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RE: Paco de Lucia's technique   You are logged in as Guest
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Jon Boyes

Posts: 1377
Joined: Jul. 10 2003
 

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Patrick

quote:

ORIGINAL: Patrick
I’m not saying it can’t be done. I just don’t think it’s a prevalent as we may think.


I guess that's really the $64K question - I disagree with Phils point that it simply doesn't exist at all, but to what extent I have no idea. Certainly loads of players play from the large knuckle and I've always said that.

Mike had a fascinating debate with Gerhard Graf Martinez about all this which he copied to me, but it was off line and I don't wish to upload a private conversion without Mike or Gerhards permission. The just of it was that Gerhard (who was taught in spain) discussed the whole matter with various guitarists who agreed with the picado approach outlined in his book.

Mike, if you are reading this it would be interesting to get your take on what Gerhard said.

BTW Pat, we don't see/hear enough of you round here these days.

_____________________________

Spanish Guitarist in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 9 2005 8:17:01
 
Miguel de Maria

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Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

Yes, I corresponded briefly with Graf-Martinez about his picado method, which he would be quick to point out, is based on observations of top players, not something he invented. He explained that what he teaches in his book is what is actually done in Spain, and the reason he is so adamant about it is that he doesn't want his students to get a rude awakening when they go to study in Spain. He used to play picado differently, but changed when he was jamming there and noticed everyone played a lot louder and harder than him.

As far as his actual technique, you should get his book or read his website.

I'm not an expert on the level of Ricardo or Martinez, but I will say that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Just because Paco plays this way doesn't mean that you need to, or that everyone should. There have been great picado players for decades before Paco and there will be more after him. Also, you should always take any of this stuff with a grain of salt. Just because Graf-Martinez thinks he sees something, doesn't mean that is in fact the case. Or it may be. But when it comes down to it, no one can _teach_ you to play guitar--they can only coach you.

I think the main things in picado is that you do have to play pretty hard, and you have to play near the bridge. You might want to experiment in the angle, or lack of,t hat you attack the strings. If you slice the string, you get a rounder tone, if you grab it from straight on, you get more bite. If you do that near the bridge, you get a very flamenco, very powerful tone, which incidentally requires some muscle to obtain. That bite and punch is probably more important than raw volume or strength. But you need to be careful because fingers can be fragile (mine are), and they don't necessarily recover from work as quickly as biceps or quads or pecs.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 9 2005 15:34:40
 
Patrick

Posts: 1189
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Portland, Oregon

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

quote:

BTW Pat, we don't see/hear enough of you round here these days.


Jon,

Oh, I'm around. I'm a bit like Phil. We sit in the weeds waiting to pounce!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 9 2005 17:51:13
 
Jon Boyes

Posts: 1377
Joined: Jul. 10 2003
 

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Patrick

quote:

ORIGINAL: Patrick
Oh, I'm around. I'm a bit like Phil. We sit in the weeds waiting to pounce!


Would be great to hear (as in upload) what you're doing too - last I heard was some cool Tangos about 3 years ago!

I'd be interested in what you're up to in the recording/audio dept. these days as well.

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Spanish Guitarist in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2005 12:09:15
 
Jon Boyes

Posts: 1377
Joined: Jul. 10 2003
 

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Miguel de Maria

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miguel de Maria

Yes, I corresponded briefly with Graf-Martinez about his picado method, which he would be quick to point out, is based on observations of top players, not something he invented.


Wasn't there some stuff in your correspondence naming players who agreed with him?

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Spanish Guitarist in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2005 12:10:39
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3523
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

Jon,
I don't have any of it; I must have deleted it. But there was nothing in there particulary private, so if I forwarded it to you, feel free to reproduce it here.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2005 15:09:29
 
Patrick

Posts: 1189
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Portland, Oregon

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

quote:

Would be great to hear (as in upload) what you're doing too - last I heard was some cool Tangos about 3 years ago!

I'd be interested in what you're up to in the recording/audio dept. these days as well.


Jon,

Thanks for the inquiry. The recording side has been back burner lately. My Older daughter and son (two years old), moved back home. The room I was recording in became the dumping ground for all the junk they came home with. I can barley move in the room, let alone record. On the playing side I don't know if I am getting much better as old age aches and pains set in.

On the positive side, the new DeVoe negra and Green blanca are getting a real workout.

