Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
Forum rules
IV Laws governing the quotation/citation of music


For discussion of studies, scales, arpeggios and theory.
Paul Cezanne
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:04 pm
Location: Keene NH USA

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Paul Cezanne » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:49 am

soltirefa wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:07 am
For what it's worth, here's a recording of this piece using Yates' transcription that I made about a decade ago, maybe more.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ifrd4y1um392b ... e.mp3?dl=0
Thank you! I'll listen to that tonight while reading along withe score.

soltirefa
Posts: 2145
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:59 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by soltirefa » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:17 pm

Rasqeo wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:30 am
soltirefa wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:07 am
For what it's worth, here's a recording of this piece using Yates' transcription that I made about a decade ago, maybe more.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ifrd4y1um392b ... e.mp3?dl=0
Bravo! I liked that a lot.
Thanks. Nowadays I play that piece on my 11-string alto guitar.

celestemcc
Posts: 1217
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by celestemcc » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:21 pm

What would you recommend for a Bach piece?
The problem with being a beginner is that we don't understand what what don't know, and by the time we get to a reasonably advanced level, we come to appreciate just how much work it took to get there. That's why people are encouraging you to set your goals back a bit.

If you must do some Bach (and none is really easy, frankly: again, transcriptions) I'd look at the First cello suite, BWV 1007, the Prelude only. It's probably the "easiest", relatively speaking, but none of them qualify as "easy".

Another issue is, as others have said, the edition you choose. I have no bone to pick with Yates, but for what it's worth, I'd recommend Frank Koonce's for the First suite. This is because he keeps it mostly first position where possible, and very little added to it: it's one of the sparest editions I've seen. It does venture as high as ca 8th position but not for long.

There are *many* opinions, as you've seen, as to how to play Bach, because it's all transcription, even the Lute Suites were written for a keyboard instrument. At moment you want to keep it relatively simple, you can make choices later.

It's still going to be hard work, but I hope this one can give you a little bit of fun as you try it.

If you don't mind going back a bit in time to the Renaissance, you might consider music written for vihuela, like Narvaez "Guardame Las Vacas". Much easier, very fun and satisfying. You may still have a way to go before you're there but it's an easier goal to set for yourself.

Enjoy the ride!
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Conall
Posts: 686
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:26 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Conall » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:51 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:17 pm

... Nowadays I play that piece on my 11-string alto guitar.
I just got my 11 string! Mine is pitched in E like a normal guitar & descends to low G.

I play the suite in its original key since the extra strings allow it. What key do you play it in?

soltirefa
Posts: 2145
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:59 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by soltirefa » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:21 pm

Conall wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:51 pm
soltirefa wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:17 pm

... Nowadays I play that piece on my 11-string alto guitar.
I just got my 11 string! Mine is pitched in E like a normal guitar & descends to low G.

I play the suite in its original key since the extra strings allow it. What key do you play it in?
I read it in E minor but it sounds in G minor. It fits great fingering-wise in that key. I have 3=F# (reading-wise).

DerekB
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 10:22 am
Location: Bollington, Cheshire UK

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by DerekB » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:55 am

The Yates transcription is an alternative set piece for Trinity Grade 8. Isabella Selder does a lovely performance in the Siccas website. It looks a lot easier than it is.
I've suffered for my music. Now it's your turn... - Seasick Steve

Ana Espinosa 2014 Swiss spruce/IRW
Yulong Guo 2009 640mm scale cedar/IRW

User avatar
lagartija
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11204
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:37 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts, USA

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by lagartija » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:30 pm

The first Bach piece I learned was BWV999. I always liked it and have taken it up again nearly 10 years later. I still think it is a nice accessible piece. I’ll have to look at my old practice log, but IIRC, I started to learn it in my first year of playing. Perhaps that piece would be a better choice than the Prelude of the Cello Suite?
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

soltirefa
Posts: 2145
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:59 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by soltirefa » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:50 pm

Isabella Selder does a lovely performance in the Siccas website.
I really like that performance, too.

User avatar
Alexander Kalil
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:53 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Alexander Kalil » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:32 pm

Just wanted to point out that Yates' fingering by itself does not imply a campanella style overringing effect. A proficient player can execute the above posted fragment with the given left hand fingering and make it sound as if played on one string, that is, with every note terminating exactly where the next note begins and with no abrupt change of timbre between fretted and open string notes. In that case Yates' fingering just amounts to a clever use of open strings to facilitate position shifts and legato. So with Yates' fingering we can play the passage companella style, but we don't have to.

Paul Cezanne
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:04 pm
Location: Keene NH USA

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Paul Cezanne » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:56 am

I've been reading all of these post, especially the ones about alternative stretch pieces, and try to play some of them, at least the first measure or two. (I no I'll not be able to play past that!) It seems the contenders are:

Cello Suite #2 Prelude - This is the one I started with, and as you all knew before I started, is extremely difficult for more.

Cello Suite #1 Prelude - I was happy to see this on the list. I love this piece and actually tried playing it before I picked #2. It just seems too difficult. Both the arpeggios seem harder and the tempo, well, you can't fudge it like you can with the #2, which can be slowed down some and not be awful. (And thanks for the tip on Isabella Selder's performance, she really makes it shine!)

