D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

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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.

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Jules Wilkins
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Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Jules Wilkins » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:57 pm

Hello Lucian:
Work has kept me away from anything related to the guitar for a couple of days and I just now listened to your latest submission. I also reviewed your first submission as well as that of DelCamp. Bearing in mind that I haven't yet looked at the score let alone practiced the piece, I will nonetheless offer my thoughts in the hopes that they might be useful.
1) There is definitely improvement from attempts 1 to 2. It is clear that you have been putting in a lot of good effort.
2) DelCamp seems to vary the tempo significantly and I cannot help but wonder to what extent this influenced you during your practice.
3) You vary the tempo drastically.
4) To purposely vary the tempo goes hand in hand with varying the timber, the vibrato, the loudness etc. It is ultimately not about hitting the right notes with perfect timing but rather about taking ownership of the piece and making music with it. It shows a maturity in the student's approach and this is evident in your playing. This is all very good, but...
5) Equally important is to play legato, and to achieve that you need to slow it down to your weakest chord change/transition/scale passage or whatever portion gives you the greatest difficulty.
There are several portions, mostly when your left hand is stationary, where you can play smoothly with reasonable skill and, like most of us (myself for sure) there is a tendency to do just that. But then the left hand fingers need to change, the music stops, time to look at your hands, re-position, and start up again.
I would like to suggest a few things that I think might help. Nothing new here, but...
a) Spend time each day just practicing the transitions that are giving you the most trouble, which from your comments and from listening seem to be the chord changes. DelCamp (and others) suggest playing a piece through only infrequently but practicing the difficult sections repeatedly and daily, making them mini-exercises. This ties in with the other oft touted advice to practice always with a specific purpose. Playing the piece better is probably too general. Getting those chord changes down pat is specific.
b) Practice with your eyes closed (once you know the notes of course). Look instead with your ears and with the nerves in your finger tips. Force those fingers to find their own way. If you get totally lost you check with your eyes to see what the issue is, but then go back to closing your eyes. I promise you that you can do this, and that your playing will improve dramatically when you get to the point that you simply don't have to look. As an aside, these chord fingerings are extremely common ones, so learning them without looking will pay huge dividends down the road.
"We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve." — Bill Gates
"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." — unknown

Lucian Bistreanu
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Lucian Bistreanu » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:43 pm

Jules Wilkins wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:57 pm
Hello Lucian:
Work has kept me away from anything related to the guitar for a couple of days and I just now listened to your latest submission. I also reviewed your first submission as well as that of DelCamp. Bearing in mind that I haven't yet looked at the score let alone practiced the piece, I will nonetheless offer my thoughts in the hopes that they might be useful.
1) There is definitely improvement from attempts 1 to 2. It is clear that you have been putting in a lot of good effort.
2) DelCamp seems to vary the tempo significantly and I cannot help but wonder to what extent this influenced you during your practice.
3) You vary the tempo drastically.
4) To purposely vary the tempo goes hand in hand with varying the timber, the vibrato, the loudness etc. It is ultimately not about hitting the right notes with perfect timing but rather about taking ownership of the piece and making music with it. It shows a maturity in the student's approach and this is evident in your playing. This is all very good, but...
5) Equally important is to play legato, and to achieve that you need to slow it down to your weakest chord change/transition/scale passage or whatever portion gives you the greatest difficulty.
There are several portions, mostly when your left hand is stationary, where you can play smoothly with reasonable skill and, like most of us (myself for sure) there is a tendency to do just that. But then the left hand fingers need to change, the music stops, time to look at your hands, re-position, and start up again.
I would like to suggest a few things that I think might help. Nothing new here, but...
a) Spend time each day just practicing the transitions that are giving you the most trouble, which from your comments and from listening seem to be the chord changes. DelCamp (and others) suggest playing a piece through only infrequently but practicing the difficult sections repeatedly and daily, making them mini-exercises. This ties in with the other oft touted advice to practice always with a specific purpose. Playing the piece better is probably too general. Getting those chord changes down pat is specific.
b) Practice with your eyes closed (once you know the notes of course). Look instead with your ears and with the nerves in your finger tips. Force those fingers to find their own way. If you get totally lost you check with your eyes to see what the issue is, but then go back to closing your eyes. I promise you that you can do this, and that your playing will improve dramatically when you get to the point that you simply don't have to look. As an aside, these chord fingerings are extremely common ones, so learning them without looking will pay huge dividends down the road.
Hi Jules,
Here is the link
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=670
that JFD put, for the first time, in a lesson. I like better this approach to learning a piece. I just tried to imitate what he was doing, within my limits of course. As you very well observed, I'm able to do some passages in a not some badly way, but when it comes to change from a passage to another (especially chords) that's where my problems begin. That remind me of this funny thing I found at the signature of one fellow guitarist here on delcamp 'I play staccato my legato', but I think I'm not even there yet. Yesterday as I tried to do some Giuliani's arpeggios, I found that impossible because the need of changing chords. So now, I added to my practice changing chords, and I will need to do what you suggested, slowing down to my weakest point and start again. I played some scales today, eyes closed, and I was surprised as I was able to do them, so between that and the slowing down I have to find a way to mix them up and take it from there, slowly but surely.
Thank you for your feedback, your suggestions as the others I already got here, give me a good direction I think.
Now it's my turn to go that way :)
Thanks again!
Lucian

