Postby Jean-François Delcamp » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:03 am
Please start by downloading the latest version of volume D03.
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 93 Jean-François DELCAMP (1956) GAMMES - SCALE - SCALES - ESCALAS
Improvisation work - D03
These exercises in improvisation are to be done several times a week, for several months. Vary the volume (mf, pp, ff, p ...), timbres and rhythms. Never play the same thing twice, because it would cease to be improvisation, and would become composition.
1/ improvise on a single note (A) for 20 seconds.
I ask you first to work on all these exercises and tunes for a week and then to upload your recordings of:
- page 57 Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) GHIRIBIZZO n°23
- 14/ improvise arpeggios upon the harmonic sequence of "Folias", D03, page 31.
- I ask every one of the students to take part in at least one of the musical games. If the games proposed seem too difficult for you, it is up to you to suggest new ones, adapted to your level and designed with your own rules.
I thank Geoff (GeoffB) who has helped in the translation of my lessons into English.
Exam qualifying submissions:
improvise arpeggios upon the harmonic sequence of "Folias"
Wow. This is quite a lengthy list of items to work on.
I've never been fond of having to do improvisation. I feel like I'm in the dark - I can't easily answer that question, what would sound good next? It feels like chaos. Also, It seems to me that the line between improvisation and composition isn't as stark and clear as it first appears. Is it not just the amount of forethought that distinguishes them?
As for musical games, that often calls for composition and a sense of music fundamentals like chords (& progressions) that go well together, playing in a key, I feel like if you haven't had that education before, or you have long forgotten it, you engage the game at a disadvantage, for not much of that background is covered in these lessons, as best I can tell.
Duang Turongratanachai wrote:Hi
How could I involve in the musical games? I don't get it
It looks like someone needs to start a new one. A quick scan of the games area suggests to me that nearly all musical games involve composing a bar/measure of music at a time, in a given key. Then the parts are strung together to make an interesting, if varied, composition. The thing I'm not crazy about with how they typically play out is that those who come late to the game end up having to work much harder than those who come early, because each person who joins the game is expected to play the entire cumulative piece up the the point where they add their own measure. So the first person to set up the game doesn't have to do much compared to the last.
Another tricky thing is writing your music using music scoring software. I have used MuseScore before and while I'm sure works, I'm incredibly slow with it because I never really use it. Seems to have a steep learning curve for me.
Last time we had to do games, I did a listening test. I recorded a series of arpeggios, I think, using different scale lengths on my guitar (via capo) but the same tuning. The idea was, can you match the sound sample to the scale length? (shorter scale, less string tension).
Anyway, that's one alternative to stringing together a piece a measure at a time. Another idea could be a "Name That Tune" game. There was a TV game show decades ago in the USA in which contestants would wager on how few notes they would need to be able to identify a tune:
Those scales were interesting - I had to take it pretty slow first time through, trying to figure out what notes and where they were. Arpeggios kind of interesting too with less-familiar LH fingering at times (and slurs as part of it). I made it as far as Danse D'Avila this practice, and I had to refamiliarize myself with that tune. I kind of figured out what was going on - alternating bass of E and A, and the 3/4 time signature etc. Didn't sound great first time, but the bass A and G# combination sounded particularly terrible, as I recall. I felt like I must have had a wrong note, but both are in there, right? Strange. Hmmm. Just checked the music. It doesn't look like there's actually a G# in the piece as written. Another notion could be to use G# on the first string rather than on the third (where it sounds awful with the bass A on the 5th string). Open D on the fourth is a potential contributor as well as D on the 2nd string....
With respect to the arpeggios over the Folias piece, I am a bit puzzled at how to proceed. Some of the chords have 4 notes and some 5. Given the 3/4 time signature, as well as the illustrative performance that M. Delcamp provides, it seems that one's arpeggios should have 6 notes in them. So for the first measure's D minor chord, you could, for example, play RH fingers this way: p i m a m i. (or a few other ways).
However, for the following chord, A major, there are 5 notes that are part of it. To play an arpeggio on it with 6 notes, do you just play all 5 notes in whatever order sounds good, and play one of them a second time (at the end, say)? Do you have to play all 5 notes or can you do 4 of them (e.g., leave off the high e)? Can any order be used, or should you assume to start with the bass p? If you play the same arpeggio p i m a m i with the "i m a" on the 3 treble strings, you'll miss the E on the 4th string. Should you play the same pattern throughout? I would think it would be pretty tough to switch RH pattern as well as LH fingering.
Any thoughts/suggestions would be welcome. I can't really figure out what M. Delcamp is playing for an arpeggio on that A major chord. By the video it looks like he's skipping the 4th string E, as neither his index nor his pinky seem to really fret anything at the 2nd fret in that part.
The numbers indicating the strings, I think he plays the A major like this: 5-3-2-3-4-3. 'p' is assigned to strings 5 and 4, 'i' to 3 and 'm' to 2. So no, you don't have to use all the notes of the chords. Starting each chord with the bass note probably will sound the best.
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Thanks, Marko. I guess we're supposed to improvise our own thing anyway (though improvisation may be a stretch - is anyone really going to mix up their arpeggio pattern from measure to measure?)
As for Paganini, wow, that definitely has some tricky aspects to it. One of them is that reach with the pinky in measure 27. I realize you can release the index (finger 1), but you still have to hold down the G with finger 3. And I have one of those pinky fingers that wants to move closer to the 3rd finger when it curls. I suppose I could instead lay it flat and do a half-barre at the 4th fret - it will have the same effect as lifting off the C on the 2nd string, namely to silence it. But it's not easy at all, and it's stuff like this that makes me wonder if I might play it better on a shorter scale. I certainly might play with less pain.
The Paganini piece is also tough in measures 11 and 15 where you have to strike a bass note coincident with doing some kind of slur (I forget what it's called - a grace note/acciaccatura?) It's one thing to start the bass with the grace note, but it's another to only start it once the grace note is done.
Any ideas for a musical game? Maybe we could do one with arpeggios.
I have some sad news (sad mainly for me). I have decided to no longer continue with the online lessons and have just sent a message to Marko asking him to remove me from the lessons.
As a single working parent I find I do not have enough time to devote myself properly to practicing and keeping up with the course work. As a result, I have fallen too far behind to catch up. I have not made this decision lightly, but feel under the circumstances that it is the best course of action for me.
I still very much support the concept of these online lessons and I wish you all the very best of success in your continued study of the guitar.