BTW, I couldn’t believe how much your playing had improved in your latest clips. It really had a nice flamenco, earthy feel to it. When can we expect the new CD?

Pat
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2005 21:03:17
 
Patrick

 

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Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Nov. 10 2005 21:04:32
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2005 21:04:15
 
nickeyg

 

Posts: 56
Joined: Jun. 16 2005
 

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Patrick

Back to the picado discussion, if the feel is more tapping on the table as opposed to scratching the table, then doesn't that imply a pushing down on the string? When you play with the middle joint curved, you are basically pulling straight back on the string. But if you play with the large joint, in order to really get the strength of the large joint, wouldn't you have to push down and pull at the same time?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2005 22:50:48
 
Patrick

Posts: 1189
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Portland, Oregon

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

quote:

Back to the picado discussion, if the feel is more tapping on the table as opposed to scratching the table, then doesn't that imply a pushing down on the string? When you play with the middle joint curved, you are basically pulling straight back on the string. But if you play with the large joint, in order to really get the strength of the large joint, wouldn't you have to push down and pull at the same time?


I agree fully. A pulling stroke (sideways) is weak (IMO). When the string is displaced (forced) toward the soundboard it will be much more powerful. A lot of it is simple mechanics. A string vibrating up and down to the soundboard will transfer more energy to the top via the saddle and bridge. A string vibrating sideways will have much less energy transferred to the saddle.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2005 23:19:02
 
Jon Boyes

Posts: 1377
Joined: Jul. 10 2003
 

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Patrick

quote:

ORIGINAL: Patrick
BTW, I couldn’t believe how much your playing had improved in your latest clips. It really had a nice flamenco, earthy feel to it. When can we expect the new CD?


Well thanks for that Pat. Cd will be ready sometiem in the new yera. Wanted to get it ready for Christmas but time is getting the better of me as usual. Its nearly there - I'm at the mixing stage.

Don't expect too much earthy flamenco though, I have to make a living!

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Spanish Guitarist in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2005 13:48:14
Guest

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Miguel de Maria

I have something to add regarding the PDL bent finger technique...It appears to be more efficient than the classical straight fingers method in regards to switching in and out of Picado to arpeggios parts? The bent PDL fingers only have to open a bit to become "arpeggio fingers" and vice versa whereas the straight classical picado fingers need to bend more become "arpeggio fingers" and then vice versa these "arpeggio fingers" need fully straighten. I'd say there is more motion involved using the classical picado.

What do you think?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2005 22:40:59
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3523
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Guest

Probably. It seems to me that modern players don't change their hand position that much. Although I wouldn't choose one of the styles because of that factor.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2005 5:20:23
 
duende

 

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[Deleted] 

Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Nov. 29 2005 18:18:52
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2005 18:18:34
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11097
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

quote:

I have something to add regarding the PDL bent finger technique...It appears to be more efficient than the classical straight fingers method in regards to switching in and out of Picado to arpeggios parts? The bent PDL fingers only have to open a bit to become "arpeggio fingers" and vice versa whereas the straight classical picado fingers need to bend more become "arpeggio fingers" and then vice versa these "arpeggio fingers" need fully straighten. I'd say there is more motion involved using the classical picado.

What do you think?


I agree. And because of this Paco is able to play pieces like Guajiras with such fluidity of rhythm and tone. M. Sanlucar also has that relaxed look to his technique with bent fingers, and many others who follow their styles. But again this is the "look" of the techique.

But if you get to see Rito y Geografia, check out the opening piece by Paco Cepero. He shifts very fast and smooth between passages of flowing arpeggio and ripping picado, even though his fingers are very straight for picado. The difference is only in the "look" as you see him make the small effort to change the way his hand shape is for the 2 techniques, but in the end, he still has the same speed and fluidity as PDL/Sanlucar etc. I feel the real key regardless of the technique you use, is to control rhythm and tone. Another fluid player to checkout who is somewhere between the extremes of always bent vs perfectly straight/switching is CHICUELO.

