Week 1: Composing Etudes: Kickoff!

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of the composition challenge!

New prompt (!)

Follow these steps for this week:

  1. Post one aspect of your playing you would like to improve (your etude prompt)
  2. Choose one etude prompt that somebody else posted
  3. Begin writing a sketch focusing on the prompt you've chosen
  • In preparation for week 2, post any sketches you would like to receive feedback on in the week 2 livestream here (<- click)
  • (Optional) Along with your submission for week 2's live stream, provide questions or problems you've encountered while writing that you would like me to address specifically

Don't worry, this will all make sense once you watch the kickoff livestream!


↓ Reply below with your updates and questions! ↓

63replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
    • Herman
    • Herman
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    hope work leaves me enough time to work on this one.

    I already have a bunch of "etude prompts".

    Like 1
    • Herman Awesome! Just remember you don't have to write anything complicated :) Even if you only have 30 minutes to compose, you can come up with some substantial sketches if you just keep the "forward thinking" mindset. Good luck!

      Like
  • Prompt - Beginner duo etudes.

    Like 1
    • Devyn McCrea Here's a beginner duet. It's a short theme and variations that explores different harmonies. It can all be played in the open position by both guitars. The lower part is slightly more difficult, as it includes two voices. You could make it a trio by separating out the bass voice.

    • Devyn McCrea Love this idea! 

      Like
  • A technique I struggle with a lot these days is having a right hand finger (or thumb) placed on a string without plucking that string. This could be done for reasons of damping, for right hand preparation, or simply for stability. I find it very difficult to do this, and would love an etude that helps me to work on that.

    Like 2
    • Eric Phillips This is a great prompt that not many people may have thought of! This would be great for building isolated movement and balancing your sympathetic movement with opposing movement.

      Like 1
    • Ashley (Ash) Lucero Yeah, that's exactly what I meant to say! 🙂

      Like 1
    • Brett Gilbertnull
    • Piano and classical guitar
    • Brett_Gilbert
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Artificial harmonics, especially when your left hand is not available because it's on a fret and your right hand has to do the harmonic and sound the string.  Also getting clean sounds for harmonics on 5th/7th frets (12th seems relatively easy).  I was mesmerized by Koshkin study #9 but that piece is way too advanced for me as an "etude" for harmonics.

    I guess I didn't realize (or didn't read carefully) the rules until today because I spent last week working on an etude/study for this, but not sure if I can post a response to my own prompt?

    Like 2
    • Brett Gilbert I’ll give a shot at a piece with some harmonics, Brett! In the very limited music writing I’ve done so far, I have yet to include any harmonics.

       I’d love to hear your piece. will you post it here, or wait until next week’s thread is up?

      Like
      • Brett Gilbertnull
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Thanks Eric!  Considering your mastery of Koshkin #9 I was hoping you might bite if I posted this.

      Part of what I wanted to do last week was experiment with different notation software so I will go ahead and post what I did sometime tomorrow just to show my idea.

      re: notation software, I found musescore has a steep learning curve and is too generic so I started a trial of Guitar Pro 7.5 which I like a lot better.  Of course I missed the original composition challenge months ago so I'm always curious what people ended up using.

      Like
      • Brett Gilbertnull
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      I'm not submitting this as an official "etude" entry because it's my own prompt, but just to show my idea that I worked on last week.  Instead of writing an original theme I decided to take an existing theme from Mozart.  My idea was to have the initial theme played without harmonics and then add harmonics when the theme is repeated. 

      While I have enjoyed using Guitar Pro, it is unable to display harmonics in a "standard" way which is annoying so I included the tablature as well which shows the harmonics more clearly.  I wish I could find more flexible notation software that's easier to use than musescore.  Regardless, I'm hoping someone posts a prompt that I feel comfortable trying to write something (i.e. not too advanced). 

      General question: does the etude have to be based on an original theme or can we take a classical theme and arrange/adapt into an etude?

    • Brett Gilbert Very cool, Brett! I did a little run through it on the guitar, and it's really fun to play like that.

      Like
    • Brett Gilbert Love this idea! And it's totally fine if you follow your own prompt! :) And using a popular theme seems just fine!

      Like
    • Brett Gilbert Hey Brett. I just remembered that there is a really cool piece with all natural harmonics written for Tonebase. It's Landslag X by Gulli Bjornsson. You can find the score, video performance, and tutorial video over on the recorded side of the site.

      Like
    • Ronnull
    • Ron.3
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Prompt: Etude with 3 note chords in which the melody moves between voices.

    Like 1
      • Brett Gilbertnull
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Ron This is an interesting one and think it's within my ability so I will post my etude idea for this in the next few days.  

      Like
      • Ronnull
      • Ron.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Brett Gilbert Brett thank you. I'm currently trying to improve my right hand finger independence to a level where I can easily emphasise individual notes of a chord when they are all played together.

      Like
    • Ron nice one!

      Like
  • Study in Harmonics walkthrough

    Here is a walkthrough of a etude I wrote that has a simple four-measure melody played with a variety of harmonics, as requested by Brett Gilbert above. The video walks through each of the variations. The score is attached.

    BTW, I could not figure out how to notate harmonics in Musescore, so like Brett, I downloaded the 30-day trial of GuitarPro.

      • Brett Gilbertnull
      • Piano and classical guitar
      • Brett_Gilbert
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Wow, thanks so much Eric!  I can't believe how quickly you created this and with a tutorial video as well.  I've already started working on this and it's exactly what I was looking for but couldn't find anywhere. Hopefully I can practice enough over the next few days to create a video of my attempt to play. I think you'd make a great tonebase instructor 😉

      Even though Guitar Pro does harmonics in a non-standard way, including the tab like you did is really useful for learning purposes especially since since I'm already familiar with their notation, so thanks for doing that too.

      Like 1
    • Brett Gilbert You’re very welcome, Brett. I wish the theme were a little more developed, but this serves the purpose of presenting the different types of harmonics.. Each variation is a small step up technically.

       Like you said, the notation is a little wonky, but at least the tab makes it clear what to play. I get very frustrated by the notation software, trying to get it to do what I want. I hate wasting time on that, when I’d rather be playing or writing the music.

      Like 2
    • Eric Phillips Nice one Eric! Clearly explained 👍

      Like
    • Eric Phillips that’s a very nice study , Eric. And so well explained, it shows the examples of the different kinds of playing harmonics . Very useful.

      Like 1
    • joosje Thanks, Joosje!

      Like
Like Follow
  • 2 yrs agoLast active
  • 63Replies
  • 233Views
  • 11 Following

Home

View all topics