Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

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lennarton
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Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by lennarton » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:40 pm

Just curios to know why it usually differs in the way the guitar is positioned on flamenco (Right knee) versus classic style(Left knee)?
Is is something technical things that is the matter?
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guitarrista
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by guitarrista » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:20 pm

The traditional flamenco position is with the lower bout of the guitar on top of the right thigh and both feet on the floor (or the right leg on a small stool if the chair is too high). Here is a sketch of that:

ramon-montoya-sitting-sketch.gif

According to Juan Serrano, this position has the advantags of being able to follow dancers with your upper body as they move around, without losing the hand to guitar orientation:

flamenco_sitting_position_juan_serrano.JPG

If you are thinking of Paco De Lucia's way of holding the guitar - as far as I know he came up with that and was the first to use that position. I wouldn't think it has any inherent ergonomic advantages - it think it was more to do with comfort and esthetics.

paco-de-lucia-sitting-guitar.jpg
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spanishguitarmusic
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:54 am

Thank you for the information and the pictures! Sometimes when I get tired of playing in the standard classical guitar position, with the guitar over my left knee, I switch to playing like Paco did with the guitar over his right knee. Then I switch again when I relaxed a bit. All depends I think.

15070p3
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by 15070p3 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:50 pm

Paco Pena plays in the traditional posture.
Last edited by 15070p3 on Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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15070p3
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by 15070p3 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:53 pm

This is a video of Paco Pena playing.
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dory
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by dory » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:00 pm

Then why do we use different positions? Obviously flamenco players don’t lack control over their guitars. Is it for historical reasons?
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by 15070p3 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:34 pm

guitarrista offered an answer in a previous post.
guitarrista wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:20 pm
The traditional flamenco position is with the lower bout of the guitar on top of the right thigh and both feet on the floor (or the right leg on a small stool if the chair is too high). Here is a sketch of that:
ramon-montoya-sitting-sketch.gif
According to Juan Serrano, this position has the advantags of being able to follow dancers with your upper body as they move around, without losing the hand to guitar orientation:
flamenco_sitting_position_juan_serrano.JPG

...
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Julian Ward
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by Julian Ward » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:54 pm

I don't think Paco came up with this sitting position as pretty much anybody playing folk guitar or even acoustic guitar sat down with their right leg over their left. The shape of the guitar kind of suggests that...

If you sit like that and play classical it can hinder some of those stretches and cause wrist bending problems. I know when I sit cross legged I can play most things apart from anything difficult and hairy. For easy stuff and working through learning new things I often sit 'Al Paco' just because it is comfortable on the arms and back.
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dory
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by dory » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:02 am

Interesting
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bellemeade
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by bellemeade » Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:19 am

One of the reasons for the flamenco sitting position is that it offers much better control over the rasgueo.

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guitarrista
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by guitarrista » Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:56 pm

bellemeade wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:19 am
One of the reasons for the flamenco sitting position is that it offers much better control over the rasgueo.
How so?
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Michael.N.
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:12 pm

Julian Ward wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:54 pm
I don't think Paco came up with this sitting position as pretty much anybody playing folk guitar or even acoustic guitar sat down with their right leg over their left. The shape of the guitar kind of suggests that...

If you sit like that and play classical it can hinder some of those stretches and cause wrist bending problems. I know when I sit cross legged I can play most things apart from anything difficult and hairy. For easy stuff and working through learning new things I often sit 'Al Paco' just because it is comfortable on the arms and back.
I don't think folk players use the position that Paco Pena is using. He is crossing his legs but he also seems to be using the method of holding the guitar up that is shown in the Montoya sketch - the traditional method of holding the flamenco guitar. It relies on a balancing act in which the right forearm counteracts the tendency of the neck to do what gravity wants i.e. drop to the floor. It's not at all an easy thing to become accustomed to, the left hand seems to want to help keep the guitar neck up, in playing position. The other danger is bearing down with too much pressure with the right forearm.
Obviously the light weight of the traditional flamenco guitar and the use of wooden tuning pegs helps somewhat. It's just so much more difficult to achieve this balancing act with a heavier classical guitar with their heavy metal tuners.
It's advantage. Well it's good for the old back and it also seems to keep the left hand in a good position - no great deviation in the left wrist, very natural. The disadvantage is that it tends to lock the right arm in one fixed position, much harder to obtain tonal variations.
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Julian Ward
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by Julian Ward » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:26 pm

It is definitely not so good for the left hand, for classical players, without doubt it closes up the stretches. Paco doesn't (didn't) do anything fancy - he simply sat cross - legged with his leg extended out in a kind of 'I am so God damned cool sat like this' way.. He also was the greatest ever guitarist (of any genre) to pick up a guitar, so he could sit however he liked!!
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bellemeade
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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by bellemeade » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:57 pm

guitarrista wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:56 pm
bellemeade wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:19 am
One of the reasons for the flamenco sitting position is that it offers much better control over the rasgueo.
How so?
Three things:
The neck angle is lower so the strings are more perpendicular to the hand
The soundboard is less inclined and more vertical to the floor
The upper side offers more support to the arm
I belivee that these situations allow for a more even and controlled rasgueo.

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Re: Flamenco versus Classical guitar sitting position

Post by Ceciltguitar » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:16 pm

Each person should use whatever sitting position works the best for them. Some find the use of one of a number of guitar supports enables them to sit up straight, no footstool, no crossed legs, straight back.

Just one person's experience:

I have mostly used the traditional "classical guitar" posture. I also wonder if 40 years of the traditional "classical guitar" posture has something to do with the fact that I have a lower back disc on the left side that sometimes becomes herniated.

I find the best ergonomics for me is standing.

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