Romeros and tip joints

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guit-box
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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by guit-box » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:10 pm

Fair enough. I wouldn't call myself "world class" for certain. But I'm still not going to collapse those joints.

The reason I think I'm missing something is because I suspect "collapse" is a misleading word. If you said relax, I'd be with you.
I wouldn't think of telling you how to play the guitar, I'm just showing evidence that there are a lot of world class guitarists who do have some degree of collapsing of the tips joints. I hear you, brother, about the word collapse--a lot of people have a negative reaction to that one. I actually try to use another term as much as possible, but sometimes forget. If you read the entire thread, you'll see that many times I've used other terms. To me "relax" is vague and doesn't describe the tip joint moving away from the palm. The only persons I've heard use the term collapse so far are Angel Romero and Kevin Gallagher. Other people say buckle, give, extend, flex (yuck!), shock absorber; but I think we're all talking about the same thing. This is a perfect example of when videos are superior to words!
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Tom Furnari
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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by Tom Furnari » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:41 pm

guit-box wrote:
Fair enough. I wouldn't call myself "world class" for certain. But I'm still not going to collapse those joints.

The reason I think I'm missing something is because I suspect "collapse" is a misleading word. If you said relax, I'd be with you.
I wouldn't think of telling you how to play the guitar, I'm just showing evidence that there are a lot of world class guitarists who do have some degree of collapsing of the tips joints. I hear you, brother, about the word collapse--a lot of people have a negative reaction to that one. I actually try to use another term as much as possible, but sometimes forget. If you read the entire thread, you'll see that many times I've used other terms. To me "relax" is vague and doesn't describe the tip joint moving away from the palm. The only persons I've heard use the term collapse so far are Angel Romero and Kevin Gallagher. Other people say buckle, give, extend, flex (yuck!), shock absorber; but I think we're all talking about the same thing. This is a perfect example of when videos are superior to words!
I admit I haven't read the whole thread. Forgive me if I am repeating something already covered. But i wouldn't advocate letting that knuckle collapse or buckle. I may let it give a little sometimes, but not too much and not too often.

On the other hand, I've looked at some of the videos and nothing I see troubles me!

All I know is when I see my students do it in a way I don't like, I always say (and this is an exact quote) "Don't collapse that joint."

Maybe it's all terminology.:eek:
Tom
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Tom Furnari
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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by Tom Furnari » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:01 pm

Tom Furnari wrote:
guit-box wrote:
Fair enough. I wouldn't call myself "world class" for certain. But I'm still not going to collapse those joints.

The reason I think I'm missing something is because I suspect "collapse" is a misleading word. If you said relax, I'd be with you.
I wouldn't think of telling you how to play the guitar, I'm just showing evidence that there are a lot of world class guitarists who do have some degree of collapsing of the tips joints. I hear you, brother, about the word collapse--a lot of people have a negative reaction to that one. I actually try to use another term as much as possible, but sometimes forget. If you read the entire thread, you'll see that many times I've used other terms. To me "relax" is vague and doesn't describe the tip joint moving away from the palm. The only persons I've heard use the term collapse so far are Angel Romero and Kevin Gallagher. Other people say buckle, give, extend, flex (yuck!), shock absorber; but I think we're all talking about the same thing. This is a perfect example of when videos are superior to words!
I admit I haven't read the whole thread. Forgive me if I am repeating something already covered. But i wouldn't advocate letting that knuckle collapse or buckle. I may let it give a little sometimes, but not too much and not too often.

On the other hand, I've looked at some of the videos and nothing I see troubles me!

All I know is when I see my students do it in a way I don't like, I always say (and this is an exact quote) "Don't collapse that joint."

Maybe it's all terminology.:eek:
I spoke too soon. I watched the Galliger video. IMO, that's too much collapse. He is making it work for him, but I wouldn't advocate it. I guess this is a literal case of "different strokes."

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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by Luis_Br » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:06 pm

I haven't talked to a specialist yet, but I have made some further tests and thoughts about extensors of middle and tip in palm together with knuckle flexors. Up to know I would say those things are, or can be, completely detached through coordination control. We can easily extend middle and tip joints while both flexing or extending knuckle, with knuckle at any point (at least I can do it). It seems to me also that tip extension during stroke has nothing to do with this muscles acting, since it is imposible to extend tip while middle joint is flexed a bit. We can deliberately extend tip with hand intrinsic muscles only after we middle joint is almos fully extended. We can deliberately extend tip only if we play with an extended middle joint, which is not the case. The tip collapsing is really due to string pushing it back when it is relaxed (flexors not tense).

