MA Alternating Practice

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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guitarist_le
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MA Alternating Practice

Post by guitarist_le » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:31 pm

So I can rest stroke pretty quickly now with I and M and this forcibly made my get used to free stroke I and M alternating really quickly too.

My problem is M and A. It feels unnatural to rest stroke with my A finger. I'm not sure how often it is actually used by composers. However, I think it's still a great skill to have and really can't hurt. But the Segovia studies don't really call for the A finger rest stroke?

Any good beginner pieces to practice this? Been going through the Segovia minor and major scales, but things get a little dull and boring lol. Thanks in advance!

Terpfan
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Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by Terpfan » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:48 am

Maybe AMI practice is more practical than ma.

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guitarist_le
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Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by guitarist_le » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:21 am

Terpfan wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:48 am
Maybe AMI practice is more practical than ma.
Hmm thanks. I guess that would be the most beneficial in the end.

Crofty
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Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by Crofty » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:41 am

Terpfan wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:48 am
Maybe AMI practice is more practical than ma.
Why?

The aim has to be control over ALL variants surely?

Nick Cutroneo
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Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:06 am

I'm in the process of doing a complete technique routine overhaul. And part of that is practicing scales with different RH finger combinations - Rest and Free stroke. You might not use MA alternation in a piece, but it'll enlighten your technique 1000 fold.
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

Terpfan
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Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by Terpfan » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:42 am

I have practiced am scales a whole lot just for sake of practicing back in the days. I am not sure if the reward is worth the time spend practicing it ,unless you have a lot of time to practice. At a fast tempo, am alternation seems unreliable even in short 3 note burst for me. Furthermore I am old school IM alternation guy, but three finger scale is definitely easier in fast tempo.

Terpfan
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Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by Terpfan » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:46 am

I am sure practicing am alternation has benefits. However, if I have a hour for practing scales, I would practice im and ami( or any three finger combinations) will have more practical benefit. ( MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK)

jscott

Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by jscott » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:25 am

Mompou's Cuna from the suite Compostelana opens and closes with a longish section using MA (rest stroke on the A) extensively.

guit-box
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Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by guit-box » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:26 am

guitarist_le wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:31 pm
My problem is M and A. It feels unnatural to rest stroke with my A finger.
Maybe you need a different a nail shape. Many people require a reverse ramp for the a, if this is the case for you, then the other ramp may feel like that finger is hanging up on rest stroke. Also, experiment with letting the tip joint collapse and see if that helps. Also experiment with a higher wrist. Rest stroke with a is so very common for bringing out a melody.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:06 am

jscott wrote:Mompou's Cuna from the suite Compostelana opens and closes with a longish section using MA (rest stroke on the A) extensively.
?? That's interesting - what edition are you using jscott? I can't find mine right now (it has a greenish grey cover if that helps identify it) but I'm pretty certain that it doesn't show any indication of either right-hand fingering or apoyando for the Cuna.

Is there a stated purpose for the apoyando markings in your copy? I have never chosen to use them.

jscott

Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by jscott » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:09 pm

there are no markings in my edition published by Salabert and edited by Segovia. However my guitar instructor and his wife studied with Mompou in Spain for six months. my instructor played this for Mompou. I use the right hand fingerings that he suggested.

How do you play the opening two note melody and the tumbling three notes that follow? I use m-a for those two notes. don't you find that this establishes a right hand pattern that is used throughout this opening section?

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:15 pm

jscott wrote:How do you play the opening ... don't you find that this establishes a right hand pattern that is used throughout this opening section?
Not particularly - but then I don't try to establish any pattern. I've reached the stage where I can trust fingerings to be organic, so ... the opening (for me just now) went:

i _ m, i, p, slur ... i _ m, i, p, i

The triplets falling on m, i, p (Probably because I've been focusing on Sor's technique recently.)

Later I did employ the a finger (as the rhythmic cell encompassed the "bass" G). That's not to say that I think it's a better way - I could as easily do it as you suggest - I was more curious about the apoyando indications as you wrote with some certainty:
jscott wrote:... opens and closes with a longish section using MA (rest stroke on the A) extensively.
I couldn't see why it had to be that way, or why the note on the first beat would require an apoyando stroke as it's not stressed or otherwise marked, but you've explained that i.e. it's the suggested fingering from your instructor. Thank you.

I think that mine is also the Salabert by the way though I just played it off screen from an un-named Russian edition.

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Alexander Kalil
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Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by Alexander Kalil » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:15 pm

guitarist_le wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:31 pm
But the Segovia studies don't really call for the A finger rest stroke?
Please stop calling them the "Segovia Studies". Music should be attributed to the composer, not the editor, at least as an act of fairness towards them. In any event, there's no such thing as a piece of music "calling for" the A finger rest stroke. There are players who like (or need) to use A finger rest stroke to bring out the melody in dense textures. A typical candidate for them would be Sor 's study Op. 6 No. 11, which is numbered 17 in the Segovia collection.

It feels unnatural to rest stroke with my A finger.. Any good beginner pieces to practice this?
Tarrega's Larigma comes to mind, and I'm sure there are many more.

jscott wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:25 am
Mompou's Cuna .. opens and closes with a longish section using MA (rest stroke on the A)
Again, there is no such thing as a passage of music "using" a certain fingering or a certain type of stroke. It is the performer who uses the fingering and type of stroke s/he sees fit. With other words, the above is merely a predilection on your part (or your teacher's, or the editor's). Other performers, including myself and obviously Mark, will approach the passage quite differently.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:15 pm

Alexander Kalil wrote:Again, there is no such thing as a passage of music "using" a certain fingering or a certain type of stroke.
I agree with your main concern regarding fingering Alexander - there are however one or two composers who do make a point of specifying apoyando in their scores - Frederick Hand springs to mind.

I knew that there was another, different edition of the Mompou and wondered if a) this was one such work and that b) jscott was referencing it. Neither proved to be the case as he/she has made clear.

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Alexander Kalil
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Re: MA Alternating Practice

Post by Alexander Kalil » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:43 pm

Mark, I think the question is whether we want to view the rest stroke marks in the score as part of the music or as pertaining to the individual playing technique of the composer who happens to be a guitarist. In the latter case, I think, an accomplished musician would deal with them the way they would deal with the composer's fingerings - try to infer the musical intent behind them (note articulation, voice separation, timbre, etc) then use their own playing technique to realize it. Personally I am inclined towards that latter view.

....................
P.S. I noticed that jscott has closed his/her account just two minutes after my last post above. Now this makes me feel quite guilty, especially as I know that my writings can sometimes come across as rather arrogant and imperious (English is not my native language). So if anything in my last post did hurt jscott's or guitarist_le's feelings then I whole-heartedly and sincerely appologize to both of them.

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