Ricardo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2005 18:31:39
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3523
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

Something Todd always says is to practice the transitions between different techniques. I take this to mean, switching between things such as picado and rasgueado and arpeggios.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2005 20:09:50
 
carlos soto

 

Posts: 126
Joined: Oct. 22 2005
 

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

I think PDL technique is perferct in terms of sound but to achieve it you need to have the strength of a bull and the precision of a hummingbird, his picado going down against the string for sure sounds louder but you need a lot of practice to hit every note at the same volume and consistency.
About fluidity I think one of the players with more fluidity has to be moraito, he plays like he has been playing for two lifes
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2005 23:10:52
Guest

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Ricardo

Ricardo,

Thanks for your comments; I have seen your videos and think your playing is awesome. I haven't been playing very many years, however I do have experience in sports and I feel that the two things I look for in terms of technique is efficiency and effectiveness and for me Paco's technique embodies those two things the most than any other player I have seen so far. I have all the encuentro videos except the Serrano and Manolo Franco and have the Rito & Geo toque tapes not to mention a bunch of TVE stuff. Paco's technique is so efficient and effective, he only has to adjust a bit to move onto the next required technique. Obviously his technique can only take him so far in itself, precision, timing, control all those things need to be there too. However his technique makes implementing those things a bit easier IMO at least from a strictly biomechanical point of view than those who have a less efficient technique.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 30 2005 15:40:07
 
cneberg

Posts: 257
Joined: Apr. 20 2006
From: Sončno polje pri Večnosti

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

I think it also depends on the lenght of the fingernails. Paco must have very short nails to play picado that way.

Wasn't Sabicas playing picado with fingers very straight?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 20 2006 21:03:26
 
carlos soto

 

Posts: 126
Joined: Oct. 22 2005
 

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

I think it's impossible to play exclusively from the 2nd joint, it can only be used to hit the string but once you hit then you have to go back with the finger (so it can hit again the string) and you have to actually lift your finger or else it would touch the string on its way back.

2nd joint is good if you want to achieve speed because of it's economical movement but personally I don't like the lack of power and the tone is a lot more thinner. As far as I'm concerned it's possible only in the hitting phase, as the lift motion has to come from the knuckle.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 20 2006 22:37:58
 
edgar884

Posts: 1975
Joined: Nov. 16 2005
 

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Shroomy726

I'm a little late but. I've been playing the classical Picado for 22 years from the large knuckle.
But my Picado doubled in spead when I started holding my hand closer and bringing the arm up like Paco. I thjink its useful to have a strong Large knuckle, its bigger and stronger, but then you have to learn to save energy. Thats what Paco's Picado does as long as you practice it staccato, and by the way I think the staccato is the key.


@ cents from me

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May we find God through Flamenco instead of Angels and Demons

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 21 2006 14:55:39
 
seanm

 

Posts: 169
Joined: Apr. 5 2005
From: Halifax, Nova Scotia

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

Hey! How about using BOTH knuckles?

I was trained classically (large knuckle only) and when I read GM's picado exercise it clicked with what I was seeing in PDLs technique. If you play exclusively from the large knuckle then you have to have incrediblely efficient movement from that joint because the movement from that joint is the only thing controling the movement at the finger tip. If you include a movement from the second joint as well, then you only need a small movement from the large knuckle and a flick from the second knuckle to get the same force. Think of a bullwhip. Small movement at the handle ... large and very fast movement at the tip.

Now, GM's method of learning picado (not neccessarily playing it) it to distend (flatten) the hand to prevent too much large knuckle movement and to encourage move movement from the second joint (like a whip). Once you are comfortable doing this, you just relax your hand and you will have the same movement PDL uses.

Incedently, I was reading a book by Richard Provost (Art and technique of Pratice) the other day and he discuessed some studies regarding musicians and non-musicians and their finger speed. There was no clear evidence that musicans could move their fingers faster than anyone else. Instead, the speed of playing comes from the coordination of the movement. Whatever technique your use, you must be able to repeat it exactly each time in order to execute it efficiently and with precise coordination.

Sean
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 21 2006 15:36:19
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11097
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to seanm

There is nothing wrong with experimenting with different ways of doing it, and as discussed other players have done well doing things different than Paco. (Check out Paco's nephew Jose Maria Bandera in the Francisco Sanchez DVD. He plays faster than the other two guys on track 4 rumba, and plays straight fingers from big joint clearly).

The proplem I have is if people think you HAVE to move and power from 2nd knuckle, they might have trouble restricting movement of the big joint. One guy on another forum taped his fingers together above the second joint to restrict movement and train second joint power (in order to achieve what GM describes). I think that kind of thing is bad and potentially harmful. Plus I don't see the point since that is not what Paco and other guys with the bent finger "look", are doing.

