PDA

View Full Version : How do you play in this (Sungha) "style" (percussive melody).


StyLeD
04-14-2011, 03:48 PM
Specifically, this song (we all know who Sungha is ^^):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaslUplAi-E
at 0:37 and on.

I'm hearing the percussive sound the same time he plays a note...is this a skill I have to acquire, or my mind messing with me? I've already asked some people IRL, some say he's alternating tapping the strings and playing the notes (I can emulate that), but others say he's both tapping and striking a specific string...which I can't do no matter how I try.

Can someone help me out? I've searched the forums, but the 4 pages I got on Sungha is mainly on how amazing he is, not how to play in a similar style. It's been bothering me. Thanks!

stanron
04-14-2011, 03:54 PM
The percussive sound comes from tapping strings with the flat part of fingernails. If you tap on muted strings you get a snare drum sound and if you tap on a fretted or open string you can get the notes.

SimplyLuo
04-14-2011, 08:52 PM
He's tapping the thumb pick between the 6th and 5th strings while playing the notes with the backs of his nails, all in one movement. So you do the percussion with the thumb, and push out through the strings with your other fingers at the same time. Pretty common technique, certainly not limited to Sungha Jung

StyLeD
04-14-2011, 09:30 PM
He's tapping the thumb pick between the 6th and 5th strings while playing the notes with the backs of his nails, all in one movement. So you do the percussion with the thumb, and push out through the strings with your other fingers at the same time. Pretty common technique, certainly not limited to Sungha Jung

Do you know a video or some online tutorial that teaches this technique? I cant seem to get the hang of it, the thumbpick won't make the percussive sound unless I put alot more energy into it than I think I should have.

joehempel
04-14-2011, 10:05 PM
You have to put a ton of energy in to it, it comes not only from the pick but from the strings hitting against the frets.

You also have to have good finger control so you don't over-power with the strings. But he is ALSO hitting the bridge with the heel of his hand so it gives it something deeper.

VERY TOUGH to do, but then again he's no human...so. ;)

SimplyLuo
04-15-2011, 07:52 PM
There shouldn't be a ton of energy at all. Very little is required. Too much, and your hand movement is limited and not fluid. It's about speed and placement

I don't know of any videos that teach it. If you use Skype, maybe we could video chat sometime and I could try to help

JonPR
04-16-2011, 03:32 AM
It seems to be a combination of thumbpick and fingernails. However I've seen other players use this technique (or something very similar) without a thumbpick. Esp my personal hero of the style:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QnjexWLMTE&feature=feedrec_grec_index-
- he's getting a similar sound mostly by tapping the strings with fingertips or the side of this thumb. You get a good view from 0:55.

Here's another, where you see the more direct downward hit with the fingertips, combined with slightly fancier fingerpicking:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1kWiqKBAig&feature=related
What's happening in the main is that he's bringing the fingertips down together to strike the strings, and then picking them to produce the chord. Ie, he hits the strings he's about to pick. Occasionally he adds more emphasis with a strumming stroke, so the strike has more impact.
You can get that "clicky" sound more by striking the string with the side of thumb, so - as joehempel says - it hits the fretboard before you pick it. You shouldn't need a lot of energy for this (but it does depend on your string guage and action!)

IMO, it's not a very difficult technique, being a combination of fingerpicking with strumming - as if you get bored with that "nice" fingerstyle technique and decide to move your arm more like a strumming move: but retain the fingerstyle hand shape (maybe curling the fingers inwards more). The fingers will naturally hit the strings with some force - you just need to hang on to them (stay in contact with the strings momentarily after you strike them, so they're muted) and then pick them.
As I say, you can either use the backs of the fingernails - in which case they essentially strum downwards a little while you simultaneously mute with the side of your palm (as in the Sungha video) - or you use your fingertips to come straight down on the strings you intend to pick (as John Martyn mostly does).
You can get that "chck" sound either way, and the strings don't actually all need to hit the frets - of course it's more effective if they do, but it works if only the bass string hits the frets.

