LAST WEEK: Over the Horizon!

Welcome to the "Around the World in 80 Strings Challenge"! This month, we'll embark on a global musical journey, exploring classical guitar compositions from various countries. The only rule: Don’t play a composer from your home country. Let’s make this a truly international experience!

🗓️ CHALLENGE TIMELINE

  • Challenge Start: Kick-Off on May 15th
  • Duration: May 15th - June 24th
  • Watch Party: June 24th

🎼 ACTIVITIES

  1. Choose Your Piece: Select a new piece of music to work on. Share your choice in the thread below and inspire your fellow musicians!
  2. Video Submission: Submit a video of your practice this week. Highlight your favorite passage from the piece that showcases the origin of this piece!

🎸 GET INVOLVED

Let’s kick things off with enthusiasm! Share your progress, encourage others, and explore new musical horizons together. Can’t wait to see what everyone chooses!

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    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 4 wk ago
    • Reported - view

    Spain!!  "Evocacion" is the first piece in the first book of Suite Iberia by Isaac Albeniz.  The title of the piece is the only one that does not represent a specific region or dance of Spain.  It is one of the emotionally deepest pieces Albeniz ever composed.  The piece expresses nostalgia in the beautiful melodic line that is full of yearning.  It is an impressionistic reminiscence of Albeniz native country Spain.

    Suite Iberia has always been one of my favorite Spanish pieces, originally composed for piano, since I first heard it played on recordings by Alicia de Larrocha and later by her in person.

    Like 5
    • Barney incredible, Barney! I did not know this piece so thank you so much for sharing it. I love how you always come in the last week of these challenges with these mind-boggling performances. So beautiful!

      Like
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Thanks very much Eric!  I encourage you to listen to Alicia de Larrocha's  piano recordings of the whole Suite Iberia and Jorge Caballero's guitar playing of few selections from it.  There have also been some orchestral transcriptions (by Arbos) and performances of it as well. 

      Like 1
    • Barney Another great selection which showcases your afinity with Spanish 20th repertoire.  I look forward to future postings of this piece as it matures under your fingers. 

      Like
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Dale Needles Thanks Dale!

      Like
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney This is really beautiful, Barney. Your phrasing, tone and articulations are wonderful. They really bring this piece to another level. Thanks for such a wonderful performance and for introducing (to me at least) this piece.

      Like
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Jack Stewart Thanks Jack!!  I enjoy learning these pieces and sharing them with you guys!

      Like
    • Barney very beautiful, Barney. I also never heard this piece before. A revelation. Great sound and convincing phrasing. Thank you for sharing.

      Like
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje Thanks Joosje!!  When you have a chance, take a listen to the entire suite on piano or orchestra.  When I was a young boy, my father played vinyl recordings of the work for me.

      Like
  • This will be my last recording for this challenge.

    Over the last few weeks; I added the Alaska picks to the thumb. It was a bit hard at the beginning but since I changed my hand position it is going fairly well. For now;  the sound for all fingers is good and the scratch of the picks is almost completely gone.

     

    Bonne Saint-Jean for all from Québec  

    Like 3
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Andre Bernier It's great to see your progress using the Alaska picks.  Congrats on the much improved sound quality coupled with nicely controlled playing of the Sor #9.  Thanks for sharing it with us, Andre!

      In your opinion, what would be easier to master to achieve good tone production  --playing without nails ( which some players have been trying) or using the Alaska picks?

      Like
    • Andre Bernier This sounds wonderful, Andre! Your patience and perseverance, with both this piece of music and with the Alaska picks, are really paying dividends. Your playing sounds so beautiful.

      Like
      • Jim King
      • Retired
      • Jim_king
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Andre Bernier Well done Andre.  The piece is sounding great.  Sounds like the Alaska picks are working well for you.  Nice to see the progress you are making.

      Like
    •  Barney Eric Phillips Jim King

      Thanks a lot for listening to my recording and for your great comments.

      Barney, you are raising a very good question. When we watch the video of Brandon Acker, we see it is possible to generate excellent tone without nails or artificial nails. We can also see that when we listen the recent recordings of Eric.

      Eric and I took about the same time to get used and generate a very acceptable tone. I guess it is just a question of being dedicated long enough despite the few roads blocs at the beginning.

      Like 1
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Andre Bernier I understand Andre.  Sounds like patience is very key.  Thanks!

      Like
    • Andre Bernier Barney For what it is worth, my journey into playing without nails is still very much a work in progress. My tone is very inconsistent, and I don’t have much fluency in the right hand yet (not that my RH technique didn’t have big issues with nails). Cutting my nails has certainly improved my sound and fluency on the lute, but I still miss my nails every time I play the guitar.

       At some point, I might consider trying the Alaska picks as a solution to my quandary. Hearing the sounds you have attained with them, Andre, makes me think it could work.

      Like
    • Eric Phillips Don't be too tough on yourself. A lot of people would be happy to be able to play like you. 

      My intention was not to generate a new trend on Tonebase but if you want to try the Alaska picks go for it 👍. They are available on Amazon and are very inexpensive. 

      Like 1
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 4 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Eric-  Your playing  always continues to improve and sounds great!  I agree with you  at this point in your nails experiment, tone production on your lute is significantly better, but I miss your consistent warm and accurate attack on the guitar at this stage of your journey.  I didn't know you were having big problems with your nails (of course,  most of us are always dealing with nails health...haha).  However,  sometimes we just have to forego instant gratification for the longer term mission.  I know you will make the right choices and succeed.

      Like 1
    • Andre Bernier Barney Thanks for the supportive words, guys. I really miss being able to pick up my guitar and play, and get a reasonably good sound without so much effort. This morning, I was so unhappy with my sound that I was ready to give up and just grow the nails back (which I still might do). I even swapped out the guitar for the lute, hoping I could get that to sound good, but it didn't work - every note sounded thin and "clicky" to me. Then, on a whim, I started playing a little Tárrega, and for some reason my sound was a bit better.

      Like
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Andre Bernier Your playing is very good, Andre. You have made significant improvement in both technique and musicality. Great job.

      The Alaska picks are sounding very good though it gives your guitar a bit of a folk/fingerstyle sound. I don't think that is bad or a criticism, just my observation. You will probably be limited in the tonal range you can achieve on the guitar. However I have heard finger style (nonclassical) guitarists perform classical music which was great, even on a steel string guitar.

      Great job!!!

      Like
    • Andre Bernier very good Andre. It’s fascinating to see and hear you experiment with your attack, hand position, and you definitely make good progress. Fernando Sor is a good guide on your journey into the guitar universe. bravo.

      Like
  • Adelita (no nails)

    Playing through some music this morning, I just was not liking the sound I was getting. Then, for whatever reason, I started playing this old warhorse. When I go slowly and pay very close attention to my right hand finger placement, I actually really like the sound. For whatever reason, the only finger I cannot get a good sound with today is my index. The B section of this piece has some stinker notes in it, probably because of all the three- and four-note chords.

    Like 2
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips That's the beautiful warm round sound I like!  I never studied your right hand, but I notice a lot of movement of your hand .  Is this causing your index finger to be out of the position you need?  Take a look, as I can't tell from this angle.

      Thanks for sharing this, as you should be encouraged to be on the right track.

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips Excellent, Eric.  Definitely agree with Barney that your nail-less sound is coming along nicely, maybe the best yet of your nail-less postings.

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips That was beautiful, Eric. I agree with Dale and Barney that your sound is very warm and full. You are making a great transition to playing nailless. Great work!

      Like 1
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