An efficient free-stroke/2

September 9th, 2017

They say a picture paints a thousand words. If that’s the case, a video should paint 10,000 words.

I shot a simple video with my phone showing the three different ways of plucking—from the knuckle joint, from the middle joint, and with the fingertip.

You can see that in all three plucking methods, all three joints are moving. Our fingers work as a unit, and when we say we are moving from one joint, it doesn’t suggest the other joints are completely stationary.

However, there is a distinct difference in sensation between plucking from the knuckle joint as opposed to plucking from the middle joint as opposed to plucking with the fingertips.

These differences are not psychological, they’re very real. You physically feel one specific part of the finger or joint activating the stroke and the other joints moving in support.

(In the video, I mentioned plucking from the tip joint. That’s not wholly accurate. When it comes to the tip joint, it’s really more accurate to say that I’m plucking with my fingertip rather than the tip joint.)

I use all three strokes but my primary and default stroke is the third one, playing with the fingertip, because it is so economical and efficient.

2 Responses to “An efficient free-stroke/2”

  1. Slow Moe Says:

    Very interesting post and video! I can’t tell in the video, are you collapsing the tip joints or keeping them firm?

  2. Philip Hii Says:

    I can feel a slight give at the tip joint when I play and I control the amount of that give. If I want a light soft touch, I allow the joint to give more. If I want a louder tone, I stiffen it slightly. The ability to control the amount of give at the tip joint is crucial. I don’t think I would completely collapse it. I’ll try to post another video demonstrating this soon.

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