Right hand technique and KT Tape

One of the things I have been struggling since the beginning is my right hand technique.  Coming from 30+ years of playing electric/acoustic with a pick, switching over to Flamenco has been tough.

One of the aides I have employed is the usage of KT (kinesiology) tape. Since I play a lot of sports, I have used KT tape for a long time and it works. So, I thought I’d apply it to guitar to assist me in technique correction/assistance.

I have two major technique issues (#1) keeping the hand/wrist/forearm in a flat and relaxed position. Then (#2) is maintaining the fingers (especially the Index finger) in a straight, outward motion when strumming.  I tend to rest my thumb on the 6th string and then fan out the fingers when strumming rasgueado. It’s really obvious in a Buleria or Fandango.

To address issue #1, I taped the top of  hand starting from the middle finger, twisting across wrist to the bottom side of the forearm. This has helped keep my hand/wrist/forearm in a straight line.

 

To address issue #2, I had to sit in front of a mirror and play to watch what my hand was doing.  I even had my maestro Jose Tanaka observe and critique what was going on.  It turns out that I have a bad habit of “fanning” out my hand when I’m strumming.  Even with my thumb anchored on the 6th E string, my wrist would rotate down to strum. It’s way too much movement and bad technique. It looks like a dancer’s fan. It keeps me from having a uniform sound and slows down my speed.

Solution: Tape across the entire top of hand (thumb to pinky) to keep the hand from spreading apart too much. As simple as it may seem, it took a very long time to figure this out.

This forced my fingers to move directly outward in a natural motion instead of fanning downward like with a guitar pick.

There were two huge side benefits from this: my alzapua, arpegio, and abanico was faster, tighter and stronger! I was playing passages that I couldn’t play at speed before.

Recommendation:  Using KT tape is an aide and not meant to be regularly relied upon.  Eventually, you need to get off these “training wheels” and ride the bike on your own.  I have almost resolved issue #1 and I don’t do it much.  However, issue #2 is my new focus and so I have been using it a lot. Sometimes, I take the tape off and see how well I’m doing. So far, so good.  Ole!

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