II. Rhythm // FEB 24th

Alright, here we go, my friends! 😀 ♪♩ ♪ ♫ ♬


Scroll below for an explanation of this week's assignments! ↓


In this thread, we will be talking about the second lesson of our music reading course. Please use this thread if you have any questions concerning the workbook (coming soon!) or general questions concerning pitch in standard music notation!

 

Click here to access Session 2: Rhythm // Feb 24th (11am PST, 2pm EST, 8pm CET)

Find the other sessions here: Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Download the second workbook here

Find the assignments on page 19/20 of the workbook!

 

Feel free to only post a selection of the assignments. They are designed to give you options, depending on how much time you have.

 

  • Exercises 2c and 2d: Can be done without a guitar! Feel free to just clap on a table.
  • Exercise 2g: Can be done without reading all the notes in all the chords! If the pitches are too hard to read, feel free to cover the strings with your left hand and just strum the pattern. Whether you strum up or down is entirely your choice!
  • Exercise 2a: Parallel voices. Also good for practicing reading pitches you learned last week!
  • Exercise 2f: Parallel voices, but difficult. Use this one to challenge yourself to do a bit more than just read basic rhythms. This is an excerpt from JS Bach's music!
  • Exercise 2e: Dotted rhythms! Use this beautiful Dvorak excerpt to challenge yourself to play some dotted eighth notes. 
  • Exercise 2b: Triplets! Use this to practice some basic triplets
  • Exercise 2h: This is the hardest exercise, as it combines triplets, dotted notes, and parallel voices. Use this one to challenge yourself to mix everything we learned!

I will post the answers to the questionnaire on Mar 3rd! 

Submit your assignments by replying to this thread!

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  • Here are the answers to last week's questionnaire:

    1. What does a flat do? It lowers a note by one half step ("semitone")
    2. How many frets are in a whole tone? Two. One semitone per fret = two frets.
    3. Within the same octave, which is higher: F sharp or E? F sharp
    4. What song was that in Exercise 1e? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
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  • Hi Mircea

    Thanks for posting the workbook. However, I could not find any assignments there. Am I missing something? 

    All the best

    José

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      • MirceaTeam
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      • Mircea
      • 7 mths ago
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      José Espírito Santo hi Jose! Sorry about this. I've uploaded a new version of the workbook that explains more clearly where the assignments are. They can be found on page 19 and 20 of the new workbook. Feel free to pick and choose a couple of those to upload into the forums!

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    • Hi Mircea 

      How was the concert? No worries, I’m enjoying a lot the course. Still didn’t upload anything because I’m preety busy this week (teaching). Hope to do it during the weekend.

       

      All the best and many thanks for your excellent work!

      José

      Like 1
    • Ops... pretty, not preety. This iPad typing is killing me!... By the way, you mentioned Musescore and I use it on the laptop. On the iPad I use Notion. It has handwritting recognition and fantastic samples!

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      • MirceaTeam
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      • Mircea
      • 7 mths ago
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      José Espírito Santo No worries Jose! Thanks for uploading later (will comment on the recordings in just a bit!) The concert was great, thank you so much for asking! So much fun to play for a real-life audience again, even at 30% capacity! 😎 incredible.

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  • I am trying to notate my compositional  work and I find this content to be critical to working with any software and assigning correct note values.   Thanks!!!!

    Like 1
    • Brooke and rest note values as well.

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      • MirceaTeam
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      • Mircea
      • 7 mths ago
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      Brooke wonderful! Thank you so much, Brooke! Very happy to hear this.

      Like
  • The way you translate the intricacies of musical notation makes me regret being retired. Surely, throughout my teaching career, I could have explained these complexities a lot better.

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      • MirceaTeam
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      • Mircea
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      Marek Tabisz Thank you so much, Marek!

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  • Enjoyed the live class and I do like the fact that I can watch it again.  I get so frustrated with parts of reading rhythm, but the class helped me a lot. Still confused on one bar in exercise 2c. The last bar. You will see it in my video.  

