Hi guitarlovers ,
Bit of a post here but I think it's worth reading...and since I'm new here I would like to start off with a bang
I've been reading the guit-box thread with all the slo-mo vids. I think it's very interesting and I admire someone sinking his teeth into something.
My main goal with this thread mainly concerns the way guitar is taught and understood.
I also think there is an underlying technique or principle at work regarding to plucking a string correctly. All good players get this right in one way or another.
Wether it's concious or not.
We are all subject to physics and HAVE to abey to it's laws to get that string to sing to us.
I feel it is time to get to the core of the main underlying principle, understand it, and TEACH it in a logical, understandable way.
I'm talking about the plucking motion from beginning to end here
I know library's have been written on the subject and it's a fairly complex one...but in this day and age, it doesn't have to be anymore. Resources are all around and everybody can put in their two cents
. Until you finally and hopefully arrive at that core skill and it's fabrics so to speak.
The best I've come across until now is..Play from the Big Knuckle..or as guit-box and others believe...from the Middle Knuckle. Then there's the rigid tip or flexible tip...and many many other focus points. Which all have their purpose and value, don"t get me wrong.
But...what leaves me, well annoyed to be frank, is the fact that the main skill and it's physics and logical order, steps lets say, are never adressed fully, logically and understandable. It's nothing to be vague or incomplete about in my book..after all, This is the stuff music is made of, the bricks that build the house. Shortly..the absolute starting point for a guitarplayer . Yet...this is so overlooked and surrounded by vagueness.
Some get the gest, and tell a little part of the story. This is no good for the student...and can cause heaps of trouble and frustration for them..often leading to giving up altogether. Let's tell the whole story and do it right is what I am proposing.
Now, I don't claim to have this knowledge for a fact..but I do have some simple and understandable ideas I would like to share with you. I am also hoping for feedback from you. In short...I wonder if we can give the pedagoge on the subject a new impuls or maybe even a new standard.
Remember, if you poses a skill, it seems easy enough for you. The real challenge lies in teaching it to others who don't. This takes brutal honesty and self reflection on the teachers part.
Ok, i would like to start with a free stroke and how I believe it really works, and what actually is going on.
4 relative easy to understand steps. ( I like to use these terms: BK= big knuckle, MK= middle knuckle, TJ= tipjoint or little knuckle)
1. The BK brings the finger to the string, it lands/contacts in it's middle range of motion or there about.
2. The BK energizes the string by rotating inwards, by this I mean displaces it. The MK holds it's position. The TJ does too...or it gives completely. This is a choice.
Now !! step 3 and 4 are poorly described and understood overall in my opinion and the reason I made this thread
The MJ and TJ relax completely but are hold in place by the BK which does not relax. So, no actual movement comes from this relaxation. It's non detectable from the outside but muscles on the inside of the hand and arm are relaxing. It is crucial they are in order for them to aid in step 4
4. The BK gives the final push by rotating a little more inwards, a final twitch so to speak. While the BK does this, the MK actually 'gives' upwards. It can only do so because it is relaxed..The same goes for the TJ . It holds no tension while it is being moved by the BK...
Then...because it is relaxed and has no choice to do otherwise..and contact with the string has ended due to the movement of the BK...The TJ whips around and over the string, like an arrow leaving it's bow..creating a 'plopping' sound....followed by sound. And not just any sound...but musical sound. The result of the right amount of energy, relaxation and uncontrolled accelaration. All in their rightfull place and order.
Step 4 happens at lightning speed and, in my opinion, is impossible to see with the naked eye.Even if reviewed frame by frame. this is the magical bit. One has to feel it to understand...I mean physically feel the sensation (by feel it i'm not talking about emotion perse)
So..I believe the fingertip is catapulted away and because of this gains the speed needed to overcome the resistance of the string and create that wonderful sound.
I would love to hear your thoughts!
( English is not my native language so please forgive any spelling mistakes and such)