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Tim

 

Posts: 20
Joined: Jun. 12 2007
From: Los Angeles, CA

Advice needed for n00b guitarrista 

Hi All,

Just wanted to say, great forum here. Right now I'm very new to flamenco. I've been playing for about five months now, using the Gerhard Graf-Martinez books and DVD's and a Yamaha CG171SF Flamenco guitar. Pretty good guitar for such a low price.

My strings are D'Addario EJ46 hard tension -- they were kinda hard to play at first, but now I've really warmed up to them. I came from a rock/blues guitar background, and learning to play Flamenco is like starting all over again. I've been a fan of flamenco for many years, and I've visited Andalusia a couple of times -- though this forum has been really invaluable and gave me the impetus to finally get going.

At this point, I'm midway through the second book. I've learned pretty much all of the techniques given in the series, although I'm still refining and polishing my tremolo and picado -- those techniques are real bastards to learn!

Questions:

1) Right now I'm playing with a "three finger" p + i-a-m-i technique. No matter how smooth I try to even it out, it never sounds quite even enough. When I'm watching all of the "monster" guitarists play (Paco, Grisha, Tomatito, etc) I can't help but notice they use a "four finger" (including pinky) tremolo that sounds much better. Could someone point me the way to a good exercise or complete song that utilizes a four finger tremolo?

2) Picado. Ugh. Just now really starting to work hard on relearning scales using picado fingering, just m-i and i-m for now. Graf-Martinez has a series of basic Dorico scales used for exercises that I'm practicing with. In your opinion, do you think that is sufficient or should I practice as many modes as possible with picado? Por ejemplo, I'm used to practicing other scales - lydian, phrygian, ionian, etc. Should I just leave those on the shelf for now and stick with the GM dorian stuff until I get the hang of picado or should I go all out and spend an extra hour or two on all the scales and add an extra plateful of suffering to my picado experience?

I'm sure a few of you have been where I've been before, so your insight is really appreciated.

-T
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2007 18:56:06
 
rombsix

Posts: 7603
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Advice needed for n00b guitarrista (in reply to Tim

Hey Tim! Whazzaaaaaaaaaaaaap?! (Sorry, just remembered that Scary Movie thing, LOL!)

1- I think you've got it wrong with regards to the four-finger tremolo. The way I see it, you're getting fooled by the natural movement of the pinky with the ring finger, which may look like a four-finger tremolo, but actually is not. You see, there's an interdigitation between the ring and pinky fingers' tendons that forces the pinky to move (anatomically, that is) when the ring does. Trying to uncouple this would be a way of disturbing the natural way of movement, and only leads to strain and injury. The point of this is that you can (with lots of practice) learn to play an i-a-m-i three-finger tremolo that sounds very smooth, with time. There are other tremolos (like the one Manolo Sanlucar does in Oracion) that sound cool to, and you might find that practicing these will make the i-a-m-i easier to perform. The most important thing is to try and make the notes as evenly spaced as possible, and the only way to achieve that is via a metronome.

2- There's nothing wrong with playing as many different scales and modes as you can when practicing picado. I find that with picado, the rule is to vary things as much as possible with left and right hand so that you can build an all-round strength that will allow your picados to become much better-sounding and faster (yet well-controlled, and that is the secret). You can practice picado as i-m, m-i, i-a, a-i, a-m, m-a, and a-m-i. Doing that will get you the versatility and overall dexterity in your right hand. And when you have a picado run in a piece that you find difficult, I suggest you practice that run a lot (and use it to practice your picado technique): it seems logical that if you want to learn a picado run that you practice picado using that particular run, rather than practice modes and scales then try to apply your learned technique to the run. You also have to analyze the run to know exactly how the left hand fingering should go, and which finger to start with using your right hand etc. These things you will figure out with time.

Those are my 2 cents. I'm not the expert, and surely you will get MUCH BETTER pieces of advices off of people like Ricardo et al. on this forum (no disrespect to anyone because I didn't mention all the names), but I was in a typing mood - so there ya go dude!

