D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:18 pm

:merci: Pat!
Pat Hargan wrote:I'm surprised at what you say about the relative difficulty of these pieces, as I find the Tarrega easier than the Bach, so maybe your judgment is based on the fact that you have been working on the Bach for longer. On the other hand, maybe it has something to do with my guitar having a cutaway - even though I am trying to pretend that it is not there for the purpose of this study, so as to practise the 'demanche'.
I was thinking mostly of Paganini and de Abreu pieces when I made a comparison of (technical) difficulty. Granted that Bach does have some technically difficult bars, but it's mostly arpeggios and scales in low positions. de Abreu piece has some nasty passages where you need to keep one or two voices sounding while changing finger positions for one or two other voices. It's very demanding (and tiring!) for the left hand, at least until you learn to do all the moves in most economical way. Paganini, on the other hand calls for very controlled right hand damping and articulation to make it sound "crisp" as I think it should sound, and there are some serious challenges for the left hand as well. I also find it difficult to maintain a good tone in the part that switches to D minor. It's also a piece that is nearly impossible to play too fast (and not just for me, but generally anybody; I have Marco Tamayo's recording of it, and it's way faster than Delcamp's).

Still in some ways, I do find Tarrega study technically more demanding than Bach, but you're right that it's probably because I had been working with Bach longer than Tarrega, and it's the position shifts that make reading the music more challenging, and it's playing those high notes trying to maintain a good tone. But then again Bach does have much more notes to play, so perhaps I would say that the bars in Bach are easier on average. And I won't go into issues of making the notes sound musical :)

Practicing the 'demanche' with a cutaway must look funny! Can't wait to see it :lol:
Pat Hargan wrote:The tremolo study needs to be faster, but you are right to play it slowly and accurately until you are ready to play it faster. Are you using pami? I couldn't tell because of the low light, and because my connection is slow and tends to default to the lowest-quality video.
Yes, I'm using pami only. I'm not sure if using those other fingerings would be useful for the purpose of getting better at pami tremolo. The tempo I used for the recording is pretty much my maximum limit that doesn't cause significant tension buildup in my right hand, at least for the duration of that piece. For the purpose of playing very accurate tremolo, I think I should have slowed down even more, but as I don't wish to spend time for tremolo at the moment, as the improvements will take several months of regular practice, I think that tempo was good for the purpose of seeing and hearing where I stand with it at the moment. Perhaps I'll start working with it regularly during the summer break. I'm not too fond of tremolo pieces generally though.

I'm looking forward for your recordings!
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Pat Hargan » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:50 pm

Marko, I totally agree with you about the Paganini and de Abreu. The damping in the Paganini is challenging, particularly in the section starting at bar 9 of the Rondoncino. I am also finding the left hand in the Alberti texture from bar 5 quite difficult because of all the shifting from barre chords to open top strings, although I have just about got the hang of that G# diminished stretch in bar 19 that was giving me trouble initially.

As for the waltz, I love the atmosphere it evokes - it reminds me of the Pernambuco piece we had recently - but, as you say, it is not easy. On the subject of mysterious score markings, how do you interpret the line at the beginning of the D major section that looks like a slide? The notes that it joins are on different strings and played with different fingers, so the usual meaning doesn't seem to apply. I am guessing that it means a glissando with the fourth finger from somewhere below the destination note (otherwise, a slide with the first finger to where?), but so far I have more or less ignored it.
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:26 pm

Hi Pat, you seem to be struggling with pretty much the same things that I've been struggling with :)

Regarding that 'impossible slide', I try to do it the same as professor Delcamp does, which is the second option you proposed. Slide the first finger few frets up so that you can still comfortably fret the 4th finger on the 2nd string. I would suggest leaving the slide until the very last moment, so that the listener just hears the start of the slide and the destination note f#. If you do that convincingly enough, the listener's brain will fill in the missing glissando notes in-between. I'm not saying I'm very good at that, but I think that's the way to go. The key is to not linger on the note your first finger stops the slide into, because that will break the illusion. Higher tempo will also help with that, once you get the piece under your fingers. The first option you mentioned (doing the sliding on the 2nd string) has the problem that you need to pluck the 2nd string on some note (d or d# possibly?), and the plucked note will be interpreted by the listener to be part of the melody, which it is not.
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Pat Hargan » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:50 pm

