Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Robbie Flamerock
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by Robbie Flamerock » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:27 pm

Ortega, I will believe you when you post yourself nailing a virtuosic piece. Not sooner!

Ortega
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by Ortega » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:44 am

Robbie Flamerock wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:27 pm
Ortega, I will believe you when you post yourself nailing a virtuosic piece. Not sooner!
My pleasure.

Keep in mind that my discovery is just a few days old.

It will soon be improved, and exponentially so.

Compared to the way I have played for the past 18 years (barely at all), this is on its way. No, it is not world class (yet), but it will be. I need more than a few days to work it in...

https://youtu.be/z-Toxrf_bdc

Take my advice and join me, my friends. We can do this. Finally.

The past publications of a number of virtuosos, with respect to the right hand, are false (not talking about Maestro Hii), and the authors are painfully aware of this.

That's all I can or will say at this time.
Last edited by Ortega on Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:55 am, edited 5 times in total.

Ortega
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by Ortega » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:47 am

This is me in 1999, just before dystonia took me out.

I realize now that I was, back then, naturally playing as I describe in the above post. As glitches showed up, I defaulted to the standard "play from the main joint" dogma that I had been "taught" , but never actually tried to follow...until problems crept in.

I can play this piece much better now, and will record it for all of you soon.

The above post is representative of how I could play just a few hours after I made the incredible, liberating discovery that I also share above.

This is from a partially melted VHS cassette tape, my apologies for sound and video quality:
https://youtu.be/BnRX96zgbx8
Last edited by Ortega on Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:17 am, edited 4 times in total.

Ortega
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by Ortega » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:48 am

My friends....

Keep in mind that this is most difficult to consistently and correctly implement with the i finger.

This is due to the fact that i is adjacent to/ opposed to p.

If you do not execute this perfectly with i, it will not work at all.

Some oif my students find that the m finger is the most unwilling participant for them, due to m's extended relative length.

Good luck, hoping for the best for each and every one of you! I hope that the successful conclusion of my hellish quest will help all of you.

That is up to each of you personally, now.

Cherish this information! I wish someone had given it to me, 35 years ago...

It truly is the way.

guit-box
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by guit-box » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:08 pm

Oscar Ghiglia is clearly playing off the right side of the nails, he does a slight right to left slicing movement. It's most clear with the a finger in the video but it appears to be also happening with i and m.

Youtube


Here's is the full video where he does this same movement throughout.

Youtube
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

kmurdick
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by kmurdick » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:34 pm

For a while there I couldn't figure out how the heck you could even play with the tip joint, but now I know. The tip segment has a possible range of motion of about 45 degrees. This is also (very roughly) the range of motion that is used by middle and knuckle joints in actual playing. Therefore, if you collapse the tip when pushing the string into the soundboard from the knuckle joint, you can flex both from the middle joint and the tip joint at the same time when you pluck the string. This might give the feeling of the tip leading the middle joint follow through. It might also be true that the tip is the main joint use in the actual plucking of the string and the middle joint is just along for the ride.

Robbie Flamerock
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by Robbie Flamerock » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:22 pm

If you collapse the tip, the stroke is passive.

kmurdick
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by kmurdick » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:15 pm

Robbie says, "If you collapse the tip, the stroke is passive."

Yes, it can be, but if you flex the tip along with middle joint, you are bringing the tip into play. What I used to say to students was that you should relax the tip completely and then experiment with tightening it. Maybe the advice to tighten is really another way of saying use the tip. It doesn't seem like you can use the tip unless you let it give (relax) first. Otherwise it will have next to zero range of motion.

