Group 3

Video of the TWI Check-In with Borbála!

https://youtu.be/gJ_JuUznzwQ

 

Have you noticed that most of the time we talk about technique or musical expression separately? We practice technical elements such as arpeggio, fast scales, left hand independence, tremolo, or even legato playing, etc. separately, but never together with the musical elements. Enjoy this two-week intensive to be able to play the basic musical ideas easily such as changes of dynamics and tempo, articulation, accentuation, as well as to improve your musical creativity.

  • Course Period: December 5th - 19th
  • Sign-Up: November 30th 
  • Zoom Check-In: Dec 11th, 9am PT

ASSIGNMENT FOR THE FIRST WEEK:Exercises_Expression (1) 

Please share a video of yourself playing the first three exercises and at least two variations of the fourth exercise.

1-3. Exercises:

  • Take a tempo in which you can play without unnecessary tension and make the musical expressions (accelerando, crescendo) gradually.

Exercice 1: https://youtu.be/lf3aQznZyKQ

Exercice 2: https://youtu.be/PeGYFbXkjuY

Exercise 3: https://youtu.be/gCycBsDb7Xw

 

4. Exercise:

  • If it’s too difficult for you to learn to play in one week, you can perform only the upper voice.
  • Make attention, that fingering should be different depends on the desired musical character.
  • Try to show the musical elements exaggeratedly, even if it seems to be too much.
  • Try to imagine the character before you play the exercise.

Exercise 4: https://youtu.be/FTHMi7xghjg

 

ASSIGMENT FOR THE SECOND WEEK:

Please choose a short section (at least a phrase) of your current repertoire or one of the following
pieces:

  • Fernando Sor: Six Divertissements Op. 2. No. 1.
  • Matteo Carcassi: 25 Etudes Op. 60. No. 9.
  • Leo Brouwer: Estudios Sencillos No. 5.

and demonstrate it at least in two different variations of musical ideas, musical characters.
You can/should change the fingerings depends on your imagined musical character.
You can use the Cheat Sheet of Observation of musical ideas to control your way of playing.

Cheat_sheet_Observation_of_musical_expression (1) Sor_Six_divertissements_Op_2 Brouwer_Estudios_sencillos_no_5 Carcassi_25_Etudes_Op_60 

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    • martinTeam
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    • martin.3
    • 1 yr ago
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    Login Details for the Zoom Check-In on Dec 11th, 9am PT:

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    • Emmanull
    • Emma
    • 1 yr ago
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    Borbala Seres I wanted to share some videos of my progress before the zoom tonight, and here they are. After these days of practising and listening to myself, these are my main difficulties:

    For exercise 1, It is hard for me to find the mezzoforte or mezzo piano, also when I go forte the sound gets worse, sometimes I feel I do only the dynamic with the bass and the first string and the middle strings don't change, also I tend to accelerate when I go louder.... this I did not have time to correct... have to keep practicing with the metronome

    Exercise 2 is hard....

    Exercise 4, when I go rubato I feel that I loose the tempo too much, goes less rythmical... When I try to play fast for the dance it is easy to for me to make mistakes. I don't think my crescendos are noticeable. The Christmas carrol I didn't play dolce enought, was worried with the legato and went too metalic I think.

    But I send them anyway to keep track! thank you so so much!!! and see you later!

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    • Emma Thanks for the videos. I would say you are too critical with yourself 😉!

      Exc. 1.: I hear the dynamic differences, I would suggest you to take a slower tempo or you double the length of the crescendo and the decrescendo (instead of 8 notes you double it for 16), then you could concentrate more on the regulation of the volume changing. To avoid the tempo problem for this part (what you mentioned) try it with metronome. Basically I don't like metronome, but sometimes it helps. Second part: try to imagine or sing it once (or together) befor the execution. That helps also, and if you start it from a slower tempo you can make a bigger accelerando. And don't forget about the ritartando. Fourth part was nice (you played a bit different bass, but it doesn't matter for the exercise).

      Exc. 2.: With a finger it was excellent, seems to me that you use to accentuate the melody. P was also nice, could be a bit louder. For i, m I would reccomend you to play it with my pre exercise, that will help you to get the clear idea of the necessary force for each finger.

      Exc. 3.: LH staccato was great. RH alternated I would recommend you to take only free strokes here, with apoyando it doesn't work so well. P was excellent too.

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    • Emmanull
    • Emma
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view
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    • Emma I loved your amarous character, you were brave enough to play it nice rubato which was necessary for this one. Your tempo flexibility is not a problem at all, what you feel not right is only that you took just a bit slower tempo which is very difficult to handle. 
      Court dance: Tempo was nice for this character, the crescendo could be bigger, but I didn't really miss it.
      Carol: Yes it was a bit metalico, but not too much. Tempo was fine and on legato you could still work a bit.

      Generell: With legato you have problem because of the syncronity of two hands. Sometimes your RH fingers touch the strings before plucking, sometimes you change the fretnotes or the positions of the left hand too early.
      You could spare more energy for your left arm, if you wouldn't hold your elbow so high. Try to hang from the fretboard, put the weight into the elbow.

