D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Archive of on-line classical guitar lessons from previous years.
Forum rules
The classical guitar lessons are free. They are aimed at the isolated amateur who does not have access to a teacher. To join the class, apply for registration into the students group.

PDF, MP3, Vidéos, Lessons : Level D01 - Level D02 - Level D03 - Level D04 - Level D05 - Level D06 - Level D07 - Level D08 - Level D09 - Level D10 - Level D11 - Level D12.
User avatar
Haris Karachristianidis
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:50 am
Location: Kavala, Greece

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Haris Karachristianidis » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:34 pm

Hello Mariano,
Of course this is the best way.

User avatar
CarlWestman
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:36 pm
Location: Chattanooga, TN

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by CarlWestman » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:00 pm

Marko - here is another take on Krieger's Menuet, at a slower tempo.

I played this at a 613.5mm scale: capo at first fret, tuned down a half step, so the net result is standard tuning on a shorter scale. I find it difficult otherwise to spread my 2 and 4 fretting fingers in that second-to-last measure of each section to play the E and B together ... while still getting a clean sound. My hands are average sized, but laterally inflexible. [I cannot even make a right angle with my thumb and pinky.]
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Marko Räsänen
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3815
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:56 am
Location: Finland

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:38 pm

:bravo: Carl,

That was much better than the previous version (not counting the buzzing sound, and slight pitch / tuning issue here and there). It is clear that now you know how the rhythm in this piece goes. You still have some slight timing accuracy issues, and I think you hit the nail in the head by mentioning the difficulties with your left hand reach. You see, I first mistakenly thought that the problem was with the right hand, but now realized that the issue is with your left hand. For example in bar 5, you're not supposed to move your hand when going from 'c' to 'b' and to 'a', and since you do move it, letting the fingers go before fretting the next note, the result sounds choppy.

I'm not sure how much will your hand really stretch laterally as you keep playing, but I think a very big part of getting a better reach comes from strengthening of the hand and finger muscles, so that you can find the necessary strength to fret in positions where you previously didn't. Another thing is that I watched your previous menuet video in youtube, and noticed that your left hand isn't parallel to the guitar neck in those places where you need the reach. Is that because you tried your best to fret fingers 1,2 and 4 on frets 1, 2 and 4, couldn't do it, and decided to change the strategy to do a series of position shifts? Sometimes a difficult stretch is difficult only because we haven't yet figured out a hand position that allows us to reach in the best way. The hand has three dimensions, so it's not always immediately obvious how to get the best reach.

In my opinion the use of capo to reduce the scale length is acceptable, and I don't even think you need to tune down to compensate, unless you specifically want to. It is, afterall, better to be safe than sorry. But you do need to find a capo position, which allows you to fret all 4 fingers at the same time to frets 1-4. Otherwise things are getting very difficult for you, and none of the fingerings regularly used in guitar music won't work for you.
Alhambra 4P spruce
Almansa 457 cedar
Cordoba C12 spruce

Halil Akaydin
Posts: 192
Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:17 pm

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Halil Akaydin » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:15 pm

Haris, thank you for your comments.

I admire your smooth and relaxed technique and good tone.

I look forward to seeing more of your videos and studying together in D03.

User avatar
CarlWestman
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:36 pm
Location: Chattanooga, TN

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by CarlWestman » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:58 pm

Marko, thank you for the feedback. I will explain a little and see if that generates any further thoughts.

First, I'm a bit puzzled about the left hand not parallel thing, because I can't really see my left hand well in the video. You're talking the fretting hand, right? I see the fingers a bit but little else. Are you basing it on the position of the heel of my hand? I assume you are saying it needs to face upwards more, and not face so much down the neck toward the guitar body?

As for stretches, I can just say a few things. I began exploring classical guitar just a few years ago in my early 40s, after a few years of beginning level other styles. I have never been flexible - I can not only not touch my toes with legs straight, I miss them by a good 10 inches / 25cm! Fortunately not many things still in my life require this degree of flexibility. With respect to my hands, yes, I suppose the hand position moving was a way to make those reaches more cleanly, quickly, and painlessly. On a 650mm guitar, I can touch them all with difficulty, but I can't really get them in the right spot. For instance, if I put the 2 finger down on E or A (depending on what part of the piece it is), right behind that fret, I can only get my 4 finger (pinky) down right in front of the fret to hit that B on the 3rd string. So it can buzz there because I'm barely reaching to fret that note, and I should be much further over to get it cleanly. That's a reason I went to the capo. With the capo, I can get my pinky more or less in the middle, between the frets, and that's enough to strike the note cleanly (most of the time ... though in standard tuning, the string tension with capo is lower so the strings may buzz easier there even if I am in a better position).

