Where's the Melody????

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Kenbobpdx
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Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by Kenbobpdx » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:41 pm

Karen wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:55 pm
I am being taught to use rest stroke to bring out the melody, free strokes for harmony. This approach helps bring about the melody line even though I am not yet ready to worry about volume control. There are only so many things one can think of at one time and as a beginner it can be a little overwhelming. Another reason for a teacher, I suppose, to help the student not to bite off more than can be chewed :)
I am glad to hear that.

I was taught that just when I thought I had the melody coming out to emphasize it even more. It was often awkward at first but did instill a good sensibility. It was a technique taught to me by a concert performer who often needed to emphasize notes to push the melody out into a hall. As I have gotten older (much older), I don't do that as much because I have no interest in performing. Punching the melody line works great if you need to fill a recital space due to the inherent limitations of the guitar but I find I am more subtle when playing for the cats and my own pleasure.
"If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe."
Abraham Lincoln

Rognvald
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Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by Rognvald » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:28 am

Karen wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:55 pm
I am being taught to use rest stroke to bring out the melody, free strokes for harmony. This approach helps bring about the melody line even though I am not yet ready to worry about volume control. There are only so many things one can think of at one time and as a beginner it can be a little overwhelming. Another reason for a teacher, I suppose, to help the student not to bite off more than can be chewed :)
Hi, Karen,
As you develop your RH technique, you can approximate, very closely, the full sound of a rest stroke with a fleshy finger/nail combination by turning your hand slightly inward towards the soundboard and catching more flesh than nail on your string attack. You can experiment with the best hand position to do so and once you become fluent in this technique, you can add greater speed to your melody line than would be normally possible using a conventional rest stroke. I hope this helps. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

AndreiKrylov

Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:16 am

Rognvald wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:28 am
Karen wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:55 pm
I am being taught to use rest stroke to bring out the melody, free strokes for harmony. This approach helps bring about the melody line even though I am not yet ready to worry about volume control. There are only so many things one can think of at one time and as a beginner it can be a little overwhelming. Another reason for a teacher, I suppose, to help the student not to bite off more than can be chewed :)
Hi, Karen,
As you develop your RH technique, you can approximate, very closely, the full sound of a rest stroke with a fleshy finger/nail combination by turning your hand slightly inward towards the soundboard and catching more flesh than nail on your string attack. You can experiment with the best hand position to do so and once you become fluent in this technique, you can add greater speed to your melody line than would be normally possible using a conventional rest stroke. I hope this helps. Playing again . . . Rognvald
Nice question...
I think it is more than technical problem - it could be a kind of general personality problem...it is the same with other Arts - one have to build composition in painting, or writing or sculpture in a way that will not be only perfectly balanced and organized, but also one which will SPEAK and TOUCH reader , listener, viewer...there should be something distinguished in a perfect construction or even in absolute chaos which will do that.
Could this be learned? Probably yes, to a certain degree, but paradoxically some people seems to have it naturally...
Hands just reflecting our feelings and passions, and while we need to develop technique to express that, sometimes that technique by itself does not work...

Rognvald
Posts: 652
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by Rognvald » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:43 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:16 am
Rognvald wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:28 am
Karen wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:55 pm
I am being taught to use rest stroke to bring out the melody, free strokes for harmony. This approach helps bring about the melody line even though I am not yet ready to worry about volume control. There are only so many things one can think of at one time and as a beginner it can be a little overwhelming. Another reason for a teacher, I suppose, to help the student not to bite off more than can be chewed :)
Hi, Karen,
As you develop your RH technique, you can approximate, very closely, the full sound of a rest stroke with a fleshy finger/nail combination by turning your hand slightly inward towards the soundboard and catching more flesh than nail on your string attack. You can experiment with the best hand position to do so and once you become fluent in this technique, you can add greater speed to your melody line than would be normally possible using a conventional rest stroke. I hope this helps. Playing again . . . Rognvald
Nice question...
I think it is more than technical problem - it could be a kind of general personality problem...it is the same with other Arts - one have to build composition in painting, or writing or sculpture in a way that will not be only perfectly balanced and organized, but also one which will SPEAK and TOUCH reader , listener, viewer...there should be something distinguished in a perfect construction or even in absolute chaos which will do that.
Could this be learned? Probably yes, to a certain degree, but paradoxically some people seems to have it naturally...
Hands just reflecting our feelings and passions, and while we need to develop technique to express that, sometimes that technique by itself does not work...

