Carlevaro - General Discussion

This discussion group will be focused on the great Uruguayan Maestro, Abel Carlevaro.  Maestro Carlevaro was the creator of an innovative School of Guitar and an important composer for the classical guitar.  This Group will be an open forum where we can discuss his School of Guitar as well as explore some of his technical exercises, studies and composition. 

Let us know what you would like this Group to discuss!

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  • Or maybe better than a recommended path, a summary of what is intended with each of these different elements (the goal, target audience level, etc.).

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    • don
    • don.2
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    martin there is a tonebase course by Gaelle Solal too that is missing from your list of study guide. Thanks!

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    • don Hi Don, I've added the link to the course you're referring to, but I never watched it.

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    • David
    • David.39
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    ToneBase Piano presented a workshop on Hanon's exercises for piano as a "complete" one-stop technique regimen resource for pianists playing at a novice to and advanced level. (Missing is applied keyboard harmony, but the focus is on the most common mechanical challenges often presented in piano repertoire.)

     

    I am familiar with many technique books for guitar: "Pumping Nylon" by Tennant, "The Path to Virtuosity" by Iznaola, Berg's "Mastering Guitar Technique", "The Bible of Classical Guitar Technique" by Käpple, Yates's "Classical Guitar Technique from Foundation to Virtuosity", and the classics by Sor, Guiliani, Carcassi, among other materials.  (In constrast, the "learn to play guitar" books that mix technique with learning how to read music are not mentioned here since I have experience playing music and am trying to learn the guitar, not the basics of musicianship.) 

     

    For me , finding an analog to the Hanon exercises, but for guitar has been a daunting task. Perhaps it is the inherently complicated mechanical aspects of guitar that make a simple recommendation difficult. Perhaps it is that the RH and LH are fundamentally different activities in guitar, so much more so than the piano, that make the prospect of finding a "daily routine" more challenging. It seems that there will be a manifold increase in the types of technical exercises required on guitar. Moreover, there is an intellectual challenge in determining what exercises are most relevant to advancing the goal of facilitating playing repertoire, rather than spending time on technical acrobatics for the sake of doing exercises. As a novice, is my impression somewhat correct, or can you help me reorient my way of thinking to more clearly think about guitar musicianship?

     

    I hope this is a relevant contribution to this interesting discussion group, and don't want to distract from the main trust of the Carlevaro topic, but wanted to see how this composer/performer/pedagogue's works fit into the works mentioned, and how Carlevaro might serve the goals articulated above.  I am working through the multitude of lessons on technique on ToneBase and studying them at and away from the guitar to make sense of how they might fit into developing a daily regimen. More directed at this discussion, would the Carlevaro (micro?) studies plus daily (3-note-per-string moveable pattern?) scales be a possible way to organize RH/LH and music-preparatory technique? In terms of LH skills, what do you recommend for multiple-octave arpeggios (as opposed to RH arpeggio work a la Guiliani), or is this not as musically relevant on the guitar as on the piano due to the layout of strings? How does harmony and chord practice factor into a daily practice, and does chord practice serve as a more effective use of time than hammering away on arpeggios (since a chord can be arpeggiated or played as a chord)? Is there a good guide to harmony most relevant to classical guitar in terms of learning to master LH shapes in all keys so that both the eye and the hand become expert at seeing the underlying chords in passages in music to aid in finger preparation?

     

    How would one begin to develop a program for oneself without getting discouraged by the multitude of tasks to master? 

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    • David 

      I agree with you that it can be a little overwhelming as a self-taught musician coming from another instrument. I did this myself. I personally would like something that lays out a clear progressive path, but I haven't found anything that provides that yet (I'm still working through the early pages of Carlevaro's "Escuela" so I can't address that specifically).

