WEEK ONE: Uncharted Territory!

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of the Sergio Assad Community Challenge, starting to discover this wonderfully intriguing set of etudes! 


If you want to describe your process (optional), feel free to use the following template.

  • Things you found easy:
  • Things you found difficult:
  • (Optional): a video of you performing the Sketch!
  • (Optional:) questions

↓ Reply below with your assignments and questions! ↓

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  • Hello everyone! 🙂

    I decided to dive right in at Sketch IV. When I heard Martin say it was like Stairway to Heaven, I had to play it! Growing up, Jimmy Page was like a god to me.

    Things I found easy: Eating ice cream 🎉 (just kidding, I did not actually eat any)

    Things I found difficult: Taking care on some of the fingerings; damping open strings when necessary; I played around with the improvisation, but I found everything I did to be terribly boring or just weird sounding, so I decided to spare you all of listening to me do it. 😁

    Like 12
  • Very nice Eric!

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  • Hello everybody, I gave the first Sketch a try and - Spoiler alert - failed miserably in the 4th section of the 1st Sketch, but I'll continue working on that one!

    • Things you found easy: Shaping and phrasing the line as the Simple Notes can't hide their harmonic direction!
    • Things you found difficult: Adding the brazilian flavour the the 4th part and especially performing it! While the first 3 sections are repetitive and the way their patterns are built, the 4th really needs attention for fingering in order not to stumble! A wolf in sheep's clothing! 🐺
    Like 6
    • Martin Really well done, Martin! Great shaping of the melody. Your musicianship shines through even on this simple melody.

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    • Martin I agree with Eric - the phrasing is exquisite - thanks for sharing!

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      Ron Eric Phillips Thank you guys! Excited to dive deeper, especially into the last part of the first Sketch!

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    • Martin Good!

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    • Martin Martin 

      I am having trouble with that one too. Nevertheless, I found this Assad’s short pieces amazing. Even if I am not able to play them well (working now on Etude 2) they are quite beautiful and appelative.

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    • Martin great to hear the music you're doing with simple lines :)

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    • Martin Beautiful! Really nice work. Inspiring!

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      Steve Pederson thank you, I‘ll dig deeper from Sunday on, had a busy schedule but finally will explore more of these fantastic compositions and of course all of your submissions!

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      Blaise Laflamme thanks you!!! 🚀

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      José Espírito Santo it‘s so fascinating to see how Sergio develops this last part from such a simple! But I need to work on it a little more over the weekend 💪

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      Peter thank you, Peter! 🥳

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      José Espírito I‘m excited to hear your version of it!

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    • Martin Martin 

      Thanks, Martin. Still struggling with it but I improved a lot and I found this sketch as something very useful. Because I like it a lot, it pushes me to practice more and more…

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  • Here's my first stab at Sketch I.

    Things I found easy: The harmonic structure of this melody is so clear that phrasing is not a mystery at all.

    Things I found difficult: Two things.

    1. The left hand fingering in measure 45 I find very difficult, which probably means I need to work on it. I took the easy way out for this recording and re-fingered it.

    2. I did not work out any right hand fingering at all, but just went with whatever came naturally. Section 4, in particular. would benefit from more careful planning.

    So now I can either work on these details or move on. Not sure what I'll do!

    Like 1
    • Eric Phillips I decided to work on the trouble spots. Here's a quick video of my improvement on the left hand in measure 45. (In the video I say measure 44, but it's 45 ... oops.)

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips And now here is measures 81-84 after some practice. This time I'm concentrating on the right hand. Assad included some RH fingerings, but I wrote them all down and practiced the phrase.

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    • Eric Phillips very thorough work, Eric! Keep up the good work! :)

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    • Khiem Nguyen Thank you, Khiem.

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    • Eric Phillips Eric this great I think I will write the fingerings in too as I've tripped over several times. Well done! Thanks for reminding me to focus on trouble spots too!

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    • Ron To be honest, I almost never work out RH fingerings (I'm ashamed to say). I noticed by watching the videos how much more stable my right hand was after working out the fingering and practicing them.

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      Eric Phillips Thank you so much for your detailed update, this is a great to follow and super valuable for fellow community challengers!

      Bar 45! Opposing Motion! Damn hard! I feel your hand would benefit from keeping the 3rd finger on the d until you play the c. By that, you do two movements at the same time and reducing motion in opposite directions! 

