WEEK 1: Dóbroje útro (Good Morning)!

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of the Nikita Koshkin challenge! This is the place for the Week 1 Submissions!


If you want to describe your process (optional), feel free to use the following template.

  • Things you found easy:
  • Things you found difficult:
  • (Optional): a video of you performing it!
  • (Optional:) questions

 

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  • Well, I was pretty happy when Martin announced that this would be the next challenge, since I've been working on the studies since they were released a few weeks ago. Here are videos of the first four studies.

    Study One: I hope this doesn't sound offensive, but this one feels a little like playing something by Sor or Carcassi, but with a bunch of wrong notes. And then there is a somewhat Latin syncopation in measure 9. I think it's a blast to play, and a great way to start the series.

    Study Two: Really beautiful music here! I wish my playing were a bit lighter. There are some challenging fingerings to make it legato.

    Study Three: This one feels a bit "herky jerky" to me, but in a good way. Also really fun to play. The parts in duple meter (starting in measure 24) don't feel quite right the way I play them here.

    Study Four: This was a pretty big step up for me, technically. My sixteenth notes seem uneven when I listen back. Making the barres and slurs clean was challenging. Measures 7 and 18-21 were rather tricky.

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 2 wk ago
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      Eric Phillips Thank you for kicking this off early!  This is very useful to me as I've just started working on 1-3 but hope to complete 4 before the challenge is over, although it seems like a huge leap in difficulty between 3 and 4 (especially if played at tempo).  My favorite of the series is #10, curious if anyone will tackle that one but they all are so interesting.  Can't wait to see more of your videos and from others.  I'm all-in on this challenge (no piano distraction this time!).

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    • Brett Gilbert Awesome, Brett! #10 is pretty amazing, but I doubt I have the chops for it. Musically, I think #9 is so gorgeous. It sounds like it might be doable for me, but I haven't really tried it at all. I also love #5 and #7. I guess I'm drawn to the slower ones.

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      Eric Phillips Wow, what a head start! That should give you plenty of time to focus on the later ones! I hope you can somehow make time for the Interactive Class with Marina Krupkina!

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      Brett Gilbert No.10 is very challenging, I personally look forward to Marina's very own insights on that piece on actually performing it (I consider that one to be on Competition Level) in the aforementioned Interactive Class with here! 

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    • Martin I'd love to be there, but I will be teaching a class myself at that time. Like I said though, if Tonebase could just pay me to participate in these things, I could quit my teaching job! 😄

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    • Eric Phillips Wow Eric, you're on fire again! I can't wait to see and listen to your progress during the challenge 💪

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    • Brett Gilbert #10 is indeed a great one... and yes I'll tackle it! 🤫

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    • Martin I hope we'll have the chance to listen to your version of #10 🤞

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 13 days ago
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      Blaise Laflamme Missed you last challenge, looking forward to your videos.   I just ordered a pair of CM4s from Sweden to up the quality of my recordings, inspired by you and others.  Also discovered the whole recording challenge that took place months ago with so much useful info.  Good luck with #10, that will be impressive. 

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    • Brett Gilbert yeah me too I missed you (and others) and to be part of the previous challenge... I did practice a few of the studies and was near posting some videos but back to work and being sick for more than a week totally changed my plans 😥. I'm sure you won't regret the CM4s, can't wait to listen to the sound improvement they'll give you, those are a nice suggestion from Martin!

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      • 13 days ago
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      Eric Phillips Haha, still figuring out how we can pay our community challengers😂

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      • 13 days ago
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      Blaise Laflamme 

       

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      Brett Gilbert Awesome, you got yourself some great mics! They work nicely on piano as well as they are not super directed as regular cardioid mics! Congratulation, hit me up with recording-related question if you need any help!

      The Recording Activity was even something cooler, it was our tonebase Academy Recording Course, an in-depth 4-weeks course with workbooks specifically made for that occasion! 🎤

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      Blaise Laflamme Hope to have you on board for this one 🚢

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    • Eric Phillips Wow!! Eric this was wonderful.Y our phrasing was very well done. I have read thru the first 4 but they are in bits and pieces. You have all 4 nailed down. Great job!!! You are an inspiration  ( I hope your students think so also.)

      Btw, I really like how you change outfits for each piece - sort of like a Lady Gaga concert😁

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    • Jack Stewart Thanks Jack! I’m not sure my students find me to be an inspiration, especially when I give them homework and tests. As for my outfits, if I’m wearing a new one, it must have been recorded on a different day. My wife and kids get mad when I don’t change clothes every day! 😀 I’ll let them know that I’m being compared to Lady Gaga, though. 😂

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    • Eric Phillips It's so fun to hear you play #1 so effortlessly.  You make it look so easy!  I really like the unexpected "wrong note" sounds of this piece. That syncopated part sounds really cool to me and I know it will be a challenge for me.  My goal for this is just to make it through #1 in three weeks.😊

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara That's a perfect goal! You can do the syncopated part I'm sure, just slow it way down at first. The notes are pretty easy, it's just getting used to the syncopation in the thumb. And trust me, nothing about this is effortless. I'm finding all of these challenging, as it is a musical language that is very different for me.

