Week 2: Strings Attached 🎸

Welcome to the Main Thread for the second week of "The Transcriptions" practice challenge! 


  1. Pick a transcription that was originally composed for another instrument, like piano or violin. Don't be afraid to choose a challenging piece or explore works from composers you haven't played before. 

  2. Commit to practicing daily and share your progress with the community. Aim to practice every day and post at least two videos per week showcasing your progress. This will help you stay motivated and accountable, and also allow you to share your transcription journey with others. Whether you're tackling a complex piece, refining your skills with a piece you already play, or experimenting with new playing techniques, the community is here to support you and celebrate your achievements.

  3. Share your favorite piece that you would like to see transcribed or your favorite recording of a transcription. This will not only inspire others in the community but also provide a rich resource of ideas for everyone to explore. Plus, it's a great way to celebrate the creativity and artistry involved in adapting music from one instrument to another.

↓ Happy Sharing! ↓

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    • Derek
    • Derek
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Finally got around to making a recording. This is my frost piece for this challenge, A minuet in A (minuets I and II) by Jean Philipe Rameau. I have played it before a few years back . My main piece for this challenge was going to be Asturias which I will try to learn for the last week but I plan to try to perfect this piece by Rameau as it still needs some work. There is an annoying buzz early in the recording which I'm not sure where it came from so I need to sort that out before my next attempt. I'll also try to find a suitable background (and hairstyle) :-)

    Like 7
    • Derek Great playing, Derek! That looks really difficult to make legato. As for the background and hair, I think it looks fine!

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      • Derek
      • Derek
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips thanks Eric - I messed up minuet 2 but I didn't have time to re-record it as I had to go out.

      Like 1
    • Derek I hope you're going out somewhere fun, and having a lazy Sunday afternoon!

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Derek This is a great start, Derek.

      I am becoming very interested in Rameau of late. It took me a while to figure out which minuets these were. They are from Rameau's Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin. He wrote these massive suites that contain 10 or more pieces each. 

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    • Derek Nice, Derek. The interesting thing about these challenges is hearing pieces that I'm not familiar with. Now you and Jack are both playing Rameau. Very cool. 

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    • Derek this is a beautiful piece Derek! Great playing!

      About the annoying buzz: I have that problem too, very randomly appear in one of my video recording. I am using Focusrite as the interface and use two condensed Mics connecting with the interface by XLR cables.

      I was guessing the traffic of the other apps in the computer make that buzzing sound. So after I have the buzz, I close all the apps and also close all the internet browsing tabs. That helps in my next two videos, but I am not sure if I had found the root cause or it would appear again at some point. You can give it a try and share with me.

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      • Moyses Lopes
      • Classical Guitarist and Electroacoustic Interpreter
      • Moses
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Derek Great, Derek! Thank you! You got a good decision about working on this piece instead of Asturias! We can listen to Asturias everywhere! 🙂 For sure Rameau is not concerned about the buzz... 😄

      Like
  • Here's the full a section for Ponce's Por Ti Mi Corazon. It's going slow, but I'm pretty happy with how it's coming along and going phrase by phrase has really helped me I think.

    I need to find a way to make the start of the second phrase pop more. The song starts with an open string high e then a c# on the same string which stands out but then the second phrase, which starts the same a step higher, uses adjacent strings so it doesn't come off as crisp as I'd like.

    Like 6
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Price This is coming along really well, Steve. If you played the opening 'e' on the 3rd string at least the phrases would be symmetrical. I believe that is the opposite direction you were I intending but it would help keep the the first being 'the odd man out'- as it were.

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    • Jack Stewart That's really interesting and I hadn't thought of it. I like the sound better and will have to figure out if I'd rather do it on the 2nd or 3rd string. Thanks, Jack.  

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    • Steve Price Nice work, Steve. Those 32nd notes would scare me away! 😧

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    • Steve Price great work on this Steve, these 3 pieces are so beautiful. For me I'll think about your concern in a different way, I'll keep the open E and ensure the top voice uses a brighter timbre while the second voice, that repeats the motiv, uses a darker one... like an oboe followed by a bassoon.

      Like 1
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Price This is coming along nicely, Steve. There's sure a lot going on in this little piece!

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    • Steve Price you are coming along very nicely with this sophisticated piece. The rythm is not the most easy one to grasp, to me. Ponce music is usually like that and you are doing very well!

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      • Moyses Lopes
      • Classical Guitarist and Electroacoustic Interpreter
      • Moses
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Price Bravo! Great job you're doing! I agree with Blaise Laflamme , maybe you can use a brighter timbre in the first appearance while the second uses a darker one... Anyway, it's sounding great and is coming along really well. Thanks for sharing!

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    • Khiem Nguyen Thanks. Ponce does sometimes write in a way that doesn't initially come easy to me. I'm used to everything being in 2 or 4-measure phrases and the a section here combines 3 and 4-measure phrases. I'm also working on his song Estrellita which has some even more challenging phrasing. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

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    • David Krupka Thanks a lot, David. I never paid too much attention to Ponce, but like you said there's a lot going on so I've been looking back through my music. He does some really interesting subtle things that I like. 

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    • Steve Pederson
    • The Journey is My Destination!
    • Steve_Pederson
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Everybody's making such great progress here! 

    I feel like I've been making great progress on Cadiz. I've got pretty much the whole thing memorized now. Been working on it every day. 

    Today I was focusing on what is possibly the most difficult part of the piece. There are these sixteenth note runs that, in the original score (image attached), run in parallel octaves. The various transcriptions I've seen have treated these differently - some doing single-note lines in some places and actually attempting the parallel octaves - sometimes two octaves apart - in other places. 

    What I've decided to try to do is treat these measures (mm 65-70) with a flamenco type of style - single note runs all apoyando - starting in a higher register and then working my way all the way down the fretboard. 

    Today I merely just worked out what fingering - both right and left hand - is going to be best. My performance here is about 1/5 the speed that it will need to be. I will also add rasgueado-type strums on the chords to make it a bit more true to the flamenco style. 

    Also, I know I've got to reel those fingers in. I didn't realize until I watched this video how far my fingers - on both hands - were flying out! 

    Like 3
    • Steve Pederson Great self-observations and progress, Steve!

      Like 1
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson It's hard to see how the octaves could work on guitar at tempo. (Then again, some unknown 15-year old shredder on YouTube can probably do it ...) About your fingers, I wonder if practicing this passage so slowly is what's causing the exaggerated movement. In any event, it's something many of us have to pay attention to. (In my case, it's the pinky that flies about willy-nilly.) Looking forward to hearing the whole arrangement!

      Like 1
    • Steve Pederson very well-controlled and clean execution of those bars! And you have memorized the piece! That is great Steve!

      Like 1
      • Moyses Lopes
      • Classical Guitarist and Electroacoustic Interpreter
      • Moses
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Listening to yourself is a good start, Steve! This is coming along very well! For the part where you use the 'apoyando' maybe you can try to rotate a bit the right hand, to get more flesh. IMO the 'apoyando' sounds more 'full', more 'fat' with these little changes. Thanks for sharing! 

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Great strategy, Steve. I need to be more specific in my approach. Thanks for inspiring me on.

      Like 1
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Thanks Eric!

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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      David Krupka Thanks David. Yes, the masters can handle the parallel octaves. To be fair, though, the score that I have from Manuel Barueco has only 7 consecutive notes being played as octaves. On the last set of 16th notes he only doubles on the down beat and the "and" - so every other note. 

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