     

    Here is a link to my efforts at the exercises.  Looking back you can see frustration - but I guess thats all part and parcel of being a student of the classical guitar - no matter what your level!

    https://youtu.be/mYe9jA9denQ

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      • MirceaTeam
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      • Mircea
      • 7 mths ago
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      JOHN ANDERSON John, this is great!!! Thank you so much for posting these in - I didn't expect anyone to do all 8 exercises, and you did not only that; I also loved how much care and attention you gave them all. 

      Wonderful job all around! Here are a couple of comments on the individual exercises:

      • a: Beautiful tone and great job playing everything really well! Rhythm-wise very good too, just speeding up a liiittle bit towards the end of the phrase there. Well done though!
      • b: Same here! Well done. I think you might be introducing a very slight rest before the chords though. This is probably because your triplet on beat 2 is a bit fast. You are playing together with the metronome on every beat, but since the triplet is just a bit rushed, you end up having to wait extra before the next beat. Another quick note: on the second chord, I think you might be playing a D minor (D A D F) instead of the half diminished chord there (D A B F)
      • c: Last measure: you got it in the end!!! Wonderful. The syncopation is what caused you trouble the other times: the fact that in the first half of the bar, your notes must come on ONE AND two AND. But you got it, it sounded perfect on the last try!
      • d: Careful with measures 4 and 5 - the rhythm got just a bit wonky there (where you played the 8th-16th-16th group and the 16th-16th-8th.)
      • e: On the first try, some of the dotted notes were a bit uneven, but it worked much better on the second try! This one is a particularly tricky one, because you have to not only maintain the dotted rhythms throughout, but also play all the right notes in order, and they tend to repeat in somewhat unexpected ways.
      • f: This was was absolutely perfect on the second try! 🎉 Congratulations!
      • g: The very first note (low A) was a biiit short, but this one was also perfect otherwise!
      • h: The triplet was also a bit fast, but otherwise you got it on the last try!

      Once again amazing job, and thanks for sending these in!!! Hope you've enjoyed my comments.

      Like
    • Mircea Thank you so much for taking the time to not only view my submission but also the detailed feedback. I will study your points carefully. This is fantastic once again thank you. Looking forward to tonight live session.  The football can go on hold!

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      • MirceaTeam
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      JOHN ANDERSON wonderful, so glad to hear!!! See you around the forums and in the live session!

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  • Hi Mircea

    I regret to say that I was unable to attend the live session in its entirety owing to time constraints. I watched the recording and thoroughly enjoyed your overview of rhythm notations particularly the part about dotted notes and ties.

    I have shared here my part of the assignments viz Ex 2a and Ex 2h. I know it is not perfect and there are a lot of mistakes. This is the best I could manage within the hectic schedule that I have been running of late. 

    Please share your valuable feedback on it. I may post a few more videos of the other exercises tomorrow.

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      • MirceaTeam
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      • Mircea
      • 7 mths ago
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      BHASKAR so happy to hear you've enjoyed the livestream! And thank you for sending in the submissions - great job!

      On 2a: This one is hard, with all the parallel voices - and yet you make it work!

      Rhythm-wise, make sure you don't slow down as you change between chords. It's important to keep in mind that there is no minimum tempo at which you should play this! So if changing between chords still requires some time to think (which is absolutely normal), you could try to simply start slower. Once you are playing slowly enough to be comfortable with the chord change, gradually and carefully raise the tempo of the entire exercise at the same time.

      On 2h: Great job! Given that it's only half a bar though, I can't quite tell you much yet. That being said, what you played was rhythmically correct!

      This is technically off-topic, but it's good to get into the habit of regularly tuning your guitar before you start practicing, so that you strings get "used" to the right tension and your ears get used to the correct pitches. Check this one out for a free option!

      Like
    • Mircea 

      Well, Mircea, the problem was that the videos I made were much bigger in size and were impossible to upload in the comments thread. So I had to reduce the size of the videos and in that process half of the original video got cut. In fact the complete video had me practicing the entire bars.

      I will make sure to make a full video of the exercises and try to post it here.

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      • MirceaTeam
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      • Mircea
      • 7 mths ago
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      BHASKAR Oh I'm sorry to hear that! What you could do to get around the file size limit in the forums is to simply upload the videos as unlisted to YouTube.

      You can then either simply paste the link to your video in your reply!

