Learning the tremolo technique

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.
User avatar
Tomzooki
Posts: 1426
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:12 am
Location: Quebec city, Canada

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by Tomzooki » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:06 pm

Blondie wrote:The fault here is seeing tremolo as something separate and distinct, it isn't (a point made elsewhere by Percy Penguin) - its not like playing tambora or artificial harmonics.

Tremolo is basically very fine free stroke/arpeggio motion control, and that is a consequence of several other things working well - MA independence & IM independence, for example.
You are 300% right
Blondie wrote:If you are seeing fast progress praticing PAMI tremolo, of course don't worry. But I am assuming that's not the case (hence the question) and its important to se the bigger picture, or you could end up hammering away at PAMI tremolo and seeing very little progress.
I would add: if your tremolo doesn't go well and doesn't improve, there is a reason for that. Do not just repeat saying yourself it will improve with time, or just blindly do what other people says, even if it is good advices. Analyse what you do, your movements, try to find what hinders your tremolo. It can be a bad movement, or simply a muscular tension. Make sure you push the strings toward the soundboard; if you pull them parallely (sp?) or worse away from the soundboard forget about tremolo, or any arpegios for that matter, they will never go well (too long to explain further...). If it is your case, stop working on tremolo for a while, work on your technique to get and control that "toward the soundboard" strike - inward push (because tremolo is simply a kind of arpegio you will be working on it anyway), then come back to tremolo when your inward push is mastered.

Another thing: make sure you are relaxed as much as possible :D
Benoît Raby, Engelmann sp/Ziricote
Yamaha GC-3A
11-strings alto guitar by Heikki Rousu, sp/indonesian RW

rainer-guitarre

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by rainer-guitarre » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:24 am

Hi everybody,

I agree. At the beginning of the thread Phillips already talks about controlling each single attack, with each finger moving inside the hand. The pushing down is also something that not everybody mentioned. Great to read this here!
I have worked with a Control Technique by Roland Schlieder for several years and it works perfectly. I am sure there are other approaches but I have great results in nearly all aspects with this technique.
The good thing is that he has very good videos of what we all are talking about. I found him also in Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWGcO9jkyA8
The big difference is his deep contact point attack, BUT in my experience the faster you go the less deep you go into the strings but still having good control over the string.
Controling each attack is the key. David Russel once told me that the Tremolo should have the capacity to place an accent in each of the 3 notes of the "ami" movement (varying the finger of course), and this is only possible if you control each attack.

Greetings
Rainer

AsturiasFan

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by AsturiasFan » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:46 am

rainer-guitarre wrote:Hi everybody,

I agree. At the beginning of the thread Phillips already talks about controlling each single attack, with each finger moving inside the hand. The pushing down is also something that not everybody mentioned. Great to read this here!
I have worked with a Control Technique by Roland Schlieder for several years and it works perfectly. I am sure there are other approaches but I have great results in nearly all aspects with this technique.
The good thing is that he has very good videos of what we all are talking about. I found him also in Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWGcO9jkyA8
The big difference is his deep contact point attack, BUT in my experience the faster you go the less deep you go into the strings but still having good control over the string.
Controling each attack is the key. David Russel once told me that the Tremolo should have the capacity to place an accent in each of the 3 notes of the "ami" movement (varying the finger of course), and this is only possible if you control each attack.

Greetings
Rainer
Yes! Someone finally other than me and perhaps a couple of others fully appreciates Schlieder's technique. His technique is plucking but is designed for precise control of the string (and fingers). Learning his technique gave me a much better hand position and control of my fingers -- to go deep I was forced into drastic improvement of hand position. I can play with deep contact, shallow contact or the standard nail method and even though they are all different, I can move smoothly from one to another. The big knuckle in Roland's technique will move the fingertip below the string, but in standard technique the big knuckle pushes the string down -- the feel is very similar so nothing is lost by learning Schlieders method from the very beginning, and there is much to gain.

