Week 4: "Samba Strings Showcase"

Welcome to the Main Thread for the last week of "Villa-Lobos Voyage" practice challenge! 

  1. Select a mesmerizing piece from Villa-Lobos or a composer connected to his Brazilian heritage. Whether it's a soulful Villa-Lobos composition, a rhythmic Brazilian-inspired work, or a piece by another artist inspired by the Brazilian musical tradition, the choice is yours! 🎼

  2. Commit to regular practice and share your progress with the community. Strive to practice daily and upload at least two videos per week to showcase your musical voyage. This not only keeps you motivated but also allows you to share your artistic journey with our tonebase family. 🎥

  3. Share your favorite performance or recording that captures the spirit of the "Villa-Lobos-Voyage Challenge." Your submission will inspire others and create a vibrant collection of potential pieces for fellow members to explore. 🎧

↓ Happy Sharing! ↓

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    • Calin Lupa
    • Calin_Lupa
    • 7 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    The Etude No.1 has such a special atmosphere and I am grateful for all the advice I got during this challenge to improve it.  Here is my latest recording of it,  at an aspirational speed, still much work is needed to be able to play it cleaner at this tempo.  

    Like 4
      • Calin Lupa
      • Calin_Lupa
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Jack Stewart thank you  for posting Mircea's annotated score. I remember that livestream , Mircea showed so many ways of practicing the etude: doted rhythms, bursts,  with/without  planting,  accents, quite eye opening. I also practice the dotted  and bursts rhythms as part of my regular warm-up . I still find it difficult to accentuate only a finger,  I should follow your example and work on that, as it should definitely improve  finger independence and articulation. 

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    • Calin Lupa Barney Per Carlevaro description of playing HVL Estudio #1, he recommends playing first arpeggio with the flesh of the thumb (remember keeping the thumb "laterally displaced, attacking forte with the muscular aggregate") In Carlevaro language, this means the thumb is straight and uses the strong muscle which attaches the thumb to the wrist in actuating the stroke.  The i,m,a should be played forte using Toque 2 (fingers slightly arched).  When repeating the arpeggio piano, the same flesh stroke of the thumb is to be used but with less force.  For i,m,a, he recommends Toque 1 (free stroke), which is an attack in which the fingers are completely relaxed. This is described in his Master Class edition on HLV Studies.  Nevertheless, if you are new to Carlevaro' School of Guitar, this can all seem a bit overwhelming or confusing.  It takes time for this all to make sense but given the effort, the results can be amazing.  In any case, you are playing this Estudio extremely well, and may want to focus on making more of contrast between the forte and piano arpeggios and later on, as you learn more about Carlevaro's various Toques, you can begin to apply them if they are something that you like.  I hope this helps.

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      • Calin Lupa
      • Calin_Lupa
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Dale Needles thank you for the detailed explanation, it does make sense. Now applying this to my playing ... a different story :) , it will take time indeed.  You clarified an important point, which I misunderstood previously,   which is that the thumb with flesh can be used not only for piano but also for forte,  therefore I assume thumb with nail can also be used for playing both piano and forte, and the other Toques too , each giving though a different color to the sound.  Is my understanding correct? 

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    • Calin Lupa For the most part, you are correct. For each of Carlevaro's "toques" one can elicit a forte and piano dynamic.  Additionally, each toque gives a different timbre or color to the sound.  However, there are a few exceptions to this and it should not be interpreted too literally. For example, toque 5 which is used to bring out a metalic timbre, is almost always used when playing piano.  In any case, if you want to explore this more, please move the conversation to the Carlevaro Forum under the Technique section.  Additionally, I am planning to post there some examples of Carlevaro exercises for the right hand in the coming week, beginning with his excellent arpeggio exercises using toque 1.  

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      • Calin Lupa
      • Calin_Lupa
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Dale Needles will do, thank you! 

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      • martinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Jack Stewart That's my writing!

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      martin Opps! Sorry Martin. Since Mircea’s image was on the title screen I assumed it was his.

