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Miguel de Maria

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

Micro-positions 

Some of you may know that I have been having some shoulder problems and trying to find more comfortable and ergonomic playing positions lately.

I decided to watch the masters and see how they do it. I did searches of Paco de Lucia, Tomatito, and Vicente Amigo in Google Images.

Well...of course how much can you really tell from photos? But a few things did seem to emerge.

First, especially for Paco there is a very clear demarcation of position between picado and other techniques. For picado he lifts his elbow high into the air, holds his forearm practically vertical, "floats" the guitar on the leg. The RH seems to touch the guitar ony on the strings and perhaps on the inner forearm. For other techniques it seems he tends to rest the arm on the bicep and hang the arm down.

It seems they like to play on low chairs, which cause their crossed leg to rise higher and give a better base for the guitar.

I also noticed that Tomatito and Vicente seem to rest their RH bicep on the guitar a lot.

I have had so many different positions, one of them indeed rests the bicep like that. The only problem seems to be the effort to keep the forearm on the strings. If you were to truly relax, it would just hang straight down. It's hard to play picado in this position because the wrist gets progressively more cramped the higher you get (in terms of elevation, that is the higher toward teh ceiling).

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Arizona Wedding Music Guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 15 2006 21:38:39
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 15 2006 22:45:15
 
Ramin

 

Posts: 103
Joined: Mar. 15 2005
From: Toronto, Canada

RE: Micro-positions (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Miguel,

I think I've mentioned this before, but it is worth mentioning again. Try the new guitar supports, one of which is called Gitano and the other is a new adjustable height one from Aria. You can find both on the "Guitar Salon International" website. Last time I mentioned this, someone suggested that it kills the aire, which was total nonsense! Almost anyone who has tried my Gitano support likes it as it holds the guitar in a very comfortable position once you adjust the position of the suction cups to your liking! Strangely enough for those who think that guitar supports kill the aire, I was at Paco Pena's concert in Toronto (Feb 06), and he was using a Gitano support as well.

Ramin

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 16 2006 14:25:59
 
Francisco

Posts: 879
Joined: Jun. 13 2005
From: SW USA

RE: Micro-positions (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Interesting you mention the Gitano support as I was looking into it myself recently. I saw another version of it over on Miguelito's blog. He uploaded a picture he took of Marija Temo, and it looks like her support is actually connected to her guitar. Check it out here. It's about 1/3 of the way down the page, and Marija is wearing a red shirt/black skirt.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 16 2006 18:05:49
 
nickeyg

 

Posts: 56
Joined: Jun. 16 2005
 

RE: Micro-positions (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Miguel-The gitano thing might work for you but I think its something else. I used to have alot of pains in my back and shoulder. For that reason I experimented alot with different positions. Lifting the right arm etc.. Turns out that the chair I was using all the time which would probably seem fine to anyone who sat in it for shorter periods of time, was really hurting my body. I switched to a chair where the cross braces are lower and havent had a problem since. Also remember that a non ergonomic computer keyboard and mouse position can definitely contribute to pains which then may be amplifed when playing guitar. In terms of your other comments, I often tried to imitate the vids for hand position, but it didn't seem to work out. So eventually my focus became on being the most efficient with my right hand as possible. What is easiest and what sounds like the records. Once I did this and got better each thing(still have a long way to go), Picado, arpeggio, alzapua, pulgar, turrns out that it looks like what they do. Ricardo, who might remember me from Gerardo's course a couple of years ago, really helped me with his various comments on picado on this Foro which I thought about all the time. Now when I look in the mirror it looks correct but the feeling is totally different that before than when I was just trying to imitate the vids. I think you're doing the right thing in experimenting alot. If you watch the vids they all have subtle variations on hand positions for each technique. Arpeggio is more the claw position with wrist straight or slightly curved, Pulgar is more crane like with wrist raised and the weight of wrist downward. The old vids of Paco you see the movement better and the newer ones he is so subtle you almost can't see any switching. The weird reality is that many of us will probably be using a computer for thirty, forty or fifty years more and hopefully playing guitar that long too and so I think its really important to try and figure out and correct problems now so that they don't haunt us later.
Nick
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 17 2006 2:16:29
 
duende121

Posts: 86
Joined: Aug. 24 2005
 

RE: Micro-positions (in reply to Ramin

Hi Ramin
I've got this gitano support and the one from aria too and another one from germany -the name is effel-I think. Well, when praticing at home, I used it but when playing outside I think it is not confortable when you play for dance. I don't know exactly why, maybe because I need to move more...maybe it s just the habit to move. Gitano support obliged you to stay in the same (good) position but somewhere I miss the physical contact with the guitar...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 18 2006 22:13:36
 
ahhlid

 

Posts: 9
Joined: Aug. 12 2005
 

RE: Micro-positions (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Vicente Amigo often seems to rest his bicep on the top of the guitar when playing arpeggios. I find this impossible to do. I play picado in much the same way as he does (somewhat slower!) with my right upper arm lifted high and I also play argeggios in a similar position - at least my bicep is nowhere near resting on the top of the guitar. I like to keep a flat wrist for both picado and arpeggios.

Does any one else have trouble playing arpeggios with the bicep resting on the top. What do top players do - do any play with the right bicep held high?

Angus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 18 2006 23:49:50
 
Miguel de Maria

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

RE: Micro-positions (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Guys, thank you for the advice and encouragement.

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Connect with me on Facebook, all the cool kids are doing it.
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Arizona Wedding Music Guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 19 2006 3:22:42
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