About health problems, I agree too much weight over it might result some problem, but we don't need brute force to play the guitar, as well as some muscle tonus for tip is used. Aditionally I don't know any concert player that uses collapsing with health problems in fingertip. Most health problems I know are related to tendinitis in wrist, carpal-tunel syndrome and focal dystonia, never heard about tip problem with collapsing. (besides those from guitbox video, I know a lot of them, I would say almost all Brazilian guitarists use it, I don't know anyone who would say to avoid it).

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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by guit-box » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:33 pm

About health problems, I agree too much weight over it might result some problem, but we don't need brute force to play the guitar
Health concerns are important, for sure. On the other hand, there are other examples of artistic-athletes who make movements that are not the best physically, but they still do it. Take ballet dancers, for instance, being on pointe is horrible for the feet, but it's still part of their art and they develop whatever is needed to make that happen.

It's interesting that you say all Brazilian guitarists use some give in the tips. I believe I can hear the Assad brothers getting a tone that sounds like the tips are buckling, but I have yet to find a close=up to prove that. Can you post some videos of Brazilian guitarist's tip joints?
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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by guit-box » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:41 pm

Tom wrote: Maybe it's all terminology.
It is. If you don't have time to read all the posts, at least check out all the videos. It was a lot of work to compile all these videos and I didn't believe there was this much shock-absorbin-collapsing-give-relaxed-buckling-flexible tip joints until I started slowing down close-up videos. :D

disclaimer: That's not to say at all that it's always happening on every stroke.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by Tom Furnari » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:45 pm

I've been mulling this over...

I guess this is very hard to put into words. But I think my prime objection to the idea of advocating collapsing tip joints is how it can be so easily misunderstood.

When most students try rest stroke in the beginning, they PUSH very hard against the string, collapsing that joint. So I'm always trying to get them to lighten up and relax. I get them to do that by producing a good rest stroke without collapsing that joint. After that's established, I bit of give down there is OK.

Since this is a forum likely to be viewed by those with less experience, I just thought the whole-hearted advocacy of collapsing those joints would lead to more problems then it solves.
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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by guit-box » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:28 pm

It's interesting to note that not just some, but all of the rest stroke videos show some level of shock absorbing of the tips. Some more, some less, it depends on what your hands want to do. For free stoke it varies a lot. Watch the video of Gohar Vardanyan, she has a well-balanced approach to the topic.

I've been re-thinking myself using the Charles Duncan:A Modern Approach to Classical Guitar methods because it's so rest stroke heavy. I've used it for 20 years with kids 7 yr and up and I've never paid any attention to the tips collapsing. Sometimes they can't get the finger to go thru the string because they're tensing the tips, but having them adjust the knuckle back a couple strings, and slicing thru the strings at a 45 deg angle seems to solve tensing the fingers. I do wonder if starting with free strokes would be better, but I understand why Duncan starts with rest stroke-it is simpler to execute in some ways.
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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by Praeludium » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:57 pm

Have you looked at Frank Bungarten's right hand ? There are very nice professional studio videos of him playing BWV1002 on YouTube.
Another terrific guitarist with an amazing right hand is Pablo Marquez (you can't have a terrific right hand if you're used to playing Berio's Sequenza and Murail's Tellur at the highest level !), and there's a professional high quality video of him playing on youtube ("Movimento Violao : Pablo Marquez"), but I don't know if the right hand is shot close enough.
Cette dernière trahison m'a été également reprochée. Ce que je trouve à répondre, c'est:"merde aux conventions!"

