Practice diary 2023 - Andre Bernier

Well this is a start. This diary is covering only the work I am doing on or with ToneBase. I also have a practice diary with TrueFire (acoustic guitar work) and one with MusicalU (general musical training)

So far I January I decided to participate in the January challenge and work on the Lanslogh #1 piece. In order to do that I had to go through the ''Reading music on the Guitar module. It was easy and helpful.

 I decipher the score and start to practice on a daily basis.

I posted my first video yesterday when I felt I was able to go through the full piece at slow speed despite many mistakes.

I will keep the process for the 2 other weeks challenge and post a new video at the end of every week. This way I hope I will be able to see the improvements.

January 14, 2023 

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  • It is inspiring to see your commitment to improvement and learning! I look forward to your posts!

    • Eric Phillips Thanks Eric. You call it ''Commitment'' my wife calls it ''Being stubborn''😂

      Like 3
  • January 21st:

    This week, I attended the masterclass with Alfredo Escande on the left arm Carlevaro techniques. this was a very interesting class and I learned a lot on how to use my left arm in a more efficient manner.


    Kept working on Landslög I and was able to increase the speed to 120 bpm from 85 bpm. I can now remember and execute the chord changes without the music sheet. This is helping a lot.

    Next week plan is to attend another masterclass and keeping working to improve on all aspects the Landslög I piece.

    Like 1
  • Finally, here is my last video of Landslög I

    This is the third video taken on January 31st 2023.

      • Jim King
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      • Jim_king
      • 1 yr ago
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      Andre Bernier Well done Andre.  You have progressed well with this piece.  Congratulations.

    • Jim King  Thanks Jim, I really enjoy the format of the challenge and the piece itself. It helps a lot when you can enjoy practicing. 😉

  • February 5th, 2023

    This week was mostly returning to practice my repertoire of 15 finger style short pieces on my acoustic guitar. I also practice Landsög 1 a few times over the week. I want to remember it and keep improving it. This is my first official piece of classical guitar repertoire.😂


    I also joined the February challenge. working on a more complex version of Greensleeves.

    I will post my progress weekly on the challenge forum and here. It will be interesting to see the progress achieved over the month.

  • February 13th, 2023

    This week I started to work on the new Greensleeves version. This will be a stretch for me but I don't give up. For now I have a good understanding of the Intro. I also started working on the first line of the Verse 1. I would like to be able to be comfortable with this line this week.

    We will see the progress in my video #2 next Friday.

    I also did some work on the course : Beginning guitar course Part 1- Daniel De Arakal.

    So far it is very easy but it forces me to read or decipher the score which is a good practice for me. I have completed 43% of the course.

    I did not use my acoustic guitar a lot this week and I am starting to miss it. I will try to allow some practice time on it next week.

  • February 26th, 2023

    The last 2 weeks, I kept working on the Greensleeves piece. I can now play the intro and the 2 lines of the first verse without the need of the score. However, I still need to increase the speed and work on allowing the melody to take more room. I will keep working on that but also spend some time to analyse the verse 2.

    I also made some progress on the course: Beginning guitar course Part 1- Daniel De Arakal.

    I have completed so far 54%.


    Finally I also worked and made some good progress with my acoustic guitar course.

  • May 14th 2023


    Well I guess that I forgot for a while about my commitment to fill my diary on a regular basis....😪


    I did not participate in any challenges or activities on TB over the last few months because I wanted to concentrate on finishing the Beginning guitar course Part 1 - Daniel De Arakal.


    I can say it is mostly done  🥳  but I just need to polish up my playing on the last exercise (Practice room 15) Andantino on C major (Carcassi) that I intend to keep in my repertoire for some time.


    My next step will be to start working on the pieces listed in the TB level 2 or listed as for beginners in the TB score library.


    For now I started to work on Menuet in A Minor - Johan Kreiger using the TB course by Peter Graneis. This will be the piece that I will use in the " Song and Dance Challenge"


    I also signed up for the "Interpreting Spanish Repertoire" two weeks intensive. I am not sure yet what I will do there but this will be a new experience.

  • May 14th 2023

    Here is a take on the (Practice room 15) Andantino on C major (Carcassi)

    I still need a lot of polishing but it is improving....

    Like 1
    • Andre Bernier Good work, Andre! Both hands are doing the movements fluidly and effectively.

    • Eric Phillips 

      Thanks Eric for your comments. I am happy because I learned this piece by reading directly from the score (no written notes or any other help) which is a big, big, big win for me. This will help me a lot in the future.

      The piece still needs a lot of polishing  but I have all the time for that. I will also need to eventually get rid of the metronome... 😂

  • August 29, 2023

    I am now back to my practice diary.

    Here is a recording of a piece I have been practicing in the last couple of months.

    Ferdinando Carulli - Andantino in A minor Op.241, no 19

    Based on the Tonebase course by Bokyung Byung

    I still need to keep working on it on a regular basis but it is starting to sound good.


    At the same time, I am starting the courses:

    • 120 Right Hand Studies - Joseph Palmer : I will work on 1 to 10
    • 10 Sketches - Sergio Assad : I will work on no.1

    This will keep me busy for a few months 😉

  • Just a bit over a month since I posted my last progress.

