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mark indigo

 

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Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? 

I've been thinking about stretch between fingers 2 and 3 of the fretting hand (left hand for right handers) lately. Stretch between fingers 1 and 2, and between fingers 3 and 4 is ubiquitous and no problem for me, but between fingers 2 and 3?

I can't think of anything I have actually played or tried to play with a stretch between these fingers.

But I have come across a few exercises to develop this stretch. Gerardo Nuñez showed one, and Pepe Justicia the same one

(Hold Major 7 chord on top 4 strings -

1st finger on 1st string 9th fret,
2nd finger on 2nd string 10th fret,
3rd finger on 3rd string 11th fret,
4th finger on 4th string 12th fret -

strum or arpeggiate chord,
then move 1st finger down one fret and repeat,
then 2nd finger down one fret and repeat,
then 3rd repeat,
then 4th)

Also a couple of exercises on Oscar Herrero Paso a Paso vid 3 - one a scalar type exercise and the other a chord exercise

(1st finger on 6th string, 10th fret,
2nd finger on 5th string, 12th fret,
3rd finger on 4th string, 14th fret,
4th finger on 3rd string, 16th fret,
move chord down one fret at a time)

I have no idea what these exercises are for if there's no need to develop a stretch between fingers 2 and 3, UNLESS it somehow helps to widen the stretch of the hand to better enable the 1st and 4th fingers to stretch out....

Also, a pro guitarist/teacher once told me that trying to develop stretch between [fingers 2 and 3*] was not really possible, and that it was bad for the hand to even try. But I have no evidence for or against this.

Does anyone have any thoughts or information on this?

*Edit: realised it should have read "trying to develop stretch between fingers 2 and 3 was not really possible, and that it was bad for the hand" and added missing part in bracket.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 28 2023 17:33:55
 
Ricardo

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to mark indigo

It could be useful for when chord shapes lock 3 and 4 together in a single fret and the fingers 1 and 2 need to stretch lower. For example:

-5-4-5-
-7———
-7———
-0———
————
————-

Of course those can be done as a slide with 1 instead of 2-1-2, however, it could be advantageous if you wanted to do a fast trill or something there instead. Also, octave tritones on strings 4–3-2-1, would require that spread unlike between strings 6-5-4-3. So while occurring rarely, there would be not reason to totally avoid the concept. I for one am not into exercises if they are not from a specific musical case, however, I notice that people that work on them often CREATE music out of them.

An example is your first exercise, if in the key of C# phrygian or A major, the D maj7 triad that starts, walks through voicing intervals that take you to C#. Dmaj7-D7 (as aug6 chord), D7#11-Dm7b5 (this reinterpreted in context as E# instead of F) then resolve to C# maj, where you could make it sound resolved and functional by moving C nat up to C# for a stable triad. OR, as the exercise works, use this as a device to modulate to key of C Phrygian, as your C#maj7 is setting it up re-interpreted as Dbmaj7. So it works both as a cadential device, or a modulation DOWN a half step, as needed.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 28 2023 20:35:57
 
machopicasso

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to mark indigo

Thanks for describing the Nuñez exercise. How much of a stretch between fingers 2 and 3 are you trying to achieve?

quote:

Also, a pro guitarist/teacher once told me that trying to develop stretch between was not really possible, and that it was bad for the hand to even try. But I have no evidence for or against this.


Wouldn't evidence against it be the fact that everyone who first learns to play guitar at some point has to stretch their fretting hand in ways that are uncomfortable? Of course, the possibilities are not endless, and different parts of a person's hand have different limitations. But I don't see what's wrong with (safely) using exercises like the one you described to extend one's fretting range. On the contrary, the fact that someone with superb technique, like Nuñez, uses it speaks in favor of the practice.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 29 2023 4:41:33
 
mark indigo

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to machopicasso

quote:

How much of a stretch between fingers 2 and 3 are you trying to achieve?


I'm not particularly, just wondering if I should, if there's any point, or if, as was suggested to me, it's not really possible and harmful to try!

quote:

Wouldn't evidence against it be the fact that everyone who first learns to play guitar at some point has to stretch their fretting hand in ways that are uncomfortable?


