Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

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rdebashis
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Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by rdebashis » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:27 am

Hi,

I am planning to take the Trinity exam for classical guitar during June/July 2018. I have a question regarding the posture.
It appears the sitting posture is mandatory for classical guitar.
Is it also mandatory to hold the guitar at an angle of 45 degrees, with the body supported between the legs or can I play with the fret board in horizontal position with the body supported by one thigh?

Anyone tried this posture at the Trinity exam so far? Is that allowed?

Best wishes,
- Debashis

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petermc61
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by petermc61 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:49 am

I think their marking criteria is around technical skills, sight reading and performance etc. I have never seen a marking criteria that gives any regard to the issues you raise.

MaritimeGuitarist
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by MaritimeGuitarist » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:09 pm

I agree, they likely won't deduct marks for posture, but, if the examiner is a guitarist (or someone familiar with guitar technique), you will probably receive some sort of comment about it.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:07 pm

Look up the syllabus PDF-any regulation of that kind would be in there.
More generally, why are you avoiding a standard classical posture? There's a reason most people do it that way...
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Paul Janssen
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by Paul Janssen » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:33 pm

I concur with Stephen regarding why you are choosing not to adopt the standard classical posture. For me, this posture puts the least amount of strain on the left hand whilst also putting the right hand in the best position to strike the string at an optimum angle for best tone production. It doesn't take long to become familiar and comfortable with this sitting position (a couple of weeks at most) so I would encourage you to do so especially if you plan to take the exam mid way through next year. If you are worried about using a footstool, I happily recommend the De Oro Classica guitar rest. I's not too expensive and I find it very comfortable.

Good luck with your exam preparations.

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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by DerekB » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:54 pm

What grade are you planning to take? It was not until I reached grade 7 that I had a guitarist as examiner. A non-guitarist would be unlikely to have any objections to an unorthodox playing position. A guitarist might be extra critical if he/she objected to your position.
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Blondie
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by Blondie » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:29 pm

rdebashis wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:27 am
Hi,
I am planning to take the Trinity exam for classical guitar during June/July 2018. I have a question regarding the posture.
It appears the sitting posture is mandatory for classical guitar.
The regs do not specifically mention posture or angles you should hold the guitar neck etc, however the following is stated:

'Classical guitar candidates are expected to provide and use a footstool or equivalent support'

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:42 pm

rdebashis wrote:It appears the sitting posture is mandatory for classical guitar.
Is it also mandatory to hold the guitar at an angle of 45 degrees, with the body supported between the legs or can I play with the fret board in horizontal position with the body supported by one thigh?
The syllabus states that, "classical guitar candidates are expected to provide and use a footstool or equivalent support", the implication being that a traditional posture is assumed.

Will you fail if not following this instruction? Not necessarily but - marks are distributed for instrumental control and technical accuracy as well as musical understanding and communication. If your posture is felt to be detrimentally affecting any of the latter then there will be deductions.

Several of my students have been extremely comfortable performing in a "Pacoesque" cross-legged position but they all assumed the classic posture for their examinations. Why would you not for the sake of a 15-30 minute procedure?

It would be unfortunate to miss a merit/distinction (or even fail) by just a couple of marks on this account.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:43 pm

Ooh - fast fingers there Blondie.

DevonBadger
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by DevonBadger » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:49 pm

I took the Trinity grade 3 this summer and the examiner wrote in the general comments that I had a good posture.

As has already been said, I don't think any marks are lost or gained and any comment is provided simply to help the student.

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by AndreiKrylov » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:34 pm

rdebashis wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:27 am
Hi,

I am planning to take the Trinity exam for classical guitar during June/July 2018. I have a question regarding the posture.
It appears the sitting posture is mandatory for classical guitar.
Is it also mandatory to hold the guitar at an angle of 45 degrees, with the body supported between the legs or can I play with the fret board in horizontal position with the body supported by one thigh?

Anyone tried this posture at the Trinity exam so far? Is that allowed?

Best wishes,
- Debashis
and we are here that all ergonomically good and technically convenient postures are welcome?
well. seems it is not true yet.
everything "not standard" (not sitting in "classical" way) seems to be taboo.. still.. :)
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:00 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:and we are here that all ergonomically good and technically convenient postures are welcome?
well. seems it is not true yet. everything "not standard" (not sitting in "classical" way) seems to be taboo.. still..
Yes Andrei - the really annoying thing is that those taking plectrum guitar examinations under the same regime are expressly allowed to stand.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:19 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:34 pm
rdebashis wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:27 am
...
I am planning to take the Trinity exam for classical guitar during June/July 2018. I have a question regarding the posture.
It appears the sitting posture is mandatory for classical guitar...
and we are here that all ergonomically good and technically convenient postures are welcome?
well. seems it is not true yet.
everything "not standard" (not sitting in "classical" way) seems to be taboo.. still.. :)
Andrei, this was an educational question relating to a specific exam related requirement; the first task was to clarify for the OP the correct answer … it was also intended to help the OP by probing the matter and finding out why he was asking the question in the first place. Talking about taboos and questioning the whole premise seems likely to confuse the whole situation.

