Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Luis_Br
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Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by Luis_Br » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:00 pm

BugDog wrote:The surprise was that it effected my left hand. I found I had to use thumb pressure much more as there wasn't any counter balance from the right arm.
Needing to hold the guitar is really not an option. As I've explained above, you need to use some accessory or device to help holding the guitar without the need of Right Arm nor Thumb.
With Galbraith, the guitar with the cello endpin does this job.
My teacher taught me to use a suction cup on the side of the guitar tied to pants brackets or leg by a string.
My teacher taught to use this device even to those who use regular traditional posture. He thinks needing to worry about holding the guitar is a bad constraint, even when using right arm weight in regular traditional posture.

About thumb pressure, I have already written several times in other topics reasons I think we should use thumb pressure and avoid pulling with arm. But be careful not to use too much thumb pressure. Maybe you put to much pressure with other fingers or your hand is too stiff. Anyway, if you do what I've told above, you can use left arm weight and no thumb pressure without needing to hold the guitar with right arm. I use this technique sometimes. With the Galbraith's style posture it is even easier to transfer the left arm weight to soundboard, if you want to, due to guitar arm position.

windyday
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Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by windyday » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:21 am

when I play Etude no.1 of Villa Lobos, my right elbow somehow automatically raise from sound board to free the RH fingers with more comfortness and accuracy. It natural happens. Right elbow is invovled in playing, but it's also involved in balancing the instrument. I don't know whether other instruments playing have the same problem. At least violin and piano playing does not. Maybe it's the weakness of CG and it should be developed. To free right arm(so as right elbow and hand) is more reasonable and somatological for playing.

windyday
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Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by windyday » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:34 am

Somethimes I imagine that CG player could stand when play. If the guitar is "set there" for you to play while standing or sitting. Will you still use your right elbow to balance the guitar? just imagine...

Polifemo de Oro

Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by Polifemo de Oro » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:48 pm

I find this whole discussion quite curious--particularly all of this talk about "freeing up" the right hand. I find it puzzling, in fact, because I think most guitarists aim to achieve stability in the right hand. This is certainly true of flamenco guitarists as well. Personally, I do not believe that Mr. Galbraith's playing posture will ever be anything more than niche--and an extreme one at that.

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BugDog
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Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by BugDog » Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:22 pm

Yes, I agree, quite curious. Seems we've got a new point of contention like with the rest stroke-no rest stroke arguement. Right arm-no right arm counterbalance. Left thumb-no left thumb pressure.

I personally don't think that these things are mutually exclusive. It seems to me that this is mostly kind of a never ending dance between placements and pressures that can be individually different and vary with what one is trying to accomplish.
BugDog
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Luis_Br
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Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by Luis_Br » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:03 pm

BugDog wrote:Yes, I agree, quite curious. Seems we've got a new point of contention like with the rest stroke-no rest stroke arguement. Right arm-no right arm counterbalance. Left thumb-no left thumb pressure.

I personally don't think that these things are mutually exclusive. It seems to me that this is mostly kind of a never ending dance between placements and pressures that can be individually different and vary with what one is trying to accomplish.
Are you not reading what I've written or you simply don't want to consider the complete elimination of this problem through the way I've suggested?
Polifemo de Oro wrote:I find this whole discussion quite curious--particularly all of this talk about "freeing up" the right hand. I find it puzzling, in fact, because I think most guitarists aim to achieve stability in the right hand. This is certainly true of flamenco guitarists as well. Personally, I do not believe that Mr. Galbraith's playing posture will ever be anything more than niche--and an extreme one at that.
Well I think stability doesn't mean keeping hand still or stiff.
To me, sound comes first.
So, for example, if you play a scale from string 6 to string 1 and you pivot from around elbow or the part of the right arm that is resting over the guitar, the hand will make an arch and it will go nearer the bridge as you go down toward first string. To keep sound consistency, you need to "slip" the arm over the guitar in order to keep the hand in a consistent distance from the bridge and to keep the same tone. So you need to elevate the arm a bit anyways, even if you keep it touchng the guitar, but you need to free up some weight to allow the arm slipping over the guitar, in order to control a constant distance from bridge and keep the tone consistency. I find this movement easier with a completly free arm.

I agree a lot of modern players tend to keep the hand still. It is certainly easier to play this way. But those are normally the boring ones. Good players vary the hand position a lot, in order to achieve wider dynamics and tone color.

Finally, I think it is ok to play in the regular traditional position. There are a lot of great players playing in the traditional way, with a lot of dynamics and color variation, with great ease. I am just trying to put my experience and trying to help those that would like to try. It is a bit tricky to do it alone with no guidance. I actually like this Galbraith's style more because of the overall ergonomics rather than simply right arm freedom. I think his posture is more symmetric, elbows are lower, it is easier to reach higher frets or any position without twisting the spine. At the end I think I can reach a better concentration level, that is the main reason I like this new posture.

Polifemo de Oro

Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by Polifemo de Oro » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:10 pm

So you need to elevate the arm a bit anyways, even if you keep it touchng the guitar, but you need to free up some weight to allow the arm slipping over the guitar,
And . . . is this a problem? It shouldn't be. You can use the traditional approach and still get plenty of color variation (Segovia and Bream, among others, evinced no dearth of color in their playing). But, I do agree that many of the younger players don't seem to notice that the guitar will, indeed, yield some nice color!