      Alternatively, once you have them as unlisted on YouTube, you can also click the video button below the text box you write your reply in and paste the link there. Hope this helps!

      Like
  • Hi Mircea,

    Here are my attempts at 2a, b, c, and d.  I couldn't quite handle the numerous notes, so I did it the easy way.  I hope that's okay.  (I'm not sure what I did wrong when I tried to upload, but I think you'll have to copy-paste the link.  Please let me know if you can't access these and I'll try something different.)

    https://youtu.be/iskIg1VRTQo

    https://youtu.be/NIXYYYtLbpU

    https://youtu.be/hEW3TNphZM8

    https://youtu.be/Nxq0_f97vGQ

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      • MirceaTeam
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      Desi Husband Desi, these were just wonderful!! Thank you for posting these and congratulations on the amazing job you did with this! I am very proud of you and very happy to see and listen to these.

      Here are my small comments on each one of them:

      • 2a: Great job maintaining the rhythm! Good call taking off one of the voices to focus on a steady tempo and correct pitches - it worked wonders!
      • 2b: Perfect rhythm!!! Wonderful job. You got it! 🎉
      • 2c: Pretty much perfect!!! If looking at it with what I would call an absolute "microscope", I would be able to tell you that the note at measure 4, beat 2 was a bit long. The same happens with the syncopated note in beat 5, but to an even more imperceptible degree. It's truly just nitpicking at this point, it sounded great and the whole thing was pretty much perfectly in time.
      • 2d: And once again, ending on a strong note - pretty much perfect here, too! Wonderful job! 🎉

      Congratulations on everything and hope to see you around this forum the next couple of weeks!

      Like 1
    • Mircea Thank you!  After watching session III today, I would like a class where we just get to sit and listen to you play.  😊  You have an awesome way with the guitar!!! 

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      • MirceaTeam
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      Desi Husband Thank you so much, Desi! I actually played a concert together with tonebase head of piano Ben Laude a couple of weeks ago - unfortunately though, since it was a collaboration with an event streaming platform, it's not available to view after the fact (the way our videos are.) Here's hoping there will be many more in the future, perhaps on our own platform too!

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    • Mircea I will keep an eye out for your concerts!!!

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  • I guess my downloads worked after all.  🙂

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  • Hi Mircea

    Here it goes. I am sending only some attempts.

     

    All the best

    José

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      • MirceaTeam
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      José Espírito Santo wonderful! Such a great job. Congrats on getting those recorded and thank you for sending them in!

      • 2a: Just perfect! Nothing I can say here at all apart from: great job!!! 🎉
      • 2b: A little more work needs to be done here - the triplets are characterized by the fact that all three notes must fit within a single beat. Although they look like eighth notes, and it might be tempting to play them as such, it's important to remember they are not eighth notes - they are a different division of the beat altogether. Also make sure not to introduce any rest between the triplet and the chord following it.

      Desi (a few comments below you) found a great way around the difficult position change - playing only the top melody, without the chords. That might be a good intermediate step to adopt, just to make sure you have that triplet rhythm perfectly internalized before you add in the chords.

      • 2d: Great job overall!! Really interesting thing happened here: in measure 4, on the first beat, you actually played a triplet! That's exactly the formula from exercise 2c that I was talking about above! Super interesting. Apply that in 2c and you will be golden!
      • 2f: Perfect! Nothing to say apart from that. Wonderful job! Thanks so much for sending these in, and congratulations on a job really well done! 🎉
      Like 2
    • Mircea 

      Thanks for the feedback. I will revisit 2b and 2d to improve using your advice.

      All the best

      José

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      • MirceaTeam
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      José Espírito Santo Awesome! Let me know if you have any questions and hope to see you around future sessions!

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  • Here's exercise 2h.  😳 😬

    https://youtu.be/R0nuLd9tDj4

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      • MirceaTeam
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      Desi Husband very good job here too! I'm not surprised that you decided to also tackle the hardest one, given how well the others went 😎 Quick thoughts:

      • the last note in measure 1 was a bit late
      • the first note in measure 3 was just a bit long
      • the last triplet in measure 3 was a bit slow.

      Really good job given how difficult this is, though!

