Recuerdos de la Alhambra - Improving my Tremolo!

My goal for 2021-2022 is to finally get to the bottom of tremolo! I have been struggling with the traditional pami-tremolo since my second guitar teacher told me at the age of 12:

"You have to go to this masterclass and learn Recuerdos de la Alhambra"

So I did, I went there, learned it 🤡

Just kidding, of course not! Nobody bothered to teach me the basic fundamentals of that technique, and after some years I gave up on the pami and figured that pmia just works better for me. But it was never this warm, well-rounded constant flow of notes, there was always a certain hiccup! So this is why I want to hold myself accountable in front of everybody and share my progress! 🧙‍♂️

I'll attach the current state of Recuerdos withing the next days! I intend to have a slow but well executed tremolo for the first tonebase community concert! 🚀

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  • and now? it was private yes.... I did not want it....

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    • Martin Thank you very much Martin , I did not know how to do it . Now I unserstand that this is yours private and each participant will have a private space also . I continue talking to you in my personal space. Thanks !!!

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      • martin.3
      • 8 mths ago
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      Nora Torres-Nagel Wonderful, happy that you joined and I will happily follow along! 🥳

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    • martin.3
    • 7 mths ago
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    And finally my next Practice Update #2

    I was very busy which is why I hesitated to update without actually practicing something, but know I finally managed to play through (without the first repetition though) the whole piece without my arm falling of because of excessive tension in the upper right arm! Let me know what you think! 🥳🤶

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    • Martin So beautiful! Great hand control. I really prefer Recuerdos at a slower tempo like this.

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      • martin.3
      • 7 mths ago
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      Eric Phillips thank you!!! ♥ I'd like to have it just a bit faster. But definitely less clicky and a bit more direction when the music tends to stand. There's not much of an overarching phrasing yet that makes it really cohesive, I'm still fighting a lot of small uphill battles with that piece!

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    • Martin it is a big improvement Martin, althought you had a very clear sound already the first time. Your melody is very clear and bright, also no galloping...and I do not note tensions neither and nice nuances appear . I have heard somewhere nails...but only in one part (very jealous of your nails!!!)! But you were practicing during this time???!!!! weren't you???? Thank you for sharing!

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      • martin.3
      • 7 mths ago
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      Nora Torres-Nagel Thank you so much!!! 💃I did practice a bit, not too much,though, definitely less than I would like to! 🤧😪

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    • Martin Great!!! My practice is not soooo efective....unfortunately...🤨

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    • Martin That was beautiful Martin. I have steered clear of the tremolo ever since my rather pathetic attempts many years (decades!) ago.

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  • Wow! I really love your trills (slurs). They are executed so gracefully and beautifully! I also like the contrast of color when you enter the A-major section, playing more sul tasto. Your right hand does look more relax compared to the first video during the whole piece. You rock it Martin. :)

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      • martin.3
      • 7 mths ago
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      Khiem Nguyen thank you so much ♥️🙌 playing this trills might be my favourite part, because they break up the tremolo pattern and I can relax my hand a bit! 😅 

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    • Martin ok, I see it Martin. You have great left hand. The speed of your hammer on is lightning fast and precise. It could be due to that you warm up regularly with the hammer on, pull off exercise, do you agree with me or what do you think? :) I wish I had such gracefull trills like you possess. I need to improve my left hand a lot, as well as my right hand. :)

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      • martin.3
      • 7 mths ago
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      Khiem Nguyen Haha, thank you!! 🌩It has definitely to do with my slur routine, but coordinating the tremolo in this part (I only play a-m when I trill, like Rafael!) took me quite some time!

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    • Martin great to hear that Martin. :) I will incorporate the slur as a routine :)

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  • Beautiful…. Forget the tremolo, the melody with your thumb is beautiful. Is is never missed and goes up and down , beautiful. That movement you do with the thumb is super hard for me, moving the first phalanx , I have to train it again it makes the melody shine. Good you mentioned the mistakes at the end because I did not notice, and I am learning to be a baker ;)

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    • Emma the thumb of Martin is really amazing! I cannot do that neither....!

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    • martin.3
    • 5 mths ago
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    Finally sharing the next progress update with you! I am currently focusing on getting the relaxation between the individual fingers right and ramping up the tempo. I was able to play it in 140 bpm more or less (not in the video though), which is my goal, but that means that I need to practice it until 160!

    That's me with the man who inspired me to work on my tremolo, finally met him again during our production tour in Spain!

     

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    • Martin thanks Martin for sharing exactly how you are working on this. I have improved my tremolo but of course still no as it should sound. The staccato exercise helps me to keep also the position of the fingers and hand. It sounds very clear , even and articulated your tremolo, I hope you will get the necessary speed/relaxation,I am sure you will if you want!!!!. I am using your advises in this subject (and in others 😉.) Talking about tension of the right hand, talking about accords and tension (Preludio 1 , Estudio 4 HV), I am exercising to play the accord and plant the hand, play and stop, like staccato accords...how do you approach this? I am also doing the arpegio of E. 1 VL with the indications of your lesson, it helps me a lot, but still inconsistency is an issue of my hands in quick arpegios (like tremolo also) or accords. Thanks for sharing.

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      • martin.3
      • 5 mths ago
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      What I just realized when I practice staccato: I tend to press on the string, which I will avoid from now on! Try to be relaxed although you are practicing staccato!

      What helps me a lot in studies with quick arpeggios are different kind of speed bursts, i.e. playing the first half slow and the second half fast or the other way around, but always relaxed!

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    • Martin thanks Martin for sharing your tips. One of the main thing I've learned that's still the base of how I practice is, for everything you play at 3 different speed, and for each speed at 3 different volumes. That creates the muscle training to cover slow/quiet up to fast/loud.

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    • Martin That was great Martin. Your persistent diligence is an inspiration (and shaming 😁). I am always so impatient to play a piece that I just plow ahead - which always takes longer. Thanks for sharing this process.

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      • martin.3
      • 5 mths ago
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      Blaise Laflamme That's a fantastic tipp and applicable to every repertoire!

      Jack Stewart Thank you! I will give soon another update what the regular pami-tremolo has done the tremolo pattern I usually do (pmia), that's pretty exciting stuff!

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