Group 2

Improve your tremolo!

Tremolo is one of the defining techniques for classical guitar! Although not used very often in the repertoire, some of the most iconic pieces employ it to create a beautiful singing melody above an accompaniment pattern.

Fellow Participants in Group 2:

Ken Grier

Marilyn Blodget

don

Derek

Daniel Beltrán

Steven Liu

Annika

Steve Pederson

Khiem Nguyen

Barney

 

Some tonebase productions to get you started

How to get the most out of this course

  • Start by watching the introduction video and practice the exercises given in the video.
  • Write a post with your experiences with tremolo.
  • At the same time, start practicing the first eight bars of "Recuerdos de la Alhambra". If you are new to the piece, begin with a chord reduction as presented in Scott's workbook on Recuerdos.
  • Share two videos per week and help your course partners through feedback on their submissions!

Zoom Check-In: Friday, May 20th at 8 pm CET (11 am PT)

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82744334151
 

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    • Daniel Beltránnull
    • Student at the Universidad de Los Andes in Mérida
    • Daniel.3
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello everybody, hope you're doing well. So now I'll share my first videos of the week, and talk a little about my experiences with tremolo. So, the tremolo technique was in some of the first pieces I ever heard on classical guitar, and since then I absolutely loved it, but when I got to try it for the first time it was something too advanced for me (I think I tried it during my first year of playing classical guitar 😅) and abandoned the tremolo for quite a while but sometimes revisiting pieces like Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios or José Aspiazu's arrengement of Schubert's Ave Maria. I've never learned completely a tremolo piece, but now I think it's time 🙌

     

    So I'm sharing every assignment and the bonus video. And would like to hear some comments from Martin and everyone about my pima vs. pami tremolo. I really like way more the pima fingering, since the descending arpeggios have been always more difficult for me.

     

     

     

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Daniel Beltrán Hey Daniel, thank you for your first assignment! I have compiled a couple of thoughts, but you have an excellent position and correct approach! More ideas in the video!

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    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Nice job Daniel showing your existing approach and it's very even execution.  However, like for the rest of us, Martin is showing how to enhance the quality, control, tone and speed of tremolo by demonstrating Relaxation and Independence exercises .  I suggest carefully watching Martin's introduction video which shows these techniques, and practice them slowly and carefully. It should improve yours  (and mine) Tremolo over time.

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    • martinTeam
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    • martin.3
    • 2 yrs ago
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    Zoom Check-In Today at 11 am PT, 8pm CET

    https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82744334151

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    • Steve Pederson
    • The Journey is My Destination!
    • Steve_Pederson
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Yikes, first of all, sorry about missing the Zoom check in. I have plans tonight, so I can't make it. (Going to a live flamenco concert!) AND, I didn't notice there was also one this morning. My bad! 😮😥

    I have been working diligently on my tremolo, though. I have taken the great advice and implemented it the best I can. Below are my second submissions of the week. 

    I think somebody already commented that it's really hard to stay focused when you're playing that slow! 

    The bpm for the dotted rhythm exercises is 105. 

    By the way, I am implementing this whole "slow down and relax" idea into everything else I practice, and it's really amazing! 

    Also, does anyone else have a problem with their right arm feeling weird where it touches the guitar? I find it helpful to put a soft cloth between my arm and the guitar at times. 

    Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson nice Steve, the tone very even sounding. Just a small observation just because I have a similar problem. Think you m finger kinda curl in and only resetted after you play the i. Perhaps go even slower? 

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Steve Pederson Man, that looks great!!! I can see only with the dotted pima-combination that your thumb is impacting your whole hand position, you should take more care about that one! I'd recommend to try these exercises with all combinations:

      Regular Direction

      • pami
      • pmia
      • piam

      Reversed Direction

      • pima
      • pmai
      • paim

      And finally play through the whole section at about 70 bpm and see how it feels!

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Martin btw, waiting for the rest of Tremolo Group 2 to comment ❤🏖

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Martin On the 6 different combinations, which you also suggested I do, I just want to clarify.  Are you saying we should play these particular patterns only when playing the dotted rhythms?

      Or should we practice all of them for the Slow even relaxation/independence as well? (Or for this part continue to do the pami and pima patterns only)

      That would be quite exhausting.  What do you feel is needed to be done daily to address both areas in the most effective and time efficient manner?

