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Trying to overcome a bad habit. . .   You are logged in as Guest
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Posts: 712
Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

Trying to overcome a bad habit. . . 

Due to playing for many years with no professional instruction; I've developed a really bad habit of clutching at the top E string with the fingers, when playing pulgar.

I'm now working to try to overcome that restricting habit, but am having some trouble deciding which technique to concentrate on; resting the finger(s)? solid on the face and moving the thumb, or hand completely free to move across the strings and keeping the thumb locked rigid.

Maybe I need to do both, but the 'rigid thumb/moving hand' seems to give better tone.

Any advice?


Fruit farmer, Ontario, Canada
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2014 19:58:58
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Trying to overcome a bad habit. . . (in reply to britguy

Much flamenco thumbwork is produced with a wrist-action, as with a plectrum; and alzapua is exactly like a plectrum. So go for that, with hand free. Watch Paco Peña in particular.

If you’re playing other notes as well, as with tremolo or arpeggios, then the movement is obviously from the base of the thumb; but resting on the face is a folk-guitar technique (Travis-picking), or Bluegrass banjo.

I’m not saying flamenco guitarists never do it, but it’s a bad idea to get into the habit.

Hope this helps.


  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2014 20:36:18

Posts: 1404
Joined: Aug. 17 2012

RE: Trying to overcome a bad habit. . . (in reply to Paul Magnussen

Middle finger's tip or fingernail of the middle finger's fingernail resting on the top while doing pulgar or alzapua is something I see many guitarists do. Ring finger or it's fingernail is also resting with some people's techniques. Some techniques work better than others for each person... Some also use index finger on the top

Obviously the fingers don't have to rest all the time, just automatically at the right time and slide/move over the top as necessary. Not touching the top at all would be playing pulgar like reuben diaz

example at one minute mark , tomatito seems to rest his middle finger's nail and maybe also ring finger while the index finger is in the air and let them move along the top with the wrist, same thing around 2:45 with alzapua:

maybe you can try resting your middle finger's nail on the top and let it move along with the wrist over the top and see how it works for you. When playing pulgar without wrist movement just let it rest on the middle finger.


  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2014 21:40:21
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