How To Make Free Stroke Sound Like Rest Stroke

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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guit-box
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How To Make Free Stroke Sound Like Rest Stroke

Post by guit-box » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:29 pm

One word: supination (rotating the forearm so the pinky finger is closer to the soundboard).



I see more modern players with this right hand position than ever before. Check out recent GFA winners,
or Su Meng, Jorge Caballero, Thomas Viloteau, etc.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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Jason Kulas
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Re: How To Make Free Stroke Sound Like Rest Stroke

Post by Jason Kulas » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:58 pm

guit-box wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:29 pm
One word: supination (rotating the forearm so the pinky finger is closer to the soundboard).
Isn't that going to "catch" the string a bit more under the nail? Isn't that going to, instead of having the string be pressed down, then releasing and vibrating perpendicular to the soundboard (the ideal that's supposed to generate the fullest tone), instead have the string get pulled diagonally upward a bit, plucked a bit, and changing the initial impulse for the vibrational plane of the string? Though I guess that depends a lot on nail shape (and I have bad, hooked nails).

I'm not even saying any of that would be bad. Because I'm quite suspicious that what many people claim happens to the string upon exit from the nail, and what is supposedly best/necessary for good tone, is often not what is actually being done. Just look how laterally the string is displaced by thumb strokes in many videos (interestingly, Interlochen has an instructional YouTube video for thumb free stroke that shows training to get a more perpendicular displacement).

Look how badly everyone misunderstood MCP/PIP/DIP motion and OJM. And I thought a few of the final conclusions were obvious just from analyzing my own hand before ever visiting this forum. Yet many teachers and world-class performers thought these mechanics were not happening, and would be a severe handicap to good playing (but they're not).

I feel like our understanding would benefit so much if we had high-speed video of players' fingertips, showing exactly the relationship of nail and string just before, at, and just after exit/release. Showing where the string is displaced to, and how, and how it releases from the nail.

It wouldn't need to be world-class performers. Any good teacher, any professional (even if not world class), or even a student who's trained for a while under a good teacher, would illustrate something interesting to talk about if we had high-speed video of their release.

And heck, even the stock camera app on my Samsung Galaxy S9 phone will do short bits of super slow-mo (unfortunately with no sound). Here, see my rest stroke video example below. You can even watch the string vibrate before my index damps it. Except I'm not an experienced nor well-trained enough player for videos of me to be of any value. And free stroke would be more interesting (but was impossible to do for this video). Also video of thumb free stroke and rest stroke. Maybe tweak the angle to make the string displacement more clear. And have it longer, catching the right action, in proper focus.

A 2nd video angle would be good too. The 1st angle shows the motion in profile, a 2nd could be parallel to the plane of the nail, looking upwards at the finger, into the soundboard. To show exactly where left/right on the nail that the string is leaving the nail. I put a sample photo below. I've rotated the camera to be parallel to the nail, for most useful viewing angle, so it looks like my fingers are perpendicular to the string (Tarrega style), but they're not.

And LOL, please don't critique my technique...filming this is really a 2-person job (with my phone at least), but I was alone, so my guitar is nearly vertical, with my right elbow above the upper bout, near the neck, and my fingers are at right angles to the string like I'm the reincarnation of Tarrega. And my fingernail shape is genetically poor for CG anyway (& index nail currently has a repair job on it :P ).



Another video angle could be:
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Last edited by Jason Kulas on Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:49 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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Crofty
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Re: How To Make Free Stroke Sound Like Rest Stroke

Post by Crofty » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:29 pm

Re the initial video, comparing a not very good sound with a deliberately awful sound, described as "clawing upward" and executed exactly like that [unlike any free stroke I've ever seen demonstrated or recommended] doesn't do a lot to convince me about anything.

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Tom Poore
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Re: How To Make Free Stroke Sound Like Rest Stroke

Post by Tom Poore » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:44 pm

Crofty wrote:Re the initial video, comparing a not very good sound with a deliberately awful sound, described as "clawing upward" and executed exactly like that [unlike any free stroke I've ever seen demonstrated or recommended] doesn't do a lot to convince me about anything.
Precisely. A more accurate title for this video might be this: “Good Free Stroke Versus Bad Free Stroke.”

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA

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Julian Ward
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Re: How To Make Free Stroke Sound Like Rest Stroke

Post by Julian Ward » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:33 pm

I haven't watched the OP's video but I fairly recently made the conscious decision to 'supinate' the right hand after frustrations with 'nail scratch' sounds over taking my playing. I believe my finger shape has changed over the years and my nails have become more hooked. Or perhaps I had developed more opposite turn to the forearm (pronation?). Anyway - supination has taken away the scratch and has improved the tone of my a finger by quite a margin. In fact now I can freely supinate the hand or turn it the other way quite freely and this is something I had not ever tried before. My two latest videos show quite a lot of supination.
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Terpfan
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Re: How To Make Free Stroke Sound Like Rest Stroke

Post by Terpfan » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:18 am

Julian Ward wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:33 pm
I haven't watched the OP's video but I fairly recently made the conscious decision to 'supinate' the right hand after frustrations with 'nail scratch' sounds over taking my playing. I believe my finger shape has changed over the years and my nails have become more hooked. Or perhaps I had developed more opposite turn to the forearm (pronation?). Anyway - supination has taken away the scratch and has improved the tone of my a finger by quite a margin. In fact now I can freely supinate the hand or turn it the other way quite freely and this is something I had not ever tried before. My two latest videos show quite a lot of supination.
Great to have open mind. David Russell used supinated position.

guit-box
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Re: How To Make Free Stroke Sound Like Rest Stroke

Post by guit-box » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:11 am

Many young virtuosos (check out the last dozen or so GFA winners) play with a more supinated wrist position than players from 20-40 years ago.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

guit-box
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Re: How To Make Free Stroke Sound Like Rest Stroke

Post by guit-box » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:36 am

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

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