Anyone not use nails?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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Isabelle Frizac
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Isabelle Frizac » Sun May 14, 2017 3:20 pm

You seem to be ignorant of one thing: Albeniz and Granados also played the guitar, a very (too) popular instrument in Spain, and much less noble than the piano at that time.

It is probably for this reason that their compositions are so beautiful on the guitar, because initially composed for her (well, not all).

But those from flamenco come from the guitar and then transcribed to the piano.

:chitarrista: :guitare:
keep hope !
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Sun May 14, 2017 3:37 pm

Isabelle Frizac wrote:
Sun May 14, 2017 3:20 pm
You seem to be ignorant of one thing: Albeniz and Granados also played the guitar...
Fritz Kreisler played guitar too, but he was a violinist.
The point is that behind the statement "try to play 'Leyenda' without nails" is the implied statement "you can't play it like that and sound like John Williams". Which to me is the attitude that produces cookie-cutter performances, 20,000 guitarists all performing the same pieces in pretty much the same exact way. After a while there's no point.

PS- I think "Leyenda" does sound better in the original piano version, to be honest.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sun May 14, 2017 5:56 pm

Isabelle Frizac wrote:
Sun May 14, 2017 3:20 pm
You seem to be ignorant of one thing: Albeniz and Granados also played the guitar, ...
Please could you quote your source for this Isabelle? I would be most interested to know.
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sun May 14, 2017 6:11 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Isabelle Frizac wrote:
You seem to be ignorant of one thing: Albeniz and Granados also played the guitar, ...
Please could you quote your source for this Isabelle? I would be most interested to know.
I too would like to know more about this.
Isabelle Frizac wrote: It is probably for this reason that their compositions are so beautiful on the guitar, because initially composed for her (well, not all).
And especially - which ones were originally composed for guitar?

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Isabelle Frizac
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Isabelle Frizac » Sun May 14, 2017 6:18 pm

My sources: my guitar teacher, José Sierra-Fortuny, pupil of Emilio Pujol, himself a pupil of Tarrega.

I know it from oral tradition.


The popular Spanish themes (flamenco) are very present in the music of Abeniz and Granados, and there was at least one guitar in the families at that time (now also, even if we play other more modern styles).
keep hope !
Bastien Burlot 2014" special anniversary" n°1, Pappalardo 1982, Antonio Ruiz Lopez 1974, and other instruments ...;-)

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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Sun May 14, 2017 7:24 pm

Isabelle Frizac wrote:
Sun May 14, 2017 6:18 pm
My sources: my guitar teacher, José Sierra-Fortuny, pupil of Emilio Pujol, himself a pupil of Tarrega.

I know it from oral tradition.


The popular Spanish themes (flamenco) are very present in the music of Abeniz and Granados, and there was at least one guitar in the families at that time (now also, even if we play other more modern styles).
Yes but with all due respect my understanding is that they composed for piano and each was a virtuoso pianist. It's true they tried to imitate "guitaristic" qualities but did so within a pianistic framework, so far as I know. I wasn't aware that they composed for guitar and then transcribed that for piano, as you suggested.
But, I could be wrong, as usual. :) I'm not really in a position to wrangle with professional musicians.

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Matt Molloy
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Matt Molloy » Sun May 14, 2017 7:53 pm

Isabelle Frizac wrote:
Sun May 14, 2017 6:18 pm
My sources: my guitar teacher, José Sierra-Fortuny, pupil of Emilio Pujol, himself a pupil of Tarrega.

I know it from oral tradition.


The popular Spanish themes (flamenco) are very present in the music of Abeniz and Granados, and there was at least one guitar in the families at that time (now also, even if we play other more modern styles).
Sorry but I'd need a bit more than "oral tradition" if you're asserting that they were composed on the guitar first. Nobody can deny that they emulate certain aspects of the guitar but, if they were
Isabelle Frizac wrote:
Sun May 14, 2017 6:18 pm
initially composed for her
then they really should fit better on the guitar than they do.

Stanley Yates has written a fair bit about it in his article here.

http://www.stanleyyates.com/writings/albeniz2.pdf

I see no mention of the guitar being the instrument of composition here (and he goes into a fair amount of detail, including the problems of transcription (which would surely be easier - almost bringing it home - if your assertion were the case).

