Week 4: Etude Extravaganza!

Welcome to the Main Thread for the forth week of "Etude Extravaganza" practice challenge! 

  1. Choose an etude from a composer that captures your interest. It could be a soothing Sor etude, a technical Giuliani masterpiece, a Carcassi finger exercise, a harmonically rich Brouwer composition, or a rhythmically challenging Villa-Lobos piece. You're encouraged to experiment with pieces from composers you're not accustomed to or push your boundaries with a technically demanding work. 🎼
  2. Commit to regular practice and share your journey with the community. Aim to practice daily and upload at least two videos per week to showcase your progress. This will not only aid in keeping you dedicated and motivated but also enables you to share your musical journey with our tonebase family. 🎥
  3. Share your favorite etude or recording that epitomizes the concept of "Etude Extravaganza." Your submission will serve as inspiration for others and construct a vibrant repertoire of potential pieces for fellow members to explore. 🎧

↓ Happy Sharing! ↓

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    • don
    • don.2
    • 5 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Sor Op 6 no 11

    Manage to put some time to work on this piece. Though I've learned it before, I still struggled to play them fluidly especially the Major section. Realized the RH fingering choices I put down were really weird, probably because I have improved since then. Will take some time to work them out.

    Like 1
      • Wainull
      • Wai_Ng
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      don Take 2 flows much more smoothly than Take 1! Great job, Don.

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

      Marilyn Blodget Wai thank you for taking the time! Appreciate this!

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

      don 

      Sor Op 6 no 11 last take

      thanks for the advices. I have never really thought about making the middle voices more legato before so i re listen to my playing and did a retake. I realized i shifted too early sometimes and cut the sound too early. Other times, my right hand will accidentally muted the strings. 

       

      Ive tried playing it at slower tempo and focused  on getting a nice tone. Gonna take some time but im appreciating this piece differently than before. 

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

      don Beautiful, Don. You have made great progress on this. I second @Blaise suggestion  of digging into the middle voice. That is something that is great about Sor. His music really rewards deep dives into the music.

      Like
  • Hi everyone, I've seen a lot of music by Sor, played beautifully by you guys. So 👏 to everyone. I'm somewhat of a beginner and feel daunted and not ready enough to submit anything yet🙂. I also happened to pick up etude no.1 by Villas-Lobos without knowing how difficult it would be for me, although I'm learning it but by bit.

    As a beginner to classical music, where should I start with Sor's music? I heard Op.60 being mentioned in some online forums as the place to start. Any advice? And what are the technical benefits of learning his music? I've also heard that learning etudes by carcassi is great for technical development. Any thoughts on this?

    Again, beautifully played by everyone. I hope to join you with my video submissions in the near future.

    Like 3
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Great questions, Nijwm. I will say that you should never feel inhibited to post videos regardless of your playing level. I find that simply having a goal of posting a video helps me to focus and gives me motivation. It can be such a good learning tool.

      Yes, I think Sor’s opus 60 is a good starting point for playing his music. Bradford Werner has recordings and lessons on every work in the opus at his website (Thisisclassicalguitar.com) that are quite good, and the scores are all free online (I like to use the IMSLP website). You can also try the first several pieces in opus 44, 35, or 31. I find playing real music much more motivating than playing simple exercises and scales.

      Carcassi is great too, but a little guidance may be needed as his famous “progressive” etudes (opus 60) are not always progressive. There is nothing in there that I would call level 1-2 playing. Opus 60 number 2 might be the simplest one, and I’d call it a level 3 piece. Maybe those with more teaching experience would think differently, though.

      I’d also suggest the Leo Brouwer Estudios Sencillos, particularly if you like more modern sounding music. The first three are pretty accessible. I also really love Ernesto Garcia de Leon’s Twenty Studies (opus 50), but they can be as little more difficult to find. (I did post a PDF of them in week one of this challenge.)

      That’s my thoughts. Anyone else?

      Like 3
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary 

       

      Hello, Nijwm. I am also a beginner on classical guitar and going through the level system on tonebase. See this link in the forum.

      https://guitar-community.tonebase.co/category/level-system-forum

      Level one and 2 offers good courses which will include pieces of music for beginners.

      My first posting is a piece from Carcassi in the level one course.

      I am also going through the Sor po 60 serie of pieces, that are of increasing difficulties.

      The no 1 and 2 are for beginners. I posted these 2 pieces in this challenge.

      Despite you are a beginner, Posting your progress is very rewarding and people around are great and supportive.

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips This is what I've come to love about the community, Eric. You're all so eager to help fellow members. Wonderful pieces of advice. Thank you. I'll bookmark your post. Watch out for my video submission soon🙂

      Andre Bernier Thank you for the advice, Andre. Yeah, everyone around here is so supportive and encouraging, I feel a part of this vibrant community, even though I'm far away in India. By the way, right now, I'm working through Gulli Bjornsson's Landslog pieces. I've completed the first three

      As a fellow beginner, I highly recommend it, if you haven't explored it already. Really beautiful pieces of calm, atmospheric and introspective pieces in my opinion.

      Like
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Namaste! I would agree with Eric Phillips who is a specialst on Sor's music.  I also like Carcassi's Progessive Studies but as Eric mentioned,  they tend to be more intermediate, although his 3rd Study in that set was the first piece that I studied.  I would also look at some Carruli and Aguado simple studies.  They both have some very nice and begiining arpeggios studies.  

