Group 4

Are you tired of struggling with the complexities of guitar-playing? Good news – most guitar music relies on a small number of key technical building blocks. This upcoming two-week intensive program will dive into these building blocks and offer a systematic approach to improving your foundational skills on the guitar. By breaking down the technical intricacies of guitar-playing into a handful of essential movements, we’ll be providing exclusive insights and exercises that can help you overcome the most common difficulties. With practice and dedication, these exercises can become an integral part of your regular warm-up routine, unlocking your potential to better express your musical ideas.

Details

  • Sign-Up: March 15th
  • Course Period: March 20th - March 31st
  • Check-In via Zoom: March 23 & March 30, 10am PST

Assignment (week 1)

The video below introduces the course and presents 6 exercises aimed at developing essential 'building blocks' of guitar playing. Aim to practice each every day as part of your warmup routine for 2~4 minutes. This should result in an overall 15~30 min practice block.

 

The exercises presented are:

exercise 1a - apoyando/tirando alternation of single fingers (i-i-i... m-m-m... a-a-a...)

exercise 1b - tirando alternation of small groups (m-i, i-m, a-m, m-a, a-i, i-a)

exercise 2 - apoyando alternation across first three strings

exercise 3 - 'quasi' slurs

exercise 4 - chromatic scales

exercise 5 - shifting

exercise 6 - extensions

 

If you aren't able to consistently complete all exercises or if it takes too long, select whichever you think will be the most beneficial ones for you (e.g. 1-4). Remember that it is better to practise shorter but regularly than to practice longer but less frequently. Keep track of your practice! This will allow you to later asses how useful a change to your practice routine has been.

 

Assignment // Week 1

 

Assignment // Week 2

 

96replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Hi everyone!

    Emmanuel in the video that accompanies Scott Tennant's "Pumping Nylon" book, to describe apoyando, Scott advocates an initial "pushing down" motion (towards the soundboard) and then pulling the finger back towards the lower string--sort of a "downward and back" overall motion. I had always thought apoyando was simply "following through" the stroke until the finger comes to rest on the lower string. In other words, I pulled the finger ACROSS the string only (not initially pushing down). 
    What are your thoughts?

    Like 1
    • Erik This sounds great! The exact angle may vary a little bit from one player to another and also depending on the nail length and softness/rigidity of the tip joint. However, it's essential that we each get to discover exactly what works for us. In any case, 30 degrees sounds pretty good!

      Like
    • Getting back to this:
      I found that the single greatest improvement was to trim the length of my nails. Using the Scott Tennant direction of keeping your nail length nearly flush with the flesh tip of your finger did wonders: I can easily go back and forth from tirando to apoyando and achieve much the same full "round" tone with tirando. Exciting!

      Like 4
    • haha, have shorter ones too now!

      Like 1
    • Hi Stephen , really great to hear you've encountered such a great insight. Nothing quite a exciting as a good breakthrough:)

      Thanks for joining the course and all best with your music-making! E

      Like
    • Larry Baziw
    • LarryB
    • Larry_Baziw
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi All, 
    I am a bit late joining the conversation and am super excited to start the guitar journey.
    I've been trying to learn classical guitar for a couple of years though brut force learning by pieces of varying difficulties.
    However,  I have haven't spend time on the fundamental  building blocks of basic skills and technique.
    The video exercise are areal eye opener or should I say, Finger opener for me.

     

    For Exercise 1,  I am struggling to get my right hand positioned correctly to switch between Apoyando and Tirando. 

    Each technique on its own seems ok, but I am struggling to play a rest stroke immediately followed my a free stroke without a lot of movement in my right hand. 

     

    Looking forward to the sync up on Thursday

     

    Like 1
    • Hi Larry , welcome to the course!

      I understand the struggle of maintaining a single R.H. position between apoyando and tirando. In fact, many times it feels almost impossible! However, rest assured that even just trying to minimise the necessary adjustments can be beneficial.

      One thing that helps me a lot is, for the apoyando, to allow my tip joint to become just slightly more flexible to allow for a smoother attack. Each hand is a little different though, so feel free if you'd like me to have a look on Thursday:)

      Happy practising!

      Like
  • One thing I'm struggling with is the stretches, particularly with my 4th finger. I can't get it to the best spot on the fingerboard behind the fret, even if I'm in 5th or 6th position. Would love some help with that.

    Like 1
    • Erik Svenson I feel you. Don't be shy to try an even higher position to start with! Maybe 8th?

      Also, it is possible to angle the hand *very slightly* to a 'violin' position (pinky away from the fingerboard and falling a little bit flatter on the string)... hopefully that helps a little. Feel free to ask during the session if you still experience difficulties.

      Like 2
    • Emmanull
    • Emma
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Thank you for all your questions and answers! I can not be at the zoom session unfortunately but I would like to pose some questions as I will watch the session later on Emmanuel :

    About shifts, with the example of the second half of the 1st study of Villalobos where we have to descend with the same chord position in the third and fourth strings. I find difficult to lift the thumb and fourth string finger while keeping the third guide finger in contact with the string, any tips on this, it happens in many pieces.
    Is lifting the left thumb when shifting very important? 
    About open strings, why is it so important to practice them. Is it to improve sound quality? 
    About slurs, we lift perpendicularly the finger without trying to slur it? 
    thank you so much in advance, I will watch the session in stream! 