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    • martinTeam
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    • martin.3
    • 1 yr ago
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    Assignments for the second week have been posted! See you in the Zoom Call!

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    • martinTeam
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    • martin.3
    • 1 yr ago
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    Video of the TWI Check-In with Borbála!

    https://youtu.be/gJ_JuUznzwQ

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      • Derek
      • Derek
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      martin sorry that I missed this. I was looking after grandchildren and couldn't get home on time!

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
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      Derek no problem, I hope you could learn something from the recording!

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  • Hi everyone. Thank you, Borbara, for your inspiring ideas and exercises. Like Eric, I thought I don’t have this creative brain to come up with different ideas for the pieces I play. But, again, like Eric,  I took up the challenge and let my brain step out of this ‘comfort zone’ and play around a bit with Borbara‘s suggestions
    Regarding assignments for second week, some reflexions and a few submissions. Of all pieces I play only a few measures. Hope you others in the group will also  follow up. It’s fun, once you start playing around…🙂 btw, it’s a first attempt, could be more refined. I will continue this approach in other pieces, though it doesn’t come naturally to me….

    1. Brouwer 5: for me this always was the scouts tune. (Not my favorite etude). That’s how I will play it first. i find little room for alternative  fingerings, or rubato and vibrato. Tempo and dynamic are the means I have to vary the mood. So, first the scouts: up tempo, lively, bright - then the lonesome, grey haired  hippy, sitting in the sun, guitar on his knee, back leaning to a wall, eyes on the seaside: more relaxed,  breathing, easier, slower.
    2.  Sor op. 2, waltz. First imagined a village ball, happy, bright, no rubato, just the simple waltz rhythm so everyone can dance along. Then, a slow romantic waltz, the intimacy of a home,, two long time lovers, still very much in love and enjoying looking one another in the eyes and dancing cheek to cheek….
    3. Carcassi: study no.9, I prefer to play amoroso, with rubato, vibrato, in high positions, where possible. The other option is to take it more superficially, up tempo, in basic positions where possible, with more articulation, less vibrato, no rubato.

    My own piece. I’m practicing El Mestre in Llobet’s setting. I feel it very romantic and rubato, (also triggered by Llobet’s fingerings, of course)

    There are other options - I don’t consider them for performance, just  for practice. So here I try to play it:

    a. Like a song (the song that is the basis of this arrangement). Without rubato, but a little, vibrato and  breathing with the phrasing

    b. Like a fast waltz, first beat accents, with staccato moments but no rubato nor vibrato, moving on and on…..

    c. Llobet, expressive, rubato, as much vibrato as I can possibly play ( I think I should work on the different types of vibrato for more variety.) 

    Like 1
    • joosje Thanks for the videos! I loved them all. Only couple of advices.
      It's always very difficult to step out of our comfort zone, if you have never done this kind of things, but you did the first step and you can keep going with experimentation. Just belive me it worths it.

      Brouwer: The basic charcters were good! It seems to me that you are handling the piece still only as an etude. There is so much potention in it, to make many different colors, dynamics, tempo changes, immediate accents, echos etc., so to make many different moods, happenings inside your basic character. For instance if you imagine a group of scouts walking in the wood singing this song, you can hear different voices out from this chor, somtimes a boy, sometimes a girl... It's true for your second character as well. If this hippy would have different thoughts about life etc. then you can show them also with different tools. Experiment with it (Maybe you will get to love the piece more too! 😉)

      Sor: You did a great job with no. 2, but I suggested the no. 1, congrats that piece is way more difficult. Incredible beautiful! Both characters were very well fit to this musical material and here you used much more colorful the musical tools. I would only recommend also in generell, if you change a color (secco here) stay there longer, than 1 measure, take the whole phrase with that color to show us this different mood more clearly and that it doesn't seem like an accident. The effect will be also much better.

      Carcassi: Amoroso was great! Second version: If you want it to be playful or silly you could take even a bit faster tempo (I wouldn't play any rubato or vibrato here, more tempo giusto), more secco, you could play also crescendo at the second part of the phrase.

      Llobet: All of the three version are outstanding!! I liked the 2. and 3. the most. 2. character so fresh and light, dancy also fits so well to this music. 3. it could be even more expressive try to overdo everythings. This two versions you could also mix up in one version, or if you repeat this phrase (in the score it is written) you could use this versions.

      You have to step out your comfort zone, because you have great ideas, so don't worry, just keep going.

      Like 1
    • Borbala Seres Thank you so much for your comments and advice. I will certainly continue this kind of ‘exercise’ - rather experimenting more with colors and moods. It feels like there is a world to win….

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    • martinTeam
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    • martin.3
    • 1 yr ago
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    Hello friends and participants of this fantastic TWI with Borbála! She asked me to remind you that for exercise 4, you can also choose your repertoire! No need to learn the three pieces she proposed! 🔥

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

    Hello everybody, hello Borbala, thank you for the assignments which are a lot of fun! For the first assignment I have chosen the final phrase of Carcassi number 8. I have wanted to choose one of your proposed pieces, and one of the pieces I am now practicing. Neither of these two styles I would choose to play this study, but I wanted to play with ideas, and exaggerate.

