Students' Corner

Archive of on-line classical guitar lessons from previous years.
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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.

PDF, MP3, Vidéos, Lessons : Level D01 - Level D02 - Level D03 - Level D04 - Level D05 - Level D06 - Level D07 - Level D08 - Level D09 - Level D10 - Level D11 - Level D12.
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Marko Räsänen
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Re: Students' Corner

Postby Marko Räsänen » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:51 pm

:merci: Goran!

I did a video with same setting using my old Almansa 457. A direct comparison revealed to me how bright the new C12 is. I guess during the couple of of weeks I've had the guitar, my ear has already gotten used to its sound. I think more than the top material (spruce vs. cedar) we are hearing the difference of lattice bracing vs. traditional fan bracing with the way trebles respond to plucking. In my opinion there is a little of that Smallman "plonkiness" in the sound of C12, although it really becomes more apparent when played forte.

For reference: The distance to camera microphone ~2m. C12 has a relatively fresh set of Hannabach 728 medium tension strings (some of the string noise can probably be attributed to the freshness of the strings; the 728's are the most long lasting strings I've ever come accross, so the basses stay noisy quite long). 457 has Augustine Classic / Black Low tension strings, which I quite like, except for the slight intonation issues of the trebles. The audio on both the videos has been normalized to the same level, so you cannot do any direct comparison of the loudness of the guitars. The recording level in Zoom Q3HD was quite low and couldn't be adjusted, and the simplest way to fix that is normalizing levels after recording. They're not too different though. C12 is perhaps slightly louder, but a lot depends on the strings as well.

Here's the video for Almansa 457:


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Alhambra 4P spruce
Almansa 457 cedar
Cordoba C12 spruce

EricKatz
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Re: Students' Corner

Postby EricKatz » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:38 pm

Interesting experiment, Marko. You've got yourself the right toole to master the level 6 lessons! It sounds definitely better than your old guitar.

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: Students' Corner

Postby Marko Räsänen » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:40 pm

Thanks Eric!

The sustain and voice separation seems definitely better!

Looking at your signature, have you acquired a luthier made guitar? Would you care to post a sample and/or thoughts about it?
Alhambra 4P spruce
Almansa 457 cedar
Cordoba C12 spruce

EricKatz
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Re: Students' Corner

Postby EricKatz » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:46 pm

:wink: I'm on the eve of my holiday, so you'll have to do with an impression of the looks and sound of the guitar by Stefan Gerritsen. It's an 31 frets version of the D30 and of course Stefan is a very accomplished player. I hope to come near in the next 20 years :lol:

I am very pleased to get a luthier build guitar for a reasonable price. The guitar was build in 1985. It has a spruce top and Rio Pallisander back & sides. The top is French polished, back and sides are lacquered. :bye:


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Marko Räsänen
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Re: Students' Corner

Postby Marko Räsänen » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:08 pm

Eric, my first thought was that your guitar must then have 30 frets instead of 31, but after visiting Janssen's website I realised that '30' after the 'D' isn't a reference to number of frets :lol: Gerritsen's playing of the instrument sounds naturally marvellous. Hopefully your instrument has similar qualities, and you'll get along with it well! I still hope to hear you occasionally play that Ramirez too in the coming D06 lessons :casque:

Congratulations for what appears to be a great purchase, and I hope to hear your guitar in action soon... Have a great holiday!
Alhambra 4P spruce
Almansa 457 cedar
Cordoba C12 spruce

Beatriz Martin

Re: Students' Corner

Postby Beatriz Martin » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:39 pm

Hi everyone,
During the last couple of months I reviewed scores in D02 and decided to play Sor. I wasn't very enthusiastic about Sor in D01 lessons but now I am finding them more fun to play.
Anyways, I study V opus 60 doesnt have any video from delcamp but i decided to study it. I don't know how to improve it unless with more practice of course. I want to have my left hand more relaxed and more strength on my left pinky, and be able to move with more ease my left hand. I love how delcamp always keeps his pinky folded and closer to the strings. I am not sure what I need to make it fluid, I might have to slow down? I appreciate your comments :wink:

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: Students' Corner

Postby Marko Räsänen » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:54 am

:bravo: Bea! I think you have improved very much during your absence!

Regarding your left hand pinky, the strength will come eventually as you progress with your playing. For keeping the pinky closer to strings, I think you just need to pay attention to it when you play, and in order to do that you need to practice slowly, much slower than the tempo you now played.

In general I think your left hand would benefit from practicing scales, more specifically the chromatic scale, which is exercise number 8 (page 74) in D02 collection. When you do that exercise, you should focus on these things:
- keeping the fingers not currently fretting a string only few millimeters (a couple of tenths of an inch) away from the string
- Ascending scale: when fretting the finger, keep the fingers already fretted on string (but ease off the pressure), for example when fretting the string with your second finger at second fret, ease of the pressure of the first finger slightly AFTER you have fretted the second finger, but do not lift the finger off the string.
- Descending scale: Initially you should have all the fingers on the string, and when moving to next note, at the same time when you lift the finger, for example pinky, (just a few millimeters ) off the string, just apply enough pressure for the next finger (the 3rd finger) so that there is no buzz.

Then you will need to translate that scale technique into the playing of the piece. For example in bar 18, you tend to fret your 2nd finger only after you have lifted your 3rd finger off the string, which will cause the notes to sound disjoint (not legato). You should have both the fingers on the string right at the beginning of that bar.

Another thing that caught my attention was the duration of the dotted quarter notes in the A major section of the piece. They should last as long as three 8th notes, but you played them short, lasting only two 8th notes, which causes the rhythm to go off.

You should also work on the bass strings damping with your right hand thumb where indicated in the music sheet. It's an important technique that you simply need to learn, although it will make the playing feel more difficult at first. It will become almost automatic soon though.