_____________________________

Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2007 20:50:13
 
Georg

Posts: 405
Joined: Feb. 5 2006
From: Germany

RE: Advice needed for n00b guitarrista (in reply to Tim

Try to practice you picado staccato.

Like it is shown here:

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2007 22:48:14
 
Doitsujin

Posts: 5063
Joined: Apr. 10 2005
 

RE: Advice needed for n00b guitarrista (in reply to Tim

quote:

Try to practice you picado staccato.

Like it is shown here:



If that would be a good exercise, this person would be able to play a great staccato picado. But he cant.
All people who can handle good picado invent these exercise to hve something to tell. But the players with great picado dont have to train it much to play it like that. It depends 80% on the body and 20% training. Just playing slowly with control over and over makes you better. Such exercises can destroy you natural way of playing and if you arent lucky, it makes you slower in the end as if you wouldnt done these strange exercises.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2007 23:06:21
 
Georg

Posts: 405
Joined: Feb. 5 2006
From: Germany

RE: Advice needed for n00b guitarrista (in reply to Tim

Ich hab mich nur darauf bezogen:

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=74097&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=staccato&tmode=&smode=&s=#74107

Vielleicht kennt sich Ricardo aber auch einfach nicht aus.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2007 23:13:16
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13243
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Advice needed for n00b guitarrista (in reply to Tim

1). The only person on earth who does flamenco tremolo with pinky, that I know of is ToddK. The tremolo you are doing p iami, IS the same as the other guys do. 5 notes per beat. "4 finger" refers to the number of fingerstrokes per bass note with thumb.

As to how to make it even:
http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=73810&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=tremolo&tmode=&smode=&s=#73815
http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=69334&appid=&p=&mpage=1&key=tremolo&tmode=&smode=&s=#69647
http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=69452&p=1&tmode=1&smode=1

2) as mentioned, right hand staccato is good. The scale does not matter really, but HOW you finger whatever scale DOES. Like do you do 3 note per string scales? You dont' need to run scales to practice picado anyway. Any melody or falseta that uses i -m alternations will do.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 31 2007 4:53:55
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Advice needed for n00b guitarrista (in reply to Doitsujin

quote:

ORIGINAL: Doitsujin
All people who can handle good picado invent these exercise to hve something to tell. But the players with great picado dont have to train it much to play it like that. It depends 80% on the body and 20% training. Just playing slowly with control over and over makes you better. Such exercises can destroy you natural way of playing and if you arent lucky, it makes you slower in the end as if you wouldnt done these strange exercises.



Wow doit you must have some incredible picado to be sure that everyone with good picado who reccomends excercises is talking nonsense.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 31 2007 10:43:55
 
Tim

 

Posts: 20
Joined: Jun. 12 2007
From: Los Angeles, CA

RE: Advice needed for n00b guitarrista (in reply to Tim

Thanks for setting me straight on the p iami tremolo thing. I feel a little sense of relief that I'm not being left out on some dirty secret that others know that I don't. I'll start sticking to a metronome more and use the advice in those posted threads to even my tremolo out a bit.

As for picado runs, Graf-Martinez does teach the staccato method, and I've been trying to stick to that as much as possible. For the most part, I am doing three note per string fingerings when practicing scales. I'll be sure to stick to that, and practicing different styles (i-m, m-i, a-i, etc).

Thanks to everyone that posted replies, especially rombsix and Ricardo ... very informative! I'll be sure to post a vid one day if I can ever get the tremolo evened out to the point where it is not embarrassing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 31 2007 17:48:31
 
rombsix

Posts: 7603
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Advice needed for n00b guitarrista (in reply to Tim

I'm glad I was of help (that's a fresh change!), Tim.

And don't worry about your technique not being as polished as you want it to be. It will become much better with correct practice over time.

LLF! (Long Live Flamenco)

_____________________________

Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 31 2007 20:12:01
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