I realised it should have read "trying to develop stretch between fingers 2 and 3 was not really possible, and that it was bad for the hand" and added missing part in bracket.

So, sure, everyone has to learn to stretch out their hand/fingers to reach one finger per fret at first, and then two frets between fingers 1 and 2 (eg. in standard typical arpegio and alzapua falsetas in first position por medio) and between fingers 3 and 4 (eg. holding F chord in first position and reaching to fret 5 of 1st string (note A) or fret 5 of 4th string (note G) etc.), but my query was stretch between fingers 2 and 3?

did you see the replies in your Paco Serrano Bulerías thread?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 29 2023 11:49:36
 
machopicasso

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

did you see the replies in your Paco Serrano Bulerías thread?


Yes, I did. That was helpful. Thank you!

quote:

just wondering if I should, if there's any point, or if, as was suggested to me, it's not really possible and harmful to try!


I guess I'm just skeptical that it'd be harmful, so long as one did the exercises safely. All of the flamenco-related hand injuries I've ever heard of pertain to the strumming hand (e.g. focal dystonia). Has anyone ever injured their fretting hand practicing flamenco?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2023 4:24:56
 
mark indigo

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to machopicasso

This video discusses this issue.



See also the comment from Grisha in the comments section.

EDIT: also if you look at Grisha's comment there is a lengthy reply and further comment from Grisha underneath.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 16 2023 20:44:30
 
mark indigo

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to machopicasso

quote:

All of the flamenco-related hand injuries I've ever heard of pertain to the strumming hand (e.g. focal dystonia). Has anyone ever injured their fretting hand practicing flamenco?


yes

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 17 2023 19:11:21
 
gerundino63

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to machopicasso

quote:

guess I'm just skeptical that it'd be harmful, so long as one did the exercises safely. All of the flamenco-related hand injuries I've ever heard of pertain to the strumming hand (e.g. focal dystonia). Has anyone ever injured their fretting hand practicing flamenco?


Yes, here too.
The second knuckle of my pinky. Still troubling if I overstrech it a lot.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 18 2023 8:38:15
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to gerundino63

All I can say is do not stretch your fingers. Just play. It's the best method.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 18 2023 11:37:14
 
Ricardo

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

ORIGINAL: mark indigo

This video discusses this issue.



See also the comment from Grisha in the comments section.


Spock!!! What scale is that??? Are you out of your Vulcan mind?!???

I wanted to find La Barossa because he implies four notes in ONE position is the phrasing of that falseta but I know that is wrong. The pinky shift is the point of the falseta, each of those phrases, not just the one. But so far I can’t find a good clear video of the left hand on that.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 18 2023 12:10:11
 
mark indigo

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to Ricardo

I was hoping for examples where this stretch is needed to know if it's something to bother with or not, assumed there is as exercises given by maestros, but I don't know anything that needs it. Maybe if 2 and 3 can move further apart then it's easier to stretch further with 1 and 4? Maybe not, I don't know.

Also hoping someone would have some solid anatomical/physiological info about independence/non-independence of 2nd and 3rd fingers of left hand (middle and ring fingers) and advisability of trying to stretch them or not.

Incidentally someone suggested to me once that the "fingers" actually start where the wrist bones end! I know, this sounds crazy, cos that's way back in the palm (metacarpals), but if you look at a pic of the bones then you can see where they are coming from.... sort of!



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 28 2023 21:52:09
 
mark indigo

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

he implies four notes in ONE position is the phrasing of that falseta


I think he's saying 4 notes on one string, which in theory would be possible to play by stretching, but in he says in practise Paco does it by shifting.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 28 2023 22:01:15
 
Ricardo

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

ORIGINAL: mark indigo

quote:

he implies four notes in ONE position is the phrasing of that falseta


I think he's saying 4 notes on one string, which in theory would be possible to play by stretching, but in he says in practise Paco does it by shifting.


