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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  • Here are my exercises 3 and 4 and a tremolo at 90bpm.

    Like 2
    • Daniel Beltrán Thank you Daniel. Please keep it up too  :)

      Like
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Khiem Nguyen all your tremolo sounds like butter - smooth and creamy! It almost rocked me to sleep! 😄 You look very relaxed, but I can’t tell from the angle. Can you get a different camera angle where we can see your right hand a little better? 

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    • Steve Pederson thank you Steve. Maybe I have a quite even tremolo, that could be the one that rocked you to sleep :D. But as Martin has pointed out, I haven't totally relaxed. I must keep practicing at slow speed for finger relaxation for a while before moving on. Yes, I will try a different camera angle next time. Let's keep doing :)

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  • Martin I started learning this piece recently.  Two questions: (1) my teacher said the a, m, i finger should strive to touch the "same contact point" to maintain more or less same sound quality.  Is it true? ; (2) my teacher changed the fingering such that for bar 5 and 7, the tremolo part is on the "first string" instead of the second string, Is it correct? 

     

    Many thanks in advance !

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
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      Steven Liu Hi Steven, it was quicker for me to talk about and demonstrate it! Let me know if that answers your questions!

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    • don
    • don.2
    • 1 yr ago
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    Martin thanks for doing this. I never thought I will be learning to play tremolo as there was never a piece that I really wanted to learn before. But recently I found a a tremolo piece that I really like and started some practice so this two weeks intensive really came at the right time. I was learning to play it slow and stacatto so when I did the slow practice 1, it was really hard for me to relax the entire hand. 

     

    Hopefully this will improve over time. 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJacCCYDOA8https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJacCCYDOA8

    Like 1
      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
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      don Amazing, Don! You have such a round and warm tone! BUT: Get rid of the metronome for assignments 1&2 because I can see that your ring finger is co-dependant on the middle finger! More in the video!

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
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      Martin thank you so much for the tip!  You are right! I do have a lot of challenges with my a finger and also my pinky to stay relax, not just with tremolo.  That's why I now start to practice in front of a mirror but still not really fixing the issue. I didn't pick up this on the video myself, thanks for noticing. I will try the suggestions that you have given!

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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
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      don you’re off to a good start! I can’t tell for sure, but it looks like, when you start with the a finger, your i finger tenses up in preparation. Similarly, when you start with the i finger it looks like your a finger tenses up a bit. Is that happening? 

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
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      Steve Pederson yes that is true. Because prior to this course, I was already working on daily tremolo exercises for about a month. I was playing them staccato and with preparation so this time I had to work to not prepare and not to touch the strings. I would normally prepare my thumb and a finger on both strings, then play the thumb then a finger then prepare m so on so forth. Thanks!

      Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
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      Martin btw have you heard of this tremolo mute? I got it a while back when I started to practice tremolo exercise. I felt it kinda improve my tone when I remove it but it could be placebo effect. Have you use it and if you think it works? Thanks man!

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      • martinTeam
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      • 1 yr ago
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      don Nope, never heard of it and never used it! If they send one to me, I can review it and make a live stream about it, finally being a real guitar influencer, haha!

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
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      Martin haha please do. If you set up a channel I'll definitely hit the subscribe! 

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      don Great Start Don!  You have amazing discipline to execute these exercises so well -- even and good tone.  I find it difficult to play this so slow, as the mind wanders, and easy to lose track; however, this slow playing approach seems to be essential to diagnose and correct technique limitations.  It is particularly difficult to break long standing bad habits.   Only answer is hard work and discipline to do it slowly and gradually build up over time.  Keep up the good work!

      Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
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      Barney Thanks Barney! Yes I really happy with this approach. It already flag out one issue with my a finger.  

       

      Yes it can be really boring to play it slowly at time. What really help me was to recognize them as just pure exercise than part of an actual piece of music, so I don't get tempted halfway to start upping the tempo playing and going off -tangent. So my focus is really just one stroke one note. 

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    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 1 yr ago
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    I haven't played tremolo pieces in many many years, so this is a baseline of old exiting technique at about 89 bpm.   Below are most of the assignments in this challenge.  I'm not sure the status of "relaxation" in my attack, so I need your expert eyes and diagnostic skills to let me know.  Thanks!

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
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      Barney Im still a beginner in classical guitar so can't really offer much help in terms of techniques. But from what I can hear is the tremolo sometimes sounded quite disjointed instead of just one flowy line of notes. Maybe can explore slowing down a bit more and diagnose them?

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      don Thanks Don!  I appreciate your helpful observation and will try doing that.  Seems like slowing down and listening carefully is the key..

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
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      Barney Glad you find it helpful.  Let's try to help each other improve these 2 weeks..🙂

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    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 1 yr ago
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    • Barney
    • 1 yr ago
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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
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      Barney great first submission! I have found the p-i-m-a exercise to be very revealing for myself. I've never tried it before, so it's proving very helpful. I wonder if that's the same for you. Your technique for p-a-m-i looks real smooth, but for the p-i-m-a exercise it looks like you're just getting used to it. You look a bit more tense with that one. You may want to try slowing that one way down - like painfully slow - and deliberately focus on relaxing each finger. You'll probably get it after a couple times.  

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      Steve Pederson Thanks Steve for your good advice!

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
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      Barney Hi Barney, fantastic! I made a video with some next steps for and some insights that Steve Pederson so carefully noticed!

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      Martin Thanks Martin so much for your wonderful advice!! I will certainly work on both of those suggestions--the first for "relaxation" and second (dotted rhythms) for "independence".

      One thing that comes to mind when looking at this tremolo "analysis" is that  the sound production quality of your "free stroke"  has a direct bearing on how good your tone and sound of tremolo is. Therefore, it seems to me that I need training on improving the tone and sound of my 'free strokes";  I think they sound thin compared to my rest strokes.

      Perhaps a Tonebase lesson specifically on improving "free stroke "tone?  what do you think?

      Also, this two week challenge to improve Tremolo is great; however, does this really require several months to really incorporate into ones technique?  ( I thought you had previously mentioned  working on it for many months to get to your current result, which sounds beautiful!!)

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