Simply practicing staccato restricts movement as required, trains muscles used, makes efficient movement and improves rhythmic control. No need to tape the fingers.

Ricardo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 21 2006 16:03:25
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo
No need to tape the fingers.



Its funny, my violin teacher tapes my M and A fingers together (the hand that holds the bow of course). She says beginners tend to spread them and it would be technically a disadvantage, especially when you want to play faster, where you got to have a good bow control.

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Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 21 2006 16:14:27
 
John O.

Posts: 1712
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Darmstadt, Germany

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Shroomy726

Wow, this thread's hot.

Every hand is different and I would say it's never good to play exactly the way any other musician does because it worked for that musician.

People all walk, talk, write, think and play differently (within certain boundries, of course) because each person has to individually make it work for them. Just think of all the angles in your body from the length of your legs impacting how you sit and hold the guitar all the way up to your arm, your hand with all those little precisely set bones on the back leading up to your fingers with all the nerves, thickness of muscle and bone, nail strength, dammit even the way the nails protrude over the tips of your fingers. All individual! How could you possibly play exactly like him and get the same results??? Can't be done. You'll never hear a very good and fast guitarist say "Well I just did what Paco did, it was easy, look!..."

The trick is to not try to play the technique like him, only to play it as fast! It'd be easy to play it like him really slow though, I'm sure I'll bet the trick here would be not just to play the way he does, but to put in the hours he did. Yes, I'm afraid it's the truth.

My picado's not the best but one thing I'll tell you about technique in general: if you notice a certain technique feeling comfortable and working very well for you, DO NOT throw it away because anybody tells you it's wrong or because you think it might be wrong unless there's a logical reason why. This is how I learned alzapua 3 times only to go back to the way I started...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 21 2006 19:39:58
 
Doitsujin

Posts: 5063
Joined: Apr. 10 2005
 

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

John you got exactly my point of view about technics.
Yesterday I showed a friend some falsetas and he liked it. But when I played them slowly he watched my fingers a bit closer and saw that I mix the ami and mi picados during single runds. He was a bit pissed off that I dont play the picado just with i and m. But it only depends on how it sounds and how precise and fast you can use the technic. So..I think it maybe only fit on me. For him it would be unpossible to do the picado like me. But he can do it only with i and m as fast as me. hhmmm....
When I started to work out my technics I allways asked all guitarrists I found how it is the best way to hold the hands. Han all told my different things. Now Im one of them, with my own view.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 22 2006 10:45:15
 
Filip

 

Posts: 179
Joined: Apr. 23 2006
From: Madrid

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

Does anyone have a clue about what Paco is doing at the end of this La Barrosa picado (41:36)??? To me it looks like for the last few notes he changes the position/angle of the wrist/fingers and that he does not use the i finger there, which really confuses me!

https://youtu.be/JBddb3hmdeA?t=2496
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 10 2019 16:53:33
 
kitarist

Posts: 557
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Filip

quote:

ORIGINAL: Filip

Does anyone have a clue about what Paco is doing at the end of this La Barrosa picado (41:36)??? To me it looks like for the last few notes he changes the position/angle of the wrist/fingers and that he does not use the i finger there, which really confuses me!

https://youtu.be/JBddb3hmdeA?t=2496


I think he just does part of the descending run as slurs so he needs to hit a string only once - which he seems to be doing by "dragging" his "m" finger. The David Leiva transcription of the studio recording also contains a couple of slurs in that descending run, just a more limited amount. I suppose all of that is just stylistic choice rather than due to technique limitations - can't imagine why PdL would find that particular run less than trivial.


BTW, in the process of looking at this, I discovered that Youtube has upgraded their video speed functionality: now I can hit 'custom' [speed] and choose anything I like in 0.05 increments, down to 0.25 - but even at 0.25 it still gives you sound as well, whereas before at 0.25 speed it showed only a silent video.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 10 2019 17:14:32
 
Filip

 

Posts: 179
Joined: Apr. 23 2006
From: Madrid

RE: Paco de Lucia's technique (in reply to Jon Boyes

Thanks Konstantin. It makes some sense, I thought that all the notes in that picado are normal notes but I see now by looking both in Levia's book and Faucher's tab that there are ligado notes (more in Faucher's transcription than in Leiva's).
And thanks for the yt tip, I haven't noticed that.

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 10 2019 21:02:08
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