Postby Jean-François Delcamp » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:25 pm
Please start by downloading the latest version of volume D04.
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.
- pages 118 Delcamp, Jean-François Scales n°27 and 28
For n° 28, try to find the best compromise between playing without any finger noise and playing legato. Bars 4, 5 and 6 don't present this type of difficulty, as the fingers can slide along the nylon strings without any noise.
Finally we'll look at 3 pieces.
- page 25 Anonyme, Oscar Chilesotti Se io m'accorgo ben
As in scale n°28, the main difficulty is to achieve legato playing. For the dynamics, start the first bar with a crescendo, then in the second bar play a decrescendo. Then continue using crescendo and decrescendo to match the melody. When the melody goes up, play a crescendo. When it goes down, play a decrescendo.
- page 82, 83 Strauss, Johann Lockvögel, valse opus 118
After the forte in the first two beats (which gets the attention of the listener), Johann Strauss uses the piano dynamic to maintain and sharpen the listener's attention. The valse (waltz) gets into its true rhythm from bar 4. From this bar onwards the rest of the piece has a 4-bar phrase structure.
- page 96, 97 Anonyme Mi Favorita
The first 3 bars are an introduction which serves to establish the rhythm and key of the piece. The (soft) accompaniment makes its entry in bar 4. The accompaniment is on its own from the first beat of bar 4 to the second beat of bar 5, in order to create a sense of expectation which will heighten the receptivity of the listener and prepare him for the imminent arrival of the melody. I advise you to play these two bars of accompaniment with a metronome. That will allow the melody (which starts with an upbeat at the end of bar 5) to display a free quality (a rubato) which will appear to have all the more character for having followed on from the strictness of bars 4 and 5. The contrast between strict rhythm and free rhythm will give savour and character to the beginning of this mazurka. Later there are many repetitions (bars 10-11, bars 14-15); vary the articulation (legato, staccato) and vary the tone colour (over the soundhole, towards the bridge, towards the neck).
After that, nothing else of significance happens, except for the modulation into G major.
As I work on these (and, ahem...get lesson 7 done :contrat: ) I'm going to encourage some discussion with respect to fingerings-mainly in the second section of the Strauss piece and mainly the RH.
For example I see what I think is a slur in measures 25 and 26 from the open B to the third fret D. Granted, I'm away from the guitar as I write this and I try not to make it a habit of questioning our teachers fingerings but this seems a little unorthodox. Specifically, hammering on (or pulling off) seems much more common for the second eighth note of a given beat as opposed to the first. In the video these passages whiz by just fast enough that I can't tell what is actually being played. If the indicated fingering makes things easier for the RH then I'm completely on board with them and will feel this post rather moot. But since RH fingerings are seldom, if ever indicated in Delcamp scores I'm not so sure.
Maybe I just should've waited til I had a guitar in my hand to write this???
I may also just be trying to avoid a technique I find difficult: hammering on from on open string to a fretted note is always more difficult and awkward for me compared to hammering on to a fretted note from a lower fretted note.
It's difficult to say why measures 25&26 are slurred the way they are, but I'd like to believe that the pieces that end up in the lessons serve some educational purpose, including the left hand fingerings. In this case the fingering of those measures could be made specifically that way because hammer-on onto open string is harder than fretted string (depending on the action at the nut).
To make things more complex, you need to consider that a slur has the musical meaning that the notes should be tied together (legato), and hammer-on / pull-off is just one possible (although very common) way to implement it. So the purpose of the slurring might simply be that the d note doesn't get emphasis even though it appears on the beat. Or alternatively to keep g# ringing throughout the arpeggio (which could be why the b isn't played on the 3rd string).
It generally seems to me that the right hand fingering seldom determines the left hand fingering used, but rather the other way round, although slurring could be used to make things easier for the right hand. But in this case, I think the slurring and fingering simply sounds good and less monotonic that way.
I would suggest that you explore alternative fingerings (left and right hand), and pick the one you think sounds best. Just don't do it to avoid practicing a technique
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It's good to see you again.
Your recording of "Se lo 'm accorgo ben d'un altro amante" is beautiful! I am looking forward to learning that piece. It's too bad that so many composer's names have been forgotten.
I can hear the comfort you have with this piece. As such maybe just play with dynamics a bit more. Don't rush the last beat of measure 10. The composer really wanted that 3 and a half beat A Major chord to ring and hang in the air. If I'm counting right you're coming in a half to full beat early. I've played it for years as well since it's in Noad1-but with some small variations. I haven't decided if I'll upload it as I know it, learn the changes, or not upload since it's not mandatory. If memory serves the trills at the end are indicated as all legato notes. I think that sounds better, smoother. You play it as indicated, which is fine-but I think that's a tougher way to play trills (with the RH).
