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RE: Picado attack, do you really need to choose only ONE?   You are logged in as Guest
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XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to CarloJuan

i guess with a picado like El Tuto's there are different things coming together, training AND talent (right amount and coordination of muscle/nerves, maybe finger length?). also when it comes to pure sound, in my opinion that is way more based on your fingertip/nail gap and nail flatness. there are players with very good picado technique but not so good sound. if they were able to change that i think they would have done that.

i think that has to do with the geometric dimensions of string thickness and fingertip dimensions. from what i see IMO players with relatively thinner fingers have a more crisp sound. that would be also in accordance with physics i guess.

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 2 2011 21:55:47
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to Ricardo

Orson explained excellently on individual limps self-blockage!
( Can drive you nuts over decades; and at worst even bring you focal dystonia ... The sudden horror for roughly 5% of musicians, at times ending proffesionals´career.)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

So then if he DOESN"T have too much tension, then I am not understanding what Ruphus is on about...nor the pinky thing since tuto is curling it up quite tight.....


Maybe I should have expressed myself better.
No question, strong attack can´t be achieved without contraction. The difference between "healthy / useful tension" and "countering tension" is where the contaction is being allocated.

The point is to have tension distributed practically / physiologically coherently. Or better to say: Definitly not in the corresponding antagonist of an intended movement.
If antagonists being optimally released protagonist will be able to freely distribute all of the invested contraction and with that achieve aimed impact with the least neuronal energy required.

In fact the performer´s example in the youtube clip wonderfully demonstrates economical technique.

Although he is partially curling in the pinky a tad over idle ( can´t really see where he be "curling in quite tight" ), this slight over-engagement has little to nearly no blocking effect to his generally optimal posture.

Keep in mind that an idle hand won´t be meaning flat fingers. If you lay down on your back with your arms in a slight angle away from your body and with the palms pointing upwards ( ergo, relaxed position for arms and hands ), and loosen your hands completely the fingers will be ending up slightly curled in, as such being the idle poise.

So, there is a fundamental difference in contraction between a pinky occasionally curled in over idle position, like in the video, and a pinky that would be straightened out / extended.
An extended finger ( and worse even a straddled thumb, which effects all four fingers! ) does block neighbouring fingers considerably. Whereas Justo Fernandez´ point of departure with the hand in a loosly closing shape ( as if one was about to grab a shovel shaft or thelike ), providing the perfect launching pad for snapping finger ( tips ).
Accordingly, what we see in that clip is energetic plugging, yet without any strain and blockage.
This artists demonstrates about ideally what me and fellow posters have been trying to describe.

quote:

I don't think there is one 'proper way'


I depends on which regard considered.
In regard of ergonomics for common limps on the one hand there always extants that one most efficient physiological engagement, whereas in regard of proper approach on the other hand ways being indivually dependening on the manifold ( vastly invisible, yet crucial ) habits individual performers come to execute with.
- An aspect so significant in didactics, which at best be capable of recognizing strengths and weaknesses of a student and accordingly be coordinating individual exercises to demand.

quote:

I should keep it simple........ or simplify the complex.


I think it to be hitting the nail on its head, - even beyond the subject.

I understand all arts secret being reduction.
Admired virtuoisity, more often than not tried to be reached through athletics ( hence additive strategy ) by the - reverent - enthusiast, whilst in fact proficienct execution being the crop of minimalism in efforts and physical engagement.



quote:

I think for some people excessive tension is never an issue


To this however, I wholeheartedly object.
To aimed execution, unrelated tension ought to always be an issue on the very principle of mechanism.
-

It is a pleasure talking about this with fellow fiddlers.

A very interesting topic, especially to me with a concerning journey in the wake. ( First decade messing around exclusively for spontaneous fun, next two decades increasingly yet vainly seeking for the elixir, with finally the snap in the head yet gradually taking place over recent years.

There used to be / commonly still being so little available on functionality.

Except for who would rather excpetionally luckily be with a didactically skilled teacher or with a highly inspiring player as mentor. Fantastic to have ( how me wished to only have had such ages ago! - And how nice to be deeming that some of fellow musicians enjoy such on their enviable way.)

Thus, how useful for everyone to at a time generally be starting out or resuming with basic insights and inner images of what has spiders running uppon the strings without counters or stucking at that.


