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Tremolo practise and hand position   You are logged in as Guest
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fevictor

Posts: 377
Joined: Nov. 22 2005
From: Quepos / Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Tremolo practise and hand position 

The weirdest thing just happened; I finished writing the same thread your about to read and sent it, but it seems to have disapeared! So if you´ve already read this....

Anyway I wanted to say that for the past three or so weeks Ive been spending ALOT of time working on tremolo, which has always been my weakest technique. Even watching TV at night I continue practising. The improvement that Ive noticed has been quite substantial, but Im amazed at how my arpegios have gotten better also! I actually play arpegios too fast now and have to slow them down to match the rest of my slow playing! The fingers have just seemed to have "loosened up". I wish I had known that tremolo was so good for simply training your right hand fingers.

My old flamenco teacher used to alays give me grief about the angle of my right hand across the strings. I seem to always point my fingers tips towards the neck of the guitar, thus attacking the strings at a 45 degree angle or so. Ive tried to rotate my hand so as to point my fingers down more, but it just feels wrong. Supposedly if I look down at my hand the thumb and index fingers should cross?

From looking at videos and pictures its hard to tell what the pros are doing, and I havent come across any comments on this forum (yet) in regards to this. Any thoughts?

Oh and Im also looking for a nice tremolo piece to play. Nothing too hard, but something with some soul. before I start looking and maybe spending a looong time without finding anything, can you guys recommend where to look?

Saludos a todos.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2006 0:23:06
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Tremolo practise and hand position (in reply to fevictor

As far as angle, there seem to be two groups, one that attacks the strings directly and the other at an angle.

Attacking it directly, your nails would be parallel to the strings.

I hit it at an angle. I like the sharper sound of the parallel attack, but my nails are hooked and so it wouldn't work.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2006 4:43:31
 
PacoPaella

Posts: 163
Joined: Nov. 7 2004
 

RE: Tremolo practise and hand position (in reply to fevictor

I guess the typical tremolo piece is tarregas "Recuerdos de la alhambra". It is not very easy to play and its rather long, so dont force yourself all the way through it in the beginning, but its a nice study to see how tremolo works and its also good to play solo eventually.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2006 7:29:03
 
Jon Boyes

Posts: 1377
Joined: Jul. 10 2003
 

RE: Tremolo practise and hand position (in reply to fevictor

quote:

ORIGINAL: fevictor
I seem to always point my fingers tips towards the neck of the guitar, thus attacking the strings at a 45 degree angle or so. Ive tried to rotate my hand so as to point my fingers down more, but it just feels wrong. Supposedly if I look down at my hand the thumb and index fingers should cross?


Troubleshooting position problems is a necessary thing you have to work through and is more difficult without a teacher who can see where are going wrong. but you are getting hung up on one aspect of one particular school of classical guitar technique there. That crossed thumb/index thing was an idea derived from Segovia's technique and shouldn't be used as a basis for postioning in flamenco.

However, its true that playing the strings at more of a right angle will give you a brighter sound - classical players are taught to play at more of an angle to give a fuller sounding mellow free stroke.

A few things for you to think about and try out:

Take a look at just about any flamenco player and you wll see their thumb resting on the the sixth string or soundboard for stability (unless its in play) which is something classical guitarists don't do, and when you are doing pulgar lines, the wrist drops down so you can dig in and get that flamenco sound - again this is not something CG players do, so there is no worrying about what finger is crossing what, and certainly not that Segovia position I think you are referring to.

LISTEN to the sound you make and compare this with the sound you want to make (ie the sound of good flamenco players) what is different? If you experiment with hand positions, what brings you closer to that sound? Is your hand comfortable?
Try moving your hand into a new position from the shoulder and elbow, rather than trying to bend it into postion from the wrist.

Watch as much flamenco videos as you can and you should get a better idea of how to position the right hand, although there is no one 'correct' way, it as all about functionality and security. Some players can pull off a wide variety of techniques without much change in position, others move their hands considerably - who cares as long as it works and its comfortable?

