Pizzicato

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Inky

Pizzicato

Post by Inky » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:31 pm

I have started a new piece, Cancion De Cuna ( Leo Brouwer) also call Berceuse I believe. Anyway, at the beginning there are a few measures that are to be played pizzicato (I hope I've spelled that right), and I don't know that technique. Could someone explain it to me. I know what it sounds like, kind of a muffled tone. It's very nice in the recordings.

Thanks,
Ken

Giacomo Fiore

Re: Pizzicato

Post by Giacomo Fiore » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:48 pm

There are many ways to play pizzicato. The easiest one to learn is akin "palm muting" on acoustic/electric guitar: lightly lay the side of your hand right in front of the saddle, then use your thumb (for now) to pluck the muffled note. You can find the "sweet spot" in terms of how muffled the sound is by shifting your hand more or less in front of the saddle.

Hope this helps!

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Yisrael van Handel
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Location: Modi'in Illit, Israel

Re: Pizzicato

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:32 pm

Thanks for the post. I started reading Calatayud's Vals y Mazurka tonight. The Vals has a section to be played pizzacato. Didn't have any idea what to do. Then I happened to notice your post. Now I know. Thanks.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

Inky

Re: Pizzicato

Post by Inky » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:12 pm

Giacomo Fiore wrote:There are many ways to play pizzicato. The easiest one to learn is akin "palm muting" on acoustic/electric guitar: lightly lay the side of your hand right in front of the saddle, then use your thumb (for now) to pluck the muffled note. You can find the "sweet spot" in terms of how muffled the sound is by shifting your hand more or less in front of the saddle.

Hope this helps!
Giacomo,
Thank you. It works, but I get some buzzing that I'll have to work on. You mention there are many ways. Could you expand on that a little?
Thanks,
Ken

Giacomo Fiore

Re: Pizzicato

Post by Giacomo Fiore » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:47 pm

Sure thing.

For open notes only, you can use your LH to dampen the strings at the nut. Pluck with your right as usual.

Another technique (which was customary in the 19th century) is to play with your fingertips exactly on the frets—that way the flesh of your finger, extending beyond the fret, will dampen the string lightly to produce a muffled tone. Alternatively, you can use a second finger to dampen immediately in front of the fret.

Finally, you can play pizzicato by using an extremely light touch and releasing the pressure as soon as you sound the note. This to me is the most tricky way to perform the technique, but it can be developed to play some pretty fast pizzicato passages that would be impractical otherwise.

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elindley
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Re: Pizzicato

Post by elindley » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:30 am

There are several techniques discussed in this thread.
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Kl3tz
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Re: Pizzicato

Post by Kl3tz » Wed May 08, 2019 12:43 am

Was just looking for the same information. This is probably more professional than me playing with a foam string muter halfway onto my strings :)
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