Unless being blessed with a gifted ( / updated ) teacher, concise knowledge as possible standard ought to be priceless beforehand.

With in the same time no reason to dreaden overthinking, due to generally constructive knowledge.


For whom interested, here an example of specific information: http://www.egta.co.uk/content/restandfree#IIc
A good read to start with, and more thelike interesting articles provided on that kindly granted website, waiting to be combined with personal empirics and demands to desire.
... If desired, naturally.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 2:15:02
 
Rain

Posts: 475
Joined: Jul. 7 2005
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to XXX

quote:

i think that has to do with the geometric dimensions of string thickness and fingertip dimensions. from what i see IMO players with relatively thinner fingers have a more crisp sound. that would be also in accordance with physics i guess.


That is a ridiculous statement and assessment. People give me a break with all this finger size's picky in the air- finger girth foolishness and no tension vs tension ****e. Vicente Amigo has longer fingers than Paco's, and Rafael Cortes has baby fingers compared to both of them, yet they all have amazing picado.

If you have to ask if one better than the other than you are truly lost, that is you're ears are not working and perhaps you should take up table tennis and be done with it.

And that guys teacher who said there should be no tension in the fingers is I believe misquoted, he most likely said as little tension in the right hand as possible

Music is about tension and release playing a note or chord is about tension and release,
that Paco picado tone that everyone here is always talking about is a product of extreme INSTANT tension in the finger being played and an extreme INSTANT release that he developed thru focused repetition.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 5:17:32
 
orsonw

Posts: 1929
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to Rain

quote:

I think for some people excessive tension is never an issue



To this however, I wholeheartedly object.


Yes you may be right, it is a principle in neurology that learnt movement patterns initially have associated contraction in remote muscles, which are then refined out of the movement pattern.

I haven't learnt the "extreme instant release" after the contraction as Rain mentioned, this is exactly what I am talking of when I mention too much tension in the hand. Maybe this refinement happens unconsciously for some, it hasn't for me however and I find it helpful to discuss it. Then when I practice "focused repetition" as Rain says I actually know what to focus on.
I often upload sound files to the foro but having no video camera these long discussions are the best I can do regarding technical issues. I'm sure these wordy posts are pedantic and annoying, thanks for your patience.


EDIT Ruphus that's a very interesting article you linked, thank you! It explains how two people's hands may look the same but be physiologically working in very different ways to move the fingers. It explains very well the problems I have been experiencing and has given me new understanding about tension and guidance towards solutions.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 9:48:11
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to Rain

Rain,

the nature of sound (crisp or dull) is mainly caused by the surface (dimensions and roughness of it) of the fingertips and the nail (if you disagree please say what you think determines sound). With surface i mean contact surface with the string. A player can change the surface the string meets, by for example changing the angle of attack and nail length, but he can not change the flatness shape of his nails (it just growths that way) and his finger dimensions. Please notice im not speaking of the length of the whole finger.

quote:

Paco's, and Rafael Cortes has baby fingers compared to both of them, yet they all have amazing picado.


BULL, he has quite big hands and fingers, they only appear small because the rest of him is big.

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 12:53:43
 
CarloJuan

 

Posts: 169
Joined: Sep. 19 2010
From: Philippines

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to XXX

My nose is bleeding from all the long reads that my feeble mind could not comprehend!

Okay, to pose another query, is the RH exercise in the pumping Nylon series (hope you know which...the "staccato-like-crazy" exercise) by Scott Tenant an effective and efficient way to practice speed while maintaining the theory of tension, release?

It's been confusing for me because Scott's exercise is: you pluck the string with let's say the index finger first, rest stroke, then it is quickly choked or stopped by medio finger. Simultaneously while stopping the sound with the medio ....the index finger rests on the adjacent string.

This point, however, confuses me...when you release the tension from your kinetic finger (from your i) it's suppose to go back to rest or zero position. This zero position is basically the same position you WERE before you plucked the string, which means...you are in front of the string ready for another attack.

In the Pumping Nylon exercise you pluck rest stroke and then rest on the adjacent string whilst the other finger is doing staccato, which means you are at the back of the string you are plucking (this i do not know or can't tell is there is any means of releasing tension even though you are not in rest/zero position)(note: there is a difference with what i say release of tension and rest/zero position they are not entirely the same)

I hope you know where i am getting at

Is this a proper way to exercise someone's picado?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 13:01:34
 
orsonw

Posts: 1929
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to CarloJuan

Carlos Juan
I think one problem in discussing this is language i.e. 'tension' means different things to different people. Also the detail of what is happening mechanically and physiologically requires a certain level of understanding and knowledge. Have a read of the article Ruphus linked, it gives an informative point of view.