The Graf Martinez videos show some shots of the hand from behind the strings (camera in the guitar) which is a nice idea and may be helpful.

One more thing - when looking at positioning you have to consider everything, not just one hand eg how you are holding the guitar, where it is on your lap, whether you cross your legs etc. All these things affect what your hands have to do and where they end up in respect to the guitar. Tiny shifts in position can make big differences.

Another thing to try: instead of sitting down, positioning the guitar and lastly trying to find the position for your right hand, do it the other way around - sit down and imagine you are holding your guitar with your hands in the perfect position. NOW see if you can replicate that with the guitar in your hands (may be easier if you get someone to hand you your guitar whilst you do this).

HTH.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2006 8:33:05
 
Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

RE: Tremolo practise and hand position (in reply to fevictor

I wouldn't suggest Recuerdos for 2 reasons. Firstly, it doesn't sound good with flamenco tremolo fingering.

Secondly, classical and flamenco tremolo have different aspects to them. Flamenco tremolo can be uneven but yet considered great, because it still sounds good for flamenco. Try that on Recuerdos and you've just destroyed a Spanish classical masterpiece.

Classical tremolo has to be completely even, a weak 'a' finger will spoil the piece. However, flamenco tremolo covers up the weak 'a' finger and still sounds good when tone is slightly uneven.

I still insist that Paco Pena's rendition of Nino Ricardo's Zambra has the most beautiful flamenco tremolo falsetas ever.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 17 2006 10:21:43
 
fevictor

Posts: 377
Joined: Nov. 22 2005
From: Quepos / Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

RE: Tremolo practise and hand position (in reply to fevictor

Thanks for the input guys...i feel better now about my hand positioning. I still worry about the RIGHT and WRONG way of playing, but you´re right; whatever sounds good and feels comfortable.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 20 2006 2:29:03
 
sorin popovici

 

Posts: 417
Joined: Jan. 7 2005
From: Iasi, Romania

RE: Tremolo practise and hand position (in reply to fevictor

I think your right have to be more perpendicular to the strings for a good picado
and also for a good tremolo .

Watch johnny here for some tremolo falsetas and some things to learn .

http://www.flamenco-guitar-mainz.de

now, maybe he doesnt have hands like yours ...but i really believe (and hope to prove it sometime) that if u can play this way your picado or tremolo or arpeggios will be a lot
faster.

Recuerdo is nice ..but is not that easy ,maybe some famous little falsetas with tremolo

Anyway , this is just MHO ...so if u cant do it straight ,maybe u'll develop your own way
and u'll be more comfortable than perpendicular.
I have no idea how good u are , but if u want a tough one ..choose some very
ornamented tremolo falsetas .I tried the tremolo in fuente y caudal (I was curious to
see how hard is it), that's hard as hell.
Nunez shows some little tremolo falsetas ,and aparently this technique is not that easy
at all ...once u aply some ornaments .
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 20 2006 3:20:06
 
John O.

Posts: 1720
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany

RE: Tremolo practise and hand position (in reply to sorin popovici

Hey all,

yeah I was having a good day with those videos - you can see I'm wearing th same sweater on all of them

"Recuerdos" is really a practise for professionals, especially if you wanna try it piami. I use to play it piami very slowly as an excersize, but never got up to full speed. The easiest on my page is the Farruca from Sabicas in Eminor. It's all on the e-string and has a clear, easy structure to it.

With exercises for strength you can watch TV while playing, but for techniques where you're practising to gain precision and tone it's better to have complete silence and concentration. You really have to listen, there should be no break in the tone of the tremolo string with each strike caused by uneven playing.

Practise really slow, but with the dynamics you would use playing fast, meaning with as flowing hand movements as possible. Grisha expressed this in a very engenious way: pretend you're playing really fast but your mind has the ability to percieve everything in slow motion. That works really well with this technique.

Hope I could help,
John
www.flamenco-guitar-mainz.de
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 20 2006 14:41:48
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