Some Plucking and Striking Techniques
Here some techniques of plucking the strings and/or striking the main body.
Pluck with the right hand fingers
Plucking with fingers (Tsuma-biki)
Pluck the strings with the fingers of the right hand.
Pull the strings up and release from there. Similar to the Bartok pizzicato effect.
Pluck with handle of the plectrum
Pluck with plectrum handle
Pluck and strike with plectrum handle
Pluck and strike with plectrum handle: sample
In this fragment from ‘November Steps’ composed by Tôru Takemitsu, you can listen the plectrum handle technique.
Special plucked sounds
The 2nd and 3rd string are twisted with the left hand fingers and plucked with the plectrum. This sonority is for example used in ‘Passacaglia’ composed by Keiko Harada.
It is possible to play various harmonics by touching the string softly at some specific points. In this sample, the string is touched exactly in the middle, evoking the first harmonic (octave).
With your left hand located above the main body, push down a string with a finger nail but without the string touching the main body. Now, the string is plucked with the plectrum. This technique is used in ‘Eclipse’ as well as ‘November Steps’ composed by Tôru Takemitsu.