In your example when the i finger is resting on the adjacent string after it's played there could be some muscular work to hold it there against gravity but not as much as needed to push through the string. I aim to have enough muscle work to hold it but being very conscious to have no more.

I am no picado/guitar expert but I think the aim is about finding the right balance between no muscle work and too much, just aiming to have no muscle contraction may be too simplistic. There are different units of fibres within a muscle that can either be contracting or relaxing. A muscle as a whole isn't just on or off.
I think we need to develop an awareness of what it feels like in our hands to have this balance right, for me that does take slow conscious practice.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 14:02:01
 
orsonw

Posts: 1929
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to CarloJuan

quote:

My nose is bleeding from all the long reads that my feeble mind could not comprehend!


Welcome to picado threads! See also, threads regarding-
Paco de Lucia
Conde guitars
What is flamenco?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 14:15:09
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to XXX

Hey Orson,

It´s been my pleasure! :O)


quote:

I think the aim is about finding the right balance between no muscle work and too much ...

Well said!
That would be the muscle work needed for bias and plug.

Pretty much any struggle occuring, means excessive muscle work / movement and overcoming distance. Avoiding it is the way to the art.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Deniz

A player can change the surface the string meets, by for example changing the angle of attack and nail length, but he can not change the flatness shape of his nails (it just growths that way) and his finger dimensions.


I belong to those whose nails grow in a rather crooked way.
Apparently, more challenging in regard of dispense of nail contact and to not getting cought up in the strings. ( And hell with the "Segovia legacy" posture.)
Hail with the lucky guys who have nicely straight nails.

For a while ( with wrong posture ) my nails shape appeared almost like a curse that could hardly be evaded. While on "lucky days" when the problem wondrously appeared to have just diappeared, I wasn´t able to figure what the difference had been within my playing.

Actually the difference is to shift the contacting surface from the very tip of the finger further upwards and to the inner side. Provided through ergonomical ( natural ) posture a planting will be achieved that way, which allows a longer, greatly controllable launching pad, which lets you determine how much flesh there will be before the final hit of the nails edge, faciliating the whole palette between lush and zingy to desire.

Detail one might conquer either unconsciously all by himself, or through lucky choice of teacher ( instructing you correspondingly, whether consciously or unconsciously ).
The rest of us in the meantime better get to know of such deliberately, if interested in bypassing needless and discouraging odyssey.


Just getting aware of the difference with ways of ellbow resting, the difference then of the hands twisting direction on release ... Or the way of how fingers retrun to idle with not much more of utilization than gravity ... Will all make technique a whole new world, once implemented into once´s routine.

Detail, so useful that it served me with helping players ( partially old hands who were performing on stage ) to discover greatly improving tweaks within just a brief introduction.

From there I can only recommend to you to have a look at the analytical articles of Iznaola and colleagues under the link above.
No loss to who is being there already ( whether consciously or unconsciously ) and of definite benefit to everyone else.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 15:30:00
 
Ramon Amira

 

Posts: 1025
Joined: Oct. 14 2009
From: New York City

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

in the end you want it to feel natural so the focus is the music, not the guitar or technique getting in the way. If you can deliberately change you technique from one way to another, chances are one of the two ways is NOT natural because you have to think about doing it "that way" which ever it is. I would figure out which one it is, and do away with it and stick with what feels good and natural. If neither feels natural, then you need to pick one and stop wasting time experimenting so much.

Ricardo


This is a good, common sense reply by Ricardo. If you have to think too much about what you're doing when you play, or if you start to analyze it to death, then before long you will be twisted up in knots, and will bring on the very tension you are trying to avoid.

Here's a little fable that illustrates that, and then I'll give you a great example from real life that perfectly illustrates exactly what can happen when you analyze too much, instead of simply doing what feels natural and comfortable to you.

