Postby Jean-François Delcamp » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:09 am
Please start by downloading the latest version of volume D02.
If you are new to the course, please read this message to familiarize yourself with the conditions for participating in the lessons. You should also read the first message in lesson 1, where you will find advice on how to make the most of your study time and on the methods of practising that I recommend.
Today, we're going to work on a series of exercises:
- page 72 ex. 1, 2 & 3.
In these right hand exercises, you will work on getting a smooth join between notes, that is to say that you will end one or more notes at the exact moment that you start the following note (or notes).
- page 84 ex. 37 to 41.
Exercises 37 to 40 are for the fingers of the right hand. The (x) sign indicates that the right hand finger is resting on the string (and damping it). Exercise 41 is for the left hand: lean the left hand finger over to damp the adjacent string at the same time as you play the new note.
- page 73 exercise 6.
Play this left-hand exercise trying to leave your fingers in place on the strings as long as you can, as I show you in the following video. If the stretches between your fingers feel too much for you, you can make it easier for the left hand by using a capo so that you play on the higher frets which are closer together and your fingers will not have to stretch so far apart. Avoid bending your left wrist, as this not only hurts, but also hinders the mobility of your fingers. Aim for the position (of the guitar neck, your elbow and your shoulder) which will allow you to play without bending your left wrist, as shown in the following video. You will be able to play this exercise more effectively if you place your left thumb below your ring finger, i.e. below the third fret. Youtube
- page 74 Chromatic scale
Play this scale trying to leave your fingers on the strings as long as possible, as shown in this video. You will be able to play this exercise more effectively if you place your left thumb below your ring finger, i.e. below the third fret.
Next, we will be working on two pieces with a phrase structure of 4 bars. Phrase structure is the division of the larger musical phrase into parts of equal length, with the most common division being into sections of 4 bars. This division is linked not only to walking, but also to dance, poetry and singing.
- page 9 Fernando SOR (1778-1839) LEÇON IV opus 60
In order to mark the beat yourself, you need to count the smallest rhythmic values out loud as you play, as indicated on the score: "1 e 2 e 3 e 4 e 5 e 6 e" ("1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6" in English)
Using a metronome is useful, but it is only a temporary crutch to lean on. You will benefit far more by counting the beats out loud as you play than by using a metronome. Internalizing the rhythm allows us in time to achieve both freedom and discipline when playing, that is, to be a musician.
If counting the smallest values out loud seems difficult, or very difficult, to you, it only means that you have to persevere, or persevere a lot more. Keep at it with determination until it becomes easy and natural for you. When, after having practised it long enough, this exercise of counting out loud while you play becomes easy, then you don't need to bother with it any more.
When you start working on a new piece, start by working very slowly, concentrating on precision. The essential thing is that you should play the music perfectly, that your rhythm should be precise, your sound well controlled, and your playing musical and expressive.
Speed will come with your new skills acquired in time through work. You should not worry about speed when tackling a new piece. At the beginning, such a preoccupation would only hinder you in your progress. It is only once you have mastered the piece within the comfort of a slow tempo, that you can start to think about playing progressively faster until finally you reach the right tempo.
- pages 12-13 Jean-François DELCAMP (1956) MALAGUEÑA
To mark the beat for yourself, count the beats out loud as you play, as indicated on the score (1 e 2 e 3 e)
i.e. ("1 and 2 and 3 and").
I ask you first to work on all these exercises and pieces for one week and then to post your recordings on the forum for:
- exercice number 6 on page 73
- exercice number 40 on page 84,
- MALAGUEÑA on pages 12 and 13.
The work I'm asking of you is difficult and requires you to be both organized and disciplined. It is certain that you will struggle to get your fingers to perform the exact movements required for the exercises. In order to succeed in this, you need to make the same movements several dozen times daily. The goal of these exercises is to strengthen and stretch your finger muscles, to make your fingers stronger and more agile. Put in plenty of work, every day, on the difficult parts, focus on them and play the easy parts only occasionally.
To get the best out of your practice time, split it up into 15 minute sessions, and leave your hands to rest for at least 30 minutes between sessions. If your hands hurt, leave them to rest for an hour, the time it takes your body to eliminate the lactic acid in your muscles, which is the main cause of muscle pain.
I thank Charles (Charlesoln) and Geoff (GeoffB) who have helped in the translation of my lessons into English.
I also am not ready to post anything for Malagueña, as it normally takes me much longer than one week to learn a new piece, and I don't want you all to hear me get frustrated on my videos I'm posting the Damping and Extension exercises. Hope to have the Malagueña piece in a few days.
Postby Lucian Bistreanu » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:42 am
Tom, Ed, I just want to point two things on the ex.6 Extensions.
First one is about extensions, as is said in the title. That means we try to leave our fingers in place on the strings as long as we can, as professor suggested. I think this is the but of this exercise.
The second one is about dynamics, it's about f vs pp, forte vs pianissimo. In short first note of each measure should sound louder than the others as shown by professor in his video.
In the meantime my trying on Malaguena still sucks
Lucian, Tom = well done on DAMP and Extensions. Lucian - good info on dynamics - I need to work on that. One thing I notice all three of us seem to have (my sight is blurry just had eye surgery so I could be wrong) is an overbending of the left wrist when we are playing. Suggestions I was given last year to help with this were 1.) move the palm of the hand closer to the fret and 2) tilt the guitar higher. Both I try in practice but then lapse into bad habits when I am recording. I need to let my eyes get back into focus so I will not be practicing for a few days.
Postby Lucian Bistreanu » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:14 pm
Tom, you are welcome!
Ed, I guess you are right about the position of my left hand, I am still searching for an optimal position to play; I ordered an ergoplay support so I am looking forward to see how will work.
Ed, Lucian, I use an Ergoplay support and have played around with different guitar angular positions, most recently while doing the Extension exercise. I agree, wrist angle definitely limits pinky finger reach.
I really like the guitar support. It helped me get the guitar into what feels to me like a good position, better than what I was able to do using the footstool. It also eliminated most of my back pain.
Ed, hope you heal up nicely from surgery. Perhaps you can just do fingering/warmup exercise type of work until your vision returns.
Thanks Lucian. Sounds like you are where I was with this piece last week.
One strategy I tried was playing measures #1,#5, #7, and #9, in succession. I did this over and over until I could do so smoothly. Then I worked on #1 & #2, #5 & #6, and #7 & #8, #9 & #10. Once that was completed I worked on (struggled with) page 12 start to finish.
I used a similar strategy for the second half, and with time (had to go back and repeat exercises above) managed to pluck my way through start to finish.
Tom - very good advice. I would add as you are doing this to constantly go back to the instructor recording and listen to the same measures you are practicing to keep the correct music flow in your mind.
I look forward to seeing the improvement from all 3 of us at the end of this month