    Like 1
    • Hi Emma ! You will now find the recording pinned at the top of the thread (here as well, just in case: https://youtu.be/3Z1lHBoGSkE). It was a bit of a long one, but you will find your questions were answered around the 1:18:40 mark:)

      Like
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Emmanuel thank you! Muchas gracias! Yes that was the right part of the estudio and you covered it , so useful, the tip of splitting the thumb and rest of fingers is going to help! Thank you 

      Like 1
    • De nada, Emma ! Glad to hear it was useful. Saludos!

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

    Good day for everyone! Excited for coming back to the tonebase community and platform after a long break I had since my new and great professor at the University told me to pay dedicated attention to his guidance, which I've followed so. I've progressed in different aspects thanks to him, but as well since the beginning of the year I've been presenting certain problems, mostly in my right hand technique, where there has accumulated quite a bit of tension, which I've been working on releasing, and has been quite difficult.

     

    Because of this, I love the opportunity to be part of this 2 Weeks Intensives course, where the main addressed topic rounds on the key technical blocks of guitar playing. As well, I'm glad to get to learn with Manny once again, with which I had the great chance to participate in a past virtual masterclass.

     

    Looking forward to today's Zoom Check In Session! I've practiced at least one or two of the exercises daily since Monday, mostly the RH ones, as it is what's been making my life harder. I'd love to receive some advice from you Manny on how to deal with tension in the right hand, where I find about mine's that it is quite complicated to allow the return motion to a relaxed position of the fingers, mostly m and a. Other thing that I most likely know that has spoiled my relaxation is lifting weights 😅 so perhaps if you could give me some advice on how to train and don't mess up relaxation I'd be thankful. Will catch in the Zoom session to clarify any other thing 👍

    Like 1
    • Hi Daniel , great to see you for the Zoom call last Thursday. Working on releasing tension can sometimes feel like a long journey, but you should be assured that each little step in the right direction can make a big difference after a while. I hope that some of the exercises we worked on together during the Zoom call may be useful on your journey. As a small reminder, I'd point out that you shouldn't consider the exercises so much as 'precise movements we must achieve at all cost', but rather as explorations where we can become aware of our body's natural responses to certain movements... from here, we can discover gentle paths towards achieving what we hope for (in your case: adding a little stability & independence to your R.H. fingers).

      It's been a few years since I last did weights while being highly active on the guitar, so I'm afraid my advice may be limited in that regard. It's interesting that Stephen also mentioned during the Zoom call that he was also juggling both activities in parallel... I suggested him to check out the excellent Dragos  Ilie's courses on tonebase on healthy guitar practising. His doctoral is related to body mapping and his presentations may contain something to illuminate your path.

      All best wishes with the guitar and your studies! E

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

      Emmanuel hello, thanks again for the exercises from last Thursday. I've been practising them since that day, and I've progressed a little, for example, I am more aware now of that micropression (which I didn't were too much) or movement of the other fingers while practising the preparation version, so now I know that the almost zero tension I felt while doing it with you wasn't too certain. Like you told me, there's always a little of tension, and I'm working to get to that minimum. It's completely like you're saying, a path that needs consequent work where the small progress day after day makes the difference, and I'm satisfied with my progression of these days. 

       

      I'll post a video tomorrow with the exercises you've given to me, as well as some of the 2-Week Intensive ones.

       

       Best Regards!

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

      And Emmanuel, is there no public space open for Dragos' latest 2-Week Intensive course yet? By the way

      Like
    • Daniel Beltrán So glad to hear about your progress with the exercise we worked on last Thursday! Will look forward to seeing your video:)

      It seems Dragos 's two week course (indeed all two-week-intensives) are available only to those members who signed-up in advance. However, you can check out his course on Mind and Body Mapping.

      All best! E

      Like
    • Emmanull
    • Emma
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello all, is it possible to rewatch the session in stream? Thank you!

    Like 1
    • Hi Emma ! You will now find the recording pinned at the top of the thread. It was a bit of a long one, but you will find your questions were answered around the 1:18:40 mark. All best! E

      Like
    • Beatriz
    • Bea
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello Manny!
    Thank you very much, your lessons are always fabulous.
    I don't know if I can ask it here or if it is relevant:
    When you talk about vibrato you always say that the important thing is friction. My question is if the friction is caused by the finger on the string or by the finger plus the string together rubbing on the neck.
    Thank you very much!!

    Like 1
    • Hi Beatriz , thank you! Really glad you've found them useful:)

      Although not addressed in this course, I'm happy to talk a bit about vibrato! The change in pitch is generated when the string is pulled back and forth over a fret (the actual metal bar). This is why friction is important – the more friction we have between our fingers and the strings, the more easily we will be able to shift the string back and forth over any given fret. This alters the tension on the 'sounding' side of the string, making it higher and lower in pitch, depending on which way we are pulling or pushing the string.

      Since friction is so essential to vibrato, it is also the reason why it becomes increasingly easier the more fingers you have on the string... more fingers = more surface on the strings = more friction = more movement of the string = more vibrato.

      Hope that helps, but do let me know if there was anything more specific you were wondering about. Happy practising!! M

      Like 1
      • Beatriz
      • Bea
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Emmanuel Thank you very much!!! 😊

      Like 1
    • Beatriz You're welcome:)

      Like 1
    • Deb Covellnull
    • Long term hobby guitar player and one time guitar builder
    • Deb
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi, have we received our next set of exercises for the second week, I haven’t seen them as yet, perhaps i am too early ? 

    Like 1
    • Hi @Deb , the video with the new exercises will be uploaded later today. I'll make sure to pin it at the top of the thread for everyone to see:)

      All best! E

      Like 1
Like Follow
  • 1 yr agoLast active
  • 96Replies
  • 217Views
  • 13 Following

Home

View all topics