Group 2

Unlock the secret to mastering your right-hand arpeggios in this two-week intensive course with renowned guitarist Arturo Castro Nogueras. Designed for guitarists of all levels, this course focuses on essential techniques to relax your right-hand thumb, enhancing your fluidity and control.

COURSE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Learn techniques to ease thumb tension while playing arpeggios.
  • Improve fluidity and control in your arpeggio patterns.
  • Understand the impact of thumb relaxation on overall arpeggio execution.
  • Practice a series of arpeggio-focused exercises and etudes.
  • Develop a balanced and efficient right-hand position for arpeggios.
  • Apply thumb relaxation techniques to various arpeggio patterns and musical excerpts.

Throughout the course, Arturo will provide detailed lessons and hands-on practice to help you refine your arpeggio technique and elevate your playing. Whether you’re looking to enhance your skills or achieve a more balanced right-hand position, this course offers the tools and insights you need to succeed.

TIMELINE:

  • Sign-Up : May 29th - June 2nd
  • Course Period: June 3rd - June 14th
  • Optional check-In via Zoom: June 10th, 10 am PST

ASSINGMENTS WEEK 1

  1. Arpeggio Exercise

    • Instructions: Position your fingers on the first four strings.
    • Pattern: Perform a simple P-I-M-A arpeggio.
    • Detail: Immediately after playing with your thumb (P), take an extra moment to relax.
    • Steps:
      • Play with thumb (P)
      • Relax
      • Play with index (I)
      • Play with middle (M)
      • Play with ring (A)
  2. Leo Brouwer's Estudio Sencillo No. 6

    • Instructions: Position your thumb (P) and ring finger (a) into playing position.
    • Detail: After playing with your thumb (P), immediately relax.
    • Focus: Ensure relaxation after each thumb stroke to maintain fluidity.
  3. Triple Thumb Exercise

    • Instructions: Place your thumb (P) on the sixth string.
    • Pattern: Play the last three strings in reverse order: 6th, 5th, and 4th, relaxing after playing each string.
    • Steps:
      • Play the 6th string with thumb (P) and relax
      • Play the 5th string with thumb (P) and relax
      • Play the 4th string with thumb (P) and relax

Exercise Instructions:

1. Arpeggio A Major

  •     Position your fretting hand to play an A major chord.
  •     Place your thumb (right hand) on the 5th string.
  •     Strum the 5th string with your thumb and relax your hand.
  •     Perform a hammer-on with your pinky on the 4th fret of the 5th string.
  •     Quickly place your thumb again on the 4th string.
  •     Strum the remaining strings of the chord.
  •     Focus on maintaining a relaxed posture and fluid motion throughout the exercise.

2. Carcassi Etude No. 25 (First Bar)

  •    Apply the same principles as the Arpeggio A Major exercise.
  •    Position your fretting hand according to the notation for the first bar of Carcassi Etude No. 25.
  •    Start with your thumb on the designated string.
  •    Play the notes as indicated in the etude, focusing on relaxation and precision.
  •    Emphasize the hammer-on technique if required by the notation.

3. Maintaining Right Hand Stillness and Relaxation

  • Practice playing the thumb strokes of various exercises or pieces slowly.
  • Focus on keeping the rest of your hand relaxed and still while playing the thumb.
  •  Avoid unnecessary tension in your hand and fingers.
  •  Gradually increase speed while maintaining relaxation and stillness.

4. Bonus Practice: Tremolo with Relaxation

  •  Position your hand for tremolo technique, typically with the thumb playing bass notes and fingers playing rapid repetitions on higher strings.
  •  Start slowly to ensure each finger movement is relaxed and controlled.
  •  Concentrate on keeping each finger relaxed as it alternates with the thumb.
  •  Increase speed gradually while maintaining relaxation and precision.
  •  Focus on a consistent, even tone with each finger stroke.

 

 

1. Villa-Lobos Etude No. 2 E7 Arpeggio in Bar 23, using the Triple Thumb Exercise:

 

   - Start by reviewing the triple thumb exercise demonstrated in the first video.

