da23will wrote:It's not easy to understand what one means by "Shearer technique" or "Presti technique", because there is, presumably, a lot more to their "technique" than just the position of the wrist.
I won’t speak for Presti, as I have no firsthand knowledge of her own thoughts on how to play. Shearer, on the other hand, described his approach in great detail. There are twelve books published under his name. His “Learning the Classic Guitar, Part One” (1990) is a good place to start.
As I understand it, and as an illustration, an advocate of sympathetic motion would play a tremolo by playing a, m and I and keeping all three fingers in the hand until p plays, at which time a, m and I are released in a block. By contrast, those who talk of the play/relax approach appear (in a tremolo situation) to relax each and every finger immediately after it plucks, so that it returns, naturally and without effort, to its position above the string.
Can anyone reconcile these two approaches or, if not, illuminate Shearer's thoughts on finger movement in a tremolo context (and in particular, what one is supposed to do with each finger immediately after it has plucked the string)?
To my knowledge, Shearer never published anything in which he directly addresses tremolo. My understanding, however, is that he would view it as a natural consequence of fundamental right hand technique, which he addressed in detail.
While he didn’t address tremolo, he did describe the a
arpeggio in detail. (This arpeggio is obviously analogous to tremolo.) One fundamental of Shearer’s approach is to avoid, when possible, alternation between m
. Thus, he taught a
1) As a starting position, prepare all three fingers on the strings—a
on ①, m
on ②, and i
2) Without moving m
, flex a
to sound ①.
3) Without moving i
, flex m
to sound ②. (a
continues in the same direction as m
4) Flex i
to sound ③—m
simultaneously extend together back to prepare on ② and ①.
5) Begin a new cycle by flexing a
to sound ① without moving m
does not yet return to ③.)
6) Flex m
to sound ②—i
now returns and prepares on ③.
Note that this sequence puts alternation between i
, rather than between m
. Shearer’s reasoning is that i
are naturally more independent than m
. Thus, it makes sense to put alternation between i
Shearer knew that it’s often impossible to avoid m
alternation. (For example, during the p
arpeggio.) And like most teachers, he taught exercises for developing m
alternation. But when given the choice to put alternation between i
or between m
, Shearer recommended i
as the better choice.
Specifically regarding tremolo, when practicing slowly, Shearer would recommend that a
, and i
together return to the string as p
flexes to sound the bass string. But as the movement speeds up, I believe he would know that i
might begin its return before m
South Euclid, OH