"Tips" for guitarists

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Sound
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by Sound » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:24 pm

eno wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:03 pm
Hi Dmitry,

Very interesting article but I have a question. As it is said in the article:
"In the beginning of 1990s a new style of guitar playing was gaining popularity. It differed significantly from the classic technique used by Francisco Tarrega, Emilio Pujol, Miguel Llobet, Andres Segovia, and John Williams - almost all of the outstanding guitarists of the 19-20th centuries. The different hand position was being taken as a game changer which would lead to a revolutionary breakthrough and a new aesthetics of guitar sound."

Could you please explain the difference between the hand positions of the classic and new style techniques? Or perhaps just point me to a material or article where it is explained and illustrated?
In brief, see A. Segovia “My Book of the Guitar”, paragraphs about the sitting and the right hand’s position. Someone would like the text to be not so short, but (as Chekhov sad) «the brevity is the sister of talent»

Visit the YouTube Channel of very famous American guitar player Alice Artzt (
http://www.classicalmusicblogspot.com/a ... ice-artzt/)

Comments are especially interesting

guit-box
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by guit-box » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:21 pm

Alice A. is from the Ida Presti school (as she says in the video). At first, it seems like there are only a few players (mostly French) who play off the right side of the nail (or in other words, start the stroke on the right side of the nail and slide along the nail until the string releases to the left of the starting point). But on closer inspection of youtube videos, I discovered many of the old-school players who I thought were ramping left-to-right were actually ramping right-to-left at least some of the time. Maybe they even switch it up and do both.

Here's Oscar Ghilia playing right-to-left.



Here's Segovia seeming to play ramp right-to-left

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

Sound
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by Sound » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:08 am

Dear all!
 The interview with Christopher Parkening appeared in the YouTube this August. It's very interesting in general. But I'd like to point out 2 replies of Maestro:
 GuitarCoop Interview Series - CHRISTOPHER PARKENING - Part 2/4

17:51  - The Sound

GuitarCoop Interview Series - CHISTOPHER PARKENING - Part 4/4

5:40 - Right Hand
In my opinion this is accordant to this theme...

Luis_Br
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by Luis_Br » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:28 pm

guit-box wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:21 pm
But on closer inspection of youtube videos, I discovered many of the old-school players who I thought were ramping left-to-right were actually ramping right-to-left at least some of the time. Maybe they even switch it up and do both.
Yes, the idea is to do both. Why to restrict yourself to just one pluck or one hand position?

Slipping towards bridge gives a bit dryer and brighter sound, slipping towards soundhole gives a warmer sound. Different fingernail characteristics from either side also has an influence in the result.
Instead of playing from left corner towards center of nail, you can also play from center towards right corner and also from both sides. You can also start from more flesh or play only from the very tip and only nail. All variations give slight different results, besides moving the whole hand toward soundhole or bridge.
I also recommend this video:

I mean actually the whole video, you need to buy the DVD (I've bought it). He explains the "advantages" of a more perpendicular approach. He also explains and demonstrates the sound of slipping toward soundhole and toward bridge. Not really a thorough explanation, but he demonstrates and sound result differences are quite clear (this part is not in the youtube trailer).

A good and responsive guitar also makes a lot of difference. Several factory built guitars won't give as much variation. Some luthiers also seem to build guitars for an "easy" average loud sound which end up restricting tonal color variation.

Another important point of Parkening discussion, is the sound quality of CD remastering. I entirely agree that listening to Segovia on LP is by far better. It is also true for most Bream recordings (try listening to his Westminster LPs and compare to the CDs for the same recordings...). I think it is also true for Jimi Hendrix recordings, for example. Unfortunately I haven't listen to any of them in live concert to compare with recording sound.

About being comfortable with hand position, sometimes comfort fights against musical result. As Parkening said in the interview, sometimes you have to leave the comfort zone to get a different sound or musical result. Using more vibratos make left hand work much more difficult too.

