Week 4: Expressive Exploration

Get the Scores for the Carcassi Etudes op.60 Challenge 

Ready to join the "Carcassi Etudes op.60 Challenge"? Here’s your starting line:

  1. Pick Your Etude: Dive into the evocative world of Carcassi by selecting an etude from op.60. Whether it's a piece that tests your technical limits or one that you've longed to perfect, the choice is yours. 🎼
  2. Commit to Practice: Embark on a disciplined practice routine, aiming for consistency. Share your journey with at least two video updates each week on our platform. This commitment will not only enhance your skills but also enable us to experience your progress, fostering a supportive atmosphere in our tonebase community. 🌱
  3. Share Your Practice: Submit a recording that you feel best captures your connection with Carcassi's music. This will inspire and contribute to a rich collection of performances for our community to enjoy and learn from. 🎶

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  • Hello everyone, I attempted this etude no.14 (my first ever Carcassi piece). First off, apologies for the poor audio-visual quality. I recorded this on a built-in webcam. Practising this has been such a learning experience. A few observations on the challenges I faced

    - Synchronization between LH and RH fingers, while trying to maintain legato.

    - Difficulties in RH finger alternation without repeating the same finger, cross string jumps

    - clean shifts between positions

    - Planting and preparing the P finger (which I belatedly discovered is very useful if done on the upper strings, which I haven't done much in this video due to lack of practice)

    - Subtle variations in notes between bars that look similar (As a beginner, I struggled with these)

    - getting a good tone and colour on the high E (which I struggle with, due to my bad nails and my lack of knowledge on how to shape them).

    Overall, I learned a great deal while learning this etude, especially scales (which are my weakest skills). Also, I'm quietly proud of how I learned this piece from scratch in a few weeks and how it's helped me in my reading skills. As always, your feedback is greatly welcome and the support of this community is always valued and cherished by me, 

    Like 5
      • Jim King
      • Retired
      • Jim_king
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Well done Nijwm.  All in all, the piece flowed nicely and was a pleasure to listen to it. 

      As for the audio-visual quality, it seems perfectly fine for purposes of posting in this forum.  So I wouldn't apologize for that.

      My only suggestion is that you slow down your tempo a bit.  You will probably find it easier to deal with the issues you have raised.  Once you are satisfied with quality, then you can start to bring the tempo up.

    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary very good, Nijwm ! Great control and evenness of tone. Well done! (How should we pronounce your name?)

    • Jim King Thank you Jim. Yeah, I need to slow down the tempo. My fingers haven't yet developed the memory needed to play this piece smoothly at tempo. So, thanks for the suggestion 🙂

    • joosje Thank you. Well, my name's been pronounced in myriad ways by different people, which I don't mind. Even some of the speakers of my mother tongue have butchered it😄.

      I don't know how to represent the pronunciation accurately through text, but it's NI(as in 'need) and JWM (somewhat like 'ism' as in organism with more stress on the J, and the W is like the German O with an umlaut over it. ). And now, I myself have butchered the pronunciation, ha ha.

    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary I liked that a lot. Very nice tone and a nice legato line. Well done. 

    • Steve Price Thank you, Steve. Very kind of you.

    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary 

      Enjoyed your performance and am now thinking about learning this piece myself. Your RH fingering alternations didn't seem to affect your performance negatively at all.


      - for difficultly alternating, I'd suggest working though the parts you're noticing  alternation issues and notating it in the sheet music with (P,I,M,A) above the notes, then practicing the fingerings slowly until they feel natural. This is technical, but a good practice in general. Thanks for the performance. 

    • Brent Adams Thank you. Yeah, it's a great piece to cross string finger alternation and for the thumb as well.

    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Just played through the first 3 bars, I understand what you mean about the cross string alternations now. It's great because this is something I don't practice enough. I'm going to try just using I and M alternating throughout the etude with P on the bass notes. 

    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary  Execllent performance. Bravo 👍

    • Andre Bernier thank you Andre

  • Hi, Im new to Tonebase and late to the challenge, so I decided to relearn a piece I haven't played in many years. Practice time so far has been about 8 hrs total.

    Things I worked on:

    - Switching between the tremolo and arpeggio technics. 

    - Deciding on whether to use A on all the high notes from measure 10-12. 

    - Memorizing the piece and finding good starting and stoping points for each practice session. 


    Things I'm still working on are: 

    - dynamics (resisting the urge to play measure 8 and the last measure FF).

    - Memorizing the piece

    - Increasing tempo and playing cleanly

    Like 4
    • Brent Adams welcome to the challenge. Very nicely played. This piece is on my wishlist too.

    • Brent Adams Welcome to Tonebase Brent and it's never too late to participate in our activities! You're doing great with this etude and it already flows pretty well. I would personally not recommend you to urge the memorization as it'll get memorized over the upcoming days or weeks as you work on it. Good job!

      Like 1
    • Brent Adams that sounds already very good, Brent. Beautiful full tone and good phrasing and dynamics. Thank you for sharing. 

    • joosje Thank you Joosje. I may post another video of my progress later in the week if I have the time. 

    • Brent Adams That's really nice, Brent. That's one of my favorites of his and I really like your take on it. 

      Like 1
    • Brent Adams  Absolutely beautiful Brent. Great performance. 👍 

  • I had a go at No.23. 


    Recording on my iPhone, the dynamics seem to have been flattened out quite a lot. Maybe someone can advise me on how to deal with this.


    As with just about anything in A major, I am focusing on keeping the bass strings under control, dampening them with my thumb as required to avoid especially the A and D string overlapping into bars where they are not wanted.


    Also focusing on the pull off to open strings which can make a "twangy" sound - this is the ideal etude to practice that technique.


    I will try improve on this by the end of the cycle.

    Like 7
    • Sam Greenblatt Wow great take on this etude Sam, If you never tackled it before it's already quite secure and well executed! 👍 About the sound it's a bit difficult to answer without more context but the default iPhone pattern is omni, not always best depending on the location, and how you position the iPhone for a good picture is probably not best for the sound. What is your current workflow to produce a video?

    • Sam Greenblatt so well played. Great control and tempo and such fine slurs. Also nice phrasing. Brilliant. Looking forward to more of this.

    • Sam Greenblatt That's great, Sam. A tough piece but you look totally in control of it. Well done. 

    • Sam Greenblatt  I can't be of any help for the recording aspect. But for me this was excellent and your playing is just excellent.

    • Blaise Laflamme 

      Thanks Blaise! My current workflow is to point my iPhone in my general direction! Would welcome any approach that yields a better result. How do I experiment with other modes compared to omni?

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