    For the circus mode, I imagined the finale of some acrobats where people are clapping at the same time following the rhythm of the music, I tried to play faster, accelerando, not legato, putting the accent in the base, and with a more metalic sound

    For the rubato mode, I imagined a pas a deux of ballet, very rubato, putting the accent in the melody with some apoyandos, more dolce sound, and modulating the speed, and tried some vibratos too.

    For my second assignment I want to try with one of the preludios cortos by Ponce, which is not going to be so easy to visualize...

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

       Borbala Seres I keep in mind and have started correcting my position of the left hand, this piece of advice you gave me is so so important to me, that it is going to make a huge change. Although in these videos is not happening yet....

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

       Borbala Seres just realised after listening to Barney that I got the wrong carcassi study ! It was the 9! Oopsss …

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    • Emma i love this Emma. Your idea for the circus version with this acceleration was just genius. 

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    • Emma Thanks for the videos!
      I loved them from the first moment until the end. The circus charakter is genial and you played a perfect gradual accelerando!
      Well done! I could imagine here to go to an even faster endtempo.(Of course with a new piece it's technically not really possible yet)
      But I could see the whole scene of your idea!

      Rubato: I liked it also very much. Your character became so illustrative. I would suggest to try to find more similar moments, as in measure 4. You played a beautiful ritartando with a tasty vibrato, you could use it also in the second half of the piece. Anyway how you played it's also very much exceptable! 

      I hope I saw it well, you really enjoyed to play this two versions and you could step out from that valley and get more motivation for practicing. 

      Just a notice: You played the repetition from measure 5-8, actually the score says to repeat it from the beginning, but I would say this is the case, when the interpreter create a much better version of the original piece, because for me your version sounds much better 😂. I'm looking forward your Ponce prelude.

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

      Borbala Seres your words make me so very happy, nothing better to give me the motivation I need, from someone like you that plays so wonderful and is such an artist. Thank you, yes I will practice more, more exercises, more scales to give me the technique I need to express myself musically. I have problems playing fast, playing legato. Your advise with the position will help a lot. Thank you so so much. Yes… I took the liberty to change the repetition, as I was taking so many liberties already ;) 

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    • Emma I'm very glad, that I could motivate you a bit. Don't forget your goal is not the scales and exercises, but the music inside. I heard you playing beautiful legato, when you wanted to express your musical idea with it, so you can do it!
      About fast playing, the most important is always the smallest movements of the fingers for both hands. I hope, that your experimetation with the relaxed left arm position will be succeeded. 

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    • Derek
    • Derek
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi Borbala, Hi everyone. I'm sorry for my late response to this two week intensive. I've just managed to do some videos of the exercises for the first week. As usual I dod not have a lot of time to spend on the videos so they are nearly all the 'first take'. I would be grateful for any comments. Thank you. I notice in exercise 2 that the 'p' is very heavy throughout!

    Like the others, I am enjoying these assignments. For exercise 4 I have only uploaded 1 video. Apparently with all of the other videos I have exceeded my Youtube daily limit. I will upload the 2nd video for exercise 4 tomorrow, together with my week 2 assignment.  

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    • Derek Hi Derek, thanks for the videos!

      Exc. 1: 1a,1b were nice gradually, I noticed that for the discants you used sometimes apoyando, it would be much better and easier with only tirando for the whole 1 exc.
      1c: I think you didn't realize, that you should add here a tempo change accelerando + ritartando. 1d: It was also good. In exc. 1 I would recommend you not to put on the metronome.
      Exc. 2: P, A were nice clear audible and for i, m I would take the pre exercise to get the idea of the necessary force of your fingers. You were right the p was a bit too loud the whole time.
      Exc. 3: Excellent all three version except for the P version you forgot about the muting, it comes only 2 times at string crossing. Good job!
      Exc. 4/1: The basic tempo and the tone color was well fit to this character. You could take even more rubato and a bit softer arpeggios. Try to overdo all your ideas, as the ritartando at the end. It was very nice and clear audible. You should use this kind of "soft" playing for the whole version. I'm looking forward to the other version.

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      • Derek
      • Derek
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Borbala Seres Thank you Borbala. I am enjoying these exercises and I need to work at them more, especially exercise 2. I will incorporate them into my practice routine.

      I have attached the 2nd example of exercise 4. Thank you again. Derek

      ps perhaps I could have smiled a bit more :-)

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    • Derek I like the second version as well. For this dancy character I would recommend a bit faster tempo, but since I know you didn't have enough time, probably it was not possible to reach that tempo. Your staccatos are fine, you could add a bit more volume change as well. Keep going. Nice job!

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      • Derek
      • Derek
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Borbala Seres Hi Borbala. Thank you for your comments. I will keep working on these exercises. I was hoping to record some different versions of Adelita yesterday but unfortunately I tested positive for Covid. I don't feel too bad but not really well enough for the recording. Thank you very much for this 2 week intensive. I am sure it is going to really improve my playing. Have a Merry Christmas. Derek 

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