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12850bd

 

Posts: 109
Joined: Nov. 9 2006
 

picado question 

I have been trying to improve my picado and am not sure about the point of contact. Some players like Adam del Monte and Grisha say the string should contact just where the skin meets the nail. When I do it this way its a sharp sound. Other players such as paco seem to dig in more. If I plant so that the string hits the flesh maybe 7=8mm from the nail and the slides across to the nail I can play more accurate (at the moment) and the sound is more solid. Is this worth working on or will it limit my technique later on. What do other members do here.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 25 2013 22:16:12
 
bernd

 

Posts: 678
Joined: Feb. 15 2004
 

RE: picado question (in reply to 12850bd

I touch the string 2 untill 4 mm off the nail on the flesh. For playing faster scales dynamically, I´m losing time by touching deeper. There is no exact point where the finger tip has to touch the string at the stroke. My recomandation of the flesh position is simply near the nail.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 25 2013 22:43:56
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11681
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: picado question (in reply to 12850bd

quote:

Some players like Adam del Monte and Grisha say the string should contact just where the skin meets the nail.


THat's 100% correct. The way you describe is not good it requires longer nails too. But PDL and some others use grease or petrolium so that you CAN do as you describe and the string slips into position Grisha wants you to have anyway. It's a sort of "cheat" so you can be less accurate. But the final result must be skin and nail together. Nail shape is super important and the major factor you might not be so concerned with just yet. but you will eventually

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2013 22:15:43
 
bernd

 

Posts: 678
Joined: Feb. 15 2004
 

RE: picado question (in reply to 12850bd

The grease they use is vaseline. It provides a kind of better vicosity on the finger tip.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2013 22:34:29
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 2916
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: UK

RE: picado question (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

But PDL and some others use grease or petrolium so that you CAN do as you describe and the string slips into position Grisha wants you to have anyway. It's a sort of "cheat" so you can be less accurate.


I found that experimenting with using Vaseline helped me to learn to play with greater accuracy. As you say the finger "slips into position Grisha wants you to have anyway." After a time I was better able to find that position myself without using the Vaseline. I still use a tiny bit occasionally if my fingertips are very dry, but mostly don't bother.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2013 11:44:00
 
z6

 

Posts: 225
Joined: Mar. 1 2011
 

RE: picado question (in reply to Ricardo

I used to use vaseline when I performed classical guitar but with flamenco it feels nice without it. But I never have to perform.

The best of it is that it offers consistency. In front of an audience that helped me. John Williams rubs his fingers on his nose to get them oily (yuk John, go buy some vaseline). But nose juice is even better than vaseline if you have a good supply.

Digging very deep feels great but it has taken me a long time to get there.

Those black flamenco strings are so slippery. I love them.

By the way, the only way I can get the right sound is by not making that 'perfect' contact. That is, by grabbing deep. But it still feels light. And it trends nicely from the 'bip'. (Indeed it is none other than the bip itself - I don't do it to perfect something else.) It seems to get more powerful with the least effort. Picado is a magical technique.

I hope I can say this without sounding nasty. Del Monte is a much finer player than me. No question. But it sounds like the best effort I ever heard from a classical player. But you guys say Grisha does the same and his picado is astonishingly powerful.

Is a kind of 'aqua-planeing' going on? I am currently not trying to increase my 'top speed' which seems variable. I'm enjoying this 'perpetual motion' you guys introduced me to.

For a long time the end joint of my i finger bent back, but it now seems relaxed but stiff (stiff in a good way as it's painless but strangely relaxed. It's as if I can no longer get in my own way.)

But, for sure, the sound and feel is saying dig. It should be harder to do. But it's easier.

(I have worked on picado very very seriously, and for many hours. It's like the technique emerges if I don't push. But I had to push to get there, it would appear. It's only 117bpm. But I no longer feel like trying for speed. Because when I do it with a deep attack either from above or straight through, it sounds faster. Really. There is a huge difference. I still do double- takes when I first do it.)

It feels, to me, that unless I can do it from a 'standing start' then it's not flamenco/fakemenco... It is a technique, a 'feel' after all. (I am talking about playing warm, by the way. Standing start meaning not working continuously up to speed but going slow and doubling the speed. It seems to put my fingertips where they need to be (no twisting, the same angle for everything).