      Bar 81-84! Love your fingering, I'll probably copy that!

      It's so nice to hear you explain what you're doing! 🥳

      Like 1
    • Martin Thanks, Martin! I'm having lots of fun with this.

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    • Eric Phillips here's what I cam up with...

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    • Steve Pederson Wow! Thanks for making that video. Like you, I re-fingered it at first and was practicing it with the new fingering. Then I looked at the fingering Assad wrote and said to myself, "Here's a fingering I find challenging, and this thing we're doing is called a challenge, so why don't I just work on the difficult fingering?" I suppose if I were preparing for a performance I might go with something else, and I like your thought process around your choices a lot. What you played certainly sounds good and looks secure. 👍👋

      For such a "simple" piece it sure is complicated, isn't it? I love the complexity though, and thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

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    • Eric Phillips yes, complicated in a beautiful way. And, I love your attitude - this IS a challenge. Let's rise to the challenge! 😉

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      Steve Pederson Wow! So cool, super inspiring to see your thought process and that you took the time to create a video reply for Eric Phillips ! You put it beautifully in words, first of all we have that fingering that Sergio put out there for us and we need to analyze the intention behind a certain finger combination. But of course, all of us have our own hands and and we need to come up with possibilities to convey they music in our way! Again, so inspiring to see and thank you so much for putting together a 6:45 video about that! 🥳🚀💪

      Like 1
  • Hi everyone, here is my 2nd take for Etude 1, part 1,2, and 3. I have not achieved resonable fluency with part 4, so there is no part 4 yet ^^

     

    Things I found easy: the first 8 bars of each part are easy for me because it does not require much shifting of left hand fingers

     

    Things I found difficult: the last 8 bars of each part, because the left hand shift rapidly and jumps rapidly :)

    Like 4
    • Khiem Nguyen Very good work, Khiem! It's a simple melody, but it requires quite a bit of dexterity, doesn't it?

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    • Eric Phillips thank you, I totally agree with you Eric! It requires a lot of finger independance! Stretching in the first position is not always easy since the frets are broadest :)

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    • Khiem Nguyen Yes, why didn't he write this in 7th position! 😀

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    • Eric Phillips haha, good question Eric. I think it is because the basses are in the 6th string, first position anyway (and can't be moved to the 7th frets). At the same time, it is also nice to practice stretching horizontally, isn't it? :)

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    • Khiem Nguyen I was only kidding, Khiem. I just wanted it to be easier!

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    • Eric Phillips Lol, okay Eric, I was thinking you were kidding also! :P

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    • Khiem Nguyen Bravo!!!👋

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    • Khiem Nguyen Very good Khiem - it's a simple but deceptive little melody and certainly requires good finger indepence!

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      Khiem Nguyen Wonderul Khiem! Thank for your update!

      Even a shift of only one bar can cause stress in your pectoral muscle! Since we need to execute that shift in bar 26-29 three times, we carefully need to anticipate the movement in  our elbow in order to reduce stress in our upper body!

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    • Giuseppe Gasparini thanks Giuseppe! Ron thank you and that is true, it needs some proper thought out, careful fingering and a bit of practice to execute it fluently. I haven't achieved fluency yet with my take,; I need to practice more :) Look forward to seeing your video :)

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    • Martin thanks Martin, I will look carefully at the elbow and the shifting again. Wow, it needs a lot of time and patience! ^_^

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    • Khiem Nguyen great work and you're right, the bass line is not as easy as it looks like 😮

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      Khiem Nguyen you‘re doing a great job and we‘re excited to see your progress! 💪

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    • Blaise Laflamme yes, it needs to be practiced more to get the shift legato (I haven't achieved it yet with 30 minutes practicing). Martin , thank you, I will keep on the diligence :)

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  • And we're off! 

    What I found easy: loving this piece! It's simple and yet complex at the same time. I especially love the harmonic structure. It seems very promising. 

    What I found difficult: 

    • Remembering to start with my 2nd finger on C! 😄
    • Deciding which RH fingers to use
    • At first I wasn't sure if I should keep the notes separate, so I attempted playing it without letting one note ring into the next. Then I watched Sergio play it again, and noticed that he let the notes ring out together. That was a relief. Made it easier to play, and it sounds prettier that way as well. 
    Like 5
    • Steve Pederson Good job, Steve, and welcome to the challenge. Yes, it does sound better to let the notes ring into each other. It’s like a melody and arpeggios at the same time.

