Tone production

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rafitas123
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Re: Tone production

Post by rafitas123 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:24 pm

Andrei Puhach wrote:
Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:23 pm
What helped me tremendously in tone production was using a heated spoon to unhook nails (so that nail tips don't look down when observing from a side). There are some topic on Delcamp about this, but in short you heat a spoon with a lighter, put some protective cloth (or sandpaper) on it, put it under the nail and apply some pressure upwards (assuming your fingerpad looks down).
This was more important to me than proper shaping and polishing (which I still do of course) because if a nail catches the string polishing is of no help here.
Not only tone improved but it also made playing so much easier and more controllable.
This one of the heated spoon is new for me! My nails are a bit bent downwards so I am going to try it out! What helped me a lot is changing the way I polish my nails in a diagonal way!

rafitas123
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Re: Tone production

Post by rafitas123 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:27 pm

kmurdick wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:02 am
I watched the video and would say offhand that you are not moving enough from the large knuckle joint. That joint (more or less) brings the finger tip to the string and depresses the string into to top of the guitar and supports the stroke while the middle joint flexes. The middle and the large knuckle joints have approximately the same range of motion in the free stroke. You should also start with a completely relaxed tip joint and experiment later with adding tension there. The instant the string is plucked you should release the finger so it can return naturally to begin the stroke again (avoid any following through to the palm). For a more thorough explanations watch the thread at this list: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=80875

If you watch and read the first 20 pages of the above post you will get all the info there. Be careful about knowing too much in the beginning. There are three ways to look at right hand guitar technique: there is what it looks like, there is what it feels like and there is what actually happens. Sometimes all three are different.
Thanks for the help! I read throughout the post and since now I am back from my holidays I am also working with my teacher to fine tune these errors!

rafitas123
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Re: Tone production

Post by rafitas123 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:31 pm

I will soon upload a new short video for feedback of the right hand so I know whether there was progress or not! hahah

Andrei Puhach
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Re: Tone production

Post by Andrei Puhach » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:37 pm

rafitas123 wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:24 pm
Andrei Puhach wrote:
Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:23 pm
What helped me tremendously in tone production was using a heated spoon to unhook nails (so that nail tips don't look down when observing from a side). There are some topic on Delcamp about this, but in short you heat a spoon with a lighter, put some protective cloth (or sandpaper) on it, put it under the nail and apply some pressure upwards (assuming your fingerpad looks down).
This was more important to me than proper shaping and polishing (which I still do of course) because if a nail catches the string polishing is of no help here.
Not only tone improved but it also made playing so much easier and more controllable.
This one of the heated spoon is new for me! My nails are a bit bent downwards so I am going to try it out! What helped me a lot is changing the way I polish my nails in a diagonal way!
I tried all possible shapes and polish ways, but my rather perpendicular (or close to) RH position still caused horrible and nasal sound even when I played closer to the sound hole (watched some of my old D02 submissions and got horrified).
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Steve Langham
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Re: Tone production

Post by Steve Langham » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:16 am

I tried the heated spoon trick. It worked a treat and my nails were nice and straight but then within 24 hours my 'm' finger nail would split and I had to file it right back. After it grew back I put the heated spoon on it again and within 24 hours again it split so I gave up doing it. I think changing the shape of the nail to something that was not its normal natural path must have put stress on the nail which made it split.
I find now that if I keep the nails not too long, shape them in a ramp (as per pumping nylon) and keep them clean and use a 12000 micro mesh on them to keep them highly polished works very well for me.
This and a good right hand position and careful practice of the contact point on the string has given me a much improved tone.

