A little test

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: A little test

Postby Denian Arcoleo » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:59 pm

Mr Kite wrote:Interesting that practically all the posters from the UK think it's fine to criticise this performance, whereas practically all those from anywhere else think it's not. Not sure what that says.


That is interesting. Maybe the UK is the last bastion of free speech left in the world? We did recently make a rather surprising decision...

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David_Norton
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Re: A little test

Postby David_Norton » Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:21 pm

Salvador wrote: i understand how hard it is to record with camera. There's a member here who said it's dishonorable for fingerstyle guitarist that pre-record their audio. He clearly doesn't understand how hard it is to record.

It's easy to criticize you know. That's the reason what i don't like about the community.

My advice is try do it yourself. Record at home, preferably difficult piece. Don't play an easy piece. It should be difficult. Allegro Solemne for example, record it live with camera in front of you. You will be surprised how many takes it would take before you can get it right.


I'm the one who posted that comment, and I stand by it. And yes I know quite well how hard it is to record, having made a CD (with quite a number of edits) and also about 2 dozen unedited/live YT videos. I'd have preferred to release a direct-to-disc CD, no edits, but that didn't happen and it got to the point that I had to accept that edited versions of the pieces were a necessity. Four of my five solo tracks on that disc were not edited, I either got it right or I did not. Again, I accepted that editing was necessary for one of the movements so that the entire suite could be recorded and released, rather than just the "four easier" movements.

As for my videos, two comments: first, each one has multiple flaws in it. There's not a 100% clean take on any of them. I consider this shameful for a man who has played CG for as long as I have. Second, because of this inability to deliver a flawless live recording, I have not posted a video in quite a while. Nor have I done a ticketed admission recital, either, for the same reason. No intents to change either of those.

Lastly, I used to play La Catedral many years ago (funny how in the whole CG repertoire, there's only one piece bearing the title "Allegro Solemne"). It's far beyond my abilities now. So zero chance of me accepting your challenge. :lol:
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Mr Kite
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Re: A little test

Postby Mr Kite » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:05 pm

lucy wrote:As far as I can see, most listeners are concerned with how it makes them feel, not whether it is absolutely "correct".

I like that idea, but is it true of CG audiences generally? Most of them are CG players and I think that is a big part of why they pay so much attention to the technical things that they are trying so hard to master. Maybe in the process, they lose sight of the bigger picture.
lucy wrote:Recently, someone said something lovely to me, "You made my friend melt".

What a great compliment! Congratulations.
lucy wrote:So, why should any of us bother to learn to play "correctly"? Personally, I believe that the more technical aspect of music is still very important, despite it passing by the majority of people. It's because the better your grasp of the technicalities, the more easily you can play "from the heart" and communicate something special. Most audiences don't see the technique - they hear MUSIC.

Yes I agree - the point of perfecting your technique is to stop it getting in the way, to make it invisible... but I think it is natural for learners of the instrument to pay a lot of attention to technique, and I think this thread illustrates that they do.

Kevin Cowen
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Re: A little test

Postby Kevin Cowen » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:16 pm

I just hope that no youngster thinking of taking up classical guitar reads this thread.
What a petty, spiteful and pointless argument.
It betrays a complete lack of understanding of the point of taking up music.

Nick Clow
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Re: A little test

Postby Nick Clow » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:54 pm

That is interesting. Maybe the UK is the last bastion of free speech left in the world? We did recently make a rather surprising decision...


I found this thread offensive anyway but the idea that the UK somehow has greater freedom of speech than other countries is lamentable. Freedom of speech has been defined as 'the right to be a bigot'. Maybe the UK just has more bigots than elsewhere?

The fact that the freedom of speech cliché is presently being used the world over by right wing and/or racist persons and organisations to justify the victimisation or vilification of ethnic or religious persons or groups does have some relevancy here, because this thread does have a victim.
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Erik Zurcher
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Re: A little test

Postby Erik Zurcher » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:58 pm

No politics please.
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Adrian Allan
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Re: A little test

Postby Adrian Allan » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:10 pm

I have to say that I find it sort of encapsulates everything about the Classical Guitar world that ended up putting me off for a number of years.

I read the Classical Guitar magazine and wondered why a number of people "high up the ladder" hated each other with a passion - eg. John Duarte vs any number of people who were also "classical guitar experts".

I imagine it all started with somebody making a few rather snide digs about another player's ornaments being wrongly executed, and it all escalated from that point on.

The bottom line is that the player in question is advanced in technique and it's quite demeaning to compare him with a "diploma student". Have a look on Youtube, and all sorts of eminent players take risks and make mistakes - I watched a video of Alirio Diaz abandoning the rhythms on Invocation and Danza, but he gets away with it because of the passion he injects.

Unfortunately, Bach more than any other composer tends to bring out the aloofness in the critics.

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Luuttuaja
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Re: A little test

Postby Luuttuaja » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:24 pm

Now that I have seen some other videos by Fletcher it seems that the guitar he was using in the Bach piece didn't simply suit him very well. I understand it's not easy to just pick some guitar and record a video with it, if the guitar in question is very different from what you've used to play.