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    • Eric Phillips Thanks Eric, and that's a great point! I never thought of it that way before. 

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    • Steve Pederson Bravo!!! 👍

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    • Steve Pederson Well done Steve - yes it does sound much richer letting the notes ring.

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      Steve Pederson Bravo! I enjoyed your thought process as well and I came to the same conclusion! Having some of the notes ring together does make perfect sense, and seeing the composer doing so himself is a great and valuable observation!

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    • Steve Pederson very clear sound, really nice Steve! :)

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    • Steve Pederson very good start, sounds clear and welcome to the challenge!

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  • Today, I'm posting an updated version of Sketch I after having practiced it for a day.

    Like 5
  • So here is my first take on Sketch II.

    What was easy: Like Sketch I, the phrasing is so crystal clear that there is no guesswork.

    What was difficult: A couple things.

    • In order to sustain notes correctly (especially those sustained over the measure lines), great care of left hand fingering is needed.
    • The accents are not easy for me. Assad says to do them with rest stroke. I can't do this right now without a lot of work, so I'm just doing a fuller free stroke. Still, I am very inconsistent. The accents on the second page are particularly difficult for me to execute well.
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    • Eric Phillips Gosh, I'm having difficulting keeping up with all your submissions! I can tell you've honed sketch 1 - excllent and I love sketch 2 and the way you phrase and acccent it - well done!

      Like 1
    • Ron Thank you, Ron. I appreciate your willingness to listen to some of this stuff I do. I look forward to hearing you play!

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      Eric Phillips Bravo! You are taking us on a wonderful journey here!

      I am also absolutely not a fan of a-apoyando, so I will probably end up doing the same thing as you if I can keep up with your update routine! 🥳🕺🚀

      Oooh, I loved how you felt that glissando!!! 💪

      Like 1
    • Martin Thanks, Martin. That glissando sounds like I’m still doing the Tarrega challenge. Assad played a much shorter fermata on the high B, but I honestly like to hold it longer (plus that gives me more time to prepare for what's next 🙂). Fermatas are our friends!

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    • Eric Phillips you're doing great with the voices here... I almost never do restroke, possibly frestroke 😄, but I prefer to manage the voices independently with volume or timbre. 

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      Eric Phillips Hahah, Sergisco Tarregassad vibes going on there! 🥳 *immashowmyselfout* 

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    • Martin You make me laugh!

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  • Sketch II Day 2

    What was easy: Hitting the record button on my iPhone. 📲

    What was difficult: I have pretty much given up on doing the accents on page 2. I really have no idea how to pull those off, distinguishing between the pairs of notes with only the second one accented. When I listen to Assad play it, I don't hear it much either, so that makes me feel better! Page 2 is supposed to be "agitado", but I'm not sure my playing sounds too agitated (except for all the mistakes I made).

    Like 4
    • Eric Phillips very fluent! Bravo Eric!

      I can't achieve such a fluency in sketch II as you do yet, maybe my technique is limiting me! :)

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    • Khiem Nguyen Thank you, Khiem. I listened to your recording of it below, and I think you're doing great. What matters is progress, which unfortunately always comes slower than we want.

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    • Eric Phillips thank you Eric. I think I should put more hours on repeating the exercise before I can see a better fluency :)

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    • Eric Phillips Khiem is right, this sounds very more fluid and secure... good job!

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    • Blaise Laflamme Thanks, Blaise. This one is really growing on me. It's really beautiful, but also an amazing exercise in left hand finger independence. To me, it's like an updated Sor Op 35 No 17.

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      Eric Phillips Awesome stuff! I try to play those accents like I'd play the development parts in  "Introduction et Caprice" by Regondi with a more Cuban pima-approach, here's a video for you!

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    • Martin Thanks you so much, Martin! It sounds really good that way. I will give that a try and get back to you (probably not until tomorrow as I'm spending the day with my family today).

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    • Eric Phillips I've been working on this a bit. I must admit, I do not find this right hand pattern very natural, and this would take a lot of work for me (which is not a bad thing!). One follow up question: how do you achieve making the 3rd note in the pattern shorter? Are you planting with the subsequent a finger to do it?

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  • Thank you Martin. Here is "Sketch 1", my first post (ever-and in this forum😬) of me, playing guitar.

