Group 1

Improve your tremolo!

Tremolo is one of the defining techniques for classical guitar! Although not used very often in the repertoire, some of the most iconic pieces employ it to create a beautiful singing melody above an accompaniment pattern.

Fellow Participants in Group 1:

Eric Phillips
Blaise Laflamme
peter hancock
Nora Torres-Nagel
joosje
Emma
Rachel Holmes
Bill Young

Carlos Calderon

Brett Gilbert

Robert

 

Some tonebase productions to get you started

How to get the most out of this course

  • Start by watching the introduction video and practice the exercises given in the video.
  • Write a post with your experiences with tremolo.
  • At the same time, start practicing the first eight bars of "Recuerdos de la Alhambra". If you are new to the piece, begin with a chord reduction as presented in Scott's workbook on Recuerdos.
  • Share two videos per week and help your course partners through feedback on their submissions!

 

Zoom Check-In: Friday, May 20th at 8 pm CET (11 am PT)

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82744334151
 

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  • Here I am playing the first two exercises, but on open strings only, since trying to add the left hand was just a disaster. I'm not sure how well I am succeeding at the task of relaxing my fingers after each stroke. Nothing about this feels relaxed to me.

    Like 1
      • Brett Gilbertnull
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips It looks right to me, but I agree that it feels unnatural at this stage.  I'm having to "unlearn" the way I practiced my right hand last week.  For left hand I started just learning in blocks without tremolo (see Scott Tennant lesson) and it took a few days to memorize the progression so I didn't have to think about it and can focus on just the right hand.  It's tough though!

      Like
    • Eric Phillips it looks for me RELAX !!! huge difference to the other video Eric.  I will beginn now...

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

      Eric Phillips Here are some ideas for you! As Nora Torres-Nagel mentioned, it follows much more the movement that we'd like to see with this slow motion practice, but I think you can benefit a lot from training all patterns which would be:

      standard direction

      • p ami
      • p mia (my standard pattern)
      • p iam

      reversed direction

      • p ima
      • p mai
      • p aim (my cross trill pattern)

      I am so happy that you are so honest to yourself and it is okay to be frustrated, but I think you are aiming for the right direction!

      Like 2
  • It was difficult to find an appropiate angle for the camera, but it is definitively better than yesterday. Also the Assignement 1 it is working slowly slowly....I believe you Martin that this is very important for a lot of situations playing and I was today also applying this relaxation or trying in other arpegios I was working on. Sometimes my hand jumps a little, what reflexes tension...I think... I am working on this also. The finger i tends to be more difficult to relax or at least stays sometimes slightly back. In general I move my fingers very near to the position of the attack...I do not see big displacements....I can hardly see the movement sometimes...let's continue...

    Like
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Nora Torres-Nagel you are right, it is so much better. At first you were not relaxing the i but very quickly you were doing it. I find that sometimes I lift my whole hand too! In an exaggerated movement to bounce back the finger possibly? .. it will come naturally one day to us if we keep practicing 🦋bravo!!!

      Like
    • Emma thanks for your comments Emma! it is difficult to see it...but when I am playing and looking from up (oben, arriba) I see a relaxation but  it is a small movement in "trayectoria" or length?

      Like
    • Nora Torres-Nagel you’re doing great, Nora. This angle of  recording is just perfect. Is this your natural angle of R-hand attack? The tone you produce is beautiful, clear and strong. Some notes of the tremolo are shorter as you are damping the strings, when your finger bounces back (or preparing the next stroke). Like you and Emma I find it so difficult to keep the hand still all the time. Eric is a good example that it is possible to do that. My excuse is that I had teachers and other examples of very mobile and flexible right hand technique - confusing for me.

      I will have to go back to the attack-relax principle: (playing 1 string at the time with each finger separately) before starting these exercises.

      Like
    • joosje thanks for your comments and observations. Yes, that is my normal RH angle, I try to atack the strings with a 90° angle. My nails are fake nails at the moment and I hear strange noises, so I am glad that they are not so bad, because you heard a nice sound. I struggle with a legato tremolo also....I find your tremolo very smoth and even...no staccato...

      Like
    • Emmanull
    • Emma
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Today I didn’t record myself but practiced in front of the mirror. I practiced the relaxation in my scales, block chords and then the tremolo. I realised that the R hand looks more open, and less in a grip, it also helps me to play from the phalanx closest to the palm, and I could feel the relaxation once the finger bounced back (the bouncing was active but then the hand was relaxed) I could feel what Martin said that playing slow without relaxing adds to the strain because the finger stays closed and felt the relaxation.

    Still difficult to prepare as it must not be staccato and the preparation is not simultaneous to the relaxation of the previous finger. Tomorrow more practice and try to record myself.

    Then I practiced my studios and pieces like that, slow and relaxing, it took for ages and didn’t sound that good, but I think this can profoundly change the way I play. I will continue trying 
     

    Like 1
    • Emma Your attention to detail is so impressive Emma!

      Like 1
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips at that speed it is easy to get the details 😄

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

      Emma That is AMAZING to hear! Ultimately, this approach is helpful not only for tremolo but for scales and arpeggios as well! 

      Like
  • Here is my practice for today.

    Like
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips as far as I can see, the one that bounces back quicker is the a , the i the slower, but they are I think faster than yesterday. Bravo!!!. I practice it too with the scale of Mi major in thirds, the one Martin showed us to practice arpeggios, the left hand is easy and it sounds beautiful. Fuerza Erik, you can!!! 
       

      Like 1
    • Emma Thank you for the encouragement, Emma. Maybe you can be more objective than I am in seeing a difference. I must have missed Martin showing us this with a scale in thirds.

      Like
    • Eric Phillips I listened and watched very carefully. I didn’t see the previous post, but  here your hand is really still and the fingers look independent. Your tone is secure and even. the outward movement of the i is slightly  smaller and slower than the others but it bounces back nicely. 

      Like 1
    • joosje Thank you, Joosje. I appreciate you watching and giving me such good feedback.

      Like
    • Eric Phillips you are improving Eric ! the change of fingering makes the story more difficult but it is great way to win independence and to be aware of each finger separately. I am also exercising tht . Continue like this !💪

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

      Eric Phillips You'll get there! I have some ideas how to continue your improvement from there!

      Like
  • Here’s my day 2, with only partial try out of different hand position. My p is not yet comfortable with it. That’s probably why there’s still too much movement in the hand 
    I realize how important it is to go really really slow motion.  After the first few beats my hand tries to go back to its familiar, more perpendicular position and I keep trying to keep it straight. So relaxation is not yet there…. Frustrating.

    Like 1
    • joosje this is very hard for all of us ..it seems.... but now I can clearly see your relaxation in each finger !!!!

      Like
    • Nora Torres-Nagel gracias, Nora! My fingers are ok, my brain isn’t really.

      Like
    • joosje It looks good to me. It still doesn't seem "natural" yet, but the fingers are moving correctly. It is so difficult to fight the hand's more familiar movements, but you are doing very well.

      Like
      • Brett Gilbertnull
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje Looks just like what Marin was asking for, nice camera angle too that makes it easy to see.  I'm still working on this but is difficult as it requires a lot of concentration but will have to become "automatic" before we can play at speed...

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

      joosje Hi Joosje, that was AMAZING! It's inspiring how you implemented the new approaches, I have some additional ideas and exercises for you in this video!

      Like
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