Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Crofty
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by Crofty » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:48 pm

I find it really hard to understand why people make such an unnecessary and unfriendly fuss about side issues disconnected to discussions at hand, but offer very little of any value to ongoing debate .

Alexander wrote that he does not feel the need to post videos, when language can be used to explain his points clearly. Tom Poore courteously accepted that point.

Why that should mean he must not offer comment on a video posted by Kent [who equally courteously recognised the point Alexander made about it, I really don't know.

I have noticed that he studied with Tilman Hoppstock [who is one of the world's finest guitarists and scholars] and find him to be unfailingly polite, and very informative, in any of his posts that I have read and I think he deserves respect, not sarcasm.

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guitarrista
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by guitarrista » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:57 pm

Crofty wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:48 pm
I find it really hard to understand why people make such an unnecessary and unfriendly fuss about side issues disconnected to discussions at hand, but offer very little of any value to ongoing debate .

Alexander wrote that he does not feel the need to post videos, when language can be used to explain his points clearly. Tom Poore courteously accepted that point.

Why that should mean he must not offer comment on a video posted by Kent [who equally courteously recognised the point Alexander made about it, I really don't know.

I have noticed that he studied with Tilman Hoppstock [who is one of the world's finest guitarists and scholars] and find him to be unfailingly polite, and very informative, in any of his posts that I have read and I think he deserves respect, not sarcasm.
Yup.
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

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Alexander Kalil
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by Alexander Kalil » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:27 pm

Paul, don't worry, I have a fairly thick skin and don't get hurt easily. Besides, I'm starting to like Ronjazz and Impressario and would't mind them keeping taking jabs at me. It's a nice change from all the serious tech talk.

Kent, by the way, you're lucky to have the perfect hand anatomy for a killer right hand technique - your i, m and a fingers are almost the same length when held in midrange position. I would've loved to have that. Sigh.

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Lawler
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by Lawler » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:36 pm

Crofty wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:48 pm
...I think he deserves respect, not sarcasm.
Me too.

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Alexander Kalil
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by Alexander Kalil » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:01 pm

Recently I came across a short video of Grisha Goryatchev demonstrating tremolo scale technique. I find this video particularly interesting because it involves, rather incidentally, a good demonstration of the play-relax method I've been eagerly advocating in this and Guit-box's parallel thread on right hand technique.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7jjO5is-nE

Notice in particular the absence of any sympathetic or opposed motion between fingers in his slow practice demonstration. Each finger plucks and returns in a ballistic play-relax motion, in full independence of other fingers. There is no attempt to synchronize and compound the extension of a finger with the flexion of another.

(I hope that Ronjazz and Impresario will forgive me for having posted a video by someone else to support my arguments :D)

kmurdick
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by kmurdick » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:15 pm

In Goryatchev's video, you can see a tendency to play the 'am' complex sympathetically with a much more stronger opposed motion between i and m. Of course this is just looking at the knuckle joint segments. The strong opposed motion between i and m is due to that hyper extension of 'i' which guitbox pointed out as being common to all efficient tremolos. In my tremolo video, I base the motion on a sympathetic motion in 'ma' and an opposed motion between i and m; no mention of 'i' hyper extension. Also, If I were to make this video again, I would mention that one should abandon the holding back of the 'ma' complex as soon as possible.

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Alexander Kalil
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by Alexander Kalil » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:20 pm

Kent, I was referring to his slow practice demonstration, not the actual performance. Specifically, the portion 0:36 - 0:46 of the video. That's where he is plucking in ballistic play-relax mode with no sympathetic or opposed motion between fingers. Of course, as the speed increases the opposed and sympathetic instances you mention start to happen naturally.

The controversy in guitar pedagogy is how the phenomena observed at high speed should be accounted for during slow practice. Your video represents the sympathetic and opposed motion schools, cf. Berg, where any observed opposition or sympathy between fingers at high speed is deliberately ingrained by slow practice. Here's a summary of yours and Berg's tremolo practice schemes:
  • Kent: flex p as am extend; hold; flex a, then flex m as i extends; hold; flex i as p extends; hold. Repeat.
  • Berg: flex p as i extends; hold; flex a, then flex m, then flex i as pma extend; hold. Repeat.
Nothing wrong with any of these, of course. Just note that a finger held back, no matter how briefly, means the flexion action was not a mere impulse and hence not ballistic. The hold intervals also mean there's never complete relaxation between strokes, as fingers are held back by some sort of holding tension, obviously. At high speed the intervals become very brief, even vanish, so that might or might not be a concern - I really don't know. Anyway here's the ballistic play-relax counterpart:
  • Flex p and release immediately; flex a and release immediately; flex m and release immediately; flex i and release immediately. Repeat.
That's the slow practice scheme I've been advocating throughout this thread and, I believe, demonstrated by Grisha in above mentioned 10 seconds portion of his video.

kmurdick
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by kmurdick » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:52 am

Kalil, if I were still teaching, I would teach it that way.

