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Auda

 

Posts: 164
Joined: Sep. 28 2019
 

Purposeful buzz 

I am starting to work on a Zambra by Pepe Martinez and he seems to have a purposeful buzz on some notes throughout the piece. Is there a technique to it? I am sure it is not by accident. It seems he also has a right hand technique that at times appears "soft" as opposed to other times to very good effect. Does anybody else hear that too? I am away from my computer for a few hours so will not be able to respond for a while should anybody chime in.

Cheers

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 28 2020 17:34:58
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2902
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Auda

Low flamenco action + 6th string tuned down to D (Rondeña tuning) = buzz
Also, dynamics = good

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 28 2020 22:35:13
 
Auda

 

Posts: 164
Joined: Sep. 28 2019
 

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Andy Culpepper

The piece calls for a capo on the second fret so the action I would think it would be a bit higher. As I said I believe it is purposeful.

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 28 2020 22:50:21
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2902
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Auda

quote:

The piece calls for a capo on the second fret so the action I would think it would be a bit higher.


How do you figure?

It could well be purposeful, or just an acceptable byproduct of the typical flamenco sound and action. A little controlled buzz is a feature not a bug IMO.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 28 2020 23:22:44
 
Auda

 

Posts: 164
Joined: Sep. 28 2019
 

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Andy Culpepper

I believe action is typically higher progressively on the fret board.

I do not think it is a "bug" and am wondering if there is a specific methodology to achieve the sound.

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 28 2020 23:36:07
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2902
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Auda

Just rest strokes with the thumb would be my guess. It's possible that the string is vibrating against the back of his thumb nail as he does the rest strokes at times.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 28 2020 23:57:15
 
Auda

 

Posts: 164
Joined: Sep. 28 2019
 

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

It's possible that the string is vibrating against the back of his thumb nail as he does the rest strokes at times


Having trouble conceptualising that.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 29 2020 0:15:16
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2902
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Auda

quote:

Having trouble conceptualising that.


It happens to me occasionally, when I'll do a stronger rest stroke and when my thumb comes to rest on the next string down, the string is still vibrating and it hits the back of my thumb nail. It kinda has to be at a funky angle though. Maybe it's just me

Edit: If you're learning the piece, it might be hard to emulate his sound exactly with the setup on your guitar. Just my two cents but I wouldn't focus too much on replicating every buzz. There could be some subtle technique he is doing there to produce more buzz, like plucking the string perpendicular to the face of the guitar so it slaps toward the fretboard rather than up and down, but it doesn't really sound like it to me.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 29 2020 0:19:04
 
Auda

 

Posts: 164
Joined: Sep. 28 2019
 

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

It happens to me occasionally, when I'll do a stronger rest stroke and when my thumb comes to rest on the next string down, the string is still vibrating and it hits the back of my thumb nail. It kinda has to be at a funky angle though. Maybe it's just me

Edit: If you're learning the piece, it might be hard to emulate his sound exactly with the setup on your guitar. Just my two cents but I wouldn't focus too much on replicating every buzz. There could be some subtle technique he is doing there to produce more buzz, like plucking the string perpendicular to the face of the guitar so it slaps toward the fretboard rather than up and down, but it doesn't really sound like it to me.


Yeah, it would be very difficult to replicate. To me it sounds like he has incredible hand control. I was just wondering if there was a technique of which I am not aware.

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 29 2020 0:45:48
 
Auda

 

Posts: 164
Joined: Sep. 28 2019
 

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

It happens to me occasionally, when I'll do a stronger rest stroke and when my thumb comes to rest on the next string down, the string is still vibrating and it hits the back of my thumb nail. It kinda has to be at a funky angle though. Maybe it's just me

Edit: If you're learning the piece, it might be hard to emulate his sound exactly with the setup on your guitar. Just my two cents but I wouldn't focus too much on replicating every buzz. There could be some subtle technique he is doing there to produce more buzz, like plucking the string perpendicular to the face of the guitar so it slaps toward the fretboard rather than up and down, but it doesn't really sound like it to me.


Yeah, it would appear to be very difficult to replicate. To me it sounds like he has incredible hand control overall. I was just wondering if there was a technique of which I am not aware.

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 29 2020 0:49:15
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12093
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Auda

1. The buzz is simply fret rattle of the open string caused by low action and the detuned string which has less tension.

2. Capo lowers the action across the board starting from the first fret. It’s why luthiers take action measures at 12th fret with first fret fret held down. The nut adds .5 mm or so and gives a false action height. The .5 only affects your index finger in other words when playing fast stuff. Using capo is like having an extra or replacement for your index finger.

