D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

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Jean-François Delcamp
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D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Jean-François Delcamp » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:51 am

Hello everyone,
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.
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 102 ex. 51 to 55.
Exercises 51 to 54 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 55 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 87 Jean-François DELCAMP (1956) EXTENSIONS
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 65 Mattéo CARCASSI (1792-1853) VALSE opus 59
The first 8 bar phrase is made up of short elements, it is fragmented. The second 8 bar phrase is all one block, and therefore forms a contrast with the first phrase. The third phrase repeats the first. The fourth phrase is a synthesis of the first two phrases, it is made up of two elements of 4 bars each.



- page 50 Fernando SOR (1778-1839) EXERCICE II opus 35
Sing one voice and play the other. Find the best places to breathe while you are singing.




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.




I ask you first to work on all these exercises and pieces for one week and then to post your recordings on the forum for:
- exercises number 9 on page 87 and
- number 54 on page 102, as well as for the
- Fernando SOR EXERCICE II opus 35


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 Geoff (GeoffB) who has helped in the translation of my lessons into English.

Jean-François

---

Exam qualifying submissions:

exercises number 9 on page 87
number 54 on page 102
Fernando SOR EXERCICE II opus 35

Halil Akaydin
exercises number 9 on page 87
number 54 on page 102
Fernando SOR EXERCICE II opus 35

Duang Turongratanachai
exercises number 9 on page 87
number 54 on page 102
Fernando SOR EXERCICE II opus 35

Haris Karachristianidis
exercises number 9 on page 87
number 54 on page 102
Fernando SOR EXERCICE II opus 35

Beatriz Martin
exercises number 9 on page 87
number 54 on page 102
Fernando SOR EXERCICE II opus 35

Carl Westman
exercises number 9 on page 87
number 54 on page 102
Fernando SOR EXERCICE II opus 35

Paul Janssen
exercises number 9 on page 87
number 54 on page 102
Fernando SOR EXERCICE II opus 35

Rick Beauregard
exercises number 9 on page 87
number 54 on page 102
Fernando SOR EXERCICE II opus 35
:( + ♫ = :)

Beatriz Martin

Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Beatriz Martin » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:56 pm

Good practice and learning to everyone with this lesson!
Now, exercises 52 and 53 on page 102 that we played last year too are pretty difficult. I wonder about the purpose of doing these exercises? Do you ever play a piece where you, for example, have to play m, p, and lift the a, i, and viceversa, and/or play a finger while lifting the other three, etc?. Do you really play a piece like that? ....

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Paul Janssen
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Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Paul Janssen » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:56 pm

Hi Bea, I just had a go at 52 & 53 on pg 102 and I agree - they're really hard. So is the Extensions exercise on pg 87 (I only did it a couple of times and my left hand felt it!!). This will be an interesting couple of weeks.

As to whether we will ever use these techniques, I'm not sure. But perhaps the point is more around developing the finger independence which we will need to play harder repertoire? Also, I'm pretty sure that Andrew York uses this technique (or something very similar) in his piece "Yamour". If you've not seen/heard this search for "yamour andrew york" on youtube and click on the first hit. It's worth listening to the clip just for the sound of the guitar (I love the sound of the guitar in that video - It's so yummmmmy!!)

Beatriz Martin

Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Beatriz Martin » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:29 am

Yes the extension are really hard too, they get harder as you play the F, F#, G, G# on the sixth string with one finger and higher notes on lower strings with other fingers.
No, I havent heard or seen that piece, I will look at it some time.

Bea :)

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Marko Räsänen » Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:43 am

Beatriz Martin wrote:Do you ever play a piece where you, for example, have to play m, p, and lift the a, i, and viceversa, and/or play a finger while lifting the other three, etc?. Do you really play a piece like that? ....
I suppose in many cases it is possible to write left hand fingerings that avoid the open strings, but that will be at the cost of lost legato. Generally pieces with multiple voices / counterpoint will require damping individual strings with i,m or a, at the same time when other fingers play. This is done to clarify the articulation. There's at least one Bach piece in D05 requiring that technique. Then there's a Musette by Bach in D06 that requires p and i to alternate on bass, and play the bass line staccato, while m and a are playing the melody line legato.