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    • Eric Phillips hello wow! I am preparing no 3 and 4, it sounds so easy when you play them. This number 4 of yours is so so good. Martin and Eric Phillips how should we do the first 2 bars? Note A with m and then amip for the arpeggio? Preparing the right hand? And spot on the harmonics with the left hand, will do that too! It is so interesting that Mr Koshkin finds that the challenge here is the barre! For me is more the slurs, the speed, the harmonics in place. you are playing the slurs  so good and strong, they can be heard so well. 

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  • Wow I am participating but only started to look at the scores today! Well done Eric!!! An inspiration indeed 

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  • I will definitely participate in this challenge, I really enjoy the kind of music that Koshkin writes even if I never played anything from him before. Another great set of studies commissioned by Tonebase, thank you again for contributing to the enrichment of the classical guitar repertoire!

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  • What a wonderful challenge, again! Thank you Eric, for kicking it off with 4 of the études . You play them so accurately in this short time. They sound great and I’m looking forward to hearing more. Thank you Tonebase, for giving us access to this treasure. I discovered the score thanks to Eric’s posts. It’s great material. I’ll have a look at them this week. The analysis presented in the notes is very useful, saves some time, but I need to give my fingers a chance to ‘taste’  the (sometimes  unusual) harmonies and feel the (sometimes uncomfortable) fingerings….

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    • joosje I'm looking forward for your upcoming submissions, this music is very interesting!

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    • joosje yes! Sometimes the fingerings are uncomfortable.. Mainly those of the R hand. I wonder if it is important to maintain them from the point of view of learning and musicality or we can make some changes. For me in it will be a learning experience because although I pay close  attention to the fingerings of the L hand,  the R hand goes less attentive on fixed fingerings . 

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      • 13 days ago
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      joosje We are super excited to kick-off this challenge today, let's have some great weeks with this fantastic new repertoire!!

      Emma those are fantastic questions for Marina in the Interactive Class! My personal standpoint is that you have to make a fingering work for you! But sometimes the deeper meaning of a fingering goes unrecognized when we change them too quick, so it's always important to get to the idea behind a fingering! 

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    •  Things you found easy: I still had to work at this for a few days, but was easier for me to learn than the Assad study #1.
    • Things you found difficult: Making a video.  It's tough for me to play on camera without making a mistake and I have occasional static with my audio setup (which I hope to fix with some equipment upgrades for later in the challenge!).
    • (Optional): a video of you performing it! I recently installed Martin's recommended string set and the difference from the standard/normal tension d'addarios I had is remarkable.  I definitely prefer hard tension strings and the combo of nylon E and carbon B/G is wonderful for keeping a consistent sound in the upper strings.
    • (Optional:) I found the recommended fingering at the end awkward, so attached an image of the fingering I ended up with based on Martin's recommendation in today's kick-off.  Will be curious what others use.  On to #2!🚀

     

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    • Brett Gilbert That was excellent, Brett. The strings sound great and your fingering at the end was very elegant and clearly works for you.

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      Brett Gilbert Fantastic, Brett! I really enjoyed the performance, your right hand in particular is very stable despite requiring quite an active thumb for that piece! Good job!

      Recording opens up a wonderful possibility when it comes to practice: You have the option to really go into your piece with a magnifying glass! What I recognized is that your left hand might have  little too much tension which expresses itself through heavier finger placement than necessary in some passages! Especially directly in the beginning there is a ghost note audible due to the finger placement of 3 and 4! It's just a symptom of a certain insecurity since this piece is still super fresh!

      I think, with continuous practice your hand will get used to the new movements and relaxes more and more! 🦆

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    • Brett Gilbert it’s beautiful Bret. Your sound is so good. I like this fingering too. Really great after such short time.

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    • Brett Gilbert great Brett! you're already confident with the piece and what a huge sound improvement, those strings were waiting for you! I should try to add some static to my next recording, that's lovely 😂

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      Blaise Laflamme Izotope Vinyl, for the Segovia Recording Touch 😉

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    • Martin cool and it's free!!

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      • 11 days ago
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      Blaise Laflamme Yes, that's a very cool little Plugin!

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 11 days ago
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      Martin Thank you for noticing that and the detailed feedback.  I rewatched and I see what you're talking about as I am definitely a bit tense especially when recording and perhaps trying too hard to plant the notes in preparation.  I will work on this.

      ...and Thank you Joosje, Blaise, and Eric for your comments!  

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      Brett Gilbert Yeah! 💪

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    • Martin Those parts of the song that require fretting with 3 and 4 are very hard for me.  I like the challenge of using those finger more though because I can tell I really need to build dexterity and strength in those fingers!