   - Familiarize yourself with the E7 arpeggio in Villa-Lobos Etude No. 2.

   - Apply the triple thumb technique to the E7 arpeggio. Use your thumb consecutively on different bass strings to play the 6th, 5th, and 4th string of the E7 arpeggio.

   - Practice slowly at first, ensuring accuracy and clarity of each note.

   - Gradually increase speed while maintaining control and precision.

   - Focus on smooth transitions between strings and consistent thumb technique throughout.

 

2. Luigi Legnani Caprice No. 29 F sharp minor using the Triple Thumb Exercise:

 

   - Review the triple thumb exercise to ensure familiarity.

   - Study the F sharp minor arpeggio in Legnani Caprice 29 Bar 1.

   - Apply the triple thumb technique to the F sharp minor arpeggio, using your thumb on consecutive bass strings to play the relevant chord tones.

   - Practice slowly and methodically, paying attention to finger placement and coordination.

   - Increase speed gradually, maintaining accuracy and control.

   - Concentrate on achieving smooth transitions between notes and strings.

 

3. Tremolo Practice with Relaxation After Each Finger:

 

   - Begin by practicing a basic tremolo pattern (p-a-m-i) on a single string.

   - Focus on relaxing your fingers after each stroke, allowing them to return to a neutral position.

   - Pay attention to the quality of sound produced by each finger and strive for consistency.

   - Practice at a comfortable tempo initially, gradually increasing speed as you become more comfortable.

   - Take short breaks between practice sessions to avoid fatigue and tension buildup.
 

 

4. Breaking Down Big Arpeggio Sections into Smaller Ones:

 

   - Identify large arpeggio sections in the pieces you're working on.

   - Divide these sections into smaller, manageable segments based on patterns or hand positions.

   - Practice each smaller segment individually, focusing on precision and fluidity.

   - Gradually integrate these segments back together, ensuring smooth transitions between each part.

   - Repeat this process as needed until you can perform the entire arpeggio section seamlessly.

   - Use a metronome to maintain steady progress and monitor your improvement over time.

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    • Ariel Elijovich
    • Performer, Teacher @Conservatory M. de Falla and member of Nuntempe Ensamble GQ
    • Ariel.1
    • 1 mth ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi there! Mucho gusto en conocerte, M°Castro Nogueras! My name is Ariel Elijovich. I'm a Conservatory teacher in Buenos Aires. I've been teaching for 30+ years now (since i was 15) and i'm always looking for new tips to add to my teaching and playing. So, thank you in advance! 

     

    As a comment to your video, i always  suggest my students to keep their left arm and hand hanging by the side and try to comunicate the sensation of "not doing a not even a thing" from the left to the right after each movement. I find that having the right hand copying the left's sensation of "nothingness" is a very fast way to teach the thumb (and ima) about how they should feel after they "do their thing". 

     

    I also find that the placement (and pressure on the string) of the thumb creates tension so i teach my students these series of movements to place the thumb in their 3rd or 4th lesson (in the video attached in the answer to this comment) I find these work really fine to teach the thumb to "play nice".

     

    Looking forward to working on your suggestions!! 

    Ariel.

    Like
      • Ariel Elijovich
      • Performer, Teacher @Conservatory M. de Falla and member of Nuntempe Ensamble GQ
      • Ariel.1
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Here's the video 

      Like
    • Ariel hola! 

      Thank you very much for your comment. I'll reply in English so everyone understands. Those are great exercises, the first one reminds me of the technique developed by Alberto Guerrero and used to teach Glenn Gould. Here's the link:

       

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finger_tapping_(piano)

       

      The closer we are to absolute relaxation the more natural the movement. We do this every day. Watch how your hand moves when you grab a glass of water. The hand is relaxed until it has to actually grip the glass. And as soon as you finish gripping the glass your hand relaxes again. It should be the same with chords or positions on the left hand and while playing on.the right.

      Like 2
      • Ariel Elijovich
      • Performer, Teacher @Conservatory M. de Falla and member of Nuntempe Ensamble GQ
      • Ariel.1
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Arturo Castro Nogueras muchas gracias!

      the article quoted as reference in this wikipedia is really interesting and now that you mention this piano tapping it reminds me of my own mother in her piano lessons with her students.

