Where do you push a string in these cases?

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Sebastian
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Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by Sebastian » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:36 pm

Greetings I was wondering which was actually the direction in which a string should be pushed to.

Some professors state that it should be mostly to a horizontal direction.
He is an excellent drawn hand (sarcasm) in which the arrows indicate the direction of where it moves.
Hope the image below is clear:
Image

BUT, watching many guitarists play and high level guitarists play
many of them seem to "pull" a string mildly upwards.

After all, the other name of the free stroke is "tirando".
Tirando in spanish literally means "pulling". So let's state that there is a little pulling involved? As a kind of lever?
I've been commenting that a problem I have is that I collapse my fingertip joints when playing free stroke (I don't use rest stroke almost at all). It could be that I've been, for a long quantity of years, doing a free stroke mostly pushing with almost no pulling. The sound overall is good, strong and with tone; but phyisically tends to collapse the tipjoint.
I've been forcing me to pull a little more, instead of, say, 90% pushing and 10% pulling. It many times corrects the tendency of collapsing the tipjoint, although in faster passages, as in speed bursts, it does not help, it collapses. No over tension is involved.

So the more specific questions are: Where do you push a string when playing this specific bars?

Here we have Asturias, the parts in which the p-m-i-p-m-i is involved is the one that interest me. Where do you push the string in the "m-i" use? I have coloured four arrows. I've been, all my life, used the green arrow, red arrow and violet arrow directions; in a consciour way. The red arrow provides me of more speed the fingertip joints collapse (obviously in faster motions mostly) but the violet arrow provides me of less fingertip joint collapse but less speed.

Anyway I can get only as far as 90-100 BPM in those bars.

Image

__________________________

Image

Second question then, in this specific Giuliani formula, where do you push a string? Always with a STRONG volume (forte or even better fortissimo)
1- At a slow tempo, say at 50 BPM (take into account it's a 6 notes group per beat)
2- At a moderate tempo 65 BPM
3- At a faster tempo 80 BPM +


So basically the direction where a string is pushed into, varies with the speed used?
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celestemcc
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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by celestemcc » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:34 pm

The green arrow, rest stroke. The purple one, free stroke. And even then only just enough to clear the string.
It's always a push or a "pull through" the string. Never a pull up (the blue arrow, or 90 degrees to the string.
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Terpfan
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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by Terpfan » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:25 pm

For me, red for rest stroke, purple for free.

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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by Sebastian » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:44 pm

celestemcc wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:34 pm
The green arrow, rest stroke. The purple one, free stroke. And even then only just enough to clear the string.
It's always a push or a "pull through" the string. Never a pull up (the blue arrow, or 90 degrees to the string.
You played Asturias and that Giuliani formula and use the violet arrow? Even for playing a tremolo?
I've always thought that the knuckle approeaches the finger the to string in a horizontal way, and then the middle knuckle "pulls" through the string. Now I'm trying to left the tipjoint completely loose so it doens't collapse at all, or only a little bit... harder when playing faster passages
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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by celestemcc » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:50 am

Probably I'm misunderstanding what you're asking... but are you asking if you ever actually pull, or lift, the string in a free stroke? As in pull up? If so, no -- you always push, but the tip joint clears the string after the free stroke. This may just be a matter of semantics and we're possibly saying the same thing, so bear that in mind!

Re the Giuliani: unless you're adding rest strokes for some reason, it's all free stroke and thus you play each note the same way, pushing through (using my definition of "push"). No difference note to note. All the fingers do the same push movement. Whatever the volume or tempo.

The same applies for tremolo. Same free-stroke motion applies, with less movement to accommodate the speed.

I hope others can weigh in and clarify if I haven't been able to!
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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by Luis_Br » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:40 am

The finger and nail go upwards because you need a fast release. But they shouldnt pull the string. A big beginner mistake is to "grab" the string with fingertip and nail. You should just pass them over the string, dont catch it. The string should slip off the nail in the point nearest to soundboard.
For best tone and projection, you should always pass finger very fast over the string, even when playing slow and piano. If you play slow you actually wait more in between strokes. If you play piano you displace less the string. But you always pass finger fast over the string. You should have a fast stroke to get some sort of slingshot effect for greater sound projection.

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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by astro64 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:53 am

Always in the red and green direction, for both strokes, more red for the reststroke. The finger and nail push the string down and sideways, then the string releases across the nail. For standard strokes it releases while still being depressed. If you look under the strings parallel to the top while you play the stroke you will see that. The more the string is pushed down, the fuller the sound.

