WEEK 1: Exploring Sor's Music!

WELCOME TO THE MAIN THREAD FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF "Ferndando Sor" PRACTICE CHALLENGE! 

  1. Select a mesmerizing piece from Fernando Sor! Whether it be a delicate Sor etude, a powerful solo work , or a little miniature, the repertoire is in your hands 🎼
  2. Dedicate yourself to consistent practice and share your musical evolution with our community. Aim for daily practice sessions and upload a minimum of two videos each week to document your progress. This will not only fuel your dedication but will also allow us to partake in your musical expedition within our tonebase family!
  3. Contribute your most cherished performance or recording that resonates with the "Sor Guitar Soiree." Your contribution will not only motivate but also help curate a diverse anthology of pieces for our members to discover and enjoy.. 🎧

↓ Happy Sharing! ↓

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  • Earlier this year, I decided to learn some music from Sor. I bought the 25 Sor studies Opus 60 book from Bradford Werner because there is also a youtube video available with him playing the 25 studies.

    My first recording of the no 1 was in June this year and My first recording of the no 2 was in July. I kept working once or twice a week on both pieces since then. As a first contribution to this challenge, I felt this could be a good idea to record again these pieces and see if I made any progress during the 4 months gap.

    Here are the recordings.

    Some changes - new eyeglasses - no metronome - starting to use fingernails 😉

    I still feel that I have years of work before pretending I am a good guitar player but I also feel I made some progress 🎉 

    I will now start working on no.3 - This will certainly take a week or more before I can post a first recording

    Like 4
    • Andre Bernier Joining the voices of encouragement as you work on Op 60 1 & 2. Definitely hear the improvement in your tone and facility in the last video.  

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

      Andre Bernier Well done, Andre! I concur with what others have said here: a BIG improvement is evident in the second takes; and there seems to be something not quite right about the position of your right hand and the manner in which you pluck the strings, To me, it looks as though your hand is not sufficiently relaxed, which is never a good thing. Part of the problem, I suspect, is the angle at which you are holding the guitar. Ideally, the face of the guitar should be perpendicular to the floor (or very nearly so). I have the impression (it's a little difficult to tell from the video) that you are allowing the guitar to 'lean' back towards the chest. Remember that when the guitar is in proper position, the front of it (including the fingerboard) should be hidden from view when one is sitting erect. It is necessary to lean forward a little to see the frets, which (if you watch seasoned players) is done only occasionally. Hope this helps!

      Like
      • Jim King
      • Retired
      • Jim_king
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Andre Bernier I am hoping to join this challenge.  I have been working on the Tonebase lesson on Sor Op 60 No 9 for awhile now.  Been hesitant to post it since I mess it up badly whenever I try recording it even though I am playing well below tempo.

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

      Jim King I hope you do post this, Jim - op.60/9 is a lovely little study. I certainly wouldn't worry about playing it at tempo - especially Sanel Redzic's tempo, which is pretty brisk! Btw, have you looked at the study which immediately precedes this in opus 60 (ie. no.8)? It's essentially the same piece, but in a slightly different - and easier - form: the movement is in quarter notes rather than eighths. Sor presumably viewed the one as preparatory to the other. Here's the score, in case you don't have it:

      https://vmirror.imslp.org/files/imglnks/usimg/d/da/IMSLP836891-PMLP93616-Sor_F-Intro_25_Et_Op60.pdf

      Like
      • Jim King
      • Retired
      • Jim_king
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      David Krupka Thank you for posting the scores for Sor Op. 60.  Since starting to play No 9, I have come to understand that No. 8 uses the same chords as No. 9, but was written in an easier to play fashion than No. 9.  I'm planning to play No. 8 sometime today.

       

      As for posting a video of my playing No. 9, just want to clarify that my hesitancy is not due to my tempo but rather how badly I mess up the playing of the piece when recording even though I am at a slow tempo.  However, I am encouraged by today's practice of No. 9 which will encourage me to try a video recording soon.

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

      Jim King I do understand your hesitancy, Jim. I think in general if you're having difficulty getting through a piece at a particular tempo, you need to slow it down to the point that you can comfortably manage it. I find it helpful to use a metronome for this. Once you establish your 'baseline' tempo, increase it bit by bit until you get to your target tempo, whatever that might be. This can be a rather tiresome procedure that typically involves a number independent practice sessions, but I find it works, at least in cases where speed is the main difficulty. I happen to think, btw, that if something is played well (i.e. cleanly and with musical expression) then it doesn't much matter what the tempo is. (Having said that, I would not want to claim that expression is unrelated to tempo - occasionally we do need to play quickly.)