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Sharon Vizcaino
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Re: A little test

Postby Sharon Vizcaino » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:40 pm

I think it's definitely fair game to criticize that recording, though, I've been listening to a lot of GSI's videos and a lot of them have that kind of sound. To me it sounds as though they recorded too close to the guitar and placed the mic at a bad angle. Not that I know anything about recording properly, as I'm quite sure my own recordings are even worse quality (and not just the playing!), but I'm not the one trying to sell expensive, high quality luthier guitars.
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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: A little test

Postby Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:47 pm

Jon Ronson's book So You've Been Publicly Shamed may be an appropriate read for all here.
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lucy
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Re: A little test

Postby lucy » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:01 pm

Mr Kite wrote:
lucy wrote:As far as I can see, most listeners are concerned with how it makes them feel, not whether it is absolutely "correct".

I like that idea, but is it true of CG audiences generally? Most of them are CG players and I think that is a big part of why they pay so much attention to the technical things that they are trying so hard to master. Maybe in the process, they lose sight of the bigger picture.

I agree. There is a marked contrast between comments I receive from CG players, compared to other people, and that includes others who play a different instrument. It may sound like bragging, but someone once described my playing as "hauntingly beautiful" and added "You make me cry". I've rarely heard CGs talk in emotive terms about any other guitarist.

As you say, people appear to be pre-occuppied with more technical aspects. At least, that's my theory about the difference. I can't think of anything else! You could argue other CGs are more educated in CG playing, well maybe that's true, but are they also missing something?
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JohnB
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Re: A little test

Postby JohnB » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:12 pm

I find this thread extremely depressing, though not for the reasons some have given.

Admittedly there are issues about concentrating on one video by one (professional) guitarist but, to me, the performance in the video is deeply problematic: I'm not very good at analyzing performances but the obvious things are rhythmic instability (or counting), (try tapping your foot to it), the extremely crude and ugly bass line and voicing of chords, etc. To me, the performance as a whole needs to go back to the drawing board. This isn't about technique or interpretation - it is about listening, being self aware and self critical - it is about attention to detail - it is about polishing a performance, about having respect for the music and for the audience.

Expressing such a view seems to be frowned upon, but if one cannot honestly and objectively evaluate a performance how can we ever learn anything? Do we just have to accept that anything goes?

(I'll now go and hide behind the sofa.)

PS One good thing I've learned through the video - I don't need to mess about with all that pesky damping nonsense. :wink:
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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: A little test

Postby Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:37 pm

Yeah but John the performer has plenty of other videos and cd's out that show him performing much better. this was a one off in a guitar salon played on an unfamiliar guitar. It was not a concert that people payed to hear. It was not a teaching video. the guitarist may not have even heard the recording before it was released. It was recorded in one take. The guitarist may have had a job interview waiting for him thirty minutes later. He may have drunk a triple latte ten minutes earlier. He may just have had a bad day. The notion that student guitarists by the dozens are at risk of failing their exams and becoming drunks on the street because of this one video is just ludicrous. Maybe a little generosity is a better approach. I sure as hell would appreciate that when I flub up in front on my teacher. Ever play something in public and not have it be your best effort? THAT is what students will take away from watching this video, not "gee, I want to change my whole approach until I sound like this guy in this one video".

Oh but now they may well worry that there will be people who drag up footage of a poor performance and broadcast it for criticism on this guitar forum. I hope Del Camp students aren't following this thread. "something to answer for " indeed.
Last edited by Jeffrey Armbruster on Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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astro64
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Re: A little test

Postby astro64 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:59 pm

I thought a prelude could be more free-flowing in terms of tempo than the other movements. I am not sure I am hearing anything in that performance I haven't heard before. Perhaps the choice of rather hard-driven playing close to the bridge, i.e. tone choice. The first attempt on Youtube pulled up John Williams. Try tapping your foot to that.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: A little test

Postby Stephen Kenyon » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:20 am

Nick Clow wrote:
That is interesting. Maybe the UK is the last bastion of free speech left in the world? We did recently make a rather surprising decision...


I found this thread offensive anyway but the idea that the UK somehow has greater freedom of speech than other countries is lamentable. Freedom of speech has been defined as 'the right to be a bigot'. Maybe the UK just has more bigots than elsewhere?

The fact that the freedom of speech cliché is presently being used the world over by right wing and/or racist persons and organisations to justify the victimisation or vilification of ethnic or religious persons or groups does have some relevancy here, because this thread does have a victim.

This is definitely the most (indeed only) profoundly insulting and disgraceful post I have ever seen on this forum. You have completely twisted and misrepresented the opinions comments and intentions of I think everybody else who has posted to this thread and certainly your statement has nothing whatsoever to do with my views. I am outraged and disgusted that you should make a comment of this kind. Once again honest replies to a polite and simple question have been treated with utter contempt for whatever reasons I cannot imagine and will not bother to consider.
Honestly! Described me and my fellow UK members (excluding Adrian) as bigots! Because we notice that a performance we were asked to consider has something lacking. Because we exercise the common action of stating, simply, supported by reason, musical experience and knowledge, politely and without denigrating the player, that there is a problem.
Shameful.
Fine you can all live in your pitiful state of whatever.
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