3. Pepe was the guitarist who John McLaughlin used to see as a teenager in England. I used to think he was a sabicas clone until I saw this documentary. It seems they chose him because he was a direct connection to Ramon Montoya. His technique is shown clearly, a model much closer to montoya than sabicas imo. The list of singers he rattles off is so impressive, it’s like the scene in Rambo when trautman lists the green beret elite unit. 😂. Very impressive artist:



4. It remains a question mark in my head about who was borrowing from whom regarding Pepe and sabicas note for note renditions of certain falsetas. I’ve been leaning towards sabicas taking from Pepe in all honesty. At 10:57 he speaks of Carlos montoya “El nombre raro”, meaning a strange or unfamiliar name. My feeling is that famous guys like Carlos and Sabicas and their NY produced recordings where not much influence on the Flamenco scene in spain before the late 70s.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 30 2020 15:56:24
 
Auda

 

Posts: 164
Joined: Sep. 28 2019
 

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Ricardo

From my POV.

1 - The guitar is tuned to open D so there is only 1 string. The buzz is apparent on other strings including fretted notes. The buzzing seems to augment the music so it appears to me by design. It is likely a player of his caliber would not have such a "buzzy" guitar or lack the ability to play clean notes. As I said previously I like the effect.

2 - Looking at my guitar (granted it is a guitar I bought for $20 at Good Will) the string clearance per position appears to increase as capo position increases. It could be the guitar as the action is a bit higher than I would want due to the string going further out of tune the higher I go. I also admit I have only played just a few guitars.

3 - Although I have not listened to Pepe all that much (mostly the piece I linked to) his style really jumps out to me as different from the more recent or known players I have listened to though my sample size is not ample. To my ear he seems more nuanced or dynamic (Thanks Andy) as other players seem more "attacking". It states in video that his playing is considered "lyrical" but I can't say as my conception of the term might be different. However I really enjoy his playing.

4 - Can't really comment due to my rudimentary knowledge but I have come across a similar assessment of your last sentence concerning Sabicas.

Cheers for the video link Ricardo. I really enjoyed it and the stoogie hanging out of his mouth. As an aside I observed his right thumb pointed straight down on occasion which seems odd.

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 31 2020 15:47:45
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2903
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Ricardo

I've always enjoyed Pepe Martinez's playing. It's nice to be able to watch him play in the Rito y Geografía clip. Both hands are so efficient, relaxed and precise.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 31 2020 21:58:10
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12093
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Auda

quote:

It is likely a player of his caliber would not have such a "buzzy" guitar or lack the ability to play clean notes. As I said previously I like the effect.


Watch the video again... the guitar is buzzing even more than the one in your recording. This is simply an issue of action, adjusted at the bone saddle, all guitars are basically the same. The neck angle set up will determine how high or low you need the saddle, low gets more buzz, high gets less buzz. In cases the neck gets bowed warped or bent it might reduce buzz up high notes but increase buzz on lower notes. “Relief” is a purposeful design to necks to reduce buzz up high that might happen to an otherwise perfect straight neck that bends back slightly under certain conditions, increasing buzz as you go up. Steel string guitars have a truss rod to be adjusted in these cases.

Pepe obviously prefers the sound and feel of very low action guitars, as is often the case in Flamenco.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 1 2020 17:14:27
 
Auda

 

Posts: 164
Joined: Sep. 28 2019
 

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Watch the video again... the guitar is buzzing even more than the one in your recording.


I gave it another go and did hear the buzz more. Another thing I noticed was that he appears to play quite a bit on or near the sound hole which could, in part, account for his, to my mind, different sound.

He also at times uses the joint nearest to the thumb tip of his right hand. To me it looks odd.

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 1 2020 18:25:22
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 601
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Auda

I've never paid that much attention to Pepe Martinez so far. But my impression is:
For flamencos, Pepe Martinez sounds like he's playing classical music.
For classical music lovers, he sounds flamenco.

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Say No to Fuera de Compás!!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2020 12:23:51
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2903
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to devilhand

Martinez said his gretest influence was Ramon Montoya. Montoya is seen to have had classical influences. In his day Montoya was among the classical and flamenco players who hung out at Manuel Ramirez´s guitar shop. Rafael Marin, author of the first flamenco guitar method book, was also a member of that group. Marin is seen as an influence bringing elements of classical music and classical technique into flamenco.

