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

Postby guit-box » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:50 pm

robert e wrote:
I'm sure guit-box can and will speak his own mind, but I had to speak up just because some of these accusations, if taken out of context, are misleading. I also want to point out how these negative comments highlight the value of this thread.

First, let's get out of the way the fact while there may be "wrath for teachers" in this thread, it isn't coming from guit-box. Lawler did not say that it was, but it's worth pointing that out for those coming to this without context.

Second, "deep mechanical-engineering-type perspective" is a gross exaggeration. What I see being promoted is an effort to exploit current technology to closely examine the activity of fingers during guitar playing. I don't see that in itself as anti-teacher; rather, it's something that should help teachers check and refine their own pedagogy, and, indeed, if one reads through this thread, that's exactly what's happened, at least for certain open-minded teachers who use this forum.

If there's any specific corrective being aimed at classical guitar pedagogy in general here, if my understanding of guit-box's intentions and the refinement of this discussion over time is correct, it's not so much to methodology as to the language used by teachers and method books to communicate their intentions and rationale. The comments posted above are excellent examples of how this thread has forced a discussion of both pedagogic language and intent as applied to right hand technique.

As to that, an objection raised repeatedly by guit-box's critics, and now again by Lawler, is that "of course" teachers are speaking in sensory, rather than mechanical terms. Well, Lawler is fortunate to have learned in a situation in which that distinction was clear. It's a mistake, however, to assume that everyone is so fortunate. In this era of open, unguided access to just about every aspect of guitar study, I can't think of a valid justification for keeping that distinction implicit, and potentially ambiguous, when it can now be made explicit. If that small corrective is all that comes from this thread, it would be a significant contribution to guitar pedagogy, especially with respect to self-teaching and remote learning.

We all have access to far more evidence--and, yes, new perspectives--about how our bodies go about various, often remarkable, feats. While it's sensible to be cautious about misinterpreting and misapplying that data, I can't think of any reason not to acknowledge that it's there, or the fact that some of it raises valid questions about aspects of accepted pedagogy, even if it addresses only language and terminology and how they have been interpreted, or misinterpreted.


Thank you Robert e, I appreciate when people say nice things every once in awhile. I understand this is a public forum, so people are going to voice their opinions. It goes with the territory, and I accept that many will think this is a waste of time. The fact that there is so much contention IS a sign that this is an important topic, I agree.
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guit-box
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Postby guit-box » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:01 pm

40 pages...Woo Hoo!
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Robbie Flamerock
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Postby Robbie Flamerock » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:35 pm

guitarrista said: "there is no one single best way applicable to everyone, to perform a stroke". How do you know this? I'm not saying that you are wrong, I just need some justification!

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

Postby guitarrista » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:42 pm

Robbie Flamerock wrote:guitarrista said: "there is no one single best way applicable to everyone, to perform a stroke". How do you know this? I'm not saying that you are wrong, I just need some justification!


Did you read the rest of what I posted? It is the justification that you need.
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kmurdick
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Postby kmurdick » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:16 am

I agree with guitarista that there is no one way to perform a free stroke on the guitar, but there may be certain common elements that must be present for an efficient stroke. There are a whole lot of players out there who have practiced for decades and cannot alternate continuously on a single string at 140mm (4 notes to the click) let alone play a scale at 140mm. This, I think, is what guit-box is trying ascertain by examining the great players.

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

Postby Luis_Br » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:14 am

To me a definitive conclusion, from my perspective, would be possible with two important things we don't have, but which are possible, maybe someone in the research field could try it:
1 - a supercamera with more frames (I agree KJ extends while MJ flexes, but to me this is string release, not excitation, and those slomo I've seen do not seem to have enough resolution to check the very moment)
2 - measure individual muscle tension (I actually have one sensor to do this, it comes with a software to help you learn to relax, you can check your relaxation by the sensor feedback, it measures the tension, but it is not as accurate and difficult to use to measure specific muscles when compared to those you may find used by health professionals)

I also remember a great guitarist and teacher contrary to the tendencies of KJ, Manuel Lopez Ramos. He used to teach moving from MJ only first, he considered it more important to produce a good tone. He used to introduce KJ later. I know a student of his, there is an article over the net talking about his philosophy too.

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

Postby Ortega » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:21 am

Regarding "wrath for teachers", I had one, my first teacher, who said the smaller 2 joints must never move. Ever. Everything is done from the main joint. Yes, I am angry about this. Absolutely!

That teacher is still teaching at the same conservatory, 35 years later, still propagating this nonsense; he can barely play, just like back then (he was one of only 2 in my town at the time) yet he still sits at his post and teaches....and teaches....

So yes, wrath for teachers of this ilk. They are not fit to teach anything except perhaps how to lace ones' shoes.

My later teachers all had some nice things to offer; no wrath upon them.

To those who teach KJ as source of work for actual moment of the pluck: they are wrong. If they refuse to stop teaching this, then yes, wrath upon them. Attempting to execute in this way, truly and exactly this way, WILL lead to dystonia.

Here I am in 1999, executing from KJ. Dystonia beginning to set in. You can see me struggling with the right hand. This from a nearly melted VHS cassette...a bit of the slow part had to be clipped...sorry. Within one year of this I could not play at all. This was the fault of KJ pedagogy. I can now play again thanks to this thread.

https://youtu.be/BnRX96zgbx8

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

Postby Blondie » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:01 pm

Ortega wrote:To those who teach KJ as source of work for actual moment of the pluck: they are wrong. If they refuse to stop teaching this, then yes, wrath upon them. Attempting to execute in this way, truly and exactly this way, WILL lead to dystonia.