    • Things I found easy: get inspired by this challenge-love the compositions. (And also the lessons about how to actually compose music, and improvise).
    • Things I found difficult: fingering (in some places). And most of all - actually record and post something in this forum! I played guitar as a child, and restarted as an adult taking classical guitar lessons a couple of years ago. 
    Like 5
    • Jenny Welcome, Jenny, and congratulations on your first post! It was great! You have a very natural sense of phrasing and musicality. Good work!

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      Jenny Beautifully done! And welcome to the Community, we are glad to have you and look forward to many more awesome submissions from you 🥳

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      Jenny Thank you so much for your first submission! Super excited to have you for this challenge, there are much more Sketches to discover for you 🕺💪🥳

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    • Jenny beautiful, clean tone, Jenny! :)

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    • Jenny welcome to the challenge and to the community! you're doing great, you sound very comfortable and secure, I hope you'll submit more sketches! 

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    • Jenny wonderful job! You could've fooled me that you just started taking lessons a couple years ago. This was fantastic! 

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    • Jenny Jenny that's excellent, such a lovely tone, great dynamics and phrasing - well done!

      Like 1
    • Jenny wonderfull job! Congratulations on your first post! Hope to hear more of the sketches played by you. 

      Like 1
  • Sketch III Take 1

    What was easy: With the exception of measures 8-16, page 1 was pretty easy to play.

    What was difficult: Two things.

    • Measures 8-16 ask for rests in the bass voice and a metallic sound, which was a bit challenging. Wouldn't it be great if someone at Tonebase did a workshop on damping? (😉)
    • The improvisation! 😲😫😓 This is not exactly my strength as a player. I made it more difficult by using more complex rhythms than were called for, but for some reason, I just couldn't stop myself. It would be easier if I didn't have to play the bass notes, but then there would be no harmonies to improvise over. Can someone remind me why this is a good thing?!?! (Just kidding 😁)
    Like 3
  • I missed the kick-off livestream, but I've now caught up (thanks Martin) and I've watched some of the excellent progress videos.

    I've had a go at sketches 1 & 2 so far. 

    What was easy about Sketch 1 was the phrasing as it was clearly marked!

    Whilst sight reading was OK, what I found tricky was sticking to the fingering given. I've now written in all the fingering and I'm  working slowly through the 'trouble spots'  trying to stick to what Serio has written - not all of it feels natural but it's starting to flow. I just need more time!!

    I'm aiming to work through the 1st three this week. It's really inspiring to see everyone else's submissions.

    Like 2
    • Ron Good. The fingerings are definitely harder than I thought they’d be looking at the notes on the page.

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      Ron Thank you for your updated! You are absolutely right, there is a distinct character shining through those fingerings, but they need to be thought through to really get them into your hand!

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  • Here is my first take on Sketch II.

    Things I found easy: sight reading

    Things I found difficult: right hand finger alternation. I have a habit to play with the thumb on the 6th, 5th, and 4th finger. If I want to alternate to use p,i instead, then I have to consciously force myself to do that.

     

    The second difficulty for me is playing rest stroke with "a" finger. I can't play rest stroke on "a", but my habit is to use either "m" or "i" to play rest stroke. Finger "m" is my favorite in playing rest stroke, followed by "i". This is exactly the same as my current guitar teacher. He is doing like that and I am copying his right hand style, his angle of attack in the right hand :) 

     

    I don't know if it will become necessary at some later point to train myself to play rest stroke with "a" too. What is your opinion about this? :)

    Like 3
    • Khiem Nguyen Thanks for posting this Khiem - you did a great job! I couldn't see your right hand, but it sounds like you're using rest stroke on the accented notes, is that correct? If so, you're ahead of me. I find it too difficult to do rest stroke with a. I just did the accents with a fuller sounding free stroke. In my opinion, I think the free stroke is fine, but maybe I'm just being lazy and not wanting to work on something new! 🙂

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips thank you Eric. Yes, I also was not happy that my camera angle could not show all my right hand. I have to film it better next time :) . I am using rest stroke, mainly using the "m" finger, and occassionally the "i" finger. Playing rest-stroke using the "a" finger" is also a challenge for me right now :)

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    • Khiem Nguyen Well done Khiem. I think using rest stroke on the accented notes really brings the sketch to life - I've only sight read it through so far (VERY hesitantly!) and using a on all the accented notes is certanly tricky and unnatural in places.

