Sequential Planting

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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DaveLeeNC
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Sequential Planting

Post by DaveLeeNC » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:49 am

I have never worked on sequential planting (EVER). FWIW, I am kind of a low/intermediate player. I am trying to get more serious and Giuliani's RH exercises are on the list and this seems a good place to work on sequential planting. While I have also never worked on full planting this seems kind of natural (not the same as easy).

But sequential planting (to me) is like learning to play the guitar left handed. I can't stroke note n while planting the appropriate finger SIMULTANEOUSLY on note n+1. While I have only worked on this a couple days, this is really hard for me.

Is this typical? Thanks.

dave

ps. I am assuming that sequential planting is more about learning technique as opposed to something that is often useful in performing a piece of music on a classical guitar. Am I right about that?
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Robin
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by Robin » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:43 am

Hello DaveLeeNC,

A quick survey of the classical guitar pedagogy/method books that I have at home all agree that full planting should be developed first. In fact, Anthony Glise's book, Classical Guitar Pedagoy and Larry McDonald's book, Conservatory Tutor For Guitar, Vol. 2 both discuss the use of individual finger planting as a pre-full plant skill.

The individual finger planting starts with each right hand finger on a string, as in a p-i-m-a- pattern. Only one finger plays at a time, while the others rest on the strings. Each finger returns to its string after playing. It creates a staccato type of articulation. This exercise helps to develop finger independence and control but isn't often used as an actual playing technique. Both of the above noted texts recommend starting with the individual finger plant skills and then move into full planting and sequential planting skills.
DaveLeeNC wrote: ps. I am assuming that sequential planting is more about learning technique as opposed to something that is often useful in performing a piece of music on a classical guitar. Am I right about that?


The sequential plant is a valid right hand skill. I was fortunate. My primary guitar teacher taught me both full and sequential planting early in my training so their use in my playing is very natural. The sequential planting is especially tough to learn though.

Since you write that you have not learned either full or sequential planting, that leads me to understand that you play arpeggios without preparation. This is actually much harder to do as the fingers can lose reference to the strings causing difficulties with accuracy and tone control. You might be pleasantly surprised with your playing once you do some solid work learning to play using full and sequential plants. The Guiliani exercises are great. You could also use some easy arpeggio etudes if you want to play something more musical.

Robin
So much music, so little time.

Annette
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by Annette » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:52 am

Hi Dave,
I think there is a misunderstanding, which makes it so difficult for you:
Sequential planting doesn't mean to prepare the next finger "SIMULTANEOUSLY" when using the preceding finger.
You prepare the following finger IMMEDIATELY AFTER using the preceding finger!
This is the way I learned it from my very good and experienced teacher, and so it should become much easier for you.
You could practise this for example with a pima-arpeggio by trying to prepare the i-finger very fast after you played p, then a rest, then play i and prepare m immediately after playing i, then again a rest and so on....
Yours Annette

DaveLeeNC
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by DaveLeeNC » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:15 pm

Robin/Annette, thank you for the clarifications and general information. I do believe that I was interpreting sequential planting in too strict a manner. Here is an interesting example taken from (not here) a well known CG site.

For instance, as we play the thumb stroke on the 4th string, we will be placing the m finger on the second string. Once we play the m finger on the second string, we will place the I finger on the 3rd string, and so on…

Notice that sentence #1 basically says 'pluck and place at the same time". Sentence #2 says "place after plucking". Interesting.

Thanks again.

dave
1984 Jesus Marzal cedar CG
1971 Sherry-Brener (Cedar) Garcia No. 1 CG
1975 Gibson ES-175D Achtop Electric
2016 Eastman AR905CE-BD Carved Archtop Electric

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:27 pm

DaveLeeNC wrote:
ps. I am assuming that sequential planting is more about learning technique as opposed to something that is often useful in performing a piece of music on a classical guitar. Am I right about that?
No. Planting, block or sequential, is a very big part of good right hand technique in the performance of the high level players. It's fundamental to speed, security and relaxation of the hand and arm.

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Larry McDonald
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by Larry McDonald » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:43 pm

Hi,
Full plants are mostly used in ascending arpeggios while sequential plants can be used with any arpeggio. I find that the full plant is a little faster since the pattern can be more easily grouped into one impulse.

