D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

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Catherine Livingston

Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Catherine Livingston » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:55 pm

I have been working on Sagreras' Maria Luisa and have a couple of fingering questions.

I am wanting to go "rogue" :mrgreen: and alter the suggested fingerings in 2 places in this piece. Is that OK? What do you think?

Measure 15- Professor Delcamp uses the ring finger (3, "a"), on the left hand to hit the C note on the 4th string. I find it awkward and it is easier for me to slide the index finger (1, "p") over to hit that note.

Measure 30- The index finger (1) is used to hit the high e note on the 2nd string, 5th fret. In measure 31, the e is played open on the 1st string. I am finding myself wanting to play that high e as an open note both times. Is there a good reason to play it as a fretted note in measure 30?


Any thoughts? Other than that, I am almost ready to post this piece for feedback.

Thank you so much!
:D
Cat Livingston

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:44 pm

Hi Cat,
Measure 15- Professor Delcamp uses the ring finger (3, "a"), on the left hand to hit the C note on the 4th string. I find it awkward and it is easier for me to slide the index finger (1, "p") over to hit that note.
I haven't tried that fingering, but if it's easier for you, and you don't need to slow down the tempo for it, go for it! My only concern would be that unless you can do it in well-controlled manner, moving the index finger one fret back and forth may introduce some squeaking.
Measure 30- The index finger (1) is used to hit the high e note on the 2nd string, 5th fret. In measure 31, the e is played open on the 1st string. I am finding myself wanting to play that high e as an open note both times. Is there a good reason to play it as a fretted note in measure 30?
This fingering has the problem that you cannot sustain the half note b for its full duration, so generally I would advise against it. But I understand that you're trying to avoid the use of your 'm' finger (or moving your 'a' finger back and forth between the 1st and 2nd string), so I guess that's an acceptable compromise. I would then suggest to play the e much softer than the b, so that it won't sound as being part of the melody.

I'm looking forward to hear your recording!

Marko
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:26 pm

I did a couple of recordings today, and am now quite pleased with the sound quality.

The first one is Maria Luisa played with my much neglected Alhambra 4P, for which I fitted EJ43 low tension strings yesterday. They really seem to bring that guitar alive, although the first string is a bit too thin for my taste. The guitar is laminated back and sides, solid spruce top, and I keep it in a gig bag without any kind of humidification through the winter, and the guitar doesn't seem to mind at all.

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

I was certain that this recording was played with slower tempo than the previous one, but the duration seems to be almost exactly the same :oops:

The second recording was done with my "primary" guitar, Cordoba C12. It's Carulli's rondo. The mic and playing positions are exactly the same as in previous recordings, as are the EQ settings, and the differences between the two guitars are highlighted quite well. C12 now has Augustine Regal Red strings. Unfortunately EJ45TT trebles didn't last long before they became scratched. The difference in string tension moving from Alhambra is quite remarkable, and the guitar felt quite heavy to handle in comparison. The piece really would need to be played faster (and with less mistakes).

[media]https://youtu.be/ifHCM9n4eyQ[/media]

Both recordings sound very very close to what I'm hearing myself when playing.
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Catherine Livingston

Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Catherine Livingston » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:47 pm

Here is my "feedback version" of Sagreras' Maria Luisa. I have only worked on this piece for a little over a week because I was catching up on the lesson 6 pieces and focused quite a bit on the Carcassi piece. There is some improvement needed but I wanted to submit it for feedback so I have time to clean up the mistakes before lesson 8 starts. I tried recording in the "proper" position and it sounded even worse because I am not used to sitting that way. I will practice in that position from now on though. I did tap my foot throughout the piece to keep time but there are some lapses when I reach tricky parts I haven't mastered yet. Thanks for listening+any feedback is welcome.
:D Cat
[media]https://youtu.be/3lNz77a5WjI[/media]
Last edited by Catherine Livingston on Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Catherine Livingston

Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Catherine Livingston » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:39 am

Marko,

Thanks for posting the recordings. Both are very clear. It's interesting to listen to the differences between the two guitars. The Cordoba C12 definitely has a richer, more "full" sound but the Alhambra sounds good too. The Maria Luisa Mazurka by Sagreras does sound lively and cheerful at that pace.
:) Cat

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:32 am

Thanks for your comment, Cat!

