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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    • Derek
    • Derek
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Here's another attempt. I've been practising just the right hand each morning for 15 minutes or so, p a m i. 

     

    I didn't bother about the left hand on these videos so there are mainly just one chord!

     

    I've found a way of making sure my right hand isn't too low - If I have the jacket on with the sleeve unbuttoned then if the button hits the strings my hand is too low :-)

    Like 1
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

       Martin  Martin, on the question of how to make sure our right hand position is correct with big knuckle and fingers directly above the string, what is the best way to view it without special camera angles?;  that is, how to determine from playing position, and viewing the hand from above, how to check this, since the view is not direct?

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

      Derek it looks like you've taken Martin's advice about moving your fingers more from the top of the hand, which is great. In the first video it looked like you were overcompensating - making too much of a motion out of it, but by the later videos it looked like that settled down. Nice work!

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      • Derek
      • Derek
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Thanks Steve. I keep trying to improve my right hand technique so any suggestions are welcome. I've had a few lessons recently with a young guitarist who graduated recently who studied with some well known guitarists and he has been helpful - can't go too often as it's a 2 hour journey each way to Manchester from my house. My other problem is that I can never find a thumb nail shape that I'm happy with (and possibly a thumb technique) so when I'm playing tremolo I spend a lot of concentration trying to control the tone on the thumb strokes!

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Derek That looks fantastic, I think with time you'll find that your hand starts to relax quicker and you can increase the tempo!

       Barney There's no need to be too scientific about it as all fingers are different anyway, I usually eyeball it 👍It's still okay if it is slightly off, but then main feeling should be "I am above the strings".

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Martin okay, got it!  thanks!

      Like
    • Derek good job Derek

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

    Update 3

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F1JU7_mdf4

     I have some challenge when my thumb plays on the g string and my ami on the b string. Not sure exactly how to fix it. Maybe more slow practice. 

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHyV14B576o

     

     My fingers especially the a finger will revert to the tensed state as soon as I speed up. I thought I had fixed it so is good to record and review. I may have to slow down and rework again. 

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA1ORWOLrRY

     Same issue as before where by my fingers especially the a finger still tensed up. 

    Like 2
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      don I applaud you for keeping at it. I think you're making progress. One thing I have realized from this challenge is that I am no expert in this. From my perspective, it looks like your a and m fingers tend to move together as one, but then I notice that in myself too. I thought your first video above looked pretty smooth, though. 

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson I just noticed it myself. It is really weird, because when I play it felt differently. One thing I really benefit from this is realizing all sorts of funny issues that I never paid attention to.  Hopefully Martin can offer some advice on this. 

      Like
    • don you have done a good job. Regarding your self observation about the tensing of the a finger, I tend to agree with you by looking at your videos, too. I also have that problem, and I can share what has helped me, is to even slow down much further. So perhaps you could even practice again exercise 1 and 3 with even slower tempo, perhaps half the previous tempo, until you feel the relaxation of finger a after every stroke.

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Khiem Nguyen thanks! I guess the biggest take away from this 2 weeks intensive is practice in front of mirror or record yourself and go slow and deliberate and then go slower some more. I already gotten huge benefits from it but not from tremolo but from regular playing. I use have this ache at the joint between my a and pinky and since I started those slow relaxation practices, it is getting much better. 

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

    This is a very brief example of a suggestion by Martin that I have found tremendously helpful. Not even sure if I'm doing it right, but it is the very slow and deliberate - place the finger, stroke, hold the position for a brief moment and then relax the finger. Super helpful. 

    The idea of relaxing into it is helping, not only in my guitar playing, but on a very existential level in every area of my life. 

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

      Steve Pederson Interesting! I'm going to 'steal' this exercise! 🙂This is like one of those yoga practices that I did once before. You move then deliberate tense just that particular portion, be it finger, limbs or hands then relax.  

       

      I really like your last statement on idea of relaxing. I couldn't agree more. 

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    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Martin Here is an update of the original exercises.  I have been practicing (when I can) these and the  additional right hand patterns  (total of 6)but have not posted 4 of them here. Please review  and let me know what you observe regarding finger independence, relaxation of each finger, evenness, etc.  When I look at my fingers from above, they seem to be emptying tension in each finger and returning naturally to neutral position, but I'm not sure if my observation is accurate.  If not, please provide your suggested solution.

    Also, What is the best action plan once the "very slow practice" seems to be working?;  that is, how and when do I move toward the concert speed phase and which specific practice studies should be done to maintain it at that point?  Thanks!!!

    Like 3
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney that's looking real good to me. It looks/sounds very smooth and relaxed. Great progress!

      Like
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Thanks Steve!  I hope you are right, as it's a little difficult to see with my camera's position/angle.

      Like
    • Barney your bonus exercise looks very good with p-i-m-a, Barney. I have struggled most with exercise number 1 with p-a-m-i and at how to bounce back and relax my a finger. 

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney Speed never comes from forcing your hand to run, it needs to slowly develop from a state of relaxation! You are doing a great job of "emptying" (to use Scott's term) your fingers and play from a relaxed state, but we are only at the beginning of that journey. It is important to let your hand adapt to this new approach and increase speed only incrementally. I would suggest to slowly speed up day by day (assuming you implement about 10-15min per day into of tremolo practice) and add some speed runs where you play one bar i.e. one bar at 60bpm and the next at double the speed! That way you will develop speed without tensing up!

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Martin I understand what you mean about the speed bursts , but which exercise(s) should be used for this?, or should it be the Recuerdos excerpt or full Recuerdos?

      Do I need to continue playing the right hand 6  patterns very slowly or the dotted rhythms exercises?

      Not sure how to implement your suggestion into the daily practice. 

      Your guidance has been wonderful for this skill so far, and I wish to continue making progress without getting off track or wasting unnecessary time. 

      I would appreciate your advice on clarifying these ideas.  Thanks Martin!!!

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney I do these speed bursts with the first section of Recuerdos!

      I still practice practice all 6 right hand patterns. When I don't have enough much time, I ten d to focus on at least two different patterns: my main pattern (pmia) and a secondary pattern (that can be pima or pami)!

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Martin Thanks Martin!! 

      When you do the speed bursts practice , do you do the  complete A minor section of Recuerdos?

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      • martinTeam
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      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney Yes, but without the repetition!

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Martin Sounds like a good approach, so I will try it.  Your example of 60 bpm would equal 120 bpm for the burst.  May be a little fast for me to start with the newly discovered relaxation, etc.

      Is the goal about 145 bpm (metronome click is eighth note) to sound flowing but not too fast so it loses the beauty of melodic line?

      Thanks very much for your continuing support on this Tremolo technique, which truly is a long term project-- but I agree that it will be worth it!

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      • martinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney 145bpm is an excellent tempo for tremolo, that's about the speed that David Russel plays Recuerdos!

       

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