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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Martin thanks for the feedback and suggestion! I actually just started doing the combination of directions you suggested, so it will be very interesting to see how that benefits me. With all these combinations, and playing them all so slow, my whole practice time is taken up playing tremolo! 😄 I just feel bad for everyone in my home that has to listen to this! 😂

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Barney Steve Pederson You invest as much time into those exercises as you can 😁What I would propose is that you split these up, so at one day you are focusing on on the regular patterns, the other one on the reversed pattern. But I'd insert one tremolo-marathon day and you'll feel how that affects your hand positively!

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Martin Martin Thanks Martin!  I will try splitting up the patterns on alternate days.

      Please explain what you mean by "insert one termolo - marathon day"

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  • Assignments 1-4 I did both rhythms with pima.

    Like 3
      • don
      • don.2
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Marilyn Blodget nice first submission.

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Marilyn Blodget So happy to see you here! Your hand looks very experienced with the tremolo movement. Have you played tremolo for more extended periods before?

      Let me share what I recorded for another member in the first group with you that gives some initial relaxation exercises that we've also talked about in our Check-In!

      Like
    • Martin Thanks Martin!  I have played tremolo from time to time, over the years, occasionally briefly achieving an acceptable one, but never comfortable for very long. Many years ago I worked on Una Limosna with George Sakellariou, and he said it’s important to relax into speed.  I have found this past week that practicing pama, pmam, pmim, and pimi, and consciously relaxing has really helped ‘grease’ my joints.

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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Marilyn Blodget really great work Marilyn! As Martin said, you look very accomplished and comfortable with this already. The advice for everyone has been to slow down, which is what I thought when I first started watching, but then I thought, no, she's actually sounding great at that speed! I like Martin's suggestion about focusing a bit more on the thumb. It seems to me that perhaps it could "come out" a bit - come forward a bit from the fingers. 

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    • Steve Pederson Thanks Steve.  My challenge is to stay relaxed at greater speeds.  You are right that the thumb is key.  I like Martin’s idea of just letting it fall.  The stroke is just what happens between the impulse and the destination.  But since it is the “conductor”, he’s the guy that needs to go faster, maybe fall into speed.  The fingers are feathers.  That’s my image for now.  We’ll see.

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Marilyn Blodget That's a beautiful metaphor 🌠

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    • Daniel Beltránnull
    • Student at the Universidad de Los Andes in Mérida
    • Daniel.3
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello everybody. Here's my 2nd attemp with the exercises. This time I tried to achieve with my pima base tempo a more stable wrist, which I think improved a little, but I need more practice in order to get more used to the change I did with my thumb and hand position, and I hope it solves that issue. And gave a try to the pmai fingering in exercises nr. 1 and 3. Again, need more practice, I think without the metronome the relaxation looks better than on the dotted rythm. And will have to work more on the sound as well 👍

     

     

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Daniel Beltrán Hey Daniel, that looks fantastic! Keep it up, but don' overdo it with your bonus video, it sounds a bit too fast to me as the m finger is always a bit more accentuated!

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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Daniel Beltrán Really wonderful submissions Daniel! I watched your initial submission, watched the feedback Martin gave, and then watched this submission. Like Martin and Barney said, you have a very nice hand position. What I noticed is that, when you lead the tremolo with your i finger, it seems like the i finger is having a hard time relaxing. Not so when you lead with your a finger, which is interesting. A couple suggestions would be - as has been said to everyone - slow way down and let each finger relax. Secondly, and this is more technical, see if you can get more of your picking hand in the video frame. Keep up the great work! 

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    • Daniel Beltrán very smooth bonus video, Daniel! And the ex. 1 and 3 with pmai look very nice, with good bouncing of fingers back to relaxation.

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  • Pity that two weeks are soon over... Whilst the improvements are not yet seen, I do feel that the important message sent out here are "slow".  I will try to play slow.   Many thanks for organizing this workshop !  

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Steven Liu You are very welcome, and I am very proud of you and everybody in my Tremolo Group 2 🏖❤This Intensive workshop should set you on a proper path for future improvement. We'll do something similar next month on slurs and left-hand fitness!

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