Week 1: Whispers of Wood 🌳

WELCOME TO THE MAIN THREAD FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF "THE TRANSCRIPTIONS" PRACTICE CHALLENGE! 

  1. Pick a transcription that was originally composed for another instrument, like piano or violin. Don't be afraid to choose a challenging piece or explore works from composers you haven't played before. 

  2. Commit to practicing daily and share your progress with the community. Aim to practice every day and post at least two videos per week showcasing your progress. This will help you stay motivated and accountable, and also allow you to share your transcription journey with others. Whether you're tackling a complex piece, refining your skills with a piece you already play, or experimenting with new playing techniques, the community is here to support you and celebrate your achievements.

  3. Share your favorite piece that you would like to see transcribed or your favorite recording of a transcription. This will not only inspire others in the community but also provide a rich resource of ideas for everyone to explore. Plus, it's a great way to celebrate the creativity and artistry involved in adapting music from one instrument to another.

↓ Happy Sharing! ↓

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    • Jack Stewart
    • Retired
    • Jack_Stewart
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Chopin Mazurka #22 op. 33.1 (Trans. Tarrega)

    I am trying get back to being able to play after being away from my guitar for a month. I decided i

     would use this challenge to try to reclaim some of the pieces I was playing before my vacation.  I found this Tarrega transcription of Chopin's Mazurka #22 op. 33.1. I had presented this Mazurka before (probably the previous transcription Challenge) but it was transcribed by Stephen Aron. So this is actually a new piece for me - at least a new transcription in a different key. It has been a pretty slow process but it is beginning to come together. This is a very rough draft and I am still trying to get my fingering straight but I hope to have a cleaner version maybe by the end of the weekend.

    I actually find this to be pretty difficult because it is so sparse. There is now where to hide. But it has the potential of being a beautiful piece. At least I have heard some beautiful performances on both piano and guitar.

    BTW I can't believe I am the first to post in this challenge. It's kind of scary being up here all alone. 😧

    Like 4
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Jack Stewart seems like you already gotten it memorize and under your fingers now.  I've not heard of it but you are right it does sound beautiful. Looking forward hear more. 

      Like
      • Wainull
      • Wai_Ng
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Jack I totally agree with you that slower pieces were more difficult than many people thought, any mistake will stand out like a firefly in the dark, and keeping the flow of the whole piece is always challenging in slower pieces. Just like don said, you have already memorized the whole piece and the flow was already good in your playing, can't wait to see another take from you. Thanks for sharing, keep up the good work, Jack!

      Like
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Jack Stewart Great start here, Jack. It looks like a really difficult piece to pull off, what with all those passages up in the 'stratosphere'. (I follow a simple principle: avoid any piece that spends that much time beyond the twelfth fret.) In addition to the problems associated with sparseness that you mention, I find there's a delicacy of touch on the piano that is practically impossible to reproduce on the guitar. (We've got 'warmth' where the pianists have 'transparency'.) Many thanks, btw, for getting this challenge off the ground!

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      don Thanks Don. Even though this is in a different key, having played it before has helped with memorizing it.  That being said, there are passages that are fingered quite differently and I still get surprised by them at those points.

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Wai Thanks, Wai. Unfortunately, I think my mistakes are considerably larger than fireflies!😮

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      David Krupka Thanks David. I agree that playing up the neck is really difficult. This piece requires leaps up to and away from those 'stratospheric' passages which just increases the difficulties. I also really struggle trying to get clean notes and a full sound up there. I can occasionally get it to work which suggests that maybe it is doable for me. Just more time!!

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart 

      Don't be scary Jack... we are all behind you and supporting you.

      Very nice and complex piece. This is really a challenge but you are doing well. Take your time and this will be great at the end of the month. 👍

      Like
    • Jack Stewart Congrats to be the first to post something!! 💪💪 Piano music is rarely «easy» when adapted to guitar, but you're doing great on this! 

      Like
    • David Krupka On my side I try to follow another simple principle: avoid too much barrés! 😅

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blaise Laflamme Except at happy hour

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Andre Bernier Thanks Andre.

      I assume everyone is behind so they can make a quick getaway if I get too scary! 😄

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blaise Laflamme Thanks Blaise

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      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blaise Laflamme Oh, don't worry, Blaise, I follow that principle too - and plenty of others as well! Nothing too long, nothing too fast, nothing too 'stretchy' ... the list goes on and on. It's a wonder I find anything to play at all! 😅

      Like 1
    • David Krupka haha... in fact I have plenty of others too! 🤣

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart Thanks for introducing me to this lovely Chopin Mazurka.  And memorized!  Good for you.   At this point I often ask myself what is the story I’m trying to tell.  That’s the fun part.  