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    • Martin 

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    •  Brett Gilbert Incredible performance for the second day of the challenge. Well done!!! It sounds very clear 

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      Elizabeth Uyehara I highly recommend doing slurs to improve that! Especially between 2-3 and 2-4 to connect your strong side with the weaker side of the hand!

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  • So, since Blaise Laflamme challenged me to go for Study No.10, I thought I shouldn't waste any time and jump directly in!

    • Things you found easy: Well ... completely destroying my nails, my brain power and will to do anything more meaningful today? 🦆 It's not that dramatic, knowing that this one is only 3 pages long and that half of the second page is an arpeggio pattern that stays roughly the same and the third page mostly consists of a repeated scale makes me somewhat already see light at the end of the tunnel! 🔦💡
    • Things you found difficult: Okay, where should I start? There are so many stumbling blocks for the right hand, pair that with the 7/8 rhythm and it'll completely mess with all your trained motion patterns. Nothing just wants to work, nothing plays itself, everything every note needs focused attention and the reflection if the fingering makes sense. I try to commit quite early to a certain fingering which is why I spend so much time on them in the beginning since this piece also needs just plain and simple practice to bring it up to speed. But no speed without control! ⏰
    • (Optional): a video of you performing it!
    • (Optional:) questions: Someone wants to join and rock through some of the first bars or the scales in the end?

    I'll attach my fingerings which are in no way finalized!

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    • Martin Awesome Martin, that's great to see how you learn and manage your practice. I started working on the first half of the studies, and hope to post soon, and read through the others, then took a bit more time on #10 to also manage my time if I want to play it before the end of the challenge 😂! Like you, the arpeggios are almost the same on different positions and the scale is repeated twice, but for the scale I settled on different fingerings than the proposed one to make it easier for me. The chords part are also almost thought about fingerings but the main staccato pattern is far from being fingered, I'm still just reading and playing notes to get a musical sense out of it... until my mind is cleared enough about what I'm comfortable with... if that ever happens 😭!

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    • Martin this is  wonderful  Martin. This one is really tough. You showed the way towards an interpretation of your own within Koshkins language, which is quite a demanding experience in this case. I’m still struggling with the rhythmic accents and the fingerings….

      I’m on holiday now and my friends are having some hard time with the harmonies of this study. I’m not sure if I will follow up here…. But such a fascinating study….

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    • Martin It's amazing and inspiring to see your attention to detail and the inner workings of your mind! It's always nice to see that, although we may be in different places on the musical journey, it is a shared journey for all of us.

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    • Martin your first look sounds amazing maestro! Beautiful …

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      Blaise Laflamme I did change my scale fingering also a little bit, I try to upload either today or tomorrow another update! It's incredible what your brain is capable of while sleeping, I came up with some cool ideas!

      joosje Thank you so much! Having played in a Progressive Metal Band, 7/8-Rhythms come very natural for me 🤘 

      Eric Phillips and what a journey it is! This time through some rocky Russian landscapes!

      Emma Wow, I think you might be the first one to call me "Maestro" 😱

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    • Martin Waiting for your clues 🤓

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  • Koshkin #1.  First 4 measures.  I like this a lot.  It's very surprising and very challenging for me.  This is the first time I made it through the first 4 measures without hitting the wrong string or misplaced my fretting hand, so I'm so happy! 

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara I'm glad you are joining in, Elizabeth! Those measures are sounding great! I can see definite progress in your playing from just a few weeks ago.

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara very good job, Elizabeth ! Thank you for submitting. Please continue.

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 11 days ago
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      Elizabeth Uyehara Excellent, sounds really solid!  Focusing on a few measures at a time is a great approach.

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara bravo well done!!!! 

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      Elizabeth Uyehara So good!! Your rhythm is incredibly stable which is so important! It gives your hand a repeatable motion pattern which will lead to certain improvement when practiced mindful! Good job! 💪

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara great start and sound, I'm looking forward to listen to the next part 👍

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      Elizabeth Uyehara I made a little video for you, maybe it helps with placing 3 and 4! Your submissions are so inspring, keep them coming ⚡🚀🎉

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    • Martin Thank you so much!  I wasn't quite sure of what you meant about practicing slurs and this video makes it clear.  Wonderful!  I'll give it a try.

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    • Martin Here's another try with placing my right hand down while changing to the other frets with my left hand.  I'm playing just a tiny bit faster than yesterday and slowly getting more comfortable with using my 3 and 4 fingers in the left hand. Thanks for the help!

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      Elizabeth Uyehara Fantastic, it's much clearer! 💪 Glad that the comments helped you!

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara Great job Elizabeth. 

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  • Study 5 (in progress)

    What was easy: Eating lunch today.

    What was difficult: Like all of these studies, there is a lot of material that requires fingering that I am not used to.

    • The entire B section in D major (measures 14-28) I find very hard. I feel like my left hand is constantly contorting and stretching in ways that are uncomfortable. Many of the fingerings in the score are quite difficult for me, but I can't seem come up with solutions that work any better.
    • Measures 36-38 are a bit of a mess right now.
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    • Eric Phillips you’re so good! You’re right this one is so.beautiful. I truly like  your approach. It’s still in progress, of course , but you go fast. The dialogue of the two voices is clear and the tempo is quite fast already. You define the sections really well. Great submission, looking forward to the update.

