Josep Mercader/Bellucci™ Radius, New Option On Bellucci Custom Guitars
First Bellucci Concert Guitar Carrying the Mercader/Bellucci™ Radius
When you observe the very "intimate" finger anatomy, you discoverer that the he sloping downwards of the Mercader/Bellucci™ fingerboard radius accompanies the hand in its anatomical design thus converting the finger/hand structure into a much more efficient one. One must understand that barring is perhaps the hardest technique to master on the classical guitar especially for the novice player although all guitar players know that barring always constitutes a challenge to the technique of the left hand. Having said that, it must be stressed that barring is a technique exclusive of the guitar and what makes it so challenging is typically generated to these 3 factors:
1) The width of the classical guitar fingerboard.
2)The height of the strings from the fingerboard.
3) The uneven contour of the index finger which is not compensated by the shape of the fingerboard as one would expect and it is especially on this aspect that the Mercader/Bellucci Custom Radius comes in extremely handy.
Above I show the Mercader/Bellucci radius from 3 different angles. This becomes especially handy when performing barre chords. In coincidence with the 10th anniversary of Bellucci Guitars (2004-2014) guitarist Josep Mercader and I have developed and Registered ™ a new radius system that facilitates the work of the left hand enormously.
The picture above shows the point where the Mercader/Bellucci Radius starts sloping downwards. It coincides with the part of the finger where the skin presents a natural depression and normally buzzes are generated because of insufficient pressure on the string against the fret. The Mercader/Bellucci radius compensates for this anatomical shortcoming.
Unlike the "standard" radius that is inspired in the violin family of instruments the Mercader/Bellucci™ system is especially conceived for the classical guitar. I consider it a great breakthrough in classical guitar construction.
As you know, the violin does not require the use of barre chords and the barre chord is perhaps the toughest technical obstacle to master for a guitar player. As a teacher and one who has studied the classical guitar technique for over 40 years, I have come to the conclusion that the barre is actually a handicap of guitar technique forced on the guitar especially by the vast amount of transcriptions that twist the guitar out of her "natural musical realm".
The problem with the barre is not generated by the stopping of the bass strings but rather in the stopping of the 3 lower strings being the 2nd and 3rd strings the more sensitive and prone to buzzing. One or more of the 3 lower strings usually coincides with the part of the index finger where less flesh is present to help squeeze and there is where the Mercader/Bellucci™ system comes in to make things a lot easier and avoid the extra strain that the absence of the special slope typically generates.
In the first trials I realized that more than 30% of the effort in stopping barre chords is relieved by the Mercader/Bellucci™ system. Every player can benefit from the Mercader/Bellucci™. It will come in handy for those beginning to study the classical guitar, for the seasoned player who knows how frustrating barre chords are and especially for those who start playing the classical guitar late in life and those making the transition from the acoustic or Electric guitar world.
The Mercader/Bellucci™ radius starts happening around the third string and slopes downwards toward the first string. The edge of the fingerboard is rounded off in order to be anatomically friendly and believe that it makes a great difference. I have played it exhaustively and I love what it enables the player to achieve. Shaving off 30% off the squeeze energy to stop barres is indeed a great achievement. You can request the Mercader/Bellucci™ fingerboard on any Custom Ordered Bellucci Guitar. Contact me for more information.