Playing beyond your level

A "classroom" environment for exchanging Technical Questions & Answers, How-To's, music theory concepts, etc.
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Non Tabius
Posts: 924
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:00 am
Location: Philipstown South Africa

Re: Playing beyond your level

Post by Non Tabius » Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:17 am

Yeah me too! But then again I do surprise myself by hitting the jack pot.Stretches that remain scratchy somehow just fall into place.I'm thinking in terms of Bars 13-14 Caprice Arabe for instance.You can't just be satisfied with the comfortable stuff, you must push yourself on to avoid the so-called
"dreaded level of complacency", as Noad so aptly terms it.

oc chuck
Posts: 360
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:43 pm
Location: orange county, ca.

Re: Playing beyond your level

Post by oc chuck » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:08 pm

Check out Mel Bay's
Classical Guitar Position Studies
by Walt Lawry

It works you slowly up the fingerboard in one position
at a time studies,
then 2 and 3 position studies up the fingerboard.

Mostly Sor, Carcassi and Guiliani.

Funny, When I was a beginner I looked at playing up the fingerboard
as a monumental achievement.

Good Luck!

DerekH
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:36 am
Location: Havant, UK

Re: Playing beyond your level

Post by DerekH » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:23 pm

That's an interesting approach (and there is a dearth of didactic material that takes one through each position in turn), but at the same time, part of mastery of the guitar is not being good "in a position", it's knowing "what's the best position", and that's experience that only comes from venturing into the cul-de-sacs of "not this position today"...

I have to say that at my age, my biggest problem is still not "knowing where the notes are" but "finding the best solution", and no pre-written exercise can do that - experience comes not from being able to do something but from knowing choices, making judgements. For that - play LOADS of pieces:-)
Nothing in this life is impossible except skiing through revolving doors

wc2cavallaro
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:12 am

Re: Playing beyond your level

Post by wc2cavallaro » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:16 am

I always try to keep one or two pieces that I absolutely adore, but are slightly above my level on the back burner. Even if a few bars takes a week I love to see the progress of my favourite's developing

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BugDog
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Location: Northern KY USA

Re: Playing beyond your level

Post by BugDog » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:19 pm

I've observed, for myself anyway, that a little above my level can sometimes feel a lot above my level. So it might be worthwhile to persevere, even with some difficulty, for some time before giving up or setting things aside. I think that if you can work through those new challenges without hurting yourself, getting too frustrated, or just plain stuck, you're about where you want to be as far as difficulty.
BugDog
There's one in every crowd.

DerekH
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:36 am
Location: Havant, UK

Re: Playing beyond your level

Post by DerekH » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:05 pm

This is a really interesting thread, because if the topic were "playing *faster* than your level", the received wisdom is a little different - playing above one's comfortable speed means scrappy playing, and that means that scrappy finger placement is what becomes learned. The way to increase speed is to play about 90% of one's top speed and make that playing more relaxed, so that the technique is optimised. Once that happens, speed can be increased.

As a teacher, I find that there is a huge amount in "pieces that aren't too hard" that encourage musicality, phrasing, expression, tone production - all the things that tend to get pushed to one side when one plays something a bit too tough.

My approach isn't to strive to play 3 harder pieces, it's to play 30 easier pieces more comfortably. At the end, the audience will prefer your music and you'll have ten times as much of it and a set of skills that are much more well-equipped to help you tackle tough-stuff just a bit later...

Unless you want to be the next John Williams, it's probably better to broaden your enjoyment and repertoire instead of torturing yourself - we can't all play really hard pieces, any more than athletes can all jump this world-record high-jump.... Unless you want to be the next John Williams, you should explore music, rather than technique, or you will never be satisfied :-)
Nothing in this life is impossible except skiing through revolving doors

oc chuck
Posts: 360
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:43 pm
Location: orange county, ca.

Re: Playing beyond your level

Post by oc chuck » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:30 pm

oc chuck wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:08 pm
Check out Mel Bay's
Classical Guitar Position Studies
by Walt Lawry

It works you slowly up the fingerboard in one position
at a time studies,
then 2 and 3 position studies up the fingerboard.

Mostly Sor, Carcassi and Guiliani.

Funny, When I was a beginner I looked at playing up the fingerboard
as a monumental achievement.

Good Luck!
Another book for learning how to play up the fingerboard
is Aaron Shearer Classical Guitar Technique Volume 2.
From his original series, beginning on page 103.

PeteJ
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:52 pm

Re: Playing beyond your level

Post by PeteJ » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:42 am

DerekH wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:36 pm
When Larryguitar wrote "It is far better to play a simple piece with musicality than it is to butcher a difficult piece.", I couldn't agree more.

In fact, there's a corollary to that, which is that if you constantly play music that is technically too tough for you, you will never really learn musicality, and you will become a technician, not a musician :-)
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