Week 1: Our Unfinished Pieces!

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of "Unfinished Business" practice challenge! 

  1. Choose an piece that you have started to practice but never fully commited to finish. It could be a an iconic masterpiece, a technical challenge, a sweet little miniature or a piece that you played a long time ago and always wanted to refresh! 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 piece or recording that you always wanted to learnm but is still "unfinished business". 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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    • Jack Stewart
    • Retired
    • Jack_Stewart
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    "Choose a piece that you have started to practice but never fully commited to finish." Wow! there are so many to choose from in my case. In fact the possibilities are endless!

    Like 2
    • Eric Phillips Jack Stewart I agree with Eric, your slow practice method rocks... imagine applied to the Chaconne 💪

      Like 1
    • Blaise Laflamme Yes, or maybe even 4’33”!

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips I have been working on a transcription of 4'33" for guitar but it keeps coming in at 4'22". I can't tell if I am leaving something out or playing too quickly.

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart Wow! Try as I may, I cannot get the whole thing in under 5 minutes. You are obviously a virtuoso, Jack.

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    • Jack Stewart 😂

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    • Eric Phillips 😂

      Like
  • This sounds like such a useful challenge. Useful not only for me, I reckon...

    A difficult choice, because, like many of us,  I attacked so many beautiful pieces, only to find out it was out of my reach to play them fluently and with enough musical intensity. For this challenge I have decided to stick to 2 pieces: Llobet's El Mestre and Da Milano's La Compagna. Both are quite demanding pieces, so there's work to do in order to make any progress within the timeslot of 4 weeks! I'll see how far I can get. I will be on travel, so, recording with my Samsung phone, hoping for decent wifi connectivity ...

    Like 2
    • joosje Oh, Joosje, those are two of the finest pieces in the repertoire. I really look forward to hearing you play either of them, or even a part of one of them.

      Like 1
  • Clearly, I've got a long way to make this sound like real music, but I'm up for the journey! I'm quite new to classical playing (even using the foot stool is still a bit foreign feeling to me), so feedback of any kind ("try moving your right hand here" or "when you do false harmonics, try this" or "think about holding your right arm differently"... that sort of thing) are welcome!

    https://vimeo.com/842658243?share=copy

    Like 1
    • Spare Machine This is a good start, Mark. The most important aspect of it is already strong, and that is your sound. You make the notes sing nicely, with a very "period" sounding vibrato. A good sound can cover many faults, but even perfect playing cannot mask a poor sound.

      I definitely suggest working hard to keep the melody very legato. Isolating the melody and playing it on it's own is always a great idea.

      For the section with harmonics, my recommendation is that you first be able to play it without the harmonics. Just play the notes in the left hand, and pluck as usual with the right hand. Once you have that down, then maybe add the harmonics. And, to be honest, the piece sounds quite nice even when played without harmonics at all. In other words, even if you can't get the harmonics down, it doesn't mean you can't play and even perform the piece.

      I know you said you have watched the video lessons on this piece here at Tonebase. I also know that Bradford Werner has a nice, straightforward lesson on this piece on his free website (www.thisisclassicalguitar.com).

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips Thank you so much for taking the time to provide this advice/feedback. I really appreciate it!

      Like 1
  • Eric Phillips said:
    Yes, or maybe even 4’33”!

     This would be awesome! 😂 Can't wait to see Jack's face this whole time!

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

    I was thinking of skipping the next challenge as I need to limit my playing time due to my injury. But so happens that I'm already working on one unfinished pieces with my teacher. I have 2 pieces that I will always get back to it.  They are like my pet projects. 

     

    One of them is Sakamoto's Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and another is the one which I'm currently working on - Arabesque no 1. I had a stab at it early last year,  my teacher gave me the fingerings and tips on how to play it but my fingers weren't flexible enough and my ears can't tell what he wanted to explain.

     

    This year I'm taking a stab at it again. Will probably work on it a bit more before leaving it again. I'm pretty close to the end, another 30 bars or so. 

     

    Arabesque No 1 -

    I still struggle with the polyrhythm especially when it comes out from a 8th note phrase. 

    Still can't play well shifting in chords. I'm too used to shifting with guide finger and building chord note by note. 