Here are my best attempts after a week. The recording session wasn't going very well, and I couldn't even get a complete take of de Abreu or Paganini, so I haven't posted videos of those pieces. Sorry, the sound is not very good but unfortunately I don't have time to do it again. :oops:

If you look closely at my right hand, you will see that I have an elastic band around my 'a' and 'c' fingers - this is an attempt to tame my wayward little finger. I hope after some time to be able to take it off (the rubber band, not the pinky - I think the finger will drop off of its own accord after a couple more weeks wearing the rubber band). :D

[media]https://youtu.be/XJWPC0PlKg0[/media]

[media]https://youtu.be/JVlyFlH80DQ[/media]

[media]https://youtu.be/uvPQQwDncKA[/media]
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:47 am

:bravo: Pat!

Well played! I also read somewhere about the rubber band trick, and I'm hoping it will work for you. I think it's essential to get rid of all the unnecessary tension from the right hand to achieve greater playing speed, and I think the extended pinky may also affect the tone of the 'a' finger.

Bach prelude: It was interesting to see that you had hesitations or made small mistakes in many of the same places I did. Overall, I think your tempo was slightly faster than mine, and I think was perfect for you to highlight the places that you still need to polish. I think you may have sped up a bit in the section that starts in bar 31. Something you may want to watch out for. If your planning to take part in the end of the year exam, I think there's a very good probability that this is the piece we'll get to perform, and we get a whole month to polish it between the end of the last lesson and the exam date. The exam piece is always one of the mandatory submission pieces from the spring lessons, it changes from year to year, and last year D05 had to do the only mandatory submission piece from lesson 9. Something from lesson 10 is a possibility as well though. At any rate, I think the next step is to add some more tempo and dynamics into the piece. Perhaps the opening bars could be played as first half of bar forte, and the second half of bar piano, kind of echo-like?

Tarrega study: You made this one sound really easy to play! Very fluidly played, and I'd say you have mastered it, unless you want to work on increasing the tempo, but you'll probably have other more useful things to play.

Sagreras: Well played! Your tremolo was very even as far as I can tell. Take a note of the slide lines, especially in bar 6 when the tremolo note goes from g to c and back to g (and the same bar later in the score) and try to make the glissando more audible.

Hopefully you'll find the time to do another recording session for Paganini and de Abreu. I'll try to post the Paganini at some point before the lesson ends, and perhaps some 'far from ready' very slow version of de Abreu.
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Håvard.Bergene » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:12 am

:bravo: Pat. You make it look so easy :D Nothing to add to Marko's comment.

I only focused on Bach last week, and now that I've started to look at the other Pieces (not Paganini yet) I'll have to limit Bach to the scale parts. It is a long piece, and I think it is ok to play some parts faster and some parts slower in the one-week-recording. It is still a work in progress, and I think the main idea is to get feedback before practicing mistakes for too long. When you are performing the piece (intended for :casque:), I agree that one should choose a tempo corresponding to the tempo where you can play the difficult parts fluent.

As for exam, I'm not sure it must be one of the mandatory pieces (as in required for exam). In 2012 the D03 exam was
I ask you first to work on all these exercises and tunes for a week and then to upload your recordings of:
- page 99 Jean-François DELCAMP (1956) ACCORDS
- pages 66-67 ANONYME (ca. 1860) VALSE
And the final exam was
D03 pages 68, 69 - José Ferrer Y Esteve : Ejercicio n°9
This piece was in the same lesson (D03 lesson 8), but not required to submit as part of the lesson.

I also suspect the Bach Prelude is a likely candidate for the exam, but I won't be surprised if it isn't. It might even be the Paganini or the de Abreu piece...

PS Good job on the tremolo study, Marko. I agree about the time issue on tremolo. I think that in order to use this study as tremolo practice one have to master the left hand shifts without hesitations...
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:57 am

Håvard.Bergene wrote:This piece was in the same lesson (D03 lesson 8), but not required to submit as part of the lesson.
:oops: I should have known that, as I played that piece in 2012 exams :lol: That was my first year at Delcamp, I started D03 in the middle of the year, and I think I posted most of the pieces regardless of whether they were required or not. Back then I think most people got way more excited about that piece than the Valse that was part of the requirement, so somehow I remembered that they both were required.

