A definition of correct tone production (under construction)

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Soundminer
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A definition of correct tone production (under construction)

Post by Soundminer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:38 am

:) "The only way to ever be quick enough to allow the string to vibrate freely after release is to first push or pull the string inwards or outward at an acute/obtuse angle compared to the top of the guitar, so there will be a build up of sideway pressure into your finger either towards your head or towards your feet, giving you the actual space you need to pluck the string out and upwards and away from the top of the guitar"




I will probably adjust this a few times but this is the gest of it.

The point is this is what needs to happen to get a string to vibrate freely and produce the sound we all love so much...
You never actually pluck into the guitar, never! It sure looks like it a lot of the time but that's not what is happening...this is because it happens so fast only a frame by frame slomo can (barely) catch it.

You project...OUT AND UP! You play the side of the string, the top of the string ( that you can put your palm on) slides over freely.

Be it rest or freestroke, which is the same motion at different starting points.


The keywords being..sharp/abtuse angle (i.e having obtained one prior to plucking) , sideway pressure from string to finger, releasing out and upwards.

Is it easy? No (I'd say as hard as learning to ride a bike..remember?)
Is it very hard ? No, not if you know what direction you need to be going to obtain your goal....a freely vibrating string.
Was it hard to put in words? Yesssss

Being aware of this direction is very powerfull. It's not overthinking, just being aware, sensing it.



Now, I have read and heard the exact opposite of everything I stated here in guitar pedagogy over and over and it is flat out wrong and counterproductive. It stops guitarplayers in their tracks and it's time for a change in describing this skill if you ask me.

EDIT!!: I no longer stand by this definition, please don't try and and play like this conciously, it's of no use :roll: ..this thread is now more about trying to find a new one.
Last edited by Soundminer on Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:58 am, edited 8 times in total.

Soundminer
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Soundminer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:50 am

.. :roll: keep using the quote button instead of the edit button

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:51 am

Where's the quote at the top from please?

Apart from that, I'm sorry but I simply don't understand what you mean by OUT AND UP.
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Soundminer
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Soundminer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:58 am

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:51 am
Where's the quote at the top from please?

Apart from that, I'm sorry but I simply don't understand what you mean by OUT AND UP.

It's mine...I know, I quoted myself..that's silly

By out i mean away from the top of the guitar at the moment of pluck
By up I mean a sharper angle in comparison to the one you obtained ( string compared to top of guitar) while pushing in (or pulling up) the string.

These movements can be very minute or very big but are the same in nature. And never forget, if it aint broke..don't try and fix it
Last edited by Soundminer on Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:00 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote: Where's the quote at the top from please?
He's quoting himself.

I don't understand either - by sharp I understand "acute" but the angle can't be both acute and obtuse.

Some clarification please Soundminer?

EDIT: Oh - I see that you posted at the same time.

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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Soundminer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:04 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:00 pm
Stephen Kenyon wrote: Where's the quote at the top from please?
He's quoting himself.

I don't understand either - by sharp I understand "acute" but the angle can't be both acute and obtuse.

Some clarification please Soundminer?

EDIT: Oh - I see that you posted at the same time.
if one is acute then the other one is obtuse (180 degree wise, with 180 degree being the top of the guitar, you know...flat) so it depends if one looks at it from below or from above. They're basically the same thing :wink:

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Re: A defenition of correct tone production

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:33 pm

Soundminer wrote:You never actually pluck into the guitar, never!
This bit is simply wrong. For certain apoyando movements my finger moves entirely in that direction i.e. towards the top.

During these movements there is no "pluck" as such - by which I mean no further flexion of the distal or intermediate phalanges. In some players there may be some semi-passive extension (I sometimes allow it, not because it has any great impact on the tone but for the psychological sensation of lightness) but this is not required.

The string is displaced and simply released as the finger, still moving towards the top, passes through the space where it (the string) used to be. It is the string that (after release) initially moves away from the guitar.

