Carcassi etude 1 op60 part one right hand

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Carcassi etude 1 op60 part one right hand

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:37 am

soltirefa wrote:I find it kind of a hassle and prefer not to have to think about that.
You won't be alone there Solti. Good practice for damping though, and there's a lovely contrast when we reach the half notes at measure 21.

We are often encouraged early in our studies to, "hold on to the bass notes" - unfortunately we can train ourselves so thoroughly that it becomes a habit. Holding (or not) is more useful with regard to articulation if we take account of duration, the end as well as the beginning of a sound - this étude supplies a relatively straightforward example for us to work on.

Perhaps think of those initial basses as punctuation - push them out with some weight and purpose and bring them to an end as cleanly as they begin. It may seem rather a simple exercise but playing the basses alone, clearly ariculating the silences whilst singing the scales, can be useful.

Although there are other methods (as you mentioned) I do prefer to use the thumb to stop the notes - for me it feels more controlled and rhythmically precise.

You didn't mention the figures beginning at measure 14? How annoying is it to end each of those runs on an eighth note ... ?

There's more to deal with:

Measures 21 and 22 employ minor 2nds. The first (D# to E) lends itself to over-ringing whilst the second (E toF) is usually executed on one string. Do we match the figures up by making sure that the D# doesn't ring? We could instead match the over-ringing effect by taking the F on string two. Or perhaps we should purposely let the one ring and the other not, emphasising the contrast ... ?

Measures 23/24 - should we emphasise the light anacrusis effect by phrasing the four descending scale fragments so that they each end on the beat? This follows the phrasing pattern set out from the beginning - might observing this aspect of the études general structure be beneficial? Maybe it will help when approaching measure 29 and those little arpeggios - how do we avoid cutting the last notes short before each shift?

If we do choose to emphasise the (supposed) anacruses one effect is to outline the long C major arpeggio in minims and its brief development- is that desirable?

Toward the end a satisfying balance is struck for the listener as the articulated rests return - if they have been communicated well in the first place that is.

These studies are fantastic intermediate level works - even the simplest of them are full of little devices for training the ears as well as the hands (we haven't even touched on the dynamic and expressive possibilities for bringing this one to life).

In short - I'd persevere with the rests.

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Paul Janssen
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Re: Carcassi etude 1 op60 part one right hand

Post by Paul Janssen » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:40 am

It's interesting looking on youtube how some professional guitarists tackle this piece. Edson Lopes, for example, nearly always adheres to alternating i-m except for the 1st bass note of the bar and except for the first three bass notes in Bar 11 where he plays these notes using p and then reverts back to alternating i-m.

Kevin Loh, plays bar 11 and bar 12 using just p. Speed doesn't seem to be an issue for either of them.

When I learnt this study, I was taught by my teacher to adopt basically the same approach as Edson Lopes (i.e. p for the 1st bass notes only, i-m for the rest).

Interestingly, you say that you feel you get a much better sound using p. Given that these are studies, it might benefit you to try and play i-m as much as possible and see if you can improve you sound on the bass strings. You will most like need to experiment with your r-h attack angle as it may need to be different on the bass notes to get a fuller/less scratchy sound. A study like this is ideal for working on this (play it slowly at first of course and train your hand to move in response to the string you are playing). Just my thoughts.

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Re: Carcassi etude 1 op60 part one right hand

Post by soltirefa » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:48 pm

I do prefer to use the thumb to stop the notes - for me it feels more controlled and rhythmically precise.
I'm going to give it a try. I think if I just isolate that part and repeat it, my brain may adapt.

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Re: Carcassi etude 1 op60 part one right hand

Post by Crofty » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:46 pm

Marcus

May have mentioned this to you previously but I have always felt that, if anything gives this study its staccato effect, then it's the opening basses.

Not that I think that informed the instruction - just that adherence to those short notes certainly helps that feel as well as the energetic momentum it encourages.

Paul

ps Agree that these are fantastically musical studies. I performed them as the prelude to a class nearly twenty years ago and felt at the end of it all that there was so much more to get out of them myself - never mind the students!

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Re: Carcassi etude 1 op60 part one right hand

Post by soltirefa » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:42 pm

I find that if I damp the bass with the side of my thumb (as I do when I play my multi-string guitars) that damping the basses is not hard at all. Planting the pad of my thumb to damp is a new thing for my brain and would require some training.

Also, if I hear the notes grouped like (C-C) then (B-A-G-F-E-D) and next (C-E) then (D-C-B-A-G-F) etc etc, it really helps me play this and know where to damp.

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Re: Carcassi etude 1 op60 part one right hand

Post by barcod » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:47 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:19 am
I stumbled onto this lesson video for this etude. I'm making this video start where he talks about damping the bass as you play the 3rd 8th note (damp C bass as you play B melody, in the first instance).

I realized I don't do this, so I tried it. I find it kind of a hassle and prefer not to have to think about that. Besides, the bass C ringing will disappear by merely lifting up (stop fretting). Simple. Later, when there's an open A bass, it is a time to question whether to damp as described above. I still think stifles my playing to deal with that.

What say you?
I've seen guitarists be able to do that; my teacher never taught me and I never got used to it. I think it's an important technique you should consider learning. I certainly would like to do just that some day. I sometimes find myself dampening the sound of open strings by gently touching the string with the back of my thumb, kind of going in the reverse direction of the thumb's normal playing through. I should probably have learned the right technique in the first place.

Crofty
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Re: Carcassi etude 1 op60 part one right hand

Post by Crofty » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:53 pm

Silences are an integral part of all music. They need the same attention as sounds.

astro64
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Re: Carcassi etude 1 op60 part one right hand

Post by astro64 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:12 am

I have been working on getting used to moving the thumb to dampen basses whenever needed. One thing I have found helpful is to go slow and think after playing each bass note "where does my thumb have to be right now" and make sure it goes there before I play the next notes with the RH fingers. You can then work on speeding the transition up gradually. Sometimes it is also good to ask this question before you play the next note with the thumb. Should I be dampening a note before the next thumb stroke or chord? Sometimes it sounds better to play the next note and go back to dampen the unwanted note, sometimes it sounds better to dampen the note before you play the next one. It all depends on the piece or section in question.

soltirefa
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Re: Carcassi etude 1 op60 part one right hand

Post by soltirefa » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:47 am

I always dampen my washcloth before I apply soap to it.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Carcassi etude 1 op60 part one right hand

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:53 am

soltirefa wrote:I always dampen my washcloth before I apply soap to it.
Are you sure that you're doing this correctly? For instance, what is the ideal temperature of the liquid used for dampening, and which hand do you use to hold the soap?

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