The fable is about a centipede. He has all those legs, and yet has no trouble whatsoever coordinating the movement of so many legs at once, and so he walks perfectly fine. Then one day he started wondering and said to himself, "With all these legs, how is it that I can walk without any trouble?" So he started analyzing what he does when he walks. "Let's see now . . . first I pick up Legs #17 and #32, then when I put them down, I pick up #5 and . . . etc. He did this for some time, and before long he couldn't walk at all.

The great violin virtuoso, Yehudi Menuhin, was a phenomenal child prodigy, and so played in a very natural way from childhood. His technique was always described as smooth and effortless. He relates in a book that one day in mid-life he started wondering about his technique that he had been using all his life, asking himself what is it that he does that makes it so smooth and effortless. So he started analyzing it, breaking it down, and trying to apply new principles to his technique. He states that this nearly destroyed his career, as after some time of doing this he could barely play anything properly.

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Classical and flamenco guitars from Spain Ramon Amira Guitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 16:43:28
 
orsonw

Posts: 1929
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to Ramon Amira

quote:

Yehudi Menuhin, was a phenomenal child prodigy, and so played in a very natural way from childhood. His technique was always described as smooth and effortless.


Sadly this isn't anything like my story!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 17:38:51
 
Grisha

 

Posts: 1263
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to XXX

Here are my observations:

The technique I am currently using (tucking my pinkie in slightly) is more versatile, giving me full, warm tone. I can use it for both classical and flamenco. I can also play really softly whenever I want.

The technique that Paco uses (with extended pinkie) is good for pretty much one thing: machine-gun picado. It gives a powerful, hard attack with great stability, and perhaps, slightly more speed reserve (which is arguable). But it cannot be used for softer passages because of the nature of its sound.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 17:53:23
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to XXX

quote:

ORIGINAL: Prominent Critic

This is a good, common sense reply by Ricardo. If you have to think too much about what you're doing when you play, or if you start to analyze it to death, then before long you will be twisted up in knots, and will bring on the very tension you are trying to avoid.



So, you two went into guitar playing without special didactis, and feel to have done perfectly.

That is great; and if your way has indeed been so efficient ( which does occure at times, though rather seldomly, from what I have seen in the guitar playing community so far ) just the better.

But why do you feel the need to tell the people learning without special know-how on whereabouts was to be a reccomendable way to go?

quote:

He relates in a book that one day in mid-life he started wondering about his technique that he had been using all his life, asking himself what is it that he does that makes it so smooth and effortless. So he started analyzing it, breaking it down, and trying to apply new principles to his technique. He states that this nearly destroyed his career, as after some time of doing this he could barely play anything properly.


That tells us that he screwed up his already fine technique. Obviously the new principles added were not ergonomical. Had they been conclusive he would had found them to either be what he had already implemented in his performance, or further improving to his technique.

Coherent information on playing technique won´t and can´t ever harm anyone.

What can do so however, is "what - deceivingly - feels natural ...".
For countless motoric habits of individuals not beeing physiologically congruent on default; especially not in a civilized environment where natural movement not being default anymore long since.

Unfortunately so.
Otherwise all disciples needed was to learn which note to hit at a time, with everything else falling into place by itself.

The vast majority of instrument playing individuals however with all those excessively bent joints, detours, overly contracting protagonists and simultaneously countering antagonists, far away from efficicient technique and seamless / fluent playing skills ( yet after decades of pratice ), demonstrate that you guys for sake of personal agenda are giving counter productive advice.
- Which for most being in use anyway, by people who wonder why there being little to no progress with the way they perform.

I bet that you didn´t even care to have a read of the expert literature above in order to see what gives at all.
Not really what I would deem as pragmatic approach to a matter.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 18:08:53
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to XXX

Hey Grisha!

You are the exact right person to chime in here!

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 18:10:29
 
yohan

Posts: 306
Joined: Feb. 5 2007
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to Grisha

quote:

ORIGINAL: Grisha

Here are my observations:


Its also the differnce between hand position right?
like:
1 paco's way

2 tomatito's way (?)

3 Classical way

Which should I use? I see most people, also here on the foro, do picados more like image 3. Me too, and I (try to) push the strings towards the soundboard to get a hopefully good sound.

Actually I rarely see someone does it the "paco" way as described on image 1.
I tried it sometimes but it just wont work, definitely fast scales and it feels very unnatural too.
Can you grisha, or someone else here maybe, do picados like image 1?
and maybe make video? :)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 18:54:52
 
Grisha

 

Posts: 1263
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to XXX

Sure, I can make a video. But it won't be exactly like Paco does it, because I am afraid to copy it as it hurt my hand once.

