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Thoughts on Technique and Some Issues   You are logged in as Guest
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Elie

Posts: 1837
Joined: Apr. 10 2010
 

Thoughts on Technique and Some Issues 

hello guys,
1:
I was a classical guitarist for over 6 years and then I joined this foro and started learning flamenco
I have couple videos (
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpwvxbFZB4Y
,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HStQ1zCVRoY
) doing picado ( i m )when I just started flamenco with some juan martin exercises and at that time my pinky was either relaxed or curved inside never sticking out ... later and I don't know when it started, my pinky started sticking out (and still does) during i-m picado so what caused that ?

I was analyzing the techniques I learnt since joining the flamenco club and all I can blame is the 3-finger rasgueado because the pinky sticks out without touching the strings, I mean what else might have caused that ? any thoughts on that ? if you disagree what do you think that caused the pinky to stick out ?
do you think 4-finger rasgueado might fix that ?
note when I used to play classical I was doing 4-finger rasgueado all the time

2:
the recent issue i'm suffering from:
as some of you know I used to have some nice arpeggios but recently my M finger started to curve inside more than usual during arpeggios causing a very awkward feeling in my hand, resulting in slow arpeggios ... I can post a video of the issue
I think what caused that is the unbalanced practicing , practicing I-A picado with my M curved inside without caring about the I-M picado

any ideas how to fix that ? its really getting frustrating

thank you for your thoughts and help

EDIT:

important thing to mention the arpeggio problem appears when I start doing fast arpeggios not slow ones ... it moves normal when i do slow arpeggios

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2012 19:38:21
 
clevblue

 

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Joined: Jun. 29 2012
 

RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

As far as Issue 2 goes, does the awkward feeling in your hand get progressively worse as you play? If so, it may be simply a tightening of the muscles in your forearm, massage and a hot water bottle for 10 minutes would sort that out.
When you are not playing, do you notice any change in the position of the m finger in relation to the rest? Is there any awkward feeling in your palm when resting? Do you have trouble straightening your m finger when resting?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2012 19:52:18
 
Elie

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

thank you for the reply clevblue
quote:

does the awkward feeling in your hand get progressively worse as you play?

actually not, its just the awkward feeling repeat on every cycle of the arpeggio
quote:

When you are not playing, do you notice any change in the position of the m finger in relation to the rest? Is there any awkward feeling in your palm when resting? Do you have trouble straightening your m finger when resting?

not at all ... I believe that the problem is not related to muscles problem I think that one technique messed the other and I wasn't aware of it ... and I have no clue how to fix it now

important thing to mention the arpeggio problem appears when I start doing fast arpeggios not slow ones. .. it moves normal when i do slow arpeggios

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2012 20:05:04
 
clevblue

 

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

It does sound like technique then, perhaps going back to the beginning and starting slowly, baby steps, until you regain control? Good luck with it anyway.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2012 20:16:32
 
Elie

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

quote:

It does sound like technique then, perhaps going back to the beginning and starting slowly, baby steps, until you regain control? Good luck with it anyway.

that's the answer i was afraid of ... thank you mate

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2012 20:21:53
 
NormanKliman

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

Keeping the little finger next to the ring finger works better for me. I've got a short little finger and the rest are kind of long. Unless you're planning on using the little finger for an upstroke, like arpegio or picado, it makes sense to leave it drawn in the hand for rasgueado. The way to correct it, as you know, is to stop doing it and see how that goes. You might have to pay attention to keeping e-a fingers relaxed.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2012 20:24:15
 
Elie

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

many thanks NormanKliman i think i can start fixing it now

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 7 2012 5:06:36
 
rombsix

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

The answer is simple: never play picado again. It's evil, I tell you... EVIL!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 7 2012 7:50:24
 
Elie

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

quote:

The answer is simple: never play picado again. It's evil, I tell you... EVIL!

lol
you know im thinking of playing picado as tirando for a month or so and focus on rasgueados now , will see