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Marilyn Blodget Thanks Marilyn. I am just beginning to address the 'story' now that I feel I have a better grasp of the technical issues (the upper tessitura is still an issue). I listen to a wide range of guitarists and pianists (a bit compulsorily, I'm afraid). I have also used Greg Niemczuk's website for insight. How well I absorb these influences - now that is a different story.

      Like
    • Jack Stewart You’re well on your way Jack.  I’ve learned so much from Greg’s lessons on Chopin piano repertoire.  Also, with the memorization you’ve done, you know where you’re going, so the road is getting smoother.  When eyes are no longer led by the music it’s easier to craft the landings of shifts, shape phrases, and sing with a smoother voice.

      Like
    • Wainull
    • Wai_Ng
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Pourquoy doux Rossignol - Jean-Baptiste de Bousset

    This time I would like to share one beautiful piece with you all, It's a baroque song called "Pourquoy, doux Rossignol". When I first heard this song, I told myself I wanted to learn this piece, but after some research on the internet, I found that there is no guitar version that exists in the world, so this time I had to arrange it myself again.
    I found the sheet music (Vocal + Basso continuo) on Imslp, so the arranging part was relatively easy this time. The most challenging part was this time I didn't think of any chords when arranging this piece, I followed the music's indication, keeping a 6-7-6 progression for the whole piece. Keeping the preparation note (6 in this case) was a pain in the neck on guitar because keeping a note means our hand has to be fixed in a certain position, which makes me wonder how lute players handled basso continuo in the past. Anyway, this is a simple arrangement, hope you guys like it, thank you.

    Like 4
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Wai That is beautiful, Wai. Really impressive arrangement as well. The baroque basso continuo players seem comparable to current jazz players. How either performers can 'wing it' so effectively is beyond me. Great job.

      Like 1
    • Wai 

      This is a great piece Wai and as I am a french speaking person; This is even more interesting. This is certainly a very old piece of music because the word ''Pourquoy'' written with a ''Y'' was present in the first 2 editions of the  dictionary of the French Academy and was replaced in its third edition in 1741.

      Great work so far. You should be able to nail it before the end of the month. 👋

      Like 1
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Wai Beautiful arrangement, Wai, and very well played too! Playing from a figured bass is a real art, which specialists spend years learning. There is a book that might interest you by Peter Croton aimed specifically at guitarists: 

      https://www.amazon.com/CROTON-classical-practical-historical-principles/dp/B087MBQ7MX

      Or here for the author's website: https://peter-croton.com

      Historically, the lute and the guitar probably had minor roles in the performance of figured bass. In the 17th century, the instruments of choice would have been the archlute and the theorbo. (As the century wore on, keyboard instruments became increasingly important.) These typically had eight 'diapason' courses (tuned as a simple diatonic scale) below the six on the fretboard. So there was rarely a problem of holding a bass note with the left hand - it would have been available as an open string. The five-course guitar clearly had a role in song accompaniment, but it was most often used harmonically, with little concern for the bass - remember that the baroque guitar had a limited low register, especially when 're-entrant' tuning was employed. Nonetheless, at least two publications of the period treat the subject of figured bass for guitar: Nicola Matteis's 'Le false consonance della music' (1680) and de Murcia's 'Resumen de acompañar la parte con la guitarra' (1714). An english translation of the former was published during Matteis's life and is available at IMSLP: https://s9.imslp.org/files/imglnks/usimg/8/89/IMSLP591689-PMLP952623-Matteis_False_Consonances_no_intro_.pdf

      Like 1
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Andre Bernier Wai 

      The original was published by the Ballard editorial house in Paris during the 1690s. It appears in a multi-volume series of songs by de Bousset entitled 'Recueil d'airs serieux et a boire'. (I presume it's one of the former!) There is a wonderful all-Quebecois performance of this on YouTube featuring the renowned soprano Suzie LeBlanc. (You would know better than I, Andre, but my impression is that she is using historical pronunciation in her interpretation of the song.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN45XgrYbeU

      Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Wai very nice Wai! and it is only Week 1.. It sounds almost done.🙂

      Like 1
    • David Krupka 

      1690 right on. 

      I watched the video performance of Suzie Leblanc and she effectively used the old pronunciation of the word ''Pourquoy''.

      Like 2
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