Week 3: Gaining Momentum 🚀

🌟 WELCOME TO THE "A FRESH START" COMMUNITY CHALLENGE! 🌟

Embark on a musical journey with our latest challenge, "A Fresh Start". It’s time to dust off that sheet music you’ve been eyeing and dive into a brand-new piece!

🗓️ CHALLENGE TIMELINE

  • Challenge Start: Kick-Off on April 15th!
  • Duration: April 15th to May 13th
  • Watch Party: Join us on May 13th at 11 AM PST to watch selected submissions!

🎼 WEEK 3 ACTIVITIES

  • Practice Updates: Keep the momentum going! Share a video or write some comments about your practice sessions over the past week. Let's motivate each other by sharing our progress and challenges.
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  • Here's a take of Larghetto from Stravinsky's Les Cinq Doigts. There are several voices and I still need to get them balanced. It's an interesting piece since it consists of a regular rhythm and not much in the way of dissonance but the feeling I get from it is very ambiguous. Is it pretty, joyful, sorrowful, hopeful, melancholic, tragic, all of the above...? I haven't quite been able to nail it down.

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    • Steve Price Just got home after a five week trip to France and trying to catch up on this challenge. I like all your posts on Stravinsky's Les Cinq Doigts. While simple in appearance, there definitely is an underlying depth to this piece. While listening to your posts and also checking out the piano version, it seems Stravinsky is offering five variations on what sounds like a Russian folk tune, or at least made to sound like a Russian folk melody. I read that it might be based on the Russian folk melody, "Kamarinskaya." I also read that by keeping the melodic scale to five notes, Stravinsky is replicating how Russian folk songs were composed.  In any case, great job with this and thanks for introducing us to this wonderful piece. 

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 mth ago
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      Steve Price Another great recording from this set of Stravinsky pieces, Steve. I find this piece to be similar to the 'B' section of Old Man River (though that was written 6 years before the Stravinsky piece). 

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    • Steve Price like Dale Needles I admire your submissions of these pieces. Great discovery, thank you!

      Some info on Kamarinskaya, orig. a Russian wedding dance and quite fast, Glinka used it (slower) in his opera Ruslan and Lyudmila.  Tchaikovsky wrote a short piano piece on the theme. Hearing you, I guess Stravinsky had this last composition in mind.. You can find all on YouTube. Might be interesting…

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    • Jack Stewart Thanks, Jack. I can hear the similarities. It'd been a while since I heard it and I forgot about what a voice Paul Robeson had.

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    • joosje Dale Needles Thanks for the feedback and information. I found a dissertation online that someone did on the work and they did come to the conclusion it was written as a sort of variations on the song. I guess the time it was written was seen as a time of transition from his Russian period to Neo-Classical so it makes sense he would still be looking to folk music. 

      Also, I've never listened to any Glinka that I can remember but I found his take on Kamarinskaya performed by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. What a great piece and performance. Thanks for the tip.  

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    • Steve Price Boy, I love hearing these, Steve! What a discovery pieces are. This one sounds modal and rather plaintive to me.

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    • Steve Price  This is indeed a very melancholic piece. Very beautiful. A lot of chord changes to manage but you are doing very well. Bravo

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  • My momentum is not yet here in this piece. But I’ll keep practicing. It will take more time to get this fascinating composition into my system. It will not be for the watch party. I’ll also have to work on the recording quality. The forte passages are too loud. 

    I hesitated to post, but, just to keep track of my learning process, an update of the 1st part. I’m a bit disappointed, still not enough control. Meanwhile I started working on the 2nd part, more demanding, 3 pages speed and regularity. I haven’t fully worked out the RH fingering yet. 

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    • joosje You sound displeased with this, but I think it sounds absolutely wonderful, Joosje! The dynamic range you display is so effective and engaging. I enjoyed listening to it a lot.

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    • Eric Phillips thank you so much, Eric, for your kind words. They give me courage to continue to discover and extend the range of colours and techniques that I can reach with my hands and my guitar. Also attack the second part. Next week I’ll work on this with my teacher; hopefully we’ll find solutions for the RH fingering., and I start practicing with more focus. 

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    • joosje It is so great to hear a different kind of music not conventional that makes us discover other unexploited facets of the guitar. Thanks for sharing your work. This piece is growing on me every time I listen to your progress. 👍

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 mth ago
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      joosje This is beautiful and fascinating, Joosje. You have an amazing mastery of the various techniques employed in this piece and very effectively maintain its musical character. I can imagine getting away from 'fingers on the strings'  would be very difficult to integrate into a coherent musical expression, but you did so beautifully.

