Learning the tremolo technique

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Philip Altobelli

Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by Philip Altobelli » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:31 am

The reason people don't get the technique, after months of practicing, is because they think the right hand must have the same amount of pressure/force as when you normally perform a free stroke. It's in a more relaxed state. A great exercise is to isolate "p" and "ami" then once both know how to function increase speed- Play "p" then position "ami" in a fan like position so that when "a" strikes "m" and "i" follow with no tension what so ever. Think of it as one movement, don't plant or prepare each finger just follow through with "a" prepared and move the rest into the palm. Prepare "p" then slowly extend all fingers back into the fan like position, use sympathetic motion. Speed should shortly follow this procedure, naturally. Tomzooki explained it well in another thread (maybe it was this one).

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Aucaman
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by Aucaman » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:46 am

Greek guitar player Ioannis Anastassakis has published a very useful book: "The Art of Tremolo." You might like to check it out at the usual online guitar shops.

dory
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by dory » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:48 pm

Not that I have a good tremolo. However, my teacher does something that I find useful. He makes his students do tremolo practice as a right hand warm up from the very first lesson. We go through different sequences- pima, pami, pmia, etc. We use it to limber up and he uses it to assess and correct our right hand position-- always a problem for less than professional classical guitarists. That way when we encounter real tremolo as opposed to warm up exercises it is not new. I think that is a good idea. Getting a steady tremolo is hard for even accomplished classical guitarists. Why not start before you need it?
Dory

koa_35
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by koa_35 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:07 pm

I was wondering what recommendations for the attack angle of the nails on tremolo should be. I have relatively short nails and find that 30 to 45 degrees tends to sound muddy and straight on is harsh. Obviously, I notice a tonal difference with nail length as well as the angle so I thought maybe I should see what the recommendations on attack angle would be and see if I can change the nail length or technique to get that airy tremolo sound.

Thx Larry :D

kmurdick
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by kmurdick » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:55 pm

This topic always gets a lot play. The usual reason students can't learn tremolo is because they have an inefficient free stroke (a whole other topic). You might look at my video below. Be careful not to over follow through. As soon as you understand the motion, you should learn to release the fingers right after they hit the strings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIiaY_M ... 59&index=5

Luis_Br
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by Luis_Br » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:34 am

koa_35 wrote:I was wondering what recommendations for the attack angle of the nails on tremolo should be. I have relatively short nails and find that 30 to 45 degrees tends to sound muddy and straight on is harsh. Obviously, I notice a tonal difference with nail length as well as the angle so I thought maybe I should see what the recommendations on attack angle would be and see if I can change the nail length or technique to get that airy tremolo sound.

Thx Larry :D
I think a bit more stright is better for tremolo. It results in more even distance from each finger to the same string, which results in more equilibrated sound. A bit more high partials also helps enhancing the sound of the attack and detaching the notes from each other, resulting in clearer articulation in such a fast notes repetition, specially to a listener in a distance when playing in a concert situation without amplification. Becareful that the sound from near is not the same than from a distance. Higher frequencies decay quickly while lower ones go further (as you can notice in a car passing by with loud sound speakers). So a bit more high partials might be welcome and the tone gets better in a distance.

You also can check John Williams, Evangelos Assimakopoulos and several others with a great and beautiful tone in this more straight attack. So there are ways to get less harsh sound with a straight attack, it is a matter of discovering the right way of doing it. I would say the way you pass finger over string, the speed and tip rigidity are important and sometimes negleted. Besides that, some very small rotation together with right nail shape is just enough to help avoiding the harsh sound of the fingertip center.

TheRoadGoesOn4Ever
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by TheRoadGoesOn4Ever » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:48 am

What really helped me get my tremolo technique down was slowly playing "P, A, M, I" staccato every day for 10-15 minutes. After a few months I had a good solid foundation for the technique.
"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien

Coolbedog
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by Coolbedog » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:49 am

I find that when practising the tremolo, I lose control of the pace very easily, ie it speeds up uncontrollably. Can anyone recommend a collection of studies?

nmshu1
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by nmshu1 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:51 am

To Play tremolo well needs:
1. Select right guitar, it's scale length
2. Select right strings and its tension
3. Select right nut width, string spacing
4. Select right saddle strings spacing
5. Have a good guitar teacher
6. Have enough basic systematic practices
......
It is an integration of practices in advanced learning...
When you learn guitar well and practice many years, your tremolo will be better...
Rome is not built by one day!

