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Hola tonebuddies and fellow guitarists united against tendinitis!

We are absolutely thrilled to announce an exclusive opportunity for our community of classical guitarists: a "Two Week Intensive" course on "Effortless Left Hand Slurs" with the world-renowned guitarist Arturo Castro Nogueras!

 

This unique course is designed to provide in-depth insights into the correct way to do free and rest stroke left-hand slurs while keeping a relaxed and healthy position. Throughout the two weeks, Arturo will share his best advice for staying away from unfruitful tensions, and unnecessary musical accents, a way to build a solid technique and a smart interpretation, enriching your playing and enabling you to truly understand and convey the passion behind this beautiful musical technique.

During the course, participants will be immersed in the rich physiological and musical inner workings of left-hand slurs, while receiving personalized guidance from Arturo himself. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for classical guitarists looking to enhance their technical capabilities.

Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn from a true guitar maestro, and make sure to share your thoughts on the event name. We can't wait to see you at the Two Week Intensive with Arturo Castro Nogueras!

🎵 Happy slurring, amigos!

Details

  • Course Period: June 14th - June 27th
  • Optional check-In via Zoom: June 19th, 10am PST

Assignments

Part 1:

Watch Arturo's Introduction to Slurs and record yourself playing the initial exercises!

  • Hammer-On
  • Pull-Off (Pull-Down and Lifting-Up)
  • Feel the hand first and work through all finger combinations!

Part 2

Hello everyone! Here's my second video with more advanced exercises for improving your left-hand slurs!

  •  We do an exercise by Barrueco for improving finger independence during a fixed position and doing slurs. Keep it on the safe side and don't over do it! It's all about the feeling in your hand.
  •  Importance of putting down both fingers when you do a pull-off (the first and second note or in several notes' pull-offs then all the notes you are playing).
  • Another exercise taken from a piece recommended by one of our friends in the course. Scroll down to find the screenshot.

 

Hello everyone! Here's my third video talking about three of my favorite etudes for improving your left-hand slurs!

  • Carcassi: No. 4 Op. 60

  • Egúrbida: No. 1

  • Brouwer: No. 7

 

Hi everyone! Here's my last video for this TWI titled ''Effortless Left-Hand Slurs.''

In this video I talk about three etudes which are a bit more advanced, but done well do wonders for improving your left hand technique. (This video is a bit longer than the rest, so I added the time mark so you can go to each individual piece).

 

  • García de León: El Río (0'58)
  • Brouwer: No. 9 (6'00)
  • Villa-Lobos: No. 3 (12'14)
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    • martinTeam
    • LIVE
    • martin.3
    • 8 mths ago
    • Reported - view
    • David
    • David.39
    • 8 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Thank you for the introductory video! Sometimes I hear a tone coming from the adjacent string in a “apoyando” pull-off. I suspect either I am lifting the finger too quickly after coming to rest on that string, or perhaps have momentum remaining in the pull-off finger that sets the adjacent string vibrating in a mutes manner. Is that something you have come across? If so, would you have any advice how to eliminate the spurious tone? Thank you very much in advance for any advice!

    Like
    • Hi David !

      Learning how to stop unwanted sounds on the guitar is, in my opinion, one of the most laborious things in intermediate/advanced level playing. But we all have to learn it regardless of our level, even if it is a very simple single melodic line piece or a polyphonic one. I would advise to try to explore these two options:

      a. your left hand to damp that adjacent string (part of the finger you're using to place the base note of the slur or another free finger)

      b. placing a finger of your right hand  on the adjacent string

      Let me know if you find a solution like this, if not, I am more than happy to help you find one for this specific case :D

      Like 1
      • David
      • David.39
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Arturo Castro Nogueras Thank you for the detailed suggestions. With improved LH control, does the unwanted impact on the adjacent string in a strongly accented pull-off become minimized in your experience, or do you feel that options (a) or (b) are still a good safety measure when clean sound is of utmost importance in a passage?

      Like 1
    • David Hi! Thank you so much for the PDFs and for your message. I feel learning and getting used to listening to this unwanted notes is something that is important for any guitarist. That is why learning how to damp other strings with your LH is overall important. But, like I have said before, every hand and every body works differently, so maybe you can come with your own solution, a mixture of techniques? 

      Like 1
    • Pavel
    • Pavel
    • 8 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello All! I'm Pavel, I live in Seattle USA. I recently picked up playing guitar after ~20 years break and trying to get back into it, while fixing technique issues I had previously. I'm currently learning a piece that has a section with a lot of slurs and the way I now play it sound pretty bad. This class came at the right time - hope it'll help me improve!

