Help me with my tremolo

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Rasputin
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Re: Help me with my tremolo

Post by Rasputin » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:52 pm

A bit of thought and experimentation suggests that doing the staccato drill but concentrating on landing as near as possible to the nail helps, as does keeping the nails shorter. Any other tips very welcome!
kmurdick wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:07 pm
The trick with a almost any right hand technique, IMO, is to get it up to speed first, and smooth it out later. The purpose of getting it up to speed first is to make sure the fingers are moving in an efficient manner so you can learn how that feels.
FWIW I agree with this, at least in relation to tremolo where there is a definite change of gait as you speed up. You can't learn to run by practising walking. I can't help wondering whether the OP is going too slow.

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guitarrista
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Re: Help me with my tremolo

Post by guitarrista » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:07 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:31 pm
kmurdick wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:12 pm
This guy has a fast, pretty even, and most importantly, tireless tremolo. Notice the definite alternation between 'i' and the 'ma' which move together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tOYiRv3_rY
Do you have any thoughts on how hand position affects the dead time between notes? I am wondering whether the finger comes through the string faster when the fingers are moving more or less perpendicular to the length of the strings.

Is there a secret to reducing the dead time while coming across the strings at an angle?
Dead time between notes vs. dead time while coming across the string - two different things. Individual finger speed is not a limiting factor with tremolo - each finger has plenty of time between its successive strokes. As to time while crossing a string, the angle is not really a factor. By asking this you are implying that there is more ground to go over, so to speak, in the angled case vs. perpendicular case, as you slide your finger across a string. I don't think this is the case as our fingertips are rounded but complex 3D shapes (it is not a case of the diagonal being longer than the side as in a rectangle). Looking at mine, I think it is about the same distance. Depending on the shape, it might actually be less distance. In any case I don't think that matters as to what you would call dead time.
Konstantin
--
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

Rasputin
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Re: Help me with my tremolo

Post by Rasputin » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:47 pm

Thanks - yes that sounds right to me and seems to mean that, provided that you make contact right on the point where the flesh meets nail, it shouldn't make any difference. I am thinking there may be a difference in that you get punished more for inaccuracy if you are coming across at an angle, because the fingertip doesn't taper nearly as much in that direction. If you make contact further down the finger, I would have thought it will take longer for the string to slip over the flesh and reach the nail, because the finger doesn't taper nearly as much in that direction. If so, then any difference is a symptom of inaccuracy, which at least is something that can be worked on.

By dead time I just mean the time when the string is not sounding because it is in contact with the finger / nail.

SteveL123
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Re: Help me with my tremolo

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:50 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:52 pm
A bit of thought and experimentation suggests that doing the staccato drill but concentrating on landing as near as possible to the nail helps, as does keeping the nails shorter. Any other tips very welcome!
kmurdick wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:07 pm
The trick with a almost any right hand technique, IMO, is to get it up to speed first, and smooth it out later. The purpose of getting it up to speed first is to make sure the fingers are moving in an efficient manner so you can learn how that feels.
FWIW I agree with this, at least in relation to tremolo where there is a definite change of gait as you speed up. You can't learn to run by practising walking. I can't help wondering whether the OP is going too slow.
Too slow? You're right! A baby crawls before walking, never mind running. You could say I was in the crawl stage in the videos I posted in April. I have sped up a little since. I'd say I am in the walk stage now.

Rasputin
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Re: Help me with my tremolo

Post by Rasputin » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:56 pm

OK, I was trying to be constructive there and hope the start slow and speed up approach works for you.

SteveL123
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Re: Help me with my tremolo

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:03 pm

I mostly followed this Pepe Romero tremolo video lesson when I started. Notice the crawl speed he was demonstrating

https://loopvideos.com/anVYoFr5644?from=71&to=0

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guitarrista
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Re: Help me with my tremolo

Post by guitarrista » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:05 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:47 pm
I am thinking there may be a difference in that you get punished more for inaccuracy if you are coming across at an angle, because the fingertip doesn't taper nearly as much in that direction. If you make contact further down the finger, I would have thought it will take longer for the string to slip over the flesh and reach the nail, because the finger doesn't taper nearly as much in that direction.
Lots of variability in fingertips' shapes - even sometime with individual fingers belonging to the same person.

But let's examine the salient factors.

1. Nail [edge] shape. If the nail's edge is flat across its width, this rules out playing at right angle to strings in order to avoid sticking and clicking as the string hits the nail edge at about the same time along its entire width.

2. Pressed-fingertip 3D shape. What is relevant for your question is what the shape is like when the flesh is pressed against the string as the string slides across the fingertip. It will generally get more tapered compared to its "free-standing" shape.

I still feel that this (any potential difference in path length while in contact with string) is at best a second order issue with tremolo.
Konstantin
--
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

Rasputin
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 12:25 pm

Re: Help me with my tremolo

Post by Rasputin » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:35 pm

Yeah you may well be right. The Dmitry Nilov video linked to above shows a more or less perpendicular hand position and when I tried this it seemed to reduce the dead time, which is my personal focus just now.

davekear
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Re: Help me with my tremolo

Post by davekear » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:50 pm

A good exercise to smooth out your tremolo would be to practice the basics of the right hand while playing easy left hand chords and 3rd's. It's also a good thing to practice your tremolo melody on the B string and lower. When practicing, limit your time on the high E string. The trick is to be accurate and strong within the spaces between the strings. Tremolo on the high E is easier then the rest, as you have more room to move your fingers. A good exercise would be to just play an E minor chord, alternating the bass up and down, and playing the melody on the B string. Tremolo has different feel depending on where the thumb is on the arpeggio, so do: melody tremolo on B string (a,m,i).... thumb doing arpeggio on low E, B on 5th string, E on 4th, G on 3rd, then back. Throw in other basic chords for variety. Also adjacent string tremolo is a bit of a challenge, so do thirds on G and B string. Thumb on G string, tremolo (a,m,i) on B string. Thirds would be GB (open), AC (2-1), BD (4-3), CE (5-5), etc. All on just the G and B string. Can add other adjacent strings later on if you wish. Train for accuracy and strength. Do 6 hours a day for 2 weeks. Throw in Recuerdos whenever you feel :).

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