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devilhand

 

Posts: 854
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

Finger stretch 

For those who have been playing flamenco or classical guitar for a long time how far you can stretch your fingers horizontally on the fretboard? Let's say starting from 3 different frets. From the 1st, 3rd and 5th fret.
It's about stretching your fingers and being able to play notes or chords with all 4 fingers or some of them pressed down properly. I think only stretching like crazy and not being able to produce a clear tone is something different and useless.

I don't want to stretch more than needed. Just far enough to finger most of the chords used for flamenco.
Thanks!!!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 10 2020 12:57:04
 
Piwin

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand

I wish I could help, but my hands are huge. I have the biggest hands. Nobody has bigger hands than me.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 10 2020 13:19:47
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to Piwin

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piwin

I wish I could help, but my hands are huge. I have the biggest hands. Nobody has bigger hands than me.

In statistics you'll be an outlier leading to biased results. More robust method will help.
So I edited something.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 10 2020 13:26:48
 
Piwin

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand

I was just making a stupid joke. My hands are actually on the small side (and so is my )

More seriously, I think if you can do a full barré on 1st fret and reach 5th fret with your pinky, and a full barré on 3rd fret and reach 7th fret with your pinkie, then you're good to go for the vast majority of things that'll come up in flamenco. I don't think there's that much need for more extensive stretches with a huge amount of frets in between.

There are other things though that come up often and aren't easy on the hands. For instance certain sections played above, say, 10th fret can be particularly challenging, especially when there are things like partial barrés involved. Or playing those alzapua bits where you have i on 4th fret but x and a on 3rd fret, those can be rather uncomfortable when you're starting out, though honestly that one ends feeling natural fairly quickly.

The one I really struggle with is when m is on a higher string and a on a lower string. Fortunately it doesn't really come up in flamenco. But, for instance, in Cacho Tirao's version of Pajaro Campana, there's a part where m is on 2nd string 10th fret, and a is on 6th string 12th fret. I can't make that. I can reach the 12th fret with a but I just can't clear the strings with enough of an arc to not mute all the other strings. It's not a "horizontal stretch" in the sense that it's just 2 frets apart, but goddamn it's hard ^^

Anyway, that's just me.

edit: as a sidenote, the Javier Conde course on onlineflamenco.net is particularly good for left-hand work. I've had my misgivings about them because of their radical change in pricing last year and what I felt to be a lack of assurances for customers (having a look just now it seems that the course is now down to 200 euros. I guess there's something interesting to say about economics when the exact same product goes from 60 to 400 and then back to 200 in a single year...), but the content is very good (though I wouldn't recommend that course for beginners. It's really hard on the left hand).

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 10 2020 13:44:08
 
Mark2

Posts: 1588
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand

I saw a pic of Antonio Rey with his index on the first fret sixth string(low F) and his pinky on the first string eighth fret. He was playing not posing according to the photog. No capo.

I've been working on some bits of his music and there are some monstrous stretches and hand busting contortions.

Javier Conde's tech stuff is also absurdly difficult.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 10 2020 16:38:30
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to Piwin

Thnx Piwin I knew that was a joke. But I knew you're gonna post a reply in detail.
I'll try some of your examples. x is pinky?

quote:

I saw a pic of Antonio Rey with his index on the first fret sixth string(low F) and his pinky on the first string eighth fret. He was playing not posing according to the photog. No capo.

Wow! What he was doing was pressing down 2 notes 3 octaves apart. Piano player will pull it off with zero effort.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 10 2020 18:24:03
 
kitarist

Posts: 1178
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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand

quote:

pressing down 2 notes 3 octaves apart. Piano player will pull it off with zero effort.


On a piano?? With one hand?? Not even close. A pianist would rarely be able to make a span of 12th or more (octave plus a fifth or more).

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 10 2020 18:31:58
 
Piwin

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to kitarist

Maybe with one of those midi keyboards with the tiny keys.

