Fast and clean arpeggio

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Terpfan
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by Terpfan » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:53 pm

Larry, in the world of public guitar forum, there is a debate about how to practice arpeggio, but in major institutions and music conservatories this debate was over twenty years ago. Just like climate change, there always be a naysayers. (Although maybe 40% don't believe it. Maybe I am a liberal elite....)

nattyCT
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by nattyCT » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:04 pm

guit-box wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:31 pm
nattyCT wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:53 pm
Hi everyone,

I'm studying the song below.



At 4:00 mark, arpeggio part starts and she keeps it mostly at 140 bpm. I can play it as clean as I can up to 100 bpm and I can bump it up to almost 110 bmp by being very unclean and I've been practicing it for a week and a half. Beyond 110 bpm, my right hand cannot keep up with the tempo. 140bpm looks impossible for me with the rate I'm improving. I don't know whats wrong with me, long nails or technique or lack of practice. Can anyone guide me how to reach that rate with arpeggio?

Update: Shortened nails, having worse tones but it actually helps me to play faster. Have practiced on open string for 2-3 hours, got up to 140 bpm fine in terms of speed. However, there should be heavy training towards having a good tone and timing between strikes. My guess is left and right hand coordination is limiting my right hand tempo. Step by step I will hopefully be there. Also another problem is warming up, it takes very long for me because of my stiff forearm muscles from heavy lifting and snowboarding.
Has NattyCT even replied to any of this? This seems all to common on this forum, someone leaves a question and then never returns for any follow-up. Without a video with closeups of NattyCT's right hand, there's no way to know what's going on.

I'm still studying on it, it seems like I left a question just for some quick answers but in truth I'm trying to improve my play by trying stuff people say even if it doesnt work. If I seem to stuck after a while, I will come back with a rh video. Thanks.

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Alexander Kalil
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by Alexander Kalil » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:11 pm

Nick Cutroneo wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:45 am
Individual finger release simply doesn't work with speedy arpeggios
I urge you to reconsider that position. Individual finger release (play-relax) is the only way I ever practice, and I can ultimately play any arpeggio at any speed I wish. Also, concert performers known to practice this way are some of the fastest players around. This makes me believe that if it doesn't work for you, given your technical proficiency, then something might be wrong in your implementation of the concept.

Nick Cutroneo wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:01 pm
There isn't enough time for each finger to play and release before the next one plays
True, but that's not what individual finger release is about. It is about each finger playing and releasing right after its own stroke, fully independently of what other fingers are doing. Thus if two fingers play in very rapid succession, the release of the first finger will happen after the next finger has plucked, not before.

Nick Cutroneo wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:58 pm
Because of the physical link and limitation of exchanging between M and A it's better to group the release together.
I fail to see the reasoning behind above argument which has been reiterated several times in this thread. The physical link between two fingers only contrains the individual movement of one finger when the other is moving. It does not constrain our ability to invidually release the tension (energy) in one finger when the other is moving. Specifically, the physical link between M and A may restrain A's extension as M is flexing, but does not hinder us from releasing the tension in A as M is flexing.

Oftentimes it is important to make a clear distinction between the mere release of tension in a finger and the finger's physically returning to its playing position, and one such time is when studying the limitations imposed by physical links (shared ligaments) on finger mechanics.

It takes more time to individually pluck and release each finger than it does to group the fingers for releasing out of the hand
I thin it's the other way round. Consider a fast AMI-AMI-AMI sequence. Consider two cases: where A is released right after its stroke, and where A is not released until M is. Obviously, in the second case A takes more time from the moment of its pluck to the completion of its return, due to the brief delay inserted before its release, and this happens in each iteration anew. That ultimately makes the first execution of the sequence faster, not slower.

Crofty
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by Crofty » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:33 pm

Nick Cutroneo wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:24 pm
Crofty wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:40 pm
NICK C
Making it obsessively complicated for them seems both pointless and somewhat perverse.

Paul
Perhaps I'm misinterpreting the context of this statement.
Perhaps you are misjudging the significance of direct quotes Nick. I didn't use the words you placed in quotation marks in your earlier response although I stand by the words above, which followed on from an excellent post from Alexander.

As I've explained a number of times, I don't find your suggestions helpful for my own playing because I have never seemed to have the problems that they seem intended to deal with.

And since I don't see myself as being unusual in this respect [especially having discussed it with numerous colleagues, over many years] I simply feel it may be helpful for others reading threads like this to consider a different point of view.

Paul

Nick Cutroneo
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:57 pm

Crofty wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:33 pm
Nick Cutroneo wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:24 pm
Crofty wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:40 pm
NICK C
Making it obsessively complicated for them seems both pointless and somewhat perverse.

