Riddle me this batman...

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guitarrista
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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by guitarrista » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:39 pm

guit-box wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:38 pm
There are several world class guitarists who recommend practicing either rasguedo strums and/or single note rasguedo scales or back and forth with individual fingers tremolo to develop a good finger stroke. This would imply that the simply letting the finger bounce back on its own may not be the best advice.
Are you replying to anyone in particular? Who up-thread is talking about finger bounce?
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

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Larry McDonald
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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by Larry McDonald » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:52 am

guitarrista wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:54 pm
Larry McDonald wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:46 pm
Hi,
Yes, a few years ago researchers discovered that those muscles can grow new muscle fiber bundles, even in old folks like me.
Larry, could you provide a reference to that paper? I tried a quick search but did not come across anything that seemed an obvious candidate for what you are saying, so clearly I don't have the right keywords..
This was my main source but it seem to be gone..
fitnessspotlight.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/muscle-genes-and-athletic-performance.pdf

-Lare
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2018 Michael Thames "Ancient Dragon" Cd/Ir
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Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar and Theory Instructor

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guitarrista
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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by guitarrista » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:38 am

Larry McDonald wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:52 am
guitarrista wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:54 pm
Larry McDonald wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:46 pm
Hi,
Yes, a few years ago researchers discovered that those muscles can grow new muscle fiber bundles, even in old folks like me.
Larry, could you provide a reference to that paper? I tried a quick search but did not come across anything that seemed an obvious candidate for what you are saying, so clearly I don't have the right keywords..
This was my main source but it seem to be gone..
fitnessspotlight.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/muscle-genes-and-athletic-performance.pdf

-Lare
It looks like the website itself went defunct sometime in the 2010s, but I found it using the Wayback Machine. The 2009 web article where this paper is linked-to is "Maximize Your Performance By Training For The Right Muscle Fiber Type".

From there, the link to the pdf, via the archive, goes to this muscle-genes-and-athletic-performance.pdf which I am sure you would be able to recognize if it is the same. The article itself is from 2000. I wonder if it is the box on page 54 that you are referring to. Let me know.

I'll also look around for any updates to the science in the meantime.
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

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guitarrista
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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by guitarrista » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:46 pm

I looked up more recent research and, if anything, the assessment is even more hopeful than in the 2000s. It seems that virtually any apparent decline in muscle function with age is a consequence of physical inactivity rather than an inevitability. Muscular and neural plasticity works in both directions.
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by guit-box » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:07 am

Crofty wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:54 pm
Larry McDonald wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:46 pm
I never hold the fingers in the palm.
-Lare
Likewise Larry.

I also find the advice from so many "experts" about different hand positions for free and rest stroke very unhelpful. Similarly the idea that in free stroke the fingers necessarily have to go beyond the adjacent lower string is a myth, in my opinion.

Yes, they can do, but if one is not physically touching** the adjacent lower string it is perfectly possible [and desirable] for the finger movement to be limited enough that it doesn't actually travel that far anyway. If it doesn't need to then why should it?

Paul

[**I really don't like the word "rest" in this context: it has absolutely the wrong image of what should be occurring.]
Yes, holding the finger in the palm implies the fingers need to go into the palm. What I see in the hands I've observed is the middle/tip joints follow through into the palm, but the large knuckle extends away from the palm when the note is plucked. So, a finger is both moving into the palm with some joints and moving away from the palm with other joints. I see some guitarists doing that classic play/relax technique where the finger is allowed to bounce back into position under it's own volition, but really I see more players sometimes holding the finger in the flexed/extended position described above and then they bring the finger back to the string as needed...it's not an immediate relax/return. Here's an example, but it's really common in world class players, and there are many examples on youtube. Look at how he holds all the fingers in at times (i finger is easiest to see) and brings them out as needed.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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Alexander Kalil
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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by Alexander Kalil » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:22 pm

guit-box wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:38 pm
There are several world class guitarists who recommend practicing either rasguedo .. or back and forth with individual fingers tremolo .. This would imply that the simply letting the finger bounce back on its own may not be the best advice.
The twitchy right hand playing style using intrinsic hand muscles mentioned upthread (ballisitc style) is often presented as inherently featuring passive return (letting the finger bounce back on its own). I think this is an unfortunate pedagogic trend that has led to quite a bit of confusion around the topic.