      She is great (a classmate with Martha Argerich in Viena when she was 16 and then a renamed argentine chamber music pianist). When she first teaches to her students she puts her hand over the student's and plays over their hands as the circus teacher over the 3 year old dancer.

      Thanks for pointing me to this article!!

      Full story here: https://www.musicandhealth.co.uk/articles/tapping.html

      Like 2
    • Ariel that is incredibly interesting. Thank you for sharing. Both my parents are pianists so I perfectly understand where you are coming from :D

      Thanks for the article!

      Like 1
      • Ariel Elijovich
      • Performer, Teacher @Conservatory M. de Falla and member of Nuntempe Ensamble GQ
      • Ariel.1
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Arturo Castro Nogueras aquí está mi arpegio del estudio de Brouwer. 

      any comment is welcomed! :-) 

      Like 1
    • Ariel Elijovich muchas gracias por tu vídeo. Yo entiendo que como profesional la relajación del pulgar derecho es algo que ya has trabajado mucho y se ve muy bien. No tengo que decirte más. Si gustas podemos hablar de este fenómeno en piezas más complejas y compartimos ideas sobre esto. Como por ejemplo en el estudio No. 2 de Villa-Lobos donde es vital. ¿Qué te parece?

      Felicidades por tus otros vídeos, vi algo de ellos y se ve muy interesante.

      Like
      • Ariel Elijovich
      • Performer, Teacher @Conservatory M. de Falla and member of Nuntempe Ensamble GQ
      • Ariel.1
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Arturo Castro Nogueras (está bien si seguimos en castellano? Para mi es indistinto. Cómo sea más educado y considerado con el resto... ) muchas gracias a vos por ojear las demás cosas que tengo subidas.  Para ser sincero, estoy siguiendo muy interesado el asunto del pulgar. Aunque por supuesto lo tengo resuelto a un nivel profesional, siempre me resultó incómoda la sucesión de pulgares -especialmente más de dos- y he siempre preferido evitarla con alguna digitación alternativa. Esto me ha dado también un inside muy interesante al aspecto posicional de la mano derecha pero continúo viendo con envidia los pulgares de los flamenquistas o de otros guitarristas que no tienen problema alguno con las repeticiones reiteradas del pulgar. Y aunque puedo tocar arpegios relativamente rápidos, la velocidad nunca ha sido mi fuerte. Por otro lado, no quisiera alejarte del tema o la guía que te propusiste para este workshop, ...     

      Like 1
    • Ariel Elijovich gracias por tu comentario. Pues te confieso que es algo que a mi me ha costado trabajo también. Por eso me gusta tanto el 2 de Villa-Lobos, ha sido siempre un reto y trato de tocarlo a diario aunque sea lento. He descubierto que si pongo el acento en otra nota que no sea la primera los arpeggios fluyen mejor y el pulgar no se tranca. Por ejemplo, musicalmente suena bien si le das el acento en la antepenúltima nota del compás. Dime qué te parece.

      Like
  • My name is Mark de Beer. I live in The Netherlands. I am 60 now and only in the past 2 years or so have I picked up the guitar again, having had some teachers when I was in my twenties. I joined Tonebase a year ago. I find it very helpful and inspiring, and at the same time somewhat humbling, because I see and hear a lot of excellent guitar playing that is far beyond what I can manage. This is my first time signing up for a course on Tonebase, so that I can find out if that is suitable for me, being a not so sophisticated player. I look forward to participating in the coming two weeks!

    Like 2
    • Mark de Beer hi! 

      We are all learning :D so feel free to ask any question or doubt you have and if you feel like it post a short video playing the exercises above so we can work on them. This is for everyone regardless of your level. 

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

    I’m David from near rainy Seattle in the US. I’m new to guitar and joined ToneBase to learn and join these workshops. If it’s  ok to do so, could post a short video of my attempt at the exercises for comment here?

