WEEK 1: Exploring Carcassi's Etudes

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of the composition challenge! This is the place to post updates for the first week.


If you want to describe your process (optional), feel free to use the following template.

  • Things you found easy:
  • Things you found difficult:
  • (Optional): a video of you performing it!
  • (Optional:) questions

↓ Reply below with your updates and questions! ↓

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  • Working on No. 18

    I used to play this one, and am having fun getting it back under my fingers. 

    The challenge for me is to balance free and rest strokes for the melody. 

    I'm trying to bring some musicallity to the piece by varying tonal colors.

    Thanks for listening

     

    https://youtu.be/FKuHdS3UFns

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    • david robinson Good work, David! I like the change in tone color in the little repeats.

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    • david robinson very nice. Great control and balance. I know it’s not as easy as you make it sound….

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    • joosje Thanks Joosje.

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    • Eric Phillips Thanks for listening!

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    • david robinson very beautiful, musical and clean. Congratulations!

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    • Emma Thanks for your kind words!

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    • david robinson I really enjoy your performance David! It is flawless and completed! Bravo! :)

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      david robinson Bravo!! That is a tough one! To be honest, I am avoiding those etudes with long scales as they need so much concentration on left and right fingering in order to get the perfect direct string crossing combinations or managable shifts! You were doing a great job, it's a joy to listen how much music you can get out of a harmonically rather simple piece!

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    • david robinson Bravo!!! very nice👋

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    • Martin Thanks Martin! I haven't found a way to avoid cross-string movements with triplets. I sometimes find i-a alternations to be a better solution than i-m. Was happy to see you agree in your  comments to Eric. I started playing classical at 40 years old, and have always atributed my weak i-m alternations to my late start. I appreciate your feedback1

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  • Hello everybody! these are my videos of my attempts at number 7, and no. 2 after 4 days of practice. I wanted to play them slow and safe and somehow my tempo increased after the first couple of measures in number 7. Big mistake.... recording myself is still very hard for me, so these will have to do.. I will keep practising them along the new ones but and I need to move on onto new Carcassi treasures and for that I need to post these 2. Viva the challenge!!!

    Easy: nothing really, first sight reading to say one

    Difficult: This study is full of little traps... Changing patterns, achieving fluidity, the sound of my a finger sometimes too metalic spoiling the melody, and then when you master it, changing the colour and giving it the musicality it has.

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    • Emma Very nice tone!

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    • david robinson Such a beautiful performance, it was warm and touching

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    • SULTAN BAMUKHIER Thanks for comments!

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    • Emma good job Emma! Experts always say gaining control is more important than speed. Then you are already in the right direction. I can see that you have very good control of your movements in both hands at the video. I want to avoid giving you a tips from my side because I am afraid I might give a wrong piece of advice. I think Martin will be able to suggest the next step to you. But I think you already have it under your hands at the moment, and it is just a matter of time, you will be soon improved easily, although it is a difficult piece for both hands in the end. My last remark is maybe you can try out the dotted rythm practice, you will likely see improvement very quickly in terms of control and speed. :)

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 1 mth ago
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      Emma Nicely done.   These "allegro" etudes played slowly allow for more expressiveness I think and give it an different character.   Looking forward to the zoom this Friday on this one.

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    • Emma great playing Emma. Very musical  and such a lovely tone!

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      Emma EMMA! Good to have you back! That was a beautifully controlled interpretation, I see that you took special care in controlling your left hand position in the slur passage, good job! 💪🙌🚀Maybe you can make it to the next interactive livestream on August 27th , we can talk about this slur passage in depth and if your comfortable with that maybe even present that passage? 🥳

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    • Martin thank you!!! I will be there for  Friday’s lesson! thank you all for your comments, very encouraging!!!!

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      Emma You are very welcome, looking forward to Friday's session with y'all! 🥳🌟

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    • Emma Very nice tone!Brava!!👍

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    • Emma bravo Emma! Nice control 👍👏

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  • And this is number 2!!! Please don't fall sleep, it is very slow. Will increase speed each few days. I will keep practising along the new ones.

    Easy: The first sight reading

    Difficult: The main one, not cutting short the last note of the second and fourth beat of each measure. Also I have been practising for these beats the pattern m a m a which sounded worse than  the pattern i m i m,  I need to improve my attack with the a finger.  And then translating from my head to the video that wavy sound that I imagine for this piece

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  • Hi All, thanks for some excellent performances and great comments/insights to these wonderful Etudes.  This past week I have focused on three Etudes, #2, 3 & 4.  These are old friends that I studied years ago and it was fun to get reacquainted.  Much has been said about Etude #2 & 3 so I will only add a couple of comments. 