Yes, but he presents it as the phrasing is implied to be 4 notes in one position, but says only the ONE phrase in the sequence that would have a stretch between 2-3 does he shift…implying and demonstrating the OTHER phrases as 4 notes in one POSITION. I did not have time to search video examples but I am quite sure (because I know of similar phrases on one string by paco) that he always intended to shift for EACH phrase even where an easy stretch would work. A similar situation in Chiquito for example, the Soniquete falseta (I do tutorials for both).

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2023 13:58:24
 
Piwin

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

I was hoping for examples where this stretch is needed to know if it's something to bother with or not, assumed there is as exercises given by maestros, but I don't know anything that needs it.


The tremolo in Reflejo de Luna.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2023 14:36:49
 
kitarist

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to Piwin

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piwin

quote:

I was hoping for examples where this stretch is needed to know if it's something to bother with or not, assumed there is as exercises given by maestros, but I don't know anything that needs it.


The tremolo in Reflejo de Luna.


It is here from 2:13, but I don't see any such stretch on a single string, nor does it seem to be needed based on the notes played:

https://youtu.be/bdKtACC4EvU?t=133

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2023 18:31:35
 
Piwin

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to kitarist

Not on the same string but at 2:18 you have to hold finger 3 on the 3rd string (G) 5th fret while finger 2 is on the 1st string (high E) 3rd fret.

For a slower version, see here at 00:20:



I think most players who have never practiced that kind of shape will probably feel a bit more stretch between fingers 2 and 3 than what they're used to. At least that's how it was for me. It's essentially the same kind of thing Ricardo was describing in his first post. Of course it's not just that fingers 2 and 3 are several frets apart, it's also that that finger 3 is stretching further across the neck while finger 2 has to coil up a bit to stay on the higher strings.

The hardest case of that that I've personally tried to play is Cacho Tirao's Pájaro Campana (so, not flamenco). See 1:04 here:



Finger 4 holds 1st string (high E) 12th fret, finger 2 holds 2nd string (B) 10th fret, while finger 3 has to play 6th string (low E) 12 fret as part of the bass line. I really, really struggle to get a clean sound on that one.

Of course that's not exactly the same thing as just a stretch on the same string, but the combination of the two (several frets apart + several strings apart) can be difficult. There are variations on the exercices mark indigo described that involve doing the same thing but skipping one or two strings between whichever fingers you're trying to work with. E.g. instead of:

quote:

1st finger on 1st string 9th fret,
2nd finger on 2nd string 10th fret,
3rd finger on 3rd string 11th fret,
4th finger on 4th string 12th fret -


You could do:

1st finger on 1st string 9th fret,
2nd finger on 2nd string 10th fret,
3rd finger on 4th string 11th fret,
4th finger on 5th string 12th fret -

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2023 19:15:46
 
mark indigo

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to Piwin

quote:

The tremolo in Reflejo de Luna.


mentioned in the comments section discussion with Grisha under the video on youtube

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2023 20:47:40
 
kitarist

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

Also hoping someone would have some solid anatomical/physiological info about independence/non-independence of 2nd and 3rd fingers of left hand (middle and ring fingers) and advisability of trying to stretch them or not.


We call it 'stretching', but it really is accomplished by contraction of abductor muscles in the hand. Abducting as in moving a finger away from the mid-line of the hand.

A combination of factors all in the same direction:

1. the little finger has its own separate abductor muscle not part of the dorsal interossei muscles) which can move it unobstructed away from the ring finger;

2. the index finger dorsal interosseus (DI) abductor is slightly differently positioned than other DI abductors with more space to abduct towards the thumb and is about twice as strong as the ring finger DI abductor.

3. In guitar playing, our fretting-hand MCP and other finger joints are flexed, not extended, which makes the abductors function as rotators - so even if we separate, by abducting, middle and ring fingers at their base, their tips come together naturally as a results of the accompanying rotation when MCP joint is flexed. (You can verify that, if, conversely, MCP is extended, you can easily separate these two fingertips in a Vulcan salute - but it is impossible to maintain it if we then flex the finger joints). While it is easier to accommodate the rotation when abducting index or little finger, it is hard to do the same for middle and ring fingers.