I feel you at least learn and practice for about 5 years under professional teaching, you will play tremolo very well...

It is a joke I saw at internet someone taught tremolo with a student at the beginning level...
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Salvador
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by Salvador » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:00 am

It's the a finger, we should make it stable to prevent the horse sound. Choose some plucking patterns that will strengthen your a or ring finger, like Romance de Amor. My exercise pattern is the plucking pattern of La Catedral Prelude of Agustin Barrios (teacher taught me). It's not the guitar actually, it's always the right hand you need to improve to play tremolo well.

We have to stable our A finger to play smoothly. I always practice the plucking pattern of La Catedral Prelude. The result is no more horse sound, it doesn't sound sloppy anymore. I upload my Recuerdos before on youtube. They accused me of cheating. They said it sounds so even and they can't hear the gap. that it's impossible that i did not cheat. They thought i played the P and A together.

I understand the negative comments and the accusations of me cheating my tremolo. Because they thought that it's not possible to play tremolo smoothly and evenly. After that i don't upload classical guitar videos anymore, because some people especially in classical guitar are rude and feel smart. So i switch to playing fingerstyle guitar, it's much better.

nmshu1
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by nmshu1 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:48 am

Salvador wrote:It's the a finger, we should make it stable to prevent the horse sound. Choose some plucking patterns that will strengthen your a or ring finger, like Romance de Amor. My exercise pattern is the plucking pattern of La Catedral Prelude of Agustin Barrios (teacher taught me). It's not the guitar actually, it's always the right hand you need to improve to play tremolo well.

We have to stable our A finger to play smoothly. I always practice the plucking pattern of La Catedral Prelude. The result is no more horse sound, it doesn't sound sloppy anymore. I upload my Recuerdos before on youtube. They accused me of cheating. They said it sounds so even and they can't hear the gap. that it's impossible that i did not cheat. They thought i played the P and A together.

I understand the negative comments and the accusations of me cheating my tremolo. Because they thought that it's not possible to play tremolo smoothly and evenly. After that i don't upload classical guitar videos anymore, because some people especially in classical guitar are rude and feel smart. So i switch to playing fingerstyle guitar, it's much better.
If you can play very,very,very fast (p,a,m,I, at 200-300 BPM), it is extremely difficult not to be smoothly and evenly!
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Salvador
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by Salvador » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:19 am

nmshu1 wrote:
Salvador wrote:
If you can play very,very,very fast (p,a,m,I, at 200-300 BPM), it is extremely difficult not to be smoothly and evenly!
I can play it fast, faster than John WIlliams, close to Yepes' tempo, and the horse sound is still not noticeable. Wish i could share the audio of my tremolo. It's my teacher who taught me to practice the plucking pattern of Prelude La Catedral to have an even tremolo. It works for me but it did not work for his other students. We are different so it may not be effective to others.

Guitar Maniac
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by Guitar Maniac » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:04 am

I have other questions, I am currently practicing "Sueno en la floresta" with flamenco tremolo (p i a m i pattern) and also experiencing ramp nails at the same time. I find that my stroke sounds quite harsh, especially with a finger even if my plucking angle is already 45 degree and sometimes my fingers seems to stuck there right at the E string after each stroke, so should I change my nail shape back to normal (not ramp anymore)?

Also, the 1st part of this specific piece is also the hardest tremolo part of all tremolo works imo because the long distance between "p" finger and "a m i" fingers (p plays 6th or 5th string) makes it hell difficult to get an even tremolo effect, do you have any advice regarding this issue?

Thanks in advance!

guit-box
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by guit-box » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:12 am


Youtube


His control over all the finger combinations for tremolo is outstanding.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

koa_35
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Re: Learning the tremolo technique

Post by koa_35 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:42 pm

Thanks, for the comments, I do try to go back to the basics at a slow speed often, particularly while warming up. It was a very good point about the sound being different to the listener than the player. Kind-of forgot about that.

Thx Larry

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