Now, an experiment. Try tapping your fingers on the table as fast as you can while tucking your pinkie in completely. It's hard to move your middle finger and get a good sound out of it, isn't it? Now extend the pinkie... Doesn't your middle finger feel more relaxed and independent? Why do you think that is?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 19:23:02
 
orsonw

Posts: 1929
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to Grisha

quote:

Now, an experiment. Try tapping your fingers on the table as fast as you can while tucking your pinkie in completely. It's hard to move your middle finger and get a good sound out of it, isn't it? Now extend the pinkie... Doesn't your middle finger feel more relaxed and independent? Why do you think that is?


Good experiment- I find a restriction with either the e finger curled tight or extended. It feels best with e just resting in its relaxed slightly bent position.
And by now I trust we all know why this, don't we?

I think the fact that it's different for you Grisha and the fact that Yohan's image 1 and 2 teach completely different flamenco picado techinque, goes to show we have to find our individual own way. And these monstorous picado threads don't give me answers but they do give me the questions I should ask of myself.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 19:29:42
 
chester

Posts: 891
Joined: Oct. 29 2010
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to Rain

quote:

that guys teacher who said there should be no tension in the fingers is I believe misquoted, he most likely said as little tension in the right hand as possible


Dear Rain,

I assume that you're referring to my post. I also believe there was a misquotation--yours.

I never said anything about having no tension or even as little tension as possible. The fact is that the pinky curls up as a consequence of excess tension and is a detriment to speed.

That said, sometimes you just 'gotta' give 110% and push yourself beyond your comfort zone causing your pinky to curl. That's fine if you're playing sixtuplets at 160, but if your pinky curls up for 16ths at 120 that's a problem.

At the end of the day, just like you (rain) said - music is about tension and sound. It doesn't matter how you make it sound a certain way as long as it does.

Training your body to do what it takes, is a whole different matter altogether.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 19:45:35
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14642
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to yohan

quote:

ORIGINAL: yohan

quote:

ORIGINAL: Grisha

Here are my observations:


Its also the differnce between hand position right?
like:
1 paco's way

2 tomatito's way (?)

3 Classical way

Which should I use? I see most people, also here on the foro, do picados more like image 3. Me too, and I (try to) push the strings towards the soundboard to get a hopefully good sound.

Actually I rarely see someone does it the "paco" way as described on image 1.
I tried it sometimes but it just wont work, definitely fast scales and it feels very unnatural too.
Can you grisha, or someone else here maybe, do picados like image 1?
and maybe make video? :)


Wow, number one info about paco's supposed technique is all wrong. Dont' follow that. The movement DOES come from the big joint or the power rather comes from there. The fact he bends his middle joint confuses SO many people it seems. Watch the tico tico vid and the power is clearly coming from big joint.

About what Grisha said about tone, is it really the PINKY causing all that???

quote:

So, you two went into guitar playing without special didactis, and feel to have done perfectly.

That is great; and if your way has indeed been so efficient ( which does occure at times, though rather seldomly, from what I have seen in the guitar playing community so far ) just the better.

But why do you feel the need to tell the people learning without special know-how on whereabouts was to be a reccomendable way to go?


Never said I was perfect. My point has been that they guys "just going for it" meaning flamenco players that don't go to conservatory or with special ed on anatomy, seem to be going fast and effective with no problems, yet it is implied by this arguement they could be doing better????

To Ruphus, like I said before you seem to imply a list of people that play bad or wrong but no specifics. Can you give a specific player that does it RIGHT so we can see what the difference is??? I have already said countless times that I concede it could be true that many players are doing it all wrong....but so far they pinky up out or whatever seem to be quite successful from what I can see. What did you think of Tuto???

quote:

The fact is that the pinky curls up as a consequence of excess tension and is a detriment to speed.


This seems to be the consensus, but why the faster players all doing it????? Or do you see the pinky sticky out not the same as curling up?
quote:

That's fine if you're playing sixtuplets at 160, but if your pinky curls up for 16ths at 120 that's a problem.

Why does the different speed make a difference or rather, why is it OK????

not making sense to me all the arguements here, lot of vague implications and contradictions to observed practices.

Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 20:44:35
 
jg7238

 

Posts: 2869
Joined: May 11 2009
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to yohan

Just use the way that feels and works best for you. DO NOT try to emulate the Masters. Everyone is different. It's as simple as that.



quote:


Its also the differnce between hand position right?
like:
1 paco's way

2 tomatito's way (?)

3 Classical way

Which should I use? I see most people, also here on the foro, do picados more like image 3. Me too, and I (try to) push the strings towards the soundboard to get a hopefully good sound.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 20:56:16
 
Grisha

 

Posts: 1263
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to XXX

Great advice, jg!

Ricardo, to answer your question: yes, the pinky is the one that seems to be causing the sound to change.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 21:00:57
 
jg7238

 

Posts: 2869
Joined: May 11 2009
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to Grisha

Thanks Grisha!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 21:12:57
 
chester

Posts: 891
Joined: Oct. 29 2010
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

quote:

The fact is that the pinky curls up as a consequence of excess tension and is a detriment to speed.



This seems to be the consensus, but why the faster players all doing it????? Or do you see the pinky sticky out not the same as curling up?

quote:

That's fine if you're playing sixtuplets at 160, but if your pinky curls up for 16ths at 120 that's a problem.


Why does the different speed make a difference or rather, why is it OK????

not making sense to me all the arguements here, lot of vague implications and contradictions to observed practices.

Ricardo


Hi Ricardo,

It seems as if you've misunderstood my point...

If you're playing at a slower comfortable pace
-then your hand should be pretty relaxed.

If you're pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone
-then your hand starts to tense up causing the pinky to stick/curl up.

If your pinky starts curling/sticking out when you're playing at a slow tempo
-you're out of your comfort zone

Makes sense so far?

The reason you see all those killer picados with the tense pinky is because these players are pushing themselves beyond their comfort zones (eg - 'performing'). I doubt you'll see them practicing the same way.

Is it clearer now? You see - I'm definitely not criticizing anyone for the tense pinky, just saying it's an indicator that you're not in your comfort zone.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 21:14:17
 
Rain

Posts: 475
Joined: Jul. 7 2005
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to jg7238

quote:

Just use the way that feels and works best for you. DO NOT try to emulate the Masters. Everyone is different. It's as simple as that.


Exactly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 21:25:21
 
bursche

Posts: 1182
Joined: Jul. 19 2007
From: Frankfurt, Germany

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to chester

Find a relaxed position that individually fits you and practice as long and as much and as concentrated as you can every day.
Discussions mon't improve my picado I found out.

It is like explainig a blind person what colours are. Nothing replaces experience and one will obtain it by practicing many, many hours a day....=/

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 3 2011 21:27:26
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to XXX

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

To Ruphus, like I said before you seem to imply a list of people that play bad or wrong but no specifics. Can you give a specific player that does it RIGHT so we can see what the difference is???

I wasn´t thinking of anyone special. The most flamenco players I think to recall doing picado without remarcably tensioning their pinky used to be in live gigs or meetings long ago. Unfortunately, I can´t even remember their names.

In the field of popular classical players examples should be Pepe Romero, Ana Vidovic, and if I recall that right, Julian Bream.
But best indication for consistant economical didactics should be the students of Prof. Chen, which all play in the same unstrained way.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

My point has been that they guys "just going for it" meaning flamenco players that don't go to conservatory or with special ed on anatomy, seem to be going fast and effective ...

Absolutely agreed; flamenco players have the most proficient tradition in tremelo and fast playing in general. Technical wisdom, gathered over centuries and passed on through generations. Even if a mentor there can´t or won´t convey meticulous whereabouts his practical example still serves as extremely inspiring to desciples.
An insight expressed before several times, e.g. by:
quote:

... choice of teacher ( instructing you correspondingly, whether consciously or unconsciously ).


Please understand that I am not implying that there couldn´t be useful didactics without physiological knowledge, instead however that it couldn´t hurt anyone, especially not those who have no or no really good teacher.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Grisha

Now, an experiment. Try tapping your fingers on the table as fast as you can while tucking your pinkie in completely. It's hard to move your middle finger and get a good sound out of it, isn't it? Now extend the pinkie... Doesn't your middle finger feel more relaxed and independent? Why do you think that is?