But I wouldn't mind at all having to do Paganini or de Abreu for the exam this summer! :D
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Pat Hargan » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:39 pm

:merci: Marko and Håvard. That's interesting info about the exams. How many pieces are required and when are they posted? I have just had a look at the calendar, but I don't really understand how it works. I'd certainly like to take part if I can.
Marko Räsänen wrote:I think it's essential to get rid of all the unnecessary tension from the right hand to achieve greater playing speed, and I think the extended pinky may also affect the tone of the 'a' finger.
I agree about getting rid of tension, it's paramount. I think the rubber band is helping, but time will tell. Unfortunately, when it comes to tone, especially on the 'a' finger, I think my main problem is my nails, but that's another story.
Marko Räsänen wrote:Perhaps the opening bars could be played as first half of bar forte, and the second half of bar piano, kind of echo-like?
Yes, that would be one approach, I was thinking the same. But there are quite a few different levels of phrase length that this piece works on. The initial I-IV-V-I chord progression is sort of a first phrase, and I would be tempted to crescendo towards the dissonance of the V chord as JFD suggests, and then maybe back off a little as it resolves back to the I. There is certainly a lot of scope in the piece for dynamic variation. I find Bach is not easy to phrase well. It is not half as obvious as the classical composers (e.g. the Paganini piece - even though that is difficult to play, the phrases are quite distinct and obvious). The challenge with Bach is that the flow of notes just goes on and on, and the performer has to do a lot of interpretation as to phrases, breathing spaces etc.
Marko Räsänen wrote:Sagreras: Take a note of the slide lines, especially in bar 6 when the tremolo note goes from g to c and back to g (and the same bar later in the score) and try to make the glissando more audible.
That's funny, I was doing my best to make it inaudible, but I was reading it as a 'same finger' mark rather than a glissando. I sort of assumed that that was part of the challenge of the exercise, I'm not sure why. :?
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:32 am

Pat Hargan wrote:How many pieces are required and when are they posted? I have just had a look at the calendar, but I don't really understand how it works. I'd certainly like to take part if I can.
If it works the same way as the last year, a recording of a single piece is required. The piece is announced one month before the exam date, i.e. 13th May for D05, so you'll have a full month to practice and record that single piece. The announcement is made in a specific exam thread in the Spanish forum (where you need to register as online student in order to submit your exam piece). Here in this forum will most likely be another thread where a moderator announces the exam and link to the thread at the Spanish forum. The thread at Spanish forum will contain specific instructions for the recording (no editing / effects may be used, and you need to tell your name before you start to play in your recording). If you choose to post an mp3 instead of a video link, you will need to attach a picture of yourself as well. For video it is required that your face will be visible at least for some time in the video. I guess those are the most important details.

Within a week or two since the exam closes, another thread is posted in the Spanish forum, containing the grades and the diplomas for download. Unfortunately no other feedback than the grade is given :( The grades are given by the judge panel consisting of moderators of the Spanish forum(?) It's all quite much fun, and since the exams take place in the order of class year, D01, D02, ... a week apart, you'll have plenty of time to see how it works in practice before having to post your own exam piece. Some people also post their practice takes here in the appropriate lesson thread (the lesson that the exam piece comes from) for peer review and feedback, when preparing for the exam.
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Pat Hargan » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:39 am

:merci: Marko, that's very helpful.
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Pat Hargan » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:13 pm

My practice was going quite well today, so I decided to make videos of the remaining pieces, for anyone who has the time or patience to watch them. There are a few bum notes etc, which I tried to correct on the repeat (fortunately there are a lot of repeats, especially in the Paganini). In the waltz, some of the glissandos are missing and some long notes are cut short, but I hope that I have managed to make the melody distinct from the accompaniment. I am enjoying all this lesson's pieces, but I particularly like this one.

One thing I noticed with these longer pieces: it was quite hard to sustain the necessary level of concentration, especially once it got to the third or fourth take.

[media]https://youtu.be/33br4A_YQGM[/media]

[media]https://youtu.be/o3iQLI0KwEs[/media]
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:17 pm

:bravo: :bravo: Pat!

That was a huge effort! For de Abreu waltz, I really have no other comments but to perhaps try to create more variation for the repeats, but I have the same problem (along with many other problems that you don't seem to have). Perhaps the best thing to do now is to listen to professor Delcamp's performance of the piece to get some ideas from there. For example the way he speeds up those quavers in melody, and plays some of them portato to create contrast to longer legato notes.