Paul
Perhaps I'm misinterpreting the context of this statement.
Perhaps you are misjudging the significance of direct quotes Nick. I didn't use the words you placed in quotation marks in your earlier response although I stand by the words above, which followed on from an excellent post from Alexander.
If I wished to directly quote you, I would have (seeing as how we have the ability for direct quotes on the forum. The usage of " " I see it as akin to finger quotes. Never in my post did I directly refer to my statement as a direct quote from you. Had I done so, I would have actually said that statement. If you wish to continue this particular discussion - do so in a PM, as it is distracting from the actual thread here.
As I've explained a number of times, I don't find your suggestions helpful for my own playing because I have never seemed to have the problems that they seem intended to deal with.
Right, but this thread isn't what YOU find helpful. My suggestions and clarification is for the original poster to understand how to sequence an arpeggio. This topic was brought up, and it was clear that there was ambiguity in that subject matter. From there I explained the physiological reasons why.
And since I don't see myself as being unusual in this respect [especially having discussed it with numerous colleagues, over many years] I simply feel it may be helpful for others reading threads like this to consider a different point of view.
Funny, I have those very same discussions with numerous colleagues of mine and other players over the years. Except we agree. Thus I find it 100% valid to continue to expose players to this concept.

I suggest instead of trying to convince ME, we should be presenting the topic and material to those who ask in a way which allows them to make their own opinion. Rather than telling them one way is (and here I'm using a direct quote from you) "obsessively complicated". Individual finger releases have their place, but as far as I'm concerned so does a sequenced arpeggio. There's a time and place for everything...
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

Crofty
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by Crofty » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:44 pm

Nick Cutroneo wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:57 pm
My suggestions and clarification is for the original poster to understand how to sequence an arpeggio.
Actually nattyCP didn't give any indication in the initial post that he wanted any clarification on sequencing, although numerous other problem issues were mentioned by him in his initial post.

In fact, apart from one eventual reply, saying a video of his playing was coming soon, [following common sense advice from Julian that this was the most helpful thing to do] there has been nothing further at all.

I note that a number of other experienced players have taken a similar line to my own but am obviously content that anyone reading this thread should come to their own conclusions. Of course, that is much more likely to happen if different views are shared - it's certainly never been my aim or motivation to convince you in this regard, and would like leave it at that now.

By the way, I really like your electric guitar playing.

Paul.

Nick Cutroneo
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:57 pm

Crofty wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:44 pm
Nick Cutroneo wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:57 pm
My suggestions and clarification is for the original poster to understand how to sequence an arpeggio.
Actually nattyCP didn't give any indication in the initial post that he wanted any clarification on sequencing, although numerous other problem issues were mentioned by him in his initial post.
You are correct. However there was a post which presented a video which "kind of" showed sequencing. My explanation was directed to the OP, clarifying what whats going on in the video presented because while it went through the motions/sequence it did not explain the "why we do this" aspect.
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

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OlgaVovk
Student of the online lessons
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by OlgaVovk » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:07 pm

Oh,
Thank you for this video,
It just amazing playing,
SUch a fluence, ease and feel of music,
Thank you so much!
Olga

Terpfan
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by Terpfan » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:45 am

guitarrista wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:02 pm
rfwagner wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:51 am
Terpfan wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:08 am
AMI arpeggio:
A contracts
M contracts
I contracts and AM extends
A contracts
M contracts I extends
I contracts AM extends
Etc...
What’s the theory behind extending AM together? Allen Mathews never really explains that in the video linked above.

Richard
I don't think there is a solid theory behind it that would withstand challenges. Holding a finger in (like for A and M above) means your flexor muscles keep firing, after the stroke, to hold it flexed, thus contributing to the feeling of tension. This is especially bad when people are trying this out slowly.
So when you play scale slowly with i and m, I flex then release back to original position then m plays and release back to original position?? In your theory, slow im alternation is a very tense experience. Even at fast speed, i flex-release m flex-release is better than im alternation.

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guitarrista
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by guitarrista » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:05 pm

Terpfan wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:45 am
guitarrista wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:02 pm
I don't think there is a solid theory behind it that would withstand challenges. Holding a finger in (like for A and M above) means your flexor muscles keep firing, after the stroke, to hold it flexed, thus contributing to the feeling of tension. This is especially bad when people are trying this out slowly.
So when you play scale slowly with i and m, I flex then release back to original position then m plays and release back to original position?? In your theory, slow im alternation is a very tense experience. Even at fast speed, i flex-release m flex-release is better than im alternation.
I am not sure I understand what you agree or disagree with me on.
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

Terpfan
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by Terpfan » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:42 am



PIMA arpeggio

So in your theory the first part where I am holding the finger in produce more tension than playing and releasing??? Anyone can try this and decide for yourself. Video of releasing the finger after playing with absolute fluidity will be appreciated. For me, just trying to avoid hitting the strings gives me more tension.