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    • don
    • don.2
    • 7 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    HVL Prelude no 5

    Was practicing it in 4 different sections. Rather than posting 4 videos, I stitched them up.  This is the first time for this piece that I got a youtube copyright, so I guess I'm heading in the right direction. 😄

    This will probably be the last update for this challenge but I will post again for this piece when I get it more fluid. 

    Like 3
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      don You're certainly heading in the right direction.  It keeps sounding better.  The next suggestion I would make is to try to make the "A" section sound less mechanical, and more lyrical.  Listen to the melody and take more time  (don't rush)to bring out the beauty of the theme.  Even David Russell's wife would remind David to not play too fast when he goes on stage. 

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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      don You're accomplishing what this song was meant to do - take us somewhere special! Wonderful job with that, and congratulations on the YouTube copyright infringement! 😄 Finally, someone is noticing! 

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    • don Sounds great, Don! I especially like the B section. I do agree with Barney about the repeat of the A section feeling rushed.

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney Thanks again for the suggestion. I just had my weekly lesson and my teacher said the same thing. 

      Steve Pederson Eric Phillips Thanks!

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      HVL Prelude no 5 Final submission    

      Trying to play it slower especially in Section A. The thing I realize is I'm bound to make a mistake somewhere so I decided to enjoy and live with it. 

      Like 2
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      don Really impressive, Don. This is a very complex piece which you have a solid grasp of. Keep up the great work.

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    • don Great progress with this Prelude, Don. It is sounding very good and only needs a little time to mature and develop, not unlike a fine wine.  I think HVL's music particularly needs time to mature under one's fingers. I think the next step would be to isolate a few areas in order to really master them and watch the shifts.  Congrats!

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    • don you've done an amazing job on this prelude in the past weeks, bravo! I agree with Dale Needles comments and as a little suggestion I would propose you in A section to take care of the melody legato between chord shifts.

      Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Dale Needles Thanks Dale. You are right about needing time to develop. During my lesson, my teacher was explaining the details about this piece and  there quite a lot of subtle complexities once you taken a deeper look. My favorite is that he doesn't change the time signature but section A focus on the first beat, B drives to the second and C is 3 groups of 2. 

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Blaise Laflamme Thanks! It does sounded very cut, I tried to do the loud, medium and soft for every 3 beats to give the illusion of legato but somehow didn't manage to pull it off. Gonna take more time to develop. 

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    • don this sounds very good already, that's a little enhancement at your level you can do/work that would benefit a lot the musical flow. For sure slow practice will reveal you the sweet spot between shift and legato, good work!

      Like 1
    • don very good Don. You made impressive progress on this piece. I enjoyed listening.

      Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje thank you!

      Like
    • Steve Pederson
    • The Journey is My Destination!
    • Steve_Pederson
    • 7 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    HVL Choros No. 1 - Final Submission

    I will say that I'm proud of myself for taking on a piece that I've always wanted to play, but never thought I could. I have managed to learn this very difficult piece of music in its entirety, though I know I still have a long way to go!  (Previously I had learned part of the C section, and it think perhaps it shows a bit in this performance - at least it was where I felt the most comfortable). 

    I will also say that, until this recording, I don't know if I've ever played the piece all together in one shot with all the repeats. 😮

    I like what Marilyn Blodget said about not working your left hand too hard. I have to work on that. My left hand got very fatigued while playing this song. 

    I will be happy to take a break from this piece - but not for too long. 😉 I can see this as a valuable part of my repertoire. It's a fun song for sure. 

    Like 7
    • Steve Pederson what a great job you did on this, bravo Steve! For sure it's a beautiful classic to have in your hands and ready to play in any occasions 👋

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

      Blaise Laflamme Thanks Blaise!

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    • Steve Pederson Great progress, Steve!  It’s really starting to flow.  I found the B section to require the most work.  It’s deceptively difficult. If you want to rest this for awhile, I recommend at least giving the B section some consistent work.  That way when you come back to the full piece it will be more comfortable.  We play section A 3 times, and section C twice, so B could get short changed since we only play it once.  Great work on this!

      Like 1
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