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Legato vs Staccato   You are logged in as Guest
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Nemo Nint

 

Posts: 41
Joined: Jul. 20 2006
 

Legato vs Staccato 

Hi everyone

Apologies in advance if this is another repeated subject, that has been discussed before.


When I practice or play a flamenco or classical score I've learned from standard notation, I like to enunciate notes clearly as is the proper way... but not really to the point of absolute duplication. But I still wonder about absolute duplication... or the ability to be almost mechanical in performance with left and right hand.

I wonder how much effort is put into staccato all the time, because it seems that legato is the way I start off with when developing technique.


-I define staccato as a note being silenced at or before the end of its explicit duration.
-I also consider legato as a note being allowed to ring for beyond the end of its explicit duration when it makes sense to do so.

Right now in my development I'm trying to examine the benefits and drawbacks of each, when used with any chording rasgueados, arpeggios, picados, tremolos with the treble notes played on multiple strings, etc...

This curiosity comes partly out of my interpretation of the classical guitarist's idea that enunciation on classical guitar should be more accurate than flamenco. As far as I'm concerned, I would express a classical or flamenco composition in the same microtechnique. Also it also comes out of my attempts to examine the physical abilities of my favourite flamenco player.


I just don't want to devote too much time yet to developing a technique that is only for top virtuosos. I want to cover all the bases with basic good technique before I go into extreme fine detail.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2007 17:13:33
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Legato vs Staccato (in reply to Nemo Nint

We are not talking about music in general here. Playing staccato or legato is a different technique on violin than guitar. So on guitar it refers a lot more to the specific way to achieve the effect. Legato is just left hand hammer pull or "slurs". Not necessarily letting notes ring as long as possible. Think of guitar more like a percussion instrument. The longest note possible is not much longer than a staccato. Staccato is a music effect that can be achieved with either hand, the more flamenco way being to do it with the right or picking hand.

But still I get your point about when to let notes ring and what not. It ends up being a personal choice and taste, but when developing technique, it is best to exaggerate things to help develop control over rhythm, speed, tone , etc.

quote:

This curiosity comes partly out of my interpretation of the classical guitarist's idea that enunciation on classical guitar should be more accurate than flamenco.


Miss conception IMO. To a certain extent buzing notes are accepted, but not to a rediculous degree. But rhythms have to be "clear" and deliberate, a different way to "enunciate" accurately. In classical guitar, often rubatos are done in order to achieve a clear tone, but that is a generalization too. I have heard classical guitarists with scraping nail sounds on the basses that never happens to flamenco players, and is accepted by MOST classical fans.

Ideally, players of both styles should have as a goal, as clean a sound as possible and in rhythm or steady tempo and feel. Of course mistake can happen, but that should be the goal either way you look at it.

Ricardo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2007 18:59:59
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Legato vs Staccato (in reply to Ricardo

When you sing a fragment of melody you will notice that your tongue spends time on the roof of your mouth behind your front teeth and this creates the phrasing and clarity that make singing so musical. When playing guitar I try and let the right hand fingers return to the string at the same places to create the same musical effect. Also when you sing sometimes you let your breath fade before a notes full time has elapsed, I try and let the left hand pressure ease off of the string in the same way.

There is so much more to it than just stacato and legato. Ricardo is using legato as synomous with hammerons and pull offs and for many people this is as far as it goes. But the use of the RH can have almost as many shadings in terms of shaping the exact duration of a note from virually nothing to a hairsbreadth from its full rhythmic value. Listen really carefully to the rhythm guitar playing of a real good Bossa Nova player and you will hear an incredible varity of note length durations within parts that are almost entirely made up of eight and quarter notes muted with great sensitivity by both left and right hands.

Dont know if that is useful but thats what came to mind. I have found that variety can be achieved by studying the extremes of technique with extreme stacato and all of the legato that your lh/rh coordination can muster. Then when you play a line in any style you should be able to feel for the appropriate articulation.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2007 21:30:01
 
Nemo Nint

 

Posts: 41
Joined: Jul. 20 2006
 

RE: Legato vs Staccato (in reply to Nemo Nint

Thanks Ricardo, and D!

I am glad for your input, and it's definitely helpful.

One more thing though, to get more insight on the issue, I wonder if someone would comment on this particular bar in a composition I'm learning.

When the 2nd B note and the D note are played in their times, in my standard technique I would leave the 1st F note and 2nd B note ringing respectively, but as I move to strike the A, I move the little finger off the 4th string's F note and place it on the first string, and as I hit the A, I am moving the middle finger to first string for the G.