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    • joosje Thank you, Joosje! I appreciate the encouragement.

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 11 days ago
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      Eric Phillips Impressive as always, at this rate you'll get through them all.  Your comment about fingerings really has me wondering if there are pedagogical reasons for some of the awkward fingerings (I'm also finding that in #3).  I'm sure Martin will give his expert thoughts on fingerings for most of these at some point, but definitely a question I have for Marina in the interactive class.

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    • Brett Gilbert Thanks Brett, but I don't intend to do them all, as a few are clearly beyond my technical level. And yes, these fingerings! They tie my hand up in knots!

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    • Eric Phillips what do you have for lunch? Wow!!! Wonderful sound. It sounds beautiful. I may go for this next if I complete no 4. Nothing easy about these studies ….

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    • Emma Thanks, Emma! I had a peanut butter and banana protein shake.

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    • Eric Phillips maybe is the shake protein then 😂you are just killing it in this challenge!!!!

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    • Eric Phillips great take on this one 💪 it's one of my favorite of the set, can't wait to hear your next update on it, and to get to it myself!

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    • Blaise Laflamme Thanks, Blaise!

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  • Lets start the challenge earlier this time because 3 weeks goes by a little too quickly! I hope to play a few of them over the weeks, even if my goal is to play #10 by the end of the challenge. So here's my initial take on #1...

     

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    • Blaise Laflamme Sounds great, Blaise! Love the big rit at the end.

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 10 days ago
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      Blaise Laflamme Nice to see/hear your videos again!  Always an inspiration both for playing and production values (I play through nice headphones to appreciate the sound).  Glad to see you took the alternate fingering at the end as well 😉

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    • Blaise Laflamme sounds great. Strong and secure, and very musical.

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    • Eric Phillips thanks Eric!

      Brett Gilbert thanks Brett! Yeah to make it sound legato it's definitely easier with an alternate fingering.

      joosje  thanks Joosje! this style music flows naturally for me 😂

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      • 10 days ago
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      Blaise Laflamme Yes! Blaise at it again! Bravo, so good to have you back so early in the game! It's beautiful how much music you can get out of a fairly short piece, you give meaning to every note! Inspiring 💪⚡🚀

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    • Martin wow... thanks Martin for the kind comments, you made my day 🤩... but in fact I've just expressed out what the music was telling itself to me... or what Koshking whispered in my ear... so much beautiful music ❤️!

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    • Blaise Laflamme Your video sounds AND looks wonderful!  I love how your face, hands and guitar just appear from the darkness.

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    • Blaise Laflamme That was great. I find this one actually difficult to play for some reason. There is nothing in isolation that is difficult but I keep having difficulties with RH fingering especially.

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    • Jack Stewart Thank you Jack! well... I have to admit that I haven't followed most of right hand fingering, sorry Nikita 😥... I used a lot of «i» instead of «p», I'm focusing more on the voices sound and direction than the fingers to use.

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    • Blaise Laflamme beautiful!!!! Very musical, secure , rhythmical. 

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    • Emma Elizabeth Uyehara thank you!

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  • First update. I took some time to listen to maestro Koshkin’s introduction of all 10 studies, and Marina’s interpretation. Great also to hear the submissions in the forum.

    then I read through them to let my fingers feel the textures and my ears ‘taste’ the harmonies.

    They are all wonderful and fun to play. Not easy, though.

    its difficult to make a choice and I will definitely not be able to work all of them.

    another problem I have is I’m traveling and no way to print the pages I’m working on. When recording I’d have to pause to ‘turn’ the page on my iPad…

    however, tomorrow I’ll give it a try.

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      joosje Fantastic!!! Yeah, sometimes the Tech is not on our side 🤖 Looking forward to your submissions 👑

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    • joosje Can't wait to hear you submissions, I'm happy you participate while you're travelling. I'm like you, hard to make choices, then I decided myself to commit to #10 by the end of the challenge, and record any others as they sound good enough while reading through them.

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  • Study 5 update

    I had a chance to work on this for about 45 minutes today, so here is an update.

    I feel better about the B section (measures 14-28). I thought I had improved measures 36-38 as well, but I botched them up in this video, so I need more work on those.

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      Eric Phillips Eric! I am a little late, I made video on Measure 36-38 and had my own bit of fun of finding cool fingerings! 

      It's absolutely inspiring the progress you've made within 2 days, the musical flow is so much more consistent, every line of this musical duet is phrased beautiful! It's becoming a beautiful piece of yours! What's your first favourite, though?

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      Eric Phillips (I did miss some accidentals in the end, sorry about that, haha)

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    • Martin Thank you so much for working out that solution, and attaching a copy of it for me! I really appreciate that. I will check out these fingering next practice session.

