Discussion:
Unorthodox Techniques
(too old to reply)
Gerry
2019-10-20 18:36:58 UTC
Permalink
At least they seem unorthodox to me.

I've been looking at some materials by Sylvain Courtney a French jazz
guitarist and teacher in Metz, France. In general, his right-hand
technique comes from his background with classical guitar. One
curiousity that he makes liberal use of is doing a rest-stroke through
consecutive strings. He only does it with i. I've done this, with
little panache, using both i and m, though my right hand/wrist tends to
a slightly arched angle, making it somewhat cumbersome. I first began
doing this while playing electric bass in the seventies, but never
really pursued adopting it for daily utility. Working hard on my right
hand over the few months, I find myself drawn to exploring this
approach.

Is there any recognition or consideration of this approach in legit
classical circles? For either finger?

The other technique is using the thumbnail for back-strokes. In
emulating Wes Montgomery's iconic approach to playing octaves, I have
to turn and flatten my thumb so that the pad of the thumb strikes the
strings, because the thumb nail would otherwise get in the way of
smooth attack on both strings. Still I have occasionally found myself
playing with the nail itself, and as I would with my thumb, have used
the backstroke. Again, not so much that it is a refined technique.

I have seen a flamenco guitarist (if memory serves) making liberal use
of alternating strokes with the thumnail.