Now. At the risk of seeming to want to compete with Cat's finger injury, I've got a nice cut on my RH i finger. Sigh. It's not one that prevents playing but it's certainly slowing me down. I can't promise much regarding the timeliness or accuracy of my uploads.
So sorry to hear about your finger injury. It's amazing how a broken nail or cut can really effect the ability to play! My finger still isn't healed and it looks like it will be another 3-4 months but I am happy that I can play again. I enjoyed your lesson 7 recordings.
Fellow D04 people,
Here is my "feedback" version of "Mi Favorita Mazurka". There are a few errors, but for me this is good progress for 2 weeks. The Strauss Waltz is still painful to listen to. I am having a bit of trouble keeping in tempo with the slurs. I am really enjoying both the the required pieces this month. It's hard to believe that this year's lessons are coming to an end soon!
Your performance of the Italian piece with a rather long name was very beautiful to listen to!
My only critique is regarding the tempo. You start the piece with a tempo appropriate for the "Moderato" indication, or perhaps fastish "Andante" but slow it down to near "Adagio" pace in the second part. I do find the piece very attractive when played slowly with deep expression, but in that case I think the first part should be played in the same way.
Nice job anyway!
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I think you're making good progress with the piece! Some thoughts:
I noticed that you're playing the melody with 'i' finger alone. If you still don't want / can't use 'm', why not alternate 'i' with 'a'?
This was the exam piece in 2012. Many people then did what you do now, i.e. paused in measure 23 before playing the second beat, and not just a slight pause to mark the end of the phrase, but almost a full measure worth of pause. When you do that, the listener has no clue that you started the second part with a pickup measure, and it will be a measure or two before the "rhythmic disorientation" passes. In my opinion the sudden change to dominant at the 2nd beat is more effective if there isn't any pause / fermata before it. Therefore I would suggest to practice measures 21 - 24 (skipping the first goal) until you can switch to the 2nd part without any pause. Measure 27 should have the same suddenness.
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Thank you so much for the helpful comments r,e, "Mi Favorita Mazurka"!
It's interesting that other students also paused at measure 23. The 2nd half of the piece is still a bit challenging for me, so it won't hurt to focus on this portion. I am glad I posted this early enough to work on it and post a second version before the exam piece is announced. I am still not ready to post a listenable version of the Strauss piece though.
I jumped over here from D03 to listen to your wonderful Mazurka. Loved it. or should that be Brava. I'll leave whether all the right notes were played at the right rhythm to others, since I don't know the piece. My suggestion is to vary your tone some for this beautifully melodic piece. You play ponticello, near the bridge, the whole way, probably because you're still trying to get the dots right. If you move your right hand up towards or beyond the soundhole you'll get a sweeter tone, which should sound good and be a nice addition for this piece.
I'm looking forward to starting D04. Sounds like there's some great tunes.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
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Here are my first versions of the mazurka and the valse. I didn't have much time for the recording, so I preferred the ease of using Zoom video recorder's internal audio, and I recorded in my bedroom, which is not my preferred place to play nor record, because the room is too "live" (and small). Perhaps I'll do second versions with better audio, if I can find the time.
I also noticed afterwards that at least in the Strauss piece the audio is slightly ahead of the video. Zoom recorder sometimes seems to do that, but fortunately not too often. Or perhaps I forgot to trim starting from a key frame when editing the best take out of the whole recording. My apologies for that! I'm not too pleased with my playing of the Strauss valse, and it clearly needs more work, and perhaps some rethinking of the right hand fingering for the first part, so I'm going to leave the video as it is.
A good start. I've a little feedback for you. First I'll echo the comment about your RH position. The eighth notes in the melody can sound pretty harsh with it so close to the bridge. Try some more dynamics in the opening octave riff-it's meant to be a bit dramatic I think. You're leaving out the bass note A (open 5th string) in measure 17, killing the change in harmony. That should be an easy fix though. Measure 37 is the finale of the piece and I think it sounds better with a big volume swell in addition to the poco rall. Just my opinion though I guess since none is indicated.
You play the Favorita quite fast, certainly faster than Mr Delcamp. I'm not sure if it's intentional or not. You also didn't seem to slow down for the poco rall, which given your faster performance was all the more noticeable. Most of this may just be my taste though. (that is to say I prefer the slower tempo).
I didn't hear any glaring issues with Lockvogel. Interesting, since its by far the more difficult piece. I'm having a heck of a time with it.
Something general for us all-go back and listen to Mr Delcamp version of Favorita, and also re-read his comments about his. His use of rubato in the melody is sublime. Whenever I hear anyone else play it (myself included) the melody comes off like a series of rapid fire gunshots or something. Our teacher on the other hand makes it sing. I think therein lies to the true challenge of the piece, as it's not too technically demanding otherwise.
Maybe just my opinion again though. But hey, discussions are why we're here!