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 7 2012 18:45:22
 
athrane77

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From: Reykjavik

RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

I have the same habit with the pinky, but whats exactly wrong with that?
I dont have any problems with that. Even maestros like Vicente Amigo have that sticking out pinky - check out that video

I don't think that your described issues are caused by your sticking out pinky

hope that makes sense
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 7 2012 20:25:41
 
Erik van Goch

 

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From: Netherlands

RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

When i speed up my picado to maximal levels my pink (side) tend to raise more and more as well (it seems to be a necessary part of maximum expression like some kind of counter balance). Personally i prefer to combine series of short but intense exercises with lot's of variation to build up/maintain mental and physical control in order to prevent under/overdoing things. Especially with studying rasguedo one has to be careful not to overdo in order to prevent injuries like tendovaginitis.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 7 2012 20:47:17
 
Leñador

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From: Los Angeles

RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

quote:

my pinky started sticking out (and still does)


I actually heard from a well known player who shall remain nameless that the pinky sticking out is a desirable thing........

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 7 2012 21:06:42
 
Elie

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

thank you for the comments guys
quote:

but whats exactly wrong with that?

my problem is that I didn't have this habit before and I am trying to know how I developed it

btw I can force the pinky to curve in (and feel comfortable) but it will result in the A finger curving inside too and I am afraid that by doing this I will ruin another technique what do you think guys ? Erik ?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 8 2012 9:59:50
 
Erik van Goch

 

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From: Netherlands

RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

quote:

ORIGINAL: Elie


my problem is that I didn't have this habit before and I am trying to know how I developed it

btw I can force the pinky to curve in (and feel comfortable) but it will result in the A finger curving inside too and I am afraid that by doing this I will ruin another technique what do you think guys ? Erik ?


To me the raising of the pink side is linked to reaching maximum speed levels..... at lower speed levels they don't raise. Is it possible your "problem" occurs because you play your picado slightly quicker now than you used to (like entering the next level)?

As i noticed before it's not only the pink that raises, it's the PINK SIDE involving both A and E finger and part of the hand. Forcing the pink down will also inflict/corrupt the A finger. I like to play without unwanted tension myself but i guess sometimes one have to trust ones body and sometimes tension seems to be part of the deal (in this case the raising of the pink side seems to be some kind of build in counterbalance). Guys like Paco de Lucia raise there pink side as well when they speed up.....even his facial muscles join in in the expression (PDL restricts facial expressions to the accents he feels but basically picado is 1 big accent).
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 8 2012 10:51:04
 
mark indigo

 

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Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

quote:

my pinky started sticking out (and still does) during i-m picado so what caused that ?
extensor muscles in the forearm.... under instruction from your brain




quote:

do you think 4-finger rasgueado might fix that ?
only if you stop contracting the muscle/s that extend your pinky when you do your picado



quote:

I have the same habit with the pinky, but whats exactly wrong with that?
nothing, as long as it doesn't interfere with the picado

ie. if extending the pinky is part of a pattern of tension throughout the hand, then that tension will slow the picado. If extending the pinky is separate and independent of the picado, it won't be a problem.



quote:

it seems to be a necessary part of maximum expression like some kind of counter balance
i keep reading and re-reading this, but i have absolutely no idea what it actually means.... i strongly suspect it has a poetic meaning for yourself only. Extending your pinky is probably just something you do when you play picado... ie. it's incidental not causal



quote:

tendovaginitis
sounds like a problem with your fingering!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 8 2012 15:25:47
 
Erik van Goch

 

Posts: 1787
Joined: Jul. 17 2012
From: Netherlands

RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

ORIGINAL: mark indigo


quote:

it seems to be a necessary part of maximum expression like some kind of counter balance
i keep reading and re-reading this, but i have absolutely no idea what it actually means.... i strongly suspect it has a poetic meaning for yourself only. Extending your pinky is probably just something you do when you play picado... ie. it's incidental not causal



quote:

tendovaginitis
sounds like a problem with your fingering!