I also never get tired of repeating the same things, against the school that straight wrist is healthier. It is just an oversimplification. I agree straight wrist is better for tendons at first analysis, but if a bit of bent wrist is uncomfortable, it means bad technique. As Artzt explained, if you press too hard from tip and stress too much forearm tendons, straight wrist seems better, but if you learn to put more effort to knuckle and use inner hand strength, it releases that problem. Another point is learning to really relax and release the wrist which additionally makes things easier to tendons.
We can check in the videos that Dimitri also has a very relaxed hand-wrist attitude, a very important point to the traditional approach (actually to any approach).

guit-box
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by guit-box » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:47 pm

In order to have this variation of playing on all sides of the nail it requires a more uniform rounded nail shape. Many of the straight wrist players use nails that are ramped and have a ledge. If you fall off the ledge it snags, so a left to right ramp just doesn't work for right to left playing. When I look at Dmitry's right hand I see him turning it towards the bridge like Segovia and Williams do, but interestingly he told me he doesn't think he bends his wrist at all and he doesn't think about what side of the nail he plays on. I don't understand how he can't see that his wrist is bending towards the bridge but that's what he said. I like all the different ways that guitarists play, but if you've invested in the straight wrist approach with ramped nail shapes, I don't think it's possible to play any other way unless you reshape the nails and re-think the whole approach. Most of the new players are playing with a slightly supinated and straight wrist with a moderate to low arch. Check out the recent GFA winners.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Dmitry Nilov
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by Dmitry Nilov » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:40 pm

Hello to everyone!

Thank you for reading and discussing this theme! :)

About the right wrist: I'd like to remind you that my wrist isn't bent but has such a position due to its freedom.

About the shape of nails: the nails should repeat the line of the fingertips exactly. Due to such a shape of nails I can change the angle of attack and as the result - timber of the guitar's sound. But it is better for playing the slow music. While playing the fast techniques (passages, arpeggios, tremolo) usually the freedom of the wrist is kept and the angles of attack don't change.
:merci:

guit-box
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by guit-box » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:32 pm

Can you describe in more detail what you mean by "freedom of wrist"? If I had to describe what I see when I look at your wrist from the viewing angle of being in front of you, what I see is you arch the wrist and let gravity drop the hand, so in that sense there is freedom from tension or from holding the wrist in that position, because gravity is causing the position. But the wrist is bent to the right (towards the bridge) because gravity is pulling it into that position. So I don't think you are holding it bent, but the wrist is taking a small turn, much more of a turn than it does when you just drop you arm to the side of your body. In that position, the wrist is completely straight. If we view what your wrist looks like on the guitar and compare it to what it looks like when your arm is dropped effortlessly to your side, the wrist angle is different. No?
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

guit-box
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by guit-box » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:53 pm

Sound wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:08 am
Dear all!
 The interview with Christopher Parkening appeared in the YouTube this August. It's very interesting in general. But I'd like to point out 2 replies of Maestro:
 GuitarCoop Interview Series - CHRISTOPHER PARKENING - Part 2/4

17:51  - The Sound

GuitarCoop Interview Series - CHISTOPHER PARKENING - Part 4/4

5:40 - Right Hand
In my opinion this is accordant to this theme...
This is really interesting, especially the second video around 7:00 minutes where he talks about how all the old-style players used a bent wrist (Segovia, himself, Bream, Williams) and how he likes the tone better with the bent wrist because he can play off the left or the right side of the nail. He also tells an interesting story about Segovia playing off the left side of the thumb. Fascinating stuff!
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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eno
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by eno » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:20 pm

guit-box wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:53 pm
This is really interesting, especially the second video around 7:00 minutes where he talks about how all the old-style players used a bent wrist (Segovia, himself, Bream, Williams) and how he likes the tone better with the bent wrist because he can play off the left or the right side of the nail. He also tells an interesting story about Segovia playing off the left side of the thumb. Fascinating stuff!
Thanks for the clips, Parkening is one of my favorite players and of course I can't argue with his arguments about the bent wrist position. But there is also an anatomic side of this issue: Segovia, Williams and Parkening have a very curved thumb that makes playing with bent wrist easy and natural. But many people (me included) have a straight thumb and when the wrist is bent then playing with straight thumb is inconvenient and does not sound as good. And the other way around: for people with curved thumb playing with straight wrist is less convenient and the thumb doesn't sound good. By the way, Julian Bream actually plays with straight wrist AND he has a straight thumb. So I think the choice between straight and bent wrist has a lot to do with anatomic reasons (individual thumb shape) in addition to other musical reasons.
bream.jpg
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guit-box
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by guit-box » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:05 am

