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

    Thank you everybody for participating in our very first Two Week Intensive "Improve your Tremolo"! Please keep on practicing and improving, I will keep on commenting on the videos that I have missed the last couple of days, but be prepared for our next Two Week Intensive on "Slurs"! 💪

    Please fill out this survey, it would be extremely helpful to keep improving this exciting new format!

    https://forms.gle/4jTBGefX4wFPqEhz9

    Like 1
    • Martin Thank you Martin ! Just submitted the form!

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

    Assignment 1:
    Play Recuerdos with pami (standard tremolo pattern) in slow  motion with enough time to relax after each individual stroke.

    Assignment 2:
    Same as 1, but with pima (reversed tremolo).

    Assignment  3:
    Play Recuerdos with pami (standard tremolo pattern) in a slow dotted rhythm (legato or staccato).

    Assignment  4:
    Same as 3, but with pima (reversed tremolo pattern)

    Bonus Assignment:
    Play through the first eight bars in a tempo where you can maintain a relaxed hand. 

    Submit two videos per week! Don't forget to help your fellow participants by commenting on their submissions!

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

    I'm assuming we post our progress to this thread? 

    Cool. So, first of all, I am SUPER STOKED about this intensive!!! 

    Many years ago, after very little attempt and very few resources available (the internet didn't exist yet) to learn about tremolo, I gave up on it! I resigned to the fact that I would never be able to play tremolo. I just figured it was a skill that I didn't inherently have, nor could I ever learn. 

    Then, about a year ago, it occurred to me...

    What if I was wrong? 

    I started working on my tremolo technique, and I have worked on it consistently for the last year or so, but it has been very slow in the going. 

    The first thing about this lesson that was a real eye-opener for me was playing relaxed - letting the fingers relax after each stroke. That's brilliant! I started working on this immediately after Martin discussed it at the dress rehearsal. I couldn't believe how difficult that was! 

    Here are my first four exercises...split up between two videos...

    Like 2
    • Steve Pederson I feel that your fingers bounce back very nicely after you have attacked the strings. That's a sign of good relaxation, I believe. That can be seen in your exercises 1 and 2. 

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

      Steve Pederson Awesome submission! I have some helpful advice compiled for you in this video, hopefully it helps! Main take aways: play assignment 1&2 not staccato! Experience true relaxation!

      Like 1
      • Daniel Beltránnull
      • Student at the Universidad de Los Andes in Mérida
      • Daniel.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Great, Steve! I see that relaxation goes through a good path 💪 and yes, relaxing each finger individually is difficult for me as well. But this exercises, specially on this technique, work pretty well for that. And by the way, nice guitar! Really like it! 😀   

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

      Daniel Beltrán Yes, I think i forgot to mention it, the guitar sounds AMAZING! Steve Pederson

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

      Khiem Nguyen thank you for watching and your feedback!

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

      Daniel Beltrán thank you! I appreciate that. 

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

      Martin thanks so much for the valuable feedback and video! In trying that more relaxed legato approach you suggested what I realized was that my 'm' finger was getting in the way of the string and "tweaking" it when I played with my 'a' finger. So, another level deeper to go!  

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

      Martin and Daniel Beltrán thanks. This is my new Hauser model guitar made by Córdoba. I'm really loving it! 😊

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

      Steve Pederson Nice early start on this with wonderful discipline. Good tone and even strokes. The main thing I see in the first few exercises is your use of Staccato.  I know Scott Tennant uses it in his Tremolo training, but I believe Martin was looking for a Legato result, which provides a more flowing line.  Great job!

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

      Barney good catch, thanks! Martin had mentioned something similar, so that's confirmation!

      Like
  • Here are my exercises 1 and 2: 

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

      Khiem Nguyen Hi Khiem, you are absolutely right, I haven't seen your submission 1&2! Here's my two cents on the different states of relaxation depending on what tendons you engage in your hand! If you decide to lift your wrist a bit, you can spring back quicker into your relaxed position!

      Like 1
    • Martin Hi Martin, thank you, after watching your video for Don, I believe I have a similar problem with Don that when I speed up, my a finger does not totally bounce back and does not totally relax very well before I stroke the m finger. I think I have to be very conscious about my a finger and keep it slow and correct for a while, have I understood it correctly? I feel my extensor muscle for the a finger is the weakest in the right hand, and it is also weaker than the number 3 in the left hand. There seems to be an unbalance: the flexor muscle of a seems to dominate the extensor muscle of a, while there is less unbalance for other fingers.

       

      How I feel is that there seems to be a very slight tension in the muscle(or tendon?) in the forearm, close to the elbow. 

       

      I will also try to lift my wrist a bit next time to experiment, as you suggested.

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

      Khiem Nguyen Wow Khiem!  It's looking very promising at this early stage.  The sound and evenness are terrific.  I believe many our us have the same issue relating to relaxation, which holds us back from higher levels of virtuosity.  I am not qualified to diagnose the problem I have as well, so also looking for specific feedback from Martin.  It's tough not getting this kind of guidance in person regarding "touch" and stroke motions, where the teacher can see what your doing very close up.

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    • Barney thank you Barney, and I totally agree with your comments about the need of relaxation and the importance of getting guidance. It is so hard to relax, especially the a finger, in my opinipn. I do find doing alternation between p-a-m-i and p-i-m-a do help a lot with the eveness of your touch (the tone and volume consistency) though. 

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

    Like 2
    • Khiem Nguyen I think you have more or less mastered the skill of tremolo, you can play smoothly through the bars

      Like
    • Steven Liu thank you Steven, but I do honestly think that I am still far away from mastering the skill. My goal is 120bpm. It will take time until I can play it with evenness and without tension.

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

      Khiem Nguyen Amazing Khiem! I REALLY want to see exercise 1&2 from you because while it sounded round and warm, I think you were stressing yourself a bit through the first bars at 90bpm! Tell us how it felt. Did you have any tension in the upper arm?

      These exercises are like an arrow on a bow: first, we need to pull ourselves back and be patient about going forward. But once everything is in place, you know how your hand feels when it is playing a relaxed tremolo, then you will see that speed was NEVER the issue!

      Like 1
      • Daniel Beltránnull
      • Student at the Universidad de Los Andes in Mérida
      • Daniel.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Khiem Nguyen Great, Khiem! That tremolo is sounding pretty well 👍 Your hand looks quite relaxed! Keep it up.

      Like
    • Martin thank you for your feedback. Yes, I was feeling a bit tensed at 90bpm through the first few bars. But I do not have a sustaining tension in the upper arm afterwards. 

      It seems you could not see it at first, but I have already uploaded my exercise 1&2 one post above the 3&4 and the 90bpm. :) Please kindly take a look. Yes, I will keep being patient with tremolo, I will not rush. :)

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