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    • Khiem Nguyen good work Khiem, I'm with you about the restroke, I understand and know how to do it, but it doesn't flow well with how I usually play and hear how the music should sound out of my guitar 🤯

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    • Khiem Nguyen good work! I think it might be important to do rest strokes with "a", it's a great way to stand out melodies under certain passages (I personally do it on the accented notes of Capricho Árabe) like Ron says, and perhaps gives a darker sound to that finger, which normally is the brightest of all. I don´t do it in many places of this piece to let ring some middle notes, but in some I do. And in the 4/4 part I don't do it at all, because of the speed, but I do need to accent the marked notes more 👍   

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    • Daniel Beltrán yes Daniel. I have seen many good players play rest stroke with "a", so it is achievable. Maybe I will be able to do it too (hopefully) if I slowly develop it. Right now I am playing rest stroke on "m" or "i" :) The "i" gives thinnest rest stroke sound compared to the "m"

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    • Blaise Laflamme thank you Blaise. I feel the same, rest stroke seems to be easier in the slower part for amateur player like me :)

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    • Ron thank you and I agree with you about the trickiness of using "a" for rest stroke. Look forward to seeing your videos :)

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      Khiem Nguyen Hey Khiem, I put together a video with a little help for the alternation and my dirty secret of my a-finger apoyando 🧙‍♂️🤯
       

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    • Martin Hi Martin, I would like to say in Danish "tusind tak", means, thank you thousand times! :) You are so nice by making a dedicated video to help me! :) I have practiced using your advice on playing chord shape in order to achieve better finger alteration. I am editing the videos and will post my progress ASAP, hopefully tomorrow, I hope :) 

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      Khiem Nguyen Always happy to help!!! 🤓

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  • Sketch IV at tempo. I played this back on day 1 of the challenge, but I was just sight reading it more or less. Now I practiced it a bit more and I am playing it at a better tempo.

    What was easy: Tuning the guitar 🎸

    What was difficult: As with all of these sketches, care of left hand fingering is needed to make notes sustain correctly. In the right hand, damping of bass notes is needed in a few places, and I'm pretty new to this technique (though getting better). I did not do any improvising on this one - trust me, your ears would thank me!

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    • Eric Phillips wow big improvement over your first submission! you should consider participating in the instagram challenge too! 😍

      Like 1
    • Blaise Laflamme I'm afraid I'm not on Instagram (or any other social media). It's just not my thing, I guess.

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips I hear you and not that I'm a big fan myself, but I can see you there too 👍

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      Eric Phillips I really love your submission, I think it really captures a chanson-like feel that might have inspired Sergio Assad there (he lived in Paris while composing the Aquarelle Sonata, so this might not be too far fetched, haha). 🥖👨‍🍳

      Like 1
    • Martin Thank you so much, Martin. I can definitely tell you that I was not going for a chanson-like feel from Paris, since I really have no idea what that means! 😊  At the Watch Party, though, that's exactly what I'll tell Sergio: "Your Sketch IV reminded me very much of the chansons in Paris that inspired Aquarelle." Do you think he'll be impressed?

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      Eric Phillips Haha, sounds good to me! 😅🚀

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  • Sketch V First Take.

    What was easy: It's very pretty, with a nice Major-Minor-Major structure. I did not find the syncopation to be too difficult.

    What was difficult: Again, left hand fingering is the big challenge. There are many trouble spots, but I particularly struggled with the two phrases in measures 16-24.

    Like 4
    • Eric Phillips Great sight reading Eric - I wish mine was half as good! 1st time I've heard sketch 5 as I haven't watched the progress video that far yet but it sounds really good and, yes, I see what you mean about the left hand fingering.

      Loved your up tempo sketch 4 too!

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    • Eric Phillips good work eric! you now entering the difficult ones 😂

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    • Ron Thanks, Ron. This is another really nice one and great exercise in finger independence. I'll practice it and probably post again tomorrow.

      In my teen years (when all I wanted to play was hard rock from tabs) I was fortunate enough to have a teacher who made me sight read every lesson, all over the fingerboard. He also taught me theory basics. He didn't teach me classical technique or repertoire, but he did give me a good musical foundation. I truly am eternally grateful for him.

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    • Blaise Laflamme Yes, I know! I have the feeling I may be hitting a brick wall soon! 

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    • Eric Phillips I think I always saw sight reading as something I needed to do for exams and I realised I got lazy about it over the years - I've now started to work on it again!