      Like 1
    • Mircea Thanks for the feedback!  I re-listened to my recording, and I hear what you mean.  By the way, can you tell if I am holding my left arm in a strange position?  (Well, I guess it is hard to tell with my videos.)  Anyway, my left shoulder and upper arm get really sore, and I was wondering if that is common when first learning the guitar.

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      • MirceaTeam
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      • Mircea
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      Desi Husband Hi Desi! Sorry, I missed this earlier! It's a bit hard to tell from the angle of the video, but I don't think the angle of your left arm is strange. What I do notice, which might contribute to the pain you are experiencing, are two things:

      First thing:

      • the palm of your left-hand touches the bottom of your fretboard. This is an extremely common tendency among early-stage classical technique learners. It's probably a result of the tendency to "grip" the fretboard as if you were supporting the weight of the instrument through the left hand.
      • Ideally, what we want to do instead is to sit in a position where the fretboard can "exist" at the desired angle by itself, only being held in place by the contact points on our two legs and right arm, but with no help from the left hand. The left hand can then be "added on" to the fretboard, with your fingers (on one side) and thumb (on the other side) acting almost like a pair of tweezers.
      • Sometimes, I use a pencil to illustrate this: try playing an easy excerpt with your left hand while holding a pencil in your palm, and not letting the pencil touch the fretboard. That is the kind of position we aspire for in our left hand.
      • If your hand is actually supporting the weight of the guitar, or clamping on it in a way that would cause your palm to touch the bottom of the fretboard, that might cause pain in your left hand over time.

      Second thing:

      • This is really hard to tell from this video, however, it looks like the fretboard might be sticking out too far towards the left from the rest of your body. It also feels like the guitar is quite horizontal - perhaps a slightly higher angle might help with that.
      • Try "bringing in" the fretboard a little closer to your core, either by using a slightly less horizontal angle or just by shifting its position in your lap closer to the right leg, rather than fully with the concavity of the body of the guitar resting solely on the left leg.
      • This can be best demonstrated through video - would you like to submit a recording of yourself playing any piece you want for one of my virtual masterclasses? The word "masterclass" might make it seem like you need to be a master to submit anything, but that couldn't be further from the truth. All levels are absolutely! welcome in those 😁
      • (I think the idea is, etymologically, that it's supposed to be a class with the master, not a class exclusively for those who are masters, haha 😉 though it feels very strange and self-congratulatory calling myself a master 😄)
      Like 1
    • Mircea Thank you for your suggestions!  After watching my video, I also came to the same conclusion as you did about my guitar being too horizontal.  I have resituated my guitar rest, which feels much better.  I will also try your suggestion about playing a simple song with a pencil in my left palm.  

      I'm glad you clarified the meaning of the virtual masterclasses because the name scared me off.  Ha!  But I definitely consider you a master!!!

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      • MirceaTeam
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      Desi Husband Thank you Desi!! Haha

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  • Hello Mircea,

     

    Attached are the assignments for the Rhythm session. I ran out of time and skipped f and h. I will have to watch the lesson tomorrow, good luck and thank you for your time. It is certainly challenging ...

     

    Bill

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      • MirceaTeam
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      Bill Dodd Hi Bill! Great job!!! Congratulations on sending this in.

      Questionnaire: you got it all perfectly! 🎉 Nothing to say here at all!

      Exercises:

