WEEK 1: Select And Practice Your Piece! 🕴

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of the End-Of-The-Year Community Concert Challenge!


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 assignments and questions! ↓

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  • Sor Op 6 No 12 (December 11)

    Incrementally better. The music is definitely more in my fingers now. I still am messing up the same problem measures, though.

    Like 7
    • Eric Phillips oh, I know…😮

      Like
      • Robert
      • amateur guitarist, guitar addicted
      • Robert
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Well done, Eric! This is so nice.

      Like 1
    • Robert Thanks, Robert!

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

    One more run through of this piece - Bach Cello Suite 1 Prelude

    I took some hints from the class today with Steve Goss about overcoming performance anxiety, and implemented them here. 

    For example, one of his suggestions was to use the sheet music where you typically have problems. For a good deal of this piece I have my eyes closed, but at m. 29 (2:24) I look at the sheet music for a few bars. 

    Also, I've realized, after watching myself, that I'm making a bigger deal about some things - like avoiding string noise - than maybe I need to. 

    This week, instead of making any more tweaks to the arrangement, I'm going to focus on being performance ready. One thing I can do to help that is do more performing/recording.

    Another tip that Steve had was to play your shortest/easiest piece at the beginning of a program to get the jitters out of the way. Since we will only be playing one piece at the concert, that's a little hard to do. What I decided to do was break this piece up into sections and treat the first section as my first piece, so I can relax once I get to that point in the piece.  

    Probably the funniest part of this is at 2:50 - you can hear a clicking sound multiple times. I actually have my left foot resting on a wah-wah pedal to help prop my foot up, and I keep engaging/disengaging it! 😂 I'll have to find something else to use for the concert. That's actually another point Steve made - try not to introduce any new elements into your sitting arrangement the day of the concert. No alarms and no surprises! (To quote a Radiohead song) 

    Like 5
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Great job, Steve. Your performance was very smooth and fluid. The only thing I would suggest is perhaps a greater dynamic range which would increase a sense of drama. I also think you should hold off on the Wahwah until the double stops around 3:00.

      You have done really well on this piece.

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

      Jack Stewart Thanks Jack! The double stops would actually sound really cool with a wah-wah! 😄

      Like
    • Steve Pederson I really like the performance and the arrangement. I like your choices on the accompanying bass making it individual and keeping it fresh but not jarring. Very cool. The only thing that did catch my ear was the glissando in m22. To my ear, the G#-A in that measure is very important and part of a V-I mini-cadence and key to modulating to the section in A. M20-22 seem to be about applying the brakes and preparing for the modulation and the gliss covering a maj 3rd ending on an upbeat stood out as an accent and pulled me out of the performance a bit. Just a suggestion, but to get to that same finishing position, a gliss with 2 from the C# to the E in that measure ends on a downbeat, and then the G# and A can be played with 3 and 4. You could even leave the E fretted for harmonic support since it's a chord tone in both the V and the I. Just throwing stuff out here.

      Again, really good job on this and thanks for sharing the score. It's a keeper.

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

      Steve Price Thanks for your feedback Steve! I took your advice about m. 22 and I really like it! Thanks for that. 😉👍 Look for it on the next iteration! 

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

      Steve Pederson Jack's suggestion reminds me that there is a clip somewhere on YT of Kevin Gallagher playing something from one of the Bach violin sonatas on, if I remember properly, a Les Paul. (Kevin, for those who don't recognize the name, is a very fine (if relatively unknown) guitarist who won the GFA competition some thirty years ago. His recording for the Naxos Laureate series is among my personal favourites.) I don't recall him using any effects, but, as guitarists are found of reasoning, if the wah-wah had been around in Bach's day, he surely would have made use of it! (After all, pedals figure rather prominently in his organ music ... 😂)

      Like 1
    • Steve Pederson that’s really beautiful, Steve! Well done. It sounds secure and naturally flowing. Great stuff for the concert!

      Like 1
      • Robert
      • amateur guitarist, guitar addicted
      • Robert
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Great stuff, Steve! And I am sure all the guitars behind you are keen on being played by you, too. 🙂

      General comment: I really love this challenge, cause each of us is focused on practicing a specific piece (or 2) and on improving the playing in almost each aspect and getting rid of nervous fingers etc. when it comes to the live performance etc. Sharing these videos and getting comments is so nice and helpful and motivating, too.

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

      David Krupka hilarious! I never thought about how many pedals Bach must've had! 😂

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

      joosje Thank you Joosje! 

