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Dave Armento

 

Posts: 5
Joined: Mar. 4 2020
 

Thumbnail getting caught... 

I am learning how to do rasquedo, and I am having a continued problem that is holding me back. When I do the rasguedo involving only the middle finger and the thumb, my thumbnail gets hooked on a the high E string every so often, and this shuts down the whole rasguedo. I have tried moving my right hand around and changing the angle, but that darn thumbnail keeps getting caught about every 5 - 10 strokes. Does anyone have advice on how to cure this? Sorry for such a rookie question..... thanks for any guidance....
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2020 15:02:17
 
edguerin

Posts: 1537
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to Dave Armento

Not quite sure what you mean by "ragueado involving only the middle finger and the thumb". p up, i down, p up (tresillos)?
Anyhow it sounds as if the left side of your thumb nail may need filing down.

Good luck

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Ed

El aficionado solitario
Alemania
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2020 15:39:50
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3111
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: UK

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to Dave Armento

quote:

When I do the rasguedo involving only the middle finger and the thumb, my thumbnail gets hooked on a the high E string every so often


hmmmm....

sounds like you are doing either p up, m down - or p up, m down, p down (Marote abanico).

i am thinking there are several things that could cause this, separately or in combination: your strings are too high off the the soundboard ie. the action of your guitar is too high; your thumbnail is too long; or your hand is too low in relation to the strings ie. your upstroke is coming up under the strings.

lower your action, trim your nail, take a slo mo vid of yourself playing and try to analyse it yourself, or ask your teacher about the correct way to execute the technique.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2020 16:19:31
 
Dave Armento

 

Posts: 5
Joined: Mar. 4 2020
 

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to mark indigo

Thanks for the good advice. The technique I am trying to perfect is middle finger down, then thumb down, then thumb up. I am getting caught in the second movement, when the thumb goes down. I will try all of these suggestions and let you know.
By the way, the place where I found the original instruction for this technique is Jeronimo de Carmen. he has a LOT of posts on Youtube with instruction also. They are all in Spanish, but you can use closed caption option on Youtube to get a rough translation to English. He is worth subscribing to on YouTube. here is the link to the video...


Thanks for your help....
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2020 17:13:16
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3111
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: UK

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to Dave Armento

quote:

The technique I am trying to perfect is middle finger down, then thumb down, then thumb up. I am getting caught in the second movement, when the thumb goes down.


it's usually done starting with p up as a triplet, or at least p up on the beat, sometimes starting with a different stroke off the beat. You can also do it as 4 strokes per beat so the 3 mechanism crosses over the beats, but if you beginning just start with triplets.

I don't understand how you are catching your thumb nail on the top E string with a downstroke, would need to see what you are doing. Maybe you are exaggerating the movements at a slow speed?

You should be rotating your wrist like the guy in the vid, at about 1:35-140. When he is doing it at speed you can see his wrist is rotating (pronation and supination) and his forearm is not really moving at the elbow, so the forearm is not sweeping down over the strings (i'm just guessing what the cause of the problem might be here...).

Sometimes it is better to watch the "at speed" version and slow it down than to watch the slow version. It is really difficult to actually execute some of the techniques in the same way slow as fast, so the slow explanation will sometimes be DIFFERENT to the actual technique at speed.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2020 19:35:17
 
James Ashley Mayer

 

Posts: 99
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Portland, Oregon

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to Dave Armento

I understand your problem. I had the same issue. When it's working, my marote is strong and loud. However, it's always been plagued by inconsistency because of the thumbnail hooking on the downstroke. Eventually, I gave up and now use the following two rasgueuos.

- THUMP up, RING down, INDEX down
- THUMP up, PINKY down, INDEX down

These are far easier for me to control, play at slower speeds and sounds clean and "light" when I need them to. However, I can not play either of these as aggressively, fast or loud as the marote. I do believe the change has made me a better player though.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2020 21:36:02
 
James Ashley Mayer

 

Posts: 99
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Portland, Oregon

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to Dave Armento

As well, one thing that naturally happens when I play the marote is that my thumb turns so the downstroke is executed with the top of my thumbnail pointed back at my elbow instead of toward the ceiling as with a typical thumb downstroke.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2020 21:56:21
 
kitarist

Posts: 1004
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to Dave Armento

quote:

middle finger down, then thumb down, then thumb up. I am getting caught in the second movement, when the thumb goes down.


