A definition of correct tone production (under construction)

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Rasputin
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Re: A definition of correct tone production (revised 11-7-'17)

Post by Rasputin » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:32 am

guit-box wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:55 pm
I don't understand. A wheel or a ball can roll, I've never seen a string roll. A video demonstration might be helpful.
It's just a slight twisting of the string, which will occur if the finger has a decent amount of grip and there is a horizontal component to its motion. I don't think it has much of a bearing on your model. The twisting could happen as the MCP is flexed, if the hand position is such that the finger is moving across as well as into the soundboard, or as the PIP begins to flex.
Last edited by Rasputin on Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

riffmeister
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by riffmeister » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:18 am

Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:51 pm
Haven't read the whole thread cos it's way too confusing. But I have to say that a good stroke is most definitely when the finger goes through the string, or at least through the space it occupied.
Yes. Thank you for this spare description. Everything else in this thread makes my head hurt. :)

guit-box
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by guit-box » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:19 am

riffmeister wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:18 am
Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:51 pm
Haven't read the whole thread cos it's way too confusing. But I have to say that a good stroke is most definitely when the finger goes through the string, or at least through the space it occupied.
Yes. Thank you for this spare description. Everything else in this thread makes my head hurt. :)
Yes, make a video, then it doesn't matter how poorly worded the description is because we can see and hear what you mean.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Soundminer
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Re: A definition of correct tone production (revised 11-7-'17)

Post by Soundminer » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:46 am

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:02 pm
Why so complicated? I never understood why we are not taught correct tone production very early on. It is not difficult. It is also not difficult to describe.
  1. Plant finger on string.
  2. Press DOWN (and no other direction) to compress the flesh slightly.
  3. Press until the string just touches the nail in the middle or slighly to the left of the middle line of the nail.
  4. Flex the finger from the metacarpophalangeal joint as if making a fist.
Do this in very slow motion until you produce a substantial, round tone with no nail noise. First practice at 45­­° to the string. Notice that I did not say anything about nail shape. There are three reasons for that.
  • Technique is more important than nail shape, as long as the nail surface is polished and smooth.
  • The optimal nail shape is different for each finger.
  • Once you have the right technique, you should experiment with nail shapes to see which works. Try slight slope downward to the left; and try downward to the right.
The important part is to find the correction point of contact between the fingertip and the string, so that you just release the string at the exact moment that the nail touches the string. Nails should be short and filed with only very slight curvature (that is, nearly straight).
If all else fails, get a copy of Classical Guitar Technique from Foundation to Virtuosity by Stanley Yates, and study Part 1, Lesson 2, "Fingernails."

Hmmm, yes. I like this description also.
Doesn't differ to much from mine (in actual movement) but I must admit it's much simpler and easier to understand. When I think about it, it doesn't matter what actually happens and exactly how.....but what does matter is how the motion is taught and described so the student can envision what he must do. For example....point three you mention here, it's so subtle but ever so important. And always described vaguely, in the wrong sequence, or worse left out. We need a proper sequence and we need a proper description!!!

This is probably the best I have seen until now

Can you maybe elaborate on or rephrase the last part of your reply ? Correction point and exact moment is still a bit fuzzy to my ears. I mean, one could pause at the moment of the nail touching and just keep the finger there...maybe a good exercise even.

Thank you!


ps: I will refrain from any didactional sounding and longwinded posts from now on as guittarista pointed out. That's of no use as of now

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: A definition of correct tone production (revised 11-7-'17)

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:17 pm

Soundminer wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:46 am
Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:02 pm
  1. Plant finger on string.
  2. Press DOWN (and no other direction) to compress the flesh slightly.
  3. Press until the string just touches the nail in the middle or slightly to the left of the middle line of the nail.
  4. Flex the finger from the metacarpophalangeal joint as if making a fist.
Do this in very slow motion until you produce a substantial, round tone with no nail noise. First practice at 45­­° to the string. Notice that I did not say anything about nail shape. There are three reasons for that.
  • Technique is more important than nail shape, as long as the nail surface is polished and smooth.
  • The optimal nail shape is different for each finger.
  • Once you have the right technique, you should experiment with nail shapes to see which works. Try slight slope downward to the left; and try downward to the right.
The important part is to find the correction point of contact between the fingertip and the string, so that you just release the string at the exact moment that the nail touches the string. Nails should be short and filed with only very slight curvature (that is, nearly straight).
If all else fails, get a copy of Classical Guitar Technique from Foundation to Virtuosity by Stanley Yates, and study Part 1, Lesson 2, "Fingernails."
Can you maybe elaborate on or rephrase the last part of your reply ? Correction point and exact moment is still a bit fuzzy to my ears. I mean, one could pause at the moment of the nail touching and just keep the finger there...maybe a good exercise even.
Thank you for your kind words. Does this mean that I have to refrain from didactic and long-winded posts from now on? I am not sure how long I will manage to refrain.

