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

    I had a couple of question come up that maybe I can ask about in the Zoom session:

    Exercise 1: I feel I need to shift my arm forward to get my knuckle further past the string going between apoyando and tirando so as to avoid the lower string. For this exercise, I try to position the knuckle in midpoint between the two extremes. Is some shift of the knuckle joint natural if playing entirely tirando, or apoyando without the alternation between the two stroke types? (How does playing without nails affect this exercise?)

    Exercise 2: Could you explain the "avoidance of string crossings" on the ascending pattern a bit more in the session?

    Exercise 3: If repeating the quasi-slur between two notes repeatedly with each note of equal duration, is the motion in the downward and upward quasi-slur the same? 

    Exercise 5: Does the thumb release, but also anticipate the shift by moving slightly ahead of the fingers in the direction of the shift? 

    Exercise 6: I struggle with the 3rd finger extension of Exercise 6 in position IV. I can do the extension for finger 3 in position VIII or IX  with the same effort as for finger 1 or 4 in position IV. Does the flexibility between fingers 2 and 3 come with time and is there some gentle exercise to help make the second-to-third finger mobility more like that in the other finger pairings?

    Like 1
    • David My pleasure! Avoiding bass squeaks will elicit different approaches.

      One might minimise these either by using an open string to shift or, where a shift on the same string is inevitable, adjusting the angle of the tip slightly. However, I can't fully embrace lifting off the string and 'jumping' to a new position, at least not when legato or technical security is important... As a general rule, I rather hear a little squeak but ensure the legato is there, or that I don't miss the shift if it is at a high speed. (Of course, we don't want to disturb the music unnecessarily, so we might like to find a different solution if the squeak is disruptive to the music, like in a slow and/or quiet passage.) If the passage is staccato, then lifting may be entirely appropriate and safe. Another alternative which is occasionally useful is lifting off from the bass string during a shift, but having a guide finger on one of the treble strings.

      For all practical purposes, I tend to practice exercises such as No. 4 without too much concern about squeaking and then find 'real life' solutions that are specific to each necessary passage.

      For the sake of balance, some might argue the opposite... that one should practice shifting on bass strings by lifting/jumping to avoid the squeaking and try to make it as legato as possible. If this line interests you, you might find it useful to explore Carlevaro's technical approach.

      Like 1
  • Hi I am a hobbyplayer but I work hard for playing, it is not easy for me and I have to practise a lot, and I always forget what I have already learned, so I have always to relearn. But guitar is my first love...

    Like 1
    • Stefanie Mosburger-Dalz Do I have the thumb on a string playing tirando?

      Like 1
    • Stefanie Mosburger-Dalz Welcome! Hard work can be incredibly rewarding. And you're not alone – we all benefit from repetition in varying degrees! This is why I think how regularly we practise something can be more important than how long we practise it... playing an exercise 2 minutes for 5 days will be far better than playing it once for 10 mins.

      Like 1
    • Stefanie Mosburger-Dalz Yes – you can rest your thumb on a bass string while playing tirando (or, in fact, apoyando!).

      Like
    • Emmanuel thank you Emmanuel!

      Like 1
    • Stefanie Mosburger-Dalz My pleasure!

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

    Emmanuel how useful what you said about the first exercise to check the length of the nail! Also, good to know how to practice it and for how long. Thank you! 

    Like 1
    • Emma You're very welcome! So glad you found that useful. Also, timings are only suggestions but I feel it is important that these shouldn't become overwhelmingly long... we want to keep enthusiasm to a maximum and also leave time for our pieces:) Also, as I've mentioned, regularity can have a greater impact than duration. See you soon!

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

    Hi My name is Deb, and am looking forward to this course with Emmanuel, how do you make and post a video for the course? 
     

    Like 1
    • Great to have you, Deb ! I would suggest uploading your video to YouTube and sharing the link here (you can set it as 'unlisted' if you wish to avoid it being public on YouTube – this way only those with who you share the link will be able to view it). I look forward to seeing your video!

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

    Thanks, will give it a go , cheers 

    Like 1
  • Check-In Session // ZOOM LINK

    Thursday 23 March, 2023
    5 PM  London  🇬🇧
    10 AM  Pacific Time 🇺🇸

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86416039992?pwd=cHV2MENmWGNLSnJCMlM5Sk1xRk0vdz09

    Meeting ID: 864 1603 9992
    Passcode: 254130

    Like 1
    • Emmanuel I'll be there!

      Like 1
    • Erik See you then!

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

    Hello everyone,

     

    I have been playing guitar for about 2-years. I am always looking for ways to improve my practice routine so I can eventually perform more challenging pieces. I create my current practice routine from different Youtube videos. I was really pleased when this intensive program was offered and look forward to participating with you all on this journey to become better at what we love to do.

    Like 3
    • Welcome to the challenge, Bruce ! Delighted to have you and looking forward to meeting on Thursday. Happy practising!

      Like
  • 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
    • Stephen Darrell Oliver Scott Tenant has a 6 (I think) session course on ToneBase that covers some of these basics. I found it VERY good, particularly for things like left hand and right hand basic techniques.

      Like 2
    • Stephen Darrell Oliver My own approach is to try to make the apoyando as smooth as possible without increasing the resistance by pushing down into the soundboard too much. *However*, I think that what you describe as Tennant's approach can be VERY useful in building up power for the apoyando stroke. It's the kind of thing which I would consider a 'workout' or 'gym' exercise – meant to push yourself harder and tone your (small hand and arm) muscles.

      Now, the 'pushing down' approach can also be applied to actual performance quite successfully, but it is important that the digging into the soundboard doesn't detract from the smoothness of the attack.

      Like 2
    • Erik Svenson Thank you – definitely sounds like something worth checking out!

      Like
    • Erik Svenson I took a look and it was quite helpful. As it turns out, while Tennant does recommend you to think of it as actively pushing down, when you see him do it, it looks very slight and quick. Initially, I tried doing my own take and it made my hand "bounce" up and down with the recoil from the push down but seeing Scott demonstrate it more extensively, it seems much less than I had thought. 

      Like 1
    • Emmanuel Thanks, Emmanuel!
      Experimenting with it last night it does seem like a slight pushing down does lend towards a fuller, rounder tone. I like your take on it being a strengthening exercise.

      Like 2
    • Stephen Darrell Oliver Great to hear you experimenting so much with different degrees of pushing into the string! Based on your second-to-last comment, I'd perhaps encourage you to continue aiming for some R.H. stability while exploring this rather than having your R.H. bounce. However, based on your observation of Tennant's video, it sounds like you are already pointing in this direction:)

      You've encouraged me to be a bit more active and deliberate about 'digging in' to the string in my own practice... I'll think of that when I pick up my guitar tomorrow morning! (Also finally watching Tennant's videos – thank you!)

      Like 1
    • Stephen Darrell Oliver I've been experimenting with the angle of attack as well as the amount of pressure. I've found if i press at about 30 degrees i can get the result i want. Just a thought.

      Like 1
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