In Paganini sonata, I think you played the rondocino part slower than the first part? Or was it the same tempo? You should play the second part faster than the first one. I find it very natural because with perhaps the exception of those chord changes in coda and the sudden pima arpeggio in bar 12, for me the rondocino part is technically a bit easier. Was there some specific spot that you wanted to slow the rondo down for, or did you just decide to play both parts in the same tempo? The first part could be played slower than you now did in my opinion.

In bars 33-36 I like to damp the bass note after the first beat to create more articulated Spanish type rhythm.

From D.C. al coda you should go to start of the rondocino part. The first part isn't played anymore. I don't know any general rule to refer to. That's just how this sonata is played in those performances that I've heard. You also played the first four measures twice in the very beginning, so there was indeed quite many repeats :D
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Pat Hargan » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:11 pm

:merci: Marko. I hadn't realised that I played the first four bars twice, or about the D.C. Sorry for making quite a long piece even longer! :desole:

Actually, that makes more sense to me musically, as I couldn't figure out how to go back into the initial section after the rondocino, it seemed a bit strange. You are quite right about the tempi, I should play the rondocino faster, but this is about as fast as I can manage the damping in the section starting at bar 9 at the moment (third quaver of each bar). I wouldn't mind playing the first part a bit slower either, it would make the Alberti texture a little easier. I hadn't thought of damping the bass notes where you mention, but I will try it.
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:35 am

Pat Hargan wrote:You are quite right about the tempi, I should play the rondocino faster, but this is about as fast as I can manage the damping in the section starting at bar 9 at the moment (third quaver of each bar).
Bars 9 and 11 haven't been a problem for me wrt. damping, because the 2nd quaver gets damped 'automatically' when playing the 3rd quaver, and then damping the 3rd quaver is a matter of just a matter of moving the thumb back to 6th string from the 5th. To play the bar 10 bass notes legato would require much more complex thumb acrobatics, so I have been playing those notes staccato, damping the 2nd quaver before playing the 3rd.

But I'm very glad you brought this up, because it prompted me to look at professor Delcamp's video in slow motion, and there was a rather confusing moment as I didn't see his thumb play the 5th string at all in bars 9 and 11. I finally realized that he uses both his thumb and the index finger to play and damp those notes allowing him to do it at great speed. This is how I believe it happens:

Bar 9 (and 11):
1. play 5th string with i
2. play 6th string with p and damp 5th with i at the same time
3. damp 6th string with p

Bar 10:
1. play 5th string with p
2. play 4th string with i and damp 5th string with p
3. damp 4th string with p

The difficulty in playing bars 9 and 11 this way (I believe, haven't tried this yet) is to get the index finger from 3rd string to 5th quickly enough between quavers 1 and 2. Bar 10 should be very easy this way, because the index finger only needs to move one string and it is only needed to play quaver 3.

Unfortunately I'm away from the guitar so I cannot try how difficult this will be to learn. I think one option could be to play bars 9 and 11 with only thumb for basses, but use the index finger in bar 10. Let me know what you think?
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Pat Hargan » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:11 pm

Well, that is very interesting, Marko. I had been damping with my thumb as you described:
Bars 9 and 11 haven't been a problem for me wrt. damping, because the 2nd quaver gets damped 'automatically' when playing the 3rd quaver, and then damping the 3rd quaver is a matter of just a matter of moving the thumb back to 6th string from the 5th. To play the bar 10 bass notes legato would require much more complex thumb acrobatics, so I have been playing those notes staccato, damping the 2nd quaver before playing the 3rd.
Indeed, it was bar 10 that was giving me the most trouble. I was damping the A immediately after playing the D, and then damping the D immediately after playing the chord on the last quaver. But in truth, I have been finding bars 9 and 11 nearly as tricky: as you say, the damping of the second quaver takes care of itself, but I have been finding it quite hard to move the thumb back to damp the E after playing the chord on the fourth quaver and then to move it back to be ready on the A string - certainly, it could be a limiting factor with regard to tempo.

My initial experiments with the alternative method you describe suggest that it may indeed be a little easier, but I will need more time to get used to it to be sure. Good detective work! :merci:
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