Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
Forum rules
IV Laws governing the quotation/citation of music


For discussion of studies, scales, arpeggios and theory.
RobMacKillop
Posts: 3997
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:24 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:01 am

I had to read this a couple of times, as the first time I didn't believe what I'd just read. But he's serious. Anyone here do such a thing? I doubt anyone does, but as a historical technique it is of great interest. Sorry I cut the last word from each line. The missing words are to, In, at.


Aguado slur ex.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Mark Clifton-Gaultier
Posts: 1976
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:03 pm
Location: England

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:35 am

RobMacKillop wrote:Anyone here do such a thing?
Rob - I spent an awful lot of time working through many, many period instruction books, following the directions to the letter - yes, I played those passages. The technique works well enough at speed but I never came across a classical passage in real life (so to speak) where it seemed expedient.

Electric guitar is another matter - much easier to execute and can sustain some nice fluid lines with consistent phrasing.

I did come across the idea a second time in the classical guitar arena - at a seminar given by the Italian virtuosos Chris Saggese - so it is known if rather obscure. The presentation was titled something along the lines of "Guitar Secrets" (a misnomer as I learned nothing new) and offered other such whimsical mechanisms as violin harmonics, position change via finger translation ... you get the idea.

RobMacKillop
Posts: 3997
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:24 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:53 am

Ah, Sor indicates violin harmonics. Position change via finger translation - I've done that many times. Secrets, indeed!

User avatar
Larry McDonald
Teacher
Posts: 1399
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:33 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Wi USA

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by Larry McDonald » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:48 pm

Hi,
I've never needed it, either, but it is kinda fun!
-Lare
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2018 Michael Thames "Ancient Dragon" Cd/Ir
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar and Theory Instructor

RobMacKillop
Posts: 3997
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:24 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:50 pm

Indeed. I've just tried it on an electric - no problem, it's very easy. Less on a classical. Did Aguado have a Les Paul??

2lost2find
Posts: 405
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:04 am

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by 2lost2find » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:14 pm

It's difficult but doable on a classical. Very easy on an electric, as pointed out above. Aguado was extremely thorough and even made sure to cover the techniques you weren't likely to need.

2lost2find
Posts: 405
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:04 am

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by 2lost2find » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:14 pm

Want an epic Aguado slur workout? Try Estudio 29 from the 1825 Escuela de Guitarra. It's also #46 in the 1820 Collecion de Estudios, but Aguado rethought some of the notation for the better when he put i in the Escuela... it's easier to follow. Go for the 1826 Parisian edition of the Escuela... fewer printing errors than the 1825 Madrid edition. DO NOT buy the modern Orphee edition containing the music only... there is some exquisitely nonsensical editing in it.

The piece itself has some really fun slurring in the inner voice starting with the Allegretto section. I haven't played it in quite a long time but remember having to practice like hell.

RobMacKillop
Posts: 3997
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:24 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:48 pm

Well, I don't at all want an epic slur workout by Aguado or anyone else. I like an easy life.

What I find amazing is that both Aguado and Sor were so different in their approach, technically and musically. Yet clearly they were good friends. They were further apart than Bream and Williams, and that's saying something.

2lost2find
Posts: 405
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:04 am

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by 2lost2find » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:56 am

RobMacKillop wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:48 pm
Well, I don't at all want an epic slur workout by Aguado or anyone else. I like an easy life.

What I find amazing is that both Aguado and Sor were so different in their approach, technically and musically. Yet clearly they were good friends. They were further apart than Bream and Williams, and that's saying something.
No kidding... especially when you consider that Sor in particular comes across as damn opinionated in certain areas... use of nails in particular. Coste commented in his rehash of Sor's method that Sor devoted a great deal of his text responding to "attacks"... one wonders if Sor was perhaps not very well liked on the Parisian music scene. But never mind. If I had a time machine, going to Paris in the 1830s and catching Aguado and Sor doing a gig together would be amongst my first choices of destinations.

User avatar
Steve Ganz
Luthier
Posts: 1179
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2006 6:19 pm
Location: Blaine, WA, USA

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by Steve Ganz » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:51 am

I just tried these slurs. I'm not an educated player. They are fun... now to find a use for them.
Steve

Crofty
Posts: 347
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:32 pm

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by Crofty » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:01 pm

It's trying the reverse finger ascending slurs that's causing me problems.

User avatar
Stephen Kenyon
Teacher
Posts: 2948
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, England

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:08 pm

Does it make more physical sense on gut?
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)
Simon Ambridge 'Hauser' (2018)

RobMacKillop
Posts: 3997
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:24 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:43 pm

There's more traction with gut, certainly. So, yes, a bit easier.

Another technique of his that have used in the past is to play runs of parallel thirds with just the index finger of the right hand playing both strings (almost) at once. That's not something I see being done today, but it is quite practical and gives a nice effect.

2lost2find
Posts: 405
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:04 am

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by 2lost2find » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:12 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:43 pm
There's more traction with gut, certainly. So, yes, a bit easier.

Another technique of his that have used in the past is to play runs of parallel thirds with just the index finger of the right hand playing both strings (almost) at once. That's not something I see being done today, but it is quite practical and gives a nice effect.
It's a common enough technique in folk/blues circles, but for CG certainly not so much. And again... it's amazing how thoroughly Aguado covered the bases.

User avatar
Mark Clifton-Gaultier
Posts: 1976
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:03 pm
Location: England

Re: Aguado's rather strange descending slur...

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:35 pm

2lost2find wrote:
RobMacKillop wrote:There's more traction with gut, certainly. So, yes, a bit easier.
Another technique of his that have used in the past is to play runs of parallel thirds with just the index finger of the right hand playing both strings (almost) at once. That's not something I see being done today, but it is quite practical and gives a nice effect.
It's a common enough technique in folk/blues circles, but for CG certainly not so much.
Also employed by Argentinian guitarists such as Yupanqui and Falu - their music just doesn't sound "proper" when executed entirely through conventional "classical" technique.

Another active thread discusses blurring boundaries (jazz/classical/popular) - a pointless discussion as at least one particularly vocal contributor holds to a unique (and variable) definition of each genre ... but towards that end, there's great value in investigating these old method books, not simply for the perspectives they reveal on each author's technical approach but also their compositional processes, adherence to accepted forms and even philosophy.

We might question exactly where and when some boundaries were first proposed.

Return to “Classical Guitar technique”