Another member here who has focal dystonia came to precisely the opposite conclusion, and has experienced significant improvement by developing the actual stroke, with follow through, from MCP joint and limited involvement of the PIP joint.

Also interesting to note that one of the few pedagogical sources that you earlier cite as supporting your approach (Parkening) had to retire as he himself developed focal dystonia.

Now it's great you are having a breakthrough (and I note earlier you were speculating whether indeed you did have FD at all) but I do take issue with the absolutism of your above statement. If it were true I think we could expect the majority of students to develop FD, which clearly doesn't happen.

FD is a lot more complicated than that.

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

Postby Robbie Flamerock » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:12 pm

Parkening supports Ortega's old approach or his current new-found approach?
Where did you hear that Parkening developed FD?
What are MCP and PIP joints?

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

Postby kmurdick » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:36 pm

My bad teachers didn't teach right hand technique at all. Of course at the time, no one knew anything about guitar pedagogy. I wasn't until Bream, Williams and Parkening hit that scene that the explosion of pedagogical ideas began. I really can't hate them because they didn't have the resources.

My biggest complaint is the misinformation today surrounding the left hand. See my videos below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwNJ2It ... 59&index=7
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3CPVWz ... 59&index=8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFQUtSb ... D7FA3F7B59

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

Postby guit-box » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:47 pm

The videos show many variabilities such as: hand position, pronation and supination of forearm, wrist height, left/right wrist orientation, guitar position, etc. For all those variabilities we can definitely say there is "no one way" to do them. For the finger strokes and specifically medium-fast tempo free strokes we can see all the videos share a commonality-- middle joint is the producer of the sound at the precise moment the note is sounded and the main KJ does not follow through into the palm.

LIke Ortega, I was taught by some teachers to play exclusively from the main KJ. I don't blame or hate anyone for this, that would be immature. I do believe after much observation and practice that they were wrong, but 20-30 years ago this kind of teaching was the norm and we didn't know any better. Judging by all the resistance to what I'm saying and have proved with crystal clear video closeups and slow motion video examination, it's clear this mis-information persists. All the methods at the time that I remember (except Parkening's method) said that free stroke and all strokes are played from the main knuckle joint: The Natural Classical Guitar--Ryan, Effortless Classical Guitar--Kanengeiser, Pumping Nylon--Tennant. I remember also having Solo Guitar Playing--Noad, Classical Guitar Method--Duncan and Celedonio Romero Method for Guitar. I don't recall what they said about the subject, I'll have to re-visit those methods. At any rate, I didn't have access to anything else at the time and the teachers were insistent that this was the correct way to play, so that's what you do, follow the advice of the teacher.

I remember being told by a teacher to drum my fingers on a table top with the force coming from the main KJ. That, I was told, was the basis for the strokes. Of course when you do that on a table top, the drumming produces a thud, but if you move this precise movement to a guitar string you get no sound. You may hit the string with some force and velocity and the string will likely displace some, but the moment the KJ releases it's pressure, the string springs back and no sound is ever produced. This is because the main KJ is NOT the producer of the pluck as was being taught. Of course it plays a critical role, it brings the finger to the string quickly and efficiently and the KJ needs to be trained to do that. It may provide some gripping pressure that allows the eventual sound to be produced, but the main KJ by itself is not the producer of the sound, the flexion of the MJ is. If you do the same table top experiment with the tips of the finger already touching the table and flexion towards the hand from the MJ, then you'll hear a scratching sound produced on the table top. It's a shhhhhht shhhhht shhhhht sound. This sound can be produced with very minimal help from the main KJ, all that joint is doing is holding the finger in place so the MJ can make that sound. For a pianissimo sound, that minimal weight of the finger on the table top is probably enough, but for a louder sound then the main KJ probably needs to grip more. You can transfer this precise motion to a guitar string and a sound will be produced. So, it's really the MJ flexion that is the producer of the sound, and of course the main KJ is playing an important role, but that role has been over-emphasized generally. The correct free stroke, (the stroke that all the concert guitarists are doing in the videos) as demonstrated on a table top would have a thud followed almost instantaneously by a scratch. The scratch occurs at the very instant the thud is sounded, and it is so perfectly coordinated that it seems as if the thud and the scratch are one sound and it also appears visually to an observer that the main KJ did all the work, but it's not the case. It's a two-step, highly coordinated exchange from one joint to the next. Many people who believe and teach that the main KJ should follow through into the palm likely believe that is true because they feel or sense that the main KJ is in flexion at the moment of the pluck, but they are wrong. What they are feeling is the KJ releasing (extending) at the moment the MJ takes over and they are confusing that release for main KJ flexion. Everything in our world has to follow the rules of physics, even fingers, and if you don't see the KJ and it's corresponding phalange moving in a flexion direction towards the palm at the instant the sound is produced or in the milliseconds after, that is because it isn't, simple as that.
Last edited by guit-box on Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Right Hand Technique & - Concert Guitarist Slow Motion Videos

Postby Blondie » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:53 pm

Robbie Flamerock wrote:Parkening supports Ortega's old approach or his current new-found approach?
Where did you hear that Parkening developed FD?
What are MCP and PIP joints?


1. Parkening supports his new-found approach.
2. viewtopic.php?t=91193&start=60
3. The shorthand for the actual names of the finger joints, as opposed to using ambiguous terms such as 'KJ'. Google 'finger joints'.

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

Postby Robbie Flamerock » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:04 pm

MCP=Middle? PIP= Knuckle?

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

Postby Robbie Flamerock » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:07 pm

Do you mean that Parkening developed FD with Ortega's approach?

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

Postby Blondie » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:42 pm

Robbie Flamerock wrote:MCP=Middle? PIP= Knuckle?


No. Did you Google finger joints as I suggested?


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