All i know is that my pinky automatically raises when i exceed a certain speed level, it doesn't occur at lower speeds and when i vary speed every time i cross that point x it will raise and drop accordingly. Since it happens to many others as well it seems to be a natural reaction of the hand to cope with higher speed demands, in the same way your arms raise and change position/motion to support various levels of running...that's what i mean with counterbalance.

Tendo(vagi)nitis happened to me once when i was forced to play rasqueado 6 hours on a row on full force. My muscles could hardly cope with it (but survived) but 1 of my right hand ring finger tendons couldn't and teared on the inside dude to overloading. I couldn't play for weeks and it comes back as soon as i overdo.

http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/sportsmedicine/a/tendonitis.htm
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 8 2012 16:49:00
 
Elie

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

thank you Erik and mark for the informative replies

I was thinking today that what caused the arpeggio issue (according to what I think) is when I do I-A picado at a high speed my hand gain tension and then it forces the M finger to bend/curve deep inside my hand ... that caused my hand to do the same when gaining tension during arpeggio. when i do fast arpeggio my hand gain tension and force the M finger to bend inside deep like picado

i think its a logical explanation of the issue

so would the solution be preventing the M from bending/curving inside during picado so it reflects on arpeggio

quote:

occurs because you play your picado slightly quicker now than you used to (like entering the next level)?

actually this is exactly whats driving me crazy, I am not quicker I can't even reach the speed in the video above , however my I-A is way faster than the video but again my I-A picado ruined the arpeggio ... so its a funny frustrating chain

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 8 2012 18:31:20
 
Erik van Goch

 

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Joined: Jul. 17 2012
From: Netherlands

RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

quote:

ORIGINAL: Elie

I was thinking today that what caused the arpeggio issue (according to what I think) is when I do I-A picado at a high speed my hand gain tension and then it forces the M finger to bend/curve deep inside my hand ...

so would the solution be preventing the M from bending/curving inside during picado so it reflects on arpeggio





Obviously when playing picado (with whatever finger combination) one wants the other fingers to get out of the way.....I'm not sure what to picture myself when you say you bend/curve your unused M finger deep inside your hand. Al you have to do is lift it (which moves your finger straight up or even away from your (inner?) hand rather than into your (inner?) hand), like i do with my A and E. That never caused any arpeggio problems to me. But like i said i never practice the same technique a long time on a row but always vary.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 8 2012 19:27:11
 
mark indigo

 

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Erik van Goch

quote:

... my pinky automatically raises ... Since it happens to many others as well it seems to be a natural reaction of the hand to cope with higher speed demands,


i don't see why anatomically that should happen. I know that it does happen, but i question the explanation for it. I doubt if there is any automatic mechanism whereby rapid movement of i and m causes pinky to extend.

I don't think it is a "reaction of the hand" because for the pinky to extend the brain has to instruct the muscles to contract. So lifting of the pinky must be something we have programmed in as being necessary for picado.

There is certainly a need to keep it out of the way of the strings, and I suspect that what is happening is that in asking i and m to go faster we are erroneously also asking the pinky to raise higher!

quote:

Tendo(vagi)nitis


tendonitis i have unfortunate past experience of

i never heard of the "vagi" bit in the middle, and.... er.... thought it sounded funny (in a fnar fnar sort of way) sorry if you didn't get the joke....

i just looked it up, inflammation of the tendon sheath. right.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 8 2012 19:55:48
 
Elie

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

thank you for your time guys

quote:

I'm not sure what to picture myself when you say you bend/curve your unused M finger deep inside your hand.

yes my explanation was confusing sorry for that
but here i took some snap shots while im doing both picado and arpeggio hope it makes the issue clear
note the pics are taken during performing the techniques

so my I-A picado starts with the M curving normally i guess
https://www.dropbox.com/s/shg9f4ayphs4amq/1.png

and then it starts to curve deeper
as you can see its way inside now
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1ykkb1nz0726nmk/2.png

during the Arpeggio M learnt to do the same movement
https://www.dropbox.com/s/gqy0ksw5her8aaj/3.png

which is horrible
seems like a serious problem after examining my own pics

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 9 2012 8:42:55
 
Erik van Goch

 

