger.

The Alice Artzt video is interesting since she sounds like an expert on how muscles work, and maybe she is, but if so many great guitarists are not putting the knuckle over the string, then I see no reason to follow this advice. It also just seems illogical to me. Nobody tells a tennis player not to extend the shoulder while flexing the forearm, or a boxer, or any athlete. I don't think I could get out of bed in the morning without flexing on limb while extending another. Correct me if I'm wrong, and show me some evidence to the contrary, but this just seems like bad information that has been past down from one generation of guitar teachers to the next, and no one has questioned its validity.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

guit-box
Posts: 1096
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by guit-box » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:48 am

Julian Bream slow motion right hand

Youtube

Julian Bream is brilliant, of course, but his hand position is a bit strange with his extreme tilt (pronating) towards the index finger. It works for him, but I'm not sure I would try to play this way, still, his middle joint is over the string it's playing.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Lane

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by Lane » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:47 am

Manuel Barrueco's technique is perfectly executed as described by Shearer and Berg - minus the a finger resting on the E string. The knuckle rebound is the result of relaxing the fingers after the active sympathetic stroke of i & m thus returning them to the "neutral" position above the strings. Thanks for the excellent videos.

Lane

guit-box
Posts: 1096
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Vid

Post by guit-box » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:11 am

Manuel Barrueco's technique is perfectly executed as described by Shearer and Berg - minus the a finger resting on the E string. The knuckle rebound is the result of relaxing the fingers after the active sympathetic stroke of i & m thus returning them to the "neutral" position above the strings. Thanks for the excellent videos.
I just re-read Shearer and Berg's sections on free stroke position and both of them refer to joints in their midrange positions, as opposed to other methods (Tennant, Kanengeiser, etc.) who talk about placing the knuckle over the string. S & B describe the middle joint is slightly on the flexion side of midrange, but the other joints are all in midrange. When I follow this advice and place my index finger on the 3rd string, the middle knuckle is more-or-less over the 3rd string. So, in this regard, S & B follow more closely what I see in all the videos--including the Tennant and Kanengeiser videos when they are playing (as opposed to demonstrating).
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Return to “Classical Guitar technique”