At the moment of the finger's contact against the adjacent string I relax it; it is only at this point that there is any movement "away".

However - I'm still not sure what the principal idea is that you're trying to convey.

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Re: A defenition of correct tone production

Post by Soundminer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:50 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:33 pm
Soundminer wrote:You never actually pluck into the guitar, nhis bit is simply ever!
Twrong. For certain apoyando movements my finger moves entirely in that direction i.e. towards the top.

During these movements there is no "pluck" as such - by which I mean no further flexion of the distal or intermediate phalanges. In some players there may be some semi-passive extension (I sometimes allow it, not because it has any great impact on the tone but for the psychological sensation of lightness) but this is not required. (Are you sure...cause it surely is to some dergree, the extension leads to flexion at the moment of pluck. I don't even like the term pluck....moment of release, moment of play, ect..)

The string is displaced and simply released as the finger, still moving towards the top, passes through the space where it (the string) used to be. It is the string that (after release) initially moves away from the guitar.

At the moment of the finger's contact against the adjacent string I relax it; it is only at this point that there is any movement "away".

However - I'm still not sure what the principal idea is that you're trying to convey.
the PIP and possibly DIP pluck, however tiny the movement....are you aware of how rigid your DIP is at the moment of pluck? It has to give even if it doesn't appear to do so, and even if it's a tiny bit. That bit is up and out

The principal idea? that one can't move over the string, into the guitar and expect the string to use the nail as a ramp and produce a free vibrating and projective sound. That's not how it works.

Film yourself doing an apoyando....slow it down frame by frame at the moment of pluck...and you will see what I mean. harder to do with apoyando's compared to freestrokes but surely possible.

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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Soundminer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:05 pm

The string is displaced and simply released as the finger, still moving towards the top, passes through the space where it (the string) used to be. It is the string that (after release) initially moves away from the guitar.
This...Mark..is wrong. It's the other way around...the string first moves (back!) into the guitar after release

A finger cannot 'pass through' a string. not really....it sounds nice when put like that and all but it's impossible.

Would be a nifty magic trick though

A finger can, however, pass across a string.

And it's the way it does that that determines the tone quality

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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Johnny Geudel » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:43 pm

You can easily prove your theory with a video in which you apply your principles of correct tone production.

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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:53 pm

Blimey Soundminer - your quoting is confusing - but I'll have a further go at understanding what you mean.
Soundminer wrote:You never actually pluck into the guitar, never!
Soundminer wrote:I don't even like the term pluck
Well it was you that used the word pluck - I said:
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:During these movements there is no "pluck" as such
So let's clarify - are you using the word "pluck" to generally mean setting a string in motion through the action of a finger? Or do you mean something more specific i.e. active flexion of the distal and/or intermediate phalanges at the release point of a stroke?

Whatever your definition - I maintain that the apoyando stroke that I sometimes use and the action I have described is accurate and correct.
Soundminer wrote:
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:The string is displaced and simply released as the finger, still moving towards the top, passes through the space where it (the string) used to be. It is the string that (after release) initially moves away from the guitar.
This...Mark..is wrong. It's the other way around...the string first moves into the guitar after release
No. The string has already been moved towards the guitar it cannot move any further in that direction under its own volition. When the finger is removed the string returns towards its original position.
Soundminer wrote:A finger cannot 'pass through' a string. not really....it sounds nice when put like that and all but it's impossible.
Who said anything about fingers passing through strings?
That is your construct, not mine. Please don't imply that I said something when I did not.
Soundminer wrote:
Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote: - by which I mean no further flexion of the distal or intermediate phalanges. In some players there may be some semi-passive extension (I sometimes allow it, not because it has any great impact on the tone but for the psychological sensation of lightness) but this is not required.
(Are you sure...cause it surely is to some dergree, the extension leads to flexion at the moment of pluck.
I am absolutely sure - no further flexion at the moment of release - and it is not necessary in this kind of stroke. In fact the exact opposite is possible i.e. the passive extension already mentioned.

