WEEK 1: Ho Ho Ho! 🎄

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of the Happy Holiday Challenge! 🎄 This is the place for the first week of submissions! 🥨


↓ Reply below with your assignments and questions! ↓

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  • Es ist ein Ros entsprugen (Lo How a Rose E're Blooming)

    I know the challenge has not officially kicked off yet, but I just can't help myself! Blame Martin - he's the one who posted the challenge before it starts. 🙂

    This is my own arrangement of a German Advent hymn. Enjoy!

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  • El Noi de la Mare

    And here is Llobet's famous arrangement of this Catalan Christmas song. I found small variations in different editions, so I mixed and matched a bit, going with what I think sounds best and is most playable for me. My main focus was the wonderful melody, keeping it legato and beautiful.

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  • I have always meant to learn La Nit de Natal so here is my excuse. I started this morning will keep you updated.  I've also got an arrangement of a traditional English Carol 'Tomorrow will be my Dancing Day' arranged by one of my old guitar teachers so will have a go at that.

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    • Derek Nit de Natal is a great choice, Derek. Emmanuel has a livestream lesson on it that might be helpful. I look forward to hearing you play it!

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  • For me this has always been the time of snow, of stories, of fairy tales. So I'd like to share these songs with you:
    Snowflight (A.York)
    When you wish upon a star (arr. N.Takeuki)
    The wiz (R.Dyens)

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  • Here's the first part of a simple arrangement of Greensleeves.  I would love your advice on the right hand.  I've pencilled in my best guess as to what to do.  

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara Doing great, Elizabeth! It's good to see you back!

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara nice choice Elizabeth ! 

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 1 mth ago
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      Elizabeth Uyehara Great start Elizabeth!  Although it is a bit different and has incomplete RH fingerings here is part of the version I have that might be useful for comparison (from Royal Conservatory Level 3 book).   More experienced guitarists might have better advice bit I think you want to avoid as much as possible repeating RH fingers so places where you have m followed by m perhaps experiment with using a to make sure you are alternating RH fingers.

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    • Brett Gilbert Thanks for this.  The right hand fingerings are the most mysterious thing for me right now.  When I played guitar as a kid, I never thought about it and just used whatever finger was handy, LOL. 

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara Nice job Elizabeth,  I look forward to hearing this again at the concert!

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    • Paul Kennedy Thanks.  Are we having a concert?!

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      • martin.3
      • 1 mth ago
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      Elizabeth Uyehara That sounds so good! It's always so good to see you grow with the choice of repertoire! I've seen that you took good care of avoiding indirect fingerings, so you are right on track! 🥳

      Paul Kennedy We're not doing a concert for this challenge, we will do a Watchparty together with tonebase Piano! But maybe Elizabeth Uyehara wants to perform it in the next concert in end of January? 🎉

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  • Hi nice community ! I am in Buenos Aires with neither "la leona" nor "la catalana", I have here the very modest "porteña" that sounds ....naja....a litle "downregulated". Additionaly my "m" nail still is half absent and my nice mikrophon stayed on the other side of the atlantic. Nevertheless...I want to participate 😎. Here my fist approach to the nice "Villancico de Navidad" de Barrios. I will try to continue learning it, although it is a little difficult on vacations!!! Very sorry that my timer was sounding at the end also! I just wanted to send a first video. 

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    • Nora Torres-Nagel I am so glad you selected this piece.  One of my favorites by Barrios.  Great work, keep it up.  I look forward to hearing this again at the concert

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      • martin.3
      • 1 mth ago
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      Nora Torres-Nagel that's beautfiul, Nora! Glad to see you have a guitar in Buenos Aires and can participate in that challenge! 🥳

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    • Paul Kennedy  thanks Paul! it doesn't sound very nice...but it will!

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    • Martin Danke Martin 😉

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  • Villancico de Navidad

    Like Nora above, I'd like to try working on this beautiful piece by Barrios. As in El Noi de la Mare, I'm finding some variety among different editions. Some editions have sections with harmonics, and some don't. I like the harmonics, so that's what I'm going with.

    Here is a video of me talking through an initial run-through of the piece. The noise in the background is my son in the other room doing his Rubik's cube (his current obsession).

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 1 mth ago
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      Eric Phillips Neat piece, and I love the harmonics too.  Which edition are you using that has those?  What's your son's fastest solve time?

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    • Brett Gilbert Hi Brett. I’m using the edition from Classical Guitar Shed, which seems to match Tariq Harb’s YT performance.

       My son, Luke, is currently working on the 2x2, and I think his best time is something like 2.5 seconds. Of I tender correctly, on a 3c3 his PB is maybe 15 seconds.

