Follow-through: right hand technique video

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
Forum rules
IV Laws governing the quotation/citation of music


For discussion of studies, scales, arpeggios and theory.
User avatar
Alexander Kalil
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:53 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by Alexander Kalil » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:50 pm

guit-box wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:28 pm
This is simply untrue. You can get a great warm and round and projecting tone this way
But it's never going to be the fullest tone your guitar is capable of. I used to play, even concertize, that way (simultaneous PIP flexion and MCP extension), until I had a world class teacher noticing in our first lesson that despite my advanced level I have a rather limited tone, due to my tendency to pull out while pushing in, then demonstrating how overcoming this unlocks the full dynamic potential of my guitar. Ever since then I had countless remedial students playing that way and failing to produce a full crescendo, among other things, then complaining about the guitar's limited dynamic range, until I had to demonstrate on their very own instruments.

pushing thru the string with the MCP is not what the pros are doing .. Barrueco is not pushing thru the string with the MCP
I never said you should push thru the string with the MCP nor that Barrueco does. Sadly you are so obsessed with that MCP pedagogy thingie that you are seeing it everywhere around you.

robert e
Posts: 695
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:49 pm

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by robert e » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:16 pm

robbbb wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:53 am
Here's a simple all-in-one sort of video that helped me with a starting point, making it seem do-able without too many complicated details. Maybe skip to about 10 minutes to see the instruction if you are interested. Let me know what you think.
Thanks. That section is illuminating for me, too.

In the free stroke, he focuses on middle joint flexion and, without remark, appears to allow the big knuckle (MCP) to naturally and passively extend as he does so (by a very small amount--all movements are small, as he emphasizes--but it is clearly there.)

He warns against following through into the palm, even as a learning strategy (13:00).

On the other hand, he warns against *actively* extending the MCP to pull away from the string (18:40) (I note that in plucked chords he does allow the whole hand to slightly rebound away from the strings; again, though, as with his MCP extension this looks like a natural, passive, relaxed response to the simultaneous middle joint action of thumb and fingers).

Also: elliptical motion (14:30), obvious with the thumb but almost imperceptible in ima (and, I note, possible in the latter only with some MCP extension, if the hand stays still).

For me, all this is pretty consistent with what guit-box has been saying, while at the same time emphasizing and illustrating the ideally very small scope of these movements (and, ironically, how difficult they can be to see even in close-up video).

I don't recall where guit-box stands on active vs passive extension of the MCP. Curious to know.

Terpfan
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by Terpfan » Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:51 am

robert e wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:16 pm
robbbb wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:53 am
Here's a simple all-in-one sort of video that helped me with a starting point, making it seem do-able without too many complicated details. Maybe skip to about 10 minutes to see the instruction if you are interested. Let me know what you think.
Thanks. That section is illuminating for me, too.

In the free stroke, he focuses on middle joint flexion and, without remark, appears to allow the big knuckle (MCP) to naturally and passively extend as he does so (by a very small amount--all movements are small, as he emphasizes--but it is clearly there.)

He warns against following through into the palm, even as a learning strategy (13:00).

On the other hand, he warns against *actively* extending the MCP to pull away from the string (18:40) (I note that in plucked chords he does allow the whole hand to slightly rebound away from the strings; again, though, as with his MCP extension this looks like a natural, passive, relaxed response to the simultaneous middle joint action of thumb and fingers).

Also: elliptical motion (14:30), obvious with the thumb but almost imperceptible in ima (and, I note, possible in the latter only with some MCP extension, if the hand stays still).

For me, all this is pretty consistent with what guit-box has been saying, while at the same time emphasizing and illustrating the ideally very small scope of these movements (and, ironically, how difficult they can be to see even in close-up video).

I don't recall where guit-box stands on active vs passive extension of the MCP. Curious to know.
I

I don't disagree with guit box or Hand. However. Try teaching minimum follow through to a beginner. They will never learn to properly stroke the strings.

guit-box
Posts: 1508
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by guit-box » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:13 am

It's not about minimum follow through, that's an incorrect interpretation of what is being said and demonstrated in the videos. You want to follow through, but follow through with the correct joints and not follow through with the wrong joints. If you practice an exaggerated follow through from the middle joint, that seems to automatically extend the large joint at the same time. Which in turn creates more movement from the large knuckle as it travels from above the string until it contacts the string. At that point, the large knuckle is done, and the middle/tip joints take over. Practicing minimum movements is probably not necessary, but neither is following through from the large knuckle after the string is released/sounded.