guit-box
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by guit-box » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:27 pm

kmurdick wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:34 pm
For a while there I couldn't figure out how the heck you could even play with the tip joint, but now I know. The tip segment has a possible range of motion of about 45 degrees. This is also (very roughly) the range of motion that is used by middle and knuckle joints in actual playing. Therefore, if you collapse the tip when pushing the string into the soundboard from the knuckle joint, you can flex both from the middle joint and the tip joint at the same time when you pluck the string. This might give the feeling of the tip leading the middle joint follow through. It might also be true that the tip is the main joint use in the actual plucking of the string and the middle joint is just along for the ride.
Yes, Pepe Romero alludes to this in his method book La Guitara where he claims the correct way to collapse the tip joints is to do it before the pluck and then, as he says, the tip joint regains some strength as the string is being released. That's the basic ideas as I recall it, I could find an exact quote, but I take that to mean the tip joint is providing some amount of flexion work as the string is released. It's interesting to think about and try, personally I can make this work to some extent on rest strokes but not so much on free strokes. I'm on the fence about always collapsing the tip joints and even Pepe recommends it for musical reasons, so he doesn't collapse all the time. Given a player can pluck with or without collapsing the tip joints, and we can see this is the case for free strokes in all the videos, I'd have to conclude that collapsing is a variable in right hand technique. It's more common in rest strokes than free strokes but possible for both.

If you look at what joint is in flexion when the tip joint is allowed to collapse, it's the PIP (middle joint), the MCP flexion doesn't collapse the tip joint, but it does hold the finger to the string and the middle joint can't do its flexion work without the MCP gripping the string. I don't believe the tip joint leads the middle joint. The firing order is 1. MCP flexion (large knuckle brings he finger to the string and presses), 2. middle joint begins to flexion and tip joint either collapses or doesn't and then 3. the tip joint (DIP) does a final small amount of flexion. When I collapse the tip just before releasing the string, it does feel like that spring-loads the tip and gives it the ability to contribute some flexion to the string, but the spring loading is also a result of the MCP gripping the string and the PIP flexion that collapses the DIP. It's a complex system where all joints are important players.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Ortega
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by Ortega » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:17 am

Deleted.

My observation about tip joints is correct. The pluck occurs from the tip joint, even from its often protracted/ "relaxed back" state. The other two joints simultaneously relax, resulting in middle joint passive contraction and main joint passive extension

Rest stroke and free stroke.

guit-box
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by guit-box » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:12 am

Ortega's right hand video

Youtube


Ortega, Unless the tip joint starts in a hyperextended position, it doesn't have much range of motion, so in players who are not allowing the tip joints to bend backwards at all, I just don't see the tip joint flexion contributing much to the pluck. Certainly we cannot say it's the tip joint that is the sole source of the pluck, and there are plenty of players who do free strokes who don't allow the tip joint to bend backwards. I agree that tip joint flexion is contributing to the pluck as a whole, but so are the middle joint and large knuckle joint flexion. I congratulate your progress and being able to play again after focal dystonia, but I have to say, (not as a guitarist who is being critical, but as someone who has carefully observed 100s of concert guitarists right hands) your fingers are moving in a highly non-standard way. Even if you personally don't believe the MCP contributes to the pluck, it still remains very mobile in the hands of every concert guitarist I've seen. In your hand, the MCP seems almost locked in one position. Also, your tremolo barely seems to have any finger movement at all, it appears to be like you're locking all the fingers in one position and moving them as a unit with a single arm movement and this is what causes it to sound like 4 notes with a pause. This un-eveness in your tremolo has been the same since you first posted it months ago, so if you've found some secret to plucking, I'm sorry but it's not working. This tremolo is not anything like the sound or look of any concert guitarists tremolo I've seen.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Robbie Flamerock
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:24 am

Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by Robbie Flamerock » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:10 pm

guit-box wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:27 pm
kmurdick wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:34 pm
For a while there I couldn't figure out how the heck you could even play with the tip joint, but now I know. The tip segment has a possible range of motion of about 45 degrees. This is also (very roughly) the range of motion that is used by middle and knuckle joints in actual playing. Therefore, if you collapse the tip when pushing the string into the soundboard from the knuckle joint, you can flex both from the middle joint and the tip joint at the same time when you pluck the string. This might give the feeling of the tip leading the middle joint follow through. It might also be true that the tip is the main joint use in the actual plucking of the string and the middle joint is just along for the ride.
Yes, Pepe Romero alludes to this in his method book La Guitara where he claims the correct way to collapse the tip joints is to do it before the pluck and then, as he says, the tip joint regains some strength as the string is being released. That's the basic ideas as I recall it, I could find an exact quote, but I take that to mean the tip joint is providing some amount of flexion work as the string is released. It's interesting to think about and try, personally I can make this work to some extent on rest strokes but not so much on free strokes. I'm on the fence about always collapsing the tip joints and even Pepe recommends it for musical reasons, so he doesn't collapse all the time. Given a player can pluck with or without collapsing the tip joints, and we can see this is the case for free strokes in all the videos, I'd have to conclude that collapsing is a variable in right hand technique. It's more common in rest strokes than free strokes but possible for both.