Andrei Puhach
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Re: Tone production

Post by Andrei Puhach » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:28 am

Steve Langham wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:16 am
I tried the heated spoon trick. It worked a treat and my nails were nice and straight but then within 24 hours my 'm' finger nail would split and I had to file it right back. After it grew back I put the heated spoon on it again and within 24 hours again it split so I gave up doing it. I think changing the shape of the nail to something that was not its normal natural path must have put stress on the nail which made it split.
I find now that if I keep the nails not too long, shape them in a ramp (as per pumping nylon) and keep them clean and use a 12000 micro mesh on them to keep them highly polished works very well for me.
This and a good right hand position and careful practice of the contact point on the string has given me a much improved tone.
Oh, sorry to hear that you damaged your nails.... I have been spoon-heating mine for about a year, no issues so far. Maybe the temperature is too high? Anyway, looks like it is not needed for you as other things work well.
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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Tone production

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:38 pm

Andrei Puhach wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:37 pm
<snip>
I tried all possible shapes and polish ways, but my rather perpendicular (or close to) RH position still caused horrible and nasal sound even when I played closer to the sound hole (watched some of my old D02 submissions and got horrified).
I know what you mean. But take a good long look at Paul Galbraith. He plays absolutely perpendicular to the strings. He has no choice, because he plays in the cello position. And he has the most gorgeous, liquid, bell-like sound imaginable. So it must be possible. I am experimenting with a near-cello position, and trying to see if I can get that kind of sound. I do file the underside of my nails somewhat (since that is actually the side the moves over the strings). I also leave the distal metacarpophalangeal joint somewhat flexible. All of that seems to help. My sound is improving. When I achieve Paul Galbraith sound, you will probably hear about it in the headlines of the guitar forum.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

Andrei Puhach
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Re: Tone production

Post by Andrei Puhach » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:00 am

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:38 pm
Andrei Puhach wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:37 pm
<snip>
I tried all possible shapes and polish ways, but my rather perpendicular (or close to) RH position still caused horrible and nasal sound even when I played closer to the sound hole (watched some of my old D02 submissions and got horrified).
I know what you mean. But take a good long look at Paul Galbraith. He plays absolutely perpendicular to the strings. He has no choice, because he plays in the cello position. And he has the most gorgeous, liquid, bell-like sound imaginable. So it must be possible. I am experimenting with a near-cello position, and trying to see if I can get that kind of sound. I do file the underside of my nails somewhat (since that is actually the side the moves over the strings). I also leave the distal metacarpophalangeal joint somewhat flexible. All of that seems to help. My sound is improving. When I achieve Paul Galbraith sound, you will probably hear about it in the headlines of the guitar forum.
What a coincidence, I just watched Paul Galbraith on Youtube today. I noticed he has very short nails, like 1mm (closeup at 7:53): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcHDYTbPHxk&t=7m53s)
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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Tone production

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:50 pm

Andrei Puhach wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:00 am
What a coincidence, I just watched Paul Galbraith on Youtube today. I noticed he has very short nails, like 1mm (closeup at 7:53): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcHDYTbPHxk&t=7m53s)
Andrei,
Thanks for this most useful information. I immediately reduced my nail length to 1 mm (checked with engineering caliper), with interesting results. I think this is going to work. It will take more experimenting, but I am determined to figure out how to get great tone. At a 45° angle to the string, it is easy to get the tone right (place flesh of finger tip on string, depress until nail exactly touches string, then execute stroke). It is much more difficult when playing at 90° to the string to get this right, but I am determined to keep experimenting.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

Andrei Puhach
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Re: Tone production

Post by Andrei Puhach » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:55 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:50 pm
Andrei Puhach wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:00 am
What a coincidence, I just watched Paul Galbraith on Youtube today. I noticed he has very short nails, like 1mm (closeup at 7:53): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcHDYTbPHxk&t=7m53s)
Andrei,
Thanks for this most useful information. I immediately reduced my nail length to 1 mm (checked with engineering caliper), with interesting results. I think this is going to work. It will take more experimenting, but I am determined to figure out how to get great tone. At a 45° angle to the string, it is easy to get the tone right (place flesh of finger tip on string, depress until nail exactly touches string, then execute stroke). It is much more difficult when playing at 90° to the string to get this right, but I am determined to keep experimenting.
Glad to hear that it might work for you, Yisrael. It might be a bit harder to play with short nails, especially, the 'a' finger: higher chance to miss the string. Finger movements must get more precise.
Another example is Tatyana Ryzhkova (easy to google images of her nails).
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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Tone production

