Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
Forum rules
IV Laws governing the quotation/citation of music


For discussion of studies, scales, arpeggios and theory.
Fretful
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Fretful » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:16 pm

doralikesmath wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:34 pm
You can download the file to your computer and then open it locally.
Many thanks again, doralikesmath, for your solicitude which is much appreciated.
I have herewith reloaded. There will be more from this session in due course, as there seems to be plenty of gluttons for punishment out there.
LH - STRETCHING EXERCISE - Advanced.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Fretful on Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

burtong
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:57 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by burtong » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:17 pm

I note that you could perform the bass notes on the 3rd, then 4th, then 5th string if the stretch to the 6th is too much.

Lawler
Posts: 923
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Lawler » Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:17 pm

Nice to see that you worked out the software version; good teamwork by Fretful and doralikesmath!

I just noticed the last pitch of measure 6. You might want to change that to an F natural rather than E. I should have noticed that in the original manuscript when I commented before. :mrgreen:

I like your idea, burtong, of varying the exercise with other strings for the lower voice.
"I got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell." Christopher Walken

Fretful
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Fretful » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:35 pm

Lawler wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:21 pm
These aren't beginners' exercises, folks! Must have been an intense and fast paced experience in the lesson.
Following the previous Stretching Exercise, and some of the comments on Segovia's Remembranza to be found in the Guitar Lessons Section, some readers might find what follows of interest. It relates to my previously mentioned session with JW, but I must point out that the Attachment below (C#Maj. Cadence) was not given to me as an exercise as such, it was merely demonstrated, and casually at that (I am tempted to say infuriatingly casually!). It is of particular interest because it denotes an aspect of his philosophy on comprehensive technique. It also showed me how short of technique I was, even after considerable studies.
I was working on Sor’s Study XIX (of the Segovia edition), aptly renamed by a friend “Agony in B Flat”. It develops (excruciatingly) finger 1 barre, but, as we all know, it is not a particularly hand-stretching piece, until one gets to Bar 51 when, if you are to play it as Segovia fingered it, it at first defies belief. When I suggested that those fingerings must be a misprint, it provoked an amused smile and a “you have to work on your stretch" ... He picked up my guitar and his fingers - without seeming to stretch - espoused the configuration of the inverted chord in question with the ease of a butterfly landing on a daisy. He said “the aim of ‘technique’ is that, eventually, everything should become easy.” He then conjured up from the air what must have been a giant Holocnemus pluchei which scuttled up and down the fingerboard with unimaginable speed and precision (a modern notation of the motion can be found on p 22 of Scott Tennant’s Pumping Nylon). He followed it, almost as an after-thought, and with no hint of showing-off whatsoever, with the cadence transcribed below, executing it, at about MM = 120, with the RH fingering given by Villa-Lobos for his Etude No 1. I wrote it down as soon as I got home and have been working on it ever since. And I mean work ; I never, to this day, despite decades, managed to breathe it, as he did. But it is an aim, and it is in the spirit of technical striving that I transmit it herewith. I have to say, though, that thanks to it, even if it’s hard to swallow, Bar 51 of F. Sor’s Op. 29 No 13 has become a piece of cake!
Herewith, the cadence I - V7 – V – V7 - I in C# Major :
C# Maj. Cadence.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Lawler
Posts: 923
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Lawler » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:34 pm

Good stuff, Fretful! It reminds me a little of a few exercises from Pujol's Escuela Razonada that have arpeggiated harmonic progressions and are real workouts for the left hand.

Plus, there aren't enough pieces, or studies, in C#. :mrgreen:
"I got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell." Christopher Walken

Fretful
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Fretful » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:33 pm

Lawler wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:34 pm
It reminds me a little of a few exercises from Pujol's Escuela Razonada that have arpeggiated harmonic progressions and are real workouts for the left hand.
Thank you fo that!
I looked up Pujol's Escuela Razonada Book Three just before midnight last night, thinking I'll read a few of these excercises before going to bed ; I was up until 2:30 am. Fascinating stuff! Taking Aguado to new heights, really. Some of it is extremely tough, you couln't really subject amateur pupils to some of this material, only highlights. Example : the few bars attached below are one of TWENTY exercises for snaps and slurs, each time with a different fixed finger being, as he puts it, further and further "detached" from the others. He advocates (and this is crucial) to play each bar continuously for a minimum of THIRTY SECONDS, so each exercise takes two and a half minutes (if you can take it) ; twenty exercises, that's FIFTY minutes! And that's just a tiny aspect of the vasty fields of our technique! But it is fabulous stuff. A veritable treasure trove, or should I say "trouvaille! ?
Do remember : the fingertips JUST behind the frets if you can (for the last bar, good luck!)
(Apologies again about the appalling graphics added to the score by hand (blame a short night [Lawler] and sheer incompetence [Fretful])
PUJOL - Escuela Razonada - Book Three - Exc. 192.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Lawler
Posts: 923
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Lawler » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:36 am

You're welcome, Fretful. I know the feeling of being drawn in and staying up half the night making music. And it's a good one.

