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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  • 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 thank you very much for your support in helping Mark out.

      Like
    • Gunter
    • Gunter
    • 1 mth ago
    • Reported - view

    My name is Günter and I live in Austria. I play the guitar for quite a long time already, but I am an amateur and never had formal training. So, I am really very curious about any comments on my playing. I will take the time to record a short video of the first assignment tomorrow, but relexation is not only necessary for my thumb, but for my schedule as well.

    I already started to practise the relaxation exercises and also the Brouwer etude. I am looking forward to getting good advice.

    See you tomorrow.

    Like 1
    • Gunter thank you for your comment! Sure, share it as soon as you have it :D

      Like
  • With thanks to Jack Stewart I am posting my first video of excercise 1. It is shot with just a phone, so very basic but I hope it will serve the purpose of providing opportunity for feedback.

    Like 1
    • Mark de Beer well done. Do you consciously feel you thumb feeling relaxed before you continue playing?

      Like
    • Arturo Castro Nogueras Some moments I feel that sensations of relaxation, other moments I don't. I try to consciously register it when I do feel it so that I become more and more aware of how that feels. I realise this cannot be achieved in a couple of days, so I'll keep at it.

      Like 1
    • Mark de Beer because it has to do with awareness, it might take some days as you say. It is normal :)

      Like
  • And here are my attempts at excercises 2 and 3 respectively:
     

    Like 1
    • Mark de Beer those exercises two sound very good. Just for the sake of this exercise, did you try just dropping the thumb. Like letting it go with gravity. I see in you third video that there is an individual motion for each thumb. You can try to rest on the next string and then "let go" on to the next. 

      Like
    • Arturo Castro Nogueras Thank you very much for your comments. I will continue practising and pay more attention to using gravity. 

      Like 1
    • Mark de Beer glad it helps! Did you try the exercise of the second video?

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    • Arturo Castro Nogueras Yes, I am working on the exercise of the second video. It is a bit harder for me I notice, controlling the left hand while the main purpose of the exercise is to concentrate on the thumb of the right hand. I will post a video of my attempts, only I will only be able to do this after the weekend. Hope this okay.

      Like 1
    • Mark de Beer yes, of course!

      The intention was to apply the ideas we talked about in the first video to a common arpeggio. But you can practice each hand individual first and then try to assemble it together. 

      Like
    • Peternull
    • Peter.3
    • 1 mth ago
    • Reported - view

    Thank you very much. This is excellent coaching and very clearly presented. I’m late to joining this but will practice this from today and send a video shortly. 

    Like 1
    • Peter welcome! Sure, share it with us as soon as you have it.

      Like
      • Peternull
      • Peter.3
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Arturo Castro Nogueras Here is a link to the youtube video.  I suspect I made an error on screen size but hopefully you will get the gist

       

      https://youtu.be/cVn7227XITc

      Like 1
    • Peter thank you very much for sharing your video. Well done, all it takes is a moment to think about it and the more you do it, the easier and "normal" it becomes.

      Like
    • Gunter
    • Gunter
    • 1 mth ago
    • Reported - view

    Arturo Castro Nogueras

    Here are my videos for the first exercises. I try to send an OneDrive-Link, because I don't have a YouTube account. Please let me know if the links work. Otherwise, I will create a YouTube account as well.

    https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnKUSGIvnByMhuBG2Bndq2qpc_mgCw?e=u7Ff2N

    https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnKUSGIvnByMhuBIWZ5_6AHXA5i68w?e=J6Fwej

    https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnKUSGIvnByMhuBHeUVhoJn4F7UZsg?e=Htorxg

    Like
    • Gunter thank you very much, I could see the videos without a problem. 

      I have only one thing to add. In general everything looks well. The idea of these exercises is to add an extra step in all of this process. So, for example, the Brouwer Etude No. 6, as you practice it, take an extra beat in relaxing your thumb. Just a thing to do in practice sessions. When you play it, you do it how it is written of course.

      Like
  • Here is the beginning of the Carcassi Etude No. 25 I talk in the second video.

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

    Well, here are some attempts at the arpeggio exercises. I filmed both the right hand and the left hand. I am struggling to keep the left hand relaxed while playing the barre and the extended forth finger for the high A and the hammer-on;  I experiment with placing the barre after the hammer-on which is not as secure but is much more relaxed for my hand. Though not the subject of this TWI, any tips for the left hand would also be welcomed. The right hand feel pretty relaxed throughout and I try to maintain a conscious sensation of p relaxing after each pluck while maintaining the rhythm.

    Like 1
    • David thank you for sharing your videos. I agree with what you say about your right-hand. It looks relaxed. About your left hand I would suggest not raising the elbow so much. If your left-hand is not as diagonal reaching the c# on the 5th string is easier. Check the picture below: 

      Let me know if this helps.

       

      Another thing, I would try to keep the full position, even when you do the pull-off of the first string in Carcassi's Etude. 

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

      Arturo Castro Nogueras thank you very much for the tips. I will work that in the next practice session!

      Like 1
    • David let me know how it goes :D

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    • Gunter
    • Gunter
    • 1 mth ago
    • Reported - view

    Arturo Castro Nogueras

    Here are my attempts on the second exercise. Like David, I have problems with my left hand as well. The tension in my left hand makes it more difficult to be relaxed in the right hand. But that was perhaps part of the exercises.

    While I was practising the A-major arpeggio, I asked myself, how do I know, whether my right hand thumb is relaxed or just idle with tension. Perhas this is a stupid question, but I am really not sure, if my thumb is relaxed, especially with a tense left hand. Do I have to practice slower?

    Here are my videos...

    https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnKUSGIvnByMhuBTKxWz8UIDQtxvkA?e=57GHvo

    https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnKUSGIvnByMhuBb-V-TQ2tIFMkwYA?e=qxX9RV

    Like 2
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