@devil
yes x is pinky.
BTW, not to quibble, but 3 octaves above 6th string 1st fret would be 1st string 13th fret. (assuming standard tuning of course)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 10 2020 19:50:59
 
kitarist

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to Piwin

quote:

Maybe with one of those midi keyboards with the tiny keys.




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Konstantin
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 10 2020 21:04:55
 
Piwin

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to kitarist





I actually can do it on one of my keyboards. I have a small Yamaha 3-octave keyboard. There's a switch to shift the whole thing up or down an octave. So if I just play a note and keep it ringing, use my other hand to move the switch up 2 notches, and then play what is positionally the "octave" of the first note, I'm actually playing the same note 3 octaves apart with the same hand. Done.

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Attachment (1)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 10 2020 22:06:38
 
Andy Culpepper

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From: NY, USA

RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand



And I have trouble functionally going 3rd to 7th sometimes...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 10 2020 22:49:01
 
flyeogh

Posts: 729
Joined: Oct. 13 2004
 

RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand

Just a thought: Why?

Is there not enough music in this world, plus all the music yet to be composed, that can be played by mere mortals?

Or maybe I'm just jealous. I can only do 1st to 4th, and 3rd to 7th

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2020 6:27:48
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 854
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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to kitarist

quote:

ORIGINAL: kitarist

quote:

pressing down 2 notes 3 octaves apart. Piano player will pull it off with zero effort.


On a piano?? With one hand?? Not even close. A pianist would rarely make a span of 12th or more (octave plus a fifth or more).

No! With both hands. Otherwise it makes no sense. At this stage we have to admit piano is superior to guitar.

As for the pics, I think you and Piwin found each other just like the right and left shoe. Very nice!

quote:

BTW, not to quibble, but 3 octaves above 6th string 1st fret would be 1st string 13th fret. (assuming standard tuning of course)

Yes, you're right. But C note on the 1st string 8th fret would be in the same octave range as F on the 1st string 12th fret. Prove me wrong!!!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2020 17:04:37
 
Piwin

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand

What's an "octave range"?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2020 17:12:43
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

ORIGINAL: Andy Culpepper



And I have trouble functionally going 3rd to 7th sometimes...

Thnks for the pic. I think we've got an optical illusion here. It looks like his pinky can reach C note on the 8th fret. But in reality it can't. If you take a closer look, the guitar neck and his hand are not parallel to each other.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2020 17:27:29
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 854
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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to Piwin

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piwin

What's an "octave range"?

I guess there's no term octave range. But if you look at the fretboard I posted in another thread circle of fifths and tritones, you'll know what I mean. Maybe octave is not the right term for this.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2020 17:36:57
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2923
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand

quote:

I think we've got an optical illusion here. It looks like his pinky can reach C note on the 8th fret. But in reality it can't. If you take a closer look, the guitar neck and his hand are not parallel to each other.


That's because the earth is really flat and...wait, what?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2020 22:22:53
 
Piwin

Posts: 3164
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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to Andy Culpepper



I think I get what devil is saying but honestly I don't think it even matters. Because even if this was just a weird effect due to the angle of the shot or whatever, there's nothing impossible about getting that stretch if you have the hands and fingers for it. My hands aren't big and I can do one fret short of that (6th string 1st fret / 1st string 7th fret). So I'm not surprised people can do more. No freaking way could I use it in an actual piece though

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2020 22:55:12
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 854
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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to flyeogh

quote:

there's nothing impossible about getting that stretch if you have the hands and fingers for it. My hands aren't big and I can do one fret short of that (6th string 1st fret / 1st string 7th fret). So I'm not surprised people can do more.

Plot twist: The guitar in Antonio Rey picture above is a 480mm scale guitar.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2020 18:35:40
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3306
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand

quote:

For those who have been playing flamenco or classical guitar for a long time how far you can stretch your fingers horizontally on the fretboard? Let's say starting from 3 different frets. From the 1st, 3rd and 5th fret.
It's about stretching your fingers and being able to play notes or chords with all 4 fingers or some of them pressed down properly. I think only stretching like crazy and not being able to produce a clear tone is something different and useless.

