Group 2

Breaking Your Scale Speed Limits with Eduardo Inestal!

Virtuosity and speed go hand in hand when it comes to freeing your musical expressiveness from technical limitations. One key element in classical guitar performance is the ability to play fast scales with ease. Together, we will explore exercises that will enable you to push your speed limits and improve your scale skills while retaining relaxation in both hands and gaining a richer tool set to express your musical ideas.

  • Sign-Up Period: August 11 - 14
  • Course Period: August 15 - 26
  • Class Size: 4 Groups á 10 Participants
  • Optional check-In via Zoom: August 23, 11 am PST

Assignment for the first week:

Play the first exercise (Slow) while paying attention to the following:

  • Keep the tempo
  • Always alternate i-m
  • Be "lazy” (move your fingers, both right and left hand, and yourself as less as possible) to keep the relaxation

Do the same with the 2nd exercise (Faster tempo)

Once you control this exercise, you can gradually choose your tempo, increasing the bpm. Pay attention not to lose your relaxation!

Have fun!

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  • Hello everyone! I am eager to start my first 2 week intensive course. I have already taken two tonebase tutorials with Eduardo, so I’m looking forward from his teachings in this course. Here is my practice of the first exercise at slow tempo: https://youtu.be/_EN7No48L6s

    Like 1
    • Eduardo Inestal Thank you for the observations. I will be working on those. Hahaha, yes, I will remember to always play using the metronome. 

      Like 1
    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney Here is the first exercise which is slow at approximately 120 bpm.  Please let me know your comments.  Thanks!

      Like 1
    • Barney Wow!! Perfect!!! RH is just perfect!!! LH also. Maybe (and that is a very small thing, Pinky finger more relax and close to the strings, in order to arrive faster while need it!).

      P.S.: Great recording, sound and picture!!

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eduardo Inestal Thank you very much Eduardo!  Yes, I see the LH pinky problem.  I appreciate you pointing it out, so I can give some attention to it.

      Like 1
    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    This faster one at approximately 250 was bit  more challenging.  Since we are playing these patterns in one continuous stream, it is essential to keep concentration during the transitions from one pattern to another, particularly with negative string crossings.  I lost concentration in a few spots causing breaks, which I tried to recover.

    Eduardo,  please let me know your comments.  Thanks!

    Like
    • Barney Very nice job!! RH is perfect one again. Beautiful sound and control.

      Here, in comparation with the slow video there is one thing (specially at the beginning) that we can improve: On your LH, your thumb is too high. It should be exactly in front of the other fingers, in order to have more stability. Try to pay atention to it. If you lower it, also the angle of your wrist is going to change slightly letting your fingers being in front of the strings. 

      P.S.: From second 0.40 it is much better. Do you see the diferent between the beginning and the end?

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eduardo Inestal Thanks Eduardo!!  I think I see what you are saying about the LH thumb (It is sometimes hard to explain these problems in words, without demonstrating...)  Do you mean (at beginning of video) the thumb is so high you can see it over the neck; that is, the thumb in this case should be more towards the center of the neck ,  approximately behind the second finger? 

      Not sure what you mean by the position of the thumb "should be exactly on front of the other fingers".  If there is a way to clarify this further, I would really appreciate it.  Thanks!!!

      Like 1
    • Barney Here what I meant :)

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eduardo Inestal Got it.  Perfect demonstration!!  Thanks you Eduardo!!!

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    • martinTeam
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    • martin.3
    • 1 yr ago
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    Here is the next assignment video for all of you!

    Goals:

    1. Keep the tempo
    2. Be as "lazy" as possible (move your fingers (an also your body) as less as possible).
    3. Increase the tempo gradually. -Start with 50 bmp and speed it up till 100 bpm

    Submit 2 videos with both tempos (slow and fast)

    scales group 2

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      martin Should Staccato be used at all in this exercise, or should we try to make it all very Legato?

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
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      Barney Hey Barney, I am forwarding this question to Eduardo Inestal !

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    • martin Eduardo Inestal Hello: Here I’m playing the second assignment at slow tempo. 
      https://youtu.be/tU3-rLvBIzo

      Like 1
    • Barney Hi Barney! Great observation. When I practise it slow, i do it stacatto in order to have my fingers already prepared on the strings, so when I want to play it fast, they already learnt to be on the string, so the go faster... So... yes, do it stacatto!

       

      You can practise also legato... both alternatives actually are the best if we want to master it, but you can start with stacatto,

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    • Raul Guzman Vidal 

      Hola Raul! Fantastic job!

      There are a couple of things you have to improve, Lets work:

       

      1. I want you to be as precise as possible regarding tempo. Sometimes is too irregular. Practise it with metronome!!

       

      2. Try to move your fingers of the LH as less as possible. Be as "lazy" as possible, in order to having it as close to the frets and strings as possible. Why? because it is going to take less time to reach the strings, and the distance is less, so the possiblity of making mistakes in going to reduce. (imagine it as Basketball), 3 point shoot is more complicate that if you are under the basket. (unless you are Stephen Curry, in that case it does not matter :)

       

      3. Pinky... sometimes it goes a bit up, and that is a sign of tension. Try to control it by paying attention to it... I know, we have to pay attention to many things :)

       

      Looking foward to watch your improvements!