    For the famous Etude #3, I would say that the key to playing this for me, is to bring out the melody line with the “a” finger.  To do this, I use a technique that I learned from Maestro Abel Carlevaro.  When Carlevaro wants to bring out the melody line with the “a” finger, he initiates the string attach with a slight movement of the right arm.  This same technique can be used to bring out the melody in Etude #4. 

    Another area in Etude #3 in which Carlevaro’s technique was useful to me was when making contractions with the 4th finger of the left hand in measures 7, 12, 13 & 20. I found these contractions can be easiest done by keeping the 4th finger of the left hand somewhat passive and move the left arm slightly forward away from the fret board.  Again, this is a classic Carlevaro technique in which he uses the arm to initiate contractions and shifts rather than the fingers alone.  For those interested in learning more about Abel Carlevaro's technique, I would refer you to his School of Guitar book.

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      Dale Needles Thank you for your comments! About #3 and the right arm movement, could this be similar to what Sabrina is doing in Etude No.16?

      I am happy to announce that we will have Alfredo Escande talking about Carlevaro Technique coming for a Livestream September 17th  after your recommendation! 

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    • Martin I just checked out Sabrina's lesson on Etude 16 and her technique used to bring out the melody line with the "a" finger using a slight movement of the right arm is very similar to what Carlevaro taught and what I was referring to in playing Etude #3 and #4.  

       

      Also very pleased and excited that you have scheduled the Uruguayan Maestro, Alfredo Escande for a Livestream on September 17th.  Alfredo was a long time assistant to Maestro Abel Carlevaro and it will be wonderful to hear him provide an introduction to Carlevaro's School of Guitar.  Thanks.

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  • This week I've been practicing etudes 3, 7 and 16 all of which I've played before (many years ago!)

    Easy: knowing what they should sound like ...

    Difficult: unlearning old fingerings which don't facilitate the kind of musicality which these beautiful studies deserve!

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    • Ron Unlearning is sometimes much harder than learning, I've found out. Looking forward to hearing you play!

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    • Ron right Ron, unlearn old fingering are quite difficult :(

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      Ron Oh yes, getting rid of old fingerings can be tricky! We need to be very aware of what you are doing, otherwise we fall back into old patterns!

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    • Ron a bit like learning all again! If the fingers are better it will improve your performance, good challenge, always learning

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  • Study 2 (Final Version?)

    I've been playing this study each day for one week now. As per Tengyue Zhang's suggestion, I played it slowly for an entire week, during which time I focused on the little details. Not until today did I speed it up a bit, and here is the result.

     

    Mod.-Edit: Moved to "Week 1" Updates Thread

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 1 mth ago
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      Eric Phillips I think you nailed this one, sounds perfect.  While Tengyue's lesson is great, I think his tempo is a bit fast and like the more moderate tempo you took here as it is more expressive.  You're blazing through these etudes, how many do you hope to do before the challenge is up?

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      Brett Gilbert at that rate, Eric Phillips will need to compose a couple more in the style of Carcassi to keep him occupied over the course of three weeks! I think right now, you (Eric) are  averaging at around 1.6 Videos per day! 🤯🌟

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    • Brett Gilbert Like Martin said, I plan to do all twenty-five and then write about twenty more myself. Just kidding!!! 😅

      I have no plan other than the next piece. I’m still working on number 9 and now I’d like to try number 21. Maybe it will be really hard and that will be the last one I do.

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    • Martin I keep saying this, but some day I need to buckle down and get ready for the start of school. It’s just SO HARD to put down the guitar, though! Can Tonebase pay me to do these challenges? 😄

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    • Eric Phillips Bravissimo!!👋

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    • Giuseppe Gasparini Thank you, Giuseppe!

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    • Eric Phillips so good!!! But this can’t be the last version… come on… it was very good and I loved the wavy feeling to the arpeggios. 

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    • Emma Well, I’m not saying it’s great, but I’m feeling like moving on. I said that, however, before Martin did his video about thumb placement on this etude, a technique that feels like it puts me back to square one. So, if I decide to work on that technique, I may continue with this etude. I’m not sure right now though.

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  • I did a commented run-through on Etude no.3, a beautiful gem within this cycle! I talk especially about connecting and guiding fingers for some challenging passages, I hope you guys enjoy that!

    Khiem Nguyen Brett Gilbert wasan maybe there's some valuable information for you since you're playing this piece!

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    • Martin This is pure gold, Martin! It’s amazing to see the workings of your mind on this. Can’t wait to give it a try later today!

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    • Martin Martin, I can't say enough my thankfulness to you for a master class recorded video to us. It helps me tremendously. I have immediately diligently applied your left hand fingering. Please take a look below. Thank you. :)

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    • Martin I loved Martin's fingerings so much that I just had to give them a try. The fingering he gave for measure 15 is particularly mind-blowing 🤯. The only one I chose not to do is the barre chord in measure 7, where I find the standard fingering a bit easier.

