Ed Butler wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:01 pm
thank you for the comments and recommendations. At a high-level I understand what you are saying, but I will need to read it 3 or 4 more times and then slowly add it to the practice of the piece before I can really say I understand it. Very glad to have you back.
I have now heard your most recent exercises. Bearing in mind that 18 months of obvious hard work on your part have elapsed, you might understand why I was so pleasantly surprised and impressed to see how well you did on those exercises, especially the first three, and how far you have clearly come.
My most important conclusion from this is that you are able to tell your fingers what to do. Training your muscles is something you can do and are doing. Rest stroke with the thumb is not easy, playing two notes at precisely the same time with the thumb and a finger is not easy. Having the thumb bounce back to dampen a string and then return to position to play another bass note is not easy, and putting all three of these things together in a single exercise as you have done proves my point. If you have any doubt about how far you have come, turn your guitar the other way around to switch hands and try to play something. You have come from that level of skill to where you are now!
The second most important conclusion (or maybe just suspicion) is that your ability to read the timing of the individual notes is easily the most important thing in my opinion that you need to improve. Your skill in this area appears to lag miles behind your mechanical skills. If I am correct and if I can convince you to spend some serious study, then I promise you that your playing (and enjoyment of the instrument) will improve by leaps and bounds within a very short period of time. Even when you still make mechanical errors (if we didn’t all do those then we belong in a higher level) the fact that you are playing more legato and remaining true to the timing would hugely compensate! I am told that Judy Garland did not hit every note when she sang Over The Rainbow, but so what…it sounded pretty darn good to me. Correct timing is so very important.
To this end I did an internet search and found the following:
Much of this will be by way of review, but I encourage you to nonetheless do every exercise there starting from the first making certain you fully understand the duration of every note and rest and you can ace every one of them. Your single goal is to solidify your understanding of timing.
In fact, I noticed that some of the timing gets fairly difficult towards the end, so I will be doing them myself. Understanding in ones head is good, but being able to sight read a piece with complex timing is quite another thing and an important skill to master.
There is a weakness in those exercises though, as they only ever deal with a single melody. Rather than explain this further in text I will make a short video to explain this using Opus 50 no 13 as the example. After you fully understand the first 50 or so exercises you will be able to benefit from my video.
My goal is to hear you play Opus 50 with perfect timing. I don’t care if you play it painfully slow. I don’t care if I hear strings buzzing or if you play the occasional wrong note. I don't care about the tone or volume or anything else. Those will be relatively easy to correct. If you can nail the timing though you will make me very happy.
Make me happy.