Week 1: Pick a Piece! ♥

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of the "Music YOU Love" practice challenge! 


↓ Happy Sharing! ↓

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    • Jack Stewart
    • Retired
    • Jack_Stewart
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    BWV 996 Courante B Section

    This is the 'B' section only - no repeats. It is the requisite number of blunders for my standard. I feel I finally have this more or less under control. I still have a lot of work refining the articulation and overall interpretation but the notes and ornamentations are mostly there. I will next work on the entire piece with refinements for my next posting.

    Note: I think I have finally found a reasonable solution for my bad nail issue. I had been using glue on nails but that seem to really damage my nails. I just got some nails that us adhesive tabs. The nails stay on but are removable (and reusable). The tabs peel off with some effort but don't appear to cause any damage to the nails. Anyway I am hopeful.

    I just saw the posting - I am apparently in my 'Blue Period'.

    Like 6
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Andre Bernier Thanks, Andre.  I figure if Picasso can have a blue period with an old guitarist then it is fitting that I have one.

      Like 1
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Jack Stewart Way to go Jack! There is definitely something to be said for getting the notes down! Congratulations on that. 

      As for your nails, I'm glad you found those adhesives. I discovered those, and they are much preferred over the glue-on kind, which I agree - destroy your nails. Avoid at all cost! 

      What I have discovered is an even better solution for me is using cuticle oil every night before bed. I literally have not missed a night in over a year and it has made a tremendous difference. My nails are SO much stronger than they used to be and haven't broke nearly as often. 

      In fact, I recently bent my thumbnail back, causing a slight tear on the inside of the nail - right at the base. In the past this would've meant certain death for my nail. This time, however, the nail is so much stronger, and as a result, I've been able to salvage and use the rest of it. 

      At the beginning I had to "bite the bullet" and not use any fake nails at all - just play with flesh, but it was totally worth it! 

      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Thanks, Steve. As to tab adhesives - I'm a slow learner. I'll definitely look into cuticle oil. I have tried a lot of different things, various lotions, vitamins, biotin capsules and haven't found anything that actually improved my nails. Of all 10 of my nails, only 3 are a problem - a,m and i! All of my other nails are healthy and strong. 

      I also  don't pay attention to any messages that are sent my way.🤔

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    • Jack Stewart That was great, Jack! I know you hear lots of mistakes there, but I don’t. When I listen, I hear nice crisp rhythms and gorgeous ornaments (which I have now come to expect from you).

      The blue is quite artful, so I hope your blue period lasts a while!

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
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      Eric Phillips Thanks Eric. I need to pick up the tempo a bit and get my phrasing and articulation under control. I have trouble distinguishing between staccato and portamento articulation.

      I suspect the blue is from a color correction filter inadvertently turned off. 

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    • Jack Stewart Well done.  Your ornaments are sounding very good.  Love Picasso's blue period. 

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    • Jack Stewart That's really nice, Jack. Like Eric said it sounds crisp. It makes me want to work on my cross-string trills since you really make those sound nice and even. I've always avoided them and those kind of ornaments are part of why the Baroque period is so poorly represented in what I play. 

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Update, apparently I have started using cuticle oil for the last couple of weeks. I have ISDIN SI-Nails which I didn't realize is considered a cuticle oil. It will take probably a couple of months to notice improvement since the top half of my nails are in pretty bad shape. I've got my fingers crossed (well... when I'm not practicing). 

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
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      Dale Needles Thanks Dale. Now to focus on refining. I share your appreciation of Picasso's Blue Period.

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
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      Steve Price Thanks Steve. I really like cross string trills but I don't always use them. Sometimes I can't for technical reason and sometimes I don't because I don't think they work in certain situations. It is also fine to use simple trills or forego them altogether. Most of Bach's works are so complete they can work without them.

      Like 1
  • Are we still in the first week?  Good, I needed time to let my nails grow after a few minor accidents... no fake nails for me, I need to feel the touch of the nail in combination with the flesh.  

    After 1 week of practice on this (5th) part of the Suite Compostelana by Mompou a first recording.. I fell in love with the opening and closing pieces of the suite that are much more difficult.  I felt sometimes frustrated for not being able to come even close to a recording or performing level.  But never really bored or dissatisfied.  There are so many fascinating harmonies,, colors,  mood changes. Every time I come back to them I feel a bit closer again. I just wonder why i didn't try this Cancion before. It is so melodic and a lot less demanding. Only some awkward chord changes and some stretches that are difficult for my small hands.

    My nails grew just enough to get the voices balanced - apart from some places where my a finger missed the upper voice and in the bass voice I had still no other option than to use the flash of my thumb.  I hope to explore with more colors coming weeks.

    https://youtu.be/0hU3UZuMBXo

    Like 3
    • joosje Bravo! Very beautiful piece! I look forward to your development on this piece!

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje That was beautiful, Joosje. I have always liked this Mompou Suite but I hadn't really focused on the Cancion until hearing your performance. Thanks for presenting such a beautiful recording. 

      Glad to hear your fingernails are on the mend. They make such a difference in our lives (as classical guitarists)!

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    • joosje Very beautiful. Love your tone. Can't wait to hear more.

      Like 1
    • joosje That is gorgeous, Joosje. I love how the melody is so clear no matter what voice it's in. Well done. 

      I'm curious about what version you went with. Years ago I bought Segovia's edition even though I knew the piece was way over my head. The suite is of those "someday" pieces for me.

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

      joosje Wow!  I've loved this piece for a long time ( listening mainly to Segovia's recording...), but have never played it.  You play it so beautifully with nice balance, legato, tone, and dynamics.  I really like your thumb flesh tone on bass string melody in this piece.  I look forward to the other parts when you are ready.  Thanks for sharing this wonderful recording (sound is also great!) with us. 

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    • joosje Beautiful Joosje, Thanks for sharing.  Your already playing it very well.

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    • Austin Flemming Jack Stewart Dale Needles Steve Price Barney Andre Bernier thank you for listening and encouraging.  I was working first in the Segovia score, following his fingerings mostly. Today I took up the Gilardino and found a few different notes. Trying to work out if they are deliberate changes or mistakes. 

      Like 1
      • Moyses Lopes
      • Classical Guitarist and Electroacoustic Interpreter
      • Moses
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje Bravissimo, Joosje! Even with broken nails, your tone is great! Looking forward to hearing more from you. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Hedda Koning
    • Serious amateur guitarist
    • heddakoning
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi thanks for all the positive reactions I got in reaction of my first video of the Allemande by Weiss (Ponce). I now focused on the fingering and finally got my self into really trying to be able to play the second part. My weakness is to skip difficult parts, but now I also post my first video of the second part (still a work in progress), but for me it is a very good exercise. I was very busy, will look into the other videos soon and hope to join the party

    Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Hedda Koning That is really coming along well, Hedda. The first section is sounding very good and you have a good start on the second part. I am really enjoying seeing your progress on this piece. It is very impressive.

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      • Moyses Lopes
      • Classical Guitarist and Electroacoustic Interpreter
      • Moses
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Hedda Koning Great! As said Jack, the first section is sounding great and the work in the second part started very well! Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  • The second of Narvaez's "Otra Parte" variations which is a little more in line with the original set.

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