Check out this closeup slow motion of John WIlliams. Williams probably follows through with the middle joint a little more than Hand does in this clip. Of course neither of them are following through from the large joint.

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

Terpfan
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by Terpfan » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:56 am

guit-box wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:13 am
It's not about minimum follow through, that's an incorrect interpretation of what is being said and demonstrated in the videos. You want to follow through, but follow through with the correct joints and not follow through with the wrong joints. If you practice an exaggerated follow through from the middle joint, that seems to automatically extend the large joint at the same time. Which in turn creates more movement from the large knuckle as it travels from above the string until it contacts the string. At that point, the large knuckle is done, and the middle/tip joints take over. Practicing minimum movements is probably not necessary, but neither is following through from the large knuckle after the string is released/sounded.

Check out this closeup slow motion of John WIlliams. Williams probably follows through with the middle joint a little more than Hand does in this clip. Of course neither of them are following through from the large joint.

Even though on the video, they dont seem to use knuckle joint, the power comes from the knuckle joint.

guit-box
Posts: 1508
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by guit-box » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:29 am

The main knuckle serves a purpose. 1. it delivers the finger to and from the string quickly and 2. it aids in holding or gripping the string while the middle joint plucks the note. Other than that, it's historically been overstated that you need the power of the knuckle joint (MCP) to play the guitar with volume and projection. Too much force from the main knuckle makes plucking feel heavy and percussive and it's not what we can see or hear most of the modern virtuoso players doing.

Watch how large a follow through of the middle joint Pepe Romero uses in this video. His index finger uses mostly middle joint. His middle and ring finger MCP can be seen extending while the string is released.


Here's another example of a great player who extends the main knuckle when plucking


Here you see Gallbraith's plucking movement is light and comes from the middle joint.


Yet another example of the light touch and and extending main knuckle at the moment of pluck
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Terpfan
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by Terpfan » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:24 am

Guit-box, I 've seen opposed motion from people who preach against it. You have given many examples in this forum. The opposed motion usually happens on faster sequences. Your videos definitely help evaluating fast motion. However video does not show inner tension. When we see boxers punch, most of us only see arm movemnent. Arm movement is most noticeable, but the real power comes from rear feet to hip and shoulder rotation combined with the arm extension.

guit-box
Posts: 1508
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by guit-box » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:02 am

This video shows a movement throughout where the finger lengthens (or straightens), reaching out to land on the string. This movement is a flexion of the large knuckle while the middle joint extends. The pluck happens when this movement is reversed (the large knuckle extends and the middle/tip joints flexion). What happens when players are doing faster free strokes is the tell-tale sign of what the correct movement is for the most challenging task. Players can use all kinds of inefficient movements when the requirements are less demanding, but this observation doesn't shed light, we need to look at the most demanding aspects of technique (fast free strokes, tremolo, arpeggios) to learn the required movements.

Slow down this video at around 20:29 min to see the above described movements
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

User avatar
Scott_Kritzer
Posts: 686
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:32 am
Location: Beaverton, Oregon USA

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by Scott_Kritzer » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:38 pm

Quoting Todd: Shearer's writings don't have much use for advanced players.
While I respectfully disagree with Todd’s statement, on the surface he has a good point. First, there are advanced players (of which I consider myself one) who were students of Shearer’s, concert performers, like Ricardo Cobo, David Tanenbaum and Manuel Barrueco.

Secondly, it's not the material - Aaron’s concepts, in my opinion, are bullet proof — but the delivery. Aaron was not a player some of the key elements in his technique (in particular, the movement forms of alternation and sympathetic motion and even follow-through) are explained well, but not taught well. As great as Shearer was at guitar pedagogy he was not a player and these concepts, I’ve learned, require a systematic integration — something Aaron, as a non player, would have a hard time conceptualizing.

I talked to Aaron about a lack of disconnect between his materials and what his players were doing.I asked him why I don’t see these motions (movement forms) in his students to which he replied; “I tell them over and over and just eventually stop mentioning them.”

