Tremolo, anyone?

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Florentin Tise

Tremolo, anyone?

Post by Florentin Tise » Wed Oct 05, 2005 6:53 pm

How do you practice your tremolo?

Here's one way I like to have my students practice tremolo:

- PI, PM, PA, on different string combinations (2nd and 1st, 3rd and 1st, and so on, with the thumb moving to the different strings)
- PMI, on different string combinations
- PAMI, on different string combinations
- play easy tremolo study: Sagreras has one, in his first book, I think, or maybe his second? My favorite study for this purpose is Carcassi's Op.60, #7. The reason I like it is because it uses both tremolo, and arpeggios, so the student has to shift between the two techniques. I also like this study, because the tremolo does NOT have to be played very, very fast - if they play it too fast, they'll never get the arpeggios that follow.
- play sections from Requerdos and sections from Barrios' Una Luminosita Por El Amor De Dios (not sure of the spelling here...)

- then, they can play an entire tremolo piece.

some thoughts?
Last edited by Florentin Tise on Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post by cardamomo » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:08 pm

I can't say anything about how I practice tremolo.
Sorry again, Florentin, your posts are so interesting anyway, that I'm going to participate in them even if I'm a total beginner!

Just to say that tremolo, in my opinion, is a way to imitate the long-sustained notes of other instruments, violin and viola, or flute, for example. Given that, I would be inclined not to take it seriously. But when I listen to Una limosna por el amor de Dios, I really think that's a great, very evocative technique.



Post by Russell » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:41 pm

Tremolo is a technique that has only gone backwards for me over the years, yet I can arpeggiate at any fast speed desired,(as long as my LH can keep up) thus, it doesn't make any sense to me that I cannot achieve a decent tremolo on one string! :(
Perhaps we get spoiled listening/watching the likes of Paco de Lucía & Al de Miola et al and their incredible speed techniques!

Any advice Florentin? (In addition to your above post that is) :)


Russ :)

Florentin Tise

Post by Florentin Tise » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:49 pm

ok, well, flamenco players usually use a technique for tremolo that is even more difficult than "ours".

we do PAMI, and I think they do PIAMI, so they add an extra note to the tremolo. It sure sounds great.

I think the position of the thumb is important here - it needs to go out, away from the other fingers. If you look at pictures or videos of John Williams playing tremolo, you'll see what I mean.


Post by Russell » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:59 pm

Actually Florentin, perhaps you could do a short vid post demonstrating it?

I did not know that their was more than one usage of PIMA for tremolo as you pointed out.

Now I have come across the argument where nails/no nails were an issue, and attacking from left or right of the finger (I think Liona Boyd does it an odd way too).

:merci: in anticipation :D

Russ :)

Florentin Tise

Post by Florentin Tise » Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:04 pm

Liona does a wonderful tremolo.

if you go to her page, you'll see some videos.

I played in a master class for her in Chicago, about five years ago, and at the beginning of the class she played for us. It was winter, so she played her randition of Silent Night It is a nice arrangement. She sounded great.

She does have very long finger nails, and she plays from the side, kinda like David Russell.


Post by tenn » Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:13 pm

Thanks for this Florentin. I'm determined to master this. The reason I haven't to date is that I start, do it for a while ( maybe a few weeks) and then get fed up due to poor progress.
Well lately I've been trying something that I read about on the net and in Noad's book, namely pami all on the one string. I'm very slowly increasing the speed and touch wood I won't give up this time. The idea behind doing it on one string is to make sure the thumb stroke isn't stronger than the tremolo.

I'm also doing the flamenco piami combination and piamiami. As far as I recall it was Juan Serrano who recommended this. It's actually quite satisfying, even at slow speed.
I'm going to give your exercises a try as well. Every little helps.


Florentin Tise

Post by Florentin Tise » Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:22 pm

doing tremolo all on one string is a great idea. Yes, it will even out your tremolo sound.


Post by hav » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:40 pm

I'll give a plug to one of the folks on the French forums (hope she doesn;t mind) but, if you want to enjoy someone doing a very nice tremolo - hop over to cecile's page and go to the videos dir and watch hre limosna vid - probably not perfect - but pretty DANG good to my ears!!! > vidéos, les interprétations des guitaristes du forum


Post by cardamomo » Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:23 am

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! What a wonderful execution!!
hav wrote: but pretty DANG good to my ears!!!
Hav, even if I don't know the meaning of "dang", I second that!



Post by mark96 » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:06 am

how many of you have explored the "flamenco tremolo" of p-i-a-m-i? It is a slower tremolo, harder than p-a-m-i to play quickly, but (IMHO) a richer sound.

It is played like an "ayudado" (p-i like you find in Malaguena) followed immediately by the a-m-i. Mentally, that was the best way for me to get the thing to sound remotely together, as opposed to looking at it as P, followed by iami.

Any tips or other experiences?

BTW, Carcassi's OP 60 Et 7 is one of my favorites to play, and it is difficult to remember that the tremolos and arpeggios have the same meter.

(I posted this before see Florentin's and tenn's post on the same subject, as I did not catch the post on my initial scan. My apologies, Florentin (sa traiti!) and tenn, and my acknowledgements)
Last edited by mark96 on Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post by Freeman » Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:09 pm

Pumping Nylon video helped me learn the tremolo technique. PIMA
I had never attempted it before. I'm quite satisfied with what I can do on the high E string and moving the thumb around, but I have difficulty with tremolo on the B string. I probably just need to shorten the strokes for that to work out.


Post by Russell » Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:07 pm

Cecile's video, very very nice. Do you think she uses nail? Judging by the vid I have to presume the fleshy end of the finger? Beautiful effect in any event. :ouioui:

Russ :)
postscript After watching Cecile's vid, I listened to John Williams version... oh well......
Last edited by Russell on Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post by hav » Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:29 pm

I think she is using at least SOME nail - but her guitar is quite mellow - I THINK I remember her saying it was cedar - would make sense. I enjoy her playing - she has several mp3's on her pages and on delcamp as well.

Florentin Tise

Post by Florentin Tise » Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:42 pm

I will have to check that out

I bet it would be very hard to play a good, loud tremolo, without fingernails.

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