Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Fretful
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Post by Fretful » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:46 am

Preface to “Further examples and exercises in minor Thirds”

Prior to working on the further exercises in minor Thirds, this is a good moment to spend a little time on a superficial analysis of the minor scales; study them at your leisure, ponder over them, and use the opportunity to consider the numbers (the degrees) corresponding to each note, as this knowledge will become increasingly useful when tackling harmony in some depth in due course.

The construction of the minor Scale
:
The “minor scale” is ambivalent, as there are several minor scales; we’ll consider here the two most important ones: the HARMONIC minor scale, and the MELODIC minor scale; as the name implies, melodically, the melodic minor scale is naturally suited to melody and would suffice, were it not that it is unstable because it differs depending whether it is ascending or descending and therefore, for harmonic purposes, a scale which does NOT differ in their ascending and descending modes is more suitable (and reliable):
minor scales (A) - Harmonic & Melodic.jpg
You can see at a glance that the Harmonic minor scale has more stability; some would feel, though, that the Melodic minor is less rigid and more exotic.

No need at this stage to memorize any of this, just bear it in mind occasionally; the time will soon come for more advised assiduousness.

See “Further examples and exercises in minor Thirds” on the Classical Guitar Technique Forum.
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Fretful
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Post by Fretful » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:44 am

Preface to “THIRDS – Aguado” revised

It is time to mention again a particularly pernicious bête noire which has been the subject of much debate among teachers for decades: the fact that most of the literature for beginners and intermediate guitar players is peppered with fingerings and presented, mostly, in low positions. Many decades ago, John Williams (illustrated here at the risk of inciting serious nostalgia)
J.W. © Sophie Baker.jpg
tried to combat this, preaching wherever he could, stating that guitarists learned to read fingerings rather than notes, advocating (to no avail) that beginners should start immediately – albeit slowly and steadily - in high positions as well as low ones. Below is an excerpt of one of his transcriptions (© 1978/79[!]) bearing no fingerings, position suggestions, or string denominations (a phenomenon, to this day, virtually unique in guitar publication):
Arr. John Williams.jpg
The intention was soundly optimistic but the powers-that-be wanted none of it. His efforts failed, as did everyone else’s. And the bête noire gnaws away at the ebony, unseen … noir sur noir.

From here on, those classics with which you may be familiar, will be taken out of the putative comfort zone; they will feel unsettling and the fingerings resulting from the given positions will not necessarily make the performance easier; but then, scalic as they are, the reward lies more in the achievement than any musical gratification. Always bear in mind that the essence of this course is the exploring, familiarising with, and mastering of fingerboard knowledge, not technique or musicianship which, vital though they are, belong to different territories which are adequately explored elsewhere.

See “THIRDS – Aguado” revised on the Classical Guitar Technique Forum
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:03 pm
Location: England

Re: Improve your Fingerboard Knowledge and Sight-Reading Technique

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:23 pm

Fretful wrote:... bearing no fingerings, position suggestions, or string denominations (a phenomenon, to this day, virtually unique in guitar publication).
Although many of our 19th c. forebears were much more wise in this regard.

Some of us are still preaching this - and still being shouted down even though it seems so absolutely bloody obvious. Alas, fingering is often so plentiful these days that it amounts to a poor man's tablature - with none of the latter's benefits. Sadly, the tide appears to be running backwards with more and more publications including both tab and gross over-fingering.

I'm sure that you've seen too many examples to count but look at this - apparently we need to be reminded eight times within a few seconds to fret D with finger two:
8_times.png
Exasperating - and this example comes from not a million miles away.

Keep up the good work Fretful.
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