Beginner's impressions

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rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:10 pm

Have you settled on concrete right hand fingering throughout?

My teacher, Karl, posed the question above among others when I asked him how come performance playing tends to break down compared to practice playing in the studio? He suggests that may be one of the things that bite to ruin performance.

The answer? Heck no, I just let those fingers fly, I'm too busy trying to get the LH fingers where they need to be. So, the RH is on auto-pilot from whatever scales and practice runs I've done in the past.

Concrete right hand fingering, huh, will have to work on that. Sounds like it should be part of the slow, meticulous build-up in learning a piece and I've not done it.

Cheers all. Ray

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:47 pm

Video lesson experiment

My online lessons with Karl are conducted using a Logitech web camera and software. The picture and sound quality are not the best.
Also, there is a time lag that precludes us ever playing simultaneously. So, for now we are trying to send short videos of my playing for his review and comment. I just sent the first video clip of Scarborough Fair, it will be interesting to hear what he has to say.

Cheers all. Ray.

Gruupi
Posts: 1192
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:11 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by Gruupi » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:09 pm

As far as solid consistant right hand fingering on classical guitar goes, I think it's very important to have it all worked out. It's just as important as the left hand. I just posted in your "How much does it take" thread Rayjang, that you have to set yourself up for success in a live performance. If your are a great improviser then letting fingers fly may be the way to go, but if your a playing a set piece it's best to have as many details worked out as possible. As years go by and you get comfortable performing, you may be able to live in the moment and interpret things as you feel, but most of the time these pieces are just too difficult to leave much to chance as far as technique goes.

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:20 pm

Gruupi

Thanks. You reinforce the need to pay attention to the RH, and somehow I've gotten away (my teachers so far, have not taken me to task) with paying little heed. Will have to isolate and focus on those fingers if that is what it takes to be a better classical guitarist.

Since Karl brought that up I will ask him for some remedial work to adddress it.

Cheers. Ray

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:40 pm

Trio Practice

Alex and I met to work on the duet version of Un Dia de Noviembre. We took a phrase at a time and practiced all but the last 8 measures. This is a very evocative piece of music and we are enjoying the sounds as we develop it.

Our trio practice was devoted towards getting Harry comfortable with the Guitar 1 line in Sakura, and in starting on Granada's Spanish Dance No 2. While my bass line is pretty straightforward, the guys have 32nd notes, ornaments to fit into one beat. Our practice dragged for me since I was not needing to work on those measures. Although one day we should change assignments and learn to play the other lines. For now, it is enough to play one line and to get it right.

New nursing home play date

We are booked for a second nursing home performance. This time it will be an evening session, 45-50 minutes. We have about a month to get ready.

Cheers all. Ray
Last edited by rayjang on Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cary W
Posts: 4641
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:12 pm
Location: North of Montreal

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by Cary W » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:44 am

Hello Ray.
How do you feel about the third anniversary of your thread? Perhaps it is time to start a new one, perhaps as an intermediate player?

Best wishes,
Cary
2008 Yamaha GC31C Indian/cedar D'Addario EJ46
1987 Yamaha GC-3 Indian/cedar D'Addario EJ45

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:37 am

Video lesson experiment

Karl reviewed my video play of Scarborough Fair. His return email detailed over a dozen things to work on, even though he said it sounded solid and my RH was good, LH needed a bit of adjustment. Tempo a bit off, great suggestions for getting better harmonics and suggestions to make the melody sing a bit better. Working on all those things will keep me busy for a while, and what I did find today was that it made the piece sound better.

I think I like this approach to instruction.

Trio practice tomorrow.

Cheers all. Ray.

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:07 pm

Instructor's Group Session

Karl Wohlwend's students meet once a month to perform for each other. The session is held in a quaint place called the Guitarhouse Workshop. There is a virtual tour on their web-site. Makes you want to drop in and perhaps sit-in (www.guitarhouseworkshop.com). Harry and I may cruise on over one of these months and also get a face-to-face lesson with Karl.

