How Did the Virtuosi Learn the Correct Way When They Assumed the False Way?

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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DevonBadger
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Location: Devon, UK

Re: How Did the Virtuosi Learn the Correct Way When They Assumed the False Way?

Post by DevonBadger » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:14 am

Larry McDonald wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:17 am
What I see is what guit-box sees, that the professional brings the finger to the string by simultaneously extending the PIP and DIP, while flexing the MCP. After the "work" of the force exerted on the string (the "pluck"), we observe the exact opposite of this motion; the MCP extends while the PIP and DIP flex (the "relax").
Is this a description of 'bicycling'? A term that comes up in posts from time to time, usually as something to avoid I thought.

Maybe getting on our bikes is the way to go after all.

For me this is how my fingers move naturally anyway. If I simply focus on plucking the string in the most relaxed way, without trying to move my joints in any particular way, then the description above is how my fingers move.

There was a time when I deliberately tried to move from the MCP (after reading that this is correct in various method books, watching YT videos, reading posts here, and trying to copy Bream videos where he seems to do that... what an idiot (me, not JB), I won't do that again). But I ended up with stiff and tense fingers which started to hurt and didn't sound that great either. Fortunately I have a good teacher who spotted what I was doing and told me that all the joints should move and to just focus on being relaxed. Things are much improved since then.

DevonBadger
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun May 29, 2016 8:03 pm
Location: Devon, UK

Re: How Did the Virtuosi Learn the Correct Way When They Assumed the False Way?

Post by DevonBadger » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:27 am

So to reply to the OP, perhaps there was a tendency with beginners to only move the DIP and PIP joints and that the MCP is locked. If that were so, I can see it would be useful to point out that the MCP should move as well.

It just seems to have been given an extreme emphasis and become the main focus of the pluck, rather than being seen as just one part of a movement which involves all the joints.

kmurdick
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:48 pm

Re: How Did the Virtuosi Learn the Correct Way When They Assumed the False Way?

Post by kmurdick » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:40 pm

When I was trying to work out what was going on with tremolo, I noticed that the knuckle joint segment made one kind of movement and the middle joint segments made another type. From the knuckle it looks like m and a move together as one finger and alternate with i. The middle joints look maybe like they have more independent movement?

choctawchas
Posts: 845
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:37 pm

Re: How Did the Virtuosi Learn the Correct Way When They Assumed the False Way?

Post by choctawchas » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:04 am

They learnt by following many different paths and finding the one that resulted in a strong, flexible, relaxed technique based upon their own physiology.

The 'correct way' is the one that works for you.

Go find it.
Oliver Moore 2012
Miles Henderson Smith 2012

Lawler
Posts: 884
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:36 am

Re: How Did the Virtuosi Learn the Correct Way When They Assumed the False Way?

Post by Lawler » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:47 am

choctawchas wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:04 am
They learnt by following many different paths and finding the one that resulted in a strong, flexible, relaxed technique based upon their own physiology.

The 'correct way' is the one that works for you.

Go find it.
Great post, choctawchas.

And to address the question in the thread title, what would make you think, Robbie, that a virtuoso, or anyone who plays well, would assume anything?
"The greatest strength is gentleness." - Native American proverb

guit-box
Posts: 1029
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: How Did the Virtuosi Learn the Correct Way When They Assumed the False Way?

Post by guit-box » Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:08 am

DevonBadger wrote:
Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:14 am
Larry McDonald wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:17 am
What I see is what guit-box sees, that the professional brings the finger to the string by simultaneously extending the PIP and DIP, while flexing the MCP. After the "work" of the force exerted on the string (the "pluck"), we observe the exact opposite of this motion; the MCP extends while the PIP and DIP flex (the "relax").
Is this a description of 'bicycling'? A term that comes up in posts from time to time, usually as something to avoid I thought.

Maybe getting on our bikes is the way to go after all.

For me this is how my fingers move naturally anyway. If I simply focus on plucking the string in the most relaxed way, without trying to move my joints in any particular way, then the description above is how my fingers move.

There was a time when I deliberately tried to move from the MCP (after reading that this is correct in various method books, watching YT videos, reading posts here, and trying to copy Bream videos where he seems to do that... what an idiot (me, not JB), I won't do that again). But I ended up with stiff and tense fingers which started to hurt and didn't sound that great either. Fortunately I have a good teacher who spotted what I was doing and told me that all the joints should move and to just focus on being relaxed. Things are much improved since then.
Yes, your intuition is serving you best, ignore all that other nonsense you read about in method books and YT instructional videos about the MCP being the main thrust.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

kmurdick
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:48 pm

Re: How Did the Virtuosi Learn the Correct Way When They Assumed the False Way?

Post by kmurdick » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:37 am

The question of the the OP was "How Did the Virtuosi Learn the Correct Way When They Assumed the False Way? "

Here's how it happened with Shearer who was, IMO, very successful in getting students to play the correct way. First off, a rapid free stroke alternation both pretty much looks (at normal speed) and feels like the strict pendulum model. Of course we have always known that it can't be a strict pendulum model or you would hit the string on the way back. If you teach the stroke as flexing from both the knuckle and middle joints at the same time and then relax after the string is plucked, you will get from the student what you see in those 100 slo-mo videos. In addition, if you can spot when an efficient free stroke is happening and leave well alone as Shearer could (most of the time), you probably don't really need to know what is actually happening. Virtuosi get it because it is actually very easy to do - 90% of it is just getting the the hand and fingers in the correct relationship to the string and keeping it there for each string as you change strings (crossing!). That might be Shearer's biggest discovery. (Segovia, BTW, had trouble doing this and it hurt him)

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