D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:16 pm

Here's my ornamented Sanz:

[media]https://youtu.be/5oGxRdvTsDw[/media]
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Catherine Livingston

Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Catherine Livingston » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:18 pm

Mark,
I am so glad you decided to return to the classical guitar after taking time off for personal reasons. You and Marko both give very detailed feedback and have a good ear for picking out nuances, so you would make a great guitar teachers if you decide to continue on this path.

Marko,
I agree that the "perfect" performance in a recording or video these days is often edited. Live performances are often flawed but they don't stand out as much due to the visual distractions in the room and background noise, etc. Our performances in this course are live and unedited, which is more difficult to accomplish. This is why so many bands perform songs live but then it takes 20 or more takes to lay down a "perfect" track in the recording studio. I think the video you posted is pretty close to perfect considering it is unedited.


Mark and Marko,
Your discussion about the pros and cons of repeating a course is really interesting. :D
I haven't decided about whether to repeat DO4 next year or move on to level D05. I am leaning towards repeating this year because I feel like I have just been posting versions of each piece with errors and lack of polish to be able to meet the deadline before the next lesson begins. I know this would be even more pronounced in level 5 since the pieces are more difficult and lengthy. I am expecting level 5 to take me two years to complete one way or another. I will make my decision based on how much practice I can accomplish over the Summer. Hopefully these lessons will continue. This site is a wonderful resource!
:bye: Cat

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Mark Bacon » Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:27 am

Catherine Livingston wrote:Mark,
I am so glad you decided to return to the classical guitar after taking time off for personal reasons...
Thanks Cat. 2013 was a really tough year. :chaud:


I'd like to weigh on on some of these things as well-I enjoy our discussions very much, and feel like I've 'known' Marko for years! :bye:

Cat-I'm not going anywhere. Not quitting lessons nor guitar. I'm just a little behind again for last month cause winter FINALLY ended here in NC and a lot of us have Spring fever. Lawn work, beer, etc. There's just too much fun stuff to do and sometimes CG suffers. My March pieces are pretty much OK enough for recording I just haven't gotten around to it. Not to mention I work rotating shifts and so am usually tired enough to have trouble getting motivated at times.

On a perfect performance...That's not what I strive for at all, not for the early submission. However, if I've been lazy and I'm basically still sight reading and know that my performance would be much too ugly to listen to then I'll definitely submit later on. During the rare occasion that I actually submit a second effort of a piece (a shame, since that's kinda the point of these lessons) even then I don't strive for perfection, but hope to incorporate the corrections/feedback offered up by the other students.

On repeating a course...or more specifically, which level we students should be enrolled in at all. It's just my opinion, but I think a vast majority of Delcamp students (well, except for the D01 beginners) miss one critical point when they try to figure out what level they should be in-and that is the fact that you are to submit a performance of 1-4 pieces after just ONE WEEK. That is NOT the amount of time you want to allot for the practice of pieces that are on the upper cusp of your performance capability-not even close! Students should likely be enrolled one level lower than whatever level they can reasonably (key word) sight read. In other words, I have several D05 pieces that I often play, and maybe a D06 or two-but I've been honing them for months! (I don't even wanna talk about how long I've been hacking away at Julia Florida!!) If I have but one week to whip something into shape enough to where I'm going to have others listen to it then it's sure not gonna be from D05 or D06! But given the progressive difficulty I think we're already at the level where most people may not naturally progress to the next level after just one year. If you're lucky enough to play a few hours every day (I don't!) then it should be feasible to do so. So please don't feel like repeating a level is any sort of failure or lack of ability (I don't!) but rather a time to further hone your abilities. Plus, I find that other students will appreciate the experience and insight that you can offer when repeating. One caveat though that I've found during my D04 repeat, you'll tire of the pieces much more quickly.

Sorry so verbose. Midnight shift and lots of coffee!

Mark

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:06 am

Mark Bacon wrote:On repeating a course...or more specifically, which level we students should be enrolled in at all. It's just my opinion, but I think a vast majority of Delcamp students (well, except for the D01 beginners) miss one critical point when they try to figure out what level they should be in-and that is the fact that you are to submit a performance of 1-4 pieces after just ONE WEEK. ...
Good thoughts, Mark, and I do agree with you. However, if you'll be able to post a decent version after one week, what are you going to do for the remaining 3 weeks?
Mark Bacon wrote:One caveat though that I've found during my D04 repeat, you'll tire of the pieces much more quickly.
It might be because of repeating the course, but I suspect that the real reason may be (and this is based on my own personal experience) that one will reach a plateau with any piece, and the piece may not be nearly perfect at that point. You simply don't know where to take the practice from where you're standing now, and keep repeating it with the same mistakes and all. And that's when you grow tired with the piece, and want to change. Now when repeating the course, and knowing the pieces (somewhat at least) already, you'll just plateau with them quicker than before.