Summer Jazz Band

My grandson, Tristan, has been studying drums for 2 years. I asked him if he would like to go to a one week College Conservatory of Music summer camp for 9th grade and up. Its similar to the classical guitar workshop I've gone to. Master classes, lessons on theory, improvisation, history. If he goes it would be a super musical experience. Hope he does it.

Cheers all. Ray.

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:07 pm

Los Compañeros

Our trio has a second and third booking. We thought we should have a publicity photo to send in our advance information packet.
Los Campañeros.jpg
.

Rehearsal today I learned why I was playing the last few measures of Canarios too slow.

Cheers all. Ray.
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rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:36 pm

Jazz Band Is a "Go"

Tristan replied, and said it would be an amazing experience. So, we are going to get him registered and I will drive him to CCM each day. This is the week before the classical guitar workshop. I am going to be quite at home at CCM by the time July ends!

I am thrilled that he wants to do this and look forward to bonding with my grandson over music.

Life is great.

Cheers all. Ray.

Bill Doyle

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by Bill Doyle » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:35 am

How old is Tristan? That is so cool!

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:06 am

Bill:

He's 14 and a really bright fellow. Can youi imagine what a thrill it will be for him to drum for a Big Band concert?

Ray.

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:16 am

Spanish Dance No 2

We, the trio, are working up this piece, the first part in 3/4 time. My part is fairly straight forward, slurred eighth notes. There are some finger independence gymnastics in the 6/8 section that I'm going to have to really take time to go measure by measure. Its critical, the chord changes really add to the flavor of the piece.

Our practice was slowed by the need for Harry and Alex to coordinate on how to do the trill in measure 6. This is where I get the benefit of playing with more advanced guitarists. Their back and forth discussion was instructive to me and I would hope I remember it come the day when I play pieces with trills and mordents. (Such as the Bach 996 which is languishing on the back burner right now). For the moment though I am trying to be a steady rhythm guitar.

Un Dia de Noviembre Duet

Alex and I worked on the final page of this achingly beautiful Brouwer piece. It is starting to come together,and my melody line is greatly simplified with the addition of the second guitar. We should have this worked out for the April 5th performance and I believe this will have a real audience impact. When it was played two years ago at the CCM workshop it brought forth tears. The power of music in surfacing emotions!. I am also working on this as a solo piece, and the A and B sections are sounding right.

Merlin's Evocacion Duet

We closed our program at the Maple Knoll nursing home with this piece. I was surprised, during most of the program there were a few conversations going on as we played. When we announced this was the final the audience was dead quiet. I am not sure why. Perhaps, the sound of this music caught their ears and they wanted to hear it all.


Cheers all. Ray.

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:01 pm

Sight Reading Practice

Karl had told Alex and I we should do 5 minutes of sight reading with pieces we had not seen each time we practiced. Alex, who may be knowingly, has been teaching me things about playing CG, and he brought a couple of score collection books to our practice. We didn't attempt them on the spot, he left me a couple of scores and I found one additional piece that appealed to me.

After dinner (and my nightly snooze watching the TV news) I brought out the music and played them. I was happy to be able to just read these and play them at sufficient tempo to hear and recognize the melodies. In fact, also thanks to Alex, I started to play parts in the higher frets (until I lost the notes) :)

These are easy level guitar pieces, but, they have pleasant and familiar melody. Beethoven, Op 119 No 9, Beethoven Für Elise, and traditional, El Choclo,

It is gratifiying that finally, my fingers are finding the notes as I see them, that LH and RH are coordinating, and most of the time the tone is full and rich. I'm starting to feel like a musician :o

Cheers all. Ray

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:57 pm

New pieces

Played the sight reading pieces again this morning. The arrangements are pretty, and now I am wanting to really get these under my hands so I can play them anytime.

Opus 119, No 9 has a series of arpeggios with phrases that end with tension. Should be a great one for learning to roll the phrases out one after another.

Cheers, Ray.

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