Again, is there any "general usage" of such technique among legit players?
Matt Faunce
2019-10-20 20:16:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerry
At least they seem unorthodox to me.
I've been looking at some materials by Sylvain Courtney a French jazz
guitarist and teacher in Metz, France. In general, his right-hand
technique comes from his background with classical guitar. One
curiousity that he makes liberal use of is doing a rest-stroke through
consecutive strings. He only does it with i. I've done this, with
little panache, using both i and m, though my right hand/wrist tends to
a slightly arched angle, making it somewhat cumbersome. I first began
doing this while playing electric bass in the seventies, but never
really pursued adopting it for daily utility. Working hard on my right
hand over the few months, I find myself drawn to exploring this
approach.
Is there any recognition or consideration of this approach in legit
classical circles? For either finger?
Sure. If you want a musical effect that is more easily gotten by one
technique than the other you use that technique. The problem is when that
effect is so rarely needed or wanted and using it has the prerequisite of
having had practiced it quite a lot. For many players, especially
less-experienced players, giving that technique sufficient practice is an
opportunity-cost that most players don't want to spend. It's less of an
opportunity-cost for more-experienced players because after having
developed all the core techniques well the unorthodox techniques come more
easily.
Post by Gerry
The other technique is using the thumbnail for back-strokes. In
emulating Wes Montgomery's iconic approach to playing octaves, I have
to turn and flatten my thumb so that the pad of the thumb strikes the
strings, because the thumb nail would otherwise get in the way of
smooth attack on both strings. Still I have occasionally found myself
playing with the nail itself, and as I would with my thumb, have used
the backstroke. Again, not so much that it is a refined technique.
I have seen a flamenco guitarist (if memory serves) making liberal use
of alternating strokes with the thumnail.
This technique is called alzapua.
Post by Gerry
Again, is there any "general usage" of such technique among legit players?
No; certainly not 'general usage'. I don't know of any passage in the
classical repertoire that would benefit from this. I've never even felt the
appropriateness of it in my improvisations, even when the improvs were only
in my imagination and very free from technical or physical restrictions.
--
Matt
Gerry
2019-10-21 02:20:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Gerry
At least they seem unorthodox to me.
I've been looking at some materials by Sylvain Courtney a French jazz
guitarist and teacher in Metz, France. In general, his right-hand
technique comes from his background with classical guitar. One
curiousity that he makes liberal use of is doing a rest-stroke through
consecutive strings. He only does it with i. I've done this, with
little panache, using both i and m, though my right hand/wrist tends to
a slightly arched angle, making it somewhat cumbersome. I first began
doing this while playing electric bass in the seventies, but never
really pursued adopting it for daily utility. Working hard on my right
hand over the few months, I find myself drawn to exploring this
approach.
Is there any recognition or consideration of this approach in legit
classical circles? For either finger?
Sure. If you want a musical effect that is more easily gotten by one
technique than the other you use that technique. The problem is when that
effect is so rarely needed or wanted and using it has the prerequisite of
having had practiced it quite a lot. For many players, especially
less-experienced players, giving that technique sufficient practice is an
opportunity-cost that most players don't want to spend. It's less of an
opportunity-cost for more-experienced players because after having
developed all the core techniques well the unorthodox techniques come more
easily.
Post by Gerry
The other technique is using the thumbnail for back-strokes. In
emulating Wes Montgomery's iconic approach to playing octaves, I have
to turn and flatten my thumb so that the pad of the thumb strikes the
strings, because the thumb nail would otherwise get in the way of
smooth attack on both strings. Still I have occasionally found myself
playing with the nail itself, and as I would with my thumb, have used
the backstroke. Again, not so much that it is a refined technique.
I have seen a flamenco guitarist (if memory serves) making liberal use
of alternating strokes with the thumnail.
This technique is called alzapua.
Post by Gerry
Again, is there any "general usage" of such technique among legit players?
No; certainly not 'general usage'. I don't know of any passage in the
classical repertoire that would benefit from this. I've never even felt the
appropriateness of it in my improvisations, even when the improvs were only
in my imagination and very free from technical or physical restrictions.
Thanks for the input.
Matt Faunce
2019-10-20 20:51:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerry
At least they seem unorthodox to me.
I've been looking at some materials by Sylvain Courtney a French jazz
guitarist and teacher in Metz, France. In general, his right-hand
technique comes from his background with classical guitar. One
curiousity that he makes liberal use of is doing a rest-stroke through
consecutive strings.
I just realized I might have misunderstood this. I assumed you meant
rest-strokes on, eg., arpeggios, but while still alternating; so, by only
resting with i I assumed that that would make sense if i were the accented
note in the arpeggio. But maybe what you meant was dragging the i finger.
If that's the case, there are a couple places in my repertoire where I do
that I also do it when sweeping up and down all six strings, in a ten-note
arpeggio: upward: p p p i m, downward: a a a m i, then repeat. Only the
dragging fingers play rest-stroke.
--
Matt
Matt Faunce
2019-10-20 21:05:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Gerry
At least they seem unorthodox to me.
I've been looking at some materials by Sylvain Courtney a French jazz
guitarist and teacher in Metz, France. In general, his right-hand
technique comes from his background with classical guitar. One
curiousity that he makes liberal use of is doing a rest-stroke through
consecutive strings.
I just realized I might have misunderstood this. I assumed you meant
rest-strokes on, eg., arpeggios, but while still alternating; so, by only
resting with i I assumed that that would make sense if i were the accented
note in the arpeggio. But maybe what you meant was dragging the i finger.
If that's the case, there are a couple places in my repertoire where I do
that [.]
I do it in Carora by Lauro. I just checked: I do it because it's easier for
me to maintain a consistent tone in the middle voice. This is easier than
following strict alternation due to my poorly shaped i fingernail--in this
passage I'm avoiding the i finger. So, in this case, this technique is
still to facilitate an effect, but this application of the rule---that if
you want a musical effect that is more easily gotten by one technique than
the other you use that technique---is specific to me and anyone who has the
same problem that I have with my fingernails.


