WEEK TWO Updates: Main Thread - Following the Path to Tárrega

Alright, welcome to WEEK TWO of the Main Thread for this challenge! 💪


Where is the Week 1 thread?

Find the Week 1 thread here!


Please use the following format when commenting (feel free to copy & paste!)

  • One thing you found easy:
  • One thing you found difficult:
  • (Optional): a video of you performing it!
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    • Olalla
    • Olalla
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    I decided to record Recuerdos de La Alhambra.  It's one of my all time favourite pieces.  I started studying it in 2020 but I have discovered that it is quite challenging to play convincingly.  Sorry it's quite long because I played all the repeats.  I recorded this one on my flamenco guitar and classical guitar but felt that the flamenco guitar sounded slightly better somehow so that's the one I attached here.

    • One thing you found easy:  Nothing about it is easy! Well I suppose the chords aren't really that difficult if it weren't for all the tremolo...hahahaha
    • One thing you found difficult:  The slurs are quite difficult to pull off even after I have practiced them quite a bit.  I need to do a bit more targetted work there! I find I sometimes don't properly finish the tremolo before shifting.  It's challenging to keep a consistent tremolo througout and to get a nice warm tone.  I found the recordings difficult to listen to because the sound of the tremolo sounds quite harsh so not sure if the microphone is too close or it's just my playing!
    Like 11
    • Olalla This is amazing! Very musical and emotional. Thanks for posting it!

      Like 1
    • Olalla I'm happy you ended up sharing this piece you were hesitant about, your playing is great.

      Like 1
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Olalla Wow!!  that was beautiful!  Such a difficult piece to perform well, so congratulations!

      Wondering if the "harshness" you mentioned is the Flamenco guitar ,which is more percussive and bright.  I would expect the sound on the Classical to be warmer with more sustain.  You may want to try again on that one...

      Like 1
      • Olalla
      • Olalla
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Barney thanks Barney! I actually recorded it using the classical guitar as well but the flamenco guitar recording I felt sounded much nicer and even in tone. I probably need a third guitar just for Recuerdos de la Alhambra! Hahaha! I use Knobloch strings on my flamenco guitar which have carbon trebles. I think if at least the 1st string were nylon it would probably sustain more. I also need to make an adjustment when playing some classical  pieces on the flamenco one as sometimes I strike too hard and need to play a bit lighter especially around the sound hole and sul tasto. 

      Like 1
      • martinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Olalla uff, amazing! Quite speechless there, tremolo was never my thing and I am always very envious of those you can create an even tremolo with pami! I always have problems with the a-m combination, which is why I play tremolo with p-m-i-a!

      How do you practice tremolo? Sometimes the harshness can come from too much staccato practice and I wonder, if that might be the case. Practicing staccato makes the hand feel very comfortable because we practice a lot of control, but my experience is that the flow of notes suffers a little bit from that! Just wondering what your tremolo approach is as I am by no means a tremolo expert!

      But you are absolutely right, the mic position can introduce certain frequencies that colors the timbre of your sound which we might percieve as harsh! I usually have the mic about 30cm over the bridge with an angle of about 30° to the right and slightly over the right hand, so that the hand is blocking the high frequency nail clicks!

      Like 1
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Olalla or maybe you need that third guitar, perhaps a nice Romanillos model, HaHa.  I once asked Guitar Salon International for the price of a beautiful Romanillos they advertised for sale.  Price: $50,000.I respectfully declined. 

      The first time I heard Recuerdos de la Alhambra was on John William's debut recording on Columbia records (vinyl).  It was the most beautiful sounding Tremolo- tone, evenness, balance, dynamics, etc--- truly flowing.  When I asked John after a concert "What strings do you use on your guitar?,  He whispered back  "La Bella".  Not sure if he was kidding...

      Tremolo is so hard to get right, and you are doing so great with it!!

      Like 1
      • Olalla
      • Olalla
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Martin thanks Martin. It's still a work in progress. I am fairly new to recording myself but since I bought a new phone and a separate little microphone that plugs straight into phone I have no excuse any more. It does a pretty good job. The microphone was probably around 60 cm away. The lead from phone to microphone is pretty short so I can really get it any further away. 