      Like 1
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary you already got great answers by other members! I would just add my 2 cents by saying that more modern studies tend to be better crafted and progressive for technical aspects because they're not tightly coupled to a style or genre as Sor's studies and the like. Those «classic» studies tend to be technically easy and musically hard or the inverse technically hard and musically easy... but you learn a lot out of them! Good Luck! 

      Like
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary 

      Yes, Nijwm. I also like a lot the Gulli Bjornsson's Landslog serie of pieces. I learned the first one last January and am planning to learn the second one later this fall. I want to learn a new one every time I move up one level in the TB level system.

      Like
    • Blaise Laflamme Thank you Blaise,  really interesting points. I'll keep them in mind.

      Like
    • Dale Needles 🙏Thank you Dale. 

      Like
      • Brian
      • Retired Software Designer/Developer, Inventor, Dog Lover
      • Brian_Bowman
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary .... welcome! I am new to tonebase as well yet already sense a very positive, supportive vibe from established longer-term members.  All of us "began at the beginning" and the important thing is to enjoy each step of the journey and do it with as much clarity and patience as possible.

      I began my classical guitar journey at age 30 after playing rock/folk/some jazz beginning at age 13. My classical teacher started me in Sagreras 1 and even though I already knew quite a bit of rock/jazz theory, I had to first learn PIM (and eventually A) fundamental technique, and then confront reading simple two line notation over eight bars in first position. It was very humbling to realize that I lacked fundamental musical competencies after many years of playing other styles, even publicly in bands, etc.

      At one point after about a year of weekly classical guitar lessons, I got so frustrated with my slow progress,   I slammed the headstock of my (thankfully student level) Classical guitar into a wall. Thankfully, no real damage other than a scar on the headstock.  

      The moral of the story is don't allow yourself to reach this level of frustration.  Classical Guitar can be a capricious lover, but with enough patience and the support of a community like this (and hopefully a good local teacher) you can win its love!

      All of us are pilgrims on the path of music with plenty of room to grow.

      Like 2
    • Brian That's a heck of a story, Brian. I couldn't have put it so beautifully myself regarding our relationship with the guitar. I really want to get to a high level, but realised the patience, hard work, discipline and determination that's needed. In a way, for me, practicing has been like meditation, it's given me calmness and perspective on many things, not just music.

      Like 1
      • Brian
      • Retired Software Designer/Developer, Inventor, Dog Lover
      • Brian_Bowman
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary ... "practicing Classical Guitar as meditation" . . . I could not have put it better.!  

      Like
      • Brian
      • Retired Software Designer/Developer, Inventor, Dog Lover
      • Brian_Bowman
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips   Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary

      I second Eric's recommendation for the first 3 Leo Brouwer Estudios Sencillos. 

      It's very important to get a solid foundation early on in technical fundamentals (LH exercises, PIMA combinations with both rest and free strokes, RH open string arpeggios, scales, etc.) and basic reading skills progressively with 1, 2,  and 3 parts.  I got most of this from the First Studies for guitar book byJulio S. Sagreras and later on the Emilio Pujol Guitar School books for progressively more difficult technique and reading studies -- all while taking weekly lessons with an excellent local teacher.  I periodically revisit these studies and continue to learn much from them!  Also get a basic foundation in common practice harmony (Walter Piston's book is often used for this -- others may have recommendations as well).

      I've seen adults attempt Bach Lute Suites who sadly cannot play simple 8-16 bar pieces in Sagreras 1 well, while children who learned the fundamentals progress much faster!  Be like those children!

      Like 1
    • Derek
    • Derek
    • 5 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Another busy month this month so I'm afraid I haven't had chance to post anything - I've been working on Tarrega's etude on the Delfin Allard Sonatina in A major but unfortunately it hasn't progressed as much as I had hoped! Not really commented on any of the individual postings but I have watched quite a few and enjoyed them - great work as usual by you all!

    I'm out at my guitar club on Wednesday so won't be able to make the watch party either but I'll be thinking of you all. Keep up the good work and hopefully I'll be able to make the next challenge!

    Like 1
    • Derek you're not working on a simple one! Have a good meeting at the club!

      Like
  • HVL 8 (July 3)

    Here's another update (maybe the last one for this challenge?). Not sure there is any improvement.

    Like 2
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips This is really impressive Eric! One thing I find you’re doing really well is all the string/note changing on the lower strings without getting a bunch of string squeak and other strange noises. I find it’s difficult to get really clear sounding harmonies - especially intervals smaller than a perfect fourth - on the lower strings, so that is sounding tremendous.

      Around the 2:45 mark you have what looks like some chromatic seventh chords, and you’re getting a lot of string squeak there. I’m just curious if that is avoidable, or if that’s just the way it has to be. 
      Overall really fantastic work. I’m sure you’re glad you’ve persevered with this and have gained tremendous benefit from it! 

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

      Eric Phillips This is another VL Etude (as well as Joosje's VL #5) that I really like. Your performance gives it a stately grandeur that is really wonderful. Great playing.

      Like 1
  • VL #5 again. I really wanted to give this a second chance. Afraid I can’t get it much better for now. Very last day of the challenge I did record again - a notch slower, for more relaxed feel (I hope).  Funny I got a copyright warning, not the previous recording….

    Like 4
    • joosje Very nice, Joosje.  I like the slower tempo and it definitely felt more relaxed and fluid.  It such beautiful etude and your playing makes me want to learn. BTW, how was the wedding?

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

      joosje I agree with Dale, this is sounding really nice.  I like the slower tempo too it has a very soothing vibe that lulls you in. 

      Like
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