Group 1

Are you tired of struggling with the complexities of guitar-playing? Good news – most guitar music relies on a small number of key technical building blocks. This upcoming two-week intensive program will dive into these building blocks and offer a systematic approach to improving your foundational skills on the guitar. By breaking down the technical intricacies of guitar-playing into a handful of essential movements, we’ll be providing exclusive insights and exercises that can help you overcome the most common difficulties. With practice and dedication, these exercises can become an integral part of your regular warm-up routine, unlocking your potential to better express your musical ideas.

Details

  • Sign-Up: March 15th
  • Course Period: March 20th - March 31st
  • Check-In via Zoom: March 23 & March 30, 10am PST

Assignment (week 1)

The video below introduces the course and presents 6 exercises aimed at developing essential 'building blocks' of guitar playing. Aim to practice each every day as part of your warmup routine for 2~4 minutes. This should result in an overall 15~30 min practice block.

 

The exercises presented are:

exercise 1a - apoyando/tirando alternation of single fingers (i-i-i... m-m-m... a-a-a...)

exercise 1b - tirando alternation of small groups (m-i, i-m, a-m, m-a, a-i, i-a)

exercise 2 - apoyando alternation across first three strings

exercise 3 - 'quasi' slurs

exercise 4 - chromatic scales

exercise 5 - shifting

exercise 6 - extensions

 

If you aren't able to consistently complete all exercises or if it takes too long, select whichever you think will be the most beneficial ones for you (e.g. 1-4). Remember that it is better to practise shorter but regularly than to practice longer but less frequently. Keep track of your practice! This will allow you to later asses how useful a change to your practice routine has been.

 

Assignment // Week 1

 

Assignment // Week 2

 

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  • Zoom Check-in Session No. 1 // recording

    Thursday 23rd March https://youtu.be/3Z1lHBoGSkE

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  • Hi everyone, here's week 2: https://youtu.be/QUF6Ty1b1ys

    A (slightly) shorter video than last week:) Happy practising! (yes, it's with an 's' in UK).

    See you on Thursday, E

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  • Zoom Check-in Session No. 2 // recording

    Thursday 30th March https://youtu.be/UWoHUnbhVUs

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    • Dean Allan
    • Expanding Musical Possibilities…
    • omstudios
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Great beginning…!

    Like 1
    • Dean Allan glad you enjoyed it. I hope you will find the course useful:)

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

    I look forward to fine tuning these fundamental skills with all of you, under Manny's direction.

    Like 1
    • Great to have you here, Barney ! I look forward to working together.

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    • Derek
    • Derek
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Likewise Barney. Looking forward to working on these exercises.

    Like 1
    • Derek Best of luck with the exercises. I look forward to seeing you all on Thursday!

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    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Emmanuel In Exercise 4- Chromatic Scales:   Since we are strictly alternating i-m throughout(starting on i), there are "string crossings" when ascending. I'm assuming this is intentional, correct?

    Like 1
    • Hi Barney , that is correct! The idea is to incorporate at least some string-crossing in our practice. Though we will always prefer avoiding string crossing in 'real life' wherever possible, it's good to be prepared for when we decide to use them.

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Emmanuel Yes, I agree.  Handling string crossings well is also key for scale playing speed.  Thanks!

      Like 1
    • Barney You're very welcome!

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  • Check-In Session // ZOOM LINK

    Thursday 23 March, 2023
    5 PM  London  🇬🇧
    10 AM  Pacific Time 🇺🇸

    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86416039992?pwd=cHV2MENmWGNLSnJCMlM5Sk1xRk0vdz09

    Meeting ID: 864 1603 9992
    Passcode: 254130

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

    When would you use the "prepared" method for Chromatic and regular scales? 

    Does it achieve more legato? 

    Does it help with speed or does it lack the kind of left and right hand Syncronization, where each finger of both hands would have "direct action" at same time?

    Wondering if this nice sequence of exercises is meant to be a short warm-up, should it also include some type of "Arpeggio" exercise, or was that intentionally excluded for a reason?

    Like 1
    • Hi Barney 

      I would use the L.H. preparation wherever convenient on those frets to be used – all 4 fingers on a string for a chromatic scale, but often only 3 or 2 fingers per string in a diatonic scale. This reduces the amount of movement necessary to secure each of the frets and has the additional benefit of significantly increasing security as each necessary finger is already safely on the string before it plays rather than having to find it for every single note. As both of these aspects have a positive impact on the smoothness, relaxation, and stability of the left hand, I'd say it does contribute to both legato and speed.

      It's not necessary for the left hand to have more active movements for the sole purpose of 'balancing' with the active movements required by the R.H.... if it is possible to have a L.H. which moves less and achieves just as good a result (or better!), then there is no reason to give it more work. Our body and brain are very much able to learn to dissociate the different amount of effort required by each hand at different times.

      Well spotted – I agree that arpeggios are essential! So essential, in fact, that they will be the sole focus for next week.

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Emmanuel Understood.  Thanks very much, Manny!!

      Like 1
    • Barney My pleasure!

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  • thanks a lot as i’m incorporating all this in my warmups 

    Like 1
    • Michel , you're very welcome. Happy practising!

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  • My m finger feels different playing free and rest stroke. It feels more similar by moving my hand back towards the 6th string a little where I can relax the last phalange. Should I be doing this?

    Like 1
    • Hi Phill ! I would say that for the purpose of the excercise and furthering our R.H. stability, it can be very worthwhile approaching the excercise from a single position. I use a less complex version – repeating the very same finger in rest stroke followed by a free stroke and so on, rather than alternating i-m. This puts further emphasis on the switch between strokes from a single position. Also, altough it might be a little challenging at first, it is usually possible to gently relax the tip joint, even from a slightly higher wrist position (as the one usually used for free strokes). This is worthwile training for those occassiones where we might find ourselves in need to slip in a rest stroke without being able to adjust the hand position.

      Now, in 'real-life', it's not a bad idea to make a very small adjustment as the one you've described if it gives you a good musical result and some added security... The excercise, practised as above, though, would hopeully make us less reliant on these adjustments.

      Like
    • Romy
    • romy
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    I would be interested to know if you change the exercises from time to time or not? How do you manage to keep the exercises interesting for you and enjoy playing them for a long time?

    Like 1
    • Hi Romy ,

      Some time ago, in a completist obsession, I would want to practise as many different exercises as possible, so I needed to switch them up to cover them all within a few days. This meant that days looked pretty different. Now, however, I've experienced more benefits from playing the same exercises for a more limited amount of time. Sometimes I'll make up a special exercise for a particularly challenging piece of repertoire I'm learning and throw that into the mix, or I'll change the order... but, tbh, now that I've found what works best for me, I tend to stick to it, especially as I'm fairly convinced that doing a smaller amount of core exercises is more beneficial than practising a lot of outlier technical situations.

      That said, make sure you don't force yourself to do something to the point of boredom, which isn't very sustainable in the long run. I'd opt for playing a shorter warm-up in that case to make sure I'm always fresh and engaged.

      All best!

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      • Romy
      • romy
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the exercises very much.

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