If you look at what joint is in flexion when the tip joint is allowed to collapse, it's the PIP (middle joint), the MCP flexion doesn't collapse the tip joint, but it does hold the finger to the string and the middle joint can't do its flexion work without the MCP gripping the string. I don't believe the tip joint leads the middle joint. The firing order is 1. MCP flexion (large knuckle brings he finger to the string and presses), 2. middle joint begins to flexion and tip joint either collapses or doesn't and then 3. the tip joint (DIP) does a final small amount of flexion. When I collapse the tip just before releasing the string, it does feel like that spring-loads the tip and gives it the ability to contribute some flexion to the string, but the spring loading is also a result of the MCP gripping the string and the PIP flexion that collapses the DIP. It's a complex system where all joints are important players.
There's some serious bouncing there! Of course, for the finger to back in front of the string there has to be extension from the knuckle joint. And a bounce assists this...but not too much bouncing.

guit-box
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by guit-box » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:36 am

Since Philip gave permission to re-post this clip from his website, I thought it would be useful on this thread. I always find his writing to be interesting, but even so, I still find some of it unclear and at times ambiguous. It's worth discussion these elements that are unclear.
Written by Philip Hii
" September 5th, 2017
An efficient free-stroke must incorporate several essential properties.

First, it must have a built-in rebound mechanism. Meaning that the stroke must not only pluck the string efficiently, but also has a mechanism to return it to plucking position again.

Second, it must occur in a continuous flow of action—the movement of the finger to the string, the plucking action and the rebound should all occur in one motion.

And if you have a series of notes (plucking actions) there should be no stops and starts between the actions. The series of notes should occur in one continuous motion.

Third, it must have a built-in tension-release mechanism.

All actions produce tension. This tension must be released dynamically as you perform the actions (otherwise it will accumulate and you will choke with all that tension).

Fourth, it must not impact the other fingers. In other words, minimal sympathetic motion between fingers.

Fifth, it must move with extreme economy. There must be no wasted motion. The purpose of the stroke is to pluck the string, nothing more. There must be minimal follow-through of the finger after plucking.

So how do you produce a stroke that incorporates these properties?

I’ve found that the key is the vertical stroke.

(Relatively speaking of course—vertical to the soundboard and relatively vertical compared to more traditional plucking methods.)

Most people think of the plucking motion as a horizontal stroke. The finger pushes through the string in a motion that is horizontal to the soundboard.

With the vertical stroke, the finger actually pushes into the string slightly before plucking it.

To achieve this, you’ll have to focus your plucking at your fingertips.

By plucking with your fingertips, you’ll have automatic economy in your movements. The movements will be so small, you’ll feel as if you’re not even moving at all.

The actual sensation of plucking is that of brushing upward across the string as opposed to plucking it directly.

Playing with the fingertips takes care of the fifth property, that of economy.

Next, the actual plucking motion must be the moment of release.

This is important. Think of letting loose an arrow from a bow. That’s the kind of release, a complete letting go of the tension at the fingertip.

This takes care of the third property, the dynamic release of tension.

With this stroke, the instant you pluck is also the beginning of the action to reposition your finger.

Think of the plucking action as a movement to reposition the finger. As soon as you pluck, your finger is already traveling back to playing position.

This takes care of the first property—the built-in rebound mechanism.

When we pluck, we’re essentially moving the fingertip from one point (the beginning point) to another point (the ending point).

How do you move back and forth between two points without stopping and starting every time we change direction?

By moving in circular or oval shaped trajectories.

Circular motion produces the continuous looping actions required in the second property.

When you push into the string, the release is upward rather than inward (into the palm).