The exercise you're referring to is very beneficial in preparation for that. And as Paul said, also for developing right hand finger independence in general. You'll have to do the same exercise in two following years as well, so there's at least plenty of time to get good at it :D
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Haris Karachristianidis
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Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Haris Karachristianidis » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:00 pm

In Sor opus 35 there is no dumping sign. But obviously it is needed some times.

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Marko Räsänen » Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:42 pm

Hi Haris,

There can be different degrees of damping applied to this piece. Professor Delcamp allows for quite a bit of ringing, so I think you should probably follow his example. The open string notes that minimally need to be damped in my opinion are (I'll refer to bars starting from '1' to mean the first full bar, i.e. not counting the pickup bars):

1. Bar 8, first beat, damp the open 3rd string 'g' (use for example left hand finger '2' to touch the string). Same thing in the last bar of the piece.
2. Bar 9, first beat, damp the open 1st string 'e' (fret the 2nd string 'd' with pinky slanted, so that it will mute the 1st string). Same with bar 11.
3. Bar 10, first beat, the middle voice has a rest there, so technically the 3rd string should be damped, but I don't think Professor Delcamp mutes it, and it may be too difficult for the third year. The muting would happen by placing 'i' finger on the 3rd string at the first beat at the same time as p and m are placed and played on 6th and 2nd string. Then 'i' would play on beat 2. The same thing should happen on bars 11, 12, 13 and 14 as well. You might save learning this as the last thing.
4. Bar 10, first beat, p should damp the open 5th string 'a' by resting on it as soon as it has played 'g' on the 6th string. Same with bar 12.
5. Bar 10, 3rd beat, the open 2nd string 'b' must be damped. I would do that by fretting finger '1' on the first fret 'c' already here (but gently enough so that the 'c' will not sound), as it will be needed there at the end of the next bar. There are other options as well, but for me that is the easiest one.
6. Bar 16, first beat, the open 4th string 'd' must be damped. If you play the chord with ima, you can use p just to damp the 4th string. I think that is the preferred method, as the chord needs to be damped as well on the 2nd beat simply by lowering ima back to strings.

Whether to damp the 3rd string open 'g' that is played at the 2nd beat of bar 4 at the first beat of the next bar (and similarly with bar 20), is a matter of taste. I don't see a way of comfortably doing it with the left hand, so it either needs to be done with 'i' or resting the thumb on it after playing the bass note 'd' on the 4th string.

Depending on your guitar and strings, the 3rd string usually doesn't sustain too well, and is not too intrusive especially when the harmony doesn't change, so damping it isn't too big of a priority.
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Question on Sor piece

Post by CarlWestman » Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:19 pm

OK, I'm just getting started on practicing these pieces. Hooray that there aren't 18! Now, that p. 87 n. 9 is really hard. In fact, I'm not sure I can move my pinky that way. A shorter scale guitar helps with some of those reaches but I just can't move my fingers in some of the ways he can, not even if I had all the time in the world. The only thing I might be able to do is pivot my LH so that I can lay my pinky across the first two strings, thus hitting that D#. And that's not even the boxed part! (actually it's harder for me than the boxed part - and hurts like heck right now).

I worked my way through the Sor piece. There is one part near the end that is confusing to me, a seeming difference between the sheet music and M. Delcamp's video example. Basically, on the last line, the last high G on the sheet music (the eighth note one, not the sixteenth note in the measure before) - I don't hear it either time it is played through. In other words, when I play according to the sheet music, it doesn't sound right, both in general and because I don't hear it in M. Delcamp's example. Is it really there, and I'm missing it? Or is he playing something else? I can't see him playing it in the video, I can't hear it, so I'm wondering what it is he is playing. It sounds more "right" to me than the sheet music.