User avatar
lagartija
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9830
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:37 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts, USA

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by lagartija » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:38 am

AsturiasFan wrote:Yes! Someone finally other than me and perhaps a couple of others fully appreciates Schlieder's technique. His technique is plucking but is designed for precise control of the string (and fingers).
It looks like he is using a block release (sort of..), where he is playing p and then mostly releasing his fingers. However, because of his hand position in the video, it looks like he doesn't completely release i when reaching for the string with a. Part way through, it looked like all the fingers were released when p played.

When I play tremolo on one string, the fingers sound the same, but p does not. I can always tell the p note sound. It is not that it is louder... I can control that. But it has a different quality of sound. Maybe it is just that the nail contact area is different. :?
Should p sound the same as ami? In most of the repertoire where I've heard tremolo used, p is playing the melody. So should I try to make p sound the same as ami in practice?
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

User avatar
Blondie
Posts: 1234
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Devon, UK

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by Blondie » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:23 am

lagartija wrote: In most of the repertoire where I've heard tremolo used, p is playing the melody.
No, its virtually always the other way round. The function of tremolo is (usually) the illusion of a sustained melody line.

Kenbobpdx
Posts: 1047
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:14 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by Kenbobpdx » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:09 pm

There has been some discussion about four and five note tremolo here. Is anyone using the six note version pmiami? I have this in my study notes from my days working with my old teacher. He had a blistering fast, clean tremolo but I think he mostly used the five note version pmami although he could rip the six note version as well. For some reason the pmiami was added to my practice but my notes don't indicate why. Any thoughts?
"If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe."
Abraham Lincoln

AsturiasFan

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by AsturiasFan » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:56 pm

Percy has stated the idea that tremolo is really just an arpeggio technique (just hitting the same string with the ima fingers). So I was thinking that the study of a particular aprpeggio should include the study of the corresponding tremolo. For example if one is practicing pmia arpeggios (perhaps from Giuliani, which even Scott Tennant has practiced), one could benifit by also practicing the corresponding pmia tremolo. The tremolo may result in finer control that could carry over to the arpeggio, but then again I really have no idea. Anyway it does seem like a shame to improve at one but not the other.

keman

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by keman » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:07 pm

I don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but the secret is practicing staccato and forte.
You'll force the fingers to get back to the strings as quickly as possible.

- Keman

AsturiasFan

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by AsturiasFan » Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:23 pm

keman wrote:I don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but the secret is practicing staccato and forte.
You'll force the fingers to get back to the strings as quickly as possible.
- Keman
Another way to get fingers back fast is to not move them much. Tremolo with a repeated finger will train that finger to make the most effecient movements. I started practicing Pmim and Pmam around 100 cycles/minute, but just today hit sustained 130 cycles/minute for pmam and 140 cycles/minute for pmim -- so now I got these variants in the bag --both feel nice and smooth. I think that if you can already do pami tremolo you can learn the pmim variation in just a few months. I engaged in marathon tremolo sessions where I watch a movie while doing nothing but tremolo variants. I did a lot more of pmam than pmim, but anytime pmam speed increased, pmim speed seemed to increase automatically. So anyway if one believes what Niedt says in his videos, one does have to engage in marathon sessions for at least a few months; one should make steady progress even if slow -- otherwise scaling back should be considered since the basic technique may not be sufficient to learn tremolo.

leyenda

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by leyenda » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:25 am

