Week 1: Setting Sails! ⛵

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first  week of the "Music YOU Love" practice challenge! 


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  • Love the topic of this challenge, and since I will have more time to practice this month, I decided to join the community challenge for the first time. I think it is a great opportunity to finally play Villa-Lobos. I picked Choros No 1. The big question is if I am actually able to play to piece, it is a little more advanced compared to the repertoir I am used to. I read the first phrase of the piece and it seems viable. Let´s see if I can play the A section by the end of the week. 

    Like 6
    • Bruno Calixto Great start Bruno, I want more of this beautiful Choro!

      Like 1
    • Marilyn Blodget Thanks, Marilyn! I will watch the lesson for sure! Had a quick look and it seems to have English subtitles

      Like
    • Bruno Calixto Great!  I’m glad they added subtitles.  That must be new, or else I’m missing a setup on my iPad.

      Like 1
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Bruno Calixto Way to go Bruno! I was hoping someone would do some Villa-Lobos. This is such a great piece. I've tried it a couple times myself, and it is a beast! Once you tame it, though, it's worth it. Looking forward to hearing more! 

      Like 1
      • Moyses Lopes
      • Classical Guitarist and Electroacoustic Interpreter
      • Moses
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Bruno Calixto Great, man! You're in, and that's what matters! Bem-vindo, meu velho!

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    • Steve Pederson It is a beats indeed! Thanks, I am hoping to post the A section soon

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    • Moyses Lopes Obrigado, Moyses!

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  • Andrew York's Squares Suspended practice. Hammering away on Bars 14-32 working on clear slurs and eliminating pesky unwanted sounds by fingers that won't listen sometimes. All in all it's moving along good. The final part is slow practice through 14-32. Isolating the trouble spots before I try the entire piece. Then up to speed around 74bpm.

    Like 3
    • Michael Shirk Nice and effective practice, Michael.

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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Michael Shirk It's sounding great Michael! Coming together nicely. Thanks for sharing your breakdown of the work you're putting into it. And, is that a ruler underneath your coffee mug? I think I have one just like it. 

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    • Steve Pederson yes it is, lol. It’s a messy desk. 

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      • Moyses Lopes
      • Classical Guitarist and Electroacoustic Interpreter
      • Moses
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Michael Shirk Discipline is the key! Bravo, Michael!

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  • Hand – Elegy for a King (Mar 9)

    Another day of practice and I’m loving this piece more and more. I did this video as a “one take” only, so it has plenty of mistakes.

    In the livestream today, martin gave me a great idea about an alternative way to play the very difficult measure 16 (see picture below). I like his idea a lot, and so it’s in this recording (right at 1:00). Basically, the low F in the bass is changed to an octave higher, the note A in the melody is made a harmonic, and then I just skipped the low C bass note, as I don’t think it is musically essential. The big compromise is the loss of the descending bass line, but I think the sound of playing it like this is just so cool that it is worth it. It’s also quite a bit easier to play (i.e. it’s possible for me to play it now), which is a real bonus!

    I’m still not too pleased with the coda, so I will keep working on that.

    Like 1
    • Eric Phillips Wow!  What a lovely piece!  Great choice!   And you’re playing it so well!  You picked up Martin’s suggestions very quickly!

      Like 1
    • Marilyn Blodget Thank you, Marilyn. I’m just addicted to playing it right now.

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips It continues to get better, Eric. And you are becoming very secure in your interpretation and performance. I probably prefer the low 'f' if I  hear the version side by side, however, hearing this version by itself I don't miss miss the low 'f'..

      Like 1
  • Hello martin I would like to take advantage of the challenge to learn a new guitar piece during this month. I was looking at intermediate level pieces on Tobebase by Latin American composers and was thinking of learning Un Dia de Noviembre by Brouwer. Please let me know what you think of my selection or if you have a better suggestion. 

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  • La Maja de Goya was a learning adventure for me during our Covid lockdown.  Martin reminded me this morning that I don't want to lose it.  Because strings 5 & 6 are tuned to G and D, I have not kept it in my practice rotation. I've spent the rest of today bringing it back.  I'm making progress, but this video is from 2020.  I am pleased that my fingers and ears seem to remember somewhat what to do.

    Like 6
    • Marilyn Blodget That's beautiful, Marilyn. I love that piece and you play it well. It's funny you mention not playing it much because of the tuning. I don't play anything outside of standard tuning anymore since I have limited time and need to be able to jump right in. 

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Marilyn Blodget That is a wonderful piece and you were playing it very well. You should definitely 'reclaim' it. I am amazed that you can recall it after a 2 year hiatus. I have trouble remembering a piece after 2 days off.

      I would love to hear your progress.

      Like 1
    • Marilyn Blodget Great Marilyn, what a beautiful piece, I hope you'll get time to bring it back to 2023.

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    • Steve Price I sort my music into standard tuning and dropped D tuning, and when I’m reviewing I tend to have “standard tuning days” and “dropped D days.”  I’m working on Koyunbaba now which is tuned to  C# minor chord, so I’ve tuned my travel guitar for that.  

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    • Jack Stewart Thanks Jack!  

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    • Blaise Laflamme I’m working on it!  With the Monster storm in California, we’re ordered to stay indoors, so I have no excuses!

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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Marilyn Blodget Lovely job Marilyn! This is such a wonderful piece. I'm looking forward to the 2023 version! 

      Incidentally, I think the various tunings are a great reason for us guitarists justifying why we have so many guitars. I have multiple classical guitars - one in standard tuning, one in drop D tuning and one in Drop D and G tuning. Naturally they're not ALL super expensive guitars. When it's comes to recording or concert time, then I just use the really nice ones. 😉

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