Musicality Exercises

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
twang
Posts: 328
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:57 am

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by twang » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:52 pm

Wow, what a diversity of suggestions! So many things to try...
Some things I'm working with now that seem to help...

1. Intense concentration on _every_ note. An instant before playing a note, trying to hear the note it in head just the way I want it: tone, cleanliness, loudness, connectedness and relationship to adjacent notes.
2. Singing, Ear Training and yes, learning Solfege.
3. Oddly, working with songs I've known (not played) for a long time. I find I have an idea in my head about how it sounds from year s of listening to it, but then when I play it, I feel like I understand it differently, or more fully than less familiar pieces, that seems to help me interpret it. It lets me experiment in a familiar context.
4. Adding variety and "improvisation" to my scale practices.
5. And yes, I have to say Mr. Zander's video are inspiring.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
"An amateur is he who takes up the study of an instrument as a relaxation from his serious occupations." -- Sor

User avatar
Erik Zurcher
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 14663
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:38 pm
Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Erik Zurcher » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:00 pm

No 2.: singing the music along (in your mind) is all important. No 1. is the consequence of No. 2.
Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

Salvador
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:59 am
Location: Asia

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Salvador » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:53 am

robert e wrote: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.
I agree with you about scales. That's also my answer. I've been practicing scales for a long time and it really improved my playing. In my personal experience, if you don't practice scales, it's hard to improve both skill and musicality. Of course listening to a lot of music helps, but scales are vital to make your fingers cooperate with what you are singing in your mind.

Smith
Posts: 1188
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:17 am

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Smith » Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:43 pm

^Nicely played! I enjoy playing easier pieces for the simple joy of it.

User avatar
Larry McDonald
Teacher
Posts: 1226
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:33 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Wi USA

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Larry McDonald » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:05 pm

2handband wrote: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
+1 Yep, what he said. It's great advice. Also, be sure you know where the non-harmonic tones are (accented passing tones, appogiaturas, etc.), and try adding a little emphasis there. Giuliani op 51 no 1 (link above) has some gems.

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

Henny
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:47 pm
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Henny » Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:06 pm

I read with pleasure all the different options, Great!
one I would like to add but already mentioned when practicing scales is actually from David douglass Jazz musician: when musicians, both individually and collectively, are not feeling time accurately To work on this, play your melodies (or rhythms or timbres or tunes) with the metronome, but create some challenges by periodically shifting your relationship to the pulse. That is, without changing the metronome setting, play your material faster or slower in relationship to its steady beat.

Nimo956
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:10 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Nimo956 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:48 am

My friend, who's a fairly proficient pianist, recommended singing the pieces before playing them. He said that I understand how to play the notes intellectually, but that I play robotically and without feeling. I've gone back to try to do this for extremely simple pieces, so that I can focus on the phrasing rather than the technique. It's quite a challenge trying to translate what you think the piece should sound like in your head to real life. I think I might try recording what I play with my iPhone as well.

User avatar
Roaster42
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:52 pm
Location: Knoxville, TN

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Roaster42 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:53 pm

I can completely agree with the reference to learning solfege.
I come to this after a lengthy span playing other types of guitar.
Phrasing and the expression aspects are often lost to our devotion to perfect technique.
There is no need for an either or.

Please excuse the crude metaphor, I do try to avoid them (Like the plague)

I am a coffee roaster, by way of a trade, and I understand that my craft is part science and part artistic interpretation.
When too little or much of one is present the result suffers.

I find playing along with random music, such as soundtrack scores, etc. develop an expression pattern that is applicable to the rest of my playing.
It may be silly, but i have found the technique quite effective.

jb
Coffee Roasting is like classical guitar, part technique, part art.
Without both the end result works, but never reaches what it could be.

Rick-in-Annapolis
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:22 am
Location: Annapolis, MD (USA)

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Rick-in-Annapolis » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:52 pm

Several people have suggested singing as a way of developing musicality. I hear you. But what do you suggest if you have about a half octave singing range?

User avatar
Jim Davidson
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:23 am
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Jim Davidson » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:25 pm

Rick-in-Annapolis wrote:Several people have suggested singing as a way of developing musicality. I hear you. But what do you suggest if you have about a half octave singing range?
Singing your part is as much for phrasing and articulation as it is pitch. When I sing along I don't get a lot of the notes and it doesn't really matter; it's how you shape the lines. Don't worry so much about right notes.

I'd also suggest practicing with a keyboard nearby.

I also have a little scale regimen that helps with this kind of thing:

-staccato
-legato
-staccato -> legato
-legato ->staccato
-long/short
-short/long
-piano
-forte
-piano < forte
-forte > piano

I practice all of these going both up and down the scale, and if possible in one and then two octaves. Then I start creating compounds (like staccato while crescendo).
2015 Alan Chapman Test Friederich CD/CO
2009 Cervantes Concert Milenia SP/PE

User avatar
Roaster42
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:52 pm
Location: Knoxville, TN

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Roaster42 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:49 pm

Jim Davidson wrote:
Rick-in-Annapolis wrote:Several people have suggested singing as a way of developing musicality. I hear you. But what do you suggest if you have about a half octave singing range?
Singing your part is as much for phrasing and articulation as it is pitch. When I sing along I don't get a lot of the notes and it doesn't really matter; it's how you shape the lines. Don't worry so much about right notes.

I'd also suggest practicing with a keyboard nearby.

I also have a little scale regimen that helps with this kind of thing:

-staccato
-legato
-staccato -> legato
-legato ->staccato
-long/short
-short/long
-piano
-forte
-piano < forte
-forte > piano

I practice all of these going both up and down the scale, and if possible in one and then two octaves. Then I start creating compounds (like staccato while crescendo).

Thanks for both of these.
I too have the half octave vocal range!

Thanks for the exercise regimen, building my routine is getting pretty exciting.
In my first life playing classical we didn't have YouTube
(Algore hadn't given us the Internet yet!----)
There some great Channels like 'This Is Classical Guitar' and 'Classical Guitar Corner'.

Great stuff!
Coffee Roasting is like classical guitar, part technique, part art.
Without both the end result works, but never reaches what it could be.

User avatar
Erik Zurcher
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 14663
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:38 pm
Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by Erik Zurcher » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:11 pm

I recommend Leo Brouwer's Estudios Simples. These are both technical as musical studies. Very challenging to play musically if you observe the musical directions in the score.
Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

RectifiedGTRz
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:18 am

Re: Musicality Exercises

Post by RectifiedGTRz » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:39 am

Yes practice with a metronome but don't let it ruin your musicality. Most music needs to breathe... you don't want to sound like you are playing with a click track! Pay attention to dynamic markings and tempos, but also play the melodies and learn the musical line: maybe draw a big line to indicate phrases. Sor's Etude in Bminor and the one in D major (the Segovia ones) are good for musicality. Torroba's Romance de los Pinos is an easy piece that you can make sing as well. Don't be afraid to use left hand vibrato..Torija by Torroba is good to that's isn't really that hard.
1991 Michael Thames Cedar #134
2012 Ramirez 4NE Cedar
2016 Cordoba Hauser (Master Series) #467

Return to “Classical Guitar technique”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Andrei Puhach, CommonCrawl [Bot] and 16 guests