guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

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Soundminer
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guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Soundminer » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:19 pm

He is right about the MCP releasing instead of flexing during freestroke...not actively though, but there is no tension in it.

I actually don't think there is another way to do it correctly without getting in 'your own way'.

But I have some remarks,

This only goes for freestroke, where the mcp lifts up the string...or pulls up, before plucking from the middle joint
hence the term..PULGAR

The trick is to let all the tension go from the mcp and transfer it to the middle joint ( while holding on to the string) which then plucks out and away from the guitar. This is a feeling that is very hard to describe or teach.

Reststroke is different in that it's the reverse. The mcp does the pushing through the string and it is vital that you relax the other two joints ( enough)


I think some players actually play a reststroke but have positioned their wrist and arm in such a way that the pluck misses the next string.
You can call that a freestroke but it's very unnatural to do so.

I think that is where all the discussion and confusion comes from.

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Larry McDonald
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Larry McDonald » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:41 pm

Hi,
I also think that guitbox has discovered a correct execution of the joints for some (most) concert players. The motion he describes [where the MCP extends and the PIP and the DIP flex] is the EXACT description of the lumbrical muscle as it relaxes. I personally don't have the experience of successfully teaching this action; I inevitably end up with "crabbing and clawing" with a tremendous amount of dysfunctional tension observable in the tendons in the back or the hand.

So, the paradox is... Guitbox has shown us at least one true way to play at the elite level. But I don't see that it is teachable in the beginning lessons, so we teach a transitional model where the finger follows through into the palm, which can allow us to coach away dysfunctional tension and prepare/frame the hands to move to the next level. So, we cannot coach what we see.

Conjecture follows...
The inability by beginners to access the lumbricals and interoseus muscles might be because the student doesn't have the sensitivity/experience to give up some of the effort from the large muscles in the forearm, and allow the intrinsic muscles in the hands to take over some of the effort. Then those same muscles in the hands need to develop the fast twitch muscle fiber bundles to fully execute what we see in the top players in guitbox's videos. So, perhaps the motions shown in the videos are the developmental results built in the absence of dysfunctional tension, the lack of which must be tutored from the older uniform flexion model.

While I'm not teaching anymore, I would welcome input from anyone who has successfully and regularly taught guitbox's discovery to beginners.

All the best,
Lare
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2018 Michael Thames "Ancient Dragon" Cd/Ir
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar and Theory Instructor

Soundminer
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Soundminer » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:47 pm

That's why you have to tell a student WHY he should move like that for a freestroke...the logic behind it.

I don't think it's harder for them, on the contrary.

And I don't believe in the whole large/small muscle group business


I believe in physics and the easiest way to move.


teaching mcp follow through is teaching a reststroke that doesn't rest on the next string. It takes much more effort and incorrect position of the wrist.
The wrist will have to be almost straight for it to even work, this is not good and unnatural.

I have said from my first post that students only need a mind's picture if you will, that makes some sense. It's up to teachers to make sense!

It's physics! You don't move away from the guitar with one joint and move towards it with another at the same time.

Now that is actually what happens if you teach the 'close fist' way. It's much harder to learn

astro64
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by astro64 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:55 pm

There is no problem for the fingers to clear the strings with a follow-through. When playing chords, pim, pima, we do it all the time. To me there is no question the "push" in free stroke comes from the main knuckle, no matter how little it may appear to move.

Soundminer
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Soundminer » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:03 pm

exactly...that's because you are pushing. Like one does in a reststroke

In a freestroke played with ease, you pull

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Alexander Kalil
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Alexander Kalil » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:30 pm

Soundminer wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:19 pm
He is right about the MCP releasing instead of flexing during freestroke
Of course the MCP is releasing during the stroke, how else would fingers ever return to playing position! Guitbox maintains that the MCP starts extending the moment the other joints start flexing. This is indeed one way of playing the guitar, even the most common if you wish. But it is not the only way. And some, including no less than Shearer, maintain it is not the best way.

Larry McDonald wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:41 pm
I also think that guitbox has discovered a correct execution of the joints for some (most) concert players .. the MCP extends and the PIP and the DIP flex
I'm surprised a teacher of your knowledge and experience considers this a discovery. Even I as a part-time teacher with a fraction of your experience have known this to be the way many concert guitarists play. It just never seemed relevant. A long time ago I realized there are 'world class' players with merely adequate technique, ones with good technique, and a select few with truly great technique, and decided that only the last group is relevant for my studies. I don't know any good reason why the technique of 'most pros' and not that of the select few should be used as a model for ourselves and our students.

I personally don't have the experience of successfully teaching this action
Maybe because you are a good teacher.

I would welcome input from anyone who has successfully and regularly taught guitbox's discovery to beginners.
I have no experience teaching beginners but I have experience teaching improvers, and most of them are playing as Guitbox describes, and most of my effort is spent on helping them change it.

Crofty
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Crofty » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:36 pm

Alexander Kalil wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:30 pm
I don't know any good reason why the technique of 'most pros' and not that of the select few should be used as a model for ourselves and our students.


Very true and very succinct Alexander.

Paul

detwidkul
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by detwidkul » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:55 am

as a beginner, I always try to find ways to increase the speed of my RH with simple chromatic scale run until the 12th fret and back. after many attempts in different ways to get faster and to stay tension free to be able to build desired speed and volume.