All this combines to make it much more difficult to separate fretting-hand fingertips with flexed joints in the case of middle and ring - versus ring and little or middle and index fingers on a single string. If across strings, it is easier to do because of less joint flexing in one of the two fingers (less rotation); also more freedom in hand position (wrist rotation to further reduce joint flex in one finger).

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2023 20:53:08
 
mark indigo

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to kitarist

thanks for the info

quote:

Abducting as in moving a finger away from the mid-line of the hand.


yeah, i remember it by the etymology of "abduct" to take or lead away

I also wish guitarists in general would use the word "flex" in it's correct anatomical way, not as a general substitute for "bend"

quote:

All this combines to make it much more difficult to separate fretting-hand fingertips with flexed joints in the case of middle and ring - versus ring and little or middle and index fingers on a single string. If across strings, it is easier to do because of less joint flexing in one of the two fingers (less rotation); also more freedom in hand position (wrist rotation to further reduce joint flex in one finger).


yes. I have no problem stretching 2 or even 3 frets between fingers 1 and 2, and between fingers 3 and 4, but I find stretching between fingers 2 and 3 hard enough at times to get a clear note from finger 3 when the fingers are only playing 1 finger per fret in 1st position.

I wonder if the problem he identifies in the video with damage to the fingers is because in order to do the exercises I outlined above it seems necessary to anchor one of the fingers (2 or 3) and then to pull the other finger away from it, and there's the potential to really over force the anchoring finger (as opposed to it being the actual stretching i.e. pulling the other finger away from it)?

Don't know if I'm explaining that very well, what I'm suggesting is it might be over-tensing while practising the exercises that's the problem, not the actual stretching itself, but I really don't know.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2023 18:50:38
 
kitarist

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

and there's the potential to really over force the anchoring finger (as opposed to it being the actual stretching i.e. pulling the other finger away from it)?


Yes, gotcha, except let's fix the terms - I think you are saying that the real/bigger problem might be that in trying to accomplish greater 2-3 fingertip separation, one might also be passively stretching the anchor finger (say, the middle finger) by moving the hand/wrist underneath it in the opposite direction, and it is this which may result in injury by damaging or inflaming middle finger tendons and/or opposite abductor muscle.

(Your 'actual stretching' = contraction of dorsal interosseus of ring finger to pull it away from the middle finger. And forcing the anchor finger = passively stretching it in the opposite direction, stressing tendons and/or over-stretching the opposite abductor).

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2023 19:33:54
 
mark indigo

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to kitarist

quote:

Yes, gotcha, except let's fix the terms - I think you are saying that the real/bigger problem might be that in trying to accomplish greater 2-3 fingertip separation, one might also be passively stretching the anchor finger (say, the middle finger) by moving the hand/wrist underneath it in the opposite direction, and it is this which may result in injury by damaging or inflaming middle finger tendons or other structures.


really what I was trying to say was that the problem might be caused by pressing too hard!

but what you said might also be the case...

when I have tried out those "stretching" exercises it seems much easier to anchor the 3rd finger and pull the 2nd finger away from it to a lower fret on the fingerboard than to anchor 2 and try to move 3 up the fingerboard.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2023 21:15:58
 
Mark2

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to mark indigo

Live long and prosper!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2023 21:19:49
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to mark indigo

Recently I've been watching Chopin method videos. Looks like piano players have this Chopin method. Classical guitar players have Tarrega method. I wish someone did such a quality analysis of hand anatomy for flamenco guitar players.

At 4:40 he says Chopin warned against pursuing a total independence of middle and ring finger.

Anyhow, I like Chopin's idea. Each finger has a personality when playing piano. Something that we can think about as well.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 1 2023 19:51:16
 
Ricardo

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to devilhand

What I remembered from college where we were required to learn a bit of keyboard, was that the E lydian scale seemed to be designed perfect for the hands (as you can see in the video demo, EF#G#A#B), and it made me think that very advanced compositions in B major/G#minor must be really fun to play.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2023 15:23:52
 
mark indigo

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to devilhand

quote:

Classical guitar players have Tarrega method.