And if you’re a full range of motion guy (and by that I mean drawing the flexing finger into alignment with the knuckle of P) Shearer’s explanations, while don’t give much direction, are accurate to a tee — would that more concert players followed them!

So yes I think Shearer’s materials are fantastic - That said, I think they need a more practical form of integration than his books. With regards to follow through, the first state in achieving a full range of motion accomplished through a properly positioned hand. One where the knuckle is positioned over the strings and the fingers form a leveraged angle. Guitarists rarely achieve this. I’ve been guilty of poor positioning for years; dropping my wrist, slightly extending my fingers, and playing back too far. An improperly positing of the right hand will make in nearly impossible to achieve a good stroke. Finally I decided to work on repositioning and when I finally integrated the proper position my accuracy — and ease of play — went up - Instead of my fingers searching for the strings they simply follow a consistent arc and contact the string, not only consistently, but at the strongest point in the stroke. Feels good! So using what i learned from Lorimer on practice, and some luck (or bad luck) I'm able apply these and other concepts into my playing as have my students.

Since leaving my college teaching positions most of my studio is made up of non-professional players and yes, these concepts translate well to the non professional (to Todd's point). But these are also critical to advanced/professional players (who I do currently, and in the past have taught).

My approach (under the guidance of David Feingold and through a beta online version) was integrated last year at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Two of the advanced students learned this method and taught and taught the other guitarists in the program. David had me up this year to shore things up but there wasn’t much to do but add some more advanced work. They did a great job teaching these concepts!

This summer I’m running a technique boot camp for a handful of guitar majors working under Jesse McCann and Mario Diaz at Portland State University in Oregon. So yes, even though many of them don't do it — a proper follow-through can be achieved, even by advanced players
Classical Guitarist Scott Kritzer
www.scottkritzer.com

guit-box
Posts: 1508
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by guit-box » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:54 am

Check out how Viloteau clearly extends the main knuckle (MCP) while flexing the other joints. Shearer's principal of uniform direction of motion where he insists that joints should never be flexing while simultaneously extending is just simply false. You can find examples of players trying to make this work, but it never does, you have to look at the modern virtuoso players such as the last 10 years of GFA winners to see that nobody world class does what Shearer teaches. Joints very naturally move in opposing directions, tracing an orbital motion of the fingertip as it goes from plucking to re-positioning for the next pluck.



Listen to Barruecco talk about how he refused to do Shearer's free stroke and how he came up with his own way of getting a better sounding free stroke than Shearer's students at the time were getting. See 14 min mark.
http://podbay.fm/show/283597035/e/1221955200
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Terpfan
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by Terpfan » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:57 am

guit-box wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:54 am
Check out how Viloteau clearly extends the main knuckle (MCP) while flexing the other joints. Shearer's principal of uniform direction of motion where he insists that joints should never be flexing while simultaneously extending is just simply false. You can find examples of players trying to make this work, but it never does, you have to look at the modern virtuoso players such as the last 10 years of GFA winners to see that nobody world class does what Shearer teaches. Joints very naturally move in opposing directions, tracing an orbital motion of the fingertip as it goes from plucking to re-positioning for the next pluck.



Listen to Barruecco talk about how he refused to do Shearer's free stroke and how he came up with his own way of getting a better sounding free stroke than Shearer's students at the time were getting. See 14 min mark.
http://podbay.fm/show/283597035/e/1221955200
The Barrueco interview is great.

User avatar
Scott_Kritzer
Posts: 686
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:32 am
Location: Beaverton, Oregon USA

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by Scott_Kritzer » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:58 pm

Guit box:

Thanks for the videos and interview with cue. And I appreciate your insight even though we seem to go round and round (bicycling) or back and forth (full range of motion) over these concepts.

Guitbox states:
Joints very naturally move in opposing directions, tracing an orbital motion of the fingertip as it goes from plucking to re-positioning for the next pluck.
Just because joints can move in opposed motion doesn't mean they should.

Guit box states:
You can find examples of players trying to make this work [not flexing while simultaneously extending] but it never does.
I've seen plenty of great and good players that don't that don’t bicycle but in fact move with a quite different motion; one where the fingers swing back and forth, to varying degrees. Not up and around. Is this the Shearer criteria that you're referring to or something else overall??