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From: Netherlands

RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

ORIGINAL: mark indigo


quote:

Tendo(vagi)nitis


tendonitis i have unfortunate past experience of

i never heard of the "vagi" bit in the middle, and.... er.... thought it sounded funny (in a fnar fnar sort of way) sorry if you didn't get the joke....

i just looked it up, inflammation of the tendon sheath. right.


I did get the joke but also realized the (vagi) part was unknown to most, including myself until i googled the english translation of pees(schede)ontsteking, the dutch word for it that also includes the (fnar fnar) "schede" part (schede is used to refer to the inside of for instance a sword holder, a tendon and indeed the female naughty bids :-)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 9 2012 20:09:17
 
Erik van Goch

 

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From: Netherlands

RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

quote:

ORIGINAL: Elie


quote:

I'm not sure what to picture myself when you say you bend/curve your unused M finger deep inside your hand.

yes my explanation was confusing sorry for that
but here i took some snap shots while im doing both picado and arpeggio hope it makes the issue clear.......

and then it starts to curve deeper
as you can see its way inside now
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1ykkb1nz0726nmk/2.png

which is horrible
seems like a serious problem after examining my own pics



Actually this was exactly how i pictured it myself but it seemed so odd i couldn't believe you actually mend that. I have no experience with it so i can't tell you for sure if it is causing your arpeggio problems. If i remember well Gerardo Nuñez includes the IA picado in his encuentro dvd....you might have a look how he deals with the other fingers....but we all have to find our own truth since every hand is different in structure and (im)possibilities.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 9 2012 20:32:40
 
Elie

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

thank you Erik

i will check gerardo's vid and start to practice slowly to recover

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 10 2012 16:06:00
 
NormanKliman

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

Elie, I see lots of space between your fingertips and the strings. Maybe the photos don't accurately represent your playing or maybe I'm misinterpreting them. But if you notice that pros with solid technique play with less space than you, I think that'd be the place to start.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 10 2012 18:25:23
 
Elie

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

thank you for pointing that out Norman i will pay more attention to it

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2012 7:51:06
 
Pingaloka

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From: Granada, España

RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

Hello Elie, check out this post. It may help you to find some answeers.
This could be Focal Dystonia. This is what reminds me of when I read your posts.
IT is only a possibility, before you make a conclusion go check your hand with a specialist check if it is a physical problem.

hope the best for you.

http://flamencomasterclass.blogspot.com.es/2012/02/focal-dystonia-distonia-focal.html

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2012 8:31:27
 
Elie

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

Pingaloka,

it seems like it, I am experiencing almost everything written there
thank you so much for posting the link

will watch the videos and hope i can cure it

quote:

musical pieces that you could play a month a go easily, now involves a huge physical and psychological effort. Why? When does the brain go click? And why once it goes click thats it, it wont go away?

very very very true
quote:

Rationally I wanted to play, but emotionally? NO at all.
As I played the tension of my body (as the body gets tense when there's fear, both conscious and subconscious) started to affect my techniche. I was not aware of it at that time, but tricky subconscious knew it, and it was already finding his way to protect itself from "ME".

quote:

Okay, you may have decided rationally to keep playing, but I, the emotion, don't want to play so I'm going to start sending signals to the body as a form of selfdefense. eg: INDEX FINGER CURLING while playing picados, arpeggio, etc.

