WEEK 1: What we've learned!!!

WELCOME TO THE MAIN THREAD FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF "End of the Year" PRACTICE CHALLENGE! 

  1. Select Your Piece(s): Choose one or more pieces that you've learned this year. It could be something you've practiced through our live streams, a personal favorite, or a challenging piece you've conquered.
  2. Record Your Performance: Film yourself playing your selected piece(s). Quality doesn't have to be professional – it's all about sharing your progress and passion.
  3. Share Your Journey: Post your video in our community forum under the "End of the Year Challenge" thread. Include a brief write-up about your experience learning the piece – what challenges you faced, how you overcame them, and what this piece means to you. If you don't want to record yourself, show us a video of a piece you plan to take on in the next year!
  4. Engage with Others: Watch, comment, and encourage your fellow community members. Share your feedback, experiences, and celebrate each other's progress.

↓ Happy Sharing! ↓

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  • Do you guys edit the sound after recording? I'm still trying to get good audio quality, I don't have a mic yet and I'm annoyed with all the background noise I get while recording.

    Like 2
    • Eric Phillips haha... thanks Eric for the kind comments 🙏... as long as I have fun producing them  and that they serve the music, and hopefully sometimes propose a different perspective on them! 😅

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    • Eric Phillips I'm a padawan... Martin is the Master! I think your current «easy» setup is very optimal for the job!

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    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary I think Eric Phillips explained pretty well his own workflow and it could be easily applicable to you. For sure there are many ways to achieve the end result and each steps can be divided into multiple sub-steps depending on how refined you want control and quality. The workflow in simple terms is record, process and export. The record step could be to use your phone for audio and video, or to use a separate microphone (to enhance the audio) connected to your microphone (still combining audio and video), or to use a microphone connected to an audio card connected to your computer and sending to a DAW (audio alone) while still recording the video with your phone (or any digital camera). Then in the process step you will want to enhance the audio and/or video to get better results so you'll have to extract the audio from the video (like Eric is doing) and import into a DAW (audio software editor) to process it (correct mistakes, apply effects, mastering, ...). and you'll do the same for your video by importing your footage into a NLE (video software editor) to process it (color corrections, montage, camera angles, transitions, ...). For the export step you'll have to combine both of your processed audio and video together, apply final touches and export to a format (4K, HD, YT or FB optimized, ...) for your specific use. All of this could be done with free, low or high expensive solutions and you can expect from poor to brilliant results! I hope it gives you an outline to help you find your way with the tools you already have or the one you think are missing. Feel free to ask any questions as you try and progress, it's an amazing journey but at the same it could be very time and money consuming up until you find what's right for you!

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    • Blaise Laflamme Thank you for the suggestions, Blaise. I'll definitely follow up on your advise and those of Eric's and see the results.

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  • I have been giving some thought to question of how I want to proceed for this challenge. The parameters of the challenge seem so wide that I was having a hard time focusing.

    So, I decided to look at the videos I have made in 2023, and write down the ones that seem to stand out to me for whatever reason. That gave me a list of six pieces. I then asked myself what exactly made me write each one down, and my reasons seemed to fall into one of two categories:

    1. This is a piece I love and now know quite well; I have it memorized and I feel good about the way I play it.
    2. This is a piece I love and would like to continue working on, perhaps until it qualifies for number 1 above.

    So, I figured that for this challenge, I can try to post videos of the four pieces in category 1, and then post videos of my continued work on the two pieces in category 2.

    Here is my list:

    • Category 1 - Giuliani's Le Rose, Shand's Andante Religioso, Pratten's Twilight, Torroba's Arada (from his Suite Castellana)
    • Category 2 - Albeniz' Mallorca, Sor's Fantasie Elegiaque

    So, that is my plan for now. We'll see where this journey takes me.

    Like 1
    • Eric Phillips you're right the parameters a quite wide for this challenge 🤯... but you have a great plan with beautiful pieces. I personally think that by the end of this challenge you'll have a great version Sor's Fantaisie Elegiaque! 💪

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    • Blaise Laflamme Maybe ... I have less confidence than you!

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    • Eric Phillips  Great plan Eric. This is great approach that I will use for myself.

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    • Eric Phillips for what I've seen in the Sor's Challenge about the Fantaisie, with those few more weeks of the current challenge would certainly raise it to a really beautiful result!