Jules Wilkins
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:12 pm

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Jules Wilkins » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:52 am

Herewith my first submissions for this lesson. Still missing ANDANTE AFFETTUOSO and I haven't started DANSE POLONAISE either, but both of those pieces will take at least the recommended week if not a lot longer. I got intrigued by Sor's piece though and have spent the day on it. I tried to give it my own interpretation rather than simply "stealing" that of DelCamp, but I really enjoyed reading his post. I hope we will see more such posts in the future.


PS to Ed...I kept my thumb hidden this time. :wink:
PPS to Lucian...I am very glad to hear of your success playing scales with eyes closed. Glad, but not surprised in the least! I suspect you have just started eliminating a crutch (peaking eyes) that has been holding you back. You are replacing peaks which merely eroded confidence with discipline which has led to success and a major boost to your confidence. Give yourself a giant pat on the back for me. :bravo:
"We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve." — Bill Gates
"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." — unknown

Lucian Bistreanu
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Lucian Bistreanu » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:54 pm

Jules Wilkins wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:52 am
Herewith my first submissions for this lesson. Still missing ANDANTE AFFETTUOSO and I haven't started DANSE POLONAISE either, but both of those pieces will take at least the recommended week if not a lot longer. I got intrigued by Sor's piece though and have spent the day on it. I tried to give it my own interpretation rather than simply "stealing" that of DelCamp, but I really enjoyed reading his post. I hope we will see more such posts in the future.


PS to Ed...I kept my thumb hidden this time. :wink:
PPS to Lucian...I am very glad to hear of your success playing scales with eyes closed. Glad, but not surprised in the least! I suspect you have just started eliminating a crutch (peaking eyes) that has been holding you back. You are replacing peaks which merely eroded confidence with discipline which has led to success and a major boost to your confidence. Give yourself a giant pat on the back for me. :bravo:
Jules, I think this is how should sound a well done lesson, bravo. By the way :merci:

Tom Wimsatt
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:51 pm
Location: Northern Alabama

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Tom Wimsatt » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:47 pm

Ed Butler wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:20 pm
Lucian - on the Giuliano arpeggios - for most of them they are the C then G7 chords played over and over again. Once comfortable with the chord change it is strictly a right hand exercise.