I don't want to stretch more than needed. Just far enough to finger most of the chords used for flamenco.
Thanks!!!


what is it that you are trying to learn to play that you need to stretch for?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2020 16:25:35
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 854
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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

what is it that you are trying to learn to play that you need to stretch for?

In general, chords used for flamenco. In particular, stretchy chords.


quote:

More seriously, I think if you can do a full barré on 1st fret and reach 5th fret with your pinky, and a full barré on 3rd fret and reach 7th fret with your pinkie, then you're good to go for the vast majority of things that'll come up in flamenco. I don't think there's that much need for more extensive stretches with a huge amount of frets in between.

I can do a full barre on 1st fret and my pinky can reach the 5th fret on a 655mm scale guitar. The problem is I feel discomfort and my index finger hurts a little when I press down on the string for example when I try to make (x115111) or (1111511) etc. chords sound clean.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2020 13:16:53
 
Piwin

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand

Maybe look into how you're doing your barré and whether you can lighten the load a bit. For instance, with 1x3215, you don't actually need to press down the barré on all of the strings, and you can save yourself some tension in the index finger by only pressing down on those strings that need to ring out on 1st fret.

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"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2020 13:36:24
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to Piwin

If it doesn't work after relaxing my index finger ... maybe a fat index finger as a solution?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2020 13:58:48
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand

quote:

ORIGINAL: devilhand

If it doesn't work after relaxing my index finger ... maybe a fat index finger as a solution?


Practice higher positions that are easier then work your way down gradually. Eventually your body will adapt to using only the required pressure. Also practice capo at 1st fret for a while, this lowers the action a bit. After you get better with barring at second fret. Then try it all again with no capo.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2020 16:33:18
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Practice higher positions that are easier then work your way down gradually. Eventually your body will adapt to using only the required pressure. Also practice capo at 1st fret for a while, this lowers the action a bit. After you get better with barring at second fret. Then try it all again with no capo.

Thanks for the hint! It can work for any technique to avoid injury I guess.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2020 18:09:59
 
Grisha

 

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand

No optical illusion here. This is also my top stretch, F to C on my 655 scale guitar. Over many years of doing exercises my stretches got a bit more comfortable, if not wider.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 15 2020 0:33:54
 
Piwin

Posts: 3164
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Finger stretch (in reply to Grisha

I hear that they can do hand transplants these days, if ever you want to trade with me Grisha. It's not a bad deal. OK, my hands can just barely do F to B, so you'd lose a fret. But how often do you really need that extra fret anyway? Plus, to make up for it, I'll throw in two 6-packs of toilet paper. Think about it man. That's 12 rolls of beautiful, soft, triple-layered toilet paper crafted by the finest papersmiths in Spain. A sound investment in these troubled times.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 15 2020 3:00:52
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 854
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Finger stretch (in reply to Grisha

quote:

ORIGINAL: Grisha

No optical illusion here. This is also my top stretch, F to C on my 655 scale guitar. Over many years of doing exercises my stretches got a bit more comfortable, if not wider.

Maestro Grisha Nice to see you here. Like Piwin I can do only F to B. I feel F-C would be impossible for me even after regular stretches over many years.
How about seperating/stretching middle and ring finger? For example placing middle and ring finger on the fretboard in such a way that there's always one fret between them. Is it worth doing a regular exercise for this?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 15 2020 14:23:16
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12682
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Finger stretch (in reply to Grisha

quote:

ORIGINAL: Grisha

No optical illusion here. This is also my top stretch, F to C on my 655 scale guitar. Over many years of doing exercises my stretches got a bit more comfortable, if not wider.


What about your d.......... shoe size?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 15 2020 15:39:57
 
Grisha

 

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RE: Finger stretch (in reply to devilhand

I like playing trills two frets apart with different finger pairs, including middle and ring.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 16 2020 0:42:02
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