Flex p and release immediately; flex a and release immediately; flex m and release immediately; flex i and release immediately. Repeat.

guit-box
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by guit-box » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:56 am

I've practiced the play-relax way for years and still come back to it. The problem I have is that I don't see players doing this. As someone pointed out, if you're at all holding any fingers in instead of releasing instantly then it's not really play-relax. It might be play-play-relax or play-play-play-relax or something else, kinda like Berg is suggesting where certain arpeggios seem to work better if fingers are held and released back at certain times. But that's not play-relax as Kanengeiser was teaching it in his dvd Effortless Classical Guitar. Is someone like Grisha who is playing i,m alternation letting the finger relax right after it plays or is he kicking it out at the moment the other finger plays...like an exchange? To me it looks like he's kicking one finger out as the other plays. If it's an exchange, then it's not play-relax, it's something else. I have better luck for certain arpeggios like pimami if I hold a in and let i be the trigger to release it. To me, this is more about control and coordination than it is about relaxing the finger back at the instant it plucks.

Check out this player at around 0.45 min. 1. opposing joint movement, 2. lots of middle joint movement 3. reaching out for the string. Everything that is supposedly wrong.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

guit-box
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by guit-box » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:10 am

Check out this lightning fast and efficient right hand movement (with precise opposing joint movement) on Villa Lobos Etude 1. See the closeup .47 min. I can't post the video because of stupid rules about copyrights, so search this: <Tal Hurwitz plays Étude No. 1 Heitor Villa-Lobos on a 1981 Dominique Field>
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

kmurdick
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by kmurdick » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:04 pm

Gitbox, I don't think alternation rules out "play/relax". You can have play/relax in an opposed motion. What you need is true independence of i and m. By that I mean the ability to completely relax 'i' while 'm' is flexing and completely relax 'm' while 'i' is flexing. If you could do this, you would only be limited by the speed at which the fingers naturally return which translates into an alternation of roughly 140mm (four notes to the click) for most people. However, I'm going to to make a guess as say that you probably can never have complete independence between i and m, so some help may be needed to maintain 140mm continuous alternation. Of course the young man above is only playing continuous alternation at 130mm.

This is the first of these videos that I have seen that truly demonstrates continuous i and m alternation at high speed. It would interesting to sit down and talk to this young man. BTW, I've taught senior citizens to alternate i and m continuously on one string at that speed. Of course playing scales with string crossing is a completely different matter.

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guitarrista
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by guitarrista » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:18 pm

kmurdick wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:04 pm
you would only be limited by the speed at which the fingers naturally return which translates into an alternation of roughly 140mm (four notes to the click) for most people. However, I'm going to to make a guess as say that you probably can never have complete independence between i and m, so some help may be needed to maintain 140mm continuous alternation. Of course the young man above is only playing continuous alternation at 130mm.
1. How did you estimate 140x4 as an upper limit? I think anatomy books come up with max 5-6 strokes/second for each finger, which is 360/min, and alternating two fingers each at that max would give 180x4 maximum. Or do you mean without any engagement of the extensor digitorum, and how did you estimate what that translates to?

2. I measured him at around 140-145 for the long i-m runs (e.g. the 7-second run 0:59-1:06). Which section in the video gives you 130?
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

guit-box
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by guit-box » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:19 pm

He plays quite fast i,m free strokes and I suspect he has a shorter index finger, which is why we see the opposing joint movement more easily, because the finger has to reach out more than the middle does. It's still the same movement no matter whether it's rest or free stroke or the finger is curved or straight. Initial momentum and impulse is from MCP and then as the string is reached, MCP releases back into extension and PIP/DIP take over the flexion. It creates kind of a waving movement where one finger segment rises while the other falls. I see the same thing in rest strokes if you slow down and inspect closely

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

ronjazz
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Re: Current Right Hand Technique: Are Shearer, Presti still valid?

Post by ronjazz » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:41 am

very interesting, he doesn't alternate in much of his 1st-string playing of this passage.
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