Week 4: The Grand Finale 🎉

🌟 WELCOME TO THE "A FRESH START" COMMUNITY CHALLENGE! 🌟

Embark on a musical journey with our latest challenge, "A Fresh Start". It’s time to dust off that sheet music you’ve been eyeing and dive into a brand-new piece!

🗓️ CHALLENGE TIMELINE

  • Challenge Start: Kick-Off on April 15th!
  • Duration: April 15th to May 16th
  • Watch Party: Join us on May 15th at 10 AM PST to watch selected submissions!

🎼 WEEK 4 ACTIVITIES

  1. Polish and Perfect: As we approach the end of the challenge, focus on refining your piece. Pay attention to dynamics, expression, and the nuances that make the music come alive.
  2. Final Submissions: It's showcase time! Submit your final performance video. This is your chance to shine and demonstrate how much you've learned and grown over the challenge.

🥳 WRAP-UP AND CELEBRATION

  • Final Watch Party: Join us for the final watch party where we'll celebrate everyone's accomplishments and enjoy the beautiful music you've all created. Date and time to be announced soon!
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  • Late entry for me as I was not expecting to participate in this challenge. A few weeks ago I started reading this piece, a bit before the challenge begun, and today (looks like yesterday as of now) I decided to produce this little video to commemorate the first anniversary of my mother's passing... I hope you'll like this beautiful work by Wolfgang Vedral.

    Like 6
    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 1 mth ago
    • Reported - view

    I always wanted to play this piece!   Although starting this Challenge late, it encouraged me to finally tackle it.  The "Dance of the Miller" is taken from Manuel de Falla's ballet, "The Three-Cornered Hat". This orchestral gem lends itself very nicely to the guitar with its Flamenco feeling. There are several arrangements out there, but I was primarily influenced by Rene Izquierdo, Alirio Diaz, and Julian Bream versions for my interpretation.

    The most challenging parts are the Polyrhythm phrases -- Triplets against eighth notes, and later using sixteenth notes accompanying the melody in eighth notes.

    Like 6
    • Barney  beautiful, Barney!  Great playing. I love this piece a lot 

      . It has so much energy and  passion. You bring it out with great control. Very good.

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje Thanks Joosje!!

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    • Barney That was great, Barney! You have such a great sound for this piece.

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 mth ago
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      Eric Phillips Thanks Eric!

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    • Barney Enjoyed it Barney. Thanks for posting.

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 mth ago
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      Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Thanks Nijwm! 

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    • Barney Another great performance, Barney.  I really enjoy your playing of early 20th century Spanish repertoire.  It is clearly in your soul! 

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 mth ago
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      Dale Needles Thanks Dale!

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 mth ago
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      Barney Really beautiful, Barney. You capture the drive and excitement of this piece beautifully.

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 mth ago
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      Jack Stewart Thanks Jack!

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  • Sor – Le Calme Op 50 (Caprice) May 11

    I think I will make this my last posting of this piece for this challenge. But as always, I want to continue working on it.

    I read somewhere that Sor’s intention with this caprice was to give the listener a moment of calm and tranquility, like one has when outside hearing a gentle breeze blow through the trees. This image led me to imagine the music as a hike through the woods, something my wife and I love doing every weekend.

    • A section (0:00 - 2:25) Here, the woods are well-known and familiar. It’s mostly easy walking, except for a few muddy spots from the Spring rain.
    • B section (2:25 - 4:29) Out of the blue, your ears and eyes are drawn to the abundance of birds in these woods at this time of year. You find yourself following the birds off the beaten path, just hoping to catch a glimpse of their beautiful colors and hear their fluttering songs. They lead you into parts of these woods that you have never been to before.
    • C section (4:29 - 6:03) Then suddenly the woods open up into a meadow that you never knew was here! The meadow is flooded with bright sunlight, colorful Spring flowers, and butterflies. You are awestruck, and can hardly believe that this undiscovered meadow has been here all along. As you explore it, however, you realize that you are not sure how exactly to get back.
    • D section (6:03 - 7:57) Seeing nothing familiar, you take your best guess and step back into the woods. As you meander, you alternate between moments of despair at being lost, and glimpses of hope as certain trees and paths seem a bit familiar. As you continue, however, you admit that you are now completely lost. But just at that moment …
    • A’ section (7:57 - 9:05) You realize that you are not lost at all, and somehow you have rediscovered the familiar woods from the beginning of this hike. Phew! You are elated to be back here, but the entire experience has somehow given you a whole new perspective on these woods. And so finally …
    • Coda (9:05 - 10:13) You do a Happy Dance!

    If you actually read that whole thing, thank you for indulging me! I only wish that I could have kept this all in mind as I was recording the video. The reality is that I was only thinking about two things: “Where do I put my fingers next?” And of course, “Don’t screw it all up!” 😊

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips That was beautiful, Eric!   Keeps getting better (which is great...).