I suspect that you are trying to play through all six strings with each stroke, including with the thumb downstroke. IF this is the case - it is not necessary nor desired. As soon as you let go of the concept of trying to go through all six strings with the strokes instead of around 3-4 strings (usually more on the bass side for downstrokes and more on the treble side in upstrokes in regular linear rasgueados but with this one likely always hitting about the same 3-4 strings as you do forearm rotations to produce the strokes) you should find that your issue is gone.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 13 2020 23:01:23
 
himanshu.g

 

Posts: 34
Joined: Jun. 9 2016
 

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to kitarist

I have same problem and I don't try to play all strings on any of the 3 strokes. For me, only difference I can think of is that, my thumb isn't flexible and does not go backwards at all while for others it seems to be somewhat flexible.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2020 4:58:13
 
Brendan

Posts: 207
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to Dave Armento

It’s possible your forearm is slightly too close to your guitar. Try pushing your arm maybe half an inch away and see what happens.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2020 8:43:47
 
Ricardo

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Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to Dave Armento

Impossible to correct without seeing what your are doing exactly. Only advice without seeing is try two strokes down up only with thumb.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2020 16:29:46
 
kitarist

Posts: 1004
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to himanshu.g

quote:

I have same problem and I don't try to play all strings on any of the 3 strokes.


Isn't this a bit of a contradiction? How do you have the same problem - which for the OP is that his thumbnail gets stuck on the high E string on a downstroke - if you don't even touch that string? Or if you mean you get stuck somewhere, it is probably the case that you dig in too much i.e your thumb is too close to the strings as Brendan suggests above, and also possibly staying too rigid, to do the forearm rotation from that distance. So you can try the distance thing , and separately making sure your fingers are not too rigid when doing the marote.

EDIT: Marote triplet rasgueado advice thread from 2004 here: http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=6189

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2020 18:31:27
 
kitarist

Posts: 1004
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

Sometimes it is better to watch the "at speed" version and slow it down than to watch the slow version. It is really difficult to actually execute some of the techniques in the same way slow as fast, so the slow explanation will sometimes be DIFFERENT to the actual technique at speed.


I think this is really important. The way the marote rasgueados are almost always shown slowly (in real time) is NOT actually how they are executed at speed in real time, meaning the hand and fingers are doing different things, you see the fingers moving relative to one another. So if you try to speed up the hand movements of the slowly-executed marote, you'd get nowhere. This should really be something the teachers explain or note on their videos.

At speed, the fingers are sort of at the same distance (oversimplyifying here) relative to one another, just so that with the forearm rotation the three strokes are spaced out equally in time at tempo. I think that distance changes as the tempo changes, in order to keep the strokes equally spaced in time.

But for the slow version, increasing the distance between thumb position and m finger is not enough to achieve evenness in time; you still would get a lopsided marote no matter how much you spread thumb and m finger away from one another. So teachers tend to show slow marote by changing the m finger strike to be from the finger itself (like a linear rasgueado) without forearm rotation, and only do the forearm rotation for the thumb strokes; all of it timed so the three strokes are even in time.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2020 18:48:04
 
himanshu.g

 

Posts: 34
Joined: Jun. 9 2016
 

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to kitarist

quote:

Or if you mean you get stuck somewhere

Thanks. Yes, from same problem, I meant my thumb catches some string (usually 4th, D string) .

Problem is definitely rigidity, If I go slower and consciously loosen the thumb at big thumb joint then that helps however as I try to speed up, after a couple of good rolls thumb gets stuck.

I try to experiment with variations...
P up, ma down, P down
P up, m down, P down
P up, a down, P down (sometimes this variation helps a little bit but not very consistently)

shortening the thumb nail to almost same level as skin at tip also helps a bit but then that ruins Pulgar and Alzapua .

Eventually I stopped paying attention to Marote(hopefully it will get better by itself) and started focusing more on improving the Abanico (a down, i down, p up) which produces softer sound but at least doesn't have mentioned problem.

I also have seen Ricardo mentioning on foro at times that Marote is overrated and Abanico is actually more frequently used. Beginners (including myself) tend to get obsessed with Marote but other techniques are more important and should be given more time by beginners.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 14 2020 23:02:23
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 662
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to himanshu.g

So it's triplets right? All these differrent versions of rasgueados make me crazy. I guess it differs from person to person.

@Dave Armento why not try other videos? Paco Pena demonstrated his own way of strumming different rasgueados. For example, at 2:46 he shows the one you mentioned

M down P down P up
(I like this version because I don't want to overuse my index finger)



Another triplet I want to master is this one by Jorge Berges

A down I down P up



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 15 2020 14:50:42
 
Cervantes

 

Posts: 440
Joined: Jun. 14 2014
From: Encinitas, CA USA

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to Dave Armento

Could be your fingers are too much at a right angle to the strings.
This would be caused by positioning your wrist away from the strings.
Try with a straighter wrist so yours finger are at less of an angle to the strings.
Also you could experiment with length and shape of thumb nail, shorter might be better.

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very early on. It grips you in a way that you can't get away - Paco Pena
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 15 2020 22:39:54
 
Dave Armento

 

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Joined: Mar. 4 2020
 

RE: Thumbnail getting caught... (in reply to Dave Armento

Thanks to EVERYONE who responded to my post!!!! Rarely does any forum have such encouraging, constructive responses to a rookie post..... I am very grateful. Also, I am glad that I am not the only person who ever had this problem. Thanks again everyone!!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 16 2020 15:43:23
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