      BTW, my favorite is #9. It's probably beyond me right now, though.

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    • Eric Phillips what great submission. Your progress is amazing. The voices flowing and  well phrased, as Martin already mentioned. Beautiful . 

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    • Martin I think just one (F# not F).

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    • joosje Thanks, Joosje!

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      Eric Phillips Cool, let me know what you think about it! It's probably a little hard to fret, but musically I enjoyed that quite a lot! And yeah, probably only the F# instead of the F!

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    • Eric Phillips Really nicely done! You've got a great grasp of #5.

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    • Jack Stewart Thanks, Jack!

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    • Eric Phillips big big improvement from yesterday. Sounds beautiful, clear and very musical. Bravo!!!! And especially like how you manage the rittardando without the music missing the rhythm. It makes all sense 

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    • Emma Thank you, Emma!

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  • Then follows Study #2... a bit more challenging than the first one, but the chord progression and atmosphere it creates is just... 😮... 🤯... wow!

     

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      Blaise Laflamme beautiful, you find a very natural flow of tension in relieve in those somewhat strange but hauntingly exciting harmonies! Such a joy to liste nto your performances!

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      Blaise Laflamme Btw, Progress Update #2 on Study No.10 incoming! 🤖

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    • Martin 😮

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    • Blaise Laflamme great performance. Love the colors and the timing. Beautiful 

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    • Martin joosje thanks!

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 10 days ago
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      Blaise Laflamme I really like how expressively you played this and made note of your fingerings as I'm working on this one now.  It's interesting that there are essentially no dynamic markings on 2 (as opposed 1 and 3 for example), so we have the freedom to add our own.  A beautiful interpretation.

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    • Brett Gilbert thanks Brett! Some fingerings are good and other are not what I would eventually use, since this was part sight reading, but the end result was good enough to record. I think the most important thing, to me, is to make a sense of the musical material and make it your own, then the more it's yours the story you tell when playing will be meaningful to others.

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    • Blaise Laflamme That was wonderful Blaise. Phrasing and tone were beautiful.

      I also really liked the disembodied effect of head and hands😊

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    • Jack Stewart Thank you Jack! Yeah that's the beauty of the green screen 😂... I should find a way to mask my face too... then just hands and guitar!

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    • Blaise Laflamme beautiful sound… and the piece is wonderful in your hands 

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    • Emma than you Emma 🙏

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  • Here's my Day 2 Update on Koshkin's Progressive Study #10, let me know what you think!

    • Things you found easy: Strangely enough, it's coming quicker together as I though. My mind kept on working while I was sleeping and the second day I found new fingerings which made much more sense for me. Since I grew up playing in a Progressive Metal Band, 7/8 rhythms feel quite natural for me, but the groupings of the 8th notes makes the accents quite obvious. Another thing that our mind does while sleeping: Pattern Recognition! Page 2 and 3 fell weirdly into place!
    • Things you found difficult: Bar 15 to 17: Super strange downward arpeggio which will not get into my hands. It is a fingering problem and I intend to solve it! It's like a chess game and I am dedicated on a check mate!But Bar 22 to 25 might wanna have a word as well with me...
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    • Martin thanks for this update on #10, quite insightful! You're right about sleep, I myself resolve so much thoughts, problems and fingerings too that way... what a weird process 😵!

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    • Martin thank you so much for taking us along on your journey ! Fascinating. You really inspired me to start working on this study. 

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 10 days ago
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      Martin I enjoy watching you work on 10 (my fav) and it definitely has a certain metal band feel🤘 Could almost be a Metallica song.  Maybe someday you can share some recordings from your metal band days. 😉

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    • Martin Such a joy to watch you figuring this one out! It is really coming together for you. The chess analogy is fascinating, and you are like Bobby Fischer (or maybe Garry Kasparov since he is Russian like Koshkin).

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      joosje It's a lot of fun once the initial fog clears up! 

      Brett Gilbert Haha, maybe we'll do a Metal Challenge one day 🤘

      Eric Phillips Still waiting for something like Deep Blue where I can just upload fingerings directly into my brain 🤖

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    • Martin so true about the sleeping! That is why I keep postponing my video!!! It sounds really fun to practice! And it sounds so good already 

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  • study No. 7

    not as easy as it looks. I try a moderate tempo here, hope to get better after some time.

    challenge:

    the slurs, there are many and i tend to miss a few all the time. Keeping them rhythmical...

    the litlle tremolo at the end on strings 4 and 5: nail noise! I took some extra nail care but couldnt get the sound cleaner 

    I will not be able to record, or even practice, much until Sunday. This is the best I could do on this one today. I promise an update later, although I want to work on 9 and 10 as well. 

    I have no printed schores so I cant write my fingerings, In this one RH fingerings are scarce. I am a little lost in bars 17 18... ( my solution: a im ami im ami, but its not yet controlled)

     

    https://youtu.be/lqG7lXU9GvU

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 9 days ago
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      joosje Wow, you make it look easy as your playing is so smooth and confident.  I enjoyed listening to this.  These studies are really remarkable in their variety.