What exactly is "Tarrega method"? I wasn't aware that he'd published a method.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2023 19:21:36
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

What exactly is "Tarrega method"? I wasn't aware that he'd published a method.

Tarrega never wrote a guitar method. His students (M. Llobet, E. Pujol... ) founded the school of Tarrega. As far as I know E. Pujol published a guitar method book based on the principles of Tarrega. Actually it's THE Tarrega method. Even flamenco players we all play more or less Tarrega's way. But we flamencos founded the school of PdL, didnt we?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2023 20:31:08
 
mark indigo

 

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Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Nov. 3 2023 21:25:39
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2023 21:25:08
 
mark indigo

 

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to devilhand

quote:

Tarrega never wrote a guitar method. His students (M. Llobet, E. Pujol... ) founded the school of Tarrega. As far as I know E. Pujol published a guitar method book based on the principles of Tarrega. Actually it's THE Tarrega method. Even flamenco players we all play more or less Tarrega's way. But we flamencos founded the school of PdL, didnt we?

Looks like you've been reading wikipedia again...

I know Tárrega had pupils, Llobet and Pujol among them. The latter's Escuela Razonada de la Guitarra ran to 4 volumes. And Ramon Montoya's association with Llobet is perhaps significant in the evolution of flamenco guitar. Also Pascual Roch published a "method" in 3 volumes.

But what actually constitutes the "Tárrega method"? You don't actually seem to know. Use of the ring finger on the right hand? Perhaps anyone with actual knowledge of classical guitar could chime in?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2023 22:22:28
 
Ricardo

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

But what actually constitutes the "Tárrega method"? You don't actually seem to know. Use of the ring finger on the right hand? Perhaps anyone with actual knowledge of classical guitar could chime in?


I have Pujol. The primary and central point of the Tarrega method was to develop callouses on the right hand finger tips and create “finger pads” in order to play audible notes (Nails cut down to the quick). This method is in stark contrast to Segovia’s method. Yes this includes Recuerdos, Maja de Goya, Capriccio etc… Segovia took some of the MUSICAL ideas of Tarrega (the pieces) and played them with his own technique which relies on good nail shape and care. As usual Devilhand has it all backwards…no we don’t use the Tarrega method, we use something closer to Segovia who was after all, Andaluz. There is an anecdotal story that may or not be true that Montoya picked up tremolo and other things from Llobet, but these days I am dubious. Arcas and Murciano already demonstrate “tremolo like” things so I suspect tremolo was already part of Flamenco guitar language, as I also suspect scordatura might be flamenco tradition, not “classical guitarists teaching flamenco players about the lute” etc. All this stuff is impossible to prove or refute but I get this “fakemenco” vibe that is very much like the fakemenco explosion of the 90s. That being, an appropriation of the flamenco guitar aesthetic minus the deeper specifics of technique and formal structure of the music itself. The Eduardo Ocon transcription sort of clues me in that this might be the case going way back. Like imagine a hundred years from now you have all these Ottmar Leibert and Armik type sources then (lets say scores, cuz youtube is gone), but you suddenly find Alain Faucher’s Tomatito score book around the same years.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 4 2023 13:19:50
 
Richard Jernigan

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RE: Stretch between fingers 2 and 3? (in reply to Ricardo

Isaias Savio, in his introduction to "Francisco Tarrega, Doce Composiciones," says that Tarrega played with nails until near the end of his career, when he was obliged to cut them due to defects arising from arteriosclerosis. (Tarrega was a chain smoker.)

"En 1900 su salud inspiró cuidados por manifestarse la arterio-esclerosis, y el maestro ya no pudo pulsar su guitarra con aquel sonido puro y cristalino que tanto había contribuído a sus éxitos, viéndose en cambio obligado a cortarse las uñas por defectos que en ellos aparecían. Pero no se desanimó por ello, sino que siguió estudiando y consiguió realizar audiciones, aunque no de mucha importancía, con buenos efectos de sonoridad."

The publisher Matanya Ophee told me that this echoes verbatim the entry in Domingo Prat's "Diccionario de guitarristas," which he re-published.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 4 2023 22:18:07
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