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    • Martin thank you so so much!!! This will be one for my second week!!! So helpful 

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      Emma Eric Phillips Khiem Nguyen Happy that you liked my little overview of this beautiful piece!

      Eric Phillips that sounds absolutely beautiful! You had no problem whatsoever with that change in bar 7, so there's no need to use this special phantom-guide-finger-3000 for that one, haha 🚀👨‍⚕️ Sometimes the sound of the ring finger gets a little bit thin. I have a livestream in the making called "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Talking Tone Production", that might help you (watch out for the best thumbnail we ever had on tonebase!).

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    • Martin Thank you, Martin, for the feedback. I love your label phantom-guide-finger-3000😄I will definitely watch your livestream on tone production, not only because I want to have better tone, but also because The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is one of the greatest movies ever made. 🤠

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  • Diving into Etude #16 a bit, such a beautifully singing piece!

    • Things you found easy: Sight reading it and coming up with alternative positions!
    • Things you found difficult: Making the melody sing as much as possible! I tried different approaches as Brett Gilbert mentioned the beautiful tutorial we have by Sabrina
    • Questions: How was your experience with this piece for all of you who have played it so far? Gunnar Ron Derek
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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 1 mth ago
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      Martin Brilliant!  Thanks so much for answering my earlier questions and for this video which is so helpful.  I was using m (i-p) at the beginning but will try a (m-i) and experiment with your suggestions for producing a singing tone. 

      Still trying to work through watching all of your previous live streams before I joined as I learn some much in every one.   Thanks also for the video today on #3, I think I'll work on that after I post video for 16.

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    • Martin Excllent Martin. Such a beautiful piece. Yes I've been using i, m and swapping to p, i  or p, m when there is a gap between the accompaniment strings being played (e.g bar 6). Love the fingering you've used in bar 11 - I'll use that! I practiced it this morning - mostly just the first section to try to get that singing melody - I even trying filing my a nail slightly differently and occasionally I got just the tone I wanted, but I had difficulty sustaining it consistently. I agree that it's somewhere between free and rest stroke but I haven't been able to get the 'cirlces' working in the way Sabrina explains. So far I've been observing the rests but I haven't played any of the accompaniment staccato

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    • Martin Thanks for making this great tutorial as well, Martin. Here's the way I've always played this one. I don't like playing the accompaniment with i and m, but rather p and i, especially when there is a string gap between the two notes (ex. measure 6).

      This is a such a great piece of music! I'd compare it with Tarrega's Lagrima, as it is relatively easy to play, but can continue to be worked on and improved for the rest of our lives. It's also short, easy to memorize, and heartbreakingly beautiful. 💔

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    • Martin thank you!!! I am preparing this one too. The advice to put the a finger a bit forward is much easier than the circular movement. the sound is brilliant and the hand is more table. 

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      • Gunnar
      • Gunnar
      • 1 mth ago
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      Martin Thanks for a very instructive lessen on no. 16. As I mentioned to Eric earlier, I am using an arrangement of this piece with the melody starting on the second string in both sections. There are are a few stretches that I need to work on. I find it difficult to play the accompaniment with I and m, as opposed to I and p, probably because of lack of independence of my a and m fingers. I need to work on that.

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    • Gunnar I'm in the same boat as you regarding using pi rather than im for the accompaniment.

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    • Martin just love this piece. Thanks for your interpretation. Clever fingering . I stil hesitate about the (Carcassi-intended) thumb in the accompanying voice. I try it both ways and can’t decide. Sabrina’s showing how to move the hand for the a-stroke on the melody is just mesmerizing . I can’t stop playing this study…

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      Eric Phillips what a beautiful interpretation! I've never thought of playing everything on the second string, but it gives a more mellow and romantic sound quality, I will try that like Gunnar . 
      Concerning p-i: To be honest joosje i've run through this piece so quickly that I didn't think about playing the melody with instead of a, that would've solved my issue with the compressed right hand! Then again, I like the added stability with  on the 4th string, additionally it prepares the thumb for when I do use it once the bass needs the 4th string! Furthermore, I couldn't really figure out what Sabrina was doing, but in theory she increased the length of hair nail ramp and added more skin to the tone without having too big of an impact on the adjacent string, so my method tries to imitate that to some certain degree!

      Emma wonderful, glad this technique helps you! 🥳

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      Ron Awesome, I am particular proud of that fingering, you can accent a certain phrase while playing it softer, which is super cool! 🚀🥳👨‍⚕️

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      Brett Gilbert Awesome! When you play ami it is usually easier to balance the voices since all the movements go in the same direction! I do change to pi though when the distance increases or when I need to play on the 4th string! But I am glad that my videos and livestreams help you! Btw., how is the challenge in piano land going so far? 🚀

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  • Etude No. 2 and the question why we would place the thumb on the lower strings! I also dive a little bit into the difference of thumb placement between rest stroke and free stroke and do a quick read through of this Etude no.2! Hope you enjoy that, let me know if that helps some of you  👨‍⚕️🥳🚀

    Eric Phillips Emma Gunnar Giuseppe Gasparini

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      • Mark
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      Martin interesting - thanks 👍

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    • Martin Hey Martin,

      Thank you so much for making this video tutorial. I would really like to be able to do what you suggest (i.e. place the thumb when playing an arpeggio). The video below shows my struggle with it. Any thoughts you have would be great. 🙂

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    • Martin thank you! I will practice it like that. I was doing the preparation if the RH already. The thumb apoyando will be a challenge but there we are!

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      Eric Phillips You are very welcome, thank you for your detailed explanation! Eric, that looks so good, the tempo is absolutely not when we try to fight certain trained reflexes.

      The inclination is so common when you are not used to that, the way the hand tries to overcompensate that is by having more tension in the palm which results in problems with movements that were never problematic, like the arpeggio on top! I made another video about that, maybe that helps you! But be advised, changing motion patterns is a path, not a switch!

      Emma I am actually not doing a right hand apoyando! I play a regular free stroke and then place the thumb in a very relaxed way onto a string that helps me either prepare the next note or damp the last one played! I am suuuuuper bad with thumb apoyando, I almost exclusively play that for melodic lines with accompaniment!

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    • Martin Thank you, Martin, on so many levels. First, for taking the time to make that video for me. Second, for your understanding and patience. It's honestly a little embarrassing that I can't seem to do something that looks so simple and basic, but you put me at ease! Lastly, for giving me a path toward being able to accomplish it if I choose. I've said it before, but I will say it again - you're an amazing teacher! 🙏

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    • Eric Phillips very beautiful! starting in the second string! 

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    • Emma I agree. It has a more singing quality to it.

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  • Hi Martin and my friends, I have practiced Etude no. 3 again using the left hand fingering in Martin's feedback above. It is a really nice left hand fingering. I find it is easier to achieve legato, although I of course need to put more practice on this piece to achieve it. Here it is. Thank you Martin and everyone for listening! :) I will polish it again in next weeks.

    I have a tiny idea. Measure no. 17 to 18. In measure 17, I think we can place 2 on B, 3 on C#, 4 on F#, instead of 1,2,3. Then slide 2 to B in measure 18. I did not use that idea in my below video though. To keep measure 17 consistent with measure 3, we can still use 1,2,3 on measure 17. It will be easier for our memory to just stick to one version :)

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    • Khiem Nguyen Wow! Martin just posted his video a few hours ago, and you are already playing the new fingerings very well. I love the legato sound!

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    • Eric Phillips thank you Eric. I think I need to keep on my diligence :)

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    • Khiem Nguyen well done! Thanks for submitting 

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    • joosje thank you, I appreciate it! ^^

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      Khiem Nguyen Wow, I really like that fingering in measure 17 to 18, I will use that! 🤯🙌🥳

      And wow! As Eric Phillips said, you adopted my fingers lightning fast as well ⚡I am glad that they help you achieving more legato! 

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    • Martin Hi Martin, thank you a lot! I am also very glad that I could adopt your new fingering quite fast compared to myself adopting any kind of new fingering previously. My fingering on measure 17 and 18 will work pretty well. The only problem for me is to try not to confuse the fingering of ms. 17 and ms 1. While ms. 1 use 1,2,3 straight forward, then ms. 17 use 2,3,4, and that con confuse me :)

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      Khiem Nguyen Yes, that is always an issue when we have similar musical passages with different fingerings! 🤓

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    • Khiem Nguyen bravo!!! Very beautiful 

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    • Emma thank you Emma! :)

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  • Hello everyone! Hope you're doing great. Here's a video of the Etude nr. 1 by Carcassi, filmed it last night. Been learning it since 2 days ago and still have some doubts when performing it, but well, later I'll post some improvement. It has a bit difficult technical elements for me. I apologize for the poor view on my right hand 😞 will try to film better next time 👍

     

    • One thing you found easy: Perhaps the left hand shifts and phrasing certain sections.
    • One thig you found difficult: Mostly damping the open string with the left hand (like TY says).

    https://youtu.be/ADSO0JTVwyA

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    • Daniel Beltrán Hello Daniel! I’m glad you have joined in. This is great, especially for just two days of work. You’re playing it at a pretty high tempo already. I’m no expert, but your position shifts look really great to me. Nice job!

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    • Daniel Beltrán impressive performance after just 2 days of practicing, Daniel!

