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String height at the bridge too high?   You are logged in as Guest
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devilhand

 

Posts: 1244
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

String height at the bridge too high? 

I have an old made in Japan classical guitar from the 70's. Playability is awesome from my point of view. Action height on both low and high E is exactly 3mm at the 12th fret. So far so good.
But 12mm at the bridge which doesn't bother me at all. However, I read somewhere on the foro, more than 9,5mm at the bridge is a no-go because one can't execute i golpe properly. I havent started practicing i golpe yet. We're talking about 2 or 3 mm difference here. Does it really matter for i golpe? Any thoughts?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2020 20:54:38
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13676
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to devilhand

9.5 mm ... ouch.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2020 3:58:59
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1244
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RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

9.5 mm ... ouch.

Poor guitar must have been traumatized. How high is the action at the bridge?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2020 16:15:08
 
oc chuck

 

Posts: 32
Joined: May 22 2013
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to devilhand

I'm just an intermediate player and no expert.

I've read that the lower string height at the bridge
helps produce a sharper or snappier
tone which is preferred for flamenco. The higher
height for classical guitars helps with a fuller, rounder
tone.

I don't think it will make much difference with golpe.
IMHO.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2020 20:05:39
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3416
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to oc chuck

quote:

I don't think it will make much difference with golpe.
IMHO.
doesn't make so much difference to golpes with a or a and m below the treble strings, but the problem referred to is capirote - golpe with the back of the index or middle above the bass strings followed immediately by a strum across the strings bass to treble (doesn't usually hit all of them) with the same finger.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2020 21:08:24
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1244
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

but the problem referred to is capirote - golpe with the back of the index or middle above the bass strings followed immediately by a strum across the strings bass to treble (doesn't usually hit all of them) with the same finger.

Capirote? Never heard of it. I thought knocking with i or a finger nail on the area below the trebles is golpe and theres no other way. Honestly I havent seen anyone doing golpe above the bass strings. Thanks for the clarification. Now it makes sense.

quote:

I don't think it will make much difference with golpe.

I thought the same.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2020 22:13:10
 
Piwin

Posts: 3458
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to devilhand

Ending of the very first rasgueo, then at the very end (1:37) you have a whole series of them (7):


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2020 22:24:24
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1244
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to Piwin

Thanks for the video. Gotta love that smile after picado run. If I were this good, I'd be smiling all the time.
Do you think higher action at the bridge makes this kind of golpe difficult to execute? It looks like he's also using his thumb.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 26 2020 22:56:27
 
Piwin

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RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to devilhand

Well, you have to hit the soundboard with the top of your nail and then strum over the strings in the same downward stroke. The higher the action, the more you end up "shredding" the skin above your nail against the strings. As you can see in the video, capirote usually involves flicking the index from behind the thumb plus wrist and arm movement, so your index finger is really digging in there. I don't know if it's more difficult with high action, but it's needlessly painful.

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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. 27 2020 1:45:05
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3416
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to devilhand

quote:

Honestly I havent seen anyone doing golpe above the bass strings.
Paco de Lucia, Vicente Amigo, and everyone else from 80's on....

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2020 8:30:00
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13676
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to devilhand

quote:

ORIGINAL: devilhand

quote:

9.5 mm ... ouch.

Poor guitar must have been traumatized. How high is the action at the bridge?


Thought a picture speaks 1000 words but I was wrong.

It is also 9.5 mm, maybe a little more. Not quite 10mm.

No, action at bridge does not affect tone...raising it increases volume slightly. Because the action height increases over fingerboard is the reason for this (attempted arguments that it’s about break angle over bridge don’t hold water for me based on my own experiments) as strings have more room to vibrate and increase amplitude rather than slap against frets. So the ideal set up design is low bridge but high ENOUGH action over fingerboard (achieved by neck angle mainly).

Playing capirote golpes often will be problematic no matter how high the bridge set up. What the result will be is the higher or lower developed callous on the preferred finger. (Some use i others use m finger). I learned this technique on my high action classical so maintain a very long callous you can see in photo on the pinky side of the i finger, a good inch above the nail bed.

Doing basic compas of various forms require doing golpes alone, opposite pulger, opposite the i down stroke and also the pulgar UP stroke with back of thumbnail. The first two are not much affected by the height of the bridge, but the last two ABSOLUTELY are. The lower the bridge the more comfortable those techniques are because to play fast and loud requires striking the string and soundboard simultaneously and fairly aggressively. The higher the bridge is, the more the soft skin around the nail bed gets exposed to violent string attacks. The spread between index and ring to do those golpes on accented chords increases, making it harder to make the dynamics strongly contrast, ie, it feels much weaker THAN if the strings were very close to the soundboard. If spreading between index and ring is not wide then one can really punch those accents hard. The up stroke with pulger required for many basic compas patterns such as rumba and abanico things, again, exposes the skin to that first string coming up if you want to hit the soundboard with the back of the nail IF the strings are high.

Another thing is up stroke with index, or other fingers you might use for upstroke. Some rumba guys develop callouses on the underside of the fingers from up strokes, again high strings make that callous longer. We mainly use index up and will again feel discomfort there from high strings.