N.B. The natural return of the phalanges after passive extension is not flexion.

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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by pogmoor » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:03 pm

Soundminer wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:05 pm
The string is displaced and simply released as the finger, still moving towards the top, passes through the space where it (the string) used to be. It is the string that (after release) initially moves away from the guitar.
This...Mark..is wrong. It's the other way around...the string first moves (back!) into the guitar after release

A finger cannot 'pass through' a string. not really....it sounds nice when put like that and all but it's impossible.
Mark C-G said the finger passes through the space where the string used to be not through the string; his comment sounds exactly right to me.

When I first started playing the guitar I assumed I was plucking the strings parallel to the soundboard. When I began to read about technique and look at what my fingers were actually doing it became very clear that my fingers were also pushing the strings towards the soundboard. Over the many subsequent years I have heard many discussions and read many comments about the importance of this element of pushing towards the soundboard; never any serious suggestion that the strings should be pulled away from the soundboard. Perhaps I am misunderstanding your point Soundminer but you appear to be saying that the strings should be pulled up prior to release.

Ah, I see Mark C-G beat me to it!
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Soundminer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:20 pm

pogmoor wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:03 pm
Soundminer wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:05 pm
The string is displaced and simply released as the finger, still moving towards the top, passes through the space where it (the string) used to be. It is the string that (after release) initially moves away from the guitar.
This...Mark..is wrong. It's the other way around...the string first moves (back!) into the guitar after release

A finger cannot 'pass through' a string. not really....it sounds nice when put like that and all but it's impossible.
Mark C-G said the finger passes through the space where the string used to be not through the string; his comment sounds exactly right to me.

When I first started playing the guitar I assumed I was plucking the strings parallel to the soundboard. When I began to read about technique and look at what my fingers were actually doing it became very clear that my fingers were also pushing the strings towards the soundboard. Over the many subsequent years I have heard many discussions and read many comments about the importance of this element of pushing towards the soundboard; never any serious suggestion that the strings should be pulled away from the soundboard. Perhaps I am misunderstanding your point Soundminer but you appear to be saying that the strings should be pulled up prior to release.

Ah, I see Mark C-G beat me to it!
yes! pulled upwards!!..only After pushed down and into the guitar and only possible because of the side way pressure of the string on the finger!

You can push in or pull up on a string for preparation and get a good sound.....as long as you pluck out and away from the guitar using the downward or upward pressure from the string.

The string has to vibrate up and down...not parallel to the board..that is not what I mean!

It doesn't matter in terms of clarity....if it returns to neutral from above or from below. That's a matter of taste

I like to use both....so do flamenco guitarists for example
Last edited by Soundminer on Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Johnny Geudel » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:25 pm

Prof.J.-F.Delcamps :
" Conseils pour discuter de la technique Pour discuter de la technique dans de bonnes conditions, illustrez vos messages avec des exemples. Vous pouvez joindre des exemples (photos, images, facs-similés, extraits sonores) à vos messages. Pour l'aspect pratique ; voyez les types et tailles maximales de fichiers joints autorisés sur le forum.
...
Jean-François"

So I repeat,You can easily prove your theory with a video in which you apply your principles of correct tone production.
The alternative is an endless semantical discussion.

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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by Soundminer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:27 pm

Good plan !

Easily? I don't think so...just take a look at the guit-box thread and see how easy.

But I will try and do just that...there will have to be close ups and slomo's . Maybe some kind of delayed stroke I can come up with

It's more common logic then anything really


Mark...you're right..it does move up but it also has to move back sideways without further pressure from the finger. While it travels freely over the nail the string kind of moves into the guitar, that's what I ment. It's travelling down on the ramp so to speak...not up.

travel through the space where the string used to be? .....that's still the displacement motion in my opinion, not the plucking motion. This displacement can go into or away from the guitar..just like I said in my definition. Bit of confusion..sorry for that
Last edited by Soundminer on Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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