I wonder whether Sabicas sounds a bit classical to you? He was another who was strongly influenced by Montoya.

Yesterday I listened to some of Paco de Lucia's first album. I was struck by how much he was still under the influence of Niño Ricardo. I once read that Montoya would have been a great musician in any genre, but Niño Ricardo had to be a flamenco guitarist.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2020 17:11:28
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 601
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Yesterday I listened to some of Paco de Lucia's first album. I was struck by how much he was still under the influence of Niño Ricardo. I once read that Montoya would have been a great musician in any genre, but Niño Ricardo had to be a flamenco guitarist.

Thanks for the clarification about Nino Ricardo and Ramon Montoya. I didn't know who influenced who.

quote:

I wonder whether Sabicas sounds a bit classical to you?

I usually don't listen to solo flamenco guitar much. But from what I hear, Sabicas sounds a little bit more flamenco. Maybe because of his excessive use of machine gun picado which I like.

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Say No to Fuera de Compás!!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2020 16:54:59
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 601
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to devilhand

Do your guitar strings buzz against the frets when you play near or over the soundhole on your flamenco guitar?
For example if you press down the strings during rest strokes with your thumb. My strings buzz more when I put a capo on the first frets. Is it normal?

_____________________________

Say No to Fuera de Compás!!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2020 22:45:20
 
flyeogh

Posts: 729
Joined: Oct. 13 2004
 

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to devilhand

quote:

Do your guitar strings buzz against the frets when you play near or over the soundhole on your flamenco guitar?
For example if you press down the strings during rest strokes with your thumb. My strings buzz more when I put a capo on the first frets. Is it normal?


I find the angle I make contact with the string is the biggest factor (esp. with the thumb).

Maybe it is easier to play a more perpendicular stroke towards the soundboard when playing over the sound hole?

For sure I get more buzzing with a capo. Which is a pain as invariable I play with one

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nigel (el raton de Watford - now Puerto de Santa Maria, Cadiz)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2020 7:12:51
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3020
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: UK

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to devilhand

quote:

Do your guitar strings buzz against the frets when you play near or over the soundhole on your flamenco guitar?

I don't play near or over the soundhole

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2020 8:48:35
 
Stu

Posts: 1821
Joined: Jan. 30 2007
From: London (the South of it), England

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to devilhand

I replaced my fingerboard year or so ago. refret obvs and levelled and dressed.
Since lockdown I've had a chance to play a lot more. I noticed lots of buzzing and odd vibes here and there with certain chords and positions.

I was really concerned my technique had gone to ****. I was over compensating. pressing harder, contorting more to attempt to get rid of buzzing and vibes from what I thought was bad tech and hand finger positioning.

I finally decided to check my frets again. And it was a mess. I spent an hr or two levelling and dressing. buffing and that.
Now I feel like Antonio Rey! haha. I'm bloody awesome! I can play again without nasty buzzing.
Jokes aside its made a huge difference. My guitar is easy to play again. smooth.
I dont know how (from the intial level I did to now) it had changed so much!?

I don't know if that's something to consider for you devilhand?

I still have one dodgy fret and thats no.1 (only on open E area) think it didn't seat properly. I need to reseat it at some point. (should've done the other day)

That dissapears when I'm using capo anywhere past that obvs.

I don't know about your guitar. Age, history etc but maybe it's worth having a look with a fret rocker to see how your frets are?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2020 11:27:25
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 601
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Purposeful buzz (in reply to Stu

quote:

I don't know about your guitar. Age, history etc but maybe it's worth having a look with a fret rocker to see how your frets are?

I've never heard of a fret rocker before. Thanks for pointing this out. Learnt something new. My current guitar is an old Japanese classical guitar from the 70's. In a surprisingly good condition. Fretboard looks new. So do the frets. The neck looks straight. But as you mentioned a fret rocker can probably detect something. I'm gonna check it.
My first thought was maybe it's normal for guitars with a low action when one plays over the sound hole. My guitar has 3mm at the 12th fret.
Or maybe because of a low string tension. What do you think? I don't know what string with which tension. I haven't put new strings on it yet.

quote:

Maybe it is easier to play a more perpendicular stroke towards the soundboard when playing over the sound hole?

That would be a solution. Maybe I should practice more near the bridge. It does reduce the buzz.

_____________________________

Say No to Fuera de Compás!!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2020 17:28:37
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