D02 Classical guitar lesson 2

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Jean-François Delcamp
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D02 Classical guitar lesson 2

Post by Jean-François Delcamp » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:09 pm

Hello everyone,
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.

- 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 advise you to work on all the exercises and both pieces for one week. From December 7th, please record and post your recordings on the forum for exercices number 6 on page 73 and number 40 on page 84, as well as for the piece 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.

Good luck!

I thank Charles (Charlesoln) and Geoff (GeoffB) who have helped in the translation of my lessons into English.

:( + ♫ = :)

Cy Pawsey

Re: D02 Lesson 2

Post by Cy Pawsey » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:36 pm

I just wanted to say here that as a long-time plectrum guitarist the right hand damping method is proving difficult for me but I am persevering with it!

Michael Collings
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Location: Sylva, North Carolina

Re: D02 Lesson 2

Post by Michael Collings » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:08 pm

Hey all,

Just a little confession- I have not been practicing in the way M. Delcamp suggests--i.e. focusing all one's energy on the hard sections and reserving playing whole pieces for just a couple times a week. Basically I've been practicing like I always have--playing the whole piece over and over. While this approach has helped me get to "where I'm at," I can already sense that as the lessons get harder I'm going to run into the same walls I always run into after beginning a pursuit. Consequently, my practice habits need to change.

For this lesson I'm going to try to stick to M. Delcamp's practice regimen and see what happens. I'm going to try to be rather rigid about exactly what sections of the pieces I practice and how many repetitions I devote to these sections. In other words, I'm going to try my hardest NOT to repeat the easy stuff over and over, and focus on playing the hard sections well. I can see that this will not be easy because all I want to do is make music and hear it come out of my instrument...But I'm beginning to think the only way to do this is to be more focused on how I use my time and energy in the practice room. I'll let you know how this goes!


Jack Jarrett

Re: D02 Lesson 2

Post by Jack Jarrett » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:40 am

I have tried these lessons and I can say right now that more time will be needed on the hard sections, at least by me.I am struggling to perform the damping excercises that have me simultaneously plucking p and m, then i and a! These are lessons that require training finger independance and my muscles don't want to respond even though I know what to do, I just can't get them to do it.Repetition is needed for these excercises, but me being a slow learner I'm thinking a lot more time than M. Delcamp suggests is required. And I did notice my muscles were aching after only a few minutes, so I can see that breaks will be needed for muscle recovery.

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Re: D02 Lesson 2

Post by Dragonbones » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:05 am

Michael Collings wrote:I'm going to try my hardest NOT to repeat the easy stuff over and over
There's easy stuff? :shock:

Pleasure is spread through the earth In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find. —William Wordsworth

2008 Sergio Huerta concierto,
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Gregory Martell

Re: D02 Lesson 2

Post by Gregory Martell » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:22 pm

What helps me with project tunes that I have to learn that seem daunting (and with a time limit) is to go back to the basic strategy of breaking things down into little steps. For instance, with Malaguena, I have taken a highlighter pen and marked the bars that form natural divisions within the tune. These phrases usually revolve around either similar fingering or similar notes. They range in length of 2, 4, or 8 measures long. I then kind of mentally rank them in ease of playing, some portions definitely being more challenging. I then approach ease portion as an exercise in and of itself by looking at what would be the logical fingering of both hands using other portions of the tune for context. I then write this fingering above every note. When working on the song I will play it through once in its entirety, then bounce between portions, playing an easy piece then a hard piece, back to easy then hard etc. Then I will go through it from start to finish again. I will repeat this process for the time I have allocated for playing that day along with the other specific exercises we are doing. I find I have to have a very structured approach to learning these sorts of things or I will end up going off on all sorts of tangents that usually revolve around drinking coffee and google :mrgreen:

Marilyn W

Re: D02 Lesson 2

Post by Marilyn W » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:56 pm

Lesson 2 very challenging. Have followed recommended study pattern but still find that my hand is becoming very sore. Im sure that the fingers are not supposed to do this. I am trying to retrain the hand by placing it flat on the table and following the finger use by lifting them repeatedly in different patterns. Its not easy but I am finding that it helps my brain concentrate when transfering the excercises to the guitar strings. It does not help with the pain in the hand though. It has been so bad that I have had to rest my hand for 3 days before trying again. I will not surrender.
Any suggestions would be welcome.
Marilyn :)

Richard Judge

Re: D02 Lesson 2

Post by Richard Judge » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:37 am

Don't allow your hand to get so tense that it gets sore. Relaxation is the key. The harder you try the tenser you become.
Be aware of the tension in your hand and stop if it becomes noticable. Shake out and start again.
I have tried 2 things with the more difficult paterns. eg xxmx pixa

One is do the fingers only then add the thumb after getting a feel for that. If that doesn't work I'll try missing out one finger then add that in once I get a feel for it. I find that usually it's either the thumb or a single finger that causes the problem. Concentrate on that digit.