Cello Suite #4 Bouree II (not Bouree I) - I hadn't even consider this since I wasn't familiar with it. But I listened to it and loved it! It is more Bach like than the others. (And by that I mean it some nice polyphony.) And when I turned to the sheet music I was really happy, it almost looked easy. Then I tried to play it. Uh oh... But I will try some more. Plus, it is short, so I'll be able to declare "victory" sooner, right? :- )

Prelude, BWV 999 - I was completely unfamiliar with this piece and loved my first listen to it. Bradford Werner has a lesson on it on youtube and his site even has free sheet music, which is heavily fingered.

Air on the G String - Bradford Warner also has an "easy" arrangement without the octave leaps in the bass. I've not tried this one yet.

One common theme in playing all of these is, all you all know, I'm not ready. I'm currently frustrated by my lesson piece and I'm especially frustrated here. But you knew that would happen. :- ) But I'm also a stubborn cuss and not being able to do something just makes me more likely to keep plowing ahead. I currently don't even have a good left hand curl, my fingers tend to hit the strings under them. I know this will come with time, but it really makes these chorded pieces extremely difficult. (On the other hand, once I have the curl correct I'll be ahead of the game.)

So where am I? I don't know. I'm so stubborn I really want to bull my way through this but Bach doesn't want to be bulled. I may check out some of the easier pieces on Warner's site. But I'll will keep you all posted. Thank you so much for the support and the, uhh, tough love. Really, I read all of it very thoughtfully.

Paul Cezanne
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:04 pm
Location: Keene NH USA

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Paul Cezanne » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:01 pm

Oh, for other newbies here, the delcamp site has a wealth of discussion on "easy" Bach pieces.

gilles T
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:11 pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by gilles T » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:29 pm

Hi, Paul Cezanne,

Thanks for your friendly PM.
As a side note, another suggestion regarding early/intermediate Bach pieces, you may consider the Allemande of violin partita 1004.
Here is a good version, without any added basses :


It's introspective and solemn, just as 1008 Prelude, while a tad bit easier to play.
Hope this helps, regards,
Gilles

Richwilly
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 1:41 pm
Location: South East London

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Richwilly » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:47 pm

Conall wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:51 pm
soltirefa wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:17 pm

... Nowadays I play that piece on my 11-string alto guitar.
I just got my 11 string! Mine is pitched in E like a normal guitar & descends to low G.

I play the suite in its original key since the extra strings allow it. What key do you play it in?
How are you enjoying the new string Conall?
Sorry for the thread hijack.
2009 Pablo Requena spruce
2013 David Rouse spruce 7 string
2016 David Rouse cedar

celestemcc
Posts: 1217
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by celestemcc » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:21 pm

not being able to do something just makes me more likely to keep plowing ahead. I currently don't even have a good left hand curl, my fingers tend to hit the strings under them. I know this will come with time, but it really makes these chorded pieces extremely difficult. .... but Bach doesn't want to be bulled.
Perhaps ask your teacher for another piece in addition to the one you're learning now. And ask for advice on how to practice, how to break things down to make it more achievable, in little bits and pieces. We all get the frustration.... but playing pieces that you're not ready for won't much help your technique, and will be frustrating also. It's great to be stubborn, but you know the old saw about "how do I get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice!" It takes time and effort. With your drive you *will* get there, but one thing we tend to lack, as adult learners, is patience. Something you might find fun to do is go back to older repertoire and see how much better it is now, you've learned so much! That's really encouraging. Give that a try. And most of all, just enjoy the process and remember it does get frustrating: anything worthwhile does that at times. Cheering you on!
Last edited by celestemcc on Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Conall
Posts: 686
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:26 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Yates Bach Cello Suite #2 Prelude - Newbie help

Post by Conall » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:10 pm

Richwilly wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:47 pm
Conall wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:51 pm
soltirefa wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:17 pm

... Nowadays I play that piece on my 11-string alto guitar.
I just got my 11 string! Mine is pitched in E like a normal guitar & descends to low G.

I play the suite in its original key since the extra strings allow it. What key do you play it in?
How are you enjoying the new string Conall?
Sorry for the thread hijack.
The 11 string (by Heikki Rousu) has 3 floating (non fretted low basses (usually tuned B, A, G for 9-11). See below for pictures of it:

viewtopic.php?f=131&t=125753

It is a revelation: I cannot believe it's taken me decades to order one. I can finally play the music I love with original basses (though I'm trying the JSB lute suites in keys the guitar normally adopts). These floating basses are amazing - powerful yet balanced with the other strings. But of course the extra 5 strings give the guitar an amazing reverb like resonance - I can hear bell like harmonics on every single note - no more dead Cs, Fs and flats! I've only had the guitar since Monday and, having played 8 string guitar almost exclusively for months the extra basses are not that confusing though I'm making plenty of mistakes. Not only have I been playing BWV 997 (where the benefit of the extra basses is most obvious), BWV 995, cello suites 1-3 (in original keys) and Weiss (excellent practice for the low basses) but also regular 6 string pieces which also sound excellent with the added resonance (Villa-Lobos prelude 3 mid section & Barrios' Catedral sing like never before!).

To be honest, if one has been playing 6 string professionally (I'm a full time guitar teacher) or semi pro or a serious amateur for years I can't fathom why one would not at least try an extended range guitar. I liked the 8 string particularly for its low C & ability to play the cello suites as written but the 11 string opens a whole world of music & sounds.

Of course the disadvantage is extra difficulty (partly compensated by having an extra LH finger available when playing an open bass note) and overhanging overtones if you don't damp regularly. So I'm having to do that a lot more often than on 6 strings and also damping with wrist.

Sorry to the OP too for the digression!

Return to “Classical Guitar technique”