Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

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Julian Ward
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by Julian Ward » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:17 pm

Hi..yes.. the 'why' must be the angle on the wrist and hand. When everything is in a nice straight line and the left hand is not crooked at all or turned (even slightly) then the potential hand span increases. This is very evident when I am teaching challenging material to students...they very often don't initially sit with the footstool in the lesson and when they cannot reach something and/or struggle with something in the left hand, I always say "now sit up correctly and you will be able to reach"... I say it so often, and it really does work for them....But still of course they will be lazy as we all are sometimes and sit poorly next time!
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Crofty
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by Crofty » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:28 pm

Konstantin

In the photos you use it is clear that the shoulders in the second example are at a really uneven angle compared to the first.

Is that typical of that style? It doesn't look healthy.

I tend to agree with Julian re "standard" position and yet increasingly hate it's formality and stiffness. When I played flute I found movement much more natural and even more so [obviously...] when I conducted. The left foot position has advantages but freedom of movement is certainly not one of them - at least in my experience.

I sing [and accompany myself] Dowland lute songs, and generally prefer to use a strap and stand for that. Perhaps one just needs a variety of solutions.

Paul

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guitarrista
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by guitarrista » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:49 pm

Crofty wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:28 pm
Konstantin

In the photos you use it is clear that the shoulders in the second example are at a really uneven angle compared to the first.

Is that typical of that style? It doesn't look healthy.
Hi Paul,

Oh I didn't notice Paco was doing that at that moment. No, it is not required , I think he is just turning to someone to his left. When I am in this position and just playing normally, my shoulders are level. In the profile pic I use I am tilted a bit because I am 'expressing' myself, not because I need to twist /lean that way :D One tends to move about a lot more in flamenco; the moving becomes a requirement if you are playing for a dancer moving around you, so you can follow them and see and respond to what they are doing/asking for.
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Lawler
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by Lawler » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:31 am

resting their guitar on the right leg
Philip Rosheger (Santiago de Compostela winner '72) and Jose Tomas (Segovia's right hand man in the Compostela classes) played that way. (I studied with both.)

It would be a high aim to play as skillfully and expressively as Rosheger or Tomas. My memories of them inspire me every day.

I believe playing well has little to do with the leg the guitar is rested on. It's more about artistic sensitivity and the intensity of one's desire to make music.

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Dave
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by Dave » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:39 pm

Lawler wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:31 am

I believe playing well has little to do with the leg the guitar is rested on. It's more about artistic sensitivity and the intensity of one's desire to make music.
A big +1 to that.
Dave

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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by guitarrista » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:09 pm

Julian Ward wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:17 pm
Hi..yes.. the 'why' must be the angle on the wrist and hand. When everything is in a nice straight line and the left hand is not crooked at all or turned (even slightly) then the potential hand span increases. This is very evident when I am teaching challenging material to students...[...]
See, the thing is that the right leg position I described does not necessitate any weird hand or wrist angles; the arm has enough degrees of freedom to adjust the angle at the elbow joint (a bit more open and possibly a slightly more supination than the classical "setting") and maybe some small adjustment between the humerus and the torso at the shoulder. This, combined with the neck of the guitar not parallel to the coronal plane of the body (left to right) results in exactly the same left-hand setup relative to the fretboard in terms of fingers, palm, and wrist as in the classical position. This has certainly been my experience.

Would you consider that what you've seen with students is mostly the result of their inexperience and lack of knowledge and of awareness of the degrees of freedom present in their arms, rather than any inherent mechanical limitations stemming from the right-leg position? Or, if I have not convinced you with the above, perhaps you could go one or two levels down in the 'why' by, for example, explaining exactly how the right-leg position precludes proper setup of the left hand.
Konstantin
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Julian Ward
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by Julian Ward » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:26 am

Definitely some of that yes. Do you know the worst thing is definitey that it causes them to hold their guitar up with their left hand. I know that we don't do that but beginners cannot so easily deal with that problem. At best what happens is their hand sits far too close to the guitar leading to a high thumb.

When you sit them in the classical position the left hand does not end up with that problem...they can relax their shoulder and their wrist will fall nicely away without their apparent fear of the guitar appearing to drop.

Having said all that...when I teach them from scratch in groups I contradict everything I just said as I start them all cross legged! Dealing with several beginners all at once with sorting footstools is a nightmare and so I just introduce them gradually. It seems to matter not... The ideal would be a folding guitar support like the gitano but the cost of them is a bit silly for beginners in this setting so I haven't gone that route plus the gitano is definitely not trustworthy for performance (like a grade exam).

On my daughter's guitar I have screwed a gitano permanently onto the guitar through the suction cups because she likes to have this AND a footstool! (I did not encourage that!) But she just can't seem to get away from a very high neck, that is what she says is most comfortable.
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by PeteJ » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:26 am

The left leg solution is much better for certain RH techniques. Strumming is more natural and it becomes possible to damp the strings with the RH as a electric player would. But it's something of a disaster for the LH and caused me all sorts of muscle problems when I changed to this position. I'm used to it now but still have to be careful not to cause muscle strains when stretching. On the whole I prefer it but then I'm not a pro player.