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      • Mark
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      Daniel Beltrán great start 👍

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    • Eric Phillips Thanks Eric! I find most of the shifts not that difficult for my left hand, some are a bit more challenging, but yes, the Etude its great for the shifts in both left and right hand, I'm using it to practice position changes on the right hand as well (wi¿hich goes against Martin's lesson 😅 but I want to practise that 👍).

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    • Mark Thanks Mark!

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    • Khiem Nguyen Thank you, Khiem! Once you get you're memorizing strategies it becomes easier. 

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    • Daniel Beltrán Very good! I like very very much your left hand, little pressure on the fingers and looking so full of flow

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    • jDaniel Beltrán Great job. Ver6 good control in just 2 days!  Thank you for joining

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      • wasan
      • wasan
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      Daniel Beltrán Lovely and beautifully performance

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      Daniel Beltrán Bravo Daniel!!! The 1st one is a very hard one to start with, you did such a fine job  after only 2 days of learning that one, it took my quite a while to decipher the exact right hand alternations! While it's another approach than the one I took in my livestream, it is absolutely fine working on the other end of the spectrum as well! 🚀

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    • Emma Thanks a lot Emma! Your comment actually made me more aware of that improvement on my left hand technique, I didn't were so conscious of it, I think I can get it a little better now that I'm more aware, but huge thanks for those nice comments 😄 

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    • joosje Thank you, Joosje! 

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    • wasan Thanks a lot, Wasan!

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    • Martin Thanks a lot, Martin! Yes, it's quite tricky to do everything as TY explains, I'm still practicing it!

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  • I was hesitant to release this due to right hand nail problems affecting performance and tone, but here it is!  Was hoping nail would grow back but ran out of time.  Hopefully it will get better for next week's submission.  It's another reminder to me of the importance of protecting your nails.  If anyone has good suggestion for nail products ( that really work well) to help protect against tears, etc, please let me know.  Thanks!!

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    • Barney good job and really beaufiful video Barney!

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    • Barney Great job, Barney, I’m glad you chimed in! Really clear separation of melody and accompaniment. This one has some really interesting harmonies.

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    • Eric Phillips Thanks Eric!  This is not a difficult one, but I agree with Martin that it’s good to re-visit these kinds of studies to sharpen basic skills.  This one for arpeggios,  maybe next one scales…

      I continue to be amazed by your dedication to covering so many of these etudes so well in short time frame.  Very impressive my friend!

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    • Barney wonderful balance and musicality, Barney! Hope your a finger gets in shape again soon. Sadly, I'm not an expert on this topic of nail care. Once I used a hardener enamel (I think it's called like that in english...) when I was beginnig with the guitar that really helped my i finger, because it was always being reduced by the strings, but since I applied a few times the enamel it has been stronger and lasts longer 👍

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    • Barney oh, and wonderful audio and video quality!

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    • Daniel Beltrán Thanks Daniel!!

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    • Daniel Beltrán thanks Daniel.   I really owe more thanks Martin for the excellent Recording Academy (Audio and video) training.  I knew nothing about recording Guitar prior to those lessons.  Check it out, if you haven't already done so.

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    • Barney Thanks Barney! As a teacher still on summer vacation, I have more time to play right now. Needless to say, that changes really soon!

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      • Brett Gilbert
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 1 mth ago
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      Barney Beautiful performance and the audio quality is superb.   I'm curious to know what recording equipment (mics, etc.) you are using.

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    • Barney beautiful performance and the quality of the sound… congratulations 

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    • Eric Phillips Enjoy the extra time while you can.  It obviously has been very productive for your guitar playing!!

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    • Brett Gilbert Thanks Brett! 

      I'm currently using a pair of Line Audio M4 Mics in ORTF stereo position, along with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface.  Reaper is the DAW, and Davinci Resolve for Video Editing/Syncing.   This equipment was suggested by Martin as a cost effective solution.

      Camera is a Canon EOS 80D.

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    • Emma Thanks Emma!!

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    • Barney Very nice job Barney!  Great sound as well.

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    • Barney beautiful. Great sound and very musical playing

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    • Paul Kennedy Thanks Paul!!

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    • joosje Thanks Joosje!!

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      Barney Bravo Barney!!! You make a rather simple piece sound so dramatic with your timbral and dynamic changes, fantastic job on this one! I'd recommend to work a little bit on the synchronization of a and p, I am 100% sure that it is no problem for you to play them totgehther, but it becomes such a habit to arpeggiate those two instead of playing them together that sometimes we don't even recognize that anymore!

      About the Audio Quality: Fantastic as usual, but you seem to have some artifacts that sound like your buffer size is to low! It's essentially a safe space that you allow your interface to save before letting it through for signal processing. Now if you have more plugins loaded, it could be that there are no samples left for playback as they still need to be rendered by plugins. The size is dependent of your cpu power, the higher you go, the more latency you have, but since we don't do live playback and rendering, there's no need for a short latency!

