Learning the tremolo technique

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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sha
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Learning the tremolo technique

Postby sha » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:40 am

Dear all,

Just started learning the tremolo technique. I chose Barrios' Una Limosna. So far I am still relatively slow :-( Any good tips that could help to speed up my progress? What were your experiences learning the tremolo?

Best,
Sebastian

Alan Green
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Location: Little Cambridge, Essex, UK

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby Alan Green » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:19 pm

Stick to slow for a while and concentrate on smoooooooooooooooooth.

I'm seriously out of practice on tremolo, mine sounds like the Epsom Derby (that's a horse race in case anyone didn't know)

edrus
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby edrus » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:35 pm

It is all depend on you.

Patience & Practise is the key to playing tremolo. But to be able to play good tremolo; it is not to be achieved in a 2-3 months time.

If I can suggest; Scott Tennant's Pumping Nylon & Sagreras' are 2 good references other than the Barrios.

Ramon Amira
Teacher
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby Ramon Amira » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:51 pm

Don't even think of using that Barrios piece to learn tremolo. It compels you to pay too much attention to the left hand. When first learning tremolo you need to focus all your attention and concentration on the right hand.

It's better to simply go through harmonic chord progressions, or get a book of tremolo exercises. Vladimir Bobri's "Complete Study of Tremolo" is one.

Use a metronome – one click per NOTE. Later, when you get up to a certain tempo you change to one click per beat. Also, I would highly recommend learning the four treble note tremolo – it's vastly superior to the anachronistic three treble note tremolo. Try PMAMI or PMIMI.

You need to practice very slowly for a long period of time. The virtuoso Grisha Goryachev said in an interview that his father – who was his teacher – had him practice tremolo very slowly for TWO YEARS.

Ramon
Classical and Flamenco guitar lessons via Skype worldwide - Classical and Flamenco guitars from Spain

gaetanomichetti

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby gaetanomichetti » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:17 pm

I like Bobri's book and have been back at it after a long hiatus from playing tremolo. Playing VERY SLOWLY, with the metronome is very important. Of course, it is very easy to try to play faster and pick pieces that you would like to play and then, you end up with a not so good technique. Be patient, or you'll end up like me, having to go back and start again. Don't learn the hard way, learn the right way. Good suggestions above.

sha
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:19 pm

Learning the tremolo technique

Postby sha » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:24 pm

Thanks for this! I guess I will try Bobri's book then.

Robert Phillips

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby Robert Phillips » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:02 pm

One thing to check for as you are developing your tremolo is the coordination between the fingers. I like to pluck with p, then a-m-i fan into the hand evenly, but I do not release any of the 3 fingers until p plays again. It's as if
a-m-i were a single unit contracting in and extending out together. Otherwise, they are flailing at the strings in a disorganized manner, and you can't get them even.

paulcroft

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby paulcroft » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:20 pm

Robert Phillips wrote: Otherwise, they are flailing at the strings in a disorganized manner, and you can't get them even.


Why's that then? That may be your experience, it's certainly not mine.

Paul Croft

AsturiasFan

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby AsturiasFan » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:38 pm

I like the idea of not getting too humg up on just pami. You basically want controll of your fingers so I like the previous suggestion of a tremolo book with varied excercies. Someone famous (cant remember who) had the idea practicing with all cominations of just three fingers like pamapmam. I think one can get amiami going very fast in short order -- then you just need to get the thumb in.

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Non Tabius
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby Non Tabius » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:05 am

Sagreras Vol 3 no 4 the Largetto might aslo prove useful from a starting out point,in order to get into things ,I have found,although he suggests the use of im and ami .I also think Barrios is a bit of a hard rock to crack at this stage there is eg Alhambra before that which ,focuses more on the right hand from my experience before moving to Barrios.Still you have to chop away on a regular basis as has been stated here.

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Casey
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby Casey » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:47 am

Robert Phillips wrote:One thing to check for as you are developing your tremolo is the coordination between the fingers. I like to pluck with p, then a-m-i fan into the hand evenly, but I do not release any of the 3 fingers until p plays again. It's as if
a-m-i were a single unit contracting in and extending out together. Otherwise, they are flailing at the strings in a disorganized manner, and you can't get them even.



Hi Robert,

I have just started trying to be serious about tremolo and it was suggested to me that preparing with p and a was important, but this does not appear to be your recommendation at all if a does not fan out until after p plays. Can I ask for a slight elaboration? Thanks, Casey.

msenecal

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby msenecal » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:04 am

It's the most intimidating aspect of practice for me. Good luck to all!

Nathaniel

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby Nathaniel » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:11 am

I used to think my tremolo was fine until my teachers told me I sucked. Then I recorded myself and found that they were right. I had to slow down and really listen to myself to correct my tremolo. I also find that shortening the fingernails would most likely even-out the tone of the a-m-i fingers. When they're longer, the differences with the fingernail tone is more pronounced, therefore not as much even tremolo.

Mikkel
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Location: Aarhus, Denmark

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby Mikkel » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:12 am

Casey wrote:
Robert Phillips wrote:One thing to check for as you are developing your tremolo is the coordination between the fingers. I like to pluck with p, then a-m-i fan into the hand evenly, but I do not release any of the 3 fingers until p plays again. It's as if
a-m-i were a single unit contracting in and extending out together. Otherwise, they are flailing at the strings in a disorganized manner, and you can't get them even.



Hi Robert,

I have just started trying to be serious about tremolo and it was suggested to me that preparing with p and a was important, but this does not appear to be your recommendation at all if a does not fan out until after p plays. Can I ask for a slight elaboration? Thanks, Casey.



If you don't mind me answering that, then it's properly because preparing p and a simultaneously makes for better control - especially in the beginning. When playing tremolo slowly however, it can be musically devastating to do it continually. Some performers (Marco Tamayo springs to mind) advocates to do it all the time and then play i slightly more accentuated than normally. I thought his tremolo was brilliant when I heard him play recuerdos a while ago.

Robert Phillips

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Postby Robert Phillips » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:00 pm

PercyPenguin wrote:
Robert Phillips wrote: Otherwise, they are flailing at the strings in a disorganized manner, and you can't get them even.


Why's that then? That may be your experience, it's certainly not mine.

Paul Croft

Please elaborate. (It sounds like you are saying that flailing at the strings in a disorganized manner works well for you, but I'm pretty sure that this is not what you are saying at all!)

My viewpoint is this: the ring, middle, and index fingers open and close together as one very naturally. Plant the fingers on the first 3 strings, and the thumb on a bass string. You can move back and forth between p and the other fingers with the fingers extending as p contracts and p preparing immediately after the fingers have contracted - bass-chord-bass-chord, etc. In a tremolo, by contracting the fingers individually without extending them until they have all contracted, you make use of this very easy movement. So a contracts first, remaining relaxed in the closed position as m contracts, and they both remain relaxed in the closed position as i contracts. Immediately after i contracts, p prepares. As p plucks the string, i-m-a extend as a unit, with a preparing immediately after, and the cycle begins again.


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