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

 

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    • 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
    • Deb posted above:)

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

    David Hey David,  Are you planning prepare the written notation for week 2's arpeggios exercises.  I found I one you did in the first week very useful, thanks!

    If you have time, I think it will  help us with week 2 .  Thanks!

    Best,

    Barney

    Like 1
      • David
      • David.39
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney Hi All, In case it's helpful, I've done my best to document Emmanuel's arpeggio exercises for week two (description in one attached document, and a score for practice in the other), along with the week one material (in the same format for consistency). Please let me know if there are errors or inaccurate/vague descriptions. 

    • David thanks a lot! very helpful

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

      David Thanks very much David.  This is great and really helps us!!

      Like 1
    • Thanks so much, David ! This is really fantastic and your work is very much appreciated:)

      One tiny little tip I didn't bring up during the course is that, when practising arpeggios with the m-p-i triplet permutation paired with the Giuliani L.H. shapes, I will change the last note of the C major bar (normally a C on the second string) for a D on the same string. This just means one doesn't need to jump with the same finger (1) across strings between the last note of C major and the first of the G major shape... essentially I'm anticipating the harmony by one note. It is not an issue with the other triplet patterns, but you can apply the same when you are playing the 4-note m-i-p-i pattern as well as m-p-m-i.

      ...but if all of this seems like too much to think about, I encourage open strings. as R.H. awareness is still the most important thing on these ones:)

      Like
      • David
      • David.39
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Emmanuel I have edited that instance in the LH to avoid the reuse of finger 1 across strings in the m-p-i pattern, and in the m-i-p-i & m-p-m-i 4-note pattern (attached for those interested). Thank you for the scale recommendations. I wonder if Marco will eventually publish those so they are more readily available. 

    • Thank you, as ever, David !

      You will be pleased to know that all the books I referenced are readily available from his website: www.marcotamayoedition.com (NOT a sponsored ad, I promise!).

      All best! E

      Like
  • thank you Emmanuel!!!

    Like 1
    • Stefanie Mosburger-Dalz You're welcome! See you all on Thursday (link pinned above!). All best, E

      Like
  • CHECK-IN SESSION // ZOOM LINK // WEEK 2

    Thursday 30 March, 2023
    6 PM  London  🇬🇧
    10 AM  Pacific Time 🇺🇸

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83014964945?pwd=dEM5a0JRbHloZElBamNOZWlSZnJsdz09

    Meeting ID: 830 1496 4945
    Passcode: 992107

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

    Hi Emmanuel,

    Thanks for these arpeggio exercises.
    I had a couple of questions this morning.

     

    First one is about arpeggios and specifically starting on anything other than p.

    I now recognize , or better said I had an A-HA moment, realizing my morning warm ups were biased to always playing arpeggios starting with p .

    Starting with m is fine I am struggling with starting with i.  

    For me, saying : Ti-ple-let when starting with i keeps it  going well but without the little mental note, I always fall back to a p bias .   do you have any thoughts on how tot break the p bias , I will keep this is my morning warmups now for sure :-)

     

    Looking back at week 1 , I also realize my left hand has a challenge with 2,3 movement. In isolation, just left hand 2  to 3  chromatic  movement , moving up and down the stings does feel weak.

    Would you  have any thoughts on left hand position or other exercises to target  strengthening  2 3 independence movement ? I think I am over thinking this part because they share a common tendon and maybe can resolve it with repetitive practice of week 1 exercises :-) .

    Regards,

    Larry 

    Like 1
    • Hi Larry ,

      Great insight! I, too, find having 'i' as the downbeat to be the most challenging. Perhaps the most useful thing for me is to play the arpeggio exercises with a little L.H. harmony (the Giuliani chord shapes we talked about) and really focus on listening to the second string (which we play with 'i') sing, as it were... I realise it's not the most exciting chord progression in the world, but it can be useful to help us listen to something other than just open strings to encourage our awareness of the second string as a downbeat. If you find that you are focusing too much on getting the L.H. shapes right instead of the R.H. (which should be the focus), then you can do something else... use open strings, but then press down on the second string on any fret you like and change the note every time you strike with 'i'... it may not be super beautiful, but your attention should (hopefully) be drawn to the changing notes you play with 'i'. Other than that, I see no issue with using 'Ti-ple-let' as training wheels while you get accustomed to the feeling. Combinations starting on 'i' are really great to favour a finger which usually doesn't get emphasised as much as the thumb.

      If the only thing you are experiencing when alternating 2 and 3 in your L.H. is a little weakness, I think exercising them is exactly the way forward (without overdoing it!). I know what you mean though, which is why I sometimes give these combinations a little more time (3-2-3-2.... 2-3-2-3...) along with 3-4 which is another one which requires a little more attention. Just continue to ensure the fingers are about 90 degrees in relation to the fingerboard, you have 'simple' and direct movements, and focus on precision and consistency, while remembering to transfer the 'weight' or effort between fingers.