Because fingers extensor being much harder to trigger ( inflicting much more neural efforts ) than flexors.
A completely curled in pinky will be taxing adjacent fingers ( specially the a fingers ) extensors, thus blocking the other fingers more than an extended pinky, which again would be "only" challenging the adjacent fingers flexors.
-
A pinky only slightly curled in over idle inflection, however will be blocking the other fingers considerbaly less than an extended pinky would.


quote:

ORIGINAL: jg7238

Everyone is different. It's as simple as that.


Maybe we should examine one certain aspect.

Many seem to believe that motoric individuality to be matter of individually differing limbs / physics.
This is a misconception.

The difference is not so much bound to different physiology of the individuals than to their motoric habits, which again is being a neural matter.
Motoric habits are very arbitrary (!), and in in the very least cases just right for guitar playing from the get go. ( Which is why the least of autodidactical beginners do turn out seamless performers.)

Reality is that what feels comfortable to a person with him approaching a technique, will not simultaneously be equaling ergonomic execution.

That is why a good teacher, while respecting your individuality in concern of strengths and weaknesses, will not in the same time be recommending to resume with whatever you might be feeling comfortable with on default.

Much more likely the ergonomical approach he´ll show you at first might be appearing strange and awkward instead, however allowing you to progress over time, and feel just the more comfortable with it once it has become your new habit.

Simple truth is that ergonomical technique is the most comfortable ( natural ) you could ever have ( as the term implies ), yet it won´t necessarily be equaling what your current motoric habit ( = present "comfort") looks like.

And besides, ergonomics ought to be the same for everyone, unless with abnormal physics.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 4 2011 13:02:39
 
John O.

Posts: 1723
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to bursche

Here you see Paco making the wrist straight and hand flat for picado, he has time to reposition to make smaller, stronger movements. This is the classic machine gun picado:


But check out here from 0:39, his hand hardly changes position, fingers are only slightly bent. At this speed he doesn't need to straighten the wrist, he rather lets the fingers "fall onto" the strings (for lack of a better term) and gets a smoother sound. But at 2:49 he pulls up and flattens his hand again because he needs that technique for enough strength to play that quickly on one string, listen to how the sound changes:


Gerardo shows it both ways on his video - Ricardo has mentioned this before. In the alegrias he goes over all the strings, he holds a constant tension to keep small, fine movements, wrist is straight. Very next lesson in the bulerias he stays on the lower strings with a bent wrist and has more spurts of picado with a bit of legato.

I play only a-m-i picado now and it works quite well, but I noticed at slower speeds I have to straighten the fingers and even pull them out more to make bigger movements, otherwise I'm either too fast or stop the flow of my fingers. It could be the same principle here, but I really don't know.

Anyways, seeing this same pattern with other guitarists like Chicuelo and Habichuela too tells me you just have to try out different things depending on which strings you play, the speed, the sound you want, whether you play bass notes with the thumb, what comes before or after the technique, how big your hand is and what is more comfortable for you. This is where all the hours of practice come in. I'd always suggest trying to do it exactly the way you see it done for that particular falseta, if it doesn't work at all or is uncomfortable (keeping in mind this is always the case at first, give it some time) then you have to experiment a little.

I'm definitely not the one with the fastest picado here but the problem "picado" haunted me for over 15 years - I couldn't get it fast without at least 1-2 hours a day of practice. Last year I thought "Tremolo is good and always works without practice, why not try a-m-i picado", one year later problem solved. Everyone has to put the time in and noone will give you that one single answer to figure it all out, I'm afraid...

My experience with the pinkey is that while it itself doesn't determine the sound or speed, it will tell you where your tension is coming from. I always tell my students not to deliberately straighten the pinkey for thumb technique but that if they're doing it without trying then they're probably on the right path.

If the pinkey is straight for picado then you're probably flexing the outer hand muscle to straighten the hand as opposed to the wrist muscle over the top of the curled hand.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 4 2011 13:15:06
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14642
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to John O.

quote:

But check out here from 0:39, his hand hardly changes position, fingers are only slightly bent. At this speed he doesn't need to straighten the wrist, he rather lets the fingers "fall onto" the strings (for lack of a better term) and gets a smoother sound. But at 2:49 he pulls up and flattens his hand again because he needs that technique for enough strength to play that quickly on one string, listen to how the sound changes:


Hmmm. I understand what you mean, but I will argue now that you are confused simply by the different camera angle. I put forward that the BASIC technique he is doing in both places is THE SAME. And the sound is the same too IMO. The view from the front is an optical illusion that that has lead to many miss conceptions about what paco is doing with picado, including that thing where people think he only powers from the middle joint. The view from the side angle show more of the mechanics of what is really going on, and is more in tune to how we see our own hands when practicing, yet you dont' get to see what is PINKY is doing, which seems to be an important factor for a lot of folks in this discussion.