      Thanks for sharing this piece. I am very interested to hear more.

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    • joosje Joosje, I do so enjoy pieces that evoke a mood.  This is such a cool piece. Having never heard it, or know the name of the piece or composer. The mood it evokes reminds me of Japan. Well done, can't wait for the final.        

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 mth ago
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      joosje Wow!  What an interesting mood you have created here, using your extensive techniques.  Beautiful, Joosje!  What is this piece?

      I look forward to hearing more of it.  Thanks for sharing your progress so far, which sounds great.

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    • Barney Michael Shirk Jack Stewart Andre Bernier  thanks for taking the time to listen and for your encouragement. I need time to internalise and be more at ease with the many cross style techniques, he uses.

      Barney it’s a recent composition (Images from a Sea, 2021) by a young Greek guitarist/composer Thodoris Theodoropoulos. I love to discover new works as well as redefine my way of playing and technique.

      But I intend to be back soon with more conventional repertoire.

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    • joosje I love that you are exploring and expanding the sounds of the guitar.  Well done! 

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  • Sor – Le Calme Op 50 Sections D, A’, and coda (May 3)

    Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. It’s been a busy week both at work and at home.

    I also apologize for the low recording quality here. I didn't realize until posting it that I must have been using the very poor mic in my laptop, instead of my USB mic. Oh well!

    Here is the remainder of this piece I’m working on. The D section and the coda are quite challenging. I am particularly struggling with the 16-measure part of the D section (0:54-1:31 in the video) that has a melody over an Alberti bass. The first half of it is in E minor, and the second half is in B major. It requires an almost continuous barre at the 7th fret while the other fingers are contorting quite a lot. It is especially hard for me this late in the piece to keep a good barre down. It really wipes my left hand out.

    The coda is also challenging, with some very precise “rolled chord” arpeggios, and also some really big stretches (all of which which I botched in this recording).

    That said, I am making progress, and I'm close to being able to play it straight through.

    By the way, in my first post of this piece, I thought the return of the A section was not different enough to merit being called A’. I have since changed my mind. The changes are subtle, but I think there are enough of them to call it A’. The changes also make memorizing it harder, as I am so used to playing the section like it occurs at the beginning. Darn that Fernando!

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    • Eric Phillips you’re really getting there. Such a fantastic piece. There are some very tricky moments, you defined them in your post, but you’re so close to controlling them. Can’t wait to hear the full piece - with the recording quality we are used to hearing from you, of course.

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    • Eric Phillips Great progress Eric. This is a great piece but a difficult one and you will certainly Master it soon. Very enjoyable listening. Thanks 🙂

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 mth ago
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      Eric Phillips This is very impressive, Eric (recording aside). This is a 10 minute piece and you have all of it well under control. I am looking forward to hearing you play the piece in its entirety.

      'Great job!!!

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    • Wainull
    • Wai_Ng
    • 1 mth ago
    • Reported - view

    Eternal Source of Light Divine - G.F.Handel

    Hello everyone! I've been practicing pieces from last year's community challenge (Sor & Guiliani's version of Folia) and skipping the monthly challenges for the past few months.

    However, after seeing that the theme of this month's challenge is "Fresh Start", I decided it was time for me to practice a new piece.
    This time I chose a beautiful piece called "Eternal Source of Light Divine" by Handel. Since there is no guitar version, I have to arrange it myself. The vocal version of this piece is "out of this world" beautiful, but after arranging the first few bars, I realized that this song is not suitable for guitar at all! Anyway, I still wanted to play this song on guitar (because there is no way I can sing it myself, ha).

    The result was far from satisfying, but I still wanted to share this arrangement with you all.

    Cheers!  May the 4th Be With You~!

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    • Wai That's beautiful. I think it works well on guitar. I transcribed Dido's Lament by Purcell and I thought it sounded weak but I got really good feedback on it. I think when you transcribe something like this you get the sound of the voice stuck in your head and the guitar can't really compete but if you can distance yourself from it a bit and let it stand on its own, it sounds really good. Just my 2¢. Good job on this. 

      And happy 4th to you, lol. 

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    • Wai Well Way; I don't agree with you. Your arrangement is excellent. Before listening to your video; I went on Youtube and listened to this performance from Grace Davidson.  Your arrangement is certainly different from Grace's beautiful and high pitch signing but you are proposing a great interpretation of this music. Thanks for making us discover this music and please keep making these arrangements. 👍

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 mth ago
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      Wai Beautifully done, Wai. Great to see you back. I wonder if this could be played in a Campanella style? That might lend it a more vocal quality.

      Great work and impressive transcription.

      Like 1
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