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

    #1 (assignments 1-3)

    Hi everyone, I started practicing this a week ago going through all of the relevant tonebase videos and memorizing the left hand so I could concentrate just on the right hand.

    This video has just assignments 1-3 for now as I try to establish the correct right hand motion and become more secure.  After recording and playing back I can tell I played it a bit fast (it's hard to play slow!) and the notes are perhaps a bit too soft.  Both my hands get tired after practicing this for more than 20 minutes so maybe I'm too tense?

    Alternating figuring is a great idea.  One of my favorite yt performances of this piece is by Ana Vidovic and it looks like she does her tremolos with just 2 fingers i-m! 

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

      Emma Yes!

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

      Martin Thank you so much for this detailed video!  This is a challenge for me but I will work each day this week on your suggestions and submit an update at end of week.  Thank you Emma and Nora Torres-Nagel for your observations as well.  I think metronome will help me slow it down.

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Brett Gilbert Awesome! I would use the metronome for the first two assignments only as a rough guide, it's really more about connecting with yourself and experience true relaxation! Let me share you the video I've recorded for Don in Group Two, where I talk in-depth  about that, too!

      Like 2
  • Hola chicos ,

    hier my first video of the week to record my start with these exercises. When I relax my finger I also do not see (like Eric and Brett) that he returns "a lot" but this is the natural position except if I force it to go more to the front what is not the point of course. I was observing also that even by Martin with the dotted rythm for instance, his fingers also stay more behind the hand let`say...I concentrate in being relax.... the light of my room is not so good....

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

      Nora Torres-Nagel hello! Yes, the light does not help to see. But I see something that happens to me too. The i finger is the one that relaxes the least . Your R hand position is very good I think, and the sound is good. In minute 2:47 you are not relaxing the middle finger. This must be the thing, we all think we relax! And we don’t many times…. It has to become natural for us 

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Nora Torres-Nagel Hi Nora! Next time, try not to record yourself in front of the video, it's very hard for the camera to correctly expose, which is why the darker spots are not so visible!

      I hope you'll find some helpful advice in this video!

      Like 1
    • Martin super Martin! thank you very much for your detailed and personal answer! Tomorrow I will send a new recording....one that we CAN SEE and working this point with high dedication. I have got the point . Bis morgen!

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  • Hello all. I had a difficult week,  and missed too many posts and announcements. But started today with fresh energy. 
    Btw our neighbor village is called Tremelo ….
    Although I am familiar with the technique, I never worked so intensively on tremolo. Tried to follow the many great tips from the Tonebase lessons and others, but never persevered.

    Martins video is very useful! Wow, It isn’t easy at all to go so slow and it made me more tensed at first. You can see that in the 3rd video.

    I  realized only now that my hand performs the tremolo as one movement. It was difficult to separate the fingers. 

    I think my fingers keep a slightly more curbed position in rest than Martin’s. That might be tension… 

    if I let my fingers rest spontaneously, hovering over 1 string, the i is more straight than m and a.,and a more curbed than m,  because of my hand position. The outward bouncing of a feels very unnatural. (I should do more rasgueados as counterbalance exercise)

    I know MM 98 is still a bit fast, for practice tempo. I will work with the metronome coming days, to be more secure, consistent and controlled.

    Like 1
    • joosje Hi Joosje 🙂. I can not see also by you that clear relax seen by Martin in the first assignment...but I hear a nice balanced tremolo in your records. In the video 2 MM98 it sounds very even and clear but the loudness of the ami is not so high like in the other videos, maybe a matter of the recording?. I personally aimed to play a melody coming out in front of the basses....what still did not achieve....Definitely  your beginning of the 2 weeks sounds very nice, I can not say if you are playing with tension, if there is I do not remark it... Great job !

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

      joosje Here are some advices for you, especially on the i finger I noticed something! Thank you for Nora Torres-Nagel and Emma for the helpful comments!

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

      Martin 

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

      Martin Is the raised hand you demonstrate something that would specifically be done for the tremolo technique or in general it is better to have this position at all times?  I'm learning so much just watching more experienced guitarists like joosje and others go through the same process and feedback as it's hard for me to see any issues with their playing.

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Brett Gilbert It'S something I would generally recommend because you can engage the knuckle bones and thus the motion that relaxes quicker! 

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    • Martin thank you so so much for your diving into this, and with your advice and showing this  in the video. Very helpful!  Emma Nora  too, thank you for listening and analyzing the movement. 
      Apologies for my very late reaction, I was away from home without guitar and iPad. Today, I started listening, watching and back to practice. Slowly, really slowly. I watch my hand in iPad video (without recording) to check the angle. It’s easy to learn something new, but so hard to get rid of old habits. So I’ll record later. Also, I’m getting weary of watching my own hand all the time.
      Martin I do have a small ‘problem’ in my R-hand index finger. If I hold my hand flat on the table, the top joint is slightly, but noticeably, ‘twisted’ to the right side, towards the m finger. In order to get a full sound I probably developed some correction movement. Maybe the higher wrist position and more ‘vertical’ attack might overcome the problem and make the attack more smooth, and relaxed. I must then adjust the nail shape.

      I will allow myself some time to experiment.

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

    Hello Joosje, yes, as Nora says,  I can not see you relax the fingers as Martin does in the first video. . Nice speed in the second video, it sounds secure and beautiful . In the third video there seems to be more intention to relax, but no so clear in the i finger. The rhythm is solid and equal, with all notes sounding the same, good. The syncopated rhythm gives a completely different air to the music 

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

    I started to practice tremolo a few months ago. Although I have played for some time, me and my last teacher must have thought that I could be happy and survive without tremolo pieces. How crazy is that hahaha ? In these months I have practiced my tremolo with Carcassi number 7 and exercises. Here goes my post, just to mend problems as early as possible and to record progress and change. Please correct me :) Thank you so much

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    • Emma HI Emma! I can see that you are relaxing the fingers although not always and sometimes is like too much, I mean the finger (I think was the i once) goes too far away...but surely is the input from the brain that it has to return to the initial position. But among the videos that I have seen today , yours are where I note more the returning to relax. Probably you are in the good way, let's see what means Martin! Tomorrow I will record me again . Hasta mañana.

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

      Nora Torres-Nagel Gracias!  Yes I noticed it too! I think it is the same problem that Joosje has with the i finger, I have to lift the position of the hand. Good to record oneself! 

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

      Emma That looks to me like what Martin was asking for where the fingers snap back to position and relax. Since you said you've been practicing for a few months did you originally start with this same technique?

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

      Emma Hi Emma, you're doing a GREAT job! In the video I talk about the magical moment of touch on the string (which is not a staccato) and implementing different patterns as I've told Eric Phillips as well!

      standard direction

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

      reversed direction

      • p ima
      • p mai
      • p aim (my cross trill pattern)
      Like 1
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Brett Gilbert not for the tremolo… but, I did the speed and coordination course and I do practice the scales like this, or I try to…

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

      Martin understood, thank you!!! I will work on that today! 

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

    Hi @all,  I am a bit late with comments, so it seems that more or less everything that I observed while watching your great videos is already mentioned. It is exciting and amazing how much one can see and learn by submissions and comments of the group and by Martin's extra videos with comments. I hope that I can record and submit tomorrow.

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

      Eric Phillips it looks great to me. Your hand is stable and the fingers are relaxing back. That thing you mention with the m finger happens to me too. And the i finger when you say that does not bounced back completely, stays ready to attack? Unless you have to move it back for the attack it should be OK, it looks great to me. Let’s see what the Martin says …

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