Many will say I can stretch it out with time and effort. Maybe, maybe not. If I don't have to keep up with a piece, I can place my fingers in the position described above, and then force my fingers (2, 4) apart with some amount of strain and pain, I can then play the notes cleanly on a 650mm scale guitar. I cannot be done quickly (while playing a piece, for instance) but it can theoretically be done. I'm not a doctor, but I bet It's probably not wise.

As for the lifting up the C note on the second string, which is struck right before the B then A sequence, as well as right before the B and E combination, I did not think I needed to hold it down there, because it's an eighth note, it does not continue once the B is struck. So lifting up there and moving my hand (making it easier to get that reach) seemed permissible there. Perhaps I was mistaken?

So I have been considering shorter scale guitars for some time and, while I have not bought one yet, I'm very tempted and close to deciding on one. The unfortunate thing is that slightly smaller guitars, like the Cordoba Dolce, probably wouldn't make enough of a difference for me, since they barely shorten the scale half as much as putting a capo behind the first fret (630mm vs. 613.5). It's a very sweet sounding guitar, though. So I've been looking smaller yet, such as the Cadete and a number of kids' models.

Beatriz Martin

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Beatriz Martin » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:48 pm

Congratulations everyone for your hard work and submissions with this lesson!. I really miss the group. I haven't been able to follow this lesson as I joint a guitar ensemble and i am busy learning their pieces. Their concert is next month in April, so I will come back to the lessons in May. I will have to continue on my own later, I do miss the interaction and the learning with the lessons.
The menuet and tarantela seem very challenging :bravo: everybody :!:

User avatar
Satyajit Kadle
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:30 am

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Satyajit Kadle » Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:12 am

Hi Bea. The ensemble and upcoming concert sound very exciting! Please do post some vids/recordings so we can enjoy the pieces :)

User avatar
Haris Karachristianidis
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:50 am
Location: Kavala, Greece

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Haris Karachristianidis » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:46 am

Halil Akaydin wrote:Haris, thank you for your comments.

I admire your smooth and relaxed technique and good tone.

I look forward to seeing more of your videos and studying together in D03.
Thank you Halil! I hope I will be at D03, till now I have submitted lessons 1-3 and 8. I started late and try to catch up, I think I will till the exams.
I am experimenting with nails/tone. Sometimes the tone is good, then the nails grow and i can not reproduce the shape and the tone is not good.. I even have not decided about fingertip shape or ramp..

Halil (and classmates), what strings and tension do you use? I think it would be interesting if we knew from what strings comes the sound we hear at the recordings.

Am I off topic? :D

User avatar
Marko Räsänen
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3815
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:56 am
Location: Finland

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:53 am

CarlWestman wrote:First, I'm a bit puzzled about the left hand not parallel thing, because I can't really see my left hand well in the video. You're talking the fretting hand, right? I see the fingers a bit but little else. Are you basing it on the position of the heel of my hand? I assume you are saying it needs to face upwards more, and not face so much down the neck toward the guitar body?


Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying, and yes, I think I am basing it on the position of the heel of your hand. Next time, try to get your left hand to fit in the frame better, so it will be easier to analyze your hand position further.
CarlWestman wrote:Many will say I can stretch it out with time and effort. Maybe, maybe not. If I don't have to keep up with a piece, I can place my fingers in the position described above, and then force my fingers (2, 4) apart with some amount of strain and pain, I can then play the notes cleanly on a 650mm scale guitar. I cannot be done quickly (while playing a piece, for instance) but it can theoretically be done. I'm not a doctor, but I bet It's probably not wise.
Based on what you wrote, I would guess that even if your hand will stretch somewhat, you will always be handicapped compared to most others. As some kind of reference, when fretting the 'c' on the first fret of the 2nd string, my pinky will reach the 5th fret on the 3rd string without any kind of effort. 6th fret is a bit of a stretch and I feel slight discomfort in doing it, but I will get a buzz free tone from both notes at the same time rather easily. And I don't consider my hands to be of large size. And I still struggle with vertical reach in some of the D05 pieces (3rd finger on 1st or 2nd string, and pinky on 6th string one fret further type of fingerings).
CarlWestman wrote:As for the lifting up the C note on the second string, which is struck right before the B then A sequence, as well as right before the B and E combination, I did not think I needed to hold it down there, because it's an eighth note, it does not continue once the B is struck. So lifting up there and moving my hand (making it easier to get that reach) seemed permissible there. Perhaps I was mistaken?
There are times when position shifts are needed. Then there are times when they need to be avoided. To make the melody line sound seamless, you may stop the previous note as close to the same time the new one sounds as possible. Position shift will never sound exactly as seamless as just fretting or unfretting the finger and plucking the string at the very same time. And to get it even close, the shifts must be practiced separately in a piece. But that's beside the point. The standard tuning of the guitar is 5 frets apart with the exception of the interval of 2nd and 3rd string. That means that there are harmonies you can play only by having the 1st and the 4th frets fretted at the same time (for example playing d# octaves apart at 4th and 2nd string, assuming that 5th string cannot be used for d#, because there is another note played in there). The bottom line is, you can make do with the melodic passages by spending much more effort than would be needed, but you'll hit a dead end with polyphonic passages or chords that require the reach.
CarlWestman wrote:So I have been considering shorter scale guitars for some time and, while I have not bought one yet, I'm very tempted and close to deciding on one. The unfortunate thing is that slightly smaller guitars, like the Cordoba Dolce, probably wouldn't make enough of a difference for me, since they barely shorten the scale half as much as putting a capo behind the first fret (630mm vs. 613.5). It's a very sweet sounding guitar, though. So I've been looking smaller yet, such as the Cadete and a number of kids' models.
The only advice I can give is to go with scale size that lets you effortlessly fret 1st and 4th frets at the same time when your palm is parallel to the fretboard. You can then work with that guitar for a better reach, and if your hand becomes more flexible, you may consider switching to longer scale.
Alhambra 4P spruce
Almansa 457 cedar
Cordoba C12 spruce

Halil Akaydin
Posts: 192
Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:17 pm

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Halil Akaydin » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:08 pm

I use Saverez high tension strings. The ones in the blue package.

User avatar
CarlWestman
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:36 pm
Location: Chattanooga, TN

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by CarlWestman » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:54 pm

Marko -

Wow, you must have big hands! Mine aren't so terribly small (my glove size is right on the border of M/L) but the fingers don't space out really well.

I find that if I raise the neck of the guitar - maybe 10 degrees (say from 35 to 45) does seem to help get my LH more parallel to the fretboard. Though it can feel like my LH is rather close to my body. Tell me this, what do you think of the hand position in this video, around time 0:18?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMZzFMKd_FE

At 0:01 it looks parallel as you recommend. But by 0:18, it has turned quite a bit. Just curious.

As for stretches, as I said, wow. I can't begin to reach like that. If I fret C on the 2nd string, my pinky can land just past the 3rd fret on D#. That's with arched fingers. If I flatten out my fingers, thus musing the strings underneath, I can get that pinky to land midway between the 3rd and 4th frets for a cleaner D#. With strain and no arch, I can get it right behind the 4th fret. But if I have to arch those fretting fingers, my index and pinky tend to turn inward, and I'm barely past that 3rd fret. I know that sounds pathetic, but that's just how it is!

Haris: I use D'Addario EJ45 normal tension on a 650mm guitar. However, if I end up regularly playing at a shorter scale, either with a capo or on a different guitar, there's a case to be made for high tension strings (like EJ46) particularly if I capo with tuning down so the net effect is standard tuning. Shorter scale (modern) instruments often benefit from higher tension strings, but one should always check manufacturer's or luthier's recommendation.

User avatar
Marko Räsänen
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3815
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:56 am
Location: Finland

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:19 pm

Carl, the hand position in the video looks ok to me, but I'm not sure if anything else changes but the camera angle. I don't think it's completely parallel to begin with. The reason I recommended parallel position is just to increase the reach of the pinky. I don't really believe in any certain hand position. When I'm faced with a difficult chord or stretch, I just find a hand position that works the best for that specific spot. Later on I may find that I'm able to play that spot without any significant change of hand position, as my hand strength and dexterity has increased. Sometimes it's just about finding the correct spot for thumb for that specific passage, that will make things a whole lot easier.

