Tremolo in slow pieces

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Hill
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Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by Hill » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:21 am

Hi everyone,

I have just started practicing tremolo. Found sheet music for tremolo version of a piece I really like - Spanish romance. Learning it slowly..

However I have noticed that unlike the original piece which I can play slow or fast depending on my mood and what I wish to listen to, the tremolo version doesn't sound good when played slow..

So my question is if all tremolo pieces are played fast or are there pieces that are slow too. Could you give some examples.

Thank you so much
There was no one in Molching who could play exactly like him. It was a style not of perfection, but warmth. Even mistakes had a good feeling about them. - The Book Thief

Rasputin
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by Rasputin » Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:36 am

Well, I would say that the point of tremolo is to create the impression of one continuous note, albeit one that babbles. If you slow it down you reach a point where that impression is lost and it just sounds like a series of discrete notes - so there is a minimum speed. Exactly what that is, I couldn't say. You do hear slow versions of Recuerdos (a very slow one was posted here a few weeks back and I thought it worked well). There may well be slower tremolo repertoire out there but I think your ear will tell you - is telling you, in fact - when you reach that threshold.

Hill
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by Hill » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:53 am

Hmm.. thank you for your reply.. exactly what I was thinking.. there would be a certain speed for the tremolo to make sense.. however we can play with the gaps between the bars (in Spanish romance for example)..

I tried looking for recuerdos in slow but couldn't find it anywhere..
There was no one in Molching who could play exactly like him. It was a style not of perfection, but warmth. Even mistakes had a good feeling about them. - The Book Thief

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guitarrista
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by guitarrista » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:12 am

Hill wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:53 am

I tried looking for recuerdos in slow but couldn't find it anywhere..
Here you go: (tempo estimates refer to quarter notes, i.e. four 16th notes per click.)

rdla_tempi.JPG

To my ears, 132bpm is probably the slowest tempo that, if done evenly, can feel like the continuous effect is still there. These days I tend to naturally gravitate toward playing it at 168-170 or so but I do practice it for warmup starting as slow as 88 bpm.

P.S. I am not sure I am allowed to post the clickable youtube links, so I am posting this as an image.
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Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

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Paul Janssen
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by Paul Janssen » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:18 pm

Australian guitarist Karin Schaupp recorded a Tremolo version of the Intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana. The piece has a slower tempo then any version of Recuerdos de la Alhambra that I have ever heard and yet her tremolo still sounds smooth and connected. You can find it on Youtube if your search for "karin schaupp plays Mascagni's Intermezzo". The tremolo kicks in around the 1:20 mark (although the piece itself is beautiful and well worth a listen through in my opinion).

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David_Norton
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by David_Norton » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:12 pm

Hill wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:21 am

So my question is if all tremolo pieces are played fast or are there pieces that are slow too. Could you give some examples.
Matteo Carcassi: Etude #7 in A minor
Manuel Ponce: Preludio Corto #1
Manuel Ponce: Prelude #2 (from 24 preludes)

There's a book by Vladimir Bobri, "The Art of Tremolo", which is a valuable resource.

Clarity and evenness of the tremolo is FAR more important than speed. It has to purr like a well-tuned engine at any speed.
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

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djajasoekarta
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by djajasoekarta » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:30 pm

Sor Op.29 No.16 is 'slow' :wink:
'The woolen cloth of his suit made me question the value of Chinese silks. His fountain pen made me ashamed of my writing brushes and Chinese writing paper' - Puyi

'I don't write music to be difficult, only to be more like itself' - Harrison Birtwistle

Hill
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by Hill » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:57 am

Paul Janssen wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:18 pm
Australian guitarist Karin Schaupp recorded a Tremolo version of the Intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana. The piece has a slower tempo then any version of Recuerdos de la Alhambra that I have ever heard and yet her tremolo still sounds smooth and connected. You can find it on Youtube if your search for "karin schaupp plays Mascagni's Intermezzo". The tremolo kicks in around the 1:20 mark (although the piece itself is beautiful and well worth a listen through in my opinion).
Really loved the piece.. hadn't heard it before.. so beautiful.. and with tremolo coming in later.. thank you for sharing
There was no one in Molching who could play exactly like him. It was a style not of perfection, but warmth. Even mistakes had a good feeling about them. - The Book Thief

Hill
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by Hill » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:07 am

David_Norton wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:12 pm
Thank you for sharing these.. I have heard of the book and it makes me wonder that tremolo in itself has so much depth that one child's write a whole book on this technique.. will try and get it..

I was seeing a video by Pepe Romero where he was teaching tremolo to his student.. he also says the same.. to master the smooth cycling technique
There was no one in Molching who could play exactly like him. It was a style not of perfection, but warmth. Even mistakes had a good feeling about them. - The Book Thief

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guitarrista
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by guitarrista » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:11 am

Hill wrote:
Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:07 am
I have heard of the [Bobri] book and it makes me wonder that tremolo in itself has so much depth that one child's write a whole book on this technique.. will try and get it..
Well the 'book' is 17 pages long HOWEVER it is worth every penny indeed.
Konstantin
--
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

musikai
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by musikai » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:34 pm

Hill wrote:
Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:57 am
Paul Janssen wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:18 pm
Australian guitarist Karin Schaupp recorded a Tremolo version of the Intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana. The piece has a slower tempo then any version of Recuerdos de la Alhambra that I have ever heard and yet her tremolo still sounds smooth and connected. You can find it on Youtube if your search for "karin schaupp plays Mascagni's Intermezzo". The tremolo kicks in around the 1:20 mark (although the piece itself is beautiful and well worth a listen through in my opinion).
Really loved the piece.. hadn't heard it before.. so beautiful.. and with tremolo coming in later.. thank you for sharing
Really beautiful...dreaming...
Also it is a very nice Transcription. There is a free PDF of another transcription here: http://meantone.com/MusicDownloads/Arli ... effer.html but Karin Schaupp plays it a forth higher in F and adds the tremolo.

There is also a nice Tremolo piece No.4 "Larghetto" by Julio SAGRERAS in his 3rd book (Las Terzeras Lecciones De Guitarra).
For slower tempo he suggests i m i to bring out the melody at good volume. But he also indicates the more common a m i .
You can also find the piece in the Delcamp Edition of this book here on this forum
http://www.guitarraclasicadelcamp.com/p ... reras.html
SAGRERAS_Gitarrenschule_3no4_1.png
SAGRERAS_Gitarrenschule_3no4_2.png
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Last edited by musikai on Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Rasputin
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by Rasputin » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:47 pm

Hill wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:53 am
Hmm.. thank you for your reply.. exactly what I was thinking.. there would be a certain speed for the tremolo to make sense.. however we can play with the gaps between the bars (in Spanish romance for example)..

I tried looking for recuerdos in slow but couldn't find it anywhere..
Just going back to your original question, what about switching to a 6-note tremolo? That way - if you can get it even - you would be able to slow the tempo down quite a bit more before the tremolo effect was lost. It would change the feeling a bit, I'm sure, but it's not like messing with the duration of an ordinary note.

musikai
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by musikai » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:01 pm

That's a good idea! Also the flamenco 5-note tremolo piami suits slow pieces very good!
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guitarrista
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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by guitarrista » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:35 pm

Paul Janssen wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:18 pm
Australian guitarist Karin Schaupp recorded a Tremolo version of the Intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana. The piece has a slower tempo then any version of Recuerdos de la Alhambra that I have ever heard and yet her tremolo still sounds smooth and connected.
It is a very beautiful tremolo section, but the tempo is still around 136 (+- 2 as she varies it), i.e. there is that 132 Recuerdos by Valerie Hartzell on my list above which is slower. For a four-note tremolo (3-treble-notes tremolo) 132 tempo seems to be the lowest end of it sounding connected.
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

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Re: Tremolo in slow pieces

Post by Guitar Maniac » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:37 am

I dislike the idea of slowing down normal 4 strokes tremolo (pami / pima etc) because no matter how even you play, there would still be a certain point that the sustain effect will be broken and make it sound boring and sleepy.

Instead, if you still want to play a tremolo section with slower tempo than normal, try 5 strokes (piami) or even 6 strokes (pmami) pattern.

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