Your Maria Luisa didn't sound bad at all for one week's effort! The proper damping of the bass notes after their marked duration will add to the crispness of the rhythm. There are a couple of reading mistakes, that you should be able to fix easily (first beat of measure 7 you should only play the bass note, not the chord as you do in your recording; in beat 1 of bar 13 the ties are only for the 3 top notes, which you should keep ringing as you do, but then you should also add the bass e on the first beat), but otherwise it's all very good!

Marko
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Mark Bacon » Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:39 pm

Cat,

It's funny-I'm doing the same thing as you, although technically an error. You and I both have a dramatic pause after playing the very first note. Mr DelCamp does as well but not so much as what you and I do. It actually sounds better to me that way, but since it is technically 'wrong' I just thought I'd point it out. It also reminds me of when I did something similar at a CG workshop and was told that rubato should never be used at the beginning of a piece as it prevents the listener from establishing the pulse. Well, that may be true. But I think what you and I are doing is less rubato and more changing the actual rhythm of the first note. Again though-I like it better 'our' way. :contrat:

Overall though there are no issues above what Marko pointed out. For my personal taste the performance was a little stiff. Perhaps try some dynamics and rubato, especially in the B section where the piece changes character. Normally I don't really like giving such vague feedback, but that's all I got for ya. I guess that's a good thing!

Mark

Catherine Livingston

Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Catherine Livingston » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:02 pm

Mark,

Thanks for the comments :) I agree that more "rubato" should be added to give the performance more flavor and interest. I tend to get nervous while recording so my performances come out a bit flat unless I feel really confident with a particular piece.
I am looking forward to hearing your recordings :)

Here is my recording of the Sanz Espanoleta improvisation. I took a few liberties and changed some quarter notes to dotted notes. I might feel ambitious enough to post improved recordings of the Carcassi and Sagreras pieces before next week. We will see...
:bye: Cat
Play in the style of and ornament: Gasper Sanz Espanoleta-
[media]https://youtu.be/itTcGMfGp6k[/media]

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:06 am

Hi Cat,

Great job with baroque style playing and ornamentation! I find it extremely difficult to play fluently notes that aren't in the music sheet, but perhaps I'll try to record something during the Easter holidays.
Catherine Livingston wrote:I tend to get nervous while recording so my performances come out a bit flat unless I feel really confident with a particular piece.
I think this is the case with most of us. What seems to help is to send multiple recordings of the same piece. Once you've already recorded the piece once, the stress when doing a second recording seems to be significantly reduced.

Marko
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:14 pm

Hi group!

I'm done with Carulli for now. During this lesson I've spent more time with it than any other individual piece, possibly because I find it the most challenging of the lot (not counting the Bach menuets, which are very challenging especially if one tries to add some ornamentation, but I'm a bit lazy to change the tuning). The Rondo is very deceiving because it only gets really difficult once you start to increase speed near to performance tempo. And of course it's rather long as well, so there are plenty of opportunities to lose concentration.

As this is my final recording of it, I celebrated it by adding a touch of reverb :) I hope you don't find it too overpowering.

[media]https://youtu.be/A3TchaWVg0w[/media]

Comments are welcome as always!
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Mark Bacon » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:41 am

Marko,

I caught that brow wipe at the end! This piece is too tough for me to refine to the point of making it upload-worthy. I especially struggle with the measures 8 and 9 and have a terrible time memorizing measures 51-55 or thereabouts. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that its pieces like this one that made me opt to repeat D04 rather than jump into D05 (well, that and a year or so not playing much guitar due to the stresses of a marital separation).

For your performance (and no, I didn't mind the reverb) I'd suggest playing with the dynamics a bit. I'd wager that you do when not recording but if you're like me the longer a piece you're recording the more cautious you get-to the point where the music suffers a bit. I have NO IDEA how the pros do it!! I especially wanted to hear more flair in the dramatic measure 13.

That's all I got for ya! :bye:

Mark

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Mark Bacon » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:46 am

Cat,

I liked the improv-you had some neat little ideas. I think I see two main issues though. For one, many of your slurs are either uneven or sometimes fairly inaudible. Two, a few times when you decided to insert one I think you started to think about it and it caused a minor break in tempo. The good news is that you could fix both with a metronome. Perhaps just run up and down a major scale at a really comfortable tempo and add the occasional trill. That ought to work wonders! In fact, I think I'll go do the same! :chaud:

Mark

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Mark Bacon » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:07 am

Marko,

A correction to where I 'wanted more flair'. I meant measures 28-29. You probably knew that. Sorry.