      It is so nice seeing you back participating in the challenges.  Thanks!!

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    • Eric Phillips so beautiful as always, very cinematic, you're telling an amazing story through this piece. I was moving back and forth between listening and reading your descriptions in the timeline.

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    • Eric Phillips thank for taking us along on your way discovering and mastering this wonderful piece. You managed to give life to the composition. Really inspiring performance, Eric.

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    • Eric Phillips That's really impressive. So well done.

      I really like that you laid out a storyline. I've always been very clinical about music and only recently tried to include some emotion or storyline into music thanks to a couple of lessons by Borbola Seres. I don't know if any of it comes through, but I know it absolutely makes it more enjoyable for me. It makes sense it would shape the music anyway even if you're thinking about technique while you're actually performing it. 

      Again, really well done. 

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    • Eric Phillips Congratulation, Eric.  Quite the accomplishment getting this piece up to such a high level of playing in a month.  You have a real connection to Sor's music which comes across in your playing.  

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 mth ago
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      Eric Phillips Amazing, Eric. You have done a great job on this piece. 10 min. +!!! And you hold it all together beautifully. Bravo!.

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  • Prelude in C minor by Agustin Barrios Mangore

    This piece was on my wishlist and I'd got the score just a few days before this challenge was announced. First of all, let me reel out my excuses for the not so good audio/video quality. There's a lot of background/ambient noise. I'm still learning recording and editing as a complete dummy and my room isn't the best for recording. I've been experimenting, watching Martin's videos and researching online about these aspects and slowly I'm getting there I guess. I was racking my brains on how to autosync audio-video on da vinci resolve. I found an imperfect solution in this video.

    Regarding the piece, it really stretched my technical limits, especially my left hand. Barrios' music really touches me emotionally and after reading one of his biographies, I feel even more attached to his music. However, as beautiful as his music is, so is the difficulty level. I'm slowly discovering the crazy stretches and extended barres in his music. In short, he's a 'left hand killer'. But I also learned a lot while attempting to play this piece. I adopted some fingerings that I haven't seen anywhere else but felt suitable for me (although I'm not sure if they are technically sound or healthy for the LH). 

    I don't think I can ever be a fast player or want to be one, so I'm drawn to slower, melodic and romantic pieces. But not being a trained guitarist, I might struggle with rhythm and musicality. But I'm giving it a real go. There's still a lot to improve for me on this piece. I think I rushed a bit through it, the notes are not very clean in some spots and I need to improve on my tone colour (especially the melody notes). Another excuse, I'm still figuring out my nail shape, especially the A finger.

    IF YOU'VE READ THIS FAR, THANK YOU. REGARDLESS, I HOPE YOU GIVE THIS A LISTEN. I'LL TRY TO POST A FINAL VIDEO IF I CAN IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. 

    Like 1
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Really nice progress on this. You mentioned your tone, but I think it's good. I like how you play more over the soundhole which is where I think it generally sounds better but my hand always drifts back towards the bridge. 

      Barrios was one of the first composers I was drawn, but like you said he does not write easy music. I wish he wrote some lower-level etudes. Congratulations on your performance on this challenging piece. 

      Like 1
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary You are progressing very nicely , Nijwm!  Be very careful of your Left hand -- If you experience any usual discomfort/pain from all the Barres in this piece, do NOT try to play through it;  rather stop and rest.  Make sure you are not pressing too hard and only on the strings necessary for the bar passage. Also, look in the mirror to check your left hand/arm form and posture to make sure not creating tension from poor ergonomics.  Tone sounds good.

      Keep up the great work!

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    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary as others have noticed your progress is impressive, bravo for what you achieved on all plans! 👍As a constructive comment I would suggest you to omit the rythme alteration you're doing on each chord change. It sounds more like you're giving yourself more time to your fingers than to make the proper music accent and movement. Doing it with strict rythme values will ensure you develop the right technique and movements to create the flow you want. Good work!! 💪

      Like 1
    • Steve Price Thank you very much Steve. Yeah, I have a similar problem. This is the first piece I tried to play sul tasto near the neck. As we explore newer pieces, we face new problems, but also ample opportunities to improve.

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    • Barney Thank you very much Barney. Yeah, you're absolutely right about the physical strain of Barres on the LH. I did try to play through several times and felt strain in my LH thumb pad. I don't know about others, but there's a temptation in me to continue rigorous practice without the necessary breaks when I get too absorbed in the music or try to solve a problem.

      So, I had to remind myself to be more careful and take regular breaks.Very good suggestions. The footstool I'm using is not the best, and there aren't many options of guitar support here in India. I feel like my LH should be raised a bit higher. Btw, does a higher position make it easier for barres? I don't know. It's one of the most physically demanding technical aspects of guitar. Although there are well-established solutions for barres, it seems to me like there's no 'one size fits' solution. I don't know.

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