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

      Martin I think it will take a long time for me to get to that speed. 

      Somehow, David Russell achieves it while still producing great tone!  Amazing!  John Williams does it by using nails only with great tone -- also a mystery to me....

      It seems to me that to get that speed, we cannot use the best hand angle (left side of finger where flesh meets nail) that achieves warm tone;  Looks like we have to compromise tone by shifting hand position more parallel to strings to get that high speed evenly.  Does that make sense?

      What is your opinion about this hand position/angle compromise for Tremolo?

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

      Martin sorry, I forgot to ask:   should I still be doing the dotted rhythms for the 6 patterns at this point?

      or were those done initially to address independence issues, which seem to be solved, right?

      Thanks again for your great advice!!  It is much appreciated.

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

      Barney The right-hand fingers are only perfectly distributed if you play i on 3rd, m on 2nd and a on 1st, so our hand is constantly moving around and thus compromising the perfect position. With our constant practice we will find the perfect point of touch, it's the same thing we do for scales, for arpeggios etc.!

      I also still do the dotted rhythms! Again, when there's not enough time I tend to focus on only two patterns!

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

      Martin Got it!  Thanks Martin!

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

    Here is maybe my last submissions for this intensive - unless I can do the bonus. 

    Enjoy these split-screen videos! 

    I think I've finally achieved that desired state of relaxation. I feel it. I'm focusing on holding my hand still, executing the strokes and relaxing. 

    Like 2
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Wow Steve!  These look excellent.  I'm not a biomechanic diagnostician, but to me your fingers look relaxed and the strokes independent and even. Great work; this was not easy.

      Hope Martin gives us both passing grades, so we can move on to the next level.  I appreciate Martin's objectivity and honesty, so he will give us the best best advice he has.

      The Camera picture closeness, sharpness and angles are wonderful.  May I ask what equipment you are using for this?

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

      Barney Thanks Barney! For this I captured the performances using 2 iPhones, and then I imported the video into my video editing software. I'm on a mac, so I am using Screenflow as my video editing software. 

      Like
    • Steve Pederson I agree with Barney. Your exercise number 1 looks like you have securely achieved a state of relaxation. It sounds very even. I am still struggling with bouncing back my a finger and relax it. You are doing the bouncing back very nicely,  more consistenly than I am. Hardwork from you with great guidance from Martin pay off. :)

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

      Steve Pederson the side by sides are great! Definitely relaxed, consistent and even. 

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

      Steve Pederson Excellent Steve! The camera angles make it easy to see what is going on! You've become very aware of tension and relaxation, this will help you not only for tremolo pieces but for everything that is technically challenging! It is important to give your hand time to adapt to the new approach and not to speed it up too early!

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

    That setup worked great for you.  I'm using a PC  with Reaper so my iPhone won't work to do that.  Maybe my next laptop should be a Mac.  There seems to be more flexibility for certain recording components.  Thanks for the info!

    Like
  • During the last 2 week, I notice that I have been struggling with bouncing back my a finger immediately. But I have also noticed that if I slow down even more, then I can do it.

     

    So here are my next submission, and I am sorry that I were not able to submit 2 times per week as the course requires. 

     

    I can indentify immediately one easy to notice problem in exercise #4, is that I forgot to bounce back the i finger. I also have that problem in #2.

     

    So it is coincidence for me that the finger to be played after the thumb is usually the finger that I either tend to mentally forget to bounce back (the i finger in ex. 2 and 4)  or  naturally/physically have a hard time to bounce back (the a finger).

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

      Khiem Nguyen Hi Khiem,  the exercises are progressing very well!  The "a" finger relaxation looks good.  I see what you are referring to about your "i" finger.

      I think the solution that Martin has recommended will help you, that is,  raise the height and angle of your right hand so the big knuckle and fingers are more directly over the top string being played.  When finding that position, first place all three fingers --a m i on the string together.  Martin said to me you "eyeball" your right hand to see if it looks right; it's not scientific.

      I would suggest you try that and I expect it to help.  Please let us know.  Good luck!!

      Like 1
    • Barney thank you very much for your help and direction to improve it, Barney. I will give the method a try. Just to be sure, when you refer to the "big knuckle", is it the PIP, or is it the MCP? (please see attached figure below). Which one were you and Martin referring to? I got the image by Google. 

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

      Khiem Nguyen MCP.

      Like
    • Barney thank you for your reply Barney, I got it. I will give it a try. 

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

      Khiem Nguyen Remember, the hand position doesn't have to be perfect, but that knuckle joint is a guide to see that your connected finger is above the string.  Hope this helps!

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

      Khiem Nguyen Hi Khiem, awesome submission! You are not building up any unnecessary tension in your fingers and every finger is allowed to play from a state of relaxation! It's important to speed up too early and give your hand time to adapt to your hyper awareness! Good job! 

      I would maybe still lift your wrist a tiny bit more, but then again, all our hands are different and I can't possibly how it feels for you! 

      Like
    • Martin thank you for your guidance, Martin. I have tried to lift my wrist and I feel that it helps me to swing my a finger back more easily, but it also alter my tone a bit, not necessarily in a wrong direction, but I need to be careful. It also makes the sound louder and mostly thicker. The nail of my a finger is tricky; the tone is very sensitive to a tiny change in the attack angle of the nail. I will try to adapt to the lifted wrist and try to maintain a good sound, although it is not easy to achieve it yet.

      Like
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