The Ida Presti right hand technique for guitar - Alice Artzt

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Steve Kutzer
Posts: 1441
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:11 pm
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Re: The Ida Presti right hand technique for guitar - Alice A

Post by Steve Kutzer » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:06 pm

I went to the Cincinnati Conservatory last week and had a series of Master Classes.

Karl Wohlwend told me this. He said I'll treat you like a day one student so I'm not correcting you, just telliing you to get into the right RH position.

So:
  • drop your right hand to the side and shake it out
  • bend your arm up so that it looks like your swearing in at court
  • put your i,m,a fingertips together
  • reach over the guitar and without touching it with your elbow, place i,m,a on the first string
  • place p on the first string to and slide it down to ima
  • now, keeping fingers there, drop your elbow on the guitar
  • now, keeping ima in place, walk p back to the second string, then the third string, then the fourth
  • keeping p and ma in place, walk i back to the third string
  • keeping p and ia in place, walk m back to the second string
  • he then pointed and said, "there, that's the perfect RH position"
I have heard before that I tend to cave my RH wrist, especially when I am nervous. And Karl's approach gave me a concrete set of steps to follow. It gives me a little arch to my wrist, and the fingertips naturally angle as you walk them up the strings.

He said it should look you can cradle an egg in your RH.

His final advice was to work on this with new pieces, and not stuff I've been playing for years.
See my technology (and guitar!) site CIO Dojo

chino28

Re: The Ida Presti right hand technique for guitar - Alice A

Post by chino28 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:41 pm

thanks!

magigemini777

Re: The Ida Presti right hand technique for guitar - Alice A

Post by magigemini777 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:10 am

Thanks Steve,
that was a great way to explain how to get your RH in a good position, a nice step by step explanation, I just may have to share this with others....... :)

Best,
Michael

nah

Re: The Ida Presti right hand technique for guitar - Alice A

Post by nah » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:27 pm

Interesting videos and very interesting thread. I'm only a plinker and will probably always be, but it is very helpful to see good, clear examples that explain technique. Thanks everyone!!

Luis_Br
Posts: 2385
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:50 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: The Ida Presti right hand technique for guitar - Alice A

Post by Luis_Br » Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:39 am

Alice Artzt comments about wrist, posted on a Brazilian forum:

"Most interesting, though my Portuguese is not up to completely figuring out everything. If I understand, some people are concerned about my having a too bent wrist - and I see this with a lot of people everywhere who think the wrist has to be totally straight to work well. I agree that theoretically this would be a nice thing to have, but with the guitar I feel it is quite impossible to have a straight wrist and still have the hand hanging totally relaxed as Presti did - and as I did also. For me that relaxation is SOOO important, and gives so much additional strength and stability to the hand, that the little you might possibly lose in speed seems not worth worrying about - and as far as speed is concerned, look at Presti who played faster than pretty much anyone, and with a huge big full rich tone as well. Most other people playing fast end up sounding like a pair of knitting needles from the back of the hall. Since I tried pretty much every other position before encountering Presti, I can personally testify that I surely would not have had the career I did had I not started playing the way Presti taught. Changing to that made a HUGE and IMMEDIATE difference in my playing - in just 3 weeks, I could do everything I did before but much better and with a much bigger sound and much more easily with more security. All this worrying about tendons seems to me foolish - my tendons are doing fine, and though by now, not having practiced really at all for something like 15 years, I certainly don't have the technique I had, I still can make a very strong sound and my right hand still works pretty well generally - just not as fast as I used to be, for total lack of practice. The people I see having big right hand problems when they get into their middle age - and there are a LOT of them - are the ones playing with a straight wrist held relatively low. They have to have the strength to hold that position against the counter impulse of the fingers plucking more or less up, and that is hard and wears out the tendons on the upper part of the forearm that have to react quickly with each pluck to keep the fingers acting independently. That whole syndrome is perhaps something I should do a video about some time since it does affect a lot of people - and stops a lot of careers in their tracks. And the only guitarists I know of who actually cured themselves of this disease are a few who went to doing the Presti technique instead of what they had been doing. Having that strong support and being so very relaxed gives you a lot of strength and power and gets you using the base joint of the finger for most of the work, which is the one joint that can be totally independent without a fight. If Presti had lived longer, I think that technique might have become much more predominant. A lot of people misunderstand it also - I have had MANY people come to me and, to illustrate, put their hands and wrists in some weird contortion to show me how they had tried the Presti technique but couldn't do it or that it hurt them to try etc. If it hurts or makes problems, then they are doing it wrong. That shows they didn't figure it out at all. The whole point is the relaxation and the fact you gain so much power from being so well supported and using the hand and fingers they way they were designed to work, rather than working against all that. I must say I do find it a great pity that more people do not use the Presti technique - it really saved my life and career, and would help others that way too if they tried it (doing it correctly). Well that is only a short part of the whole explanation but anyway - thanks for posting all that stuff."