I have played the guitar for many years and spent many hours of them practising the tremolo - probably many can sympathise with this. In my experience I think that some players have an natural aptitude for the instrument and they move their fingers with independence and accuracy. For us mere mortals, years of prtactising, different patterns, rhythms, fingers, using the metronome, the little finger, fixed fingers, interpolated, uninterpolat4ed, fast, slow, planting, staccato, legato etc still won't provide a consistent performance of the tremolo - sometimes this can be depressing. It can be improved, but don't be under the illusion that you will play the termolo like Williams, Russell, Barrueco.....why do all the great players have a good tremolo?
I think independence is key to the tremolo and right hand technique. When you practise you should practise slowly and evenly - planting is good, but only if the finger before has returned to its resting position. I have seen many players who have sympathetic movements, which unless your fingers are the right length and shape causes the infamous gallop in tremolo.
If you look at the great players of today, using technology, you can slow down their movements. A good example is Barrueco, his movements are absolute independent, if only we were all given his fingers. I am sure he also practises quite alot too!
:(

ronyt

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by ronyt » Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:00 am

you're right.. I tried this:
http://douglasniedt.com/techtiphowtomas ... emolo.html
http://douglasniedt.com/vaultofclassica ... etips.html
and scott tennant tips.
nothing has helped.. but maybe the site I posted will help someone.
sorry if it was already posted before.

anyone here is from Israel maybe?

User avatar
GeoffB
Chief moderator
Chief moderator
Posts: 31770
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:37 pm
Location: UK

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by GeoffB » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:26 am

Hi Ronyt, welcome to the forum. Could I invite you to introduce yourself here? And if you title your post "Hello from Israel" you might attract responses from some fellow countrymen.

Geoff
Classical Guitar Forum.

"Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it." - Steven Wright

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

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by sgraham924 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:57 pm

When I was working on tremolo I found several patterns to try, and I also try to come up with my own patterns. In flamenco, they use PIAMI,
and I've experimented with doing PMIAMI tremolo too so I can do any kind of passage. I've also worked tremolo into scale studies too, so instead of alternating i and M, I tremolo pick down a scale since the only two guys I know who can do fast i and M picking for scales are Paco De Lucia and Lawson Rollins.

Vesavekkuli
Amateur luthier
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:24 am
Location: Rovaniemi, Finland

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by Vesavekkuli » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:46 pm

Take whatever piece with four voices playing with all the strings - play it with tremolo technique. It is important to play the tremolo melody on more than only first string. Still better would be that the melody changes between treble and bass strings. It is really important to practise tremolo notes with many different strings. "Horse-race" uneven tremolo-technique can be made smooth by playing very slowly+very powerfully+long time - after a good session like this the tremolo starts working better - even in one day - of course the effect last longer if you practise during longer period. Like this the nyances may be lost for a while, but you can get them back by using just little power and fast tempo. Also you need to practise the same exercise-piece with as much nyances as possible - also using very much different plugging-positions, hand- and finger angle, to make tremolo-technique as flexible as possible. Don't practise any special technique too much with your much beloved piece - you loose your interest to that lovely art-piece - use studies and scales. You need many different ways of exercising tremolo, you have to use a lot of energy and time to it - not only trying it for a short while. Tremolo-technique? It's my very favorite technique - I like especially "continuous" tremolo where AMI-fingers play very fast all the time on one tempo only, and the thump plays totally independently making rit. and accel. - it is impossible - that's why I call it "Impossible tremolo" - it's easy to find from internet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXsFQeENm-c I am on the way to learn it - hope to learn it well :? enough during my life-time . Tremolo is very much "guitar".

User avatar
Non Tabius
Posts: 893
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:00 am
Location: Philipstown South Africa

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by Non Tabius » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:03 am

This could be useful as well its a bit of a long read by Pascual Roch ,His method is obtainable here on Delcamp.For those who dont know he was pupil of Tarrega.Whether he used nails not I cant say .Its intersting to note that Tremolo was dealt with very early in the development of the right hand even before appegios or how to attack the strings as far as I can gather.Note the detail that Pascual goes into as he discribes the teqnique as learned from Tarrega.This is an extract from pg 52 Bk 1 in his 3 Series Method or particular teaching regime.Edit: it seems the extract is a little large but still one can easily look up his method here.

Return to “Classical Guitar technique”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot], muirtan and 7 guests