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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by Luis_Br » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:13 am

guit-box wrote: It's interesting that you say all Brazilian guitarists use some give in the tips. I believe I can hear the Assad brothers getting a tone that sounds like the tips are buckling, but I have yet to find a close=up to prove that. Can you post some videos of Brazilian guitarist's tip joints?
At least most of those I know and for sure all I have already asked this question said yes. I don't know the Assads, but I'll try to find out, my teacher is a close friend of them as well as Abreu.
At youtube there is a video of them playing Gershwin in black and white (search Youtube for "Assad in blue" and go for those under user "guitar magazine"). First video, part I, several close ups of Odair's RH. Resolution of the video is terrible. Around 0:10 nice close up which seems there is no collapsing. Minute 1:46 middle finger clearly collapses. A lot of non-collapsing strokes as well as some small almost unnoticeable collapsing (IMO). I would say again the school here is to vary tonus (flexor tension) from complete relaxation and collapsing to non-collapsing with a lot of finger flexion, and all variations in between those extremes, according to recquired quality of tone and dynamics (at least this is what I've learnt).
I would think like this, in a fixed hand position, knuckle generates main motion, if you tense tip more you move string more up, with collapsing string goes more down toward soundhole. you may also vary passing angle of nail with this. So you vary tone and sound result with those variation. In a cheap factory made guitar the variation very subtle, maybe in a Smallman too (just kidding :roll: ), but in a good concert guitar, it makes a good difference in sound result. Good enough to detach voices and enhance dynamic options.
Search also FAbio Zanon videos. There are some new ones with high resolution, search youtube for "Zanon Aire Indio", for example, and see the way he varies the collapsing. Sometimes more, sometimes less, a lot of varying angles, slipping strokes, hand position etc. He is one of the most beautiful tones and tone and dynamic variation I know.

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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by guit-box » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:34 am

I looked at all the videos and they're either too grainy, not close-up, or too dark with shadows to tell much. The Frank Bungarten has some close-ups, but lots of shadows. It's difficult to see tip joints unless it's well lit.
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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by guit-box » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:24 am

Luis_Br--You have mentioned several times that the tip joint collapsing is for various tone colors, but I think it should be investigated that it could also aid in a couple other ways:

1. to help the longer m finger clear the string
2. to relax the hand to allow for faster scales, etc.

I don't have a virtuoso right hand, so I don't have first hand experience with 2, but watch that Gohar Vardanyan video I posted. She is quite a player, and that's what she says.

I would be interested to hear more specifics from some concert players about the use of tips joints for 1,2 above.
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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by guit-box » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:18 pm

[media]https://youtu.be/zyzuEFyget0[/media]

I just wanted to add this video to the thread. He talks about relaxed tip joints and their relation to overall hand relaxation when playing rest strokes.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:42 pm

After this topic, I've returned to speed exercises for a while.
I still don't know if tip collapsing is better or not. I agree with tip collapsing hand feels more relaxed. It is kind of obvious, you relax some muscles to let tip collapse.
But when collapsing movement gets wider. I don't know if I can explain it clear. When fixing tip finger passes faster through string, when collapsing there is the contact, knuckle moves while collapsing, only after collapsing string is released. If you don't collapse, in the collapsing part of the stroke fingertip would already release the string. Specially if you collapse a lot, this may make a difference.

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Re: Romeros and tip joints

Post by guit-box » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:25 pm

I've been looking at the Tariq Harb video a bit more closely and what I notice is the following:
1. he doesn't push through the string with the knuckle joint
2. the knuckle brings the finger to the string, but it's the middle joint that activates the actual pluck
3. the tip joints are allowed to buckle

When I practice this E major 3 octave scale with rest strokes, staccato planting, and pushing through to the resting string with the large knuckle, the sound and feel is very heavy in my hand--even if I let the tips be completely relaxed and drain the energy from the finger between strokes. Also, the sound does not match the sound he is creating, it's too heavy sounding--there is a lightness to his fast playing and all the fast playing that I've seen/heard.

This is all conjecture since it's difficult to see for sure in rest strokes whether or not the knuckle joint is participating in the stroke after it reaches the string. Better hi res video equipment and analysis would be needed since the movement from the plucking string to the resting string is such a small distance. But, based on what it looks and sounds like in the video, and what it feels like in my hand, I'm pretty sure he's using the middle joint to pluck the note. This lets the knuckle be finished with its forward momentum when it reaches the string, allowing it to re-plant faster. I spent some time practicing staccato planting, consciously trying to drain the energy from the finger at the plant and making the plucking impulse come from the middle joint flexing. This method feels so much quicker, lighter, and relaxed to me than pushing through the string with the large knuckle does. I have a suspicion that the reason staccato planting works well to increase speed is not just that it trains the finger to stay close to the string, but that it also unconsciously trains the coordinated transfer of work from the knuckle to middle joint since you're stopping the momentum of the knuckle at the plant.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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