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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    • Jenny
    • Jenny
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

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

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

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

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

      Eric Phillips Bravo Eric! Enjoyed every second of it, and the improv was very well executed! 💪🕺

      Like 1
      • Ronnull
      • Ron.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Excllent Eric -  bravo! I'm now looking forward to trying no. 3, although I've never tried improvising before!

      Like 2
    • Ron Thanks, Ron. I look forward to hearing you play. 

      Like 1
      • Jenny
      • Jenny
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Great job! You are taking on this improvisation challenge! ..I’m very impressed that you had the courage to try this! 👍

      Like 2
    • Jenny Thank you so much, Jenny! I’m not sure if it’s courage or just lack of shame.

      Like 2
    • Eric Phillips bravo eric, beautiful contrasts.

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

      Eric Phillips bravo Eric, nice improvisation!

      Like 2
    • Daniel Beltrán Thanks Daniel.

      Like 1
    • Ronnull
    • Ron.3
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    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.

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

      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!

      Like
  • 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 :)

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

      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.

      Like
    • 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 🤯

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

      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 👍   

      Like 1
    • 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"

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

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

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

      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 🧙‍♂️🤯
       

      Like 1
    • 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 :) 

      Like 1
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