Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

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

Post by guit-box » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:38 am

Unlike the Barrueco video in the previous post where we can clearly see his i and m finger tip joints bending backwards, in this video we can clearly see that Paul Gallbraith is not allowing his tip joints bend backwards at all. He does appear to be using lots of middle and tip joint flexion when plucking, so it may still be true that it's the tip joint flexion that is responsible for the final release of the string, I'm not 100% convinced that PIP flexion (middle joint) is not also plucking. I'd have to conclude from this visual that both PIP/DIP flexion are releasing the string.


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

Post by Robbie Flamerock » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:33 pm

The tip joint returns to flexion but this is because the extension of the tip joint is passive. Therefore when the finger goes through the string, it returns to a default flexion. You cannot actively extend the tip segment from midrange, default position!

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

Post by guit-box » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:27 pm

I agree that you can't actively extend the tip joint (DIP), but that's not really what's in question here. With the tip joint in its passively extended position, THEN, from that position, the tip joint has the ability to flexion and very actively release the string. (with holding assist from the other joints). It's the active flexion of the tip joint that we're talking about not the inactive extension of the tip. Personally, I prefer to keep my tip joints firm for free strokes and release the string with a combination of flexion from DIP/PIP, but I'm on the fence about it and open to the option of loose tips. For me it just feels like I have a sharper tool when I keep the tips firm.

That said, I still think what is missing in Ortega's stroke is the free and initial impulse movement from the MCP. The MCP (large knuckle joint) plays a very important role in powering the finger to the string and then once the string is reached and the MCP pushes through the position that the string had occupied, the PIP/DIP (middle and tip joints) flexion to release the string. You can see in everyone's had that the middle joint is moving the most in a flexion direction once the MCP completes its job. Sure the tip joint flexion is contributing to releasing the string but mostly it's the middle joint that is releasing the string. In Orgega's stroke, he appears to be using arm movements (bouncing, etc.) to assist plucking. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but I believe one should develop independent and correct finger movements and not rely on arm movements to pluck. It's analogous to people who do pull-offs with a forearm rotation instead of keeping the forearm still and moving correctly from the fingers with PIP/DIP flexion. Sure you can get the job done this way, but it's more of a work-around than good technique and won't work for every instance.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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

Post by Robbie Flamerock » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:17 pm

When a passively extended tip segment releases it will appear flexed whether it is actively flexed or not. The default midrange position has passively flexed tip segments. The tip segment only extends by contact with the string. You cannot extend actively from midrange.

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

Post by Ortega » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:20 pm

It's 100% tip joint.

From fully relaxed status, and trajectory must be aimed directly for main joint. An extremely narrow aim.

Simultaneously relax the 2 larger joints and you'll get a large amount of middle joint contraction, which is completely passive. Main joint passively extends.

Especially important for i finger, and harder to execute with due to opposition to p.

My arm bouncing was remnant of 35 years wrong technique.

Will post definitive video soon.

If tip joint doesn't aim in a very pronounced way, straight to main joint and only from relaxed status, it won't work.

This is the right way, the only way, folks. Many variables with technique from individual to individual, but not on this.

It's so elusive because it looks as if it's the middle joint that is being activated. It is not.

Believe it. I'm living it.

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

Post by guit-box » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:38 am

That doesn't take into account that many concert players who don't let the tip joint passively bend backwards for free strokes. We can look at many concert players and verify that some are relaxing the tip joint for free strokes, but still others are not doing that. Relaxing the tip joint is something that is an optional variable, and if it's not allowed to passively bend backwards, then it really can't contribute 100% to releasing the string. Even in players who are relaxing the tip joints, we can see a lot of middle joint follow through. This is the evidence that the middle joint (and tip) flexion are releasing the string. Again, Ortega, I congratulate you on your progress from having focal dystonia and not being able to play at all, to being able to play at an intermediate level, but seriously, your level of playing is very far from concert guitarist, so your personal observations don't have the same credibility as watching what master players are actually doing. This thread is about observing what concert guitarists are actually doing, not what amateur and intermediate level forum members are doing.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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

Post by Robbie Flamerock » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:59 pm

guit-box wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:38 am
That doesn't take into account that many concert players who don't let the tip joint passively bend backwards for free strokes. We can look at many concert players and verify that some are relaxing the tip joint for free strokes, but still others are not doing that. Relaxing the tip joint is something that is an optional variable, and if it's not allowed to passively bend backwards, then it really can't contribute 100% to releasing the string. Even in players who are relaxing the tip joints, we can see a lot of middle joint follow through. This is the evidence that the middle joint (and tip) flexion are releasing the string. Again, Ortega, I congratulate you on your progress from having focal dystonia and not being able to play at all, to being able to play at an intermediate level, but seriously, your level of playing is very far from concert guitarist, so your personal observations don't have the same credibility as watching what master players are actually doing. This thread is about observing what concert guitarists are actually doing, not what amateur and intermediate level forum members are doing.

Another possibility is that the players that we consider to not be letting their tip segments to extend may indeed have very little bend in the tip segment yet still be releasing the tension (it isn't visible to us).

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

Post by Ortega » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:25 pm

Results are amazing with this amendment, which I made very early this morning:

Where I had gone wrong was with respect to the tip joint; I had overlooked its crucial role.

However, I am now *actively using the middle joint, as opposed to passively, along with the tip joint.

The tip joint begins in a protracted, or fully relaxed state; we must ensure this. Then, after main joint brings finger to string, we pluck by:

Simultaneously contracting both middle and tip joints, while relaxing the main joint.