I have found great success with a running motion over a bicycling movement. A finger that moves to its full range of motion is able to relax as part of each stroke. A finger that moves in an opposed joint motion — opposed joints that are being moved by simultaneously opposing muscle groups — never reaches a range for release. I have found the more I understand this concept the better my technique and the more ease at which I can play. The more efficient the movement the less wear and tear. And with that the potential to improve.

Most of my RH technique is driven by the technical concepts that I got from my work with Aaron, mostly over one summer, where we worked solely on the right hand. And while I'm an outlier of the Shearer school I certainly considered the depth of his understanding to be heads above many well known players. My work with him came born out of a technical frustration from years of study with (some great) concert performers where little to no attention to proper hand development was given. Understandable, technically I should have known that already.

In fact, I have found that great players often transcend technique. Further, if we were to study their movements, the less talented amongst us would likely come to the conclusion that a) we can't play like that or b) wouldn't want to play like that. The great Julian Bream’s hands are uncomfortable to watch. As much as I love his playing, unless I could actually play like him as a result, I wouldn't choose to play that way. There are great players with sub par technique and lesser players with better technique. And then there are the great players with great technique, like some of the ones we're discussing here.

Thanks——
Classical Guitarist Scott Kritzer
www.scottkritzer.com

guit-box
Posts: 1508
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by guit-box » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:11 pm

Manuel Barrueco in slow motion. Not only did he disagree with Shearer on free stroke technique (as you can hear in his podcast I posted above) but you can see he doesn't follow Shearer's principal of uniform direction of motion where Shearer insisted that joints should all either flexion together or extend together. He doesn't do it because it doesn't work, and nobody who plays at a world class level is moving the joints this way. There are plenty of players who "think" this is what they are doing, but slow down video of them playing fast free strokes and it shows otherwise.

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

Terpfan
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by Terpfan » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:35 pm

With Barrueco opposed motion occurs after note has been played. Viloteau in other hand purposely used opposed motion. However I found his sound little on the weak side.

User avatar
Scott_Kritzer
Posts: 686
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:32 am
Location: Beaverton, Oregon USA

Re: Follow-through: right hand technique video

Post by Scott_Kritzer » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:13 pm

Yes, I’ve watched the video and listened to the article the first time you posted. (Thanks) And I’ve briefly talked to Manuel one time about this. While MB is all time great great great — and a joy to watch and listen to, I got to see one of his earliest public performances in the late 70's at a 3-week Leo Brouwer master class in Berkeley, CA. Blew everyone away and to this day still does. So don't get me wrong, I love his playing...but.... I still think Shearer’s concept of follow through is the most efficient way of flexing and extending the finger and the best way to drop tension out of the hand. In addition, bicycling negates the concept of sympathetic motion, the idea of moving two or more fingers in one direction, and at least skews alternation.
Nobody is moving his joints that way
I agree. I didn't see many Shearer students who were actually executing the free stroke that I now do and certainly none that exhibited the sympathetic motion patterns in their performing. I haven't watched everyone but I noticed when I worked with Aaron one time in NC. I mentioned it to him and his comment was "I tell them and tell them" as he threw his hands up in the air. Then one day I videotaped my hand and found I wasn't doing them!!!!!!! Holy MOLY. Big problem. While these concepts are few and simple, it's easy to fool oneself into thinking all one has to do is practice them in your technical workout and they'll just show up in your playing. Not the case, very depressing to discover. And how would Shearer know what's necessary to take a concept all the way to a performance? He wasn't a player. I didn't know what was necessary for years myself and I am a practicing performer! It was only by accident — working my way back from a 3 month hiatus from the guitar due to a nasty knee injury and recovery — did I come upon a way to integrate these forms. Mostly by forming a low-demand integration system that I add daily to my technique practice.

Guit-box
There are plenty of players who "think" this is what they are doing, but slow down video of them playing fast free strokes and it shows otherwise.
Definitely right about that - I have thought plenty of times that I was doing a movement when I wasn’t. (even in my more enlightened days) :shock: :oops: I think a lot of us players fall into that category. I have found the more videotaping I do the better I stay on track. But since my parameters are clear regarding positioning and movement and so I simply realign where I got off the path.

Thanks!
Classical Guitarist Scott Kritzer
www.scottkritzer.com

Return to “Classical Guitar technique”