Advice about Ida Presti's right hand technique

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ronjazz
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Re: Advice about Ida Presti's right hand technique

Post by ronjazz » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:37 pm

Seems that all of the nail can be used for different tonal variations. playing of off the left side can be very fat and warm while playing off the right can be bright and snappy, and everything else resides in between. I am finding that the Presti technique doesn't require a severely deviated wrist at all; as Alice demonstrates, just let the hand drop by gravity, and you have enough of an angle to execute the technique. In any event, I found it usefulbecaue it fools my brain into thinking I'm a different person, I think, since my progress is accelerated noticeably. And there is nothing to prevent me from playing off the left side of the nails, except it tends to activate the dystonia if I overdo it. I'm going to travel to Princeton when I get a chance and take a lesson if she's still teaching; I'll report back, but it won't be for a few more weeks, since I'm making nice progress at this point.
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Alexander Kalil
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Re: Advice about Ida Presti's right hand technique

Post by Alexander Kalil » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:44 pm

guit-box wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:35 pm
If you watch Alice A. teaching the Presti technique she talks about a high arch wrist. My understanding is she studied with Presti so she should know, so I don't think a dropped wrist would be considered Presti style.
Just to be sure, by dropped wrist I mean bending the hand sideways towards the floor. This is the typical bent one does when one wants a more perpendicular angle of attack without changing the guitar neck angle. It is independent of wrist arch. Though I agree it feels more relaxed with a higher arch.

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Re: Advice about Ida Presti's right hand technique

Post by guit-box » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:45 am

I was interpreting dropped wrist to mean a low arch. Presti had a high arch and a turn to the right in the wrist, but the high arch (on my hand anyway) seems to make the turn to the right feel easier than with a low wrist. Maybe I misunderstood.
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Re: Advice about Ida Presti's right hand technique

Post by Jack Douglas » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:18 pm

I watched Alice Artz’ Ida Presti videos and decided to play around with the technique last night. I noticed that letting my hand hang down naturally was very relaxed. Playing off the right side of my nails felt awkward, but the tone was brighter and clear.
However, her videos didn’t really show how to do string crossings with I, m, a and with my finger tips parallel to the strings playing an arpeggio was awkward ; near impossible.
Also, the screw the peanut butter bottle top motion suggested that rotation of the wrist is necessary to play off the right side of the nails.
Surely there are more in depth ‘how to’ videos of this technique. I have terrible hooks on my I, m, a nails and use the hot spoon straightening technique so I’ve learned to play off the middle of my left side. The right side has less of the hook which is what intrigues me about this technique.
Weigh in if you have more details.
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Re: Advice about Ida Presti's right hand technique

Post by guit-box » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:01 pm

I still play off the left side and that's my preference, but I can do it and it does feel better for my index finger because the reach of index is equalized with middle in that position. I'm certain if you wanted to play this way, you'd need to make sure the slope of the nails was correct for right-to-left playing. I suspect one reason players dismiss this technique is because their nails are sloped for left-to-right playing and consequently they catch or get a bad sound plucking off the right side. I'd also suggest more rounded and longer nails since all the players I've observed doing this seem to have nails like that.
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Re: Advice about Ida Presti's right hand technique

Post by Tom Poore » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:28 pm

There’s a lot of variation in how people judge technique. Some have no psychological attachment to any particular technical issue. To them, the question is this: what’s the most efficient way to get the right musical result, and what’s the least likely to cause problems over the course of a long playing career. If two techniques offer no audible difference, but one technique is biomechanically better than the other, then they’ll choose the biomechanically better technique. They don’t get emotionally worked up over setting aside a technique that offers no advantage.

Others, however, seem intent on proving that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. To them, diversity in technique is something to be defended, even when a particular technique offers no musical advantage.

Let’s be clear. Diversity in expressive playing is good, and should be defended. Further, diversity in technique should be defended any time a particular technique offers a musical result that can’t be equalled any other way. But when a biomechanically awkward technique offers no advantage over a biomechanically better technique, then it’s indefensible.

Technical concepts aren’t living beings. They have no intrinsic right to exist. Nor are they a moral conundrum. If one abandons a technique because it offers no advantage, no one suffers and no one dies. It’s just one idea that’s been set aside for a better idea.

