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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  • Number 9 update.

    I've been practicing this for a couple days now and I made a recording of where it's at.

    What was easy: It is really fun to play, and I found it very easy to memorize for some reason.

    What was difficult: The transition from measure 22 to 23 is still causing me difficulty. I would also like to develop a plan for adding more musicality to it.

    Like 5
      • martinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips I can live with that! 👨‍⚕️😂

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    • Martin Hi Martin, I am always working on it, this is a difficult period to record, I am a tennis player and I do Tournaments, so little time and very hot, however in the week I think I will record the N ° 3 and I am watching your lesson, Thanks🙂

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    • Eric Phillips Very nice interpretation! 

      Like 1
    • david robinson Thank you, David!

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    • Stella Kosim
    • Teacher, Performer
    • Stella
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello everyone, 

    I was hesitant to try No 6 because it seems less interesting than the other Etude but after I started practicing I found it very enjoyable. I enjoy trying to make this (what seems like) didactic piece to sound musical, trying different ways to shape the phrasing of the moving lines. 
    Thing I found easy: Easy sight reading
    Things I found hard: (1) Balancing the volume on the top and lower parts (2) keep the tempo steady and not rushing and (3) like I said above, trying to make it singing and musical

    So this is a recording after 2 days of practice :)
    Quarter note ~108

    Like 7
    • Stella That was wonderful, Stella! I thought you made it sound very musical. I particularly liked the contrasts you gave to the A and B sections, and the contrasts you gave to the smaller parts that repeat in the last section. That was also a very challenging tempo, quite brisk. Thank you so much for submitting this!

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      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Stella bravo!!!! Week done!!!! 

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    • Stella very well played good👋👋

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    • Stella very  good musicality Stella! :)

      Like 1
    • Stella very musical. I’d like to hear base melody in the b part more clearly, but overall, great job. 

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      • Stella Kosim
      • Teacher, Performer
      • Stella
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Thank you for the comments and suggestions everyone!

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Stella This has been stellar! ✨💫 (Sorry for the pun, hehe)

      This has been very well done, it‘s not an easy one to perform in tempo and not tying a knot in your left hand! Some connections can be improved through certain techniques of preparation and maybe a different fingering, I took the liberty and marked passages in the score where I recognized some minor issues!

      It‘s mostly a question of preparing the finger early enough so that there is no audible gap in a certain line (for example right between the 2nd and 3rd bar, I‘d probably try to prepare left hand fingers 4 and 2 before you lift the 3rd finger. The same technique is a lot harder in the second line as you need to do a vertical stretch between fingers 2 and 3 )!

      This might not be possible in line 6, I‘d probably play the f on the 1st string as a staccato! 

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  • Hi everyone, here is my first take on Etude no. 3 after 1 day of practicing.

    Things I found easy: right hand sequence
    Things I found difficult: the shift between measure 22 and measure 23

    I attach the shift between the end of measure 22 and the beginning of measure 23

    Like 5
    • Khiem Nguyen Sounding good, Khiem! This is such a beautiful piece of music. The shift you highlighted above is difficult. I usually play it with a bit of a ritard in measure 22, and then a pause before I come in with measure 23. I think it works musically to do that, and it gives me time to make the shift accurately. Maybe I’m just letting my fingers dictate the music, though.

       Also, I think your eighth notes at the end of measure 16 are going too fast. Martin warned us about this tricky rhythm at the kickoff, if I remember correctly. Maybe you could go back and listen to what he said.

       Good work and I look forward to hearing you play it again!

      Like 2
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Khiem Nguyen Well done!!!  After 1 day this is awesome !!!

      Like 2
    • Khiem Nguyen Hi, good! 👋in my opinion the modification of the fingering in measures 12 and 13, putting fingers 4-2-3 in the strings 1-2-3, finger 1 slips string 4, also measure 20 the same

      Like 2
    • Eric Phillips hi Eric, thank you for your feedback. Hehe, thank you so much for pointing out the measure 16, I overlooked the change in the rythm in that measure, I played too fast, and I simply forgot what Martin said in the kick off. I will have to correct it next time :)

      Like 2
    • Giuseppe Gasparini and Emma , thank you a lot! :)

      Like 1
      • Khiem Nguyen beautiful Khiem. Great job. I agree with Eric’s remark on measure 16. The eight notes here are often played either  too fast or to slow. It’s tricky indeed…. But I’m impressed with the overall quality. Thanks for sharing….
      Like 2
      • wasan
      • wasan
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Khiem Nguyen That's sound really good🙂

      Like 1
    • wasan thank you a lot Wasan! :)

      Like 1
    • joosje that's really nice of you Joosje, thank you! :) I will practice again measure 16 with a metronome in order to have the rythm correctly played. It is very tricky. For me in bar 16, the 8th notes can easily played like dotted eight note and a 16th note. That's why a metronome at practice will help me, I hope :)

      Like 1
      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Khiem Nguyen very beautiful, Khiem! I will make a video later and tag you (and other folks who are playing this gem), because I think we can learn a lot from this piece when it comes to left hand legato and right hand preparation (I sound like a broken record player, it‘s seems like that‘s my catch phrase, haha).

      But when it comes to this huge shift in bar 23, we can take our time before that as we have the melodic climax in bar 22 and this super dissonant double dominant 7 with an altered fifth in bar 23 which needs its own space do develop!

      And good catch by Eric Phillips and joosje about the tuplets in the triplet world! I always count „PAnama PAnama CUba CUba“ 🇨🇺

      Like 1
  • Study 14 (again!) slow and expressive.

    I thought my previous posting of this etude would be my last, but Martin noticed some instability in fingers 3 and 4 of my left hand, and recommended playing it slowly to improve. As I was playing it slowly, I thought, "Why not go for very expressive as well?" I really like it this way! I honestly do not know if my left hand is any more stable, but I really enjoy playing it like this. When doing this, I instinctively started using more ring finger in my right hand, as I think my tone with that finger is better.

    Let me know what you think?

    Like 3
      • Mark
      • Mark.2
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips great tone. I think this piece works at all tempos!

      Like 2
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