The blood from the photo was caused by playing very loud the basic strumming techniques on this guitar that has a high bridge for several hours at a Juerga. This never happened to me before on my low bridge guitars after hundreds of loud juergas. I didn’t feel it at first when it happened an kept playing. But the main point is that when I test a guitar’s comfort and feel, the first thing I do check compas stuff. Invariably the low bridge guitars are more fun to play, even if string height over the fingerboard is high, for this reason. 9mm is high already. Ideally we need 8 mm or lower. Lower than 7mm we start hitting soundboard with rest stroke picados. 7-8.5mm is the Goldilocks zone.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2020 15:35:40
 
ernandez R

Posts: 580
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to Ricardo

Ricardo,
Twenty years of flamenco forum threads and never a clear answer from a player that I could find until now.

Saving this to print out and tack to my shop wall.

My #7 is 7.5mm E and 7mm e with some sting pop if you hit her hard. Less goldilocks though and more growly momma bear ;)

HR

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I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2020 21:08:49
 
kitarist

Posts: 1568
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to ernandez R

quote:

Twenty years of flamenco forum threads and never a clear answer from a player that I could find until now.


Really?





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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2020 22:41:42
 
ernandez R

Posts: 580
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to kitarist

K,

I've had the physical dimension at the tip of my tongue for years ;)

The sonic luthery implications are well know and easy enough to understand.

Not being much of a player, classical almost thirty years ago, it is the flamenco players point of view that I never found so clearly stated.

HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2020 23:11:57
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1244
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Invariably the low bridge guitars are more fun to play, even if string height over the fingerboard is high, for this reason. 9mm is high already. Ideally we need 8 mm or lower. Lower than 7mm we start hitting soundboard with rest stroke picados. 7-8.5mm is the Goldilocks zone.

Never thought that the string height at the bridge can play so important role for the right hand. Everyone pays attention to a low string height over the fretboard because it makes guitar easy and more fun to play. It just goes to show flamenco is unique.
Thanks a bunch for the detailed explanation. Ole!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2020 23:21:22
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1244
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to kitarist

quote:

ORIGINAL: kitarist

quote:

Twenty years of flamenco forum threads and never a clear answer from a player that I could find until now.


Really?





It's not only about mm. The whole post from Mr. Marlow reveals so much.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2020 23:28:45
 
kitarist

Posts: 1568
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to devilhand

quote:

It's not only about mm.


Man, you are doing it again like when I posted the standing pushups pic. Are you missing the smilies or what. Lighten up, dude.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 27 2020 23:57:32
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 3002
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to devilhand

I learned guitar making from a retired software engineer turned luthier who takes great care of his health and certainly is not a smoker. One day I opened a drawer in his shop I had not opened before and discovered a pack of Marlboros. My first thought was "wait, what the hell?", then "ohhh, I get it"

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2020 1:46:22
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1244
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

I learned guitar making from a retired software engineer turned luthier who takes great care of his health and certainly is not a smoker. One day I opened a drawer in his shop I had not opened before and discovered a pack of Marlboros. My first thought was "wait, what the hell?", then "ohhh, I get it"

I can understand him. I'm also not a smoker. Just after knowing that cigarettes have diameters of about 8mm makes me want to hold a cigarette with my hand. You'd have probably been disappionted if you had found a few cuban made cigars like double corona, giant corona, or torpedo which are more thicker than normal cigarettes. At least 12mm I would say. I'm not joking. Double and giant corona shapes really exist

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2020 10:47:54
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13676
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to ernandez R

quote:


My #7 is 7.5mm E and 7mm e with some sting pop if you hit her hard. Less goldilocks though and more growly momma bear ;)


Sounds perfect. Just don’t glue any peteneras scores inside! When this pandemic started my very first thought was “oh jeeezus, somebody somewhere is practicing peteneras!”. Hordes of locusts in Africa I just heard about means they are still practicing in quarantine!

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www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 28 2020 16:16:52
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1244
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to Ricardo

I wonder if one can skip this Capirote technique? How often is used or is this a must have technique?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 31 2020 10:46:39
 
Piwin

Posts: 3458
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to devilhand

It's used all the time.

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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. 31 2020 11:01:50
 
tf10music

 

Posts: 107
Joined: Jan. 3 2017
 

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

When this pandemic started my very first thought was “oh jeeezus, somebody somewhere is practicing peteneras!”. Hordes of locusts in Africa I just heard about means they are still practicing in quarantine!


Not gonna lie, I've been working on peteneras for the past few weeks (including in quarantine). I even brought a bunch of peteneras letras back to Granada from the archive in Jerez...so perhaps this is all my doing
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 1 2020 20:48:22
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1711
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to devilhand

quote:

I wonder if one can skip this Capirote technique?


What? Skipping? You can skip dinner, brushing your teeth, your monthly shower, but skipping a flamenco technique.......today barefoot to bed my friend, and wash your mouth with soap.
Pfffff...... youth of nowadays.....

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 1 2020 21:17:16
 
ernandez R

Posts: 580
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: String height at the bridge too ... (in reply to tf10music

quote:

ORIGINAL: tf10music

quote:

When this pandemic started my very first thought was “oh jeeezus, somebody somewhere is practicing peteneras!”. Hordes of locusts in Africa I just heard about means they are still practicing in quarantine!


Not gonna lie, I've been working on peteneras for the past few weeks (including in quarantine). I even brought a bunch of peteneras letras back to Granada from the archive in Jerez...so perhaps this is all my doing


Found my Petenera via Rob MacKilleen's website from the Marin Flamico music book of 1902.

I'll start a new thread!

Just for kicks and to stay on target two photos of my two latest flamenco bridge/saddle from on end. Still sans shellac :/

HR





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_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 2 2020 3:37:17
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