Musicality Exercises

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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twang
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Musicality Exercises

Post by twang » Sun Aug 03, 2014 3:45 pm

Exercises for technique abound. But, what about exercises to enhance musicality? What do folks do/suggest?
"An amateur is he who takes up the study of an instrument as a relaxation from his serious occupations." -- Sor

Robin
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Re: Muscality Exercises

Post by Robin » Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:08 pm

Sing! Sing the voice parts of your music. Sing some more! Sing until you hear it in your head.

Listen to vocal and choral music. It seems the stylistic qualities of a musical era are so much more clearly expressed through the voice.

Be sure that your technique is up to snuff. If there are technical barriers in your path, they will block your ability to express yourself musically.

Know your music really, really well. Solid memorization gets the music off the page and into your own expressive process without distraction.

It's ok to practice your ideas for musical expression. You can write them down and follow the plan to see how you like it. Ultimately, it will become more spontaneous but at first, you can practice adding musical elements just as you practice any other skill.

And then sing some more!!

Robin
So much music, so little time.

mcmurray

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by mcmurray » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:23 am

As above.

Also, learn solfege (i.e. really learn it, internalise it, not just learn about it), sight sing, and use these skills to link your ear to the fretboard so you can hear every note in your mind before you play it.

Use a metronome more. Too many classical guitarists with a lacking sense of rhythm imo.

rhodetyl000

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by rhodetyl000 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:38 am

Record yourself!

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Larry McDonald
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Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Larry McDonald » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:14 pm

Hi,
Just about every etude by Sor; op. 6, 29, 31, 35, and 60. Opus 44 has some as well. Ok, not every one of them, but most have some kind of musicality lesson. He's the master at "taking-the-player-someplace-they-don't-expect-to-go" composing aesthetic.

When you are playing, ask yourself, what is Sor trying to teach me about technique, but especially, what is he trying to teach me about musicality. You will find "piano music", "choral music", "violin music", compound-melodic duets, fugues, and my favorite, "tricksy rule bending".

Keep in mind that, Sor was a complete musician. He wrote symphonies, operas, choral music, as well as chamber music. And, IIRC, he also was the original composer of "Cinderella", before the remake by Bellini.

All the best,
Lare
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar Instructor
Royal Conservatory Advanced Theory Instructor

Robin
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Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Robin » Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:08 am

Larry McDonald wrote:Hi,
Just about every etude by Sor; op. 6, 29, 31, 35, and 60. Opus 44 has some as well. Ok, not every one of them, but most have some kind of musicality lesson. He's the master at "taking-the-player-someplace-they-don't-expect-to-go" composing aesthetic.

When you are playing, ask yourself, what is Sor trying to teach me about technique, but especially, what is he trying to teach me about musicality. You will find "piano music", "choral music", "violin music", compound-melodic duets, fugues, and my favorite, "tricksy rule bending".

Keep in mind that, Sor was a complete musician. He wrote symphonies, operas, choral music, as well as chamber music. And, IIRC, he also was the original composer of "Cinderella", before the remake by Bellini.

All the best,
Lare
Agreed. Sor etudes provide wonderful material for learning musicality. Great suggestion!

I need to get back to these..... :?

Robin
So much music, so little time.

Henny
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Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Henny » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:55 am

Robin pointed out clearly that singing different voices in a piece of music is a great way to advance musically and technically.
we all should do this as much as possible when studying our pieces.

JohnB
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Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by JohnB » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:44 am

Besides all the other suggestions, dare I recommend listening very widely to classical music played by great musicians on other instruments, e.g. the piano (for obvious reasons) but also violin and cello sonatas, chamber music, etc.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso"

robert e
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Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by robert e » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:09 pm

Believe it or not, scales.

Scales get a bad rap because they're barely more musical than a lump of clay, but they're also as malleable and flexible, and provide a tabula rasa for exploring and practicing phrasing, tempi, rhythm, dynamics, vibrato, rubato, intervals, harmonic tension, etc. And of course keys. If you can make a simple scale sound like music (without cheating), you're really on to something.

All the above suggestions are great ideas for learning and absorbing musicality. Scales are a great way to practice, exercise and test it.

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:48 pm

twang wrote:Exercises for technique abound. But, what about exercises to enhance musicality? What do folks do/suggest?
Watch Benjamin Zander videos on YouTube, just so you know what musicality is about. As far as developing it, as soon as I figure that out, I suspect I will shout it from the rooftops. Listening to someone playing, let us say, Hummel's First Piano Concerto, does me no good. Great music, but does not help me understand the music that I am playing. Listening to others playing the same music that you are playing helps.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

Luis_Br
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Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Luis_Br » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:45 am

My tips would be:
- Listen to several musicians, orchestras etc., with the scores in hands, take notes and carefully identify and understand what they are doing. This way you learn something by far faster than through simply listening to and learning through "osmosis", unless you are a very advanced musician and you can identify everything by ear alone (and probably at this level you wouldn't be asking about developing musicality).
- Learn to sing and also sing what you play
- Practice the music in your mind without the guitar
- You cannot detach musicality from technique, so always practice exercises with dynamics, rhythm and phrasing in mind. Practice exercises with varied rhythms and accents, varied dynamics, color, mood and articulations.
- Record youself

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Stephen Taylor
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Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Stephen Taylor » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:37 am

Twang,
Check out "Elementary training for musicians" by Paul Hindemith. Read reviews, etc. This book will singularly enhance your musicianship more than almost anything I can think of..
Stephen
Doesn't everybody want to play guitar?

2handband
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Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by 2handband » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:39 am

What's your level?

Moonlighting2610
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Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Moonlighting2610 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:33 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
twang wrote:Exercises for technique abound. But, what about exercises to enhance musicality? What do folks do/suggest?
Watch Benjamin Zander videos on YouTube, just so you know what musicality is about. As far as developing it, as soon as I figure that out, I suspect I will shout it from the rooftops. Listening to someone playing, let us say, Hummel's First Piano Concerto, does me no good. Great music, but does not help me understand the music that I am playing. Listening to others playing the same music that you are playing helps.
As an amateur guitar learner, Benjamin Zander video on music appreciation is really helpful to me :bravo:

2handband
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Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by 2handband » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:36 pm

The best tip I can think of is to go back to something that is ludicrously easy for you to play so you can focus all of your energy into turning it into ravishing music. For instance Study 2 from Noad's 100 graded studies, which is Giuliani op 51 no 1. A one armed monkey could play it, and it's one of those pieces that can easily sound pretty square. But check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewZwvV3is0A

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