I wonder, if anyone has the patience to examine their method of playing this arpeggio and tell me if they would do what I do, or rather do something like this:

As the first F is about to be played the first B is muted, followed by the F being muted when playing the second B, and the second B being muted when hitting the D, and so on... I can practice to perform this way, but it's not my natural instinct.

I hope I made sense!



-Tom

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2007 19:26:01
 
Paleto

Posts: 243
Joined: Jul. 29 2003
From: San Diego, CA

RE: Legato vs Staccato (in reply to Nemo Nint

Tom,

What piece of music are these two measures from?

I think I know, but it's not an uncommon chord phrase either.

In my opinion it's less important to have to articulate that much detail in thinking about it. It is likely that what is played is so fast, it won't make a difference if you pick the notes you want to emphasize.

In a variation on the notation and tab you show, you can also play the 1st B note using the left hand middle finger, then 3 and 4 for the F# and 2nd B notes. Then 1 (or index) is free to play C#, and you can move2 (middle) to play the D note. note.

I would play all notes as legato as possible given that some fingers must be moved. But I still think it will happen so fast, that no ear is likely to catch that detail.

I play the Vicente Amigo taranta and use the fingering I mentioned above, but I hit an open B string and C# before that D note on the B string, that's the way it sounded done to me upon very careful listening to that fragment on Poeta.

-Anthony
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2007 19:53:08
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Legato vs Staccato (in reply to Nemo Nint

Hi there, first things first you are missing a key signature there ( one sharp F ). Second thing I would probably play an A natural on the third string if I was going for a minor seventh sound, this would simplify the fingering to get to the high a. I would probably play this (as written ) pp ima(pull off) i. If it is played fast then I would hold the chord until I hit the D on second string then balancing my hand on the held D let the rest of the chord go and reach for the high A, playing the A with a rest stroke would mute the D and the over all effect would be like a sax or clarinet scoop. Alternatively a very flamenco way to play it would be all thumb again with the pull off between the high A and G. If you played this kind of thing on electric guitar then you would mute all of the notes on all of the stings except the first and this would give you that baroque and roll sound.

Another possibility, if it is not too fast, would simply to play all of it with im alternation starting on the i finger.

I would need to know the style and the musical effect required within the whole piece before I would make up my own mind how to play it. It lools vaguely latin with that anticapatory tie is it from a bossa or a rumba?

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2007 20:02:19
 
Nemo Nint

 

Posts: 41
Joined: Jul. 20 2006
 

RE: Legato vs Staccato (in reply to Nemo Nint

Hi again

The chord name Bm7 is supposed to apply, I believe, to the rhythm guitar played behind this main guitar score, but I think changing the B to an A natural on 3rd string sounds fun.

D, sorry about forgetting to mention the key signature! hehe silly me.

The actual composition is Entre Dos Aguas, from Fuente Y Caudal. I bought the PDL 3rd score book from sheetmusicplus a month or two ago along with a collection of classical songs (Moonlight Sonata, Cavatina, etc) because I wanted to learn Cepa Andaluza (my fav from the album) but found that its fingering is something I'm not yet capable of tackling. So I selected the rumba.

But the idea is just a general one. Learning by myself by listening to recordings, practicing, reading, but not having any other person to talk to or play with (flamenco style)... it has caused me to wonder how peoples' left and right hands operate over particular expressions of arpeggios and such. It's hard for me to articulate the right words to get the response I need to learn.. blah

I like what Paleto said..

quote:

But I still think it will happen so fast, that no ear is likely to catch that detail.


I don't subscribe to the notion that classical guitarists need better fine-tuning of their technique than flamenco players because I think both should have the best for their own particular performances. Yet, because classical pieces are slower (last month I learned a score of Canon in D), fine tuning may be more necessary when performing for critics. And I'm my own worst critic and because I enjoy learning classical compositions and flamenco compositions, I often get confused and put myself through too much thinking and wondering.

If only we could all just get together in person.. We're in the future aren't we? where are our flying cars and star-trek-like transporters? Hmm. If we were in the Matrix, we could just upload a program into our heads and we could know any music composition.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2007 20:37:51
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Legato vs Staccato (in reply to Nemo Nint

Clearly the music is from Entre dos Aguas. So if you listen to the recording, you know he is letting the notes ring. No need to practice THAT staccato on purpose. But what is real important is how staccato a lot of other parts of the song are when he does picados and such. In general when doing a bar chord, you try to let notes ring as long as you can. Use your ear to guide these desicions when learning and practicing slow.

Ricardo
EDIT- sorry, you posted while I was typing I think. Point is to refer to the recording, or better yet video. Just look on youtube for Entre Dos Aguas, and see how paco actually does it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2007 20:43:30
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