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Re: Advice about Ida Presti's right hand technique

Post by guit-box » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:52 am

It's too narrow of an interpretation for me. There's no way we can prove that Ida Presti would be the player she was if she'd studied with Manuel Barrueco and adopted his technique with the straighter wrist, playing off the left side of the nail, and plucking more tangentially to the string. Perhaps that technique would not have worked for her for some reason and she would have never reached the level of playing she did. Same thing with David Russell: Would he have reached the same level if he had chosen to play with John Williams' technique, parallel to the strings, with a wrist that's turned too the right?. There may be a very good reason these players gravitated to the hand position that they did, and for them, that hand position was the best choice for them. We'll never know, but given there is so much variation in how world class players "get the job done", I think we can say there's not one ideal technique. Clearly Shearer has been proven to be way off base on a lot of technical issues, so the shearer approach of finding one correct technique is a flawed approach. It's highly valuable to study the great players and realize there are multiple ways to play the guitar. There may not be many players using the Ida Presti technique but there are players from the present and past who use this approach with great success, so it's a valid technique and someone on the forum may find it works best for them.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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Tom Poore
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Re: Advice about Ida Presti's right hand technique

Post by Tom Poore » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:15 am

guit-box wrote:Clearly Shearer has been proven to be way off base on a lot of technical issues, so the Shearer approach of finding one correct technique is a flawed approach.
This is a misrepresentation of the Shearer method. He didn’t advocate “one correct technique.” It’s more accurate to say he offered students the tools to decide for themselves what works best.

A few examples: In his 1990 method he illustrates five different nail shapes, some of them radically different from the others. He also describes ways to adjust your seating position to best suit your own particular physique. Indeed, his method is peppered with admonitions to experiment intelligently. Here’s one direct quote: “Cultivate a sensitivity to counterproductive tension. Experiment by slightly altering the sideways position of your elbow, the rotation of your forearm, and the arch of your wrist. Practice freely altering these positions to determine the position of greatest strength and ease for your left-hand fingers.” I could cite many others.
guit-box wrote:It’s highly valuable to study the great players and realize there are multiple ways to play the guitar. There may not be many players using the Ida Presti technique but there are players from the present and past who use this approach with great success, so it’s a valid technique and someone on the forum may find it works best for them.
What’s often ignored is the risk one takes when adopting unorthodox technique. How many concert artists quietly drop from view after suffering debilitating injury? Further, across many disciplines, you’ll find that the higher the skill level, the more uniform the technique. For example, watching weekend warriors playing on an outdoor basketball court, you’ll see a bewildering hodgepodge of shooting motions—watching an NBA game, the variety is far smaller. Finally, people often overlook that even apparently unorthodox playing often cleaves to good biomechanical principles. I recall when Paul Galbraith first hit the scene, some took pleasure in citing him as proof that guitar teachers are stuffy dogmatics who pedal narrow-minded rules. The reality, however, is that Galbraith flouts no fundamental principals of ergonomic playing. His playing position is biomechanically sound, as any competent guitar teacher will confirm. Indeed, why wouldn’t it be? Cellists have been using this position for generations.

There’s more to evaluating technique than merely cataloging what this or that concert artist does. A census isn’t the same as intelligent examination.

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Re: Advice about Ida Presti's right hand technique

Post by guit-box » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:22 pm

Who gets to decide what is biometrically sound? Who gets to decide what is unorthodox? Both Segovia and Ghiglia play in Ida Presti style at least some of the time and they were a big part of the old school that modern players emulated. When Barrueco and Russell came along, people jumped on the straight wrist bandwagon, but who is to say that works for everyone? Barrueco told a friend of mine who used a Williams style had position to change his wrist to the straight position, and shortly after he followed that advice his hand shut down. I highly suspect that change was the cause, it wasn't the best hand position for him, but he tried to make it work. It's not that he had an unorthodox hand position, he had a hand position that was natural for him and that worked for him at a very high level. Shearer may have been open to flexibility about some things and inflexible and/or just plain wrong about others. I've posted 100s of videos showing most every world class guitarist's right hand violating Shearer's Principle of Uniform Direction, where he insists that all joints should either flexion together or extension together. Shearer was so horribly wrong about this that I have difficulty taking anything else he says seriously. He also couldn't play the guitar at a high level, so that's a negative against his expertise and his best student is on record saying he didn't follow any of this technical advice. As far as guitar pedagogy goes for the right hand, Shearer has done more damage than good. I prefer to look at all the possibilities regarding technique based solely on what really matters -- what we can see world class guitarists are actually doing.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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Re: Advice about Ida Presti's right hand technique

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:45 pm

I think Segovia or Ghiglia RH is quite different than Ida Presti. The part of the nail that hit the string is just the tip of the Iceberg.
For example, pay attention on Artzt videos and teaching, there is some lateral motion and rotation that come from a complete different muscle group compared Segovia's and other RH playing styles.

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