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    • Eric Phillips welcome to the Villancico also Eric! I have the same score with armonics and also from the same source as you!

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    • Eric Phillips So cool that you talked us through your thought process.  It's like getting a little behind the scenes sneak peak.  

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      • martin.3
      • 1 mth ago
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      Eric Phillips Thank you for that thorough walk through, that's amazing to follow! 🎉 That D chord shape seems tough, but the chord in 2:47 shines so brightly after that! 

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    • Martin Thanks, Martin!

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  • The piece Villancico de Navidad by Barrios is so beautiful and is drawing me into the challenge to play it . Thank you Nora Torres-Nagel  and Eric Phillips  for leading the way . Thank you so much .. I am away and travelling over next 5 days  but then its straight to the guitar and learning this piece. I agree with Eric .. I love the harmonics section.

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    • margaret macarthur Great, Margaret, I'd love to have you join us! For me, this piece seems to hit the sweet spot - it's challenging, but doable (not to mention really beautiful).

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    • margaret macarthur It is great that we are making a little Navidad-homage to Barrios beautiful Villancico. We should play it together.😊

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      margaret macarthur Fantastic! And thanks to Eric Phillips for leading the cavalry! 🤘

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  • Villancico de Navidad (update)

    I was able to sneak in about 30 minutes of practice on this, so here's where it's at now. Still trying to get it under my fingers, but it's slowly improving.

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    • Eric Phillips getting really nice Eric. I have not begun the minor part yet, the 2 voices talk is so sweet....

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    • Nora Torres-Nagel Thank you, Nora. Yes, I love the interplay of the voices in the minor section. That is still the section I have worked on the least so far.

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    • Eric Phillips Great job as always Eric.  Especially like the harmonics.  You tone is beautiful!

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    • Paul Kennedy Thanks again, Paul. I like the harmonics, but I need to work on their execution.

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  • Great selections by all.  I am working on a Carol from the USA; it is an Appalachian Christmas Carol called "Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head" (arranged by Allan Alexander). 

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      Paul Kennedy beautiful!

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  • So, here is my first attempt at posting a video (man, this is hard, but I'll get the hang of it).  This is from my country, the United States; an Appalachian Christmas Carol "Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head", arranged by Allan Alexander

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    • Paul Kennedy Very nice, Paul. I had never heard this before. I love the harmonies in it!

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    • Paul Kennedy What a beautiful song.  I love the pensive quality, maybe just a tiny bit melancholy. Thanks for sharing this!

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      • martin.3
      • 1 mth ago
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      Paul Kennedy Thank you so much!! So good to see you perform in this challenge, and what a beautiful carol, it works so well on the guitar!

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    • Paul Kennedy very nice your music Paul and very nice played. I did not know this piece. Thanks for sharing!

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 1 mth ago
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      Paul Kennedy Sounds wonderful!  I've heard this before but not for guitar and seems like a great arrangement.  Thanks for posting.

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    • Paul Kennedy beautiful carol, very nice arrangement and good performance. 

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    • Paul Kennedy This was beautiful Paul!  I like the tune and the way brought out it's melody on the guitar.  Great job!!  Look forward to seeing more of your playing.  thanks for sharing it!

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  • The Wiz By Roland Dyens

     

    As usual I'm starting with little chunk of the piece; here are the first two bars

    and I try to bring out the armonics at XXIV and XXII and XXI frets...

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    • ivan paolo Those are challenging harmonics to make sound clearly. Good practice, as always, Ivan.

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    • ivan paolo That's got to be so hard!  So do you have to guesstimate where those frets would be?

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      ivan paolo Bravo. nice job on the harmonics! I used to mark the spots with a pen when I have challenging harmonics in a piece!

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    • ivan paolo guauu Paolo, I had neither played nor heard those armonics that you are playing. I played when I was young a piece called "Little music box" (Caja de música) with armonics in frets : XII-XVII may be) but I had never gone higher let's say.

      In this very short part that you play...I can smell that I will love this piece...I had never heard it. Looking forward to your advances and playing ! thanks for sharing

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara 

      Ciao, it is not a question of guessing but of imagining the continuation of the keyboard up to the 24th fret ... and then positioning the fingers and producing the harmonic. It's less difficult than it seems.

      You can try for yourself

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  • Practicing Greensleeves.  Check out my dog's ears.  She's definitely listening and wiggling her ears! 😀

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara Good work, Elizabeth. Love your dog! 🐕

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara Great job Elizabeth,  yes your dog really seems to be enjoying the soothing tones as well!