Also regarding the Escuela Razonada, I especially love Book 2 and its many beautifully expressive moments (brief as each is). My favorites are ex. 15, 22, 25, 27, 32, 52, 54, 58, the diminished 7th arpeggio exercises - nos. 66b and 67b, ex. 69, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 79, 82 (for me, one of the most beautiful studies ever, harmonically. I practice it with varied arpeggios), 84, 86, 88, 90, 96, and from the added studies at the book's end, nos. 6 and 11. Perhaps I was a little OCD there, listing them all, LOL. I practice all of these as a set regularly and use them often in my teaching. I think they have the perfect combination of technical simplicity (most of the time) and musical beauty.
"I got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell." Christopher Walken

Fretful
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Fretful » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:41 pm

Lawler wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:36 am
Also regarding the Escuela Razonada, 82 (for me, one of the most beautiful studies ever, harmonically. I practice it with varied arpeggios)
You referred to Study No 82 (Book Two of Escuela Razonada) : thank you fo that, it is absolutely beautiful. And, as it's not too technically challenging, it offers the intermediate player a profound little piece for their repertoire. A kind of foretaste of forecoming treasures, like Weiss' Tombeaux.
Should this be posted somewhere on the forum ?

Fretful
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Fretful » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:04 am

Lawler wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:17 pm
I just noticed the last pitch of measure 6. You might want to change that to an F natural rather than E.
Done! Thank you.

Lawler
Posts: 923
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Lawler » Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:46 pm

Fretful wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:41 pm
You referred to Study No 82 (Book Two of Escuela Razonada) : thank you fo that, it is absolutely beautiful.
You're welcome. I first heard it as a young man when my teacher gave me a set of arpeggios written by Oscar Ghiglia to be played using the harmonies of that Pujol study.

Getting back to the original stretching exercise in the thread, it's been interesting to play it also with a rearrangement of measures in a way that highlights the octave-switching imitative relationship of the two voices that exist between measures 1 and 5, 2 and 6, 3 and 7, 4 and 8 (playing the measures in that order).
"I got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell." Christopher Walken

Fretful
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Fretful » Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:34 pm

Lawler wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:46 pm
Getting back to the original stretching exercise in the thread, it's been interesting to play it also with a rearrangement of measures in a way that highlights the octave-switching imitative relationship of the two voices that exist between measures 1 and 5, 2 and 6, 3 and 7, 4 and 8 (playing the measures in that order).
Your excellent observation works really well! Thank you.
RE the C# Major Cadence I had given above : despite the advice of taking extreme care not to overstrain, etc., and the statement that it can take years to perfect, this exercise could be dangerous and lead to the hand specialist.

It should not be worked on in isolation, but with additional, PROGRESSIVE barre exercises, such as those given below.

PROGRESSIVE : at first, ignore Tarrega's suggestion to take these up to the 12th, and 10th fret, respectively, and come all the way down again ; this would be LETHAL.

Draw out a VERY progressive chart, going no higher than G Major in Week One (or taking longer if the strain is still present) ; and adding no more than an extra fret each week, until the high positions can be reached effortlessly.
TARREGA - Grand Barre Simple - E - F - F# - G - etc..jpg
TARREGA - Grand Barre Compound - E - C - F - Db - F# - etc..jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Fretful on Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ThomasW
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 8:28 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by ThomasW » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:46 pm

Interesting stuff!

Thank you, gentlemen...

Fretful
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Fretful » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:48 pm

Lawler wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:34 pm
It reminds me a little of a few exercises from Pujol's Escuela Razonada
Fretful wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:34 pm
Draw out a VERY progressive chart ...
The following is related but differs from the ones Lawler mentions ; they appertain to the above post of November 20th and will serve to illustrate the comment of the November 27th post.
The vital importance of the use of CHARTS cannot be overstated. They ensure that ALL aspects are covered EQUALLY, that they are not overworked, or underworked ; they allow you to PACE yourself at your OWN pace, and will help to avoid injury.
Below is an example applied to the first three (from a superb, but very hard series of Pujol's Snaps and Slurs exercises : exs. 187 to 206), and below that, is a suggested system of markings where each square represents 12 eventual executions of each exercise.
Each exercise takes 2 and 1/2 minutes, if you follow Pujol's instruction that each bar should be played for a sustained 30 seconds, at least (thirty seconds is plenty!!! - the use of a stopwatch is very useful for this).
Play each exercise once, making one marking only, until you have reached 206 (perhaps over five days, depending on how much you can take in one day [some of them are VERY tough indeed!]), then go back to 187 and make your second marking, etc. Use the time it takes yo to make your markings for fatigue-recovery - you will need it!
By the time the boxes between Ex. 187 and 188 are all filled, you will have played the exercise (and all the others) six hundred and twelve times, probably across several years, and you will very good at snaps and slurs!
Make a chart of your own design for all aspects of technique, scales, arpeggios, etc., and, of course, as David Russell does, for repertoire pieces.
PUJOL - LH - p1 - unmarked.jpg
PUJOL - Chart Markings.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Fretful
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Fretful » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:04 am

An observation regarding the Pujol exercise 192 as illustrated above [20-11-2017], and which applies to the entire series between 187 and 206 :
Pujol specifies that it should be for the left hand only. There are good reasons why one might disregard that instruction : one of the objects of the exercise is that the “fixed finger(s)” should stay in position and NOT stray under the strain imposed by the separation of the other fingers as they move further and further across the fingerboard.
Another aim is that the “fixed finger(s)” should press down into the ebony as LIGHTLY as possible, consistent with staying in position just behind the fret whilst applying minimum effort.
The only way to ensure (or you might say endure) that these things are happening, is occasionally to play the note(s) fingered by the fixed finger(s) in question and ensure that they sound clearly.
Fretful

Lawler
Posts: 923
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Stretching Exercises Given To Me By John Williams

Post by Lawler » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:57 am

Fretful wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:48 pm
Make a chart of your own design for all aspects of technique... and... repertoire pieces.
I agree. Charts and even simple hand-written lists let us manage our practicing and performing effectively. I keep so many lists I think I need a list of my lists. Actually, I've got that too, hah. Software makes it easy.
"I got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell." Christopher Walken

Return to “Classical Guitar technique”