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    • joosje Great work, Joosje! Very courageous of you, jumping in at number 7. It sounds really good and both hands look comfortable and controlled.

      I would be at a loss about how to prevent nail noise doing tremolo on bass strings. I think there's a point at which we just have to let the instrument be what it is and let that sound be part of the musical experience. Maybe I'm just giving up too soon, though!

      I personally look forward to hearing you play #9. (But keep working on 7, it's sounding great!)

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    • joosje thank you for posting this, you're doing great, it sounds clear and well articulated! 💪

      Eric Phillips  at least you have two simple choices... change your hand/finger angle before plucking, or shape your nail differently

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      joosje Wow, No.7 looks scary to me! You already brought out so beautiful details, I especially like the subtle swing in 11-12 (intended or not, it's super charming!)! I really didn't notice too many insecurities in 17-18, so you might be right on track there! Those studies really don't appeal to our muscle memory, everything needs just a little more time than usual to become natural!

      But talking about that bass tremolo, I would just do that without the a finger (but I am suuper bad at tremolo anyway, so maybe I am somewhat biased).

      Talking about Tremolo, did you guys  notice our upcoming Interactive Class with Rafael Aguirre? We'll talk about Recuerdos, but all questions to Rafa are quite welcome there!

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    • joosje Really impressive and beautifully played. Talk about jumping in - #7!

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    • joosje it does not look easy at all! Beautiful to watch your playing, and your sound 

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    • joosje Sounds beautiful.  Also, just curious about your instrument.  What kind of guitar is that?  Is that an extra bass string?

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara yes Elizabeth, it’s a seventh string attached to a normal spruce guitar, built by a Dutch luthier Baarslag.

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    • joosje Wonderful Joosje!  It's a real pleasure to listen to you play.  Thanks for submitting this!

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  • Study #10 - Day 3 Update! 👿

    There still some hellish passages (15-16 and 22-26), but it's coming together quicker as expected. It's kind of addictive, it's clearing your mind like a freshly brewed green tea 🍵

    Playthrough at 80bom at 4:15 and playthrough at q=100bpm as a separate video!

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    • Martin thank you Martin for this update, it's taking shape fast! I'm still far from being at that tempo and from having resolved fingering issues, but while learning easier ones I'm still progressing on it, I hope to have it in a listenable state by the end of the challenge!

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  • Finally got a few minutes to post tonight! This week I've been working on Studies 1, 2 & 3.

    No. 1 - Apart from adding a few accidental accidentals (!) when first trying to sight read it's going OK

    No. 2 - Really like this one. I think the main challenge for me is making sure there are no unwanted sounds when changing  chords. Found it really useful to use some of Mircea's ideas on right hand preparation in the arpeggio section.

    No.3 - Only sight read a couple of times so far.

     

    Also listenend to Marina Krupkina's 2020 album Decacorde Stories - if you've not heard it, it's worth checking out - awseome stuff!

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  • Study 5 (final version?)

    Here is one more take at this study. Not perfect, but I might want to move on for now. I'll see after I sit with it for a while.

    Martin - I did try your proposed fingering for measures 36-38, and I used some of it, but not all of it. I still prefer to do the barres. The result isn't great in this video, but I was having more difficulty with your fingering. Maybe I just need to practice it more.

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    • Eric Phillips beautiful Eric. You did a great job on this one, paying attention to the details, the connection between the sections, tone, dynamics. Its beautiful. But never use the expression ‘final version’, there is always time to develop. I think pieces like these would benefit a lot from being played by heart and that takes time (we’re not all Martin…)

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    • joosje Thanks, Joosje! I never meant that I would stop playing it, just that I wanted to move on to another piece. To be honest, though, after reading through a bit of #6-10, I'm not sure any of them are within my ability to play well, so I may just do as you suggest, memorizing #5 and making it more my own. I'm still thinking through what I'd like to do next. 🤔

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    • Things you found easy: Study #2 took a bit more work than #1 but learning notes not too bad. 
    • Things you found difficult: Getting a smooth legato. I guess that's one of the skills to learn in this study and it's still something for me to work on.
    • Video/recording detail: New audio interface (SSL2) seems to have eliminated lots of problems I had with audio, plus I've been going through the (3 hour!) livestreams Martin did as part of the recording challenge back in January so in this video I recorded the audio using reaper, then imported the video and sync'd before rendering.  I added a very light reverb FX since I'm recording in the garage again.  Hopefully next week the CM4s will come and then my new setup will be complete!

    Off the forums for the next few days as we deliver my son to college in L.A., but I'll check-in with everyone's videos on Monday and start on #3🎉

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    • Brett Gilbert good job Brett and your sound is better each time! The SSL2 looks like a great audio interface, can't wait to hear you with the CM4s. You're totally right about legato here, that's probably the hardest challenge in this piece. Slowing the tempo a bit would probably help and give you more time to move between chords, also what works for me is to imagine the music the way I want it to be played and reproduce what I hear.

