Cao Nguyen wrote:
I like the clear tone you produce. I see you're using staccato to add some expressions to the music as well, very good!
A lot of you haven't posted your videos yet, so I want to share some thoughts that I came up with recently when practicing that may be helpful to you. From the previous lessons I have a feeling that we're focusing too much on the technical aspects of the pieces, i.e. where to place the fingers, when to pluck the strings, etc. Some of us can play very well but monotonously. We forget the final goal that we're trying to achieve - making music! Of course, we're beginners and the technical part is very important but I think it's not less important to practice playing musically. Here is my new approach to practicing a new piece:
1. Listen to Mr Delcamp's playing, acquiring the piece's name.
2. Search for the song on youtube, listen to other versions of it (vocal). At this stage most pieces are popular children's song. This step widens our perception of the song to allow us express it more freely, instead of limiting ourselves to the guitar version of Mr Delcamp.
3. Search for the lyrics if available. Translate and try to understand the meaning, and the deeper meaning if exists, of the lyrics. Read other information about the song - the composer, the circumstance in which the song was composed, etc. The song La Cucaracha has some interesting stories about it.
4. Listen to one favorite version of the piece, memorize the melody
and sing a long
. Take notes of where I want to put it louder, quieter, where to sing the notes together (legato) and where to cut them prematurely (staccato), etc. Write them down on the score.
5. With a clear melody in mind, approach the guitar and try to reproduce it at the actual speed with all the dynamics noted above. You need to play fast enough in order to feel the flow of the music. Play it several times, don't care about fingering, damping or some slips that may occur. Play free strokes if it's more comfortable.
6. Slow down, practice with a metronome. Adjust the fingering, the rhythm, damping, string crossing and other technicalities according to the score while maintaining and polishing the musicality of the piece. Memorize all the technical details
. Speed up to the desired tempo. I practice in front of my laptop screen with the webcam opened to adjust my hands and posture.
7. Practice more until it becomes muscle memory.
8. Find a quiet free time (
) to record and submit the recordings.
Thanks to everyone for the positive comments. My playing still needs to be polished more. My left hand staccato at high speed produces too much buzz when lifting the finger off the strings
. I haven't practiced right hand staccato yet.