      Regarding Hanon's work being a one-stop shop for technique, with no disrespect intended towards our sister platform, I have to disagree. I'm familiar with the work and it's a series of technical right and left-hand exercises, but it seems to be more about conditioning than anything else. There's nothing in it regarding articulation, dynamics, phrasing, etc. and there seems to be quite a bit of dissent if the 150-year old fingerings are the most efficient and healthy for modern performance. With the exception of Yates' work, I'm familiar with all of the volumes you mentioned above, and depending on how they're used, they can offer the same thing with the added benefit of teaching musicality and the nuance of the guitar.

      I think the answer is that the path will end up being more organic, working on different material as you and/or your teacher see fit. Sorry for not having a better answer, but in my hobbyist opinion, I'm not sure there is one.

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    • David Since I had to start somewhere, my own personal fix was to write out the exercises from the two-week intensives and use those as my daily work since they seem to cover a fairly comprehensive set of skills for right and left hand including articulation and interpretation. I only got involved after the first couple were done, but they are all available here:

      https://guitar-community.tonebase.co/category/public-spaces

      I'm also hoping to add work from the Escuela since everything so far seems to show Carlevaro had an extremely well-thought-out approach to the instrument physically and mentally. That's what drew me to his work in the first place.

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      • David
      • David.39
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Price Thank you for the intensive workshop recommendations; they are a great place to start organizing my practice!

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    • David Hi David and welcome to the Carlevaro Discussion group.  You pose some excellent questions.  Not sure I can answer them all but can give my thoughts about Carlevaro's School of Guitar and how it might address some of your questions.  Carlevaro created a very innovative and complete system of guitar pedagogy that examines closely the connection between the mind body, seeking to achieve as Carlevaro states, "maximum results with minimum effort."  It all starts with his book "School of Guitar" which lays out his philosophy and approach to studying the guitar and descriptions of his key principles such as "fijacion" (fixation) and "muscular aggregate."  He also has detailed descriptions of his recommended sitting positions, LH movements and RH strokes.  Carlevaro's four Cuadernos present a series of exercises where the student can apply Carlevaro's principles.  Cuaderno 1 is on scales, Cuaderno 2 is on RH, and Cuadernos 3 & 4 are on the LH.  Carlevaro's large body of compositions can supplement the work done with the Cuadernos.  The set of 20 Microestudios is an excellent starting point to begin exploring Carlevaro's musical language.  I would also point you to the two Tonebase workshops by Carlevaro's assistant Alfredo Escande and to the YT video entitled Carlevaro Masterclass.  See the resource section of this forum for links.  Also, check out the Technique section of this Forum.  It contains some tips about how to get started with Carlevaro's school of technique and a good place to ask questions specially about Carlevaro's approach to guitar technique.

      Finally, regarding guitar harmony, I was very impressed with the Dusan Bogdanovic's Tonebase workshop on "Harmony for Classical Guitar" and his accompanying book.

      Like 1
      • David
      • David.39
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Dale Needles Thank you for the excellent and specific information on Carlevaro, and the recommendation to Dusan Bogdanovic's text and ToneBase interview!

      Like 1
    • don
    • don.2
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Blaise Laflamme Dale Needles hi both,  I realized I only manage to locate the Exercises 1-4 from SBM but not the School of Guitar. Is there anywhere I can buy the latest edition from? Thanks!

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    • don Blaise Laflamme Hi Don, I have been searching as well and it does seem Carlevaro's School of Guitar in English is hard to find. It appears it may be out of print. I will ask Alfredo Escande if he knows where it can be purchased.  I will get back to you soon.

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Dale Needles Thanks Dale!

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    • don Hi Don, Blaise Blaise Laflamme was able to find a pretty good pdf version of the School of Guitar online and will be posting it in the list of resources soon.  

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    • Dale Needles don done, look at the thread description.

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Blaise Laflamme Dale Needles awesome! Thank you

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    • Blaise Laflamme really great. Thanks Blaise 

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    • don joosje you're welcome, in the hope that'll help you discover more about Carlevaro approach!

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    • Dale Needles Thanks for sharing this Dale, just bought it! 🎉

      Like 1
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