Right hand technique: a new perspective

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Ortega
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:49 pm

Re: Right hand technique: a new perspective

Post by Ortega » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:38 pm

Top harpist now corroborates all of my claims. 

The difference in the harp world is that they cannot use gravity alone due to vertical string alignment. Harpists use pectoral and bicep muscles to accomplish what gravity does for us.

 When I play in a "stand up" position, such as with the Yamaha silent guitar (w strap) and my strings are perfectly vertical in alignment (as with the harp), I realize now that I use my pectoral/ bicep muscles to accomplish what gravity is capable of doing for us in a seated position, when the guitar is angled towards the body and is thus not perfectly vertical in terms of string alignment.

 Therefore, either gravity or bicep/pectoral muscles, or a combination thereof are what are used to attain the requisite stabilizing pressure to the strings, while the tip joint is the only joint in the hand that is intentionally activated for ALL aspects of playing, including bringing the finger to its string, for both rest stroke and free stroke.

Some of the guitar supports apparently give us a perfectly vertical string alignment as well; maybe that's why I prefer the Dynarette if not the footstool, which I still think is the best. Some of us simply cannot use footstool due to severe lower spine issues 

I do see great virtuousos who I greatly respect and admire using supports that place the strings in a perfectly vertical alignment.

This makes it clear that doing what harpists do, utilizing pectorial and bicep muscles to apply pressure to string is clearly just as viable as utilizing gravity when the guitar is tilted back toward the body.

 Either seems to be perfectly viable, and perhaps the reality is that the requisite pressure is really achievable, if not always achieved, via a healthy marriage of the two; vertical alignment, or not...

Ortega
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:49 pm

Re: Right hand technique: a new perspective

Post by Ortega » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:44 pm

Yes, I am now using the right bicep and pectoral muscles to add the requisite pressure to the string (just as harpists do) and using the tip joint for literally everything else.

There is a very famous classical guitarist who I had a number of master classes with (pre-dystonia for both of us) who says that he cured himself of focal dystonia, claiming that he did so by "focusing on the large muscle groups" and believes that the epicenter of the stroke has its root in the right armpit.

 I realize now that he is really using his pectoral muscles/ bicep to apply the requisite pressure to the string, while using his tip joint for everything else.

I can see why he would focus on "the armpit" area... that's one area where you DO feel a change, if you're not fully understanding what it is you've actually begun doing differently...

And that is: applying the requisite pressure to the string via the right bicep/pectoral muscles and, in terms of the right hand itself, *intentionally* activating only the right hand's tip joint for all aspects of playing, including bringing the finger to its string, for both rest stroke and free stroke.

robert e
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:49 pm

Re: Right hand technique: a new perspective

Post by robert e » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:21 pm

DevonBadger wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:03 pm

Why does involuntary make more sense than passive? Given the focus hasn't changed from being exclusively on the tip joint, it doesn't make any difference to me how the other joints are described. Am I misreading what Scott said?
Obviously, it matters to me how the other joints are described. All the joints are involved whether I like it or not, so I want to understand how they are involved. For my understanding (and I speak only for myself), "involuntary action" of the other joints is more plausible physiologically than "passive movement". (Although if I do understand correctly what's being described, I'm not sure "involuntary" is the best term either, even if it works better for me than "passive".)

The point is that the admission that there's activation of the other joints, even if they are not the focus of intent, clears up a mystery for me. Again, I'm not saying I agree or not, or that it's anything new, but I think I finally have an inkling what he means.

Ortega
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:49 pm

Re: Right hand technique: a new perspective

Post by Ortega » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:52 pm

Renowned hand surgeon, who I've been in regular communication with, clarified for me, just last evening, the following crucial fact:

[Added to this recent revelation]:

When an individual contracts "only" the tip joint of a finger and allows the 2 larger joints to "do what they will", the middle joint contracts, but not passively. It performs work during this contraction, but said work is involuntarily.

[Here's the new information]:

Dr. now tells me that the large/ main knuckle joint extends under these same circumstances, but that this extension is not passive; involuntary work is being performed there too, just as is the case with the middle joint.

 All movement at the middle and large/ main knuckle joints is involuntary when we intentionally activate only our tip joints and allow the two larger joints to "move as they will".

 This explains why we see John William's largest finger segments extending, away from the palm, when he plays Recuerdos, for example.

 Adding requisite pressure to the string via work at the right bicep and pectoral muscles, together with invoking the "earliness" parameter, intentionally activating the tip joint as early as is possible in order to bring the finger to the string solely via the intentional work at the tip joint [thus preventing the need for *intentional active work to be performed at either the middle or large/ main knuckle joint, at the exclusion of the tip joint] brings it all together.

 Just to be very clear: work is in fact being performed at all 3 joints, but the only intentional work is being performed at the tip joint and this intentional work must begin early enough, in order to ensure that it is the tip joint's intentional contraction the causes the finger to be brought to the string, while the two larger joints perform their active roles *involuntarily*.

 This hand surgeon will definitely be included in my coming book:

Classical Guitar at Your Fingertips: a Complete Manual on the correct and most Natural Way to Play.

 To be honest, none of this would be happening without my surgeon; he's done more for the classical guitar than he could possibly imagine (at least not at this point)!

Ortega
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:49 pm

Re: Right hand technique: a new perspective

Post by Ortega » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:58 pm

Poetry + technique vs the unspeakably horrific:

The "sticky piece of dust" parameter cannot be neglected; none of the parameters can. I'm seeing now that I've been right about each of these parameters all along, and that all of them must be combined to produce the perfect stroke.

"Sticky piece of dust" refers to the extraordinarily narrow or "tight" or "immediate" degree of the tip joint's contractive trajectory during that joint's sole intentional activation.

It is as if there is a piece of sticky dust that is stuck upon the underside of our nail; we are attempting to fling that imaginary piece of sticky dust straight up so that it would stick upon the underside of our plucking finger's own large/ main knuckle joint.

The "earliness" parameter, ensuring that the tip joint's sole intentional activation is that which causes the finger to be brought to its string, together with this "sticky piece of dust"/ tight degree of tip joint contractive trajectory...as well as ensuring that the requisite weight is brought to the string via the right bicep/pectoral muscles, all work together to produce the correct right hand technique for both rest stroke and free stroke.

There truly is a symbiotic relationship which exists between the correct degree of pressure that is brought to the string and the correct degree of "tightness"/ narrowness/ immediacy of the tip joint's contractive trajectory during that joint's sole intentional activation. 

 The reason that I refer to it as a "symbiotic relationship" is because of the fact that the end result of the combination of these two elements possesses a final value that is far greater than the sum of the separate values of original two elements themselves. 

 If any of the above parameters are neglected, the entire system comes crashing down, but if all are adhered to, to the correct degree, we have a beautifully functioning mechanism. 

The musical poetry that exists within the heart of the player can only be unleashed if they are in possession of the required technique. 

 Both the poetry and the technique are required; technique can be learned, poetry cannot be. There is nothing more frustrating; more unspeakably horrific, than being a musician who was born with the poetry, when that poetry is imprisoned by physical limitations.

Thankfully, I have found that such limitations can be transcended, when enough thought, work and most of all desire, are applied.

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