      You can access your buffer size settings usually via the "audio configuration" button in the audio device settings. The right window will look different as I am using currently a RME Fireface while you will be probably prompted to Focusrite Settings!

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    • joosje Thanks joosje!

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  • Thanks Khiem!

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  • I am still working on #11 and must admit that I had to miss one day of practice. What I have found relatively easy is getting the detached sound without making it too staccato. More difficult are the fingerings for measures 24 & 25. My hands are relatively small and the 3 - 4 reach from the 1st to the 5th or 6th strings is always tricky.  I'll give it another day to add some dynamic shaping and get better at those 2 measures and then move on to another that I have not yet done.

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    • Peg Sounds great, Peg. Do you already have the next one picked out?

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      • Peg Barrett
      • I am a guitar instructor and a member of the Pensacola Guitar Ensemble.
      • Peg
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      Eric Phillips Not yet. Over the years I have done 13 of them from the Easy and Intermediate groups and still use some of them for warm ups. I will probably pick one from the Intermediate group that is new. I have worked on 1 - 11, 14, 16,  & 19. I’m open to suggestions.

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    • Peg Well, I'm finding 9 particularly fun to play. Martin didn't put that in the difficulty chart, but I'd say it's intermediate. I'm planning to work on 21 soon. I had never played it or even heard it before, but after playing a few measures, I fell in love. If you want one that sounds great at speed, number 23 fits the bill. That my two cents!  

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    • Peg I am trying 2 of each topics, chords, arpeggios, scales and slurs 

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      • Peg Barrett
      • I am a guitar instructor and a member of the Pensacola Guitar Ensemble.
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      Eric Phillips I have decided to try #12, but not because it's the next one, While Martin has this listed as an arpeggio study, which certainly it is, I am using it because it requires a lot of shifting in both directions. There are also lots of accidentals leading to some unexpected harmonies, which I find interesting. I do appreciate your suggestions. I regularly use #9 as a great slur warmup. Since I use 3-4 hammer-ons in most places instead of 1-2 it keeps those in good shape for when there is no alternative. I've read through 21 and it's definitely on my to-do list. Good luck with them.

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    • Peg Barrett I actually really like #12 too. On paper (or computer screen), it just looks like a simple arpeggio moving up and down. But when you hear it, it has some really beautiful harmonies and less than predictable progressions. Hmm ... maybe I'll try that one after 21!

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      Peg Barrett Awesome, sounds great! Keep us updated! I have never actively played #11, it does look quite challening in terms of shifting as well, you are absolutely right!

      Eric Phillips aaaah, still haven't updated the the Etude Guide, so sorry 🙈 Just too many patients in my clinic 👨‍⚕️

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    • Martin I was not trying to point out your omission! You do have a lot of patients in this challenge, and I am in awe of how you are able to do it all, and do it so well! 😊

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  • Study 9 update.

    I'm trying to add a bit more musicality and contrast to this now. Martin suggested a more staccato approach, so in the A sections (beginning and end) I am playing the bass notes staccato and trying to make it sound playful. I think that the end of the B section (measures 23-27 approximately) needs to be more dramatic and serious sounding, so I am playing a bit slower, louder, and with everything ringing out.

    Let me know your thoughts. 🤔

    As an aside, I really struggle with the fast pace on this one, and it isn't because my fingers are not capable of playing it, but just because my brain is not able to keep up with what I need to do next. Is that something others experience with faster pieces? Am I just getting older? 👴

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    • Eric Phillips Very nicely done Eric.  I’m going to give this one a shot as well.

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    • Paul Kennedy Glad to hear it. It's super fun to play!

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    • Eric Phillips wow, great playing. Your tone is warm and the rhythm very secure. I would, personally expect more rubato in the different sections, but that’s a question of taste. This is good.!

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    • joosje Thank you, Joosje. Normally I'm a big fan of rubato, but I think this one sounds good with a clear rhythm in the A sections. I attempted to be a little looser with time in the B section, but maybe more would sound better. The return of the A section was rushed at the beginning, but that was unintentional!

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      Eric Phillips Bravo, that does sound sooo much more joyful than your last update, great submission!!

      I can definitely feel you when it comes to increasing tempo! Over the course of all the Livestreams and Community Challenge we (the Livehosts) are putting so much repertoire in our brains in such short amount of time that some passages just don't want to get into your fingers (at least in my case)! The advantage of that is that we can learn certain pieces faster as some modules and patterns come over and over again for certain genres (especially for that era!), but really perfecting a piece still needs... time! 🕰

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    • Martin Thank you again for your kind words and encouragement!

