Week 1: In the Salons of 19th Century Paris!
Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of the "Around the 19th Century Guitar World" challenge!
Pick a piece from the 19th century and feel free to share it! Tell us what you love about it, how long you've been playing it, what you're struggling with! Let us into your practice room
- Make sure you've read the guidelines before replying (<- click)
- Watch the kickoff livestream! (<- click)
↓ Happy Sharing! ↓
Carulli - Andante Op 320 No 1
This is from a set of six andantes by Carulli (see the score attached below). They are a bit more interesting and challenging than the beginner level pieces of Carulli we commonly hear played. I am working on this one as well as number 2 right now, and I'd say they are at an intermediate technical level. I've been working on them for about a week now, starting around when this challenge was announced.
Here are some of the tricky spots for me:
- Measures 8 and 17 have scalar passages that need a good sense of flowing but directional rubato.
- Measures 14 and 16 have these really big ascending arpeggios that need to be played staccato. I don't play staccato too often, and I struggle with articulating it consistently. The arpeggios do end quite high on the fretboard, and I often miss the top note.
- Measures 26-29 have some tricky chord voicings that are rather dense in the bass strings, and it is difficult for me to keep them legato and avoid string squeak.
By the way, I decided to carry over one aspect of the previous month's challenge by playing this in one take. There are mistakes, but I actually find it freeing to let go of them and just let it be. It makes me think about the musical expression more, instead of just saying over and over again in my head, "Don't make a mistake!"
Carulli - Etude No.5, Op.241
This is one of the beginner Carulli etudes I learned last year which is short and relatively easy but also sound good. It was a part of the etudes presented by Hannah during yesterday's stream so I got excited to review and play it.
One of the challenges of this etude is to make musical varieties especially as it has many repetitions. I tried to experiment a little with the dynamics and make my right hand moving free so I can change the colors.
Moving my right hand freely while playing was a challenge at first but this was a good etude to learn this skill especially as it requires some balance to play the chords and it was not very demanding on the left hand.
Another challenge was to make nice warm tones especially with the high E string so I was experimenting different stroke angles.
My next is going to be Carcassi etudes No.1 and No.3 as I started to learn them last year but I need to prepare myself to perform them.