Vicki.W

Re: The Ida Presti right hand technique for guitar - Alice A

Post by Vicki.W » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:07 pm

As a complete beginner to classical guitar ( I have played a steel strung for years) I was really interested in these videos. All I can say is that my hands, both right and left, seem to be more naturally inclined to the Presti position. Now ask me when I have actually practiced for awhile in this position! As an aside since turning my attention to classical, and being a beginner ( I am at the Lagrima / Adelita level ) I seem to get quite a lot of stiff and achy shoulders and neck, is this natural or am I doing something wrong?. Thanks all. V

toofatfingers

Re: The Ida Presti right hand technique for guitar - Alice A

Post by toofatfingers » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:47 am

Thank you for the very interesting video and lesson. Been away from the guitar for a few weeks and am about to begin again. Need such a lesson to inspire and get me to pick up the instrument and get going!
Steve

Luis_Br
Posts: 2385
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:50 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: The Ida Presti right hand technique for guitar - Alice A

Post by Luis_Br » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:50 pm

Vicki.W wrote: I seem to get quite a lot of stiff and achy shoulders and neck, is this natural or am I doing something wrong?. Thanks all. V
Yes, you should pay attention to overall posture and get rid of tension on shoulders, neck, back, legs etc. Search for an overall good sitting posture. Best thing is to look for a teacher.

NelsonMoreno

Re: The Ida Presti right hand technique for guitar - Alice A

Post by NelsonMoreno » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:13 am

The Alice Artzt videos are great, now if I understood the right hand technique. The graphics that Ms. Artzt drew of how the fingers move on the strings is very usefull. I always have in mind when doing my exercises.

frank_fretwork

Re: The Ida Presti right hand technique for guitar - Alice A

Post by frank_fretwork » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:05 pm

Anybody else notice the contradictions in what she's saying to how she actually plays in her performance
videos?
No.
Her pinky is thrusting straight out, looking extremely tense. Not good. Not relaxed.
Nonsense. She does occasionally extend her pinky. Maybe you watched a different video.
Also, she talks about many players not using the thumb independantly, and how the arm guides the thumb.
She says this is wrong, and bad for independance.
And she's right.
Then when you watch her play in her "How to play 19th century music" video, she's doing exactly what she says
not to do. Her arm directs her thumb around.
You definitely watched the wrong video.

daowens

Re: The Ida Presti right hand technique for guitar - Alice A

Post by daowens » Wed May 18, 2011 8:50 pm

I had a master class with Ms. Artz many years ago - she was tough then and I suppose
she still is.

I have never forgotten the class.
Thanks for including this.

Philip Caldwell

Re: what side of the nail?

Post by Philip Caldwell » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:26 am

I've been looking at these videos and there is something confusing me. Artzt says the right hand side of the nail hits the string first- Is it not the left hand side of the nail? If I hold out my right hand and look at the back of my hand and the nails, the part that hits the string first is the left hand part of the nail. It then slides a little towards the right before release. Also I think that is what is happening in the 2nd video, when you watch the close up of her demonstration.
starting about 1.27
Maybe I've got it wrong somehow. anyone know?
Phil

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