Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Fretful
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Post by Fretful » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:14 pm

PREFACE TO PINNING THE SOPRANO “B” on ① ② ③ :

Part One of the course ends with this set. It is a good time for revision, as Part Two is going to be very different and rely on the knowledge acquired so far.

Part One has been published one note at a time - with not too much emphasis at this stage on incidentals - allowing about one week for each step to be understood, named, sung, absorbed, mentalized, and memorized. Hopefully, seeing a note on the stave will trigger a set of options regarding where this note can be found and why if can be found at particular locations in relation to the relevant open strings; you now have a solid knowledge and understanding of each string but, of the fingerboard, your knowledge is, mostly, longitudinal; the time will soon come to address the “across” clues of the “puzzle” as well as their implications.

See “PINNING THE SOPRANO “B” on ① ② ③ on the Classical Guitar Technique Forum.

Fretful
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Post by Fretful » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:58 am

PREFACE TO REVISION OF THE SIX STRINGS

The revision pieces have NO fingerings or position markings;

the required fingerings and positions have all been covered extensively in the first part of the course;

these exercises are predominantly concerned with the anticipation needed to pre-empt position shifts which are determined by notes which would otherwise be out of reach;

play them with minimum shifts of the left hand;

use Part One of the course as a checklist; should any particular note pose a problem, go back and revise through the relevant sets of exercises;

once familiarised with the pieces - at which point the work can no longer be described as “sight-reading” - print them out and add your own fingerings and position shifts which you can then compare with those published in the next set which will end Part One.

See Revision from ① to ⑥ and from I to XIV on the Classical Guitar Technique Forum

Fretful
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Post by Fretful » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:49 am

PREFACE TO Revision from ① to ⑥ and from I to XIV with Suggested Fingerings and Positions:

Herewith the revision pieces with added fingerings and position markings; these are mere suggestions since students may well have found their own. However, adding some here for comparison may stimulate through the analysis of alternatives, or even provide new ideas.

These fingered exercises mark the end of Part One culminating with a particularly awkward piece (REVISION FROM ① to ⑥ and from I to XIV – further) which, by any standard, would be difficult to sight-read because the flow is constantly split (at first glance, arbitrarily) between several registers; Manuel Ponce is fond of this technique as can be seen in the following extract from his Balletto in which no less than four composers had a (rather perverse) hand: Ponce, Segovia, Weiss (albeit unwittingly and innocently … and probably turning in his grave), and Mario Gangi (who, intriguingly, declared that he’d transcribed it when it had been written for guitar (by Ponce) in the first place!). You may enjoy devising various fingering solutions and compare them to Gangi’s excellent choices “inspired” by Segovia (Edizioni Bèrben 1960).
BALLETTO (Excerpt).jpg
The writing is unusual inasmuch as the bass sections are melodic rather than harmonic, and the bass notes are staggered [you could say: syncopated] rather than subjacent; if you put the different registers on the same level, a continuous melody emerges:
BALLETTO (Registers levelled).jpg
See Revision from ① to ⑥ and from I to XIV with suggested fingerings and positions on the Classical Guitar Technique Forum.
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Fretful
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Post by Fretful » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:12 pm

PART TWO - INTERVALS

Preface:

Some knowledge of harmony and solfège facilitates sight-reading considerably; the forthcoming section of the course will address those subjects as subsidiaries to the study of intervals. There is a musical equivalent to literary phrase-recognition; when coming across a sentence like: They had already put all the cutlery on the “…?...”, the chances are that the next word will be “table” rather than “sofa” or “swimming pool”. Similarly, in music, there are many ways of building up one’s expectations of what might be coming next: harmonic structures, recurring intervals, repeated melodies, echoed sections, and so on.

There are two ways through which an interval can be recognised: through its “look” on the stave, as with the Perfect Fourth with that characteristic gap where the notes do not quite touch; and through its “sound”.

Look at the given “graphic representation”, study it well; then, learn its sound, used for instance in the opening of the third movement of the most famous of all guitar concertos;

finally, learn the finger patterns for the Perfect Fourth (the easiest of all).

Intervals can be seen as melodic, either raising or lowering a melody by a determined amount; or they can be regarded as harmonic: when two notes are stacked and played together, creating a distinct aural texture.

Once those three elements are absorbed, you will be able very easily to find and play any Perfect Fourth, anywhere on the fingerboard.

The guitar’s fingerboard is a beautiful loom whose warp has now been studied at some length in Part One; the time has come to explore the weft and, as a consequence, begin to weave more elaborate aspects of the fabric of music.