    Like 1
    • David hi! Welcome :) 

      Sure, post the your video and let's share some ideas about what I talk on the video above.

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

      Arturo Castro Nogueras hello, thank you for offering to have a look at my technique. Here’s a short arpeggio video where I try to immediately relax the thumb after plucking: https://youtu.be/QYYt10jjLNg?si=bx4_lVC0aBtZw5kp

      I’m hoping that learning to relax my thumb on arpeggios also transfers over to tremolo. I struggle with it especially when pima all pluck the same string. Might me tightness in the thumb or preparation issues or both:

      https://youtu.be/oYdtJ8qE9Qw?si=BbJBrqAYFLmIVxfC

      Like 1
    • David thank you very much for sharing your videos. I see you are taking some time to relax your thumb and that is exactly the point. 

      Well done. 

      About your second video, yes! That is exactly how we can practice tremolo. If you keep a relaxed thumb the tremolo will be smoother.  Thanks for pointing it out, I'll include it in my next video later today.

      Like
      • Ariel Elijovich
      • Performer, Teacher @Conservatory M. de Falla and member of Nuntempe Ensamble GQ
      • Ariel.1
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      David i'm sorry to meddle but i would notice that in your first video you are deliberatedly avoiding the contact between the thumb and the index, when the side of the index is the natural "end" of the action path of the thumb. Have you tried a little contact for a better rest?  

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

      Ariel Elijovich hi Ariel! Thank you very much for taking the time to view and offer the idea for improving my right hand motion. I’m going to give it a try as soon as I practice next. Sounds promising!

      Like 2
    • Ariel Elijovich thank you for mentioning this. Very helpful.

      Like 1
      • Ariel Elijovich
      • Performer, Teacher @Conservatory M. de Falla and member of Nuntempe Ensamble GQ
      • Ariel.1
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

       David  Arturo Castro Nogueras 

      Hi, David! of course, my pleasure. We learn from each other! Let me know if it made a difference!

      Hi, Arturo! glad i may be of use! :-) 

      Like 1
    • Peternull
    • Peter.5
    • 1 mth ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello, I am Pete from upstate NY. Hoping to get better arpeggios and eventually Tremelo.

    Like 2
    • Peter welcome! Thanks for joining us. Would you like to share a short video of the exercises I mention above so we can work a little bit on them?

      Like
  • Hello, this is my first time participating in such a course on Tonebase. I have made a simple video of me playing exercise 1. I feel silly, but have to ask: how do I go about sharing this video? I have never done this. I'm not on YouTube or so. Thanks for your help.

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

      Mark de Beer Hi Mark, It took me a while to figure this out as well. If you sign up with YouTube you can create your own own channel. At the upper right corner of your channel page is a 'create' button. One of the options is to upload video. It will take you to a page that allows you to drag and drop your video to upload to your channel. That will then lead you thru several prompts, some of which you must answer, ie where to save your video (I have created many playlists for videos I want to save, 1 is TB Challenge), the next is whether the video is for kids (I always click no because that is easist), the next couple of 'pages are not required and I ignore them, the final page asks how to list your video. On this page it is necessary to list as either public (which means it shows up on YouTube) or as unlisted (which means ir is only available to anyone who's has the specific link.) Also on this page - on the right side , is a button to copy the video link. You will need this to post on Tonebase.

      Then when you post on TB there are 3 buttons below the dialogue box for uploading 1. images, 2. videos, and 3. files. You click the middle one and paste your link.

      It is much easier to do than to read (or write) how to do.

      I hope this helps and sorry for a very longwinded explanation.

      Like 2
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Jack Stewart I've made some screenshots that are probably easier to follow

      1. shows where to find the create button and its options

      2. shows the 2 required options (where to post and for kids or not)

      3. visibility Note: do not click Private as that will not show up on Tonebase. Click unlisted

      also on the right side is the video link and and its link to copy

    • Jack Stewart Hi Jack, thank you so much for taking the trouble of explaining this process to me in such detail. I highly appreciate it and feel sure I can manage now to post my videos on Tonebase. Once again: thank you!

      Like 1
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