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

      Robert Thanks Robert! Yes, my electric guitars have been feeling a little lonely since the pandemic began. But I still keep them around. 😉

      Like
    • ken
    • ken
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    How does one participate in these feedback sessions?

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    • ken Hi Ken, if you're talking about the challenge then just post about what you're working on with text and/or video.

      Like
    • Robert
    • amateur guitarist, guitar addicted
    • Robert
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Here is my new recording of Un Dia de Noviembre. Like the Montemayor (my last shared video here), I did the same: pressing REC, taking seat, breathing, and then playing, without several takes or even having the opportunity of repeating phrases in mind. Just focusing on the music, and playing as good as I can in that specific moment, as relaxed as possible, letting the fingers do what they had learned to do. ;-) .
    During the past days, I practiced a bit here and there, not necessarily both pieces but parts of them and also some finger exercises (I am not able to practice more than 15 minutes at the moment; for years now due to some health issues with arms and shoulders). Difficulties are always at the same spots, but I try to see them not as problems or obstacles and I try not to get nervous when reaching those spots. I try to focus on my experience of playing them well and fluidly, as best as possible.
    Thanks for listening.

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

      Robert That was beautiful, Robert. The 'A' section was especially good. The 'B' section is all there and just needs a little more refinement. It is really difficult to sustain a piece this long. I have only had a couple of pieces over 4' and they didn't fare well, I'm afraid. You have 2 really nice pieces already for this challenge.

      I'm sorry to hear you have arm and shoulder issues. You did very well in spite them, it wasn't apparent that you were having any difficulties.

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

      Robert Bravo Robert! I don't have chronic problems, but I pulled a muscle in my left shoulder a little over a week ago. It made playing extremely difficult, so I can't imagine what you're going through. I applaud that you persevere through those issues and continue to pursue your passion with guitar. Keep that up! 

      I was following along with a score of this I found online at Musescore (https://musescore.com/ricardohernandez/scores/6688653) and I noticed at m. 47 beat 2 there is a D and an E played simultaneously, but it sounds like you're just playing the D there. I don't know this piece, so I'm wondering if you may have a different score?

      Actually, I just checked out several scores. Some have just a D on that beat and some have just an E. Very strange! 

      Like
      • Robert
      • amateur guitarist, guitar addicted
      • Robert
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Thanks, Steve, for your motivating comments.

      Regarding the arms/shoulders: in fact, the guitar helps me to overcome those issues, and I also feel some "improvement" in the sense that I can now play for about 15 minutes compared to a couple of weeks ago when 10 minutes were the limit. And I am on the way to 20 minutes. :-)

      Regarding the score: Indeed, there are some different editions of that piece. I use the 2000 Chester Music Ltd. Edition. Here, in m. 47, it is a D only, similar to m. 45 with only single notes.
      However, there are differences to other editions, for example m. 46. And I play different from the Chester score. My score shows a b a b a in the melody. But sometimes you see a g a g a as in the Musescore score (I have some CDs with that piece, with different versions, sometimes with g, sometimes with b; I am not sure, but I think I heard once a Brouwer recording with that g), and I play that g. There are also other differences in the notation in part B, for example regarding triplets (Chester) in m. 35 and m. 43.

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

      Robert That's so bizarre that there are so many different versions of the score, especially since Leo is still alive. You'd think somebody could ask him and get a definitive score! 

      And it's great to hear that the guitar is part of your healing journey! 

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

      Steve Pederson The piece as we know if for guitar is an arrangement (presumably by Brouwer) of something originally composed as part of a film score. ('Una dia de Noviembre' is the title of the film.) You can see it here :

       

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYnL3YjjYhA

       

      The music on which the piece is based begins at about 23:30. It's typical film music of the period, particularly, I would say, Italian film music. It borders on the cheesy, frankly. (I'm talking about the orchestration, not the guitar solo.) In the original scoring, the guitar is simply accompanying other instruments.

       

      Anyhow, this is a long way of suggesting that the reason for the different versions may be that different arrangements have been made.

       

      It just occurs to me that there is a lesson here on ToneBase (that I haven't watched yet) where Brouwer himself talks about the piece! So ignore everything I just said, it might be all wrong ...

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

      David Krupka 😄 Good catch David! I'll have to take a look at those. It looks like there are multiple lessons on this piece. 

      Like
    • Robert Maybe the wrong place 😉 but I wanted to say, you did great at the concert. I really enjoyed your interpretation of the November day. 

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

      Robert I second Jose's compliments on your performance. It was wonderful. You really mastered the 'B' section. Beautiful.

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