The instalments in PART TWO are a little shorter than in Part One because the complexity of the new material requires deeper absorption over longer periods; as before, the advice is to avoid imposed memorisation but to use repetition, regularity, and understanding as daily tools; several short periods of concentrated work will achieve far more than over-long fatiguing sessions: experiment with five or six bouts of 90-seconds every day (a total of ≈ 8 minutes) for this first interval and see how much has been retained at the end of one week and only increase the workload if necessary.

See PART TWO - THE INTERVALS on the Classical Guitar Technique Forum

Fretful
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Post by Fretful » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:25 am

PREFACE TO PERFECT FOURTHS – Exercises

You will notice that in the final exercise of this set - “PERFECT FOURTHS - exercise” – one of the notes in each Perfect Fourth chord is held and requires a finger to be anchored while the other fingers “walk away” to finger the subsequent notes; this will need some stretching; should these stretches feel difficult, you may want to visit the thread “Stretching Exercises Given to me by John Williams” on the “Classical Guitar Technique” Forum.

See “EXERCISES IN PERFECT FOURTHS” ON THE Classical Guitar Technique Forum.

Fretful
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Post by Fretful » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:12 pm

PREFACE TO “THE PERFECT FOURTHS – using the G and B strings”:

The discrepancy in the ⒼⒷ tuning, frustrating at first, soon proves advantageous, both in the fingering of barrés, and the ability to play chords in different keys; tune the guitar in fourths (E – A – D – G – C – F), try playing a few chords in several keys and you will immediately feel the negative impact of tuning exclusively in fourths.
edward_z wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:23 am
Thanks for you great work. I will try to follow your approach and see how it works.
alexgmcm wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:19 pm
Also subscribed.Thank you for such useful material :)
Welcome on (finger)board! As you are joining the surfing later than others, I would suggest that you take your time and spend about a week (or more) on each set. Publishing the course weekly has the advantage of making it impossible for followers to “jump the gun” (a favourite and highly detrimental activity among guitarists). In my early student days, being given a book or method, I would complete it, regrettably, before the end of week one, having gone through EVERYTHING and absorbed absolutely NOTHING. Then, I was made aware of JW’s edict: “Always learn little over long periods”. How right he is! It takes a little longer but goes so much further!

See “THE PERFECT FOURTHS” - using the G and B strings” on the Classical Guitar Technique Forum.

Fretful
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Post by Fretful » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:28 am

Preface to “THE PERFECT FOURTHS AND THE FIFTH FRET”:

Using the Aranjuez (opening statement of the third movement), this simple but effective melody will serve to drum in the sound of the Perfect Fourth, as well as consolidate another finger pattern for this interval.

There is something about the fingerboard, where it becomes almost three-dimensional, akin to the Rubik’s cube: so many different ways to achieve a result through pattern recognition.

Absorb these simple steps well, so that the much greater complications associated with the almost limitless permutations afforded by harmonic possibilities will eventually slide into place as a natural conclusion of acquired knowledge.

See “THE PERFECT FOURTHS AND THE FIFTH FRET” on the Classical Guitar Technique Forum.

Fretful
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Post by Fretful » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:47 am

Preface to “THE PERFECT FIFTH AND THE SEVENTH FRET”:

The interval of a PERFECT FIFTH has a very special place in Western music, from Bah-bah Black Sheep to the scalic passages in Papageno’s theme, to the Dance of the Adolescents in the Rite of Spring, and countless other examples.

This interval occurs between the first to the last of five consecutive notes and contains seven semitones. For instance, it is formed between the TONIC and the FIFTH note (DOMINANT) of an eight-notes scale, seven Semitones above the Tonic, and can therefore easily be found at the Seventh Fret in relation to any Open String.

The importance of the Dominant is difficult to define; it could have something to do with the fact that its position within a full scale is somewhat akin to the proportions of the golden ratio and is instinctively perceived as such; if this seems far-fetched, 8/5 = 1.6 … and the golden ratio is 1.618...

Also, its importance becomes pivotal when dealing with harmony which will be covered in Part Three of this course; any basic Triad, be in Major or minor, contains a P5; in that sense, it is more stable than the Third which, in a Triad, can be either Major or minor, depending on the mode.

It is suggested that students might photocopy both exercises (“PERFECT FIFTHS and the Seventh Fret” and “FIFTH ELEMENT”) and mark every P5 with a bracket in order to increase its perception while sight-reading; however, keep a “clean” copy to revert to once the interval has been absorbed both visually and aurally.

See “THE PERFECT FIFTHS AND THE SEVENTH FRET” on the Classical Guitar Technique Forum.

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