Week 2 - Practicing Passages // May 10

Hello and welcome to the Main Thread for Week 2 of the virtuosity challenge! 🎉 This is the place to discuss the Week 2 stream and post your Week 2 practice updates.


Download the sheet music: in this second week, we will be working with different excerpts from my right-hand technique workshop, as well as some new materials.

Download them both here:


Video updates are encouraged due to the technical aspect of this challenge 😎 Feel free to upload videos into your replies OR simply link to YouTube. YouTube video submissions CAN be unlisted. Just make sure they're not set on "private", so we can all see them.

 

If you want to describe your process, feel free to use the following template.

  • Exercise(s) you have been working on:
  • Things you found easy:
  • Things you found difficult:

↓ Reply below with your submissions and questions! ↓

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    • Debbie
    • Debbie
    • 3 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    I’ve been continuing with the warm ups from week one. For the excerpts I’ve been doing El Abejorro. Would be fun to try the complete piece if I can locate the sheet music. David Russell’s rendition is pretty cool! The Leyenda excerpt is fine. THAT’s not the part of Leyenda I struggle with. It’s the L hand in the next section I cannot master...yet! I’m on vacation so I’m not spending as much time as I normally would but here are two recordings of Brouwer #1. The first one I recorded two weeks ago in my home studio. This is the way I would normally play it without A planted. Today I did a quick video on my phone with the A planted. The challenge with A planted is:

    1) changing position smoothly from near the bridge to sul tasto.

    2) changing position of the thumb for different attack.

    3) tension that goes up the arm and makes the right side of the hand tingle and numb. Not a good sign. I normally plant for arpeggios but this keeping A on the first string is very challenging and if the tension continues I will have to abandon the idea. It didn’t bother me in any of the other pieces but on the Brouwer it does. Weird?

    https://youtu.be/lll_oEqG84w

    https://youtu.be/CqtrBkzNzfU
     

    Like 4
    • Debbie I like the way you play in version 1, the use of the forearm helps a lot with the motion, fluidity and thumb action.

      Like 1
    • Debbie great performance.  Your R hand looks stable and secure with the planting. I guess it feels less natural and free because you learned and played the piece without, .  

      Like 1
      • Debbie
      • Debbie
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Gokce Turkmendag thanks Gokce. I love the Brouwer etudes. Great music that teaches basic the techniques we all need.

      Like
      • Debbie
      • Debbie
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje thanks Joosje. I’m struggling with that A plant. It really does not feel natural to me. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? 😂 

      Like
      • Debbie
      • Debbie
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Blaise Laflamme I like it better too Blaise 😉 thanks 

      Like
    • Debbie Both versions look and sound very good. Nerve pain is never good, and I agree if it continues you should stop planting a on this study.

      Like
      • MirceaTeam
      • Head of Guitar
      • Mircea
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Debbie Hi Debbie! This is sounding great.

      Anytime something starts hurting, you should take a break. There is nothing more important than not to injure yourself.

      That being said, when you do resume working on this, the main question we should be working on is "why is it tense?" Where is the tension coming from, exactly?

      Based on what I'm seeing, there could be a number of reasons:

      • the a finger could be a bit too straight. Try the trick I sent you in the video I uploaded in my last reply to you! 
      • the thumb could be causing the hand to tense up since it is playing in such an extreme dynamic. Try bringing the dynamics just a little down, and then try to play with the thumb without letting it move your palm as it plays. In fact, try to just play the thumb melody while planting the a on the top string, but without any of the other notes. Is the tension still there? If it is, it's the thumb that's causing you to tense up.
      • It could be the forearm itself getting tense because of the unnatural feeling position (anytime we change anything in our technique, it feels unnatural), in which case that's where you would have to work to get rid of tension.

      When you are certain that it's not hurting anymore, try out a combination of things! Don't be afraid to experiment by cutting away notes, playing things as chords, etc. etc.!

      Like 1
    • Debbie very nice Debbie, both !

      Like 2
      • Debbie
      • Debbie
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Nora Torres-Nagel thanks Nora 😊

      Like 1
      • Debbie
      • Debbie
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Mircea thanks Mircea! I will work on these suggestions to find the culprit of tension!

      Like 1
      • Igornull
      • Igor.2
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Debbie I think whatever you decide to do with preparation (use it or leave it) will be ok, because you play really well.

      Like 2
      • Debbie
      • Debbie
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Igor that’s very encouraging to hear Igor. Thanks!

      Like
      • Derek
      • Derek
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Debbie great job Debbie

      Like 1
      • Debbie
      • Debbie
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Derek thanks Derek. Appreciate it!

      Like
    • Emmanull
    • Emma
    • 3 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello Debbie, both versions sound very well, rhythmical and fast. I think that your R hand is more stable with the planting, it moves less, I like it better how it looks. Maybe you are putting more tension with the planting and  that is why your hand is tingling. I love your waving at the end of the video we all look too serious when we play .

    Like 2
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Debbie this was a comment on your video! somehow I put it in the wrong place

      Like 1
      • Debbie
      • Debbie
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Emma you’re probably right Emma. I might be planting too hard. I will try to pay more attention to see if that’s what I’m doing. Thanks 😊 It’s classical music aren’t we supposed to be serious? 😂 

      Like 1
      • MirceaTeam
      • Head of Guitar
      • Mircea
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Emma No worries about posting this in the wrong place! I can move it into the other thread if you want, but I can't make it become a reply to Debbie's original post. I think it's totally fine for this reply to live here in this thread 😁

      Like
  • Hi everybody!

    Exercise(s) you have been working on: 6A, 6B, 7A, 7B, 8C, 9B
    Things you found easy: Short pieces, not boring. I play more comfortably when placing a on 1.
    Things you found difficult: I never played these pieces before. Handling my pinky again in Asturias. My tempo is slow. 

    Here is my video, enjoy: 🥳

    Like 1
    • Gokce Turkmendag Brava!!👋

      Like 1
    • Giuseppe Gasparini thanks Giuseppe!

      Like
      • Igornull
      • Igor.2
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Gokce Turkmendag Very good job, Gokce. Everything is nice and with control.

      Like 1
    • Gokce Turkmendag Bravissima, Gokce! Thank you for posting. You're great. Asturias with p-m, p-i good job! I tried, not easy, at all

      Like 1
    • Igor thanks Igor, I am trying my best

      Like
    • joosje Thanks Joosje. p-m-p-i came naturally. I am more comfortable with that fingering.

      Like
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