    Like 1
    • Hi Pavel ! Can you tell me the name of the piece or send a small photo of the slur section so I can add a short exercise that helps you improve that part? 

      Like 1
      • Pavel
      • Pavel
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Arturo Castro Nogueras Thank you! Here is the photo of that section (starting on line 3). It goes moderately fast, e.g. tempo of 120 or so.

      This piece is called "The night is bright", it's an arrangement of a Russian song.

      • Pavel
      • Pavel
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      And here is the recording of my exercise. The hammer-ons feel pretty comfortable, but pull-offs are not...

      https://youtu.be/4nxKF5mtqek

      Like 1
    • Hi Pavel ! Thank you! 

      It is a very beautiful piece. Sometimes the difficulty lies here on its simplicity. Meaning that it has to flow and sound effortles. I'll use it as an example for the next video, as there are a couple of things that can benefit us all. 

      Like 1
    • Pavel about your video. Your hands look quite relaxed, that is good! I will mention it on tomorrow's video, but it is very important every time you do pulloffs to have always the note you're aiming to get to prepared. So basically you're putting down two fingers instead of one. 

      Like 1
      • Pavel
      • Pavel
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Arturo Castro Nogueras Thank you for the advice of putting fingers in advance! It feels much better now when I play that fragment of the sone. The sound is not very consistent though - some slurs are softer/louder than others and with different tone... I recorded it and wondering if you have any other advice for me on what to improve. Thank you!

      Like 1
    • Pavel Thank you very much for your video. I sincerely think it is on the right path! Congratulations, it sounds fluent and very nice. I would suggest you practice it half as slow and with much less pressure in your left hand. That is going to allow you to do it ''lighter'' (I mean faster, but lighter also conveys what the idea of no extra pressure and effortless playing) and the balance of the slurs is going to improve as soon as you go deeper into musical phrasing. For this last thing I would suggest you sing it and find where do you want to make it faster or slower, more forte or piano etc.

      Like 1
      • David
      • David.39
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Arturo Castro Nogueras I also found the complete piece published online at: https://guitarnosov.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/64-Bright-is-the-Night-M.Shishkin.pdf

      for context of the selected passage. 

      Like 1
  • Hello Arturo. Thank you so much for coaching us during these next two weeks!

    Here is a video of my slurs for you to see. Let me know if you notice any problems that I need to address.

    Like 1
    • Hi Eric Phillips , thank you very much for your video and your great question. In general your hands seem very relax. That is very good! 

      About your question: it is very important and I have made a note to address it in tomorrow's video. In short, every hand is different and as you know several fingers share tendons, so it is not a problem if the pinky (or your ring finger etc.) moves, as long as it is relaxed. I hope this helps!

      Like 1
    • Arturo Castro Nogueras Thank you for the feedback, Arturo. I look forward to taking the next step.

      Like 1
  • here is my first attempt at slurs thanks for any feedback

    VILIO

    Like 1
    • Hi Vilio Celli ! thank you so much for your video. In general they sound very good and they seem relaxed. I am a bit concerned about your left hand wrist, it looks a bit stressed out, how does it feel for you? 

      Like
    • Arturo Castro Nogueras 

      yes thanks for the advice I was trying to exaggerate the hammer on movement so you could see it better

      Like
    • Romy
    • romy
    • 8 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Here is my first video ☺️

    Like
    • Hi Romy thank you for your video! It sounds very good and I see several very positive things there. May I suggest you observe a couple of things?

      1. When you are playing hammer-ons observe that the tension in your hand doesn't get distributed in the places where you don't need it. For example: play the first part again but leaving all the fingers down as soon as you hammer them on. Just be careful not to apply too much tension, they are just keeping the position not playing a note.

       

      2. Same thing as above, do it a bit slower and put all the fingers down. Only press the fingers that are playing. 

       

      Hope this helps!

      Like
  • Here's the fragment of the song I mention.

    Like 1
    • David
    • David.39
    • 8 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello Arturo,

    I made a video of my slurs to share. Can you see where I am going wrong, and what is working well so far? Thank you very much for any advice! - David

    Like 1
    • David HI! thanks for your video. In general it sounds very good! Could it be that you could achieve the same result with less pressure? It feels as if you're using too much energy. What do you think?

      Like
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