Week 1: A Guitar has Six Strings, Right?
Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of the transcription challenge! This is the place to discuss the Week 1 livestream.
- Make sure you've read the guidelines before replying (<- click)
- Watch the kickoff livestream for help with the first section!
If you want to describe your process (optional), feel free to use the following template.
- Things you found easy:
- Things you found difficult:
- (Optional): a video of you performing it!
- (Optional:) questions
↓ Reply below with your Progress Update and Questions! ↓
Bach Sarabande (BWV 1012)
So, when does this challenge start? Ahh, never mind!
I thought I'd kick this thing off with perhaps the most transcribed composer of all time. This comes from his sixth cello suite, and it's probably my favorite movement from all of the cello suites. Hearing it played on cello just makes me cry (in a good way)!
You can easily find a bunch of versions of this for guitar online. What I'm playing comes mostly from a transcription I have by Luis Alvarez, but I made several changes. I'd probably play it differently each day, knowing me.
Schumann Berceuse (trans. Tarrega)
I was reading through this piece from the files Martin gave us, and it seemed pretty playable. Then I hit this short section in F# minor on page 2 that just seemed impossible. I decided to check for any versions of it on YT, to see how other guitarists handled that section. The only two I could find actually eliminated the entire part in F# minor. I took that as permission to do the same!
So, here's my version. It still needs some work.
For those following the score, I am playing page 1 in it's entirety, then repeating the A section (still page 1). Then I am jumping to the very last line of page 3 (the part with harmonics), playing it like a coda. I didn't play the coda terribly well here, so I hope to make another recording of this some time later.
I’ve decided this challenge is a great opportunity to try one of Dyens transcriptions- but they’re pretty tricky for me- started on Revoir Paris, I think one of the easier ones. Just reading through it and working through the fingering today. Hard- the complex 3 on 2 rhythms throughout, a few tricky stretches, maintaining rhythm in the tricky sections.
Easy- not very much unfortunately- it’s easy to like the fantastic chords and I especially like the descending glissando at the end!
OK, so I've selected one of Gershwin's 3 Preludes: No. 2 to be exact. These were originally written for the piano, and in keeping with his style, there is a bit of a jazzy/bluesy rhythm that is presenting a challenge for me to grasp, but I will continue to work with it.
Things you found easy: This is a typical ABA piece and the A part is quite straight forward (apart from the rhythms as already discussed -- clearly, I ain't got rhythm).
Things you found difficult: The B part is a little more challenging to understand the flow, but getting there, albeit slowly
(Optional): a video of you performing it! This is forthcoming....in a day or two
Scarlatti Sonata K32
Scarlatti sonatas are frequently transcribed for the guitar. Here is one that is fairly easy to play. I definitely recommend listening to it on harpsichord and piano as well, as it is so beautiful on those instruments.
Although written in D minor, the versions I've heard on guitar have transposed it to E minor. I decided to record it in E minor and D minor. I'll let you decide which one is more effective on the guitar. I have included Scarlatti's score, a score for guitar in E minor, and a tablature for my version in D minor.
In addition, I also decided to play it on the lute. Please bear in mind that I am not a lutenist (at least not yet). I'm really just doing it for fun here. With the tuning I have on my lute, I suppose it sounds like it's in Db minor. To my guitar hands and brain, however, it feels like B minor. (BTW, in a few weeks, I plan to cut my nails and give a serious go at learning the lute more properly. This is my first time saying this publicly, so I guess I'm at least semi-committed to doing it. I will be playing guitar for a small group on January 19, so I prefer to wait until after that is done. Yikes!)
"Jesu bleibet meine Freude" BWV 147
This piece I started practicing one week ago and I think, it fits great into this challenge.
There is much work to do and this is my practice-recording for today.
Schubert Adieu (trans Tarrega)
I think that Tarrega may have had a gift for guitar transcription (in addition to composing and playing). Here is one I found in Edson Lopes' files. The score is attached. As it says at the top, the level is intermediate, so no big hurdles.
Update 1/4 - I made another recording of this below. Unfortunately, I permanently deleted this video from YT, so it is no longer available here. Sorry for the eyesore.
I am reviving a valse by Chopin, op. 69.2, that I worked on a while back but never got it to performance level. This is the first section (of 3).