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      Elizabeth Uyehara Haha, that's so cute 🐶 The piece starts to flow, so good! 

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara Good job Elizabeth ....and your cute company enjoys a lot also!

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 1 mth ago
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      Elizabeth Uyehara Coming along great!  RH fingerings seems to be working well.

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  • Roland Dyens The Wiz
    Today rehearsal on bars three and four: armonics again...

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  • Villancico de Navidad update (Dec 10)

    It's slowly getting under my fingers. I still struggle with the harmonics section and the minor section, but there is some improvement. My dog comes in at about 0:50.

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  • Villancico de Navidad Update (Dec 11)

    I'm starting to add a bit more color changes and musical interest now. Even though it's not a fast piece, I find that when I'm playing it, it feels like a train that just keeps going and I'm trying to keep up. It's hard for me to make it more musical when my mind and fingers are feeling frantic.

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    • Eric Phillips hi Eric! Are you playing it at 60 (fourths, negras) ?. Williams played it quite quick for me...I fell it a little slower...but I am also not yet fixed or decided at which tempo sounds nicer or allows more musicality... I can practice very little here....I like very much how "Antonia" (I do not know her) is playing it in you tube.

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    • Nora Torres-Nagel Hi Nora! I honestly don't know what tempo I'm playing it at. I haven't practiced it with a metronome (I know I should). Antonia Haslinger does play it very beautifully, with wonderful tone and vibrato. I have been using Tariq Harb's version of it as more of a reference (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdfV_4-r_uc). He plays it a bit faster than Antonia, which I like.

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    • Eric Phillips Bravo! Very good job, I like your performance. You have reached the milestone...

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    • ivan paolo Thanks, Ivan. I'm not sure what milestone I've reached, but if you say I've reached it, I'm happy!

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    • Eric Phillips yes, Tarik plays it also beautifully ! and your Villancico sounds also very nice Eric! congratulations!

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    • Nora Torres-Nagel Thank you so much, Nora!

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    • Eric Phillips very well played. I like the colors and phrasing. The tempo could be e little slower for me, but the way you play it, it’s expressive and nicely flowing .  Wonderful.

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    • joosje Thank you, that is good feedback. Like I wrote, it always feels like I'm trying to keep up with a moving train when I play it. Maybe I just need to slow it down a little.

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  • Hi y’all, I’m working on while shepherds watched their flocks by G. F. Handel will post video soon

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  • Based on a review of new music in the current issue of “Soundboard”, the periodical from the Guitar Foundation of America, I sent away for one of the reviewed pieces: “Five Fantasies on Gregorian Themes” by Marco Reghezzi (Ut Orpheus Edizioni CH 292). I just received it last week.  

     

    One of the five fantasies, "Puer natus in Bethlehem" (A child is born in Bethlehem) is a medieval Latin Christmas hymn. The thirteenth-century text is traditionally associated with a fourteenth-century tune of the same name.  Like the earlier carol, I played, “Jesus Jesus, Lay Your Head”, it begins with a simple melody (like the Gregorian Chant it is taken from) but develops into a very nice piece suitable (I think) for a solemn Christmas service.  It clearly needs more work but I wanted to share this gem from the thirteenth century.

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    • Paul Kennedy it is beautiful Paul ! I will look at home where can I buy this delicate and mystic music in Germany! thanks a lot for sharing!

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    • Nora Torres-Nagel I just put “5 Fantasies on Gregorian Themes’ in Google and it brought me to the publishers website. The price is listed in Euros so I think it is from Europe somewhere.  The other four are just as beautiful.

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    • Nora Torres-Nagel 

      Ut Orpheus Edizioni CH 292

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    • Paul Kennedy thanks Paul!

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    • Paul Kennedy thanks for sharing. It’s beautiful.

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  • White Christmas

    Thought I'd try this for a little change of pace. The arrangement is by Jeremy Choi (with some adaptations by me). Bing Crosby, eat your heart out! ❤️🎅

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  • Today I play the first page of the Villancico of Barrios again. Still needs a lot of work!

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    • Nora Torres-Nagel Good work, Nora! Those harmonics sound lovely.

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      Nora Torres-Nagel that's beautiful, good work!

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    • Eric Phillips gracais Eric🙂

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    • Nora Torres-Nagel well done Nora. Sounds lovely. Such a sweet melody.

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    • Nora Torres-Nagel your playing is beautiful Nora, very controlled and managing the shifts very well.  I started on this piece last night and I have a lot of catching up to do ... I am still hoping to be ready before the end of the challenge....

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    • margaret macarthur thanks Margaret! I would like to hear you!

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