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! ↓

209replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
    • MirceaTeam
    • Head of Guitar
    • Mircea
    • 3 yrs ago
    • Official response
    • Reported - view

    Exercises we will be looking at today from the original right-hand exercise book are:

    • 6A, 6B, 7A, 7B, 8B, 8C, 9B

    We will also be looking at the additional sheet music that is provided as a separate download above! (or by clicking here)

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

    Update for the Paganini excerpt:

    Gosh, I realize this wasn't clear from the way I wrote my fingering down on the page, but: 

    The low A at the end of every scale can be played as a rest-stroke note with i, rather than as part of the arpeggio following it.

    You can then wait on the low A as long as you need - enough to have time to get your hand in position for the next arpeggio (preparing all fingers on the strings, just like most of you are doing.)

    I did demonstrate this, but I didn't explicitly spell out that the low A was supposed to be the last note of the scale in the fingerings I uploaded.

    The fingerings in the excerpt are correct - they just don't specify a finger for you on that note.

    I thought it was self-evident, but I was biased as someone who's played this piece for many years. I apologize for that! 

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

    Hi, Mircea: I´ve just finished writing this in last week´s thread, but maybe my questions are more connected to today´s livestream. BTW, I´ll be late. (Work).

    As for escales: when you go from high to low notes, do you prepare all the fingers in the left hand, Tamayo style? My hand tenses a lot when doing this.

    Also, you once told in a livestream that, studying with Clerch, there was a time when you at last got to the speed you wanted, like reaching a long desired goal. Did you get there using these exercises?

     

    Now: this week I´ve been memorising two pieces in order to implement your ideas. Villalobos etude 3 and "El colibrí" (Sagreras). Now that every note and every finger are clear, my question is: how do you take to concert level the pieces that ask for speed and endurance (playing fast the whole time)? I ask this as opposed to pieces in wich you have some difficult passages that you can isolate, wich I think you´ll explain today. THANK YOU!

    Like 2
      • Marek Tabisznull
      • retired guitar teacher
      • Marek_Tabisz
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Igor I am attaching to these questions!

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

      Igor hi Igor! Yes, I did use these exact exercises to achieve that incredible Eureka moment almost 10 years ago 😁 it was such an incredible feeling. I texted Joaquin at like 11 pm to let him know I had managed and he just shook my hand silently the next morning in our class 😄

      As for your other question... I'm afraid I don't have a trick or anything other than just to practice it slowly in its entirety and increase the tempo little by little. That's what I do in the Paganini Capriccio 5, for example, which is just fast from beginning to end.

      Even after already "getting there" with a piece, if I don't play it for a couple of months, I need to start this process over with the metronome - just going through the entire piece slowly with the metronome with a lot of patience.

      Like 1
    • Marek Tabisznull
    • retired guitar teacher
    • Marek_Tabisz
    • 3 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    And, most likely, I will watch today's workshop from recording 😥

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

      Marek Tabisz that's okay Marek 😁 

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

    Update: Just updated the additional practice materials with the fingerings from today's livestream! See the link above or click here.

    Like 3
      • Thomas
      • Thomas.2
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Mircea Thanks Mircea, for the fingerings and especially the great live-stream yesterday!!

      Like 1
  • I confess that I was more than a little lost while watching yesterday's live-stream (I watched it later so I could not ask questions). I think I'm just going to try a few arpeggio exercises with planting, and a couple scalar rest-stroke exercises. I feel a bit like a small child who is being thrown into the deep end of the pool!

    Like 2
      • MirceaTeam
      • Head of Guitar
      • Mircea
      • 3 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric This is great, Eric!

      That's exactