Nick Cutroneo wrote: ↑
Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:44 pm
guit-box wrote: ↑
Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:33 pm
what players say
they do and what they actually
do is very different. The thing is, we can now look at all the best players on youtube and slow down the closeups and see for ourselves
, we no longer need to continue repeating unverified advice about technique.
I think the biggest misconception is when players describe whats going on, probably 90% of the time it's the sensation. Take the "play from the large knuckle" concept. Playing from the large knuckle does not mean do not use the other joints, but rather that's where the motion originates from. Very similarly to how we use our legs in walking. None of the joints are "motionless", but rather the large knuckle is where (for lack of a better word) the power comes from.
With looking at videos and slowing them down, they can beneficial to a point. I have always believed that there is an inherent danger in making your fingers "look" a certain way. Rather understanding the dynamics of how the fingers function and expressing the sensation created when properly executed will allow the student be successful. Observation is great, but observation on its own won't get the desired results as there are things going on "under the hood" that we don't see. What a player says about their technique is just as valid as it presents their conception of how to execute something.
Neither is an end all/be all approach, but rather both, any and all should be considered as well as the concept that technique will look and be different at different stages of development. The great players have gotten there based on their approach - even if what they say and do are not always "aligned". With that said, someone who's been playing for a small amount of time won't be able to emulate a masters' technique. Not truly. Maybe superficially...but as I said before, I don't believe in the approach of making something "look right".
Agreed, a lot of players hands look different, what it looks like shouldn't be the only concern but it can be enlightening. I do think there is commonality about how the joints move in a right hand of a world class guitarist. I'm also beginning to think that the description of the main force coming from the main knuckle is both correct and incorrect. It all depends on which moment in time you consider to be the pluck. For me, the very millisecond before the sound occurs is what is activating the pluck. In many of the videos what's happening at that
moment is a release
(extension) of the main knuckle joint (MCP) and a flexion of the middle joint (PIP). On the other hand, if your focus is on the pressing from the main knuckle just before that time, then I could see where that pressing might seem like initial activation. For me, the joints moving in flexion right when the note is perfectly aligned with the metronome click is what creates the pluck, but of course setup for the note is important too.
I just re-watched Ali Arango's Tonebase lesson on fast rest stroke scales. He has two points he stresses for fast scales. 1. moving from the large knuckle is the correct and fastest movement and 2. relaxing the tip joints allows the finger to get thru the string with the least restriction making for faster scales. He also makes a point about how subtle changes in his nails can slow him down. The interesting thing is you can slow down the Tonebase player to 50%. When I do that and watch his rest stroke scales, what I see at the millisecond the note is sounded is the MCP joint extending in both i and m fingers. He's not pushing thru with the MCP beyond the initial plant/pressure, the release is all about flexing the middle joint, relaxing the tip and extending (or releasing if you prefer) the large knuckle. I can't play fast like him, but when I follow the model of what I see him doing (vs how I interpret what he's saying) my rest stroke scales are better. So, I can gain from both listening to what they say but also sometimes ignoring what they say and instead doing as they do. It may be that he's intending the listener to focus on the setup on the string and not the activation of the note, in which case then he's focusing on the main knuckle and expecting you to just figure out the rest yourself, which to me is an oversimplification but that's commonplace I've discovered over the years.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.