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    • Eric Phillips haha! not a brick wall... but probably a bit more time on each of them 😅

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    • Blaise Laflamme Oh yes!

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      Eric Great job!!! It‘s really nice to see your sight-reading progress and see how you come up with great solutions on the spot! 

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  • Hello challengers,

    I apologize for not having posted any progress updates so far but I've been working on them slowly and quietly and I really enjoy them. I thought I would have been already on vacation this week and have plenty more time but it looks like not... so I hope to post some updates in the upcoming days!

    Like 2
  • On to the second variation of the first etude...

     

    What I found easy:

    • the first line 
    • being expressive with the piece. It lends itself very well to dynamic interpretation. 

     

    What I found difficult: 

    • the left-hand fingerings that were written in. I had to make some modifications to execute well.
    • m. 45 as written with the fingerings. This was the most challenging. I just couldn't get my fingers to cooperate with the fingerings that were written in, so I reconfigured that part. 
    • I also re-configured pretty much all the fingerings in mm 41-48, as well as mm 53-54 and m 58. 
    • getting one good clean take. I'm a perfectionist, and I can't tell you how many recordings it took to get it the way I wanted. 
    Like 2
    • Steve Pederson Good work, Steve! Your fingering seemed to work for you. You play very musically. 🎶 

      Like 1
    • Steve Pederson Well played Steve, the fingering changes certainly work 

      Like 1
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      • martin.3
      • 2 mths ago
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      Steve Pederson GREAT! You captured the mood of the piece, a little nostalgic but with a certain lightness to it! Really enjoyed this up-tempo performance (though it might a little faster then indicated by Sergio?), the D on the 5th string brings out a fantastic personal nuance there! Loved every second of it, it had a nice flow!

      Like
    • Steve Pederson wow, clean and musical! Great interpretation Steve!

      Like
  • Sketch V Day 2. Here it is after about one hour of practice. There is definitely improvement. The B section, while not an absolute disaster like yesterday, still needs work.

    Like 2
  • Hello guys, sorry for the late reply, I haven't got too much time to practice. But here I post my video of the 2nd Sketch by Sergio Assad. Huge thanks to Tonebase for commisioning this awesome etudes! Sorry for my concentration face 😅 I will watch your videos know, guys! 

     

    • One thing you found easy: Phrasing and shaping the melodic lines! It's more noticeable on the 3/4 part!
    • One thing you found difficult: Mostly memorizing and executing well both parts (3/4 and 4/4) because of the motivic differences (don't know if those are the right terms...), there is a moment where I stop to remember the passage 😅 but with practice I'll get it right 👍   

     

    Like 3
    • Daniel Beltrán Awesome playing, Daniel! What a challenging tempo! I would find this very difficult to memorize, trying to keep the subtle differences straight between the 3/4 and 4/4 sections. I really think this one could become a standard of our repertoire because not only does it teach great left hand finger independence, but it's also just plain beautiful.

      Like
    • Daniel Beltrán great Daniel! I was not expecting this piece to be played as fast as you did... you did it well and clean... wow! Waiting for your next one 😎

      Like
    • Daniel Beltrán very smooth playing, good job Daniel! 

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      • 1 mth ago
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      Daniel Wow, what a nice flow in the beginning and great tempo in the second part! How long have you worked on these? Great job!!!

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    • Eric Phillips Thanks, Eric! Yes, it requires practice to memorize well the differences between the 3/4 and 4/4 part. It's really beautiful indeed! I changed a little bit the fingerings to do some passages more legato. Would love to play this one and many other of the sketches in a future recital or exam! 😀 

      Like 1
    • Blaise Laflamme Thanks, Blaise! I like to play the second part with an "agitated" tempo. Hope to hear your recordings soon 😎👍 

      Like
    • Khiem Nguyen Thanks, Khiem!

      Like
    • Martin Many thanks, Martin! I think I began with this sketch on last week's monday. I was practicing it for less than an hour daily, I think, and the day before of this recording I praticed it with intensity haha (2-3 hours). But yeah, this sketch is difficult to get right on the first attemp!    

      Like
  • Hello, just finished the first sketch. I found the notes and tempo easy to play but it wasn’t so easy to memorize. I needed about half hour of practice for 5 days to complete the sketch. Hope to be able to learn faster the next sketch. 