Chopin can be a bit quirky and he slightly varies his repeats which can be difficult to keep track of. His use of chromaticism is challenging - especially after Bach and Sor. They both can be chromatic but I am more familiar with their harmonic logic.
Hello to all! I am entering the challenge with Cadiz by Isaac Albeniz. I tried this piece a couple of years ago and found it was too big for me so I dropped it. Now, I feel confident to give it a go! Though as it is a large piece, it may be the only one I enter . Also, because I have Ballet by Ponce to prepare … starting strong 2022!!!!!
My first challenge, but feel like getting involved in this one as I want to learn a new piece anyway... Looking through my music I have Henry Purcell - Four Pieces, edited by Bream. I've picked Rondo, the second of the four pieces to have a go at... As I understand it, originally a harpsichord piece, and transcribed by Bream in 1970...
I thought about practicing "Asturias-Leyenda" of Isaac Albeniz. I never played music written by Albeniz. It is so hard to read and play. Thinking about this fact, now I remember my first classical guitar teacher - it was at my age of 26 ...
He asked me, why I want to learn classical guitar - and I remember me saying "When I can play Sevilla, then my goal is reached :o) ..."
But Sevilla, I think, is very difficult ?!
I will start with Lexus-Commercial-Manuel-Barrueco Piece
A video will follow - but at the moment I just can play the first bars - not worth to record anything...
Schubert Adieu (trans Tarrega) Update Jan 4
I practiced this piece a bit more, and here is a new video. I tried to make the melody come out more clearly above the accompaniment. I also tried to play it more expressively.
BTW, without thinking, I permanently deleted my previous recording of this from YT, so that video is no longer available.
My first Challenge :) So I was planning on learning new repertoire anyway. Mostly Romantic era music since I ordered a romantic guitar (was thinking Mertz, Regondi, Coste, wasn't sure what exactly). So because of the Challenge, I decided on some Schubert-Mertz. Not sure yet how many pieces I will be able to work on, but I started Lob der Tränen Sunday. I made some progress on the first page (mostly the intro and first melody). Will try to record something tomorrow (actually, I tried to record yesterday, but it sounded awful )
Such a wonderful challenge, but I am having this problem making a choice: so much incredible music! most of my repertoire is original guitar (or lute). So, I have to discover some new. Granados and Albeniz are tempting….
This first attempt of a recording is from Bach’s violin sonata (1005). The transcription is in original key (3rd F major part from the C major sonata). It’s so hard to find the ideal tempo…
i tuned the 6th string to F and my 7th to C, mainly to enhance the harmonic resonance and the dominant bass in the the cadenza (hardly noticeable with my poor sound quality)… it’s perfectly possible to play this on 6 strings with normal E tuning. Still lots of work to be done, but it’s still the first week.
This is an awesome challenge man!
So many wonderful posts. I've been so lazy during the holidays that I didn't even practice anything. I always wanted to play Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence transcribed by Hirokazu Sato, Rhapsody of a theme of Paganini variations 18 and one of the Final Fantasy Song for the longest time but just couldn't work myself to it.
This comes at the right time to motivate myself to start it. I'll start working on
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence. Hopefully I can get it done before Christmas. Not an easy piece to play for my current technical ability but if I never try it will always be beyond my ability.
I was hoping to beat Eric to the Scarlatti pieces! I started looking at this a day or so ago, it's one I used to play many years ago but haven't looked at it in a long while. Still a bit unsteady but another one I'll keep looking at. I'm also working on a couple of the Schubert /Mertz pieces among others so looks like it's going to be a busy month!
I am happy to join the transcription challenge and to learn about new transcriptions and to share with you all two arrangements/transcription of pieces by Astor Piazzolla. I have chosen to work on two movements from Astor Piazzolla’s and Horacio Ferrer’s Tango Opera, Maria de Buenos Aires. Maria de Buenos Aires was written in 1968 and first performed in Buenos Aires. The piece is in six movements and I have chosen the first movement, Alevare and the fourth movement, Poema Valseado. I am working on the free arrangement by Agustin Carlevaro, the brother of Maestro Abel Carlevaro. Agustin was an architect by profession as well as an accomplished guitarist who focused on transcribing tangos and related repertoire for the guitar. He is quite well known in Uruguay and Argentina for his numerous publications of works of Piazzolla and other tango composers.