Otherwise good job!
Alhambra 4P spruce
Almansa 457 cedar
Cordoba C12 spruce

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Goran Penic
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Re: Students' Corner

Postby Goran Penic » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:39 am

Marko, sorry I could not answer earlier. I must say that I really like the sound of both of your guitars. It's nice to have two different guitars and then, depending on the character of the pieces that you play, choose the type and warmth of tone.
I like both versions, and I would even say that the character of this piece is better suited to guitar with spruce top.
:bye:
Guitar: Mirko Hotko 1989
Strings: D'Addario EJ46TT Pro Arte Dynacore Hard Tension
Recorder: Olympus LS-20M

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Goran Penic
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Re: Students' Corner

Postby Goran Penic » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:45 am

:bravo: Bea.
You've got to slow down the performance to each tone came to the fore. Sometimes I get the feeling that you want as soon as possible to "solve" some parts of the melody :).
Otherwise I totally agree with what Mark wrote earlier.
I'm very glad to see you again here.
:bye:
Guitar: Mirko Hotko 1989
Strings: D'Addario EJ46TT Pro Arte Dynacore Hard Tension
Recorder: Olympus LS-20M

Beatriz Martin

Re: Students' Corner

Postby Beatriz Martin » Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:28 pm

I appreciate a lot your feedback Marko, if i hadn't posted this video I wouldn't know what to work on.
I just finished reviewing your advice, I worked on the ascending and descending scale to understand about the pressure and the buzzing.
Marko Räsänen wrote: For example in bar 18, you tend to fret your 2nd finger only after you have lifted your 3rd finger off the string, which will cause the notes to sound disjoint (not legato). You should have both the fingers on the string right at the beginning of that bar.
I tried this and you are right, the way i was doing it didn't sound legato, but of course i wouldn't have realized by myself i was doing it.
Thanks for taking the time to look at the score and for letting me know about the dotted quater notes and the damping too.

Thanks Goran, I am happy to be back to the forum! I can't get rid off the habit of rushing a piece yet, I start off at a good pace and then in the middle of the piece I start rushing and that's when i make more mistakes. I read you need to breath when you are playing and I need to learn that.
:bye:

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: Students' Corner

Postby Marko Räsänen » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:53 am

Thank you, Goran!

I do like the sound of my old guitar as well, especially the trebles, but the sound of the bass notes is uneven from one note to another probably due to guitar's body resonances. The new guitar is much better in that respect.

I agree with you that the Sor study is better suited for the spruce top due to its clearer voice separation.

Bea, I'm glad to have been of help :bye:
Alhambra 4P spruce
Almansa 457 cedar
Cordoba C12 spruce

Beatriz Martin

Re: Students' Corner

Postby Beatriz Martin » Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:38 am

I have been reviewing the pieces from D02, there are pieces that are in pdf but they were not required for the lessons and there was no video for them. I would like to at least get familiar with them. I wonder if it is an advantage to learn and play them before moving up to the next level. I remember for D01 i got to play all of the pieces in pdf but there are more in D02 and I am afraid there will be even more in D03.
How do you do with all the materials that is in pdf? do you have time to play it all through out the year? do you come back to it? ...
I feel if I don't play it while you at that level you will have less time to come back to it the following year since the workloads will increase. Also, I dont know if these pieces were selected so that we could develop specific techniques before moving up.
Any thoughts?

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: Students' Corner

Postby Marko Räsänen » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:41 am

As you progress through the levels the pdf will get thicker with more pieces and longer pieces, and of course technically more difficult pieces, so that most of the pieces will have one or more sections that need to be worked separately to get fluent at them. At least for me going through all the pieces of D05 just isn't feasible, nor would it be very satisfying.

My understanding has been that the pieces at certain level, say D02, are similar to each other from the technical point of view. Naturally no one piece will employ all the techniques used within the level, but as each lesson has 3 to 5 pieces depending on the level, you'll get to play 30-50 pieces during the year, which I think is fairly representative set of pieces for that level from the technical point of view.

If you'll wish to improve your sight reading (or simply want to study new pieces), going through the pieces that weren't part of the lessons is a good idea. You'll probably also get benefits from using already familiar techniques for pieces that aren't already imprinted in your muscle memory. At least that is more beneficial than practicing familiar pieces, IF you have plateaued with them.

Another option is of course to start with the next level lessons, and that is what I personally do during the summer. 3 or 4 weeks for a lesson may be a short time to properly learn a technique that for some reason is difficult for me, so it helps to practice and identify the difficult parts in advance. I have a tendency to fall behind during the spring, so starting early helps with that.
Alhambra 4P spruce
Almansa 457 cedar
Cordoba C12 spruce

Beatriz Martin

Re: Students' Corner

Postby Beatriz Martin » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:32 pm

Thanks for the ideas Marko, I will review these pieces from D02 for sightreading and to practice techniques. Re D03 I printed the scores about a month ago and I watched some videos. I picked up the Malaguena facil which is problaby one of the hardest in the level because it is in lesson 10. But I like this piece, I like flamenco and in D02 the pieces I liked the most were Malaguena and Soleares from delcamp and this Malaguena facil is from delcamp too. I also like tango and I saw a Tango a Laure (I think thats the name) and I want to play it as well.

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Goran Penic
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Re: Students' Corner

Postby Goran Penic » Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:55 am

I am currently working on Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello - Partita in e.
Here are the first two movements: Entree and Menuet. All this is still in preparation :) .


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:merci: for watching
:bye:
Guitar: Mirko Hotko 1989
Strings: D'Addario EJ46TT Pro Arte Dynacore Hard Tension
Recorder: Olympus LS-20M


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