Ed
It took me 3-4 days to get comfortable switching from C to G7 without messing up finger placement (still playing slowly ~ 50 - 55 setting on metronome). I haven't progressed beyond the first page as this is sort of a background task, but I really like those drills. I do find it tires my left hand (thumb in particular) if I'm not relaxing my grip on the neck. Learning to relax my LH as well as RH skill development. :applauso:
1989 Takamine C132S
1979 Yamaha CG-100A

Tom Wimsatt
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:51 pm
Location: Northern Alabama

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Tom Wimsatt » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:21 pm

Jules Wilkins wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:52 am
Herewith my first submissions for this lesson. Still missing ANDANTE AFFETTUOSO and I haven't started DANSE POLONAISE either, but both of those pieces will take at least the recommended week if not a lot longer. I got intrigued by Sor's piece though and have spent the day on it. I tried to give it my own interpretation rather than simply "stealing" that of DelCamp, but I really enjoyed reading his post. I hope we will see more such posts in the future.


PS to Ed...I kept my thumb hidden this time. :wink:
PPS to Lucian...I am very glad to hear of your success playing scales with eyes closed. Glad, but not surprised in the least! I suspect you have just started eliminating a crutch (peaking eyes) that has been holding you back. You are replacing peaks which merely eroded confidence with discipline which has led to success and a major boost to your confidence. Give yourself a giant pat on the back for me. :bravo:
Jules, very nice playing. I noticed your RH in particular, you held it in a fairly stationary position which I think helps for smooth error free playing. I've been trying something similar to correct some RH mistakes I'm making. Hope you are liking the guitar support, I can see a change in your playing posture.
Last edited by Tom Wimsatt on Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1989 Takamine C132S
1979 Yamaha CG-100A

Lucian Bistreanu
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Lucian Bistreanu » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:05 pm

Tom Wimsatt wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:47 pm
Ed Butler wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:20 pm
Lucian - on the Giuliano arpeggios - for most of them they are the C then G7 chords played over and over again. Once comfortable with the chord change it is strictly a right hand exercise.

Ed
It took me 3-4 days to get comfortable switching from C to G7 without messing up finger placement (still playing slowly ~ 50 - 55 setting on metronome). I haven't progressed beyond the first page as this is sort of a background task, but I really like those drills. I do find it tires my left hand (thumb in particular) if I'm not relaxing my grip on the neck. Learning to relax my LH as well as RH skill development. :applauso:
For me changing those chords it's a pain in the... shoulder and forearm. Not only because it take me forever to make the change but it really hearts. Today during practice, I felt some pain in my shoulder, I tried to relax it but then it would came again. The same in the forearm as I tried to change chords, I guess I stress because I'm not comfortable doing that and I lose control over my upper body position. So now I have to learn to relax my LH. How we can do this?

Tom Wimsatt
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:51 pm
Location: Northern Alabama

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Tom Wimsatt » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:22 pm

Lucian, I get left shoulder pain, mostly when working on those arpeggios. I was pretty worried about this (sounds like you are too ). I think it may be tension related, I don't think this is a problem encountered with student exercises.

The shoulder pain may be related to the use of chord positioning rather than note by note placement of the fingers of left hand. Jumping from C to G7 (I'm talking about the first page...not sure of chord name), repeatedly, is causing the problem for me anyway. Try to focus on hand relaxation. The clamping action, over and over ( while trying to learn to jump from C to G7) is giving me trouble I believe.

Try breaking the chord positioning up into two steps (G7 - drop the 2nd finger, then drop the fourth and first ) if that makes any sense. ...... Don't forget to press only hard enough to keep strings from buzzing, especially with the C chord.
Keep me posted.
1989 Takamine C132S
1979 Yamaha CG-100A

Lucian Bistreanu
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Lucian Bistreanu » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:13 pm

Tom Wimsatt wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:22 pm
Lucian, I get left shoulder pain, mostly when working on those arpeggios. I was pretty worried about this (sounds like you are too ). I think it may be tension related, I don't think this is a problem encountered with student exercises.

The shoulder pain may be related to the use of chord positioning rather than note by note placement of the fingers of left hand. Jumping from C to G7 (I'm talking about the first page...not sure of chord name), repeatedly, is causing the problem for me anyway. Try to focus on hand relaxation. The clamping action, over and over ( while trying to learn to jump from C to G7) is giving me trouble I believe.