      • 2a: You got all the notes and the parallel voices! Great job. The metronome did get away from you there at certain times, interestingly however, that was already the case when you started! You didn't quite get further off from tempo once you got into the rhythm of it, but you sort of started in the middle of the beat. Try taking a bit more time to feel the beat before you start - don't worry about letting the metronome play by itself for a couple of beats! I think that could make it work perfectly.
      • 2b: Basically perfect!!! Congratulations once again 🎉
      • 2c: In this one, you got the order of values right: each shorter note was shorter than the ones before and each longer note was longer than the ones before. Great job on that! Unfortunately though, your beat was not consistent throughout. This was most apparent in measures 2 and 5. It seems like your eighth notes are a bit too fast and your sixteenth are a bit too slow. You did maintain a steady pace when you had multiple notes of the same value in a row! Try practicing this one with a slow metronome too! (1 beat = 1 quarter note)
      • 2d: This one was almost perfect until measure 4! Measure 4 is the hardest though - therefore, it is quite understandable that you'd have more trouble there. Try playing everything in a slower rhythm - this one is treacherous, it makes you believe it will be slow because of the repeated quarter notes in measure one, but then it gets quite a lot faster when you get to measure 4. Starting quite a bit slower (think, half your original tempo) might help!
      • 2e: Great job!!! You got all the notes and accidentals and the right idea with the dotted rhythm! Try "dotting" the rhythm a little more - basically, making a bigger difference between the long and the short note. Right now, the dotted notes sound like two units (1, 2) while the short notes sound like 1. Your ratio is 2-1, so to say. See if you can get it to 3-1 for this exercise!
      • 2g: Very good!!! 2 things: In measures 2 and 4, you took a bit of a long time before and after the very first note. Try working on not adding any empty time between the measures, although they are separated by bar lines and involve the changing of left-hand positions. Second thing: you can strum these chords! You don't have to, but it would make it easier on your right hand.

      Wonderful job on everything once again!!! Thanks for sending this in!

      Like
  • Hi Mircea ,

    I finally got around to recording some exercises. Included are 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d and 2e. I tried the Bourree a couple of times but it doesn't sound quite right yet :) I'll practice some more on 2g. 2h is nearly there I think :)

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      • MirceaTeam
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      Barry van de Graaf hi Barry! Congratulations, this is sounding great!!! 😍

      • 2a: Perfect!!! Nothing for me to say here at all!
      • 2b: Very good job! This one is tricky: the chord changes make it hard to stay within the rhythm. You mostly got it, but you do tend to add in a small rest before each new chord. Try practicing quite slowly and very consciously fighting against allowing the new chord to slow you down!
      • 2c: Amazing!!! This was perfect! Best version I heard of this exercise so far! 🎉
      • 2d: Almost as good as the one before! Congratulations!! One thing, in the last measure, you did add in a quarter note at the beginning of the measure that was not written. Otherwise, you got this!
      • 2e: Perfect! Once again, absolutely nothing for me to say there!!! 🎉 Great sense of rhythm and great job reading all this music in general! So happy to see this!
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    • Hi Mircea  Thanks for the kind words and taking the time to review it 😁

      Regarding 2b) Yes! I tend to have some 'doubt' when changing to a chord shape. The funny thing is that it usually sounds fine when I play it. Slowing down and consciously fighting it is solid advice!

      On listening back 2d I spotted the naughty note as well 🙂

       

      Hope to have some time to record the week 3 and 4 exercises this weekend!

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      Paul: hi Paul! Sorry for taking a bit longer to answer this! It fell through the cracks for a couple of days, but I found it 😁 congratulations for these, and thank you for sending in the update!! Great job on all these exercises, too!

      1e: Perfect! 🎉 Nothing for me to say here at all!

      2a: Good job overall, just a couple of quick notes: 1) there were some accidental rests introduced between different left-hand chord shapes, which is absolutely normal, but still something we should fight against when practicing our rhythm; 2) at the end of measure 2, you reversed the order of the high melody notes - instead of B, G, you played G, B; 3) you're slowing down towards the end - try starting the entire exercise in a slower tempo instead!

      2b: Nice work! Be careful not to introduce these accidental rests between chords, in places where your left hand changes shape, like between measures 1 and 2. One other thing - sharps are maintained for the entire duration of a measure where they occur, in the same octave, unless there is a "natural" sign to cancel them out later. Therefore, the chord on the second half of measure one was also supposed to contain a G sharp on the third string, rather than a G natural.

      2c: Generally very very good! One thing though, every time you have a series of 4 sixteenth notes, you play them as triplets. Try to actually squeeze 4 not in there - and if it's hard, taking everything slower in this exercise might help 😎

      2d: Alright, this was very interesting! You started playing everything in tempo, and successfully maintained the relationship between most notes. However, at the beginning of measure 3, you've actually switched to half tempo, and you stayed there for the entire rest of the exercise, with the exception of the last note in measure 3, which was back to normal tempo. Try taking it very slowly and keep in mind - sixteenth notes are fast! Four of these are supposed to fit in the same duration as each one of the opening quarter notes (at the very beginning of the exercise.)

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