      Like
    • Marilyn Blodget 

      Thanks Marilyn for your comments. Playing with nails is new for me. The index nail is still short and do not pluck the strings all the time. However the index and major nails are now long enough and working fine. I still have a lot to learn by playing with nails and caring for them.  So far I am very happy with the tone I can generate. The only tool i am currently using is a nail sanding block i got from my wife 😂. I will shortly order more effective tools including the micro mesh sanding cloths you are recommending.

      I know I am using a lot of repeating fingers and I am working hard trying to improve this aspect of my playing. I am making some progress keeping in mind that these 2 studies were learned before and that I did not take the time to change the fingering. I will add that to my working list 😉

      Anyway, thanks again, your comments are always helpful

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart  Thanks Jack

      Like
    • Rick Lord  Thanks rick for your support .🙂

      Like
    • David Krupka  Thanks David for your comments. You are right about everything - right hand - guitar position. I still need to see the frets most of the time and my old back has a tendency to find its way to rest on my seat back. The right hand is slowly getting there but often resisting the change 😂 This is all work in progress 😉

      Like 1
    • Jim King  I also hope you will post something. This does not have to be perfect. This is just sharing your practice, learning from it, getting support and hints at improving your playing.

      Like
  • https://youtu.be/tCABgckMS2Y?si=3qZTGmuzbnx2xfyU

    Hi tonebuddies,

                               This is Nijwm. This is my first ever submission on tonebase. I don't know how to embed a video. So I just posted a youtube link of my practice session on Sor's Etude in B minor. I hope the link works and apologies for not being able to post the video directly in the comments section. I've been working on the first few measures of the piece for the last 3-4 days. can anyone tell me how to embed a video from youtube? I can see the embed code, but how do you use it?

    As a beginner, I'm still working on the technical aspects, while trying to be aware of things like dynamics, rhythm and musicality. One of my problems is finger displacement and string noise when I lift up my fretting fingers, especially the barred 1st finger. This piece requires very careful and precise lifting and placement of fingers, I discovered. It's been eye-opening yet very helpful in making me acutely aware of precise finger placements of the left hand.

    I've devoured any available resource online on this piece, including the fantastic lesson from Martin on tonebase. I should be able to upload the full piece within the deadline, hopefully. It's 1.30 pm here in India as I'm typing this. Catch you later.

    Like 6
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary I'm happy to see and hear your first post here! To embed a video just use the second button above the reply button and paste your link into the modal window field. As a suggestion, to ease your chord shifts and make them a bit more fluid I propose you to slow down a bit the tempo, that'll help you a lot.

      Like
      • Jim King
      • Retired
      • Jim_king
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Enjoyed your submission.  Looking forward to seeing your progress.  I thought the tone sounded really good.

      Like
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary 

      Very nice Nijwm, well done. I did not know about Martin's lesson on this piece. This will be added to my to do list 😉

      Keep your good work, this already sound very good 👍 

      Like
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Great submission, Nijwm! I want to correct you on one thing - you are not a beginner. This piece is solidly in the intermediate level, I’d say grade 5. You are playing it very well. I do not hear much string noise at all, and I suggest you not really worry about that on this piece. Perhaps bringing out the melody line a bit more, and keeping the accompaniment a little quieter, would be a good thing to work on.

      Like
      • Wainull
      • Wai_Ng
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Well played, Nijwrn! Your playing was clean and the sound of the guitar was sweet! Thanks for sharing.

      Like
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Nicely done Nijmegen!  I really enjoyed hearing you play the Study in B minor.  It’s always been one of my favorites.  

      Like
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Jose Merlin wrote a lovely piece based on Sor’s Study in B Minor that can be played with it as a duet:  Otono en El Escorial.  There are some interesting performances of it on YouTube — including at least one featuring Jose Merlin himself.

      Like
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary That was beautifully played Nijwm. You are definitely no beginner! Looking forward to your future posts.

      Oh yes, welcome to the Tonebase Challenge forum. It's always great to see new faces.

      Like
    • Blaise Laflamme Thank you Blaise. I'll keep your advice in mind in my practice 🙂

      Like
    • Jim King Thank you Jim. 

      Like
    • Andre Bernier Thank you. Yeah, it's a livestream version.

      Like
    • Wai Thank you. You're very kind. It really motivates me to contribute more.

      Like 1
    • Marilyn Blodget Thank you Marilyn. Yeah, it's turning out to be one of my favourites too. I'll definitely check out the duet version.

      Like 1
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