Another little tidbit, the speed at which you can prepare the plant -full or sequential- is the speed at which you can play. For sequential plants, play the notes slowly and prepare quickly. Once the preparation is "twitchy" and there is essentially no time between the pluck of the note and the plant, then you can begin shorten the time between the notes.

On last little thing, the full plant and the sequential plant are essentially the same thing, with the understanding that the full plant requires the player to "sequence" more than one finger at a time. Some plant all the fingers at once, and some plant the "i-m-a" portion of the plant after the thumb stroke.

You should be aware that the full plant dampens strings, so I don't usually use it in slow tempos where the damping can be unmusical, unless a pedal type "full-damp" is an obvious option, as in Carcassi Op60, No.3 in A Major. But in fast tempo pieces such as Leyenda/Asturias, ascending full plants are the way to go.

All the best,
Lare
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar Instructor
Royal Conservatory Advanced Theory Instructor

guit-box
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by guit-box » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:17 am


Youtube
This video addresses the subject of planting and a few other things related to arpeggios.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Luis_Br
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by Luis_Br » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:25 pm

Another useful technique to me, which also helps in praparing overal positioning and in the anticipation of movements, is to actually play the notes at the same time, as in repeated chords. Then you gradually delay each finger towards the correct arpegio sequenced notes. You can subdivide more complex patterns in subgroups and practice each group this way. This approach saves me a lot of time, but I recommend it only to advanced players where basic sound and speed control is mastered, or it may result in rhythmic or sound articulation inconsistencies.
I recommend practicing both ways, such as a regular slow sequence of fingers arpegio up to speed, and this simultaneous notes at the same time ("infinit speed" within the arpegio) with gradual delay down to sequencing fingers arpegio speed. So that you approach the correct sequencing speed from both ways. Good thing is that this approach does not dampen the strings when compared to full plant.

Important aspect of both techniques you have to pay attention, is that they help to find a good overall hand position for the whole sequence, while in a regular one note at a time people normally tend to generate a bad habit of positioning hand for the first fingers of the sequence, which results in less balance. Another point is to memorize the sequence as a single move or a gesture, conditining the sequence as a group reflex, which will help a lot with consistent speeding up.

kmurdick
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by kmurdick » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:27 am

There are so many people who have learned to play arpeggios well without ever planting sequential or otherwise, that I am tempted to say the whole idea is a "red herring". Read Berg's book about sympathetic motion which can be practiced without planting.

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tormodg
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by tormodg » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:46 pm

kmurdick wrote:There are so many people who have learned to play arpeggios well without ever planting sequential or otherwise, that I am tempted to say the whole idea is a "red herring".
I have played for 30+ years and still spend time working on planting. I find it an essential part of my technical vocabulary. Sure some players can live without it, but I disagree that that makes it wrong or useless. :?:
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DaveLeeNC
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by DaveLeeNC » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:53 pm

FWIW, I have decided to add planting into my practice routine simply because I was most unhappy with how I could NOT make my fingers do that. Even if I don't need to plant to play what I play, it just seemed like something I should be able to do.

dave
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Robbie Flamerock
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by Robbie Flamerock » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:33 pm

It is a musical choice based on whether you want the strings to be damped or not.

DaveLeeNC
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by DaveLeeNC » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:08 pm

Robbie Flamerock wrote:It is a musical choice based on whether you want the strings to be damped or not.
According to many sources it has an additional purpose related to security and accuracy.

dave
1984 Jesus Marzal cedar CG
1971 Sherry-Brener (Cedar) Garcia No. 1 CG
1975 Gibson ES-175D Achtop Electric
2016 Eastman AR905CE-BD Carved Archtop Electric

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tormodg
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by tormodg » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:21 pm

DaveLeeNC wrote:
Robbie Flamerock wrote:It is a musical choice based on whether you want the strings to be damped or not.
According to many sources it has an additional purpose related to security and accuracy.

dave
Agree! It's partly about control, but a major aspect of planting is the ability to control tone.
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Robbie Flamerock
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Re: Sequential Planting

Post by Robbie Flamerock » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:30 pm

Ideally, however, one's note lengths should be arrived at by musical decisions and not by necessity!

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