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    • Brett Gilbert beautiful, especially the arpeggio’s part and the first transition from chords to arpeggios. The sound is so so good!

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    • Brett Gilbert that’s really beautiful Brett. Good tone and flowing rhythm. Very nice performance. 

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    • Brett Gilbert Great job Brett!

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      Brett Gilbert Absolutely fantastic, Brett! Super excited to hear the SSL2 together with the CM4s, but the most important factor of a recording remains the person in front of the mics! 🤘

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  • Study #10, Day 4 Update: Playing it by heart ❤

    Still some quirks to figure out and sometimes my brain is slower than my finger which results into stumbling over some of the fingerings (and the scales are no smooth as I didn't practice those for quite a while now), but it's getting along! A couple more days and I will move on to the next one, which one should it be? 💪

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    • Martin 😮... bravo!

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    • Martin I looked up "the man" in the dictionary. There was a picture of you! 👋

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    • Martin So, Emma was right, maestro it is… 

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    • Martin Love how you say "Let's go" and then launch into the song.  That made my day!

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    • Martin Wonderfully performed Martin. That provided some very nice phrasing and helped clarify many of the passages - not that I am in a position to make use of them.

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    • Martin Amazing Martin!  Can you give us guidance on how you memorize pieces like this with such usual melodies/harmonies that are not very "singable"?

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    • Martin wow!!! wonderful!!!!

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      Barney Emma Jack Stewart joosje Elizabeth Uyehara Eric Phillips Blaise Laflamme
      Thanks so much guys! I have been a little bit lazy the last days, but you'll get some more updates and then I'll dive into No.9!

      Barney Happy to do that!

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  • Hello everybody! My first posting if the week. This week I have been practicing no 3 and 4. I was going to videotape today no 3 but I still make mistakes in the coda at the speed of the rest  so let’s see if the night sleep works and I can post a video tomorrow. 

    For no 3: the hardest part is the slurs with the fixed G in the base, mainly the first slur G to A.  My weakness are the slurs I think. I am practicing with metronome and keeping the R hand fingerings so I can learn to keep discipline in my right hand. I have changed a few fingerings if the left hand and try to keep no 2 in C fixed throughout the coda, and having a few problems with it. I hope I can give some musicality to it, although I don’t want to make it sound as something it is not. I have not played much contemporary music and I am not so confident with this as in the carcassi Challenge 

    The only easy part is that once you start the progress is good and I am even giving some speed to it. I am not very good at playing fast …

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  • For number 4, I have gone through the first half. It is a fast study, a challenge for me. But beautiful and very very addictive. 
    the hard thing again the slurs with the bar, I even hurt myself, but it is good to develop a rough hard index finger. Again, I have to practice my slurs. And then the rhythm is so frenetic that it is easy to get lost. Practice practice but for this I will post a video too

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    • Emma Looking forward to hearing you play them both!

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    • Emma I'm happy you're working on both of them, they are also the next ones I plan to record, then 5 and 6...

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    • Looking forward to your post, Emma ! True, these studies are addictive. But, don’t hurt yourself, it will cause you too much afterwards. Just work until you reach the edge, insisting a bit, but don’t go over it.

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  • Finally, I can begin this challenge. I got caught up with all the videos, etc., yesterday and worked on Study 1.

    • Things you found easy:  The notes, rhythms, and fingerings all came easily enough and I was able to play it at the suggested tempo.
    • Things you found difficult: I made a rough audio recording of it and was horrified at the number of finger squeaks, measures 3, 5, 9, 13, & 14. Yikes. I don't know if it's a result of being a septuagenarian, playing mostly ensemble music for the last 9 years, or a combination. Anyway, the squeaks have to go so I refingered measure 5 and lift the bass notes in measure 9 just a bit sooner and that seems to help, along with being sure to lift my fingers up before moving horizontally. Another day on it working out squeaks and incorporating some expressive elements and it should be good.
    • (Optional): a video of you performing it! I am also trying to figure out a way to get a video recording.
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    • Peg Barrett welcome to the challenge Peg! you're right, audio recording can be merciless 😂... good luck with video recording, you can do an easy setup with your phone up to more sophisticated, I hope to see one of yours soon. 👍

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    • Peg Barrett welcome to the challenge!!! I would love to hear you play... and yes, recording is a challenge in itself

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  • A very warm "Hello" to all of you,
    slowly I am back here also actively (I have not played for months (!!) - very unusual for me, and very sad - due to a shoulder problem making it impossible to play; I had that a few years ago with the other shoulder). That is also the reason why I missed a lot here during the last months (masterclasses, challenges etc.). However, I was watching a lot. And I watched all your submissions here so far, and without commenting on each individually I want to congratulate all of you and I am spending big applause! Now, I am able to play approximately 10 minutes without break 🎉, which is a large step for me at the moment. I am very happy about this challenge and started with No. 1-3, I have to be a bit careful and do not want to overstress the arm/hand. I was not able to record the stuff during the past few days. But I can say that I had fun playing them, first round by sightreading, which is ok for me. Then I try to go deeper into details, e.g., with fingerings and of course musicality. I do hope that I will be able to record soon and share the stuff here with you, the tonebase community which is sooooo great!!
    Best greetings again to all of you - stay safe and healthy and have also fun and progress with these etudes. Koshkin's music is really great - I love them (e.g., the larger pieces like Usher Waltz which I was working on before the shoulder "crash" but also the shorter ones like Preludes & Fugues). 
     

