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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  • 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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    • 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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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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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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      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 2 yrs ago
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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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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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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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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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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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      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 2 yrs ago
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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
      • 2 yrs ago
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      @Elizabeth Uyehara  you have a clear and beautiful tone.

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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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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    • Derek
    • Derek
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    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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