More exemplary angle of view is in rito y geografia where you see essentially the same technique from different angles. Too tired of this stuff to post clips now.

Ruphus gave a list of classical guitarists, but sorry they don't achieve the proper flamenco sound with the technique they use even if they actually do achieve the right speed and rhythmic control (argueable).

I will leave with my more detailed opinion then what I said early "do what feels natural".

Factors that determine how fast you are gonna beable to go with picado, comfortably and with right sound and stamina:

1. rhythm. How fast you perceive and feel rhythm in music. If you can't articulate the sound with your mouth and brain, you fingers are not going to be in control of it either. So that speed barrier number one.

2. How old you were when you started. We are all limited by what age we started developing speed I feel. If you dont' get that extra few notches when you are young, no amount of technique practice or understanding even of fast rhythm will allow you to break the barrier. I dont' know what age helps with that but my guess is in the early teens. Much like learning to speak there is a window of opportunity and if you dont' get it at that age, its is never so "natural".

3. Planting right hand fingers. The best way to learn this is to do like in Pumping nylon, develop your control by playing stacato. It not only helps your control of prep and ultimately speed and rhythm control, but also your tone. Based on 1,2 and 3 here you will maximize your possible speed not matter what your pinky or hand positions are or nail shape.

To a lesser degree I feel nail shape is important, more for tone then speed. But I admit when you get it right you can feel less resistance in your playing so playing fast feels easier, though you don't get literally more notes per second. A crisper tone is the main benefit. And if you put glue on, it will curve your nails a little so you CAN in effect change the "flatness" issue with your nails, if you feel it is a problem.

I admit this pinky issue could be a problem, but affecting perhaps more your stamina then speed or sound. Even if it does affect your speed limit, it is in a MUCH smaller percentage of importance then 1,2 or 3 above. Hand shape or position is the lowest factor I would say to how your speed or sound with ultimately emerge.

Hand shape or position I will say comes into play when SWITCHING between techniques, say between picado and arpegio or rasgueado. But it is again minor in the bigger picture of speed, rhythm, sound, and expression.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 4 2011 13:49:04
 
orsonw

Posts: 1929
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to John O.

quote:

But check out here from 0:39, his hand hardly changes position


His whole arm changes quite drastically. Look at what happens with his elbow and where his forearm rests on the guitar. Have a read of the article to understand how this can make a big difference to what muscles have to do to create movement in the fingers and what effects this may have on tone.

http://www.egta.co.uk/content/restandfree#IIc


Ricardo, for me the little finger, while not irrelevant is a red herring and not the fundamental issue, have you read the article?

EDIT Thanks for your advice Ricardo.

I started playing the bass guitar when I was 14, I aimed for speed and power but with a different technique of finger alternation. So not only have I lost my window but actually developed technique counter to flamenco picado.
None the less since deciding to really work on picado nine months ago, I have gone up 20bpm. This would not have happened without the foro discussions and inspiration- thank you.
I'm now at 16th around 118bpm (That means real life picado, long, tricky runs for use in accompaniment with bad stage sound and cold hands. At home on a good day with the right scale I'm 144bpm but that doesn't count!) I am aiming for useable 160-170bpm.

(EDIT: After timing a live recording my useable picado is actually 108bpm)

I don't care about my missed window I'm not giving up the picado dream!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 4 2011 15:00:50
 
jg7238

 

Posts: 2869
Joined: May 11 2009
 

RE: Picado attack, do you really nee... (in reply to Ruphus

Ruphus, the only way you are going to play well, have nice picado technique, etc... is by permitting your hand to go completely relaxed. Just let the right hand fall into place, attack the strings with the fingertips, but with your fingers totally relaxed, the hand, wrist, shoulder, elbow and the whole body. If you don't feel relaxed, you will never achieve good technique. T
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 4 2011 15:08:56
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