Fast and clean arpeggio

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

Post by guitarrista » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:52 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.
No, this is not at all similar to guitar left hand where you press and hold. But I guess we agree to disagree. I assume if I show you similar results from studies involving guitarists there would be something else to dismiss.

P.S. Did you do the experiment? (nothing to do with the paper)
Last edited by guitarrista on Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by guitarrista » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:00 am

guit-box wrote:
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.
No, that's a logical fallacy in multiple ways - (1) because your argument requires that there is only one true prescription of finger motion for achieving guitar technique mastery - which is not true, (2) this is a strawman because I already discussed that this only applies at slow speed - at fast speed you are not going to see bouncing back because the finger already has to reset for the next stroke, and (3) this is not an engineering description recipe to follow, and certainly not a description of particular trajectory of fingertip, but a tool to learn to play with minimal muscle tension.
Last edited by guitarrista on Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by guit-box » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:00 pm

Look at the close-ups of the hands starting at around 1:00 min mark, and you'll see that the finger action of pressing a key is not simply a flexion of the large knuckle (MCP joint) followed by a relaxing of the MCP. There's an important component of that, but also a component of the middle and tip joints flexing while the MCP extends. So when a pianist is playing with primarily finger movements (ie not arm movements) the finger tip traces out an orbital movement just like it does for guitarists, harpists, bassists, and all other instruments. I suspect if we dug deeper in the videos of world class pianists, we'd also find that they are not necessarily relaxing a finger back the instant it keys a note, the fingers just come out as needed.
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by lagartija » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:07 pm

An interesting note about keyboard technique...
I’ve been reading a biography of Bach that has many references from contemporaneous accounts. In the chapter I just read, there was a description of his virtuosic technique and how it differed from other accomplished players at that time. Bach stroked the keys so that his finger tips moved from the contact point to the edge of the keys and off, rather than straight up and down from the contact point as others played. His hands did not move up and down in the manner of most players at that time. He had the keyboard action of the instruments he regularly played set low. It was said in this account of watching him play, that he appeared to play with effortless economical motions and the results were more legato than other players.

When I imagine what his fingers were doing from this description, it seems very much like what we do when we pluck our guitar strings. :-D
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by guit-box » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:33 pm

lagartija wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:07 pm
An interesting note about keyboard technique...
I’ve been reading a biography of Bach that has many references from contemporaneous accounts. In the chapter I just read, there was a description of his virtuosic technique and how it differed from other accomplished players at that time. Bach stroked the keys so that his finger tips moved from the contact point to the edge of the keys and off, rather than straight up and down from the contact point as others played. His hands did not move up and down in the manner of most players at that time. He had the keyboard action of the instruments he regularly played set low. It was said in this account of watching him play, that he appeared to play with effortless economical motions and the results were more legato than other players.

When I imagine what his fingers were doing from this description, it seems very much like what we do when we pluck our guitar strings. :-D
Very interesting. I've heard from one modern classical pianist that they also play as Bach did. I suspect, as is true with guitar technique, 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.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by Nick Cutroneo » 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".
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by guitarrista » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:51 pm

guit-box wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:00 pm
Look at the close-ups of the hands starting at around 1:00 min mark, and you'll see that the finger action of pressing a key is not simply a flexion of the large knuckle (MCP joint) followed by a relaxing of the MCP. [... etc. about joints and trajectory, but not about muscles]
Тraining to play as discussed above with minimal tension is not a description of a trajectory of fingertip. Like I said, you cannot see that difference in muscle tension from a video; also playing (ok, striving to play) with impulse force does not restrict you to a piston-like trajectory - neither in piano, nor in guitar.
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by guit-box » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:34 pm

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.

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Alexander Kalil
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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by Alexander Kalil » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:01 pm

guitarrista wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:45 am
I will first summarize the findings, and then show the main figure from their paper below.
Thanks Guitarrista, that was most illuminating.

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Re: Fast and clean arpeggio

Post by werwoolf001 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:48 pm

This is a very important topic for me. I got a lot of good information. Thanks to all. :)

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