As usual with right-hand techniques, the flamenco players have total command of this kind of thing:
0:54 (and on) here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmcjAGJOPR0

Ozwick
04-16-2011, 03:48 AM
Check this video out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8_ldh4lJk8
:)

JonPR
04-16-2011, 03:57 AM
Check this video out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8_ldh4lJk8
:)Excellent! - not seen that one before.
I notice he's not using a fingerpick, and the hit can be from the palm alone, and when he does hit with fingernails the chord can ring - needn't be muted. (That's a choice of course - John Martyn generally muted the strings as he hit)

stanron
04-16-2011, 04:57 AM
Nice to see the John Martyn clips. Was that Danny Thompson on double bass in the second one?. I know they toured together at one time. I never saw any of those gigs but I've heard there were some wild times.

Pida
04-16-2011, 03:56 PM
This technique is very important for the playing styles of guitarists such as Sungha Jung, Tomi Paldanius (who offers a DVD on this technique, which he calls "Beat Tap") and Adam Rafferty (Check out Billie Jean and Superstition). Another well known example is California Dreaming played by Michael Chapdelaine - that's the tune I learned this technique with.

The Justinguitar and John Martyn videos posted earlier in this thread do not show what is so special about it: A note and a percussive sound are produced at the same time. And that's the hard part: You need to coordinate the thumb and fingers of your right hand in a way that might feel weird at first.

How to do it:

Usually, but not necessarily, a thumb pick is used.

The sound is produced by hitting the strings with your right hand thumb (pick) to make them touch the frets. 90% of the sound is generated by the contact between strings and frets, not by the contact between your thumb (pick) and the strings.
It's much easier to achieve this sound on the bass strings and it is sufficient to use a single string. Mostly only the low E string is played in such a way that the tip of the thumb pick (if one is used) will land between the E and A strings.

EDIT: Just came back from a workshop with Adam Rafferty and realized there are at least two approaches:
- He plays these clicks just as if he wanted to play a note on the string: The pick moves into the direction of the A string and the top. He touches the E string with the top of the pick.
- Till this day, I just moved the pick in the direction of the top. I touched the string with the base part of the pick and/ or with the side of my thumb.

Adams action is very low; his way probably won't work with a medium/ high action.

It is not necessary to mute the string with the left hand. The string can be muted by resting the right hand thumb on the string for a short moment, as is usually done. Alternatively, the thumb can bounce away from the string immediately after touching it. This way, both the percussive sound and whatever note you are fretting are produced. I think Adam Rafferty does so when he plays the A (low E string, 5th fret) in the intro to Billie Jean.

I suggest to start with strummed chords. Play downstrokes with the nails of your index finger (you might also use your middle and/ or ring finger) and do the percussive thing at the very same moment.
-0--0--0--0--
-0--0--0--0--
-0--0--0--0--
-------------
-------------
-x--x--x--x-- etc.

Later on, pick some notes instead of strumming chords. This was much harder for me in the beginning - I guess because thumb and fingers have to move in the opposite direction. It might help to allow your right hand fingers touch the string quite a while before plaing it. The verse of California Dreaming starts like this:
-------------
-------------
-2--4--2--0--
-------------
-------------
-x-----x-----

Next, play some arpeggios:
-------0-----
----1-----1--
-2-----------
-------------
-------------
-x----------- etc.

-------0-----
----1-----1--
-2-----------
-------------
-------------
-x-----x----- etc.

Most important: Play very slowly at first!

Johnny Lee
04-17-2011, 05:14 PM
Very good tutorial Pida. I'm gonna try this out today. It's definitely a challenge to get the percussive noise and the notes ringing out at the same time.

Odie1974
04-18-2011, 01:24 AM
I have tried it yesterday - thanx Pida for the tutorial.

The "strummed chords" part is fairly easy to get the hang of - you just need to ensure that the trebles do not ring out too loud and don't overpower the percussive bass string(s). I found that using one finger for trebles (middle finger for me) works best.

But the next step - percussive note + single note pluck is not easy to do. Will take some focused practice definitiely.

news_watch
04-23-2011, 08:31 AM
StyleD,
Try this video. It helped me out when just starting out.
The slap and note come at the same time.
Justin's video alternates.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_AXlHOXhCc

There are others on u-tube, but this one show get you started.

Tab it out and you will be able to follow it a little better. You won't have to try and keep up with the dude on the video.

nw

geronimotwo
04-24-2011, 06:29 AM
does anyone know what type of finger picks sungha is using? the ones i've seen would not allow you to strike the strings like that.