    As noticed the last time, I am working slowly through the 120 RH studies (M. Giuliani). So far I am practicing the numbers 1 to 10. I can feel this is very helpful and planning to keep working on them progressively.

    I also started to work on the Sketch no. 1 of Sergio Assad. I am not doing too badly on the first part of the piece. Here is a short video on my progress. I also started working on the second part but this is not ready yet for a recording 😉

  • Well, this is the last post for 2023 and the end of the first year of membership with Tonebase. In this post, I just want to review what I worked on and accomplished this year. 

    Let's begin with the fact that I started playing guitar in December 2019 (4 years ago) on a Yamaha C40 (cheapest guitar available) and used an online course of what I would call ''Rhythm guitar''. Learning a bunch of chords (mainly open chords) and a few different strumming patterns in 4-4 or 3-4. Then practicing chord changes and chord progressions. After less than a year, using YouTube videos that include lyrics and chords you can with a guitar and a Kapo play and sing along on almost any song. Well, nice but I am not really a signer. 

    On the second and third year of my guitar journey, I decided to explore the world of finger picking on acoustic guitar. I bought a fairly good Takamine acoustic guitar and used the acoustic guitar programs of both Guitar Tricks and True Fire. Surprisingly these 2 programs are very complementary.. This was great, I enjoyed it and wanted to keep working with these programs but at the same time missing the tone and the repertoire of a classical guitar. Well, why not doing another program at the same time ?

    In December 2022 I bought a Cordoba C7 guitar and started a membership with Tonebase. All year I have worked on these 3 programs. Bottom line, I am spending about 50% of my time on the acoustic guitar and 50% on the classical guitar. 

    Over the last 12 months, I did follow the ToneBase level system starting on level 1. I came up with a plan for the first 3 levels that include the basic levels recommendations and additional work that are from various sources including the participation into several challenges. The document attached provides the details of the plan. I simply strike through the steps when completed.

    Courses completed:

    • Reading sheet Music - Mircea Gogoncea
    • Beginning guitar courses - Daniel Arakal

    This was not very difficult as my previous experience with acoustic guitar courses was very helpful but I learned a lot of new things at the same time.

    Etudes- Repertoire: 

    • Landslög I - Gulli Bjorsson 
    • Andantino in C Major - Matteo Carcassi - Daniel De AraKal course
    • 120 Right Hans Studies - M. Gulliani - Joseph Palmer  course(studies 1 to 10)
    • Minuet in A minor - Johan Krieger - Peter Graneis course
    • Andantino Op. 241 no 19 - Fernandino Carulli - Bokyung Byun course
    • Fernando Sor - Op. 60 no 1 - Bradford Werner video course
    • Fernando Sor - OP 60 no 2 - Bradford Werner video course
    • Fernando Sor - OP 60 no 3 - Bradford Werner video course
    • Lullaby no 1 - Isaias Savio - From 10 Brazilian folk tunes

    I learned some of these pieces during a community challenge which was a great experience for me. I do not think I master these pieces so I keep practicing every one of them once or twice a week.

    What are the key elements I am proud of achieving ?

    • I am very happy to be able to play Landslög I
    • I am very happy now to be able to read traditional music sheets (I was using only tablatures before) 
    • I am very happy to be able to record myself
    • I am very happy to be able to participate in the ToneBase community challenges.

    What I am working now:

    • 120 Right Hans Studies - M. Gulliani - Joseph Palmer  course(studies 11 to 20)
    • Assad Sketch no. 1 - Sergio Assad course
    • Pujol Etude no. 1 - Rene Izquierdo course

    I do not think I will be able to add more work to this list before next year. 

    I think that I will be able in 2024 to complete my work list for level 2 and probably a good portion of my work list of level 3.


    Well - Merry Christmas and Happy 2024 to all my Toneboddies

    • Andre Bernier This is incredible to read, Andre! What a journey it has been for you, and so much progress in a relatively short amount of time. There is a lot of here to be proud of and take joy in. It’s great to have you join in on the challenges and share all of your progress with us. And I wish you a great guitar year 2024 to come

    • Eric Phillips  Thanks Eric for your support. Thanks also for taking the time to read my comments on my guitar journey. This is very much appreciated. 👃 You are an example and inspiration for many of us. Happy guitar year 2024 for you also . 🎅

      Like 1
      • Jim King
      • Retired
      • Jim_king
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Andre Bernier Thank you for sharing your guitar journey with us.  Congratulations on the great progress you have made over the year.

      Enjoyed this so much that it now has be thinking about my own journey since joining Tonebase about the same time as you.  I think I am going to steal your idea and do the same thing in my own practice diary.  Also makes a great way of recording and reflecting on one's achievements over the year.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too.

  • Already close to Christmas


    Here is a recording of Landslög that I made for the year end challenge. I hope to be able to make another recording early in 2024 before the end of the challenge.

    For this recording I did not use a metronome in order to introduce some speed variations. Also, I tried to  use the score info to change the intensity of the tone. I am not sure this was an improvement from previous recordings but this was certainly an interesting attempt. Comments (good or bad) are welcome.

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

      Andre Bernier wow that is really a lot of progress. Congratulations!

    • don Thanks Don. I really appreciate your support


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