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Sebastian
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by Sebastian » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:13 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:26 am
The left leg solution is much better for certain RH techniques. Strumming is more natural and it becomes possible to damp the strings with the RH as a electric player would. But it's something of a disaster for the LH and caused me all sorts of muscle problems when I changed to this position. I'm used to it now but still have to be careful not to cause muscle strains when stretching. On the whole I prefer it but then I'm not a pro player.
Yes, I'm not sure where I read that, but classical posture seems to complicate right hand strumming... the guy in the video I posted at first strums at certain points (anyone knows what kind of strumming is that? I think I'm going to create a thread only on that, further).
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Sebastian
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by Sebastian » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:33 pm

Lawler wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:31 am
resting their guitar on the right leg
Philip Rosheger (Santiago de Compostela winner '72) and Jose Tomas (Segovia's right hand man in the Compostela classes) played that way. (I studied with both.)

It would be a high aim to play as skillfully and expressively as Rosheger or Tomas. My memories of them inspire me every day.

I believe playing well has little to do with the leg the guitar is rested on. It's more about artistic sensitivity and the intensity of one's desire to make music.
Posture tends to compromise the overall playing, not saying it's the only factor to play good, it's about finding what's the best condition (phyisically) each one play depending a chosen piece or repertoire. Guitar playing is not only about what we hear, it is also about what we can see and feel physically in our bodies (i.e. we could play a Tarrega piece beautifully to our ears, but if we play it with LOADS of tension.. well, then the guitar playing at least in the technique, is not good enough for us as it compromises our present and future technique).
I'm asking anatomic reasons of why would someone prefer the right-leg one over the left-leg one, and viceversa, and in which conditions, based on personal experiences.
So far the two reasons I know (for choosing the right-leg one) is that it seems to enable more right hand strumming techniques, and also (and this comes from a kinesiologist/amateur guitarist) it seems to be better for our spine as it becomes straighten to our overall body. Although this last one depends on each one experience and depending the repertoire, my master stated that with an ErgoPlay his spine can be straighten to his body, even more than with the right-leg posture.

I remember at first, studying classical guitar pieces with my instrument resting on my right leg, such as Sound of Bells (or Choro de Texeira), Danza Paraguaya and Carcassi etudes with that position; then changed to the other one and almost immediately preferred the classical posture as the first thing I noticed was that it allowed a better reach for my left hand/arm.
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guitarrista
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by guitarrista » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:07 pm

Sebastian wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:33 pm
I'm asking anatomic reasons of why would someone prefer the right-leg one over the left-leg one, and viceversa, and in which conditions, based on personal experiences.

Well it was not clear from your original post that you were only asking for anatomic reasons, or I would not have replied as my preference is not to do with anatomy. If the right leg position is done correctly with all necessary arm/guitar position adjustments, there are no functional limitations to it, in my experience.

Sebastian wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:33 pm
[...] then changed to the other one and almost immediately preferred the classical posture as the first thing I noticed was that it allowed a better reach for my left hand/arm.

I don't get the stretch/reach issues (you and others mentioned this). What kind of stretches are you doing or need to do and what pieces are those from? For example, I can do a left-hand 4th finger barre on strings 1-3 in the 6th position (c#, f, a#) while holding the F in first position with the 1st finger on the 6th string (and can sound it, not just put my fingers there). I can't do this any better with the guitar on my left leg.
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Julian Ward
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by Julian Ward » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:25 pm

Konstantin..

If it helps explain... I can play anything up the difficulty level of Capricho Arabe, Recuerdos, Julia Florida etc with the guitar on either leg and it makes no difference.

I am not able to play pieces properly beyond this level unless I am sitting 'classical'. These would be Sevilla, Granada, El Ultimo Trem, Cordoba etc etc.. The higher positions beyond 12th fret prove particularly problematic 'El right leg'.
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by guitarrista » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:50 pm

Julian Ward wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:25 pm
The higher positions beyond 12th fret prove particularly problematic 'El right leg'.
Ah, OK, for some reason I thought the stretches comment was about span limitations and so chose my example on the first positions. I'd say 'el right leg' is more fluid - I probably adjust posture+ arm/hand position as I go 12+. Well, I know I do, but so do classical guitarists - at least the left hand position + thumb.
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Crofty
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by Crofty » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:26 pm

Lawler wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:31 am

I believe playing well has little to do with the leg the guitar is rested on. It's more about artistic sensitivity and the intensity of one's desire to make music.
It's hard to imagine that anyone discussing how to support the guitar whilst playing, or any other matter of technique, come to that, would think any differently [although I'm not sure how effective "desire" is when it comes to "playing well"]

However, finding a position in which one is genuinely comfortable when playing - at whatever standard - is something that has been a problem for many guitarists for quite a long time and is well worth sharing opinions about.

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Lawler
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Re: Guitarists resting their guitar on the right leg?

Post by Lawler » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:49 am

Crofty wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:26 pm
...I'm not sure how effective "desire" is when it comes to "playing well"
In saying that, I was thinking of the effect of "desire" on the results of music study in the long term.
finding a position in which one is genuinely comfortable when playing... is well worth sharing opinions about.
Certainly. "Comfortable and effective" is the issue I see in this thread, rather than just "right leg or left".

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