Getting back to that one week rule, I've always felt it's good if you tend to have reading mistakes, so that others can point out incorrect rhythmic patterns, wrong notes etc. But other than that, a week can mean just a couple of hours practice time (including warmups and technical exercises), or it can mean 20 hours of practice time, and anything in-between. Therefore I wouldn't take the rule too literally, but post when you think you're ready to post, and especially if you feel you need the feedback from others to continue working with the pieces. I don't see a reason to post a recording other than to complete the requirements for the exam / catch up, if you simply haven't had the time (or motivation) to work with the piece, and the recording would simply be a misrepresentation of how you think the piece should be played. It's all very much common sense. We're here to give each other second opinions regarding our work, because we tend to listen to our own playing in a different way than others'. For me it's much harder to hear my own playing as a whole than other people's playing. I tend to listen to my own playing at very detailed level, where any small buzz tends to ruin the whole recording. When listening to others play, I don't really notice few isolated buzzes, unless I'm listening for them specifically.

In my opinion a better rule (for me at least) would be to make an initial post after 2 weeks, leaving another 2 weeks to polish and incorporate feedback from others. Or to work with and possibly post non-required pieces, if you want to.

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Mark Bacon » Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:14 am

Marko,

Thanks for responding. If there's one thing I'm good at it's defiantly taking things too literally. In the course overview it's recommended to submit videos after just one week. It is similarly stated within each lesson. Now I see what you mean-if one can play them pretty well after that time then one is likely in too low a level. I think (and I think you do too) that the ideal upload will have a few rhythmic errors, wrong notes (that are repeated and therefore actually being read incorrectly) and an overall unsteady tempo at times (especially memory failures). And I'm happy to say that I think that's where we're at with our little group. The remaining three weeks then go to the other pieces (if any) and practice materials within the lesson which together often are more time consuming than the required stuff. Additionally most of us no doubt fool around with other pieces as well as practice pre-existing repertoire. Even then when I think of pieces within my playing ability that I can polish to 'performance level' it's always something I'd have to work on for more than 4 weeks. (whereas I think I could do just that with D02, D03).

On the other hand sometimes I wonder if the D05-ish level represents where my skill as a player is going to plateau-for good. If so I'm perfectly OK with that. I am after all just a hobbyist and there's some beautiful music to be had in those ranges.

I think what I was getting at is this: I've both been in a group or viewing another groups' level and a student's first upload is just so obviously wildly beyond the player's ability. I don't know how to begin to give feedback (although a brave soul might PM someone like that with a polite "have you considered a lower level? You really struggled through that") when this is the case. I guess that's more a flaw on my part (but then I don't claim to be a teacher! :contrat: ). Maybe it doesn't happen as often as I'm thinking. I hope not-it's the quickest path to frustration and quitting. In fact whenever I'm feeling discouraged I like nothing better than pulling out some stuff well below the cusp of my ability that's still musically interesting and playing it as perfectly as I can. That's usually when I get eyebrows raised and high compliments-not when I'm shredding technical Bach-y stuff.

Thanks again. I like the philosophical stuff sometimes just as much as the musical! Have a great day, my remaining D04 troopers! :bye:

Mark

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:19 pm

Mark, this is getting interesting :D

I'll just comment a couple of things:
Mark Bacon wrote:I think (and I think you do too) that the ideal upload will have a few rhythmic errors, wrong notes (that are repeated and therefore actually being read incorrectly) and an overall unsteady tempo at times (especially memory failures).
I would say that the ideal upload won't have any of those. In my mind the ideal upload is technically clean enough, and does have something that could be called a musical interpretation. Others could then say whether they find the interpretation pleasing or appropriate. Unfortunately my own first uploads have been lacking in that sense lately. Fortunately I've still gotten great feedback regarding interpretation from you guys!
Mark Bacon wrote:Additionally most of us no doubt fool around with other pieces as well as practice pre-existing repertoire. Even then when I think of pieces within my playing ability that I can polish to 'performance level' it's always something I'd have to work on for more than 4 weeks. (whereas I think I could do just that with D02, D03).
During D05 (not to speak of D06) I pretty much had to drop everything else. Not that I ever really had any repertoire, but I've got loads of books I've been enjoying playing through, and I didn't have time for those anymore. I agree that 4 weeks isn't enough to get something 'performance-ready' at this level (but obviously would be enough for someone whose challenges lie at getting D08 pieces recording-ready in one week). I haven't performed in couple of years though, so I might confuse general performance anxiety with technical abilities.
Mark Bacon wrote:On the other hand sometimes I wonder if the D05-ish level represents where my skill as a player is going to plateau-for good. If so I'm perfectly OK with that. I am after all just a hobbyist and there's some beautiful music to be had in those ranges.
Unless you have a physical condition that prevents you from practicing some more advanced techniques, I don't think there is anything to stop you from advancing to D10 and beyond. It's just a matter of putting the time into practice and knowing what to practice (a teacher might be needed with the latter). Practically though, you will need some amount of practice weekly just to keep your current skills fresh, and some more on top of that to make progress. However, I would think that skills once learned are re-learned much quicker after a hiatus. So reaching D10 could take considerably more than 6 years from where we are now :)

Regarding playing easier repertoire well vs. harder repertoire not-so-well, you are of course very right regarding performance, but without all the Bach-shredding you perhaps wouldn't feel so comfortable with the easier pieces. You need to push your limits in order to progress :)

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Mark Bacon » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:40 am

Better late than never. I need a break from these anyway. I'll upload the Sanz at some point, although I don't sweat any omissions as I never do the year end exams.