    Like 2
    • Raul Guzman Vidal That's great, Raul! I would find this one very hard to memorize as the different variations are so similar, but with small differences. Regarding your pace of learning, I personally think consistency is far more important than speed when it comes to practicing, so good job! These pieces aren't going anywhere - we can practice them for the rest of our lives.

      Like
    • Eric Phillips Definitely, I will need to take my time with the pieces. Thank you for the advice. I am looking forward to continue studying the rest of the sketches. 

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      Raul Guzman Thank you for your update! It‘s great and inspiring to read that you really take the time you need! As Eric said, these Sketches are here to stay 😎

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  • And back with an update on the 4th Part of the First Sketch! I am a little bit behind but I promise to catch up over the course of the next days 💪

    Sketch No.1 - Part 4

    • Things you found easy: Harmony and Phrasing is quite obvious, and once I got it into my fingers it flew pretty simple!
    • Things you found difficult: Finding places to establish stability! There is no repetitive right hand pattern whatsoever, so every bar needed special treatment 💉 Moreover, every line had its unique problems to solve!
    Like 2
  • And here I am with Sketch No.2 - Day One!

    • Things you found easy:  There is nothing really easy about that one, everything is little bit weird and odd!
    • Things you found difficult: I want to play the agitato fast, like really fast, but I'm not there yet, which is why I make too many mistakes! I'll update you on that one tomorrow, hopefully, it'll flow better! 
    Like 2
    • Martin That was great to listen to on so many levels, Martin! Setting the mistakes aside, your musical ideas are spectacular and come through very clearly. The contrast you create between the two sections is so good. I also love that you made mistakes, even doing a second take, but did not just scrap it and start over again, like I usually do. You're not afraid to show a lack of perfection, which teaches all of us so much. Thank you for that gift! 👍✌️

      Like 1
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      • 1 mth ago
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      Eric Haha, always happy to share my struggles with all of you guys! I think that‘s the idea of this community activity, to challenge ourselves and to commit ourselves to practicing some great pieces of music. Not much of a challenge if everything works after the first try 👨🏻‍🏫

      Like 1
    • Martin wonderful! I agree a lot with Eric, love how you play the two sections, and like Eric says the contrast you give between them! I will annotate those tricks you have for the second section. Yes, to play the second part fast is hard, knowing you, you'll have it done pretty quick 😀 

      Like
  • I've mainly been working on sketches 1 & 2 this week  - I think I've finally got all the fingerings to work on sketch 1 although I did struggle with bar 93 for a while. Rest stroke with a in Sketch 2 is coming along but the whole thing is not fluent yet!

    I've never ever made a video of my playing before so I thought I'd try this afternoon with part 2 of sketch 1, however I failed miserabley when trying to up load it to YouTube and the .mov file is too big to drag and drop here unfortunately!

    I'll keep trying!

    Like 2
    • Ron I really hope we get to hear you play! That’s great that you can do Sketch 2 with rest stroke.

      I am really bad at doing videos on YouTube but with some practice I have figured out my own way to make it work. It’s probably not the best way, but if you want some help maybe we could figure out a way.

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips Thanks Eric - any help would be very welcome

      Like 3
    • Ron Here's how I do it:

      • Go to your YouTube Channel
      • In the upper right hand corner are four icons, one of which looks like a camera with a plus sign in it. When you hover over it, it says "create". Click on it. A drop down menu will appear with two choices. Click on "Upload video".
      • Click on "Select Files" and get your video from wherever you stored it on your computer.
      • You then have to make lots of choices about your video, but I'll give the minimum choices, which is what I do.
      • Give it a title - it will default to whatever you called it already, but change it if you like.
      • Scroll down until you see the word "Audience" and click on "No, it's not made for kids".
      • In the upper right of the box, click on "visibility".
      • You have three choices - private, unlisted, or public. To post on the Tonebase thread, you must either choose public or unlisted. I always choose unlisted as I'm not interested in having the whole world see my videos, just those with whom I share the link (i.e. Tonebase users).
      • Before saving, in the lower right hand is a video link which you can copy to your clipboard by clicking on the little rectangle next to it. This will allow you post the link at Tonebase.
      • Then hit Save in the lower right.
      • After you do this, it will take a few minutes to upload your video and check it over for copyright infringement (it won't have any of course).
      • You can then go and post it in the Tonebase thread (i.e. here) by hitting Reply, typing whatever message you want, and then click on the middle icon at the bottom that is a rectangle with a triangle in it. When you hover over this box, it says "add video". Click on it and then paste in the link to your YouTube video that we copied above.