Yes, I agree with you Eno, guitarists and teachers should be more flexible and allow people to find what works for them. I'm the same as you and prefer to play with a straight wrist and my thumb is straight. I've actually been experimenting with forearm supination (rotating so the pinky is closer to the soundboard). Many of the virtuoso younger players are using this position, and a lot of GFA winners lately. Also, Parkening says in the video above how something like 99% of players these days play with a straight wrist. So, if that's true (probably a little exaggerated) then it's just as valid as playing with a bent wrist. I still don't get how Dmitry can't see his wrist is bent (even if it's bent using free gravity). Do you agree that Dmitry's wrist looks bent?
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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eno
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by eno » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:15 pm

guit-box wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:05 am
I still don't get how Dmitry can't see his wrist is bent (even if it's bent using free gravity). Do you agree that Dmitry's wrist looks bent?
Yes, Dmitry does play with bent wrist and he is an avid advocate of this position.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Takamine C136S 1976
Masaru Kohno No.6 1967

guit-box
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by guit-box » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:21 pm

eno wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:15 pm
guit-box wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:05 am
I still don't get how Dmitry can't see his wrist is bent (even if it's bent using free gravity). Do you agree that Dmitry's wrist looks bent?
Yes, Dmitry does play with bent wrist and he is an avid advocate of this position.
I agree that he bends his wrist but I highly doubt he would say he's advocating bending the wrist, read his above posts, he insists that his wrist is NOT bent. His tremolo is probably the best I've ever seen/heard, the position works for him for sure. I just don't understand where he's coming from by saying it's "free" but not bent.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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eno
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by eno » Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:49 pm

guit-box wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:21 pm
I agree that he bends his wrist but I highly doubt he would say he's advocating bending the wrist, read his above posts, he insists that his wrist is NOT bent. His tremolo is probably the best I've ever seen/heard, the position works for him for sure. I just don't understand where he's coming from by saying it's "free" but not bent.
I think we just use different naming conventions. Essentially what Parkening calls "bent" is what Dmitry calls "free". I guess he calls it "free" because it feels like the palm is sort of "free-dangling" as opposed to "held firm" in straight position.
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Takamine C136S 1976
Masaru Kohno No.6 1967

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guitarrista
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by guitarrista » Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:56 pm

eno wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:49 pm
guit-box wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:21 pm
I agree that he bends his wrist but I highly doubt he would say he's advocating bending the wrist, read his above posts, he insists that his wrist is NOT bent. His tremolo is probably the best I've ever seen/heard, the position works for him for sure. I just don't understand where he's coming from by saying it's "free" but not bent.
I think we just use different naming conventions. Essentially what Parkening calls "bent" is what Dmitry calls "free". I guess he calls it "free" because it feels like the palm is sort of "free-dangling" as opposed to "held firm" in straight position.
That's exactly it. Bent is seen as if 'forcefully bent'; in any case as implying action; and thus Mr. Nilov says his isn't [forcefully] bent, but is free [to take the position it takes naturally, relaxed under its own weight; which does not require action but is a passive/relaxed/natural setup]. There is no actual disagreement.
Konstantin
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guit-box
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Re: "Tips" for guitarists

Post by guit-box » Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:37 am

I guess, but it's still a stretch to say his wrist is not bend...which is what he says in an earlier post. If I stand up straight, my body is not bent. If I relax my body and give in to gravity and touch my toes, my body is bent. Just because I'm relaxed and gravity does the work doesn't mean I'm not bent at the waist. You're probably right that it's just a difference in how we define the word bent. I've come across the same thing with people who don't like the word collapse when it's used with tip joints.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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