Also from Stanley Yates' article.

"Although it has often been said that Albeniz heard his music played on the guitar by no less a figure than Francisco Tarrega, the fact that no evidence exists documenting such a meeting between the two great Spanish Musicians has been found has led many to the conclusion that the story is apocryphal, that it was adopted by guitarists in an attempt to justify performance of this music on the guitar..."

Whilst he goes on to detail the relationship of Albeniz to Llobet, this seems to throw further doubt on your assertion. This is why we would need, and indeed would welcome, a more robust source.

Cheers,

Matt.
"I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morcambe

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Isabelle Frizac
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Isabelle Frizac » Sun May 14, 2017 7:54 pm

I did not write that they composed for the guitar then transposed for piano!
I just wrote that they were ALSO playing the guitar, in addition to the piano.
And that the folkloric themes of flamenco are played on the guitar, ..
Did you know that there were also concertists (guitarists) at that time?

And that this little musical world knew and dated, in general ... even if internet and YT did not exist at the time!
keep hope !
Bastien Burlot 2014" special anniversary" n°1, Pappalardo 1982, Antonio Ruiz Lopez 1974, and other instruments ...;-)

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Matt Molloy
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Matt Molloy » Sun May 14, 2017 8:04 pm

Isabelle Frizac wrote:
Sun May 14, 2017 7:54 pm
I did not write that they composed for the guitar then transposed for piano!
I just wrote that they were ALSO playing the guitar, in addition to the piano.
And that the folkloric themes of flamenco are played on the guitar, ..
Did you know that there were also concertists (guitarists) at that time?

And that this little musical world knew and dated, in general ... even if internet and YT did not exist at the time!
I'm sorry but you did say,
You seem to be ignorant of one thing: Albeniz and Granados also played the guitar, a very (too) popular instrument in Spain, and much less noble than the piano at that time.

It is probably for this reason that their compositions are so beautiful on the guitar, because initially composed for her (well, not all).

But those from flamenco come from the guitar and then transcribed to the piano.
I've put in bold the relevant points. If you didn't mean that they were "composed for the guitar then transposed for the piano" then why did you say "come from the guitar and then transcribed to the piano." in your initial post?

The statements contradict each other.

Cheers,

Matt.
"I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morcambe

Proud member of the LGCI.

Guitar: James Lister 2009 SP/MP.

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Isabelle Frizac
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Isabelle Frizac » Sun May 14, 2017 8:09 pm

Sorry, but I do not speak English well, and my translation was bad.

I did not write that it was first composed for guitar (by Albeniz or Granados or other), then transcribed to the piano ... ok?
These musicians also played the guitar, besides being virtuosos of the piano.

I also played the piano and the cello, and I transcribed some music of cello or piano for the guitar. Nothing weird, right?

And I play without a nail ... I do not see where the problem is!

:bye:

You like playing with semantics, but I do not master English, because French language my native language..
keep hope !
Bastien Burlot 2014" special anniversary" n°1, Pappalardo 1982, Antonio Ruiz Lopez 1974, and other instruments ...;-)

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Matt Molloy
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Matt Molloy » Sun May 14, 2017 8:34 pm

Isabelle Frizac wrote:
Sun May 14, 2017 8:09 pm
Sorry, but I do not speak English well, and my translation was bad.

I did not write that it was first composed for guitar (by Albeniz or Granados or other), then transcribed to the piano ... ok?
These musicians also played the guitar, besides being virtuosos of the piano.

I also played the piano and the cello, and I transcribed some music of cello or piano for the guitar. Nothing weird, right?

And I play without a nail ... I do not see where the problem is!

:bye:

You like playing with semantics, but I do not master English, because French language my native language..
Whilst you have my utmost respect for posting in a second language, and indeed your English is far better than my French, it is not a case of "playing with semantics" but that you actually did say,
It is probably for this reason that their compositions are so beautiful on the guitar, because initially composed for her (well, not all).
That can mean little else than
first composed for guitar (by Albeniz or Granados or other), then transcribed to the piano
I also play piano, violin and other instruments (and yes, transcribe between them too, sometimes unintentionally - I've lost count of the times I've started playing something on one instrument then, usually when I suddenly run out of bass notes, suddenly realise that I don't play this piece on this instrument). This doesn't mean that if I compose something for the piano, I originally composed it for the guitar. Hence, in response to your original statement, I asked for a more robust source. You don't have one. That's fine. No problem. It can be treated as unsubstantiated anecdote.