       

      I don't do anything particularly mind blowing when practicing tremolo. I actually don't practice using staccato but have have a series of chords that I play starting from position to 12th playing bass notes with thumb and all trebles with tremolo. I usually start with pmi sequence then p a m i then p i a m i  (flamenco tremolo).  I vary up the speed starting slow then building up. I find I get a more even tone when the guitar in a more horizontal position.

      Like 2
      • Olalla
      • Olalla
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Martin actually you might be interested to see that Ana vidovich plays recuerdos using only using p, i, m. She doesn't engage the 'a' finger at all in fact she just has it anchored most of the time. It sounds pretty good!

      Like 1
    • Olalla Well done. I have started this piece as I play tremolo on other pieces.But this one is a challenge, the tremolo is the entire piece and maintaining it difficult, while getting the desired volume and articulation. You did very well. I hope I can acheive the same level this year.

      Like 1
      • Debbie
      • Debbie
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

       
      Olalla I think this is fantastic! 👏🏻 

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      • martinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Olalla thank you for your insights! Oh, absolutely, I think that is why Pepe and Ricarco play in a more horizontal position as well: you get a better attack angle with your nails! Interesting that you implement pmi in your tremolo practice as well! I try to play all combinations of pima and pami before doing actual tremolo practice, so may hand is really ready for the given piece!

      Thank you for your updates, I look forward to more of those!

      Like
      • martinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Olalla Yes, I heard about that, that's my main excuse when someone asks when I show them my personal tremolo pattern, haha!

      Like
    • Olalla wow, great! Congratulations! 

      Like 1
      • Olli
      • Mr. Pizza
      • Saitenzwirbler
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Olalla wow - thank you for this beautiful music.

      Like
    • Olalla An entrancing performance Olla! really beautiful 👏

      Like
      • Olli
      • Mr. Pizza
      • Saitenzwirbler
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Olalla Dear Olalla, I like your interpretation very much. It is unbelievable how fast and even you can play tremolo ( I used the Youtube slowdown modus to watch exactly what you are doing 😅 ... ). Do you play "Flamenco guitar" ? What is you practice tip to speed up tremolo the way you play it ? Best Regards Olli

      Like 1
      • Daniel Beltránnull
      • Student at the Universidad de Los Andes in Mérida
      • Daniel.3
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Olalla Beautiful! Like Martin I'm not a huge expert on tremolo but I think you're doing very good 👏

      Like
      • Olalla
      • Olalla
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Olli Hi Ollie, that's funny that you watched me in action in slow motion!🤣 Thanks for your lovely comments! Yes I am learning flamenco and in fact I have just travelled up by car for around 8 hours to attend a flamenco workshop on Sunday in Canberra run by flamenco guitarist Paco Lara. Hence my delay in responding. 

       

      I practice using a metronome everyday and usually run through a series of chords from 1st fret to 12th and start with m, i then a,m,i and finally i,a,m,i (flamenco tremolo) and then other times I start with flamenco tremolo first.  I just start slowly and then gradually build up to higher speeds. I think really getting even while playing super slow and building up is important but I am certainly no expert on tremolo.

      Like 2
  • Here is my Lagrima, I have played it many times, but I am never satisfied🤔🙂

    Like 10
    • Giuseppe Gasparini You're playing is so good, and what an amazing guitar!

      Like 2
    • Giuseppe Gasparini you're sound is great and your playing secure, very well done!

      Like 2
    • Giuseppe Gasparini by the way, I'm also using a set a Knobloch Carbon CX in my Lagrima version... we're made for each other! 😂

      Like 2
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Giuseppe Gasparini Sounds Beautiful!!  Giuseppe, My suggestion would be to check your tempo in the Major section, so playing more in time.  Keep up the great work!!

      Like 2
      • Olalla
      • Olalla
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Giuseppe Gasparini wonderful sound! So crisp! Lovely playing.

      Like 2
    • Eric Phillips Thanks😊

      Like 1
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