Try breaking the chord positioning up into two steps (G7 - drop the 2nd finger, then drop the fourth and first ) if that makes any sense. ...... Don't forget to press only hard enough to keep strings from buzzing, especially with the C chord.
Keep me posted.
Tom, you are right, the clamping action trigger the pain in my shoulder too, so that has nothing to do with the exercises from the lesson, I never had this before.

I'll try breaking the movements as you suggest.
I'll let you know how it works.
Thank you!

Tom Wimsatt
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:51 pm
Location: Northern Alabama

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Tom Wimsatt » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:38 pm

Good luck to you. Like you (Ed too) , I enjoy trying stuff outside of the lessons. I am curious about those older works/exercises, now that I can actually work on them. If I stumble on anything else that is helping me with shoulder pain, I'll let you know.
1989 Takamine C132S
1979 Yamaha CG-100A

Jules Wilkins
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:12 pm

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Jules Wilkins » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:29 am

Hello all. If I can weigh in briefly on the shoulder pain issue...
I too had shoulder pain. I suspect position and tension absolutely play a part and two things have helped me in this respect. 1) the guitar support which helped me find a better position and 2) I stopped trying to get my two middle fingers standing straight up in first position. I am not sure if this was me misunderstanding instructions on achieving a parallel left hand position but when I read something by Shearer that said that the fingers will naturally lean in first position and that it is OK, well, that was good enough for me. We need good position but we also need to be relaxed and reconciling the two can be difficult. However, I also think that possibly the most important step I took was to work the shoulder muscles with resistance training, i.e., hitting the weights. The same is true for back pain issues. If our muscles are not strong enough to hold the positions then we are going to experience pain. We are encouraged to take breaks every so often when we practice, but we are not told what to do during those breaks. Well, sometimes it is a W/C break or remembering to eat or take out the garbage, but for me at least a trip to my Bowflex does wonders to keep those back and shoulder muscles equipped for the task of playing CG.
To round things out, it is horrid advice to simply exercise the muscles that are sore. We need to give equal weight to the opposing muscle groups for sure and really we should be exercising our entire body.
This more than anything helped me and perhaps it will help some of you if you are experiencing pain and are not already doing resistance training.
Oh, one more thing. Resistance training does not mean you should resist training. :wink:
"We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve." — Bill Gates
"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." — unknown

Ed Butler
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Location: Plymouth, MA, USA

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Ed Butler » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:43 pm

On the Arpeggio's, I don't think it is important what chords you use or even if you use chords. At first just try doing the LH movements with no RH. Once those are good, add a C or any other chord, VERY lightly, and no chord switching, and again do the same LH movements. Then add another chord and change, again RH is very light. Build up the RH strength, and hopefully by focusing on light RH fingering it will not be painful.

Ed

Ed Butler
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Location: Plymouth, MA, USA

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Ed Butler » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:44 pm

On the Arpeggio's, I don't think it is important what chords you use or even if you use chords. At first just try doing the LH movements with no RH. Once those are good, add a C or any other chord, VERY lightly, and no chord switching, and again do the same LH movements. Then add another chord and change, again RH is very light. Build up the RH strength, and hopefully by focusing on light RH fingering it will not be painful.

I also agree with Jules on strength training.

Ed

Lucian Bistreanu
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Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Lucian Bistreanu » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:14 pm

Hi all,
I practiced a little bit today, as I didn't want to force something in my left shoulder and forearm (which I found in the morning that hurts a bit).
So I did the scales and the difficult passages from allegretto, everything good. Then I tried the arpeggios but just as Ed suggested at the beggining just the RH, and then with LH stationary on the C chord. No pain. So I decided to live alone the G7 chord for later on, and to practice like I said, maybe adding another chord much easier to practice the change between them. I think that some resistance training need to be done too. :)
Thank you all of you for helping with this.

Jules Wilkins
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:12 pm

Re: D02 Classical guitar lesson 05

Post by Jules Wilkins » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:51 am

Hello all. With the new lessons out I decided to become officially "caught up". :D
"We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve." — Bill Gates
"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." — unknown

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