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  • Giuliani - Le Rose Op 46 No 9

    Here is a piece that I have loved for many years, and attempted to play on several occasions in the past. For some reason, I always hit a brick wall. This past summer, however, I gave it another try, and I was able to manage it. I think the breakthrough came from really getting to know the phrasing away from the guitar first. Then, once, I had that clearly in my mind, I came to the guitar and searched for fingerings that would give me the desired phrasing. Prior to this summer, I think I just went right to the guitar too soon, and the fingerings that came naturally to my hands just weren't working musically. So, I guess this piece has taught me that it can be best to learn a piece first away from the guitar, by listening and studying the score.

    Like 5
    • Eric Phillips  Great playing Eric. This is a really nice piece and this is great to listen to you playing it. Bravo 👍

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    • Eric Phillips beautiful as always, the depth of knowledge and expertise you have on such a wide range of music is inspirational.

      As for me, I'm stuck with some pieces that are YouTube staples and famous pieces that many people fall in love with for the first time.

      In 2023, I've learned the first few Landslug pieces by Gulli Bjornsson, Lagrima, Study in B minor by Sor (which I played in the last challenge). After my foolhardy attempts to play Recuerdos de la Alhambra, I became obsessed with Julia Florida and Prelude no 1 by Villas Lobos. Obviously, they also turned out to be very difficult challenges. I'm yet to decide what to play for this challenge or if I'll be able to play anything at all. In the meantime, I'll enjoy listening to you guys, 😊

      Like 1
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary You are an excellent guitarist, Nijwm. Don't sell yourself short. I'd suggest that you just pick one of those pieces (maybe not Recuerdos) and focus on it for this challenge. Regular, thoughtful practice will always yield good results. Other than Recuerdos, those are all pieces I have played and probably recorded on YT. If I can do it, you can too. Julia Florida is incredibly beautiful. And yes, like all Barrios pieces, the left hand stretches are hard, but if you keep working at them, they will happen.

      Like 1
      • Ronnull
      • Ron.3
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Beautifully played as always. In terms of your  strategy for this challenge I love your categorisation. I realised that most of the pieces I have worked on this year only reach category 2 at best (for me aka "unfinished business"). So I'm now looking back at those which are closest to category 1 to figure out what  I need to do do elevate them to the next level! Thanks for the inspiration!

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

      Eric Phillips This is a beautiful performance, Eric. You have forced me to reconsider Giuliani as a composer. you phrasing and tone are wonderful. Thanks for bringing this piece back.

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    • Eric Phillips Bravo Eric, your phrasing and articulation on this piece is excellent.  

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    • Ron Jack Stewart Michael Shirk Thank you guys for the kind words!

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    • Eric Phillips Beautiful Eric, this piece has matured very well under your fingers, you're now playing «with» the notes instead of playing the notes, bravo! 👌

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    • Eric Phillips Such a beautiful Giuliani piece and you play very it very well. Bravo!

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    • Eric Phillips Oh, the work was worth it; so beautiful. Yes, sometimes it is nessesary to sing it or play it on flute or on some other instruments. Thank you for sharing!

      Like 1
  • I have been thinking about what I did practice this year (more comments in my practice diary) and decided that I am proud of having learned Landslög I from Gulli Bjornsson. I am far from mastering it but I love playing it and every time I practice; I try to improve my performance.

    This was my last recording of this piece during the January Tonebase challenge. Let see what I can do to improve during this challenge.

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    • Andre Bernier Wonderfully meditative music! What a great way to bring the beginning and end of 2023 together. I look forward to hearing more of it from you.

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    • Andre Bernier Well done Andre, the mood is right and you keep the beat like a master. Also you have a great control on the thumb as you keep it straight, great work!

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    • Andre Bernier Well played Andre. This is also one of the first pieces I learned after joining tonebase this year. Tiny piece of advice from me is try a little bit of variation in dynamics in some pages (You can consult the score, which is beautifully notated, although in very small fonts). Hoping to see more from you.

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    • Blaise Laflamme  And Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary  Thanks a lot for your comments. This recording is the one I used in January during the Landslög challenge using a metronome. I am now working to improve the speed and make more variation in tone and speed. I hope the recording I will bring at the end of the challenge will show some improvements on these aspects.

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