Blancas need different right hand technique? (Full Version)

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mrstwinkle -> Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 11 2019 11:00:01)

So - still bedding in my RSC blanca. One thing I'm learning very quickly is that it needs an insanely light touch. Played with merely a brush of the right hand nails, and it sings like an angel. Add any force or big chord thumps, it overload and goes boomy. Is this normal for a real-wood-blanca? My comparison is two studenty laminate sided guitars so not like for like. Or do I need to ditch the high tension strings?




JasonM -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 11 2019 15:25:06)

I havnt found that to be the case., but it’s sort of a relative thing. My RSC Blanca likes to be ridden a little harder if anything.




gerundino63 -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 11 2019 17:09:02)

The builders have to shim in here, but in my opinion it has more to do with the stiffness of the sound board (top)




RobJe -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 13 2019 11:46:02)

quote:

Add any force or big chord thumps, it overload and goes boomy. Is this normal for a real-wood-blanca?



It’s not uncommon, but in my opinion the best guitars (including blancas) don’t lose their quality of sound when played hard

That said, I always found that each guitar requires some adjustment to playing style to bring the best out of it and I could achieve this with my own guitars without thinking about it.

Play and enjoy!

Rob




Ricardo -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 13 2019 13:06:48)

This is an action issue IMO, which is different a little bit on each guitar. However, all things considered equal except wood on back and sides.... no you don’t need to play differently. I do find Blanca’s in general to have more dynamic range but that could be an auditory illusion based on other relative factors.




Richard Jernigan -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 13 2019 21:35:00)

quote:

ORIGINAL: mrstwinkle

So - still bedding in my RSC blanca. One thing I'm learning very quickly is that it needs an insanely light touch. Played with merely a brush of the right hand nails, and it sings like an angel. Add any force or big chord thumps, it overload and goes boomy. Is this normal for a real-wood-blanca? My comparison is two studenty laminate sided guitars so not like for like. Or do I need to ditch the high tension strings?


My '82 Arcangel Fernandez blanca is just about the opposite. At times if I hand it to a classical player they try a light "classical" touch. Their reaction is almost always non-verbal. They are not going to disrespect an obviously expensive guitar. But their reaction often is, "Hmm, what's the big deal?"

Played that way the response is quiet and lacking in higher harmonic content. The guitar sounds dull.

But played with flamenco right-hand technique--supported stroke thumb, picado, rasgueado--the instrument springs to life. With the right technique not a lot of force is required, but too little force and classical right hand technique makes it seem dead.

I like the Arcangel better than any other flamenca I have played, with the possible exception of a Barbero that belongs to Richard Bruné. This is not to say that another person would feel the same. Ricardo played the Arcangel, and I'm pretty sure he prefers his Conde.

My best classical (spruce/Indian) is very bright. It has the most even response of any guitar I own. No strong or weak notes. It's range of tone colors is very wide. It will respond clearly to a very light touch. I have to be very careful with right hand technique to get the best our of it.

The classical I play most (cedar/Indian) is loud, brilliant and resonant. The maker strongly recommends high tension strings of a particular brand. The instrument likes a little firmer touch, but responds with tonal variety. The action is the lowest of any of my guitars, but it doesn't buzz. It has at least one dead note that verges on being annoying--but over a couple of years of playing, it has improved.

Guitars vary, as do the personal tastes of players.

RNJ




Echi -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 15 2019 11:33:08)

I agree this is probably a matter of "pulsacion", a word to express how quick the top bounces back when you strike the strings. As Ricardo said, you can work with it by trying a higher string tension or raising the action a little.
Ir’s not easy to control the pulsacion of a certain guitar and there is a variation in pulsacion among guitars made by the same maker.
In general, the guitars of the Madrid school always have that hard “pulsacion” thing, round basses and quite bold trebles since the times of Barbero while the Granada school generally kept following their own way the tradition of Santos Hernandez, with the result of guitars made with thin tops and a certain sweet, bright treebles.
Nowadays these may sound as generalisations, given the contaminations between schools, but The guitars of Manuel De La Chica and Bellido/Montero had a certain clear identity.
The Ramirez and Conde guitars made in the sixties are instead strongly influenced by Barbero both in the bracing and in the top thickness.
Arcangel is maybe a notable exception of an independent thinking man: he kept that round Madrid tone in a different way: by thinning down the top and introducing (first I'm aware of) a long under bridge patch, a feature shortly after followed by Ramirez and later on by Maseru Kohno.
The thing with Arcangel is that he achieved his model of guitar already in ‘54 (few years after having started) and he kept making the same since then till he retired few years ago.
He avoided on purpose to work with the main figures of the flamenco world of his time and somehow his guitar making kept unaltered.




mrstwinkle -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 15 2019 22:36:05)

"pulsacion" is a term I find really difficult to get a grip on. Can it be visualized on a graph by measuring intensity of spikes? If so, which spikes?