There's a reason that the high 99.99s% percent of serious players use some variant of 'standard' posture is for an extremely good reason - it works for that percentage of players. The few who are able to find that standing, sitting cross-legged, using the right leg, Brahms-guitar style, or whatever else, works better for them will do so when they have got to the relevant stage in their development when they can make this decision. As other posts have mentioned, for the great majority, anything else is too prone to causing tensions; that for a great many would end their playing development at an early stage. An educational institution with the serious responsibility to guiding learners of all backgrounds, stages and degrees of aptitude and commitment, is clearly correct to give this steerage; it is simply not that it is a taboo, it is what gives the desired results across the board for this group.

If it were true that other methods were "ergonomically good and technically convenient", they too would be welcomed; long experience has shown otherwise, is all.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by AndreiKrylov » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:57 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:19 pm
AndreiKrylov wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:34 pm
rdebashis wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:27 am
...
I am planning to take the Trinity exam for classical guitar during June/July 2018. I have a question regarding the posture.
It appears the sitting posture is mandatory for classical guitar...
and we are here that all ergonomically good and technically convenient postures are welcome?
well. seems it is not true yet.
everything "not standard" (not sitting in "classical" way) seems to be taboo.. still.. :)
Andrei, this was an educational question relating to a specific exam related requirement; the first task was to clarify for the OP the correct answer … it was also intended to help the OP by probing the matter and finding out why he was asking the question in the first place. Talking about taboos and questioning the whole premise seems likely to confuse the whole situation.

There's a reason that the high 99.99s% percent of serious players use some variant of 'standard' posture is for an extremely good reason - it works for that percentage of players. The few who are able to find that standing, sitting cross-legged, using the right leg, Brahms-guitar style, or whatever else, works better for them will do so when they have got to the relevant stage in their development when they can make this decision. As other posts have mentioned, for the great majority, anything else is too prone to causing tensions; that for a great many would end their playing development at an early stage. An educational institution with the serious responsibility to guiding learners of all backgrounds, stages and degrees of aptitude and commitment, is clearly correct to give this steerage; it is simply not that it is a taboo, it is what gives the desired results across the board for this group.

If it were true that other methods were "ergonomically good and technically convenient", they too would be welcomed; long experience has shown otherwise, is all.
Thanks for your comment , Stephen!
But... your answer is just a confirmation of my observation...
This is taboo...
You are confirming to me that all other than "classical" sitting position (please not I am not a fun of any sitting positions and you mentioned few of them, because by definition they all much harder on our bodies than standing/moving and using a strap )

You wrote about desirable results - sure sitting "properly" will be a "desirable result" when one do not have any other options, when ONE MUST present oneself properly everywhere - for exams , concerts, etc. it is expected from one to sit "certain way" otherwise one may not be considered a true, authentic member of this "tribe" (group?)
How could one choose something else if 99.99% of teachers will start their teaching of the student with lesson explaining how one should "properly" sit...?
It is taboo which sits deep in classical guitar psyche and it is internal religious part of this culture.

As far as results ? well since there are not many others who play/record/compose standing - then I could use my own work experience as a comparison...and I was able to work very hard and to be very productive, and if I had to use sitting position than 90% of my work will not happen, simply because of amount of work I was able to do standing. As far as a technique - there is a zero difference. Only difference is ability to work (standing) lot more hours without feeling pain and feeling tired.
Therefore my personal experience (and while playing guitar 50 years I tried and used all kind of ways and played in "classical" position for many years too) confirming that "standard" opinion regarding "standard position" ...is just... taboo...
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Is vertical guitar posture mandatory for Trinity exams

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:52 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:57 pm
...
Therefore my personal experience (and while playing guitar 50 years I tried and used all kind of ways and played in "classical" position for many years too) confirming that "standard" opinion regarding "standard position" ...is just... taboo...
Yes, your experience is yours to own. Its still is not a taboo to not sit in the standard way, its to do with the way others, other than yourself, have found desirable, effective, to such a high degree of probability that other methods are vanishingly rare and it takes an individualist (like yourself) to benefit from another approach. I have tried, hard, to play standing up, and found it didn't work for me. I do not say that playing standing is taboo, and I'm happy that it works for you, and a few others.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

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