New Technique for Playing Classical Guitar (I)

Abstract
Joint application of the two techniques of “Lip” and “Nose” could be effectively applied for hearing and playing far-away intervals, by the Classical Guitar. Before this, a Classical Guitar player had to waive playing intervals not possible with the left hand, and had to replace or eliminate some notes, making it possible to play such intervals; specifically the capability of the left hand of the musician, was also a factor in such a selection. These methods are hereby illustrated by photographs and a video-file, in order to provide optimum comprehension of applying these methods, invented by the author; specifically the “Lip” technique, which is considered to be a more significant technique, emphasized by the author.

Introduction
In this paper, based on published arrangements of Classical Guitar masterpieces, invention of new techniques by the author, for escalating musical capabilities of the Classical Guitar in playing classic pieces is introduced for the first time. There have always been restrictions for arranging pieces of other instruments for the Classical Guitar, which have notes with far-away intervals. This paper is a new impression of playing Classical Guitar, which may improve competence of this instrument for those interested in listening classic music.

Necessity of Applying a New Technique for Playing the Classical Guitar
Any professional player of Classical Guitar or those with adequate understanding of playing this instrument know, for playing different chords and melodies, there should be proper placement of fingers and selecting the correct position by the left hand. However, all considerations for the left hand, finally requires suitable sounding by fingers of the right hand.
A practical example may assist comprehension, before going into the main issue; while you have gotten a chord on the tenth position (X) and simultaneously take a bass note on the 4th position of the 6th string; do you have any solution how to play this? Consider this situation for even further-apart intervals and while preserving chord of the 10th position try to play F# (F-sharp) note on the 2th position of the 6th string; what could we do then?
Experience answers these questions: “it is possible to play notes which such wide-apart intervals without re-tuning the instrument”. Accepting this issue, the necessity for new techniques for playing the Classical Guitar is the objective of this manuscript.
Development of these techniques by the author, began by working on arrangements and masterpieces of Ronald Dyens, which should be considered a contemporary pioneer in Classical Guitar, recognizing much potential of the Classical Guitar by rich and coherent harmonies in his plays; you can recognize in many cases the complicity of harmonies in pieces for the closed mode for positions, and this actually his talent. But if the interval between voice types would be too much wide-apart (referring to the aforementioned question), and tries to prevent this and fulfill the audience within that closed position, by applying a rich harmony. The second artist, generating the idea of these new techniques, is the great artist of Classical Guitar Kazuhito Yamashita.
This manuscript is not trying to review characteristics and thoughts of artists, but it should be mentioned how they led the author to develop these techniques; about two years ago while the author was reviewing arrangements of Yamashita for “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, he realized its unusual character in compare to all other arrangements for Classical Guitar. Positions and finger-placements were very difficult, or as musicians say “uneasy to fingering”, applying vocal colors and various techniques in each page of this arrangement, and the further you go over this arrangement, you will face a combination of all elements a Classical Guitar player avoids. These conditions raised the question in the mind of the author: is this arrangement with all these details and complications playable for all musicians?
With no doubt the idea of Yamashita was not providing an arrangement to be playable for all musicians; but who could play such an arrangement?!! It seems this did not care for Yamashita, because the major concept among all musicians “that the standard interval between the fingers of the left hand” are neglected in this arrangement. However, even if you have sympathy with Yamashita, even with the most flexible and powerful hand, it would not be possible to get and interval more than 6 or 7 fret on the head of the guitar.

The Lip Technique

By this technique of playing a Classical Guitar your could get a half position at the 10th position on the 6th string of the guitar near the headstock, and get the note with your upper lip (you should get the note completely hard and strike in order to prevent a buzz-sound). This note should be played with the outer part of your upper lip in a while your upper lip is supported by pressing your upper teeth behind your upper lip.
The Lip Technique
This is the first approach for listening improper wide-apart intervals, which was not possible to play with a guitar, without this technique. However, for playing any technique, intended daily exercise is necessary, which the author provides his personal experience as follows, in order to be as a guideline and basis for development of this technique:
1- Before getting the notes with the upper lip for applying this technique, it is necessary to inspect the upper part of the fret on the fingerboard of the guitar not to have any sharpness or rough edges, by gently rubbing the hand on these surfaces, in order to ensure its safety for the lips. Unfortunately some guitars do have such problems.
2- Continuous application of this technique needs care to prevent contact of the inner side of the lips with the string; a soggy string with saliva gives an unpleasant feeling to the musician, also from the health and neatness point of view is not acceptable (as illustrated in the picture, the upper lip is curved into the mouth to prevent contact of the inner side of the upper lip with the string).
3- Sudden moves of the neck towards the fingerboard of the guitar, is a significant point to care about. While the author was busy with working on “Prelude in C# minor [Op.3 No.2]” by Sergei Rachmaninoff, it was needed to have sudden moves of the neck on the positions on the guitar. If such movements would needed to be used continuously, physical exercise and warm-up for the neck and upper parts of the body is suggested in order to prevent spasm of muscles, because this could be the worst condition to occur for the neck of a musician.
4- In the case of having dry skin of lips or shucks on the surface of the lips, it is suggested no to apply this technique.
5- Finally, exercises such as playing scales (chromatic scale and diatonic scale), playing intervals and adding different rhythm patterns is suggested, in order to preserve readiness of your upper lip to play notes with different shapes and values. However, it is recommended to exercise on the 6th string.

