Postby Jean-François Delcamp » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:27 am
Please start by downloading the latest version of volume D03.
If you are new to the course, please read this message to familiarize yourself with the conditions for participating in the lessons. You should also read the first message in lesson 1, where you will find advice on how to make the most of your study time and on the methods of practising that I recommend.
Now we are going to work on a series of exercises:
- page 100, numbers 46 and 47 Jean-François DELCAMP (1956) BARRÉ - BARRÉ - BARRÉ – CEJILLA
You have to be careful and listen to what your body is telling you when you begin to practise the barré. Be sure to keep in mind that if you overdo your practising of the barré, you risk developing tendonitis which often takes a long time to heal and will cause you a good deal of stress if, like me, you love the guitar with a passion. Pain is a warning sign that should be respected. As soon as you feel pain, you should have the wisdom to stop practising immediately until the next day. In the 80's, I wasn't prepared to listen to the pain caused by practising the barré, and only a total break from the guitar lasting a whole year enabled me to start playing again. Now I stop immediately at the first warning sign of pain. Since I started being careful, I've had no more problems.
To acquire the technique for the barré, it is essential above all not to force it. The ideal is to practise a little, but every day.
- For greater effectiveness, the thumb is placed opposite the middle finger, rather than behind the index finger making the barré.
- Place the index finger very close to the fret, almost on top of it.
- Make sure that your shoulder, forearm, wrist and hand are really relaxed. Only the fingers should be exerting a light pressure, otherwise you'll be heading for disaster and at risk of jeopardizing your future progress by giving yourself tendonitis. Relaxing the arm and forearm allows you to take advantage of the weight of the arm and forearm to help the index finger to press more easily against the strings.
- Avoid bending the left wrist, as that will hurt and will impede the action of the fingers. Find the position (of the guitar neck, your elbow and your shoulder) which will allow you to make the barré without bending your wrist.
- The creases of the finger joints cause some slight problems. In particular the crease of the joint between the last two bones of the index finger (the middle and distal phalanges).
To illustrate this, here are 2 photos of my right hand index finger ready to make a barré (I am left handed). I am not pressing on the strings, so that the crease of the joint is more visible.
1. In this photograph, the joint crease of the index finger is situated exactly over the third string, so the third string will not be pressed fully against the fingerboard, and the sound will be muffled or non-existent.
joint crease of the index finger on the 3rd string
2. A solution is to position this crease where it will not cause a problem (between the strings)
joint crease of the index finger between the 3rd and 4th strings
Practising the barré demands patience. The first results of this practice (improvement in strength) only become noticeable after several weeks or months of daily practice.
The tension of the strings (normal, hard, or extra hard) also plays a role in barrés. A set of "extra hard" tension strings requires more strength than a "normal" tension set. A "normal" tension set of strings and a low action* will help you.
* The action of a guitar is the distance between the stationary string and the frets, usually measured at the 12th fret. You can have the action adjusted by a luthier.
Next, we will be working on 4 pieces.
- page 20 Emmanuel ADRIAENSSEN (1554-1604) BRANLE ANGLAIS
This dance will serve as a basis for improvisation work proposed in lesson N. 7. The sequence of the chords requires imagination to avoid monotony. In order to avoid monotony use dynamic changes (fortissimo, forte, piano, pianissimo), different sound colors (sound hole, fingerboard, bridge, with nail, no nail) and different strumming styles: rasgueados, plucked chords, arpegiated to the bass or treble, etc … .
- page 80 ANONYME (ca. 1850) NESTA RUA
The piece is in 2/2 time. Maintain some flexibility in your rhythm (rubato), while balancing the parts where you speed up against those where you slow down, so that you don't alter the overall duration of the phrases.