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eduardo Inestal Thanks Eduardo!  I think I will try to use stacatto on the slow speed practice and then legato at the faster tempo.  Are the Flamencos using staccato on their fast scales to get that sharp, powerful, and exciting sound? ( or is that sound from a different type of string attack and different type instrument with a very fast response, etc....)

      Like 1
    • Barney Pretty much as you said. Flamenco players dont bother about sound (usually) and the want power and speed. That stacatto is going to help them to reach that. The call it "soniquete". Also the guitars are diferent and react faster aswell (the strings are pretty much the same). I like the aproach you gave. for slow staccato, for fast legato. 

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      • antara
      • antara
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

       Eduardo Inestal  Here is my video for assignment 2 at slow tempo. Sorry for the bad quality video...I will take the others in better lighting :)

       

      https://youtu.be/BbRp0u1RhF8

      Like 1
    • antara Hi Antara, Nice to see your videos. Well, I have nothing to say because it was just perfect!! Would love to see more videos where you play at faster tempo!!

      Cheers!!

      Like
    • Teni
    • Teni
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello Eduardo and Group 2,

     

    I am so excited to participate in this challenge. I submitted the registration simply because I was appreciating your video on Adelita. Your detailed instruction to make this beautiful piece shine helped me enormously. Thank you!

    I generally struggle with speed and playing at full volume, so when I saw your instruction videos for the challenge, I knew I was in the right place.

     

    My challenges were:

     

    1. Playing with apoyando 

        : I found it difficult to make clean sounds with apoyando. As you might notice on the videos, I often touch other strings unwillingly, and make buzzing noises especially when playing faster.

     

    2. Speed

        : Playing fast is definitely not my strength and I couldn't speed up upto 300bpm in a couple of days. I played at around 240 bpm and it is the fastest I could play at the moment.

     

    3. Relaxation / release tension

        : My pinky on RH gets tense and curled up when speeding up. If I try to tug in, it creates tension as well. Are there any tips on relaxing the pinky? 

     

    Thank you for reading and watching.

    I would appreciate your insight on how to improve overall techniques.

     

    Musically yours,

    Teni

     

    https://youtu.be/zUsxU-y-zKg

    https://youtu.be/A0ttpNKzgOI

    Like 1
    • Teni Hi Teni, Thank you very much for your videos and for your kind words. Happy to help you!

       

      I watched your videos and you did a great job!

      I love the control you have with the rhytm and patters. It is very hard and you master it!

       

      I am going to try to answer to your questions:

      1. I dont find you played to much buzzing noises, but it is true that when you play faster you loose a bit of control, in comparation to the slow one. That means, you have to increase the tempo regulary. Start slow and increase a bit your speed, without loosing control, and always trying to feel relaxed. Think that if you can play slow, you can play fast. It is only a matter of time and the right practise routine. Pretty much that answer your 2. Question. Playing fast is a consequense of our relaxation. It is imposible to play fast and clear with a beautiful sound if we are tense. Just like that!

      And 3. Question, is, once again, the same. In order to control our body, we have to be relax. You can play super relax while doing it slowly. That is the beginning!!! increase progressivly your tempo, just a couple of notch of your metronome, and always seek for relaxation. 

      There are two ways to see if we are relaxed. By feeling it, being aware of our body, and by seeing if, so I would suggest to play in front of a mirrow.

       

      Regarding the sound quality... that is a much complicate issue. It depens on sooo many factors. Shape of the nails, pulsation, position of your right arm. (maybe a would suggest to put your arm a bit down, so you have contact with the guitar 3 or 4 fingers below your elbow. That is going to increase the angle of your wrist a bit and change the pulsation of your fingers... lets try it.

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      • Teni
      • Teni
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eduardo Inestal 

      Hello Eduardo,

       

      Thank you so much for your generous comments and all the advices. 

       

      When I play faster, I get nervous and worry too much about the string noises, sound quality and etc. and I get tense.. which is the opposite of what we need to be doing. I hardly used apoyando, so I wasn't confident about it, too.

      I will remind myself that if I can play slow, I can play fast and play this exercise as my routines to develop the speed step by step over time. 

       

      I really love your advice on how to check if we are relaxed, 'by feeling it and seeing it'. I applied this throughout the passage and it was a great way to check on my tension and to remind myself to relax. Sometimes my pinky was sticking out a bit even when I feel relaxed and I guess it is just the way my fingers are. 

       

      Putting the elbow down seems to improve the sound a little bit. Having more diagonal angle frees my fingers to move faster as well.

       

      Here is the video of the second exercises.

       

      https://youtu.be/Tb6e0D2RB44

       

      Thank you so much again and have a great day!

       

      Téni 

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    • martinTeam
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    • martin.3
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    scales group 2

    Please find login information for Eduardo's Zoom Check-in on August 23, 11 am PST here. Feel free to post questions before the Check-In in the forum so Eduardo can prepare those.

    https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88539131031
    Meeting-ID: 885 3913 1031

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      martin Eduardo Inestal Since there is only one week remaining in this challenge, what specific exercises will be assigned to increase scales speed with accuracy and security?

       

      One idea would be to also select a few great scale passages from repertoire, for example, the long scales  (after the bass string trills) in 2nd movement(Adagio) of Rodrigo's Aranjuez Concierto;  and the scales in beginning section of Villa Lobos Etude #7. Show how to play these examples fast, evenly, and with great tone.

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