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:21 am

Andrei Puhach wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:55 pm
It might be a bit harder to play with short nails, especially, the 'a' finger: higher chance to miss the string. Finger movements must get more precise.
Another example is Tatyana Ryzhkova (easy to google images of her nails).
Thanks for your help. Andrei. But why Tatyana Ryzhkova? She strikes the notes at an oblique angle and does not achieve a particularly outstanding tone quality, despite having access to very expensive luthier guitars. I am trying to achieve tone quality with the headstock held very high (playing nearly perpendicular to the strings) with modest-quality factory-made guitars.
At my current level, playing with short nails seems to me much easier than playing with long nails. Short nails are recommended by both Hubert Käppel and Stanley Yates, my two guides in guitar technique. With long nails, I think it is very difficult to get the sweet spot exactly right. You want to depress the string with the flesh and make the stroke exactly when you have compressed the flesh to the point where the flesh just meets the nail. Now, since how much you compress the flesh of the fingertips determines the dynamics, it is of course constantly changing with every stroke of every finger. Nonetheless, if the nails are short enough, the fingers (the brain?) quickly learns to just to get it exactly right each time, despite constantly changing depth of depressing the string. Biofeedback from the ears is of course essential to adjust on the fly. All of this is much harder as the attack angle approaches the perpendicular, unless there is something that I am missing. So far, it seems impossible. You cannot get a quick, noiseless release from the center of the nail when stroking nearly perpendicular to the string. Yet Paul Galbraith does it. I hope to discover the secret.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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guitarrista
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Re: Tone production

Post by guitarrista » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:46 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:21 am
All of this is much harder as the attack angle approaches the perpendicular, unless there is something that I am missing. So far, it seems impossible. You cannot get a quick, noiseless release from the center of the nail when stroking nearly perpendicular to the string. Yet Paul Galbraith does it. I hope to discover the secret.
I don't know that there is any since there is at least one other variable involved, which is outside your control - the shape of the nail(s) across the fingertip as you look at them from the fingertip end down the length of the finger. If it is reasonably curved around the finger, playing with a thick beautiful tone at 90 degree is not a problem. If it is rather flat, the nail would constantly get stuck/click if trying to play at 90 degrees. The shape of the fingertip also matters.

What I mean is that if your nail and fingertip parameters are different from Gailbraith's in these respects, it would be impossible to achieve what he has with the same configuration.
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Andrei Puhach
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Re: Tone production

Post by Andrei Puhach » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:00 pm

guitarrista wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:46 pm
Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:21 am
All of this is much harder as the attack angle approaches the perpendicular, unless there is something that I am missing. So far, it seems impossible. You cannot get a quick, noiseless release from the center of the nail when stroking nearly perpendicular to the string. Yet Paul Galbraith does it. I hope to discover the secret.
I don't know that there is any since there is at least one other variable involved, which is outside your control - the shape of the nail(s) across the fingertip as you look at them from the fingertip end down the length of the finger. If it is reasonably curved around the finger, playing with a thick beautiful tone at 90 degree is not a problem. If it is rather flat, the nail would constantly get stuck/click if trying to play at 90 degrees. The shape of the fingertip also matters.

What I mean is that if your nail and fingertip parameters are different from Gailbraith's in these respects, it would be impossible to achieve what he has with the same configuration.
Ah, I think I know what you mean: Edson Lopes seems to have such nails, I like his tone a lot, but he does not play at 90 degrees.
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Briant
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Re: Tone production

Post by Briant » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:03 pm

Just to put the cat amongst the pidgeons. .... The other evening i opened my guitar case and without lifting the guitar i plucked the strings with my right hand. It was very easy to adjust my hand position with the guitar flat on the floor. I was simply amazed by all the variation in tone that i was able to achieve by varying Rh position.
I then plucked the strings with my left hand (no nails) and achieved a different but good tone. How i can relate this back to when i am holding the guitar in a conventional position i do not know. Also nail shape is all important and i was only playing on open strings but this experiment showed me that is is possible tocreate a huge variation in tone by variation in attack.

davekear
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Re: Tone production

Post by davekear » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:10 pm

Any well trained guitarist can play well with a range of nail lengths. They may start out at less than 1/16" tip, but not file for length again until maybe 3/32" or more. I know that Eliot Fisk keeps his nails at different lengths depending on what main pieces he's currently playing. Shorter lengths for faster picado.

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