To the point: Step 3 requires working backwards. At the moment that you wish to making the flexing impulse (Käppel's term, not mine), the nail must have just contacted the string. and contact with the string should be at the midpoint or slightly to the left of the midpoint of the nail. It requires practice and extremely careful listening to get the initial contact point between the flesh of the fingertip and the string correct so that you reach the desired position at the end of planting, when the string is pressed down and you wish to flex (in other words, step 3 above).
Keep in mind that how much you press down (and compress the flesh of your fingertip) determines the volume of the stroke, so that you will have to be constantly making micro-, nano-, and pico-adjustments of the first point of contact to achieve the exact configuration of step 3.
I just have the nagging feelilng that this explanation helps no more than the previous one. It goes without saying that you have to perform step 1, step 2, and step 3 separately, pausing after each one until you have a very good feel for the whole procedure. You should definitely learn these as 3 separate steps. Only when it comes naturally, try to play a scale or something even simpler using this method. I hope that once you hear the results, you will sold on old-fashioned planting (at least as a psychological construct) as the correct method of playing the guitar.
[You see, long-winded and didactic. I told you that was going to happen!]
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

riffmeister
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Re: A definition of correct tone production

Post by riffmeister » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:40 pm

guit-box wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:19 am
riffmeister wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:18 am
Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:51 pm
Haven't read the whole thread cos it's way too confusing. But I have to say that a good stroke is most definitely when the finger goes through the string, or at least through the space it occupied.
Yes. Thank you for this spare description. Everything else in this thread makes my head hurt. :)
Yes, make a video, then it doesn't matter how poorly worded the description is because we can see and hear what you mean.
I like the 'tone production' tutorial that Alice Artzt has on Youtube.

Soundminer
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Re: A definition of correct tone production (revised 11-7-'17)

Post by Soundminer » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:09 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:17 pm
Soundminer wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:46 am
Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:02 pm
  1. Plant finger on string.
  2. Press DOWN (and no other direction) to compress the flesh slightly.
  3. Press until the string just touches the nail in the middle or slightly to the left of the middle line of the nail.
  4. Flex the finger from the metacarpophalangeal joint as if making a fist.
Do this in very slow motion until you produce a substantial, round tone with no nail noise. First practice at 45­­° to the string. Notice that I did not say anything about nail shape. There are three reasons for that.
  • Technique is more important than nail shape, as long as the nail surface is polished and smooth.
  • The optimal nail shape is different for each finger.
  • Once you have the right technique, you should experiment with nail shapes to see which works. Try slight slope downward to the left; and try downward to the right.
The important part is to find the correction point of contact between the fingertip and the string, so that you just release the string at the exact moment that the nail touches the string. Nails should be short and filed with only very slight curvature (that is, nearly straight).
If all else fails, get a copy of Classical Guitar Technique from Foundation to Virtuosity by Stanley Yates, and study Part 1, Lesson 2, "Fingernails."
Can you maybe elaborate on or rephrase the last part of your reply ? Correction point and exact moment is still a bit fuzzy to my ears. I mean, one could pause at the moment of the nail touching and just keep the finger there...maybe a good exercise even.
Thank you for your kind words. Does this mean that I have to refrain from didactic and long-winded posts from now on? I am not sure how long I will manage to refrain.