I feel its true because it happens many times that I force and push my self to play
quote:

Focal Dystonia is only triggered when you play the instrument, if you try to move your hand and practice a techinque without it you'll do it no problem! That is one of the reasons why I think the problem relies on the relationship between the instrument and the musician.

very very very true

again thank you
quote:

go check your hand with a specialist check if it is a physical problem.

the point is my hand is the same i don't feel any pain or anything wrong
fingers are in place
the only thing is that sudden curling

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2012 8:55:54
 
Blondie#2

 

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

quote:


the point is my hand is the same i don't feel any pain or anything wrong
fingers are in place
the only thing is that sudden curling


Which is the classic symptom of FD.

If it is FD, there is nothing wrong with your muscles, tendons, fingers etc, its a sensory-motor problem. Often people with FD can do exactly the same movements off the instrument eg on your leg, with no problem.

Pingaloka beat me to it, I saw your photos and came to the same conclusion. I have had FD and mostly recovered (long story).

You can recover you abilities, and if this is recent (last few months?) prognosis is even better. The trouble is you have to do the right things or its easy to make matters much worse.

Some things for you to check out:
http://www.focaldystonia.co.uk/ (good collection of resources and info)
http://www.dystonia-bb.org/forums/mwd/ (bulletin board for people afflicted)

Also, search focal dystonia on this forum , there are several threads.

I'll post more info later
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2012 9:59:55
 
Elie

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

thank you blondie I checked the links

how bad is the focal dystonia ?
i think there should be levels
i mean i checked and read many and some are really bad phew
scary indeed



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2012 11:36:20
 
Blondie#2

 

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RE: Thoughts on Technique and Some I... (in reply to Elie

I'm not quite sure how to answer how bad it is - that's subjective - what I would say is that the longer you have it, the harder it is to fix. Certainly I have seen much more complicated cramping of the fingers than you have, some people are left being unable to play anything at all whereas it sounds like it is just affecting your IA picados and starting to affect arpegios.

Your hand is 'miswired' - the wrong signals are firing the wrong muscles and the harder you try to make the right muscles work the more you will reinforce the incorrect wiring.

A motor skill - like playing arpeggios or scales - is a bit like software. Its a program you have assembled over years of practice. The sensory motor cortex has 'plasticity' - this means the program is not fixed, and continues to change and adapt according to what you are trying to do and what your senses feedback that is actually happening. It is continually learning, in other words. Unfortunately it can adapt in the wrong way, when under pressure.

Fast, delicate, fine movements like those performed by guitarists and pianists (highest incidence of FD in musicians is pianists, followed by guitarists) push this system to its limits, and in certain circumstances push past those limits. For example, sustained repetitive practice of a particular technique, sudden increases in practice time, sudden changes in technique (change in right hand position, the way you hold the guitar...) can all overload that system, especially if there is too much tension present
anyway.

Once something goes wrong - eg a certain finger doesn't flex fast enough according to what your 'progam' is expecting, the brain
tries to adapt and approximate the movement some other way eg A finger is not flexing fast enough, so M finger jumps in to try and
help it along (by flexing first).

Suddenly that becomes part of the program, which by repeating you reinforce. Getting stressed and tensed about it invariably means
trying harder to get the right finger to move which means the same problematic motion is just repeated. Brain scans of healthy
individuals have clearly separated representations of the fingers that 'light up' when these are used. In people, with FD, these areas
are smeared and overlap - visual proof of this rewiring.

Then other fingers/muscles join in as we try and inhibit the incorrect movements we are seeing, what you get is kind of a chain reaction of
paralysing tensions which will develop as a pattern, and can spread to other similar movements - if IA alternation is causing you problems in picado
then it is not surprising that I followed by A in an arpeggio will do the same thing.

You have to rewire your hand, rebuild the correct picture of where everything is. That means ultra slow practice under the threshold
at which the dystonic movement occurs, between different finger combinations and different techniques. Eg if for you M is
involuntarily flexing in IA picado I would forget about IA picado for starters, I would be re-training MA and IM, IMAM, free and rest stroke
for example, to rebuild those different relationships. Arp combos too.

Psychology plays a big part in recovery too, as it does in learning any motor skill.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2012 12:40:53
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