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    • Robert I'm happy to see you back! I hope you'll recover as soon as possible and I also hope to listen to you by the end of this challenge if that works! Take care 🤗

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    • Robert We're glad to have you back and hope your recovery goes well! I can't even imagine how difficult this ordeal must be for you.

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      • Robert great to hear from you. I hope you will get back in form soon, so that we we will hear your submissions again. These Koshkin’s studies are so inspiring, indeed. Best wishes Robert!
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    • Robert so glad to have you back and well, the music and fingers will be back quickly!!!

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  • Study 6 measures 5-11

    I'm really struggling and I need some help. I've "finished" working on #1-5, but when I tried sight reading #6-10, they all seem completely beyond me, which makes me wonder if I really should try working on them at all. Maybe just going back into #1-5 deeper would be more productive. Not sure.

    That said, I thought, "Maybe I could work on a very small section of #6 that is causing me problems, not even worrying if I ever get to the entire piece." So, I'm giving a shot at measures 5-11, which involves something I have never done before. It has a staccato bass line with a legato melody line.

    My problem is, I really don't know how it should be done. I'm happy to put in the slow practice and work on the skill, but I want to make sure I'm doing the skill correctly. So, if someone (Martin 😉 or anyone else who knows the skill) could watch the video and give me some input, I would be very appreciative.

    (Sorry for the pained look on my face below!)

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    • Eric Phillips I encourage you to work on the next pieces even if you only scratch the surface, you'll see the benefit later! Here low notes are eighth notes so If you play them staccato, as one of your suggestion, they would then become sixteenth notes, that would make it a bit more rhythmical but also differ the simultaneous mute and pluck, to ease it at low speed, but you'll run into problems when increasing the speed since you have more finger actions involved. I would personally mute the low note on the next upper note as a combined mute-pluck action to reduce the effort and make it easier to play overall, as it is written. BTW that musical passage is just awesome!

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    • Blaise Laflamme Thanks for listening and for the advice, Blaise! Like I mentioned, I am finding that nearly impossible to do as written without going extremely slowly at first (like quarter =20). I just find it really hard to do that motion with my right hand while also changing the melody notes with my left hand. It just feels like too much going on at exactly the same time. Maybe I should turn it into an open string exercise and work on that first, just to take the left hand out of the equation. Just a thought. Again, I really appreciate your thoughts. And you're right, it does sound pretty cool when done well. I'd like to be able to do it with rest stroke, but that makes it even harder for me as I use rest stroke so infrequently and I am not very good at it.

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    • Eric Phillips absolutely, as you suggest I would probably use both open E, then slowly play quater notes plucking both, then next mute lower + pluck upper. 

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    • Eric Phillips I think it’s a good idea to work on the second set of pieces as well. Or concentrate on one or  two of them.

      as for the staccato section it seems like a good idea to work  on the open strings the way Blaise suggested. I think I play this section (not too staccato and I decided to stop with RH. If you begin stopping the G# with LH you must then change the technique for the open A and later D. In a more up speed tempo the difference between eighth or sixteenth notes is hardly audible. Marina plays staccato. It sounds good to me. But she is fast…. another tricky moment in m 21 /22 where the staccato /legato roles switch between upper voice and  bass…  my fingers are unwilling to follow. 

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    • joosje Thanks, Joosje! All the right hand articulation is really new to me, so what better way to dig into this challenge. It's getting there slowly. Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement.

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    • Eric Phillips I don't know how to help you but pain is gain. My staccato is not good... With these difficulties we learn a lot, and your sound is very good. My approach is try to do less and better but maybe Blaise is right and we have to touch more studies ...

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    • Emma well... in the case of Eric Phillips  since he's already at study #6 I think he'll benefit a lot from one, or more, more advanced studies... while continuing on easier ones to enhance them overall. I personally always work on at least 3 pieces simultaneously, preferably of different level, and then each of them enhance the others like a learning spiral. You see less spectacular progress at first, but on a longer period and in the end, all pieces are in a better shape than if I would have learned them in silo one after the other. At least that worked well for me 🤔.

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    • Blaise Laflamme you are right, it is definitely better to play 2 studies at the same time. 

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  • #1.  Today I just focused on measures 5 and 6.  I am sticking to the marked fingerings because they are generally comfortable and seem to make sense.  I've always played with whatever finger was handy, so mapping out the fingering is a new discipline for me! 

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