Cheers,

Matt.
"I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morcambe

Proud member of the LGCI.

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ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Sun May 14, 2017 8:45 pm

Isabelle Frizac wrote:
Sun May 14, 2017 8:09 pm
Sorry, but I do not speak English well, and my translation was bad.

I did not write that it was first composed for guitar (by Albeniz or Granados or other), then transcribed to the piano ... ok?
These musicians also played the guitar, besides being virtuosos of the piano.

I also played the piano and the cello, and I transcribed some music of cello or piano for the guitar. Nothing weird, right?

And I play without a nail ... I do not see where the problem is!

:bye:

You like playing with semantics, but I do not master English, because French language my native language..
I think what you may be saying ultimately is "they were thinking guitar, but composing piano". Which may be, I can't judge. But I respect your learning and accomplishments and don't mean to badger you. I know first-hand how easily something can be misconstrued on a forum like this and then snowball.

By the way you communicate in English quite well.
Last edited by ddray on Sun May 14, 2017 9:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sun May 14, 2017 9:03 pm

Isabelle Frizac wrote:
Sun May 14, 2017 8:09 pm
Sorry, but I do not speak English well, and my translation was bad.
...
As Matt already posted, we respect your use of English and perhaps were taking too much for granted precisely because it seemed so fluent and in control. Again, much better than my French.

And - but, oh this is difficult. Believe me when I say I could not be more pleased if we could accept that Albeniz and Granados played guitar, and that I respect perfectly the sincerity of what you say. But these are composers whose biographies have been crawled over by generations of guitar scholars and in the face of the apparently complete absence of other evidence on this matter, I cannot take at face value the oral tradition you have referred to. There are simply too many ways in which the oral transmission of such things can completely change the understanding of whatever was first said - without for a moment implying deliberate deceit. In UK English we call it Chinese Whispers (Telephone in US?).

There's also always the matter of what we meaningfully can call "playing" e.g. being "able to play" guitar. Just last Friday a piano teaching colleague surprised me when I showed him my Panormo by mischievously playing Smoke on the Water on it. But he would never say he "can play guitar" just as I would never say I "can play piano" even though I still remember one piece from my lessons - the point is I have no competence on it, no control, very little understanding, and can neither read nor play it by ear. But the trouble is if we perhaps rather casually say "Albeniz played guitar" the assumption starts to be that he could really play it in the way I cannot the piano. Yes, perhaps he could manage a simple bit of Malaguena or something like, but would that in any way enable him to compose guitar-like music for piano better than, just listening? In other words, would it be a meaningful thing that made a difference?

Finally, and I think the reason this is important, is to remember that posts such as these become part of the searchable library of the internet for years to come, and if somebody unquestioningly reads your assertion and takes it as a simple fact, well, maybe they will get the wrong idea about, at the least, the certainty with which the guitar community thinks about the matter.
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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Mon May 15, 2017 3:07 am

Perhaps she's saying that the 'themes' of pieces like Asturias and Sevilla were born in the hands of Spanish guitarists in general? They (Albeniz and Granados) then borrowed the theme and wrote music for the piano...and that's why they sound so good played on guitar?

As for ol' Isaac and Enrique playing guitar...I'd never heard that. But I suppose it wouldn't surprise me if they noodled around a bit on them..
Last edited by tateharmann on Mon May 15, 2017 3:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Mon May 15, 2017 3:14 am

Here's a biographical quote on Albeniz from Walter A. Clark:
Taking the guitar as his instrumental model, and drawing his inspiration largely from the peculiar traits of Andalusian folk music‍—‌but without using actual folk themes‍—‌Albéniz achieves a stylization of Spanish traditional idioms that while thoroughly artistic, gives a captivating impression of spontaneous improvisation... Córdoba is the piece that best represents the style of Albéniz in this period, with its hauntingly beautiful melody, set against the acrid dissonances of the plucked accompaniment imitating the notes of the Moorish guslas. Here is the heady scent of jasmines amid the swaying palm trees, the dream fantasy of an Andalusian "Arabian Nights" in which Albéniz loved to let his imagination dwell.
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