I suggest a conceptual separation between the pluck and the return. Ballistic style concerns only the pluck - specifically, the type of flexion that drives the finger across the string and creates the sound. The subsequent return of the finger back to playing position is a separate issue. That return can be passive or active - it implies nothing as to the type of flexion that preceded it. Thus, we can have a ballistic pluck with passive or with active return. Usually, at slow tempo the return can be passive while at high speed some active extension is needed to accelerate it.

With this in mind, the situation quoted above no longer appears as conflicting advice - you practice ballistic plucking with passive return (play/relax) at slow tempo to develop the intrinsic muscles and train the hand to operate with minimal effort, and you practice rasgeado or back and forth tremolo to exercise the extensors so that the finger can return fast enough at high speed.
Last edited by Alexander Kalil on Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Alexander Kalil
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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by Alexander Kalil » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:23 pm

-

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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by guit-box » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:23 pm

Ballistic as I've seen it described is usually accompanied by the Uniform Direction of Movement hypothesis of Shearer where all joints either flexion together or extension together, but never a combination of extension/flexion. I've come to believe that this is wrong. What I see great players doing is a straightening of the finger to bring it to the string and press, and a contraction of the finger to pluck/release the string.
This movement is more circular and requires joints to seamlessly move in opposite directions. There may be moments when both joints are in flexion or both joints are in extension, but those moments are only when the joint is changing directions.

Look at the side view of Tennant's index finger. The finger straightens and then contracts and the large knuckle joint (MCP) extends away from the string at the moment the string is sounded. Clearly none of the fingers bounce back immediately, he brings the finger back when it's needed.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by mmcnabb » Fri May 24, 2019 6:00 pm

Alexander Kalil wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:22 pm


I suggest a conceptual separation between the pluck and the return. Ballistic style concerns only the pluck - specifically, the type of flexion that drives the finger across the string and creates the sound. The subsequent return of the finger back to playing position is a separate issue. That return can be passive or active - it implies nothing as to the type of flexion that preceded it. Thus, we can have a ballistic pluck with passive or with active return. Usually, at slow tempo the return can be passive while at high speed some active extension is needed to accelerate it.
So my exposure to the idea of ballistic motion in plucking comes from my days trolling the rec.music.classical.guitar back in the day, and mostly from Kent Murdick as described here.

The passive return idea has always seemed faulty to me. It seems that if you simply pluck through the string and let the finger relax to its previous position, then its trajectory would pass directly back through the string in the opposite direction - i.e. a rasgueado stroke. I believe that at least a minimal amount of lift by the knuckle joint is required to move the finger back to the pre-playing position. Thoughts?
Cordoba C7

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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by Fretnot » Fri May 24, 2019 7:57 pm

mmcnabb, if the RH is placed in its neutral position, with fingers hovering just above - a stroke requires the finger to reach down to contact the string during plucking. Good hand position facilitates this and after plucking, ‘relaxing’ brings it back up hovering over the string.

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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by Fretnot » Fri May 24, 2019 7:58 pm

(I hope I have explained this clearly). Engage muscles to pluck string, then release those engaged muscles. I fear I lack the correct technical language and eloquence.

(Edit) think of the plant, press down, release action. When planting the finger extends beyond its position of rest/neutral position hovering in anticipation over the string. Pushing the string down extends the finger further. Releasing the muscles doing this is perhaps what people mean by passive although it is likely as one set relaxed somewhere another set engages

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Alexander Kalil
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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by Alexander Kalil » Mon May 27, 2019 5:39 am

mmcnabb wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 6:00 pm
It seems that if you simply pluck through the string and let the finger relax to its previous position, then its trajectory would pass directly back through the string in the opposite direction - i.e. a rasgueado stroke.. Thoughts?