This is very nicely said, Andrei, and leads me to one of my most important beliefs about Music, Art and Writing. How is it possible to create Art that will "SPEAK AND TOUCH reader, listener, viewer(Andrei)" when your life lacks intellectual, human and artistic stimulation? How many on this Forum listen to serious Music in all genres, read serious Philosophy, Fiction, Poetry, History and engage in living life creatively? If a human being is indeed a sensorium of internal/external stimulation, how can we season a potential "artist" or even a good "player" if their life, aside from playing the CG in their bedroom is imbued with the mundane, the common, and the trivial steps of a mechanistic life? When we are touched by someone with a voice in the Arts, it is always someone who has been "seasoned" with life's complete human experience: Beethoven, Wagner,
Gauguin, Rembrandt, Conrad, Cervantes, Hemingway, and it is through this seasoning that their "technique" is given life through their Art. We are not machines. We are human beings and to develop a voice, one must have lived life to its fullest. Otherwise, you are only a Music Machine. Playing again . . . Rognvald P.S. I would rather play one beautiful line of Music than a lifetime of dead sounds.
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Kenbobpdx
Posts: 1120
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Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by Kenbobpdx » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:41 pm

This discussion leads more and more to the idea of the Renaissance Man. The idea that to be whole one must engage in in arts and humanities, history and statesmanship, and be grounded and connected to the physical world as well. To be versed in any one area one must have foundations in the others as well. I personally was influenced by this concept when I was at university. Oddly enough I was studying literature and history through this lens, training in the martial arts, playing music, and fishing. Needless to say it influenced me greatly.

One thing I have learned about the concept of mastery though is that everything one wishes to master takes a great deal of mundane work. But that is really where the great lessons occur. Perseverance, focus, the ability to lose oneself in the technical training necessary to make one's endeavors happen with greater ease is critical. Very few people are "naturals" but there are those blessed few who just get it right away whatever their field.
"If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe."
Abraham Lincoln

kmurdick
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Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by kmurdick » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:02 pm

One of you guys was a reed player, so you know that tone is almost all you need. I busk (play in the steet) a lot and I can tell you that with or without backing tracks, the saxophone brings down the house. Yes, we all love vertical relationships, but these can be implied in single note playing. One note of a wind instrument can sound as full as a six string chord.

Rognvald
Posts: 652
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by Rognvald » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:12 pm

kmurdick wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:02 pm
One of you guys was a reed player, so you know that tone is almost all you need. I busk (play in the steet) a lot and I can tell you that with or without backing tracks, the saxophone brings down the house. Yes, we all love vertical relationships, but these can be implied in single note playing. One note of a wind instrument can sound as full as a six string chord.
Here's a great example K. Read the intro by Matthew Stone and enjoy the beauty of the well-played note. Playing again . . . Rognvald
https://youtu.be/XLSOWrZy6xs
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Ramon Amira
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Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by Ramon Amira » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:49 pm

Rognvald wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:12 pm
kmurdick wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:02 pm
One of you guys was a reed player, so you know that tone is almost all you need. I busk (play in the steet) a lot and I can tell you that with or without backing tracks, the saxophone brings down the house. Yes, we all love vertical relationships, but these can be implied in single note playing. One note of a wind instrument can sound as full as a six string chord.
Here's a great example K. Read the intro by Matthew Stone and enjoy the beauty of the well-played note. Playing again . . . Rognvald
https://youtu.be/XLSOWrZy6xs

The sax is a very expressive instrument. Here is a terrific rendition of the Albinoni Adagio with sax and harp. He plays with real soul, and perfect phrasing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPkQetdhqeA

Ramon
Classical and Flamenco guitar lessons via Skype worldwide - Classical and Flamenco guitars from Spain

Rognvald
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by Rognvald » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:04 pm

Ramon Amira wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:49 pm
Rognvald wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:12 pm
kmurdick wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:02 pm
One of you guys was a reed player, so you know that tone is almost all you need. I busk (play in the steet) a lot and I can tell you that with or without backing tracks, the saxophone brings down the house. Yes, we all love vertical relationships, but these can be implied in single note playing. One note of a wind instrument can sound as full as a six string chord.
Here's a great example K. Read the intro by Matthew Stone and enjoy the beauty of the well-played note. Playing again . . . Rognvald
https://youtu.be/XLSOWrZy6xs