Anyone volunteer to get the discussion going for the next lesson? I've only run through the pieces twice. I don't think they're as challenging as this Carcassi, but I am prepared to be wrong! :contrat:


[media]https://youtu.be/Rnb2lVEuccg[/media]
Maria Luisa

[media]https://youtu.be/-tarYLFwTy4[/media]
Carcassi Waltz


Happy playing, all.
Mark

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:14 am

Hi Mark,

In my opinion these aren't bad at all, but they both would require some finishing touches before being performance ready. In mazurka you clearly have more trouble in the second part, and you slow down the tempo for it considerably. You also need to give some thought to the melody, and bring it to the front better. In measures 10 and 12 (and similar) you don't play the 3rd beat chords, just the top (melody) notes, which makes them easier to play. (For me those were the trickiest parts of the piece.)

In Carcassi's Valse there is a shift from 3rd position to 1st position ending the first measure, but you changed the fingering to eliminate that shift. Therefore I cannot give you any feedback regarding avoiding squeaks on the wound string shifts. The shifts in the major section are quite difficult and take a lot of practice to get consistently right (I usually make a mistake there myself sooner or later; when recording I mess it up pretty often). You didn't make many mistakes there, but you slowed down the tempo for it quite much. Similarly to the 2nd part of mazurka, you should practice this section more than the ones you already know well, to be able to keep a constant tempo. Though you probably have already moved on to the next lesson for good :)

Marko
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Catherine Livingston

Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Catherine Livingston » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:02 pm

Mark,
Good to see your recordings! The first half of the Maria Luisa Mazurka are very well played. The second part of the piece is a bit slower compared to your performance on the first part, but you already know this. I also found that section to be the more challenging portion due to the unusual fingering on the right hand. You captured the "romantic mazurka" feeling of the piece. The Carcassi Waltz needs a bit more practice but is coming along well. I like the "feeling" and style you convey in your performance. The Carcassi piece needs more practice if you choose to refine it. As usual, your overall playing and technique are very nice to listen to. See you in lesson 8.
:bye: Cat Livingston
Last edited by Catherine Livingston on Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:35 pm

Marko Räsänen wrote:You also need to give some thought to the melody, and bring it to the front better.
Just to clarify my earlier comment, Mark, the bit quoted above was meant for the 2nd part only. The melody sounds just fine in the first part :) I also don't want to sound negative. The 2nd part is much harder to play musically than the first part, and Carcassi is just technically hard! I did criticize the tempo slow down somewhat, but on the second thought that would apply to the performance. When posting here it may be good to play the difficult sections slower rather than to slow down the whole piece. Another option is to play the pieces at performance tempo and make mistakes. The mistakes will perhaps highlight how the technique can be improved.
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by EricKatz » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:14 pm

Hi everyone!
Here are my submissions for lesson 7. A little late because I've been very, very busy in the last weeks.
In the Carcassi waltz I skipped some repeats.

[media]https://youtu.be/WgctrQWz59M[/media]

[media]https://youtu.be/kPK4iZ0r20E[/media]

Thanks for listening. Comments are welcome!

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:40 pm

Thanks for posting Eric! Technically both pieces were very good, and there were only very few mistakes. Especially the Carcassi's Valse was played with great confidence. I was wondering that maybe you could have played at slightly faster tempo without sacrificing that confidence too much?

A minor critique: In Carcassi piece your right hand was very close to the bridge, the attack of the fingers perpendicular to string, and therefore especially the 1st string sounded tinny. For sure, that created a big contrast to the dolce section, but perhaps it was a bit too much.

In the mazurka I would have hoped a bit more ebb & flow with the tempo, but I know that when recording it's hard to relax to let it flow naturally. Good job with the damping!

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Rick Beauregard » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:25 pm

Hi Marko,

Your comments and suggestions about getting that perfect take are very helpful. I don't know how much time we burn to get that perfect take to post, when maybe we should be spending that time on more reps of the tricky bits instead.

Personally I'm not a technical perfectionist about getting all the notes or fingering right, damping perfectly etc. To me it is more important to strive for good tone and to play with a feel for the music dynamically, rhythmically, and phrasing wise. I think adding these features to a piece AFTER you've mastered it technically means you may never get to playing it musically. On the other hand, anything can be played musically even if it has to be at a slower tempo and with technical errors- pieces, scales, slurs, even tuning your guitar. This is advice I got from my teacher once and I think it is good advice.

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:48 am

Hi Rick,

I fully agree with you! I just wish to add that sometimes if the piece is technically difficult for your level of playing, it makes sense to forget about musicality, phrasing etc. and just play the piece as a technical study, concentrating on getting the position shifts done in time, legato playing, performance tempo etc. Never sacrifice the good tone though.
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 07

Post by Satyajit Kadle » Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:00 pm

Gaspar Sanz - Gaspar Sanz - Españoleta
[media]https://youtu.be/aPBZNmbc7yA[/media]

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