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    • Eric Phillips I liked it a lot! More the middle part, but all is played very well

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    • Emma Thank you, Emma.

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  • I just read through 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7.  All very fun to play with different challenges.  I am now focusing numbers 2 and 7 (7 so I can better participate with Martin’s upcoming live stream).  What I found easy with number 7 was finding all the notes, and playing through it relatively smoothly.  I found the right hand patterns relatively simple to execute.  The difficulty came with trying to execute the dynamics as written. With number, 2, again, pretty simple to play through until the shifts on the second page…and all those pesky changes in dynamics.

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      Paul Kennedy Awesome, looking forward to work with all of you on No.7 in the interactive Class! Thank you for update, No.1 is particularly challenging!

      I have made a video on no.3 somewhere in this thread where I was sharing some of my fingerings, maybe those will help you as well 🥳

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  • Study 21 Initial Run Through.

    I had never played or even heard this one prior to this challenge. When I played a few measures of it last week, I loved it and put it on my list of pieces I'd like to work on.

    I have made some unusual fingering choices in the A section. Basically, I tried to keep as much of the melody as I can on the second string. It requires a lot of jumps, but I think the texture gives some room to be able to do that. I'd be curious what others think. Have I gone too far?

    By the way, there are (at least) two wrong notes in this, in measures 49 and 50. I realized that after I made it. Sorry!

    What was easy: Like all of these studies, it has a very clear structure and phrasing. The rhythm is repetitive and not complicated at all.

    What was difficult:

    • Some of my ornaments (mordents?) were not executed cleanly, and they seem to be the main technical focus of the piece, so I need to give those some attention.
    • The shifts I am doing in the A section definitely complicate matters, but I do really like the sound of the melody on the second string. It may be difficult to bring the tempo up with this fingering, but I honestly like the sound of this one a bit on the slower side (but faster than I play here).
    • The B section sounds a bit long and rambling, so I will need to find ways to keep it interesting and to clarify the musical direction.
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    • Eric Phillips good job Eric. T’s a great piece.  I love your tone, the trills and the accents., the change to the bass part. This is definitely a more difficult one and you did a great job in such short time! Bravo.

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    • joosje Thank you, Joosje! I hope we get to hear some of your beautiful playing.

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    • Eric Phillips  you’re welcome.! I’m just happy that I can see and hear all your lovely contributions now and then. It’s fascinating. I’m not able at the time to submit any.

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    • joosje 😪 I hope you're doing okay.

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      Eric Phillips That's a beautiful piece, I've discovered that in preparation to the Kick-Off Livestream and immediately realized the beautiful dramatic harmonies and the masterfully executed use of the same pattern over and over again! 

      I am sure with certain practice time there will come enough ideas how to shape the second section! You are off to a great start with that one! I hope we don't loose you over the start of the school 🎒🏫

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    • Martin Thank you, Martin. I've been able to sneak in some preparatory work in the last week or so. I do start going in to work sporadically starting tomorrow. Classes don't start until Sept 8, so I can still complete the challenge. I may not be able to attend the Watch Party live, as that is Labor Day (a U.S. national holiday) and my family may do something fun together that day.

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    • Eric Phillips haha I am doing this one too!

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    • Emma Oh good! It's really beautiful.

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  • Carcassi #2.  This is really challenging for me, so I decided to just work on getting comfortable with pima mimi.  I just practiced it super slowly on the first Am chord.  Also I found that I had trouble making a smooth transition between the barre on 5th fret to the chord on the 7th fret--lots of noise from my finger sticking to the strings! It's a beautiful etude.  I think I will spend the entire time on the first few measures.

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara Good work, Elizabeth! Doing just one etude, or even one part of one etude, for the whole challenge is great. Practicing each one of these really well could easily last months. Thanks for joining in!

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara this is a good start Elizabeth. Keep up the good work! :)

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      • wasan
      • wasan
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      @Elizabeth Uyehara  you have a clear and beautiful tone.

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      Elizabeth Uyehara Elizabeth, so glad that you decided to join this challenge!!! This is an awesomely dedicated practice session that you are sharing with us here, thank you so much! Keep up the great work!!! 🥳🚀🙌

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    • Eric Phillips Thank you for the encouragement.  It's inspiring to watch your videos!

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    • Khiem Nguyen Thank you.  I enjoyed watching your rendition of No. 2.

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara thank you Elizabeth :)

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  • I actually did this reply about 5 hours ago but must have forgotten to hit the red reply button and then logged off and lost everything I wrote.

     

    Been working on 8, 10 and 16 need to improve my tone - video of 8 and 10 below, some hesitations, especially in 10.  Also working on 1, 3 and 7 will post further videos on Wednesday or Thursday. Can't make the interactive session as I'm not here on Friday. Need to add a few more pieces for the final week.