This automatically produces the oval trajectory that you see in many good players. With this stroke, you don’t have to worry about trying to produce the oval trajectory. It’s built into the stroke.

Finally, the vertical stroke reduces sympathetic motion in the other fingers.

You can try it. Move one finger inward as if you’re closing a fist. You’ll find that the other fingers will want to move inward too. This is sympathetic motion.

But if you move your finger downward and upward (relatively speaking), you’ll find the sympathetic motion is minimal.

An additional note about these descriptions.

Firstly, the upward motion is not to be confused with the hooking up motion that some beginning players do. Your plucking motion should still be pushing through the string to pluck it, but as soon as the string is plucked, the fingertip relaxes and moves upwards.

Secondly, (and I’m aware I’m repeating myself here) the words vertical and horizontal are meant to be taken relatively. They refer to the plane of the soundboard and are not meant literally.

Vertical is not meant to be straight up and down.

It’s only the feeling of moving the fingers vertically. In actuality, the finger is still moving across the string to pluck it, but the sensation is that of pushing into the string vertically and releasing vertically."
Obviously if the finger travels in an orbit or circular motion then the finger joints are moving in opposite directions some of the time. He doesn't explicitly say this here but it's a given truth and I'm certain he would agree.

By saying the motion is oval and that the return must be built into the stroke he's basically saying that the pluck and the return are one in the same. It's not a pendulum motion where you 1st pluck and then relax back, the return of the finger is part of the pluck because the finger is both extending and flexing at the moment of pluck. It's a smooth transition from beginning to end, not a pendulum play-relax back movement.

The idea of just playing from the fingertips I believe he means to be more of a physiological trick or a way to picture the stroke.--thinking about the tip of the finger instead of the other joints. I don't believe he wants us to think the tip joint is doing the plucking alone.

I don't disagree that there may be advantages to practicing minimal movements, but there may also be advantages to practicing exaggerated movements. (as long as they are exaggerated correct movements, exaggerating the MCP follow through makes no sense to me and clearly Hii doesn't advocate that either). He's a much better player than I am, so I respect his point of view, I may be wrong, I just think there are advantages to both practice routines. I've made some good progress by exaggerating the PIP follow through, so I don't agree that one should only make the tiniest and most economic movements all the time. There may be times where practicing with a whisper and economy movements is wise, but one also needs to practice using some amount of force to develop strength and coordination and tone. -- you need both imo.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Ortega
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by Ortega » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:57 am

Main and middle joints energize string during plant, up until the moment of the pluck. The extent to which they do so determines volume.

The tip joint takes over at the last moment as the sole plucking mechanism, while the 2 larger joints simultaneously desist.

It's as if the 2 larger joints are the loaded spring, and the tip joint is the final and sole release mechanism.

This is why people claim they are using "all 3 joints". In a sense they absolutely are.

But only the tip joint actually performs the pluck.

The simultaneous relaxation of the larger 2 joints, together at moment of tip joint pluck, results in passive contraction of middle joint with simultaneous passive extension of main joint.

Crucial that tip joint aims fingertip towards main joint as intended trajectory during pluck itself.

Same wiith rest stroke as for free stroke.

As per paragraph 1, all strokes can be said to be "spring loaded" via chosen degree of energy as applied to string by larger 2 joints.

Tip joint remains relaxed, thus "relaxed back" sensation, at all times until moment of pluck itself.

guit-box
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Post by guit-box » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:20 am

It could be true, the only argument I have against it is that some players don't seem to allow the DIP joint to passively hyperextend and that makes the DIP range of motion very small to nothing. That said, it's very difficult to see the movement from the tip joint because it is so small, so you may have a valid point. I tend to agree with you for rest strokes because I can see it in almost every hand, but it may also be that the tip joint does the final releasing of the string the instant before we hear the sound even if it is the tiniest movement for free strokes as well In this video you can see that Manuel Barrueco is clearly letting the tip joints of his i and m fingers bend back slightly before the pluck occurs. For my hand, the more I allow the tip joints collapse the more MCP flexion I tend to use because the relief of the tip joint bending back tends to allow slightly more follow through from MCP--although it's still releasing immediately.


Youtube
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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