The other day I tried playing with the guitar more upright. It is certainly not an intuitive or easy way to play guitar. I also wondered how you could possibly build up great speed--say in playing fast scale passages. I'm not discounting this method, especially for people who find the traditional position problematic or uncomfortable for some reason. I just doubt that it will only ever receive but marginal adherence.

Luis_Br
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Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by Luis_Br » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:14 pm

Polifemo de Oro wrote: And . . . is this a problem? It shouldn't be. You can use the traditional approach and still get plenty of color variation (Segovia and Bream, among others, evinced no dearth of color in their playing). But, I do agree that many of the younger players don't seem to notice that the guitar will, indeed, yield some nice color!
As I've said, I agree it is ok. They certainly could do it also with the guitar in the right leg and no footstool. I just think it is easier with free arm...

Just another thought. Try slipping the arm to vary RH position and counterbalance LH barre with right arm weight at the same time...
That is the reason my teacher recommends preventing guitar slipping or fixing it with some device even if you play in a traditional posture, so you never need to use right arm weight nor LH thumb to hold the guitar.

Polifemo de Oro

Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by Polifemo de Oro » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:26 pm

Luis, you should post some pictures of your playing position and these devices so that we can better see what you are talking about. I think that alone might clear up some misunderstanding.

This whole subject intrigues me because I also play the cello. And I sit here thinking: why should the guitar be more difficult to play in this position than a cello? I don't have an easy answer to this! I do know, though, that in playing the cello the use of the left hand thumb is still an issue and you still find yourself applying plenty of pressure with it even though you try to minimize this as much as possible.

Luis_Br
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Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by Luis_Br » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:30 pm

Polifemo de Oro wrote: I also wondered how you could possibly build up great speed--say in playing fast scale passages.
Why not? What makes it more difficult?

Polifemo de Oro

Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by Polifemo de Oro » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:36 pm

Why not? What makes it more difficult?
I've been playing a long, long time. So, comfort level is one thing. Apart from that I'm not quite sure. I think it might have to do with the much narrower neck of the cello; its curved fingerboard. I can play scales very rapidly on the cello. When I try to play scales on the guitar while in a cello-like position--I can't play them at all! So, it comes down to ergonomics; you have to reach around with your left hand much more to play the notes on the fingerboard.

Luis_Br
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Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by Luis_Br » Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:06 pm

I don't know much about cello technique, but I think a reliable steady instrument is part of a good posture.

I am traveling right now, when I have some time I will post some pictures of the device I use to prevent guitar slipping while using free right arm. Several friends have already asked me about the posture I use. I am a bit busy now, in the second semester I'll try to make a video showing some basics about it.

Chris
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Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by Chris » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:09 pm

Hi Luis, even though it's been a while since this post you intrigued me so much that I finally signed for this this forum just to ask you. :)

Do you still play this way? It would help a lot if you could post a couple of pictures and/or explain a little more in detail:

a) which support you use, and if it's a particular left hand version
b) where is your support mounted on the guitar, and
c) how it is then positioned on you (left leg, body, what?)

I simply can't figure it out from just looking at Gloedens amazing performances with BCQ...

I've tried the vertical position out, and while my right hand needs a bit more angle I really prefer to play with the elbow free. So any guidance is much appreciated...

Cheers,
Chris

Luis_Br
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Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:22 pm

Chris wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:09 pm
Hi Luis, even though it's been a while since this post you intrigued me so much that I finally signed for this this forum just to ask you. :)

Do you still play this way? It would help a lot if you could post a couple of pictures and/or explain a little more in detail:

a) which support you use, and if it's a particular left hand version
b) where is your support mounted on the guitar, and
c) how it is then positioned on you (left leg, body, what?)

I simply can't figure it out from just looking at Gloedens amazing performances with BCQ...

I've tried the vertical position out, and while my right hand needs a bit more angle I really prefer to play with the elbow free. So any guidance is much appreciated...

Cheers,
Chris
I will try to make some pictures soon. While I don't do it:
Chris wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:09 pm
a) which support you use, and if it's a particular left hand version
regular Muratta with suction cups. It could be ergoplay and other similar ones (with suction cups)
Chris wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:09 pm
b) where is your support mounted on the guitar, and
On the back of the guitar, very near the edge, from middle position to down.
Chris wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:09 pm
c) how it is then positioned on you (left leg, body, what?)
Support goes over left leg, near the waist.
Use a separate suction cup on the side of the guitar, with string to tie it to the pants or around right leg.
Chris wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:09 pm
I've tried the vertical position out, and while my right hand needs a bit more angle I really prefer to play with the elbow free.
You can also vary angle, through using the guitar more diagonal or more vertical. If you compare Everton to Galbraith you see Everton uses much more diagonal guitar for more angle. He says he can't get a good tone with such a vertical position like Paul's (he tried that too). But in this vertical position you certainly cannot achieve too much angle when compared to traditional posture, but I think you can get quite enough angle. Any way Segovia, John Williams, Parkening, Evangelos Assimakopoulos and several others can achieve great tone with more frontal attack, so I think it is a matter of practice and finding out the right way to pluck.
Also be careful not to elevate too much the guitar. Left shoulder should be very relaxed all the time or you may get trouble.

Chris
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Re: Right arm elbow free from guitar, ever tried?

Post by Chris » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:21 am

Hi Luis, thank you very much for these additional details, they are very helpful indeed.
Last edited by Chris on Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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