2 beginner's questions about Dyens "Lettre mi-longue"

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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tejjy
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:10 pm
Location: Geelong

2 beginner's questions about Dyens "Lettre mi-longue"

Post by tejjy » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:01 am

1.) The piece is prefaced with 5 structures "to assist with tuning" - 2 of which (in 7th & 9th position) aren't required by the published fingering of the piece. What is the thinking behind that?

2.) The piece has a lot of variation in tempo - I've watched quite a few youtube performances which give the impression of slowing down to avoid a problem, which seems like an undesirable result. So far my idea to avoid that impression has been to exaggerate the slowdown, well beyond what might be required for "complexity" (There isn't any actual complexity - but the audience is not necessarily aware of that). It strikes me, though, that it might come across as heavy handed; also that in some cases in contradicts the "poco a poco" directions. Could someone direct me to a recording which handles the tempo changes well, and/or offer suggestions?

Thanks in anticipation

Jussi
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:26 pm
Location: Devon, UK

Re: 2 beginner's questions about Dyens "Lettre mi-longue"

Post by Jussi » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:41 pm

Hi Tejjy,

I've been meaning to play through these pieces for a while, thanks for the reminder!

I just had a quick read / play through, here are some thoughts:
1. These chords / arpeggios are there to highlight certain intervals which are relevant to the piece as a guide to your ear to make sure you're tuned up well. They are just variations on Am(9) and E7, the I and V, tonic and dominant, of the piece. These fingerings seem chosen to highlight the open B in the Am chord, which can sound out of place if it isn't tuned well. So it has more to do with the key than the specific fingerings, they're just a good way to check those intervals across the neck.
2. A few thoughts here - the piece is based around quite a well defined rhythmic style which I'd definitely want to maintain throughout. So when I'm slowing down / speeding up I want the pulse to come along with me rather than just wander off. In terms of how much / how quickly to change tempo while keeping things sounding natural I'd focus on phrasing the melody in a way that comes naturally. It helps to sing the melody, at least in your head, and get a feel for the tempo changes in relation to the melody first. If your tempo change is part of a musical phrase it will help to avoid sounding 'heavy handed'. I did a quick search of recordings online, found a chap called Norbert Neunzling who I think does a good job of maintaining the rhythm and phrasing throughout (thanks Norbert if you're out there!)

Enjoy!
Jussi

tejjy
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:10 pm
Location: Geelong

Re: 2 beginner's questions about Dyens "Lettre mi-longue"

Post by tejjy » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:10 am

Thanks for the tip on the open B.
I'll have to think about this idea of "pulse" - I find the ideas of pulse/meter/rhythm very inconsistently discussed. Everyone seems sure they know what they are talking about - but rarely are they using the same words in the same way. Ultimately I'll develop my own ideas, I'm sure.
I'll listen to Norbert - appreciate your taking the time.

Jussi
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:26 pm
Location: Devon, UK

Re: 2 beginner's questions about Dyens "Lettre mi-longue"

Post by Jussi » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:05 pm

tejjy wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:10 am
Thanks for the tip on the open B.
I'll have to think about this idea of "pulse" - I find the ideas of pulse/meter/rhythm very inconsistently discussed. Everyone seems sure they know what they are talking about - but rarely are they using the same words in the same way. Ultimately I'll develop my own ideas, I'm sure.
I'll listen to Norbert - appreciate your taking the time.
Yes that's not very clear - when I used 'pulse' I mean to say that the music continues smoothly through these sections and that there's no hard border between the faster and slower parts which exaggerates the difference and might be the reason why it feels a bit 'heavy handed' (if that makes any more sense :lol: ). Your own idea is the only way to go in the end, have fun experimenting!

Jussi

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