What I finds that let me improve in very short time are

- playing as staccato but focusing on let the brain focus on the movement of the alternation and keep the note as short as possible except the note before the string crossing because the finger need to plant to the next string. the main thing is to play strong rest stroke and let the brain accept the movement. Doesnt need to be fast , the aim is to let the brain accept the action and be able to know which fingers are doing what. Speed will come later, but maintain strong plucking. Another benefit I find is by playing staccato it also helps my fretting hand ( fingers) movement always stay closer to the fret.

- practice the reverse movement like rasgueado to improve the speed of re-planting and to learn the shortest movement of getting back to the string.

for the past 2 weeks, my speed from 80 can reach 110 ( sixteenth note ) quite smoothly for now.

What I find is more complex is

- IM is a lot easier when play up the note on the same string, via MI is easier on the way back and vice versa ( I will have to practice the ones that slow me down

- when crossing the string IM on the way up to different string is easier than MI and this apply also with crossing down IM becomes more difficult.

- to change the pattern not just 1234 4321, I try 1324 4231 combination, and it will slow down overall speed and it gets more complicated with IM and MI.

BUT I DO AGREE that the main big knuckles has to be tension free before other things can come in place.
need to practice more!

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Lawler
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Lawler » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:37 pm

Alexander Kalil wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:30 pm
Larry McDonald wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:41 pm
I also think that guitbox has discovered a correct execution of the joints for some (most) concert players .. the MCP extends and the PIP and the DIP flex
I'm surprised a teacher of your knowledge and experience considers this a discovery. .
I had the same surprise.

Regarding "big knuckle movement", my two principal teachers during my conservatory years, Sakellariou and Rosheger, were very different in the way their right hand fingers moved. Both were virtuosos (Rosheger, for those who don't know of him, was the 1972 winner of the Santiago de Compostela competition).

Terpfan
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Terpfan » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:24 am

Video does not show to true intention of the player. Guit-box said many guitarist preach one way but play the other way. The reason is video does not show where the tension is. Maybe Scott Tennent and Pepe Romero never analyzed the videos of themselves playing fast section in slow motion but they know exactly how their finger feels and know where they are putting the energy.

What Guit-box tought me is that uniform directed movement is not a must. Especially on faster strokes.

As Larry mentioned above, it is almost impossible to teach good stroke to a beginner without asking them to follow through.

Soundminer
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Soundminer » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:40 am

No it is not

Terpfan
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Terpfan » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:20 pm

Soundminer wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:19 pm
He is right about the MCP releasing instead of flexing during freestroke...not actively though, but there is no tension in it.

I actually don't think there is another way to do it correctly without getting in 'your own way'.

But I have some remarks,

This only goes for freestroke, where the mcp lifts up the string...or pulls up, before plucking from the middle joint
hence the term..PULGAR

The trick is to let all the tension go from the mcp and transfer it to the middle joint ( while holding on to the string) which then plucks out and away from the guitar. This is a feeling that is very hard to describe or teach.

Reststroke is different in that it's the reverse. The mcp does the pushing through the string and it is vital that you relax the other two joints ( enough)


I think some players actually play a reststroke but have positioned their wrist and arm in such a way that the pluck misses the next string.
You can call that a freestroke but it's very unnatural to do so.

I think that is where all the discussion and confusion comes from.
There are some guitarist intentionally use that motion. The reason in the video that show that motion in most of Guit box's video is the tension of the string. Try making that motion fast without using the guitar.( just your fingers) will make a video soon.

Soundminer
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Soundminer » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:30 pm

maybe it is :roll:

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Larry McDonald
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Larry McDonald » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:02 pm

Hi,
Just for clarification, I've been claiming since 2007 on this forum that the lumbricals and interoseus muscles have needed to be a part of our discussion of the flexion of the fingers. Actually, quite a bit before that, but that was when I joined Delcamp. So, no, my "discovery/realization" was much earlier. We were discussing Guitbox's discovery. Perhaps I should have used the term "Guitbox's proof" instead of "discovery". That would have been much clearer. I was being generous.

Here is "proof" from early in 2007...
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=22941&p=218829&hili ... al#p218829
-Lare
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2018 Michael Thames "Ancient Dragon" Cd/Ir
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar and Theory Instructor

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Tom Poore
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Re: guit-box is very right about mcp (big knuckle movement)

Post by Tom Poore » Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:30 am

Just to chime in with an opinion.

I don’t understand much of what’s being said during this discussion. And I doubt most students would find it comprehensible. If a discussion is impenetrable to a reasonably sharp student, then what’s its value?

The arcane terminology doesn’t help. Why use terms like proximal interphalangeal, metacarpophalangeal, and distal interphalangeal joints? What’s wrong with base, middle, and tip joints? (Some of you are indeed using these simpler terms. Kudos to you.)

Years ago, one of my teachers met Otto Ortmann, author of The Physiological Mechanics of Piano Technique (1929). Talking about this formidable tome, Ortmann expressed regret about how he’d written it. He believed that when describing technique to music students, it was a mistake to shower them with anatomical jargon. “Musicians aren’t medical students,” he noted.

To be clear, I’m neither agreeing nor disagreeing with what’s been written here—rather, I’m saying I don’t understand it. As an example, consider the following sentence:
The trick is to let all the tension go from the mcp and transfer it to the middle joint (while holding on to the string) which then plucks out and away from the guitar.
I’ve no idea what this means.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA

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