      Sorry that is so wordy. I'm not exactly an I.T. guy. I hope it helps, and most of all, I hope to see your videos!

      Like 3
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      • martin.3
      • 2 mths ago
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      Eric Phillips Ron Exactly like that, awesome Step-by-Step-Description! The Forum Software we are using has an upload limit of 50mb ! While it's fine for uploading scores and pictures. video files tend to get bigger than!

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips Fantastic! Many thanks Eric I will give it a go this evening.

      Like 3
    • Ron Looking forward to it!

      Like 2
    • Eric Phillips Eric Phillips thanks Ron and Eric this information is also really helpful to me as well, cheers Deb from Australia 

      Like 1
    • Deb Covell Happy to help! Will we be seeing some videos from you? 

      Like
    • Eric Eric Phillips Phillips hope so if I can get it to work! 

      Like 1
  • Unfortunately in this period I cannot follow and record, but I am studying them because they are good studies and very useful👍

    Like 3
    • Giuseppe Gasparini I hope all is well, Giuseppe. I'm glad you are able to study the sketches. All the best!

      Like 1
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      • 1 mth ago
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      Giuseppe Gasparini Thanks for letting us, we sure are happy to have back soon! 🥳

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  • Hopefully this should work - thanks to Eric for the excellent instructions

    It's a bit rough around the edges but I wanted to at least post something!

    (Apologies for the facial contortions  - I didn't realise I did so many!)

    Sketch 1 part 3

    Like 2
    • Ron This is outstanding, Ron! Your right hand is so stable, and the phrasing sounds so musical. Like you, I have noticed the strange looks on my face as I play. Yours are pretty subdued compared to mine. 😜🤪😖

      The video looks good too. What do you use?

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips Thanks Eric - I been working on trying to reduce the tension in my hands as I know I play better if I relax.  On the strange looks, I don't think weI'll ever match the way that Julian Bream's face used to look when he played (he was the first person I ever heard play the classical guitar and my inspiration for starting to learn)

       

      I just used my iphone for the video - I have got a Rode NT-USB mini mic but I haven't used it with the phone yet

      Like 2
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      • martin.3
      • 1 mth ago
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      Ron Great job! I really enjoyed that the tempo and your stability took us with you on the harmonic development!

      I think that maybe there might be a misprint in the score, because in bar 45-46 we have the upper voice changing from d to c,

       

      While in the parallel passage in the next part of the Sketch in bar 70 Sergio starts and stays on the c. It‘s a little bit more annoying to play with the development from d to c, but what do you think?

       

      Like
    • Ron Your're right, Bream's facial expressions are priceless. I think his come from his musicality, however, whereas mine come from tension.

      Your iPhone definitely looks better than mine. Mine is a bit old, only an iPhone 7.

      Like 1
    • Martin Thank you Martin. Yes, I think you may be right I just tried it both ways and I think I prefer it with the d - it gives the phrase more shape and interest.

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips Yes his musicality was incredible. I had the priviledge of seeing him play live with John Williams which was very entertaning as Williams shows little expression on his face.

      My iphone is only an 8 - my wife keeps telling me I should get a better one!

      Like 2
    • Ron Boy, I wish I could have been there to see them play!

      Until last September, I actually still had a flip phone. My wife finally took me out to buy the iPhone 7. I'll probably upgrade to an 8 in about ten years or so.

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      • 1 mth ago
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      Ron Oh wow, the Bream-Williams-Duo had a huge influence on my life as well. After some miserable competitions I decided to found a guitar duo, our repertoire almost copied all of the "Together Again" recording.

      Face-wise, I was also more the Bream-Type than the always-cool Williams 🥳

       

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips ☎️😂

      Like 1
    • Martin Both "Together" and "Together Again" were great albums. Williams expression is still the same - I saw him a couple of years back in a "6 Hands" concert (with Gary Ryan and John Etheridge). As well as playing together they also did some solos - if you've not heard it, check out JWs album "On the Wing" (it was on sale at the concert) - after hearing him play it I had to learn Madrugada which is a beautiful little piece

      Like 1
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      • 1 mth ago
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      Ron wow, I am really jealous! Thank you for the links, I'll check those out!

      Like
    • Ron "Operator? I'd like to place a call to CIrcle 5-9842, please."

      Like
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