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    • Derek Good job, Derek! I haven't really worked on either of those. Both seem to be a real workout for the left hand.

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      Derek So sorry that you can't make it on Friday for the interactive Class, but thank you for your great submissions! I think it's worth to go into No.8 in great detail and really try to highlight the slurred note! You're doing a great job and it's a joy to listen to! I really like No.10, it has such a ... springtime feeling 🌻

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    • Derek well done! Good to see you playing

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    • Eric Phillips Thanks Eric. I think they are both great slur exercises

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    • Martin Thanks Martin. I'll keep practising these along with the other ones I'm working on and hopefully post an improved version sometime. I'm annoyed at having to miss the interactive session but I'll be in Scotland and I don't think I'll have the time to log in.

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    • Emma Thanks Emma

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  • Hi Martin and everyone. So I have looked at Etude no. 2 for a day. I really like the beauty of this piece. So I was curious what harmonic Carcassi used. So I have made a harmonic analysis, to gain a deeper understanding of the piece.

     

    My observations:

    1. Carcassi uses a lot of I-V-I chord progression. He also uses a lot of I-IV-V-I chord progression in section B several times.

    2. He uses secondary dominant, for example, A7 as dominant of Dm. A7 leads to Dm.

    3. He uses passing chords also, a bit difficult to spell out the chord.

    4. He uses pedal point (note A in the bass, for example) in the beginning of section A and section A'

    5. He uses a lot of inversions to make the bass lines connected with each other and more interesting

    6. He uses mostly diatonic chords.

     

    A conventional harmonic progression, yet, really beautiful.

     

    Please feel free to give me feedback if you have other observations, other view points, or you find any errors. Thank you for reading! :) 

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      Khiem Nguyen Wow, that is so cool, thank you for that, this is super interesting! It is basically correct, but in the beginning it's probably an E7/A instead of E11/A  because you need to calculate the option (D) from the root chord, not from the pedal tone!

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    • Khiem Nguyen Thank you so much for this!!!!  I was having trouble understanding the harmony in the B section so this came at a perfect time!

        Keep up the great work!

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    • Martin thank you so much for your feedback. I got it now Martin: if the chord uses a pedal point, then we don't take that pedal note into account for naming the chords. Then in the first 4 bars, it is E7/A instead of E11. This helps me tremedously. :)

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    • Devyn McCrea you are most welcome Devyn; I am so glad my analysis is helpful to you! :)

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    • Khiem Nguyen Oh, thank you for this!  I was just trying to figure out what the chords were myself. 

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara you are welcome. I am glad you find it helpful ^_^

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    • Khiem Nguyen 

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    • Khiem Nguyen thanks so much for the harmonic analysis Khiem, I found this so helpful and interesting, also learning something new about pedal notes and chords  names , cheers 

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    • Deb Covell you are welcome Deb, I am glad you find it helpful. I think making a harmonic analysis of the piece help us to understand the piece better :) Cheers

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    • Khiem Nguyen 

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    • Deb Covell 

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    • Deb Covell thanks Khiem for your reply, I am at a  cross road I seem to be stuck between analysis which is consuming for me , to actually finding the time to practice, I don’t seem to be able to prioritise , just love your analysis and support 😊

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    • That's lovely to hear. I am also interested in stuyding harmonic. Maybe we can write an email to Martin to suggest more workshop about fundamental harmonic analysis skills :) 

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      Khiem Nguyen I love to get Emails, haha! You can always reach out to me via [email protected] or use our new "Livestream Ideas" Forum to suggest new ideas!

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  • Sorry I am late to the party.  But I still want to participate!

    I did etude 2.  One thing I find hard is understanding the harmony in the B section and not speeding up haha.  One thing I found easy would be the left hand chords,  which helped me focus on the right hand more.  Also, probably should have committed to the repeat, so sorry about the awkward ending haha. 

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    • Devyn McCrea really nice left hand fingering Devyn! I also use maybe the same fingering like yours, though my right hand thumb is not as good as yours at the moment for Etude 2.  Welcome and please keep on posting! :) 

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    • Devyn McCrea you were not late, don't feel sorry Devyn. The challenge will last for 3 weeks. We have 1.5 weeks left. It is done at your own pace and whenever you feel like. :)

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    • Devyn McCrea Glad you joined, Devyn! Thanks for sharing this.

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    • Devyn  good to have you in the challenge and thank you for posting! You have it!!! And you are giving it a good musicality, I liked it a lot. Be careful though, I think you may be doing the arpeggio to fast some times

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  • This one is a bit more challenging than it first appears.  Since it is not memorized,  I need to pay more attention to the transitions for different RH patterns and some position changes.  Guess this was one of Carcassi's main purposes of this study.  

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