Trinity College Grade 8

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John335
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:56 am
Location: Ashford Kent

Trinity College Grade 8

Postby John335 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:56 am

Hi everyone, I am 57 and currently on the road to taking hopefully my grade 8 Trinity exam in November 2017 all being well. I wanted to get advice from people as I'm struggling with difficult stretches in the Grade 8 Pieces and the Concerto extracts. It seems like I'm never going to be able to do them. I wonder if anyone can give me any advice on this, it feels like I'm going backward plus I'm losing confidence and motivation. I attend an adult education group class with people at different levels, I get occasional 1 to 1 with the Tutor. I live in Ashford Kent and I have tried some private teachers however, and I hate to say this they could not play any of the pieces I was trying to learn plus seemed unable to really structure a learning target for me. Any advice would be gratefully welcome. I feel like packing it in. For information I started taking Trinity grades at Grade 5 onwards. I did go through all the other grades prior to taking Grade 5. Results thus far, Grade 5 Merit, Grade 6 Distinction and Grade 7 Merit.

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

Re: Trinity College Grade 8

Postby Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:32 am

John335 wrote:I have tried some private teachers however, and I hate to say this they could not play any of the pieces I was trying to learn plus seemed unable to really structure a learning target for me.

What a sorry reflection on the general state of guitar teaching.

If you really can't find anyone better than that locally you might consider occasional Skype lessons - not the ideal solution but it can work (I do some teaching this way myself).

Meanwhile what are the specific spots that you're having trouble with? Post the measure numbers here and I'm sure that you'll get plenty of advice.

EDIT: I just realised the above may look a bit like an ad. for my Skype service - it isn't - I'm way over-subscribed as usual.

Julian Ward
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:22 am
Location: UK, Ringwood

Re: Trinity College Grade 8

Postby Julian Ward » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:04 am

I would love to help you here but Ashford is too far for me. I will have a look and see if there are any tutors that I can 'see'

Julian Ward
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:22 am
Location: UK, Ringwood

Re: Trinity College Grade 8

Postby Julian Ward » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:25 am

Kay Haque looks promising and is in Ashford. She's a 'classical musician' as well as guitarist so that, to me, always stands out. Here is a link to her: https://www.musicteachers.co.uk/teacher ... 6d907dc207

DerekB
Posts: 384
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 10:22 am
Location: Bollington, Cheshire UK

Re: Trinity College Grade 8

Postby DerekB » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:17 pm

First let me say I think you have done extremely well to obtain the results you have so far without individual lessons. I hope the suggestions above help you to find a good teacher.

What pieces are you working on? I find the pieces I have chosen for my grade 8 are not too challenging (Scarlatti, V-L and Ponce). On the other hand the concerto extracts seem to be designed to make candidates opt for the scales and arpeggios. That chord in the Castelnuovo-Tedesco seems quite impossible to me - so I play the alternative they suggest. Even so the stretches were one of the factors that led me to buy a 640 scale guitar. It makes a surprising difference but still doesn't make that chord possible.

Actually I am not working on my grade 8 at all at present as I am recovering from a scaphoid fracture that has stopped me playing since last November.
I've suffered for my music. Now it's your turn... - Seasick Steve

Ana Espinosa 2014 Swiss spruce/IRW
Yulong Guo 2009 640mm scale cedar/IRW

John335
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:56 am
Location: Ashford Kent

Re: Trinity College Grade 8

Postby John335 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:37 pm

Thank you everyone for the kind suggestions, I seem to be well on top of all the scales and what is needed to take this as an option. I really want to do the Concerto extracts for the exam if I can. The three pieces for my Grade 8 I've chosen. Andreina, the stretch in bar 6 I find very hard to do and can't get up to any real speed with accuracy. 2nd piece the Allemande page 8 is at present ok at slow speed but hope to try and gradually speed it up. Lastly I chose Brouwer 1st movement from Elegio de la Danza and very much work in progress. The Concerto extract pieces Vivaldi is coming along but again not up to speed the bars 31 to 33 not sure if there is a technique to play this at speed like harp technique or if it's just Tirando at super speed. Yes the stretch in bar 3 in the Concerto no 1 in D op 99 seems impossible, I can just about get there but doubt if I can be accurate at normal speed. I guess I need to really make big efforts to try and conquer the problems I'm having.
Thank you so much to everyone for the replies.
John

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
Posts: 871
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:03 pm
Location: England

Re: Trinity College Grade 8

Postby Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:21 am

John,

Without seeing exactly what's going on it's impossible to pinpoint the problem in the Lauro with certainty but ...

... at measure five what can sometimes happen is that, in reaching for the G on string one, the action of finger 2 unintentionally engages the entire hand in a "backward" movement including a little pronating of the forearm. This both weakens the barré position and requires a compensatory move following the ligado F# in order to reach the E# on fret VI.

Instead - try to set up the whole segment with a view to keeping the index finger in a more or less fixed attitude. You can find out what this attitude should be by placing a gentle barré at fret II and holding E on the second string. Then exercise the little finger - lift it off the E - extend it and place it on E#. It may well be that in fact you cannot yet reach that far - don't worry - repeated exercise will improve this movement even in 57 year old fingers.

Also practise moving the second finger over to string one without altering the hand position. Again, if there is difficulty here, the independent movement required can be cultivated over time.

Both of the above may be practised in a higher position where the frets are a little closer - gradually working down the neck until the required position is achieved.

Factors that may impede your success:

1) elbow too close to the body - as you reach for the E# move your elbow out a little.
2) wrist bent too much - let the fingers do most of the "arching."

It's also possible to play the whole passage (beginning at measure 5) in seventh position. In this case, facilitate the shift to VII by using an open B at the end of measure 4. Don't worry at all about changing the fingering - AD sometimes chose to use alternatives too - as long as you keep the phrasing of the hemiola clear no examiner will bat an eyelid.

There may be other factors limiting your reach (such as the angle of the guitar neck, your sitting position and so on) - I don't have time to cover them as I have an appointment to meet but I'm sure that others will chime in.

Oh - and just a quickie - you are allowed to use your thumb for that big chord in the Tedesco.

Kevin Cowen
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:03 pm

Re: Trinity College Grade 8

Postby Kevin Cowen » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:21 pm

I'm interested in why you're thinking of "packing it all in".
I'd consider reaching grade 7 a huge achievement.

sgraham924
Posts: 232
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:54 pm

Re: Trinity College Grade 8

Postby sgraham924 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:20 pm

John,

Check your pm's

John higgon
Amateur luthier
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:25 pm

Re: Trinity College Grade 8

Postby John higgon » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:08 pm

I think we sometimes like to challenge ourselves with ever more demanding repertoire that requires more advanced technique. There's nothing wrong with that, but it can lead to a situation where we learn to play a piece to our satisfaction, then metaphorically 'put it in the bin' in favour of the next hurdle. Rather than giving up guitar because of the inherent disappointment in this approach to learning, you could finish each practice session with a piece that is well within your capabilities. End on a high!


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