Beatriz Martin

Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Beatriz Martin » Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:44 pm

Marko,
Thanks for sharing this guide and tips for damping. I am so used to see the symbol that I wasn't thinking of any damping. But obviously, now we will have to start figuring out where to damp and how. Delcamp won't be pointing out all the time where to do it.
I think it is easier to remember to dampen the open E, A, D in strings 4, 5, 6 because I could hear more clearly their vibrations. As for the damping notes in the first three strings my ears are blocked to any vibration, maybe because my guitar has a low volume too. As for the G on the 3rd string I wouldn't have thought it was necessary, and on top of this, it is hard.

Carl,
For the extensions exercises what you could do is start on lower frets are Mr. Delcamp suggests, then as you get better in extensions you could move to the first fret.
In regards to the Sor piece, if you are talking about when you play the G on the 1st string with the E on the 4th string, what is it what you don't hear? Just the G? do you hear the E?

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Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Paul Janssen » Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:48 pm

HI Carl,

Out of curiosity for the Extensions exercises on page 87 are you using (or have you tried to use) a Capo as suggested by Professor Delcamp?

Also, I agree with you regarding the Sor piece. It sounds like professor Delcamp may have repeated the first 4 bars on the 2nd line of the music rather than playing the last four bars on the last line. However, I think the way the sheet music is written makes more sense as it acts a little bit like a full stop (as in this slight variation signals that the tune is coming to an end). So for me, I will be practicing this as written on the sheet music.

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Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Haris Karachristianidis » Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:13 am

Marko, thank you a lot for very extensive and detailed answer!

Carl, try with capo at higher frets, put it where you can play the exercise and then change its position to become slightly more difficult. Last extension with Si string is very difficult.

Beatriz Martin

Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Beatriz Martin » Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:27 pm

I tried to play the extension exercises putting a capo at different frets and exe 9 is even more difficult than doing it from the first fret, so I went back to without capo.

Bea :)

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Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Paul Janssen » Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:06 pm

That's interesting Bea as I found the Capo did help did help a little. Having said that, I'm now trying to do it without a capo. I'm finding extension exercises 8 & 9 very difficult especially when my fourth finger is playing the G# on the low E string. I can't play the note with my 3rd finger without lifting my 1st and 2nd fingers and even then the high note usually isn't clean. I don't know how M. Delcamp does this.

I'm also finding Damping exercises 52 & 53 very challenging. I suspect it will be weeks before I submit my contributions for lesson 02!!

Beatriz Martin

Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Beatriz Martin » Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:44 pm

What do you think about exercise II opus 35 from Sor?... It calls my atention that Sor called them 24 very easy exercise for guitar. If this is very easy, I cant imagine what's very hard in Sor.
I notice my finger are very tense when playing this piece, for example, going from bar 4 to 5 it is hard getting ready my pinky to do the G on the first string. In general my pinky is pretty tense through out this piece.

Bea :)

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Re: D03 Classical guitar lesson 02

Post by Paul Janssen » Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:05 am

Truthfully, I haven't played it much (I played it for the first time last night and only a couple of times). I really like the tune though which for me will make it easier to practice it.

Looking specifically at the section you mentioned (I think you're talking about the last bar on line 1 and the 1st bar on line 2?). You may already be doing this, but perhaps it will be easier to lift the 2nd finger off the 2nd fret 4th string (the middle E note) just before playing the low C and high E. This means that it's not as hard a stretch to reach the High G note with my 4th finger. As always, try practicing these two bars over and over really slowly at first.

Have you ever read Larry McDonald's method called "Segment Practice". Larry shared a link to this on this forum a while back. You can find it here: http://www.larrymcdonaldguitar.com/pdfs ... actice.pdf. This method makes a lot of sense especially when you come across a tricky section like this. It also supports what M. Delcamp mentions above about playing at a slow tempo and gradually building up speed. It's well worth a read.

Paul

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