Dropped the saddle height quite a lot a few days back, and while if anything has made it even brighter sounding, it is also (to my untrained ears) better balanced and less liely to boom. And is easier to play so win-win.




Echi -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 15 2019 23:01:24)

The word has nothing to do with "pulse".
Mainly it refers to the stiffness of the strings under your right hand and how fast the strings take to bounce back after having been stroke.
There are guitars which present low resistance to the strike (when doing a rasgueado or plucking etc.) and other guitars making a distorted sound when you touch them lighlty.
In Spain it's common to speak respectively of guitars with hard or soft pulsacion and there is the common idea that you can adjust the pulsacion with the string tension.

Step more: it's not just a matter of the wood density but also of the way the top is braced, as some areas of the top can be stiffer than other areas.
The recent Conde guitars usually have a hard pulsacion as they are reinforced quite close to the lower transverse bar.




Richard Jernigan -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 16 2019 18:51:00)

Though I have never seen or heard it discussed in these terms, you might say that each guitar displays a range of pulsacion. If you play over the soundhole the pulsacion is softer, if you play closer to the bridge it is harder.

To say that a guitar has a hard pulsacion just means that at any point along the strings from the soundhole to the bridge, the pulsacion is harder than it would be at the same point on a softer guitar.

RNJ




kitarist -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 16 2019 18:54:10)

quote:

ORIGINAL: mrstwinkle

"pulsacion" is a term I find really difficult to get a grip on.


Here's a thread from 2010 on this.




Echi -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 17 2019 0:13:51)

quote:

Though I have never seen or heard it discussed in these terms, you might say that each guitar displays a range of pulsacion. If you play over the soundhole the pulsacion is softer, if you play closer to the bridge it is harder.

Well, any guitar is harder if you play it close to the bridge. A guitar with a high pulsacion will be anyway proportionally stiffer than a guitar with a low or soft pulsacion.
There are luthiers you can ask for a guitar with certain pulsacion (Barba for instance).
High pulsacion has other consequences in the whole geometry as (for instance) let you have a lower bridge.
The concept of pulsacion is very common in Spain and Europe. For instance it’s something Felipe Conde told me very openly when I was trying a guitar in old Felipe V shop.
Tomatito said in an interview he particularly liked the pulsacion of the Condes.




Richard Jernigan -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 17 2019 2:46:12)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan

To say that a guitar has a hard pulsacion just means that at any point along the strings from the soundhole to the bridge, the pulsacion is harder than it would be at the same point on a softer guitar.

RNJ




Ricardo -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 17 2019 12:50:22)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Echi

quote:

Though I have never seen or heard it discussed in these terms, you might say that each guitar displays a range of pulsacion. If you play over the soundhole the pulsacion is softer, if you play closer to the bridge it is harder.

Well, any guitar is harder if you play it close to the bridge. A guitar with a high pulsacion will be anyway proportionally stiffer than a guitar with a low or soft pulsacion.
There are luthiers you can ask for a guitar with certain pulsacion (Barba for instance).
High pulsacion has other consequences in the whole geometry as (for instance) let you have a lower bridge.
The concept of pulsacion is very common in Spain and Europe. For instance it’s something Felipe Conde told me very openly when I was trying a guitar in old Felipe V shop.
Tomatito said in an interview he particularly liked the pulsacion of the Condes.


Right hand action or feel vs left hand action over the fretboard. It has to do more with set up/neck angle than anything IMO. I’ve not played yet a low action easy buzzing guitar that is universally described as “stiff or hard pulsation”. Whenever I do I will finally understand this thing 😂




Echi -> RE: Blancas need different right hand technique? (May 17 2019 15:36:38)

Neck angle is standard for a certain maker when you assemble the guitar in the Spanish way (face down to a solera). Usually you plan for a certain geometry in advance.
The thing is that then some tops are lighter or more flexible than other ones: either the maker is able to correct this with a stiffer bracing or a thicker top (which anyway ends up affecting the final freq.) or you will have a different pulsacion.
It’s normal a certain variation but usually it happens within an acceptable range.

In this video Angel Romero describes it as how fast a string recover after the strike.





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