Week 3: "Composer's Corner: Exploring Villa-Lobos"

Welcome to the Main Thread for the third week of "Villa-Lobos Voyage" practice challenge! 

  1. Select a mesmerizing piece from Villa-Lobos or a composer connected to his Brazilian heritage. Whether it's a soulful Villa-Lobos composition, a rhythmic Brazilian-inspired work, or a piece by another artist inspired by the Brazilian musical tradition, the choice is yours! 🎼

  2. Commit to regular practice and share your progress with the community. Strive to practice daily and upload at least two videos per week to showcase your musical voyage. This not only keeps you motivated but also allows you to share your artistic journey with our tonebase family. 🎥

  3. Share your favorite performance or recording that captures the spirit of the "Villa-Lobos-Voyage Challenge." Your submission will inspire others and create a vibrant collection of potential pieces for fellow members to explore. 🎧

↓ Happy Sharing! ↓

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    • don
    • don.2
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Prelude 5 Section A

    after discovering this piece for the first time couple of days back I had to get it out of my system. I don't think i can get it done by end of the challenge but I should get at least get section A done. 

     

    It really reminds me of those classic movies, the transition between black and white and color. Super nostalgic and very romantic.  Super unlike what I'm currently playing  😅 I made some changes to the fingerings and probably will stick to this for section A. Will start work on B while I slow practice this. 

    Like 2
    • don So happy it’s helpful!  I’ve learned a lot from Julien Bream.  He’s a little “cheeky”, but he’s earned the right to be.

      Like 1
  • HVL Prelude 2 (Aug 18)

    I decided to record the entire piece today. My mantra as I have been playing it is the word relax. Particularly in the B section, both hands tend to get very tense, and when I watch great performances of the piece, I am struck by how relaxed the performers are. Mentally saying the word as I play does actually seem to help. Of course, it all gets thrown out the window once I hit the record button!

    Like 2
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Bravo Eric! This is really fantastic! Congratulations on the progress you've made on this. It's great to hear it all coming together. Next, you'll have to try playing blindfolded! 😉

      Like 1
    • Steve Pederson Thanks, Steve! I can only do that while standing on my head, and only on Tuesdays. 🙂

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips Wow!  Great progress!  I really enjoyed your performance.  Regarding relaxation on the B section, have you practiced dotted rhythms both ways?  I find that and time works best.

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips so good! As said by others, your  progress is impressive. It is also a great achievement to just continue working while you feel a sort of fatigue (mentally) . It is this kind of piece. But you got it to a really high level in a short time. So this blindfold strategy will be fine in a week or 2 (ok maybe only on Tuesdays )

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

    HVL - Choros No 1 - Full - Blindfolded 

    Okay, hear me out. In no way am I trying to show off. That much will be clear by watching the performance. I am wearing a blindfold in this recording for some very important reasons...

    One is that I want to be able to play the piece without looking. I think this accentuates my listening skills and forces me to rely more on my ear and feel than on looking at my hands. 

    The second, and more important reason, is I have noticed myself getting very tense and experiencing a great deal of pain in my back and neck when playing guitar. I think part of it may be I am always looking at the neck of the guitar, but I think it's also because I'm just so tense. 

    Very interesting that Eric Phillips just commented on the same thing in his post above!

    With my eyes closed I am much more able to be aware of the present moment and am able to notice more quickly when I am being tense. You'll notice a couple of spots in this performance where I have a major exhale. Those were just a couple of times where I realized how tense I was and just needed to relax. 

    What I found helpful about this as well was that I was able to forget about the fact that I was recording myself. It's kind of like when you have a little infant that you play peek-a-boo with. They close their eyes, and they think you can't see them! 😄

    I think this may also be coming from the fact that I've been reading the Tao te Ching, and it talks about getting out of your own way and just being in flow - doing not doing. ☯️

    Oh, and one other very important thing I realized, this piece requires you to wear a fedora! 🤠

    Anyhow, enjoy! 

    Like 6
    • Steve Pederson Nicely done, Steve.  I also like the Tao te Ching reference about getting out of your own way and just being in the flow.  Never, tried the blind fold method, but like the approach.  

      Like 1
    • Steve Pederson This is sounding great, Steve! I actually love the idea of playing without looking. I I’ve heard someone say they like to practice their pieces in a pitch black room. It requires us to learn the piece just by the feeling in our hands and body, and so it creates another pathway to knowing the music more deeply. And like you said, I think it helps us to listen more attentively.

      Like 2
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Thanks Eric! Yes, precisely. It's a little hard to get video when you're in a pitch-black room 😄, but, when you're just practicing, much easier to go dark room than blindfolded. Next time, just for aesthetic, I'll probably wear sunglasses over my blindfold! 😂

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

      Dale Needles Thanks Dale! Blindfold, or as Eric mentioned, just sitting in a dark room. 

      Like
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson this is such a cool trick. Rafael Aguire played a piece in Darth Vader helmet, doubt he could see anything in it. 

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

      don Ha, a Darth Vader helmet! 😄 That would be a neat trick! 

      Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson around halfway mark. 😄

      Like 3
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      don That's so interesting! You can see his eyes through the mask, so he must be able to see, but still...crazy! Also, the video edits...was this multiple takes? Is he guitar-syncing? Interesting stuff! 

      Like 1
    • Steve Pederson I’ve ordered my blindfold!

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

      don Thanks, Don - very cool video! (Shot live on location from ... a galaxy far far away!?) My question isn't can he see with that mask (he does appear to be looking at his left hand at one point, but maybe that's just habit) but ... can he breathe??

      Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      David Krupka think Sith Lord doesn't need to breath?😂

      Like 1
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Nice playing on this one Steve!  I like the idea of practicing blindfolded, also for it's value in not having to look at our left hand when sight reading. Thanks for sharing.

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

      Marilyn Blodget Love it! Can't wait to see you post a video with it! 😄

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

      Barney Thank you Barney!

      Like
    • Steve Pederson OK--Here you go!  An interesting experience.  I like to practice placing my fingers very accurately and efficiently.  Practicing blindfolded doesn't always let me do that, but it does give other spatial information.  You had asked about left hand fatigue.  I always like to use minimal effort and pressure with the left hand, so I don't really experience LH fatigue with this piece, but when I do with other repertoire, I consciously try to use as little pressure as possible get a clean sound.  I find LH placement to be most important.

      Like
  • Just an update of my working on this Gavota. It was a very busy week and I couldn’t spend as much time to the challenge (and my other practice) as I had hoped for.

    anyway, not so much progress, unfortunately, but I did try to play a little more freely, and with more rubato. Some would say too much, others not enough….

    I will give it some more time and another try later….

    Like 4
    • joosje Beautiful, Joosje! That cadence around 1:25-1:30 makes my heart melt.

      Like
    • joosje Very beautiful, Jossje.  Love your tone and approach to this piece. I feel you really capture the essence of the music.

      Like
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