The sax is a very expressive instrument. Here is a terrific rendition of the Albinoni Adagio with sax and harp. He plays with real soul, and perfect phrasing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPkQetdhqeA

Ramon
Thanks for the video/music, Ramon! The saxophone is an extremely expressive instrument and it is puzzling to me why it has not been accepted more widely in the Classical idiom. Similar to the clarinet, it has the ability to speak like a human voice and it sonoristic effects are limitless. After I had been playing professionally for years, I began studies with a Classical teacher on sax and flute and he definitely helped me with phrasing, articulation and tone. Also, reading the Classical literature helped my reading chops. I think it is very important for CG players to listen seriously to other instrumentalists since there is much to be gained in developing your own melodic concept in performance. CG players should not live in a vacuum and should beg/borrow and steal whenever they can to improve their personal voice. As a final remark, I think the alto sax is an easier fit, classically than the tenor and at one time I owned both tenor and alto saxes but preferred the alto for classical work. Thanks again for the great example. Playing again . . .Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Ramon Amira
Teacher
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Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by Ramon Amira » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:33 pm

I have been performing solo for more years than I can count, but lately, after watching so many videos of duos, I decided to explore forming a duo. I first thought of violin, but after watching some sax playing I think that sax and guitar would make a real nice duo. So I am currently looking for a saxist.

Questions: would any kind of sax be a better fit for guitar - like maybe alto sax, or doesn't it matter. Also, I have some idea that I read something like the guitar has to play in a different key from the sax to be in sinc. Can you explain that. Thanks.

Ramon
Classical and Flamenco guitar lessons via Skype worldwide - Classical and Flamenco guitars from Spain

JohnB
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Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by JohnB » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:44 pm

The sax is one of the many instruments where the music is notated in a different pitch to what it is played - they are generally known as "transposing instruments".

Actually the classical guitar is also a transposing instrument (its music is written an octave higher than what is played) though we don't think of it as such because the pitch difference is an octave.

Other transposing instruments include much of the woodwind, French Horn (5th), Bb Trumpet (2nd), etc.

(You've got to admire musicians who can read an orchestral score and play the damned thing on the piano - doing all those transpositions mentally.)
Last edited by JohnB on Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso", Christopher Dean 2018, Ana Maria Espinosa 2014

soltirefa
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Location: Southern California

Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by soltirefa » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:50 pm

Other transposing instruments much of the woodwind, French Horn (5th), Bb Trumpet (2nd), etc.
I have an 11-string alto guitar which is tuned up a minor third to G. It's the same thing; I read one thing and it plays in a different key, not unlike putting a capo on the 3rd fret and reading (eg. Dowland).

Rognvald
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Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by Rognvald » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:35 pm

Ramon Amira wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:33 pm
I have been performing solo for more years than I can count, but lately, after watching so many videos of duos, I decided to explore forming a duo. I first thought of violin, but after watching some sax playing I think that sax and guitar would make a real nice duo. So I am currently looking for a saxist.

Questions: would any kind of sax be a better fit for guitar - like maybe alto sax, or doesn't it matter. Also, I have some idea that I read something like the guitar has to play in a different key from the sax to be in sinc. Can you explain that. Thanks.

Ramon
Hi, Ramon,
Alto or soprano sax would be the preferred combination with a leaning towards the alto sax since it has a greater range in the middle/lower tones than the soprano. The alto would give you greater diversity similar to comparing a flute to the clarinet. The Alto sax is in Eb so you play 1 1/2 up from middle C. Playing again . . . Rognvald P.S. I'll look for some examples.
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Ramon Amira
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Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by Ramon Amira » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:30 pm

Are you saying that a sax can only play in one key? Does this mean that if I want to play with an alto sax that I have to play everything in Eb? I have a feeling I'm wrong here. Or do you just mean that I have to play a step and a half higher than he/she is playing?

Ramon
Classical and Flamenco guitar lessons via Skype worldwide - Classical and Flamenco guitars from Spain

JohnB
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Re: Where's the Melody????

Post by JohnB » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:16 pm

Ramon,

No you don't have to transpose your part. It is just that the alto sax's part will be written out at a sixth higher (I think) than the actual notes that the sax produces. You both play the music parts "as is".

The alto sax can play in any key, the Eb is just an indication of its range of pitch to distinguish it from other members of the sax family. I believe it is its lowest note.
Last edited by JohnB on Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso", Christopher Dean 2018, Ana Maria Espinosa 2014

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