Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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For discussion of studies, scales, arpeggios and theory.
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Post by romsek » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:37 pm


Well I have to post a second post in order to see any of the lesson so I guess I'll just ask a question.

I've been working the arpeggios in Carcassi and have a question about damping the bass notes.

I'm teaching myself and this is what I've come up with.

For example on the first exercise when plucking the C bass note I also damp the open G string with my middle finger. This maintains the alternating mimi when plucking the upper C and E which are the next two notes to be played.

When plucking the open G as the bass note on beat 3 I damp the C by raising my left hand 3rd finger slightly on the beat.

I do this as well in the next measure where the chord has changed to G.

Then for exercise two, the order of the upper register notes is reversed and so I use my index finger to damp the open G again to maintain alternation of the fingers.

Anyway the net effect of this is that damping the open string becomes a sort of stroke that just doesn't pluck the string.

This all seems to work pretty well but is admittedly a bit complicated. It didn't take to much practice for it to become natural.

So my question is is this reasonably correct technique, or am I overthinking the whole thing, or is there some totally different technique I should be using?

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Location: San Diego, CA

Re: damping

Post by romsek » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:09 pm

well this has been most illuminating

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Re: damping

Post by astro64 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:04 pm

I would recommend you search for some videos on youtube showing damping techniques. You can use the RH fingers and thumb, e.g. with light rest stroke to dampen a lower string, by planting the RH fingers prior to playing the next note, by using a free LH finger to dampen one or more strings, etc. There are many techniques, it is not easy from your description to know whether what you are doing is the optimum way. In general, try to avoid as much as possible to throw your left or right hand out of position. But sometimes you have to, if there is no other way.

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Re: damping

Post by Rasputin » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:14 pm

One other point - it is common practice to let the notes of an arpeggio ring, so consider whether you really want to damp those notes in the first place. You may be doing it as an exercise, of course.

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Re: damping

Post by PeteJ » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:35 am

You might like to look into the idea of 'planting', which is relevant to what you're already doing. I'd agree with Rasputin that not much damping is required for such arpeggio pieces.

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