To the point: Step 3 requires working backwards. At the moment that you wish to making the flexing impulse (Käppel's term, not mine), the nail must have just contacted the string. and contact with the string should be at the midpoint or slightly to the left of the midpoint of the nail. It requires practice and extremely careful listening to get the initial contact point between the flesh of the fingertip and the string correct so that you reach the desired position at the end of planting, when the string is pressed down and you wish to flex (in other words, step 3 above).
Keep in mind that how much you press down (and compress the flesh of your fingertip) determines the volume of the stroke, so that you will have to be constantly making micro-, nano-, and pico-adjustments of the first point of contact to achieve the exact configuration of step 3.
I just have the nagging feelilng that this explanation helps no more than the previous one. It goes without saying that you have to perform step 1, step 2, and step 3 separately, pausing after each one until you have a very good feel for the whole procedure. You should definitely learn these as 3 separate steps. Only when it comes naturally, try to play a scale or something even simpler using this method. I hope that once you hear the results, you will sold on old-fashioned planting (at least as a psychological construct) as the correct method of playing the guitar.
[You see, long-winded and didactic. I told you that was going to happen!]
This does help, Thank you!

Better to be long-winded than short-sided no? :D

when you say this:
I just have the nagging feelilng that this explanation helps no more than the previous one. It goes without saying that you have to perform step 1, step 2, and step 3 separately, pausing after each one until you have a very good feel for the whole procedure.
...you are leaving out the flexing itself right? That's the easy part but it always gets the emphasis. It's backwards as you mentioned...

It's because of one thingg...impatience, on the part of the teacher...and if he gets it right, most of the time on the part of the student.
We have to take our sweet time. Don't rush it!! It will work against you.

Let's take our our sweet time by getting a defenition...looking at it from both ways. How? and Why? How does it work and why does that work.

physically and in terms of physics..


Oneliners won't do people :merci:

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: A definition of correct tone production (revised 11-7-'17)

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:37 am

Soundminer wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:09 pm
...you are leaving out the flexing itself right? That's the easy part but it always gets the emphasis. It's backwards as you mentioned...
Correct. Good catch. I forgot to mention that after going through all the trouble of planting correctly, it will not help unless you also play the note; that is, you must also execute step 4, flexing, as part of the procedure.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: A definition of correct tone production (under construction)

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:18 pm

I just performed an experiment, and it was very revealing. I stuffed a handkerchief under strings and pushed tightly up to the bridge. This stops the strings from ringing (in other words, zero sustain and very little volume). It does not reduce nail noise. So now I can hear the nail noise very clearly. And I discovered that in order to achieve zero nail noise, I must strike the string on the left side of the nail not far from the beginning of the nail. Stanley Yates says so explicitly in Classical Guitar Technique from Foundation to Virtuosity and now I see why it is necessary. Therefore, planting should be such that the nail and the flesh meet on the left side of the nail.
Last edited by Yisrael van Handel on Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Yisrael van Handel
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Daniel Penalva
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Re: A definition of correct tone production (under construction)

Post by Daniel Penalva » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:33 pm

Heard of a violinist capable of overtones with a bizarre technique, so that the physicists are astonished, probably a non-linearity foreseems in the original vibration theory.
Personally i dont think there is a "correct", but there is many ways do pluck the string and when practicing i aim to a standart of good volume tone, iam newbie and cant think of interpretations yet ...

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: A definition of correct tone production (under construction)

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:09 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:18 pm
I just performed an experiment, and it was very revealing. I stuffed a handkerchief under strings and pushed tightly up to the bridge. This stops the strings from ringing (in other words, zero sustain and very little volume). It does not reduce nail noise. So now I can hear the nail noise very clearly. And I discovered that in order to achieve zero nail noise, I must strike the string on the left side of the nail not far from the beginning of the nail. Stanley Yates says so explicitly in Classical Guitar Technique from Foundation to Virtuosity and now I see why it is necessary. Therefore, planting should be such that the nail and the flesh meet on the left side of the nail.
This whole discussion has sent me back to re-reading the John Taylor ground-breaking book "Tone Production on the Classical Guitar" (1978) and a similar experiment is discussed there, in which case it is described as in part being a way of demonstrating the sound produced at the attack of the note purely by the initial flex of the soundboard, and the more sudden the push and release of the string, (e.g. the straighter-on the nail goes) the more pronounced it is, hence the softer attack when the nail is addressing the string around 45 degrees.
I'd better re-read that section to make sure I understood it though.
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