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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by Sebastian » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:28 am

astro64 wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:53 am
Always in the red and green direction, for both strokes, more red for the reststroke. The finger and nail push the string down and sideways, then the string releases across the nail. For standard strokes it releases while still being depressed. If you look under the strings parallel to the top while you play the stroke you will see that. The more the string is pushed down, the fuller the sound.
Interesting, so red and green. Note that you are the first person who answer to push the string downwards ("for both strokes" I quote, meaning that in free stroke you also push downwards.
I also tried for some months pushing mostly downwards (BUT also horizontally) the string, still my tipjoints collapse when using free stroke.

You're stating: that when planting one should push downwards then apply pressure, then release horizontally (but I'd also infer use some pressure to make it go upwards so it doesn't hit the adjacent string)
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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by Sebastian » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:34 am

Luis_Br wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:40 am
The finger and nail go upwards because you need a fast release. But they shouldnt pull the string. A big beginner mistake is to "grab" the string with fingertip and nail. You should just pass them over the string, dont catch it. The string should slip off the nail in the point nearest to soundboard.
For best tone and projection, you should always pass finger very fast over the string, even when playing slow and piano. If you play slow you actually wait more in between strokes. If you play piano you displace less the string. But you always pass finger fast over the string. You should have a fast stroke to get some sort of slingshot effect for greater sound projection.
Yes, I'm fully aware of the "lever" or "grabbing" issue and always avoid that. Also about the fast stroke issue. Thing is, I'm observing that there is a chance that when I play a free stroke, I always seek a lot of volume (which is not wrong), and I sometimes I make a big movement towards the heel of the palm (as there is a lot of strenght applied, note I wrote "strenght" not "tension"), I make constant mind-body work to regulate it. That's my biggest target right now.
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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by astro64 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:00 am

I don't see how you can pull a string upwards unless you make some conscious effort to hook it with your finger or nail. Any arced motion of the finger will have to push the string down before it is released.

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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by Luis_Br » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:32 pm

astro64 wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:00 am
I don't see how you can pull a string upwards unless you make some conscious effort to hook it with your finger or nail. Any arced motion of the finger will have to push the string down before it is released.
I was emphasizing the picture and it looked like a big catch of the string, but the grabbing may be very subtle.
The last great teacher I had corrected that with me and I already played for more than 10 years and had other nice teachers before who couldnt notice the subtleties...

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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by bear » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:37 pm

I've done all of the above depending on the sound I'm trying to make.
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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by guit-box » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:29 pm

Sebastian wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:36 pm
Greetings I was wondering which was actually the direction in which a string should be pushed to.
Hope the image below is clear:
Image
I think it's possible to push and pull in none of the directions in your diagram and still get a good strong tone. If we look at the middle joint (PIP) and main large knuckle (MCP) as the main forces for pluck and those joints either flexion together or extend together, then the direction of the vector (as in your drawing) will be less of a straight line and more of an arc. If, however, you consider that one segment of the finger can be extending while the other is in flexion and vise versa, then it's possible for the vector to be a straight-line force. If you have a bigger arch in the wrist and a straighter finger than your drawing and move the joints in opposing directions, it's entirely possible for the push vector to be a straight-line force towards the back of the guitar that is perpendicular to the soundboard. (6 o clock as per your drawing) and then the string releasing is the opposite vector pointing towards 12 o clock.
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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by robert e » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:50 pm

The semantics might be less confusing if that diagram were turned 90 degrees counter-clockwise to put the guitar in a typical playing position. Terms like tirando/pulling, like all directional terms, relate to a frame of reference. Given a typical playing position, "pulling" a fingertip "up" toward your shoulder/the ceiling is [roughly] the same as moving it parallel to the guitar top (i.e. the green arrow).

If we do this from a correct hand and finger posture for free stroke, the fingertip/nail is forced to either drag the string with it (not desirable) or shove it out of the way toward the soundboard/guitar body so that it can squeeze past it (desirable). In practice what happens is a bit of both, and by manipulating that ratio we can influence volume and timbre.

If the fingertip's path were straight like the green arrow, it would hit the next string, but in tirando its path is curved and so the fingertip will clear the next string.

NB for tirando the big knuckle of that finger would be lined up with the string being played. [Edit: that's a very coarse rule of thumb BTW, not gospel, and not everyone agrees. Same goes for most such rules of thumb of course. Or should I say rules of finger?]

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Re: Where do you push a string in these cases?

Post by Soundminer » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:33 pm

reststoke you push down, so red.

freestroke you pull up, so purple

But these are more the plucking directions if you ask me
The 'energize' directions are straight into and straight away from the guitar...90 degrees.

they are exactly the opposite of each other.


Most players however seem to favor a mix of both on the freestroke, which is very intricate and difficult for the fingers to learn.
Some play the freestroke the easy way, like the hand works naturally. Check out Eric Clapton playing acoustic for example.


interesting post and excellent drawing!

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