The other thing I do is play the chord as an arpeggio. m p i a making the arpeggiated part faster until all fingers sound together.

I sit at my desk at work practicing the paterns as you describe as well.

Ned Henderson

Re: D02 Lesson 2

Post by Ned Henderson » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:02 am

I am trying to catch up. Only just started out on the lessons today and I have been putting in 40 minutes.
I am like you Michael in that my practice has often lacked enough discipline. I tend to play more to amuse myself and enjoy the sound (at least when possible!) rather than approaching it as a student who wants to improve. I see I will have to change if I want to better my technique. Patient repetition of a basic movement again and again is associated in my mind with boredom...I see I am looking for "short term gain" - ie I want to get quickly to " a pretty tune" rather than sticking steadily with the basic building blocks which help me to develop better technique.
I can see though I am roughly at an intermediate level, my technique is quite ragged and inconsistent. This attention to detail...exactly where the thumb and finger end up after a stroke... is like swallowing bitter medicine at present but I am trying to persevere.
I am telling myself to have faith in the teacher, M. Delcamp. He is offering us these lessons with support from others (who translate into English and so forth) out of great generosity and he has warned me it will take courage and patience.
Time to breathe and look out of the window...four inches of snow and all is silent.
Now, about that right hand practice....
Good luck to all fellow students.

Ned H.

Ned Henderson

Re: D02 Lesson 2

Post by Ned Henderson » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:51 pm

Hi Folks

I wonder how you are getting on with this lesson?

I am taking a close look at "p84 n37 38 39 40" today which focuses on right hand technique with open strings, it is all about precise co-ordination of the right hand digits. So simple and yet so challenging for an intermediate guitarist like myself who never developed such precision first time around. I have learned sloppy habits and it is so hard to re-programme. The mind seems to have a longing to play tuneful pieces and I am having to discipline myself and say no, not now. Maybe five minutes at the end, once you have done the difficult bit...but there is also some satisfaction in it somewhere I guess. Sometimes I wonder what a guy like me, who lacks the finest of fine motor skills, is doing trying to play classical guitar. A bit like the one legged man, Mr Spigot, who applies for the role of Tarzan (in 'Beyond the Fringe", Peter Cook and Dudley Moore).
But for the moment I am determined to plug on and compete with myself. This might be the hardest part for me. Maybe there will be easier passages. I remember someone telling me that Julian Bream, in later life, developed arm and shoulder pain and had to cease giving concerts and completely revise his technique. Not that I am intending to compete with him, but if someone at that level is prepared to start again, it may give encouragement to the rest of us...

Ned H.

Cy Pawsey

Re: D02 Lesson 2

Post by Cy Pawsey » Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:49 pm

Hi Ned - reading your post here reminds me of Pat Martino's recovery as a player.... inspirational. You may care to review at http://www.patmartino.com/


Re: D02 Lesson 2

Post by QadirASabur » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:58 pm

That's a nice piece on Pat Martino. Thanks for the link.

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Re: D02 Lesson 2 (Damping?)

Post by Rick-in-Annapolis » Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:15 pm

I have a question about the exercise 1 on page 72. My understanding was that the stars below the staff meant that the
preceding note was to be damped. It does not appear that Mr. Delcamp, in his video, was damping the previous notes.
The real question is how you damp the first note (the high E). If I merely touch the high E after playing it, and before playing
the next B, the high E stops ringing but other strings are still sounding the E in sympathetic vibrations. Should I be damping
all the strings with my left hand?

Richard Judge

Re: D02 Lesson 2

Post by Richard Judge » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:48 am

You damp each previous string with your thumb after playing the next string with a rest stroke.
M.Delcamp damps the bass strings with his left hand while playing the higher strings but I must admit I don't do this as it seams unatural to hold my hand over the top of the neck in the way he does.

Ned Henderson

Re: D02 Lesson 2 Where to post our recordings/" -homework" -

Post by Ned Henderson » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:53 pm

Good evening

Can anyone advise me where we online students are to post our recordings of the exercises and pieces as requested by M. Delcamp?
I probably read it somewhere a while ago but I can't locate it at present.


Ned H.

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