I also do it when sweeping up and down all six strings, in a ten-note
Post by Matt Faunce
arpeggio: upward: p p p i m, downward: a a a m i, then repeat. Only the
dragging fingers play rest-stroke.
--
Matt
Matt Faunce
2019-10-20 21:23:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Gerry
At least they seem unorthodox to me.
I've been looking at some materials by Sylvain Courtney a French jazz
guitarist and teacher in Metz, France. In general, his right-hand
technique comes from his background with classical guitar. One
curiousity that he makes liberal use of is doing a rest-stroke through
consecutive strings.
I just realized I might have misunderstood this. I assumed you meant
rest-strokes on, eg., arpeggios, but while still alternating; so, by only
resting with i I assumed that that would make sense if i were the accented
note in the arpeggio. But maybe what you meant was dragging the i finger.
If that's the case, there are a couple places in my repertoire where I do
that [.]
I do it in Carora by Lauro.
I drag the a finger.
Post by Matt Faunce
I just checked: I do it because it's easier for
me to maintain a consistent tone in the middle voice. This is easier than
following strict alternation due to my poorly shaped i fingernail--in this
passage I'm avoiding the i finger. So, in this case, this technique is
still to facilitate an effect, but this application of the rule---that if
you want a musical effect that is more easily gotten by one technique than
the other you use that technique---is specific to me and anyone who has the
same problem that I have with my fingernails.
I also do it when sweeping up and down all six strings, in a ten-note
Post by Matt Faunce
arpeggio: upward: p p p i m, downward: a a a m i, then repeat. Only the
dragging fingers play rest-stroke.
--
Matt
Gerry
2019-10-21 02:19:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Gerry
At least they seem unorthodox to me.
I've been looking at some materials by Sylvain Courtney a French jazz
guitarist and teacher in Metz, France. In general, his right-hand
technique comes from his background with classical guitar. One
curiousity that he makes liberal use of is doing a rest-stroke through
consecutive strings.
I just realized I might have misunderstood this. I assumed you meant
rest-strokes on, eg., arpeggios, but while still alternating; so, by only
resting with i I assumed that that would make sense if i were the accented
note in the arpeggio. But maybe what you meant was dragging the i finger.
If that's the case, there are a couple places in my repertoire where I do
that I also do it when sweeping up and down all six strings, in a ten-note
arpeggio: upward: p p p i m, downward: a a a m i, then repeat. Only the
dragging fingers play rest-stroke.
Yes, that was my intent: Dragging the finger across the strings in
sequential rest-strokes.
JPD
2019-10-21 06:05:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerry
At least they seem unorthodox to me.
I've been looking at some materials by Sylvain Courtney a French jazz
guitarist and teacher in Metz, France. In general, his right-hand
technique comes from his background with classical guitar. One
curiousity that he makes liberal use of is doing a rest-stroke through
consecutive strings. He only does it with i. I've done this, with
little panache, using both i and m, though my right hand/wrist tends to
a slightly arched angle, making it somewhat cumbersome. I first began
doing this while playing electric bass in the seventies, but never
really pursued adopting it for daily utility. Working hard on my right
hand over the few months, I find myself drawn to exploring this
approach.
Is there any recognition or consideration of this approach in legit
classical circles? For either finger?
The other technique is using the thumbnail for back-strokes. In
emulating Wes Montgomery's iconic approach to playing octaves, I have
to turn and flatten my thumb so that the pad of the thumb strikes the
strings, because the thumb nail would otherwise get in the way of
smooth attack on both strings. Still I have occasionally found myself
playing with the nail itself, and as I would with my thumb, have used
the backstroke. Again, not so much that it is a refined technique.
I have seen a flamenco guitarist (if memory serves) making liberal use
of alternating strokes with the thumnail.
Again, is there any "general usage" of such technique among legit players?
Pepe Romero does that "with great pleasure and success," he says. Angel, his equally virtuosic brother, makes a point of not doing it.
Gerry
2019-10-21 06:30:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by JPD
Post by Gerry
At least they seem unorthodox to me.
I've been looking at some materials by Sylvain Courtney a French jazz
guitarist and teacher in Metz, France. In general, his right-hand
technique comes from his background with classical guitar. One
curiousity that he makes liberal use of is doing a rest-stroke through
consecutive strings. He only does it with i. I've done this, with
little panache, using both i and m, though my right hand/wrist tends to
a slightly arched angle, making it somewhat cumbersome. I first began
doing this while playing electric bass in the seventies, but never
really pursued adopting it for daily utility. Working hard on my right
hand over the few months, I find myself drawn to exploring this
approach.
Is there any recognition or consideration of this approach in legit
classical circles? For either finger?
The other technique is using the thumbnail for back-strokes. In
emulating Wes Montgomery's iconic approach to playing octaves, I have
to turn and flatten my thumb so that the pad of the thumb strikes the
strings, because the thumb nail would otherwise get in the way of
smooth attack on both strings. Still I have occasionally found myself
playing with the nail itself, and as I would with my thumb, have used
the backstroke. Again, not so much that it is a refined technique.
I have seen a flamenco guitarist (if memory serves) making liberal use
of alternating strokes with the thumnail.
Again, is there any "general usage" of such technique among legit players?
Pepe Romero does that "with great pleasure and success," he says.
Angel, his equally virtuosic brother, makes a point of not doing it.
The "that" would be doing the back-stroke with the thumb?
a***@yahoo.com
2019-10-21 14:04:49 UTC
Permalink
People often misunderstand the purpose of guitar methods. No method can tell us everything. Regardless of how exhaustively an author tries to be, something will be omitted. And one also has to consider the intended audience for a particular method. A method aimed at beginners won’t catalog the myriad techniques that virtuosos may use.