Furthermore everyone's hands are different, so it wouldn't make sense to recommend any fixed hand position that they must always use. I say do whatever is needed to produce the notes, preferably with a good tone. Of course, when you do have options you should do whatever feels most ergonomically correct, and I think palm angled towards the sound hole is what is generally recommended. But often times you will have no choice but to use the only position / angle possible that lets you do the fretting. Just keep in mind that pain is always a sign of danger. And if some fingering seems plain impossible, then change it. In menuet you can play the 'b' on open 2nd string. It's just fingered on the 3rd string to give you some practice with your reach, I believe.
CarlWestman wrote:If I fret C on the 2nd string, my pinky can land just past the 3rd fret on D#. That's with arched fingers. If I flatten out my fingers, thus musing the strings underneath, I can get that pinky to land midway between the 3rd and 4th frets for a cleaner D#. With strain and no arch, I can get it right behind the 4th fret. But if I have to arch those fretting fingers, my index and pinky tend to turn inward, and I'm barely past that 3rd fret.
Luckily in this case, you don't need to arch your fingers. The flattened out pinky will damp the 'c' as it's supposed to, but of course you need to land it just on time for the 'b' to be played, or otherwise it won't sound any better than the position switch. Can you get your middle finger on the 2nd fret 'a' at the same time as you have the flattened out pinky on 'b'? Your pinky doesn't need to be all the way on the 4th fret. Just enough that you get a clean tone. Also, you can cheat a bit with the stretch by letting go with your index finger on 'c' at the same time as you fret the 'b'. Just make it sound as seamless as you can. Good luck with your practice, and remember to take it slow and really concentrate on what you're doing! :bye:
Alhambra 4P spruce
Almansa 457 cedar
Cordoba C12 spruce

Mariano Martínez Gallego
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:01 pm
Location: Medina del Campo (Valladolid) España

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Mariano Martínez Gallego » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:36 pm

Hello CarlWestman
I saw the tips that you are paying on your left hand.

I spend a link that you can serve.

http://youtu.be/-XbUkcjuMds

Normally, knowing the technique, the fingers of fit.

I at first did not well, but with Mr. Delcamp exercises, am now perfectly.

Practice, and gives you time to time

A greeting
Mariano.

Note: Andrés Segovia, had small fingers, and see how he played.
Mi paso más

User avatar
Haris Karachristianidis
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:50 am
Location: Kavala, Greece

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Haris Karachristianidis » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:02 am

Halil Akaydin wrote:I use Saverez high tension strings. The ones in the blue package.
CarlWestman wrote:Haris: I use D'Addario EJ45 normal tension on a 650mm guitar. However, if I end up regularly playing at a shorter scale, either with a capo or on a different guitar, there's a case to be made for high tension strings (like EJ46) particularly if I capo with tuning down so the net effect is standard tuning. Shorter scale (modern) instruments often benefit from higher tension strings, but one should always check manufacturer's or luthier's recommendation.
I use D'Addario EJ45 too but I replaced the 3rd string with a carbon one because the original sounded dull and not as loud as the other ones. But I will experiment further with different strings.

User avatar
CarlWestman
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:36 pm
Location: Chattanooga, TN

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by CarlWestman » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:28 pm

Mariano Martínez Gallego wrote:Hello CarlWestman
I saw the tips that you are paying on your left hand.

I spend a link that you can serve.

http://youtu.be/-XbUkcjuMds

Normally, knowing the technique, the fingers of fit.

I at first did not well, but with Mr. Delcamp exercises, am now perfectly.

Practice, and gives you time to time

A greeting
Mariano.

Note: Andrés Segovia, had small fingers, and see how he played.
Mariano,

I appreciate your interest in the English forum here for D02, but I must apologize for not responding to most of your posts. The reason is that most of the time I simply do not understand what you are saying. If you are using an online translator, you may wish to try some alternatives ones.

That said, I do understand your last sentence - the note about Segovia, and while I have heard that claimed before, I have also read on this forum others who have claimed that he had huge hands, that in shaking his hand, they felt theirs was swallowed up in his - and that the small hands claim is a popular myth. I don't know which is true. We must consider our sources of information. But hand size is only one factor. If you cannot spread your fingers wide, without significant pain, it doesn't matter if someone's hands are bigger or smaller.

Many will also say, well, with practice you will get more flexible. Perhaps ... or perhaps I'll end up needing rehab on strained tendons my hand. I have been playing on and off for 10 years (not just classical), and my hands have not gotten more flexible. Granted, I haven't made a point of doing stretches for 10 years, but my hands hurt just from trying to figure out my reach for the purposes of the last few posts in this thread. So I'm not inclined to push it much further.

Thank you for the link, I will watch when I have an hour to spare.

CW

Return to “Classical guitar lessons archive”