Rest and free stroke the same.

Proper engagement of tip joint in this process is nothing short of transformative

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

Post by guit-box » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:11 pm

If I practice for a few minutes one way, I can do both reasonably well. -- relaxed or firm tips. It's certainly possible that some player's tips don't bend backwards, most do, but I don't think we can say that a relaxed tip that's allowed to bend backward (however much) is the only way to play, that would be illogical. Nobody talks about doing pull-offs in the fretting hand while allowing the tip joints to relax, they must remain firm to to get that job done, and no one would suggest that firm tips in the left hand means you're playing with too much tension. My left hand is very fit and I can turn the guitar over and play left handed and have no problems playing alternation and arpeggios with absolutely firm tips. I can do the same thing right handed, but that hand isn't as developed. When I play with firm tips, I feel that the MCP is tensioning the string while on the string, but it's a combination of PIP/DIP flexion that release the string and create the sound with the MCP releasing/extending at that moment. This movement is also what I see most of the great players doing. Interestingly, if I play with completely relaxed tip joints, my hand does feel very relaxed, maybe too relaxed in a way. It feels more like I'm pushing through the string from the MCP and the tip is just inactively allowing the MCP to push though the string by getting out of the way a little. In this case I can get the exact play-relax movement that Kanengieser teaches in his Effortless Classical Guitar dvd. I've seen players who do this movement with some success, but mostly this supposedly pure play-relax pendulum movement seems to be unattainable in the real world and concert players flexion the middle joint much more than this. Also, I've asked concert players about allowing the tip joints to bend back for free strokes and some say they do it and others say they don't do it and some say they do both, that's why I say it's one of the variables in right hand technique but by no means the only way to play.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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

Post by guit-box » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:00 pm

Check out the first blog post called "efficient free stroke/2" at the top of the page. He has a video demonstrating moving from the tip joint. I'm not sure what I think of this, I'll have to give it some thought. My first inclination is to say there's no way he's just moving from the tip joint in this demonstration, but I could be wrong. Hii certainly has some amazing technique.

http://philiphii.com/
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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

Post by guit-box » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:43 pm

That blog post is very interesting and worthy of close analysis and discussion. I can certainly see many of the elements he describes such as moving the fingers more vertically (more specifically perpendicular to the soundboard). He does some amount of vertical pressing downward towards the back of the guitar before the string is released, but then the release movement has an opposite vertical movement where the finger tip moves vertically away from the soundboard. His movements that he describes as originating from the tip joint are very economical and he's not doing much follow through from middle joint. But, other than the movements are smaller when he describes them as being focused on playing from the tip joint, I don't really see the tip joint as doing the work. What I see is the MCP extending away from the guitar and the middle and tip in flexion. It may just be that this extension of the MCP is just as important as anything. I do see some amount of tip joint flexion, it's really small, but that doesn't mean it's not important, he may be onto something important. What I don't see any of is tip joints collapsing or bending back at all. I see it in other player's hands but not in this video.

Slow motion of Hii playing free strokes from the tip joint

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

Post by guit-box » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:39 pm

I asked Philip Hii about his thoughts on tip joints. -- relaxed, firm, both. He offered to post a video on his site which is now live. Actually there are two videos you should check out. As I suspected, when he talks about playing from the tip joints, what he's really talking about is more of a thought perspective, he's thinking about making a tiny scratch, and according to him, it's the very tip of the finger that the mind's attention should be on. You can tell in these two videos that he's not really doing much relaxing of the tip joint or flexion of the tip joint, it's the same as all great players, he's doing mostly middle joint flexion to release the string along with the large knuckle joint extending at that moment. He says he uses a relaxed tip for soft and mellow tones and a firm tip when playing loudly. He's not really plucking with the tip joint, it's more about what to focus on when plucking, and he may have a good point. I prefer to describe what's actually happening with the finger joints personally, but I can see some use for what he's teaching and this kind of psychological trick. He's one of the few players/teachers breaking from the main knuckle joint dogma, and I greatly appreciate that. Go to Philiphii dot com to check out the blog and videos.
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 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:30 pm

On Hii's web page he talks about the importance of the release of tension. I get the impression that he agrees with me that most, if not all, of the return is natural (requires no impulse).

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

Post by kmurdick » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:50 pm

Git-box is right, Hii is has more motion coming from the the knuckle and the middle joints than the tip joint. But the middle joint/tip joint combination is a lot stronger than the just the middle joint. Whether that could translate into a more efficient free stroke,I don't know.

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

Post by kmurdick » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:05 pm

When I first began to study with Aaron Shearer in the late 60s, he mentioned that an important experience for him, both musically and technically, was when he saw/heard a famous harpist play the six Milan Pavans. Just for fun I went to youtube to get a harp lesson and was rather surprised. The technique demonstrated was the exact same technique that Shearer taught in the late 60's ( and is still taught now by a lot high level teachers). The demonstration even includes the use of the P-tip and P follow through to 'i' finger in the P stroke. Of course Shearer modified this approach over the years, but the lesson below was pretty close to what I first learned at Peabody.

It's interesting that harpist mentions two schools of playing, one with firm tips and one with relaxed tips. Of course the demands of the harp are significantly different from the demands of the guitar. Still, this may be an avenue worth exploring. The harp, unlike the guitar, has had a long and continuous development. The guitar's history may be long, but it has been interrupted over the centuries. You might want to start at 3.00 on this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpGNSvTENoI&t=493s

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