The incomparable Sharon Isbin

April 18th, 2010

I was surfing youtube when this video caught my attention.

It’s the incomparable Sharon Isbin. What caught my attention is her right hand, especially in the way she plucks ‘upward’ in a soft brushing motion, rather than inward with a lot of ‘follow-through.’

It’s almost a textbook example of what I described in the AOV for Guitar as good efficient right hand movement (in the section on fluidity, page 89):

Right-hand fluidity is mostly about moving in circles and arcs.

This is a point I’ve made a few times before but here’s a more detailed explanation of how it works.

The right-hand plucking motion consists of two parts, the plucking and the rebound.

It’s crucial when you pluck that the two parts are part of a continuous movement. The only way to achieve this is to move your finger in circular motion at the fingertips.

To do this, push through the string when you pluck.

Make sure you don’t push too hard. Most of the action should be taking place at the fingertips.

As soon as you clear the string, move upward and back to your starting position. (Yes, this is probably the tenth time I described the process, but bear with me.)

The whole movement is one continuous action. If you were to watch your fingertip in action, it will describe an oval-shaped trajectory.

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