Fngrstyl
04-24-2011, 08:28 AM
does anyone know what type of finger picks sungha is using? the ones i've seen would not allow you to strike the strings like that.


believe he uses the Alaska piks

http://www.alaskapik.com/

This is cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyMQRVA2pnc&feature=relmfu

joehempel
04-25-2011, 10:31 PM
Now those are some picks I could get behind. The hardest thing for me is to find a thumb pick that doesn't stick out so far that it's un-comfortable. Going to a shop is useless because they just look at me like I've got 93 heads when I ask for something different.

Those look like it just BARELY sticks out past the finger, I'll have to order some!

SimplyLuo
04-25-2011, 10:41 PM
Hey Joe, I had the same problem with thumbpicks. After a lot of searching, I ended up taking a dunlop thumbpick to the grinding wheel, and then shaping with a file. Turned out great :)

The alaska piks are quite long stock, so you'll need to file them down. Also, you need some nail to secure the picks in place. They slide under your nails.
If you don't keep longer nails, you could try securing the piks in place with tape or tight bands. Either way, I found them to feel kind of strange.

Another fingerpick to try is the Fred Kelly Freedom fingerpick. You can wear them over the nail. But, I thought that they were a bit bulky and couldn't keep the sides from clicking against each other. YMMV

news_watch
04-27-2011, 08:23 PM
Hey Joe, I had the same problem with thumbpicks. After a lot of searching, I ended up taking a dunlop thumbpick to the grinding wheel, and then shaping with a file. Turned out great :)

The alaska piks are quite long stock, so you'll need to file them down. Also, you need some nail to secure the picks in place. They slide under your nails.
If you don't keep longer nails, you could try securing the piks in place with tape or tight bands. Either way, I found them to feel kind of strange.

Another fingerpick to try is the Fred Kelly Freedom fingerpick. You can wear them over the nail. But, I thought that they were a bit bulky and couldn't keep the sides from clicking against each other. YMMV

I have an old (really old) speed pick thumb pick that I used occasionally. It has a small tip about the size of a felt tip marker that sticks out.
Can only find they on the internet now. Last shop a walked into and asked said something to the effect that they didn't stock any of those gimmick or "fad" picks, that no one bought them.

I keep my last one under lock and key ;)


http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.themusicroom-online.co.uk/images/fred-kelly-delrin-speed-pick-large-hole-heavy-thumbpick.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.themusicroom-online.co.uk/product_info.php%3Fproducts_id%3D3314&h=700&w=1003&sz=18&tbnid=JfRsar03W4GuKM:&tbnh=104&tbnw=149&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dspeed%2Bpick%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=speed+pick&usg=__6RlWLDJlWNp1wZiQ1SShoQtBW64=&sa=X&ei=hNG4Tfj6JIS3tgeQ-v3DBw&ved=0CFIQ9QEwCA

Pida
04-30-2011, 08:05 AM
Just came back from a workshop with Adam Rafferty and realized there are at least two approaches:
- He plays these clicks just as if he wanted to play a note on the string: The pick moves into the direction of the A string and the top. He touches the E string with the top of the pick.
- Till this day, I just moved the pick in the direction of the top. I touched the string with the base part of the pick and/ or with the side of my thumb.

Adams action is very low; his way probably won't work with a medium/ high action.

SimplyLuo
04-30-2011, 11:04 AM
If using a thumbpick, it's quite a bit easier to hit between the E and A. Generally, if you don't need the A to ring, hit between E and A. If you do need it, go for the E. The E is a bit more difficult

Chips-
05-22-2011, 12:55 PM
I've been trying to learn some percussive style John Mayer songs, easiest being Why Georgia (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhYn7ryaWNE). No nail downstroke on the thumbhits.

Stop This Train (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e1FHJkVoFE) is a lot harder for me to get the hang of.

tstrahle
05-30-2011, 01:13 AM
Mayer and Mraz employ similar techniques. Here's a lesson about it...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_AXlHOXhCc

tstrahle
05-31-2011, 01:24 AM
Also Sarah Jarosz demonstrates a clawhammer technique here that is a predecessor to Mayer and Mraz and others like them...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVGg38_QzOI