My own view of ballistic RH style (playing with impulse force) is that each stroke ultimately consists of a brief flexion impulse followed by a brief extension impulse. The flexion impulse lauches the pluck while the extension impulse launches the return. In free stroke the flexion impulse is focused in the middle joint while the extension impulse focused in the knuckle joint; this ensures that pluck and return have different trajectories, so the finger doesn't hit the vibrating string on the return. In a rasgueado stroke, by contrast, both impulses are focused in the middle joint, which ensures that pluck and return have the same trajectory, so the finger hits the string in both directions. Further, in a rasgueado stroke both impulses have equal magnitudes whereas in free stroke the extension impulse, not being involved in sound production, has a far smaller magnitude. The sheer slightness of the extension force after the substantial flexion force creates the feel of relaxation following the pluck. This, I think, is what it is about.

As a teacher I'd try to spare the student as much mechanical detail as possible. For free stroke I'd ask them to exert a strong flexion impulse on the middle joint then fully relax, and hope the rest will take care of itself. If it doesn't, i.e., the finger has difficulty clearing the vibrating string on the return, I'd ask them to exert a slight extension impulse on the knuckle joint right after the pluck, to correct the return trajectory.

Hope this helps clarifying the issue.

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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Mon May 27, 2019 6:49 am

Alexander Kalil wrote:As a teacher I'd try to spare the student as much mechanical detail as possible.
Alexander Kalil wrote:As a teacher I'd try to spare the student as much mechanical detail as possible.
Alexander Kalil wrote:As a teacher I'd try to spare the student as much mechanical detail as possible.

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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by guit-box » Mon May 27, 2019 3:46 pm

mmcnabb wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 6:00 pm
Alexander Kalil wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:22 pm


I suggest a conceptual separation between the pluck and the return. Ballistic style concerns only the pluck - specifically, the type of flexion that drives the finger across the string and creates the sound. The subsequent return of the finger back to playing position is a separate issue. That return can be passive or active - it implies nothing as to the type of flexion that preceded it. Thus, we can have a ballistic pluck with passive or with active return. Usually, at slow tempo the return can be passive while at high speed some active extension is needed to accelerate it.
So my exposure to the idea of ballistic motion in plucking comes from my days trolling the rec.music.classical.guitar back in the day, and mostly from Kent Murdick as described here.

The passive return idea has always seemed faulty to me. It seems that if you simply pluck through the string and let the finger relax to its previous position, then its trajectory would pass directly back through the string in the opposite direction - i.e. a rasgueado stroke. I believe that at least a minimal amount of lift by the knuckle joint is required to move the finger back to the pre-playing position. Thoughts?
Yes, I think there's too much focus on the in/out motion of the finger(the movement that's parallel to the soundboard) and not enough focus on the up/down movement of the finger (perpendicular to the soundboard). Of course the motion is circular so there are components of both, but ballistic motion as I understand it is like play/relax and many great players are holding fingers in a flexed position and releasing them as needed. (not releasing them immediately -- see the videos I posted here)

Here is a good description of this by Philip Hii. I don't really understand what he's talking about with tip joints, he could stand to clarify or make a demonstration of this, but what he writes is interesting
https://philiphii.com/2018/04/more-thou ... he-engine/
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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Re: Riddle me this batman...

Post by guitarrista » Mon May 27, 2019 4:54 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:49 am
Alexander Kalil wrote:As a teacher I'd try to spare the student as much mechanical detail as possible.
Alexander Kalil wrote:As a teacher I'd try to spare the student as much mechanical detail as possible.
Alexander Kalil wrote:As a teacher I'd try to spare the student as much mechanical detail as possible.
????
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

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