Mark

Catherine Livingston

Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Catherine Livingston » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:26 am

Marko,

The Carulli Rondo sounds lovely! It is much improved when compared with the version you recorded on March 22nd. Your new recording setup is sounding nice too. I didn't have time to learn this piece but thank you for inspiring me to learn it in the future.

Mark,
Thanks for the feedback. I wasn't being much of a perfectionist at all when I recorded the improvisation. I like the idea of practicing scales with slurs using a metronome. I hope you decide to let go of enough of that perfectionism to post recordings for 2 more lessons so you can finish D04 this time. Your playing is lovely and I think you will be ready for D05.

:) Cat

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:03 am

Thanks for your comments, Mark and Cat!

In my opinion the only thing separating this Rondo from D05/D06 stuff is the lack of full barrés and the fact that it doesn't go beyond the 3rd position. There are some tricky passages for the right hand, such as the fast bass melodies to be played by thumb only. Measures 24-27 have those high g notes right after the chords. Professor Delcamp seems to use either m-i or i-m for them, but I play them as a-m, as it feels a bit safer to me not having to move the hand so much, but with the cost of added tension in my right hand just before those fortissimo chords, which is probably why I'm having trouble giving them the full volume, as I'm trying to relax my hand at the same time :D

Mark, I think you made a good call by repeating D04. The very best decision naturally was not dropping CG altogether after the hardship in "real life" intervened. The spring lessons are much harder than the first five, and I think many people, myself included, make the decision to move on to the next level motivated by not wanting to repeat initial "easy" lessons of the current level. I wasn't too happy about my performance both D04 and D05 spring, and D06 start already was very tough and demanded much more work than I had time and energy for. Even after having spent much of the summer studying it. These lessons hopefully aren't going anywhere, so it's better to take the time you need.
Mark Bacon wrote:I'd wager that you do when not recording but if you're like me the longer a piece you're recording the more cautious you get-to the point where the music suffers a bit. I have NO IDEA how the pros do it!!
I did try to play with some dynamics, but it is as you said, the music does suffer a bit from wanting to avoid mistakes. The main thing of course is that the piece is still technically so hard for me that most of my concentration goes to getting all the fingers in the right places at the right time, and consequently many times the use of dynamics is simply forgotten.

The pros, and basically anyone whose interest is solely in producing a perfect recording would use edits. Lots of them. That pretty much takes the nerves out of the equation. Why would you chase that perfect single take (which you'll never going to get anyway) for hours, when you can simply play the piece a few times, choose the best bits and paste them together, and then possibly record again some isolated trouble spots. That's what DAW software is for. Performing live is of course a different matter, but then the expected quality standard isn't as high as in the recording.

Then there's the matter of "fake" live performances, which are actually music videos for studio produced CD-tracks. Take for example the famous CG video of Schubert's Ave Maria, filmed in a cathedral. It is easy to assume that what you hear is a live performance recorded in a place with perfect acoustics. Yet there are moving cameras, which means moving cameramen that manage to make no audible sound into the recording from their shoes and clothes, which is easily explained by lack of any microphone in the video frame even in the long shots. Even though the YT video description says "Filmed in the location..." and promotes the CD from the artist in question, youtube commenters praise the acoustics of the cathedral :) Some videos even have fake microphones to fool us into thinking that it's possible to play 13 minutes straight without a single buzz...
My point is that our expectations of what a live performance should sound like is affected by this kind of technical trickery.

I'm not saying that the pros couldn't record a decent single take. They very well could, but it wouldn't be a perfect take in their own mind. And they're probably happy that they won't even need to try and make it perfect at one go.
Catherine Livingston wrote:The Carulli Rondo sounds lovely! It is much improved when compared with the version you recorded on March 22nd. Your new recording setup is sounding nice too. I didn't have time to learn this piece but thank you for inspiring me to learn it in the future.
Thanks Cat! The previous Rondo version was more of a recording test for the new setup, but it also served as an eye opener to how much slower it was compared to prof. Delcamp's recording, so I knew I had to both up the tempo and work on some technical bits. Therefore it often makes sense to do a recording even when you know you're not really ready. I'm fairly pleased with my new recording setup as well! Hopefully you'll get as much enjoyment out of learning the rondo as I did :twisted: :lol:

:bye:

Marko
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