Nail shape was the enabler. And no, I will never tire of thanking Ricardo for that. And the same deep insight from others. (And I do understand that there are plenty of people who have okay nails, shape, whatever, but I was never able to master picado or arpeggios before I got the right shape in order to allow all the other tools break free. Arpeggios have the same feel, now, to me; a continuous reflex.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2013 15:23:13
 
hamia

 

Posts: 369
Joined: Jun. 25 2004
 

RE: picado question (in reply to z6

quote:

ORIGINAL: z6

Nail shape was the enabler. And no, I will never tire of thanking Ricardo for that. And the same deep insight from others. (And I do understand that there are plenty of people who have okay nails, shape, whatever, but I was never able to master picado or arpeggios before I got the right shape in order to allow all the other tools break free. Arpeggios have the same feel, now, to me; a continuous reflex.


Here is a test to see how good your arpeggio / picado technique is: play with the rh nails very short so they don't contact the string and if the only difference is in tone then you are doing ok. In other words playing without nails shouldn't affect speed and accuracy or make any other significant difference (eg strength/angle of attack etc) apart from sound - although volume without nails should still be loud.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2013 13:30:26
 
Miguel de Maria

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

RE: picado question (in reply to hamia

Hey hamia, are you by chance the guy with all the Tonino covers on Youtube?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2013 14:24:25
 
z6

 

Posts: 225
Joined: Mar. 1 2011
 

RE: picado question (in reply to hamia

quote:

re is a test to see how good your arpeggio / picado technique is: play with the rh nails very short so they don't contact the string and if the only difference is in tone then you are doing ok. In other words playing without nails shouldn't affect speed and accuracy or make any other significant difference (eg strength/angle of attack etc) apart from sound - although volume without nails should still be loud.


That was my experience exactly. I had no nails as I was into tapping.

I learned picado with no nails. These guys put me straight. Nails make it much easier, for sure.

And mine are so short they're almost invisible. But it feels like the end of a shovel. The glue and flat filing made nails possible, for me.

(I'm not suggesting long is wrong. Whatever floats.)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2013 14:30:12
 
Erik van Goch

 

Posts: 1756
Joined: Jul. 17 2012
From: Netherlands

RE: picado question (in reply to z6

quote:

ORIGINAL: z6

mine are so short they're almost invisible.

(I'm not suggesting long is wrong. Whatever floats.)

My optimal nail length depend on how much i study. When i play once every couple of days/weeks i prefer longer nails (in order not to miss the strings) but when i study very seriously on a daily base i prefer nails that are extremely short (in my sett up every molecule of nail visible behind the string is a time and energy consuming obstruction). In my best days i had to file my nails on a daily base in order not to get stuck into the strings because the overnight grow would totally destroy my well tuned system (a perfect and strictly personal balance between nail length/nail shape and chosen technique). My brother (who plays Jimi Hendrix kind of stuff) has incredible long nails and does everything i forbid technique wise but he totally outplays me in swing and expression :-).
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2013 19:13:31
 
hamia

 

Posts: 369
Joined: Jun. 25 2004
 

RE: picado question (in reply to Miguel de Maria

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miguel de Maria

Hey hamia, are you by chance the guy with all the Tonino covers on Youtube?


I'm not sure if you're taking the p1ss! But anyway, no I'm not.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 30 2013 9:19:10
 
Miguel de Maria

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

RE: picado question (in reply to hamia

No, I just thought you might be this guy:

http://www.youtube.com/user/hamanino/videos

I watched a lot of his vids and your username was similar.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 30 2013 14:32:46
 
hamia

 

Posts: 369
Joined: Jun. 25 2004
 

RE: picado question (in reply to Miguel de Maria

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miguel de Maria

No, I just thought you might be this guy:

http://www.youtube.com/user/hamanino/videos

I watched a lot of his vids and your username was similar.


He's a pretty good player. He uses a lot of effects (reverb etc) on the Tonino pieces though - they sound very good but he played another piece (Rumba Hamanino) which seemed a bit sloppy in comparison. I think the effects help a lot in smoothing over technical shortcomings.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2013 7:41:49
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