Consequently, there are many things advanced guitarists routinely do that won’t be found in “mainstream” literature. (Whatever that means.) It doesn’t mean no one knows about these things. It simply means these things often don’t get written down. Thus, there’s no officially sanctioned list of mainstream techniques that we’re all supposed to cleave to. There’s stuff that works, there’s stuff that doesn’t work, and there’s stuff that kinda works. That’s it.

The slip fingering rest stroke described in the original post isn’t new. As pointed out, Pepe Romero has advocated it for years. And I’ve used it for decades. It works—that’s all the justification I need.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Gerry
2019-10-21 21:27:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
People often misunderstand the purpose of guitar methods. No method can
tell us everything. Regardless of how exhaustively an author tries to
be, something will be omitted. And one also has to consider the
intended audience for a particular method. A method aimed at beginners
won’t catalog the myriad techniques that virtuosos may use.
Consequently, there are many things advanced guitarists routinely do
that won’t be found in “mainstream” literature. (Whatever that means.)
It doesn’t mean no one knows about these things. It simply means these
things often don’t get written down.
Or, that over time, an approach has been found to be mechanically
problematic, inefficient, and possibly even capable of injuring one's
hands or wrists. An absence of information on a certain technical
approach doesn't imply it is benign.
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Thus, there’s no officially sanctioned list of mainstream techniques
that we’re all supposed to cleave to. There’s stuff that works, there’s
stuff that doesn’t work, and there’s stuff that kinda works. That’s it.
I agree, that's the reason I asked other classical players if these
techniques are in general usage or not. It doesn't seem that they are
"in general usage" or "mainstream techniques". That's really all I
wanted to find out.
Post by a***@yahoo.com
The slip fingering rest stroke described in the original post isn’t
new. As pointed out, Pepe Romero has advocated it for years. And I’ve
used it for decades. It works—that’s all the justification I need.
There are techniques that can be generally agreed upon as valuable or
even indispensible. Additionally, there are highly personalized
approaches (lap-playing for instance) that some players have found
invaluable, but for the most part are not universally embraced and in
general usage.

I'll assume both techniques are generally not in general usage. If they
were, it would seem there would be exercises and etudes that
concentrate on developing and refining these approaches. I can invent
them myself. I hope I invent them well.

a***@yahoo.com
2019-10-21 14:05:39 UTC
Permalink
People often misunderstand the purpose of guitar methods. No method can tell us everything. Regardless of how exhaustive an author tries to be, something will be omitted. And one also has to consider the intended audience for a particular method. A method aimed at beginners won’t catalog the myriad techniques that virtuosos may use.

Consequently, there are many things advanced guitarists routinely do that won’t be found in “mainstream” literature. (Whatever that means.) It doesn’t mean no one knows about these things. It simply means these things often don’t get written down. Thus, there’s no officially sanctioned list of mainstream techniques that we’re all supposed to cleave to. There’s stuff that works, there’s stuff that doesn’t work, and there’s stuff that kinda works. That’s it.

The slip fingering rest stroke described in the original post isn’t new. As pointed out, Pepe Romero has advocated it for years. And I’ve used it for decades. It works—that’s all the justification I need.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
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