    Like 2
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      don You are off to a great start on this piece, Don. What a challenge! but you've got this. Really looking forward to your progress.

      Like 1
    • don Such a cool piece. Thank you for sharing it. I’m findings folks' Unfinished Biz pieces to be inspiring!

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

      don 

      Have some practice time today and there is no way to finish this 'business' this challenge. So gonna lower my target to improve on 5 areas of the piece by end of this challenge. .  I have another 20 bars or so of music left in this piece to learn. I think I should be able to finish it next time.

       

      Section 1 - I have major issue with the polyrhythm at this section and it is so crazy that my ears know is wrong and if I play in isolation, my fingers can do it but when I play the passage slightly faster everything becomes 8th note.  Any suggestion would be welcome! 

       

      Section 2 - trying to get the melody line to sing. Nothing but slow practice. 

       

      Section 3- Learning to shift in chord and I keep missing the polyrhythm when I shit into a new section. 

      Section 4 - This passage sounded too cut out and needs to be more legato. My left hand kept cutting the notes before time. 

       

      Section 5 - missing notes when playing chords. 

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

      Jack Stewart Spare Machine thank you. It won't be finished this challenge. but i know I'll keep working on it because it is such a beautiful piece of music. 

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  • Giuliani – Le Rose Op 46 No 9 (July 6 update)

    Not much difference from yesterday, really. Maybe a couple fewer mistakes. I pretty much have it memorized, but when I tried a few takes with no score in front of me, my mind just went blank a few times, so I brought the score back.

    Like 4
  • Barrios – País de Abanico

    I think I started working on this during the “Music from Latin America” challenge over a year ago. I was really getting into some Barrios, but this one is just at the very edge of my ability, and I left it incomplete.  So … here it goes again!

    The structure is ABA (with a coda). In this video, I am just playing the A section, in D major. The most challenging parts are:

    • Measures 21-23 that have a really big stretch.
    • Measures 25-28 that go way up into 14th position (and me with no raised fretboard or cutaway!).

    The B section still looms. It’s in Bb major (such an easy key for the guitar 😄), and some of the stretches border on preposterous, at least for my hands. We’ll see how it goes.

    • Eric Phillips Great choice.  I always thought that your style fits very well with Barrios' music and this looks like a great piece for you.  

      Like 2
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips That was great, Eric. You handled that section quite well. Looking forward to the rest.

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

      Eric Phillips Very good start here, Eric. I see what you mean about the stretches! (I suspect Barrios must have had a very flexible hand, because such stretches seem to occur throughout his music.) You seem to be managing the one in the A section, so I suspect you'll get those in the B section as well. I feel the real problem with demands of this kind is that our attention tends to be momentarily drawn away from the music. For myself, at least, I find that with much practice, I can eventually get the notes, but not without the musical flow being interrupted. My focus is invariably diverted with the unpleasant thought 'oh, oh, here comes that horrible stretch'!

      One small technical point I would make is that I am not convinced the double-dotted eighths are different than the single dotted ones. (Of course, the intended difference is so subtle that one might ask whether it can actually be perceived, except at very slow tempos.)

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    • Eric Phillips this is beautiful and the lyrical quality (even as it’s in D major, and not your preferred d Minor) seems to come natural to you. Barrios’ stretches are the reason I play so little of his beautiful compositions. Like David Krupka I feel those as too much of a struggle to really enjoy playing them. But your playing sounds really sweet and elegant. Looking forward to the B- part) 

      Like 1
    • joosje Thank you, Joosje! I do like d minor! D major is very nice, too. Bb major? Not too sure, but I’ll do my best.

      Like
  • Great topic for a Challenge.  I have been working this year on one of Carlevaro's major guitar works, "Introduccion y Capricho."  I posted the "Introduccion" on a previous challenge but continue to struggle with the "Capricho."  It is definitely one of the longer, more complex and technically challenging of Carlevaro's compositions.  Therefore, I hope that this Challenge will motivate me to get it over the top.  Let's see how it goes.  In any case, here is my recording once again of the "Introduccion" in order to reacquaint you with the piece.  As for the Capricho, I plan over the next several weeks to break it into parts and then post it in its entirety by the end of the Challenge.

    Like 6
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