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guitarrista
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by guitarrista » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:45 am

Terpfan wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:42 am
So in your theory the first part where I am holding the finger in produce more tension than playing and releasing???
A bit more, but yes, of course. You are just not comfortable with the new (to you) motion so that sensation overwhelms anything else. Still, to amplify the effect a bit, try this: hold your ami fingers over the strings relaxed; now flex as if after a stroke and hold all of them flexed, for 10+seconds. Surely you feel that difference in tension (compared to all three relaxed over the strings) as you flexor muscles continue firing for many seconds to hold all three fingers in.

But muscle tension differences cannot be seen in a video. Instead we can turn to scientific papers published in peer-reviewed international journals, where they actually measure muscles response and duration of firing.

One that really shows the systematic differences between amateur and professional players is a 1998 paper by Parlitz et al. in the Journal of Biomechanics: "Assessment of dynamic finger forces in pianists: Effects of training and expertise". While it is about the piano - another string instrument where one derives the sound by striking the strings - its main results are transferable to guitar playing as well.

I will first summarize the findings, and then show the main figure from their paper below.

"From the dynamic force measurements we calculated (a) the mean pulse per touch and (b) the mean touch-duration for each exercise and each subject. To achieve the same tempo and the same loudness, amateurs applied significantly more and longer force to the keys(*), leading to higher mean pulses per touch."

Additionally, from the figure below, amateurs activate unnecessary muscles in addition to the necessary flexors, while experts pianists tend to activate only the needed flexor and nothing else at the precise time needed for the shortest-duration, impulse-like force input, relaxing immediately after the string is hit. Figure demonstrating this (with caption):

CAPTION: Fig. 2. Forces in the four defined measurement areas across 10s [...] of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd finger [passively touching] the respective keys, 4th and 5th finger playing alternately [at 1 second intervals]. The touches of the expert player are short and precise whereas the amateur (dotted line) shows an uncoordinated and uneconomic waste of forces, especially in the non-playing fingers.

piano_impulses.JPG

(*) Nick [Cutroneo], notice that this means experts learn to derive the same loudness with less force than amateurs/students, thus less amplitude after string release in the guitar context. Therefore the amplitude of swinging after the string has been released is not a reliable measure, without accounting for skill level and other things, of loudness; you can play loud with smaller after-release motion if you learn to apply, like expert pianists, an impulse-like precise force to the string. Basically after-release force input is decoupled from the total force input needed during the stroke - of course louder means a higher impulse during string contact (can't defy physics), but the after-contact period can still have very low force and thus a finger 'swing' which is hardly different from playing at lower volume.
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Last edited by guitarrista on Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

Terpfan
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by Terpfan » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:14 am

That research is for piano. If anything this research is similar to left hand of guitar than right hand. Expert guitarist left hand use less tension than amateurs.

Nick Cutroneo
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:43 am

Terpfan wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:14 am
That research is for piano. If anything this research is similar to left hand of guitar than right hand. Expert guitarist left hand use less tension than amateurs.
This. Your research guitarrista which you are sighting is specific for piano technique. Our right hand does not function like a pianists hand.

I think it also should be noted as people, especially on this forum like to do, will pick and choose pieces to fit their argument. There is ALWAYS a follow through into the hand. If there isn't the finger does NOT activate the string. I'm not discounting minimizing the follow through. In fact I have deliberately stated that as advanced players continue their quest for speed, the follow through will LESSEN, but it never goes away. The finger HAS to go into the hand - thus a follow through. These statements seem to go unnoticed - perhaps to my verbose explanations.

Now in regards to dynamics, there's MORE energy, thus the necessity to increase the follow through to dissipate the energy. This will effect their speed. In fact we saw this phenomenon in Terp's video with Grisha when he minimizes his movements. And the insane thing - he SHREDS both loud with large movements and "softer" with smaller movements (his soft isn't ALL THAT soft, but noticeably softer than the 1st example).
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

guit-box
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by guit-box » Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:38 am

If a finger functioning in it's most efficient and relaxed state requires it to bounce back to a mid-range non-flexed position, then this movement would be always present in the hands of all world-class instrumentalists independent of the instrument or left/right hands. Yet there are no guitarists who do pull-offs (the equivalent to right hand plucking) where they always immediately let the finger bounce back on its own. Fingers seem to move most efficiently in world class musicians in an orbital way, not a pendulum play-relax way, 100s of slow motion videos I posted prove this -- see my slow moe youtube page below. This hypothesis about how fingers move best has to apply to all fingers, on all hands, for all instruments, or it's not valid.

Pepe Romero here is not really always letting the fingers bounce back, actually most of the time they return as needed, not immediately.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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