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*
Your email is never shared.

A combination of technique and musicality in the fingers of a pianist

In the world of classical music, the position of soloist has always been exceptional. Apart from the technical ability that many orchestral musicians also have, the soloist must also have a special power to be able to present a different and unique perspective of a piece. The soloist must maintain its special power of expression not only in solo roles but also when interacting with the orchestra.

Jamshid Andalibi passed away!

Jamshid Andalibi, one of the most famous ney players in Iran, passed away on the fifteenth of Esfand, 1402, at the age of 66 due to a heart attack at his private residence. Andalibi was a member of a family that had a significant presence in the field of Iranian music in the sixties and…
Read More »

From Past Days…

The Role of Arts in Development of Societies

Mr. Mohsen Ghanebasiri, author and critic in the field of economy, culture and arts, as the next speaker, highlighted the role of arts, specially the music, in development of societies: “As far as the individual upbringing is concerned, a newborn baby is absolutely dependent. The relation between the baby and the parents is based on orders. There is lots of relativity in these orders; therefore, they are political orders. In the economy, however, the relations are mutual and based on common logic; hence, the formation of the concepts of democracy and individuality.

Hossein Aslani passed away!

Hossein Aslani, Iranian pianist residing in the US, passed away due to cancer in late January 2020. His last musical activity was an article written for Harmony Talk entitled “Iran amidst musical struggle” in 2016, his memoir entitled “I Play You Again” in the same year and his album “Symbolic Emotion” published by Arganoun Publications in 2014. Here is a brief biography of Hossein Aslani according to his own website:

Rare documents of Tehran Opera Company published in Europe

The year 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Evlin Baghcheban’s death. She played a crucial role to promote opera and choral music in Persia (Iran). Born to an Assyrian-French family in Turkey, she studied singing and piano at the Ankara State Conservatory. In 1950 Evlin married the Persian composer and fellow student Samin Baghcheban and moved to Tehran.

Call for papers SIMF 1396

The Association of Iranian Contemporary Music Composers (ACIMC) and SHAHREAFTAB Art & Cultural Association are pleased to announce a call for papers for SIMF 1396.

Harmony in the Iranian Music (II)

One of his works was the translation of Harmony, which was carried out with the help of Mozayyan al-Dowleh, and included a pamphlet based on which he used to teach the subject to the students of the school of music; the pamphlet was never published. It was, in fact, a kind of simple harmony for the piano with no quadriads, it rather featured the engagement of both the right hand and the left hand which was being taught at the music school for the first time. Salar-Mo’azez also composed military marches and hymns for schools, which he harmonized to be performed and piano. Likewise, he used to compose for military orchestras.

Persian Music: “Mahour the Great” in Austria

In 1990  an Austria-based Persian musician Khosro Soltani, in cooperation with Hossein Alizadeh, put out an album entitled, Ancient Call A New (Nobang-e Kohan). After many years, a few ancient Persian instruments such as Sorna, Karna, Naghareh,etc. have been used, instruments which have been left out of the circle of Persian classical musical instruments for centuries.

From the Last Instrumentalist to the First Composer (I)

Music as an art has its own special history; emergence of a singer, of an instrumentalist and then the emergence of the strong character of a composer covers three significant phases of the art of music. With the emergence of composer which was simultaneous with the emergence of the language of music, this art managed to offer a domain for criticism for its composer; a procedure which led to a magnificent variety and evolution in musical production. Even though the conflicts between singers and instrumentalists have not met their end in the Iranian society and while singers can achieve high, instrumentalists have yet to play behind curtains . In a special era, with the efforts of musicians such as Ali Naghi Vaziri (1887-1979) and Rouhollah Khaleghi (1906-1965), glimmers of a composing era started to glow bearing fruit in Khaleghi’s achievement as Iran’s first professional composer. Khaleghi made his reputation as a composer while Vaziri deserved to pioneer this path. By then Vaziri was well-known as a Tar player.

“The Art of Silence” Project Will be Released

Shaahin Mohajeri, the award-winning Iranian microtonal compose, has contributed to The Art of Silence is an international project which features unpublished pieces by microtonal composers from Iran, Japan, the United States, and other countries.

The First Saba Student Music Festival Concluded in Tehran

Preparations for Saba Student Music Festival started in the summer of 2016; the Student Music Festival will be held annually by the students of music at Arts University. The first part of the closing ceremony of the Festival was dedicated to the celebration of the life, work and strives by Maestro Hossein Dehlavi to upgrade the level of music as an academic discipline. The name of the award-winning students and ensembles were announced at the second part of the ceremony.

“Guitar Memories” Released

The album “Guitar Memories” consists of the performance of baroque to recent era masterpieces, by Mehrdad Mahdavi, and is published by Tanin-e Honar Publication.

In this album there are pieces composed and arranged by artists such as: Sylvius Leopold Weiss, Johann Anton Logy, Fernando Sor, Yuquijiro Yocoh, Leo Brouwer.