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’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
    • Martin thank you so much, Martin. I’m working on it, relaxed and mindful for now 🧘‍♀️ I keep my nails as round and polished as possible to be neutral and find out later the better angle. I noticed one other detail in your video: you move not only one finger at the time, because all other fingers come along with the one that’s playing, which might make it easier to make the bigger movement inwards. While I was too much focused on separation between the fingers, that looks and feels uncomfortable and unnatural. Correct me if I’m wrong.

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      • martinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje You are absolutely right! We want to engage our fingers most naturally, I should have made that clearer! That is also the reason why we play it slower because the other fingers will move a bit as well as our tendons are connected in one way or another! But the general principle that our fingers need to find back to relaxation remains, even when we play faster!

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      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje thank you! I am learning so much watching your videos and the videos Martin sends back! I can see you are relaxing more, and when I thought that the independence was threaten by the adjacent fingers following in the movement, it seems it is OK. So Ok for me too , because I must do the same . I can see a lot of good progress . 

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  • I did new recordings today. I am working the relaxing exercises with all the combinations of fingers. Doing it very slowly it works although always with mistakes. I begin to feel the relaxation at this slow tempo more natural or less difficult although I still have to be always concentrated on the task. Now I send 2 combinations, the normal ami and iam as another combination. Then two combinations of dotted rythm as Martin suggested me, at 90 tempo as Martin said, and try to be relax in each beat but it is already too quick to be able to "see" the relaxation. I feel relax....Anyway there are always mistakes either with the fingers or with the music. Finally I have recorded playing the 8 bars of " Recuerdos" thinking in being relax and at a tempo of 95 with metronome. The metronome was running, we can hear it, what maybe is not so good, next time I will do it without metronome. The metronome helps me also to maintain the rythm, what it is not fair....

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      • Brett Gilbertnull
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Hi Nora Torres-Nagel when I play your video at 1/2 speed it seems like at least the I finger is staying "inside" instead of snapping back?  I use the trick of playing back at slower speed to really see finger action and consistency from the french guy (he's great!) who does Tremolo lesson on tonebase.

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Nora Torres-Nagel Hi Nora, that was fantastic! I still think you're too fast, that is audible in the your 95MM submission, where the a-m combination is always a bit quicker than the rest! More in the video, keep it up, you're in the right direction, but don't be afraid to be even slower!

      Like 1
    • Brett Gilbert thanks Brett ! yes I have controlled my tremolo time ago with Thomas genious approach (the french guitarrist) and at that point all was wrong about timing between ami... but it is technically too complicated for me and takes me a lot of time. Great that you have done that for me 🙂 and I have noticed also that the i finger not always return....

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    • Martin again thanks for your amazing dedication with us!!! Also the fact that you could hear where is uneven my tremolo rythm ...the "am" issue!!! I will continue with metronom in the tempos indicated by you in this last video. I want to have a beuatifull tremolo and I WILL 💪. If you additionally have tipps to achieve the legato effect ( and not my staccato)...you mention now to play slow....I will Martin...just wait for my next submission 🙂 y muchas gracias de nuevo.

      Like 1
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Nora Torres-Nagel hello Nora this time the setting is wonderful, and the light beautiful. I still see that the i finger doesn’t want to relax… maybe you need to go slower… but the position and the tone is very beautiful 

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    • martinTeam
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    • martin.3
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    I'm enjoying this so far, what about you? 👓

    Like 3
    • Martin I’m having a great time with this. You’re taking and guiding us on a real adventure 

      It brought to my mind also that I dropped the good habit of beginning practice with most basic movements before actually playing. Like keeping relaxed fingers on 3rd string (no pressure or sound) and just slowly lift and place them one by one several times (L and R separately)

      Also, the total relaxation exercise you showed me is not really new to me. My friend Andrei Shypunov in Kiyv taught me that a few years ago, but I stopped doing it. why?

      Daily life makes us always rush somewhere towards our (usually short term) goals. 

      Like 1
    • Martin Enjoying would be a strong word. I much prefer playing music. That said, I am incredibly grateful to Martin and community for this opportunity to improve my right hand control. I still feel like a kid being forced to eat his vegetables, though. 🥕🥦🥒

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

      Martin Personally, I really enjoy this more focused activity where everyone is working on the same thing together and it's a challenge for me but I'm loving it and thank you so much for your guidance!

      I really liked the monthly community challenges that were a bit more narrowly focused (e.g. Koshkin etudes) and everyone is working on similar pieces as opposed to more open-ended nature of the community challenges where you can play anything, but that's just me!  Thank you so much for doing this and I look forward to more of these "intensives" in the future as well.  Back to practicing my tremolo...

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips I think you're slowly becoming a vegetarian! 😅

      Like 1
    • Brett Gilbert it's probably easier to help each other with a challenge including the same repertoire and evaluate your own progress, you're having a good point.

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    • joosje I think it's part of a normal process to include and integrate smaller parts into an articulated larger one. The same smaller part would eventually be included in multiple larger ones and focusing on them at specific or recurring time is a good thing to ensure we're applying the concepts we have learned.

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    • Blaise Laflamme Never! I'd rather be a meat-etarian! 🍔🌭🥩🥓🍖🍗

      Like 1
    • Martin personally I am very engaged with this activity and the way you are dealing with...I follow all you advices ...and if I get a nice tremolo after the implementation of these exercises in the future (I do not expect miracles in two weeks...) I will invite you to a Biergarten next time you are in Bayern !!!🍻r🍻

      Like 1
    • Robert
    • amateur guitarist, guitar addicted
    • Robert
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    This is great! Although I was not able to record during last days due to some "technical" issues (health of camery and of myself) I am following and also practicing a bit, so I am more passive as active at the moment, and it should be vice versa... I hope, my first video will come up tomorrow latest. So far: much more difficult than expected! The relaxation in each finger needs so much concentration, so much focus. It seems that it is not automated, with habits developed in some decades..., so at the moment it is more a concious "movement" backwards. As one wrote here: it does not feel "relaxed"... I am working on that. :-)

    Like 1
      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Robert Awesome! Sometimes, the little things that sound easy ("simply relax") are challenging fundamental movement patterns!

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  • Third practice day after Martins most appreciated advice. It does feel more natural now, though it sounds lousy. I didn’t work on tone quality. I will now do that, and reconsider the nail shape. And rework the other assignments.

    I recorded the whole fragment, because I’m not consistent and with the repetitions you will notice variations in the width and speed of attack and bounce . But that’s very detailed . I am more positive than yesterday, although the word ‘frustrating’ was not meant literally. I’m not easily frustrated….

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    • joosje Hi Joosje, I notice, as you said, not a consistent movement of all the fingers trying to relax...specially at the beginning, later was more consistent. It seems to me that the "a" finger is relaxing less than the others or it is due to the fact that sometimes the relaxation of m looks like too much or not so natural , but I suppose this is the way....to bring the finger to the neutral position....even with "force" when the "spring" effect does not work...I am not sure if I am clear...

      Like 1
    • Nora Torres-Nagel I don’t agree with your observations  here, Nora. My hand is really free and it feels great.

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    • joosje oh great Joosje, it was only an impression...I am very glad of hear that!!!!👍it is really difficult to judge for me just the movements...you know better than me how are you feeling your hand!!!! 

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      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Nora Torres-Nagel I agree Nora, the bouncing back, you have to do it, it doesn’t spring back on its own, but hopefully with time it will become automatic … and it will do it in its own. 

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