      Wishing you all the best!! E

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

    Hi everybody. I attach here my first video with the first week exercises as well Manny's exercises for me. These were the ones that I mainly wanted to show for now, since I don't find too much trouble with chromatic scales, apoyando and shifts, as with these. Would like to know what you think Emmanuel and anyone who'd like to suggest something. Tell me what you think about the 'explosive' return of the fingers, I feel it has been helpful, and I've improved a little on holding the fingers in position. Actually, Mircea a long time ago told me to do something similar but with apoyando playing, and I'm adapting it to the tirando stroke. 

     

    Thanks!

     

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

      Firstly – apologies for taking a little longer to get round to this. I wanted to make sure I had enough time to watch the entire video and give you an informed response. Secondly – thank you so much for your commitment to the TWI!

      I can see two things which I think will be quite important:

      1) Very often, your R.H. strokes deviate slightly to the side when moving into the palm. This can sometimes be used to produce a rounder sound (if the sideways movement is left towards the basses), however, it is important to note that this kind of movement is controlled by tiny little muscles that live in the hand and can get easily fatigued and are generally not as strong as forearm muscles... this sideways movement should, in my opinion, be used sparingly. Instead, it is the forearm muscles which we should rely on for moving the fingers straight into the palm of the hand, not the tiny hand muscles. Therefore – I would encourage you to avoid moving your fingers sideways, as this creates some tension and encourages the other fingers to join in. In fact, I can see that when your 'm' finger moves in straighter towards the palm of your hand, without deviating to one side, the other fingers are less likely to join the movement and you have greater independence.

      2) at around 7:30, I noticed that your R.H. is very angled in relation to the strings... this feeds into the issue described above, as you need to engage more of the small muscles in your hand to make your fingers push through the string which is in contact with the left side of your nails. Thus, more tension and more engagement of the other fingers... more shaking and less independence. Additionally, your wrist is going up and down a bit with each stroke, which seems to be somewhat involuntary.

      Overall, I'd say that a goal would be to find a R.H. position where the fingers are less angled and try to avoid shifting your wrist too much... from here, the goal is to isolate the movement of the individual fingers and try to make them as straight and simple as you can towards the palm of your hand... this is important – don't add tension to make the movement straight, but rather try to relax your fingers into following a much simpler and less complex movement.

      L.H. exercises are looking great!

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

      Hi Emmanuel ! Many thanks for your very helpful response!

       

      These two things you've noticed on my R.H. I do have seen them, just as you describe. My i and  a fingers do this type of movements that I know that end up wasting energy that could and should be saved, as well as that uncomfortable position of the hand and wrist in which I end after a few bars. I've tried to work on some of those things (not exhaustively on making sharp the towards the palm movement of each finger) as well as the hand position which my current teacher and some past ones have told me that looks tilted upwards (sort of like Thomas Viloteau position). But the comments you've given me made re-observe some things related to them, like the deviation of the fingers, and with it, the position of the hand or fingers. And I've found some interesting things 🤔 I've been, not only deviating the fingers upwards or downwards (towards the basses or trebles), but also twisting them like in this first picture:

         There I'm exaggerating a little the position, but I mean that it's like a twist which roots in the knuckle joint, could be to that or the opposite direction (Please nobody do it 😅). My position, according to that idea, has been mostly like this: 

       Which results in a big "C" curve on the knuckle joints that falls mostly towards the pinky finger. That's what I think that's actually what makes my hand look facing upward, and not so much that I twist my forearm or something like so, which I've tried to use to adapt my position, but always failing.

       

      This is what my hand position has kinda looked like the past two days: 

       

      I'm trying to place every finger and knuckle joint the most perpendicular I can to the top of the guitar, and not stressing the hand or the fingers

       

      And some results so far: the descending arpeggios are way easier, sound way more even and fluent; better sound quality of each finger, specially the a finger which was hitting the string with the right side of the nail; I do have to make a little effort to maintain this position, but overall, most of the movements so far don't feel painful or produce strain in my hand, as well I feel a little more independence between the a and m fingers.

       

      So to conclude, your comments have been hugely helpful, Emmanuel! I do have to keep on working on this and improve each series of movements and exercises, but I'm greatly thankful for your help! I hope to share something on the forums these days! 

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

    Emmanuel Hello again.
    Sorry for bothering you again with things that do not belong to the classes of these weeks. Would you mind telling me which chords appear in the first bar of Tárrega's Lágrima and thanks for the fantastic lesson you gave on this score. 

    Like 1
    • Hi Beatriz , you're welcome!

      It's a little tricky to offer a very representative harmonic analysis of Lágrima, as it has lots of subtle harmonic shifts... for example, bar 1, beat 2, is a B7/F#, but really it's more the result of passing notes within a larger context of E for the whole of that bar, that said, and for what it's worth, here is a harmonic reduction for the first section of Lágrima, bar per bar. Hope it makes some sense!

      E (B7/F#) E/G#   |   B7/D#   |   E (B7/F#) E/G#   |   B7/D#

      C#m - B (pedal E in middle voice) - A   |   E/B - F#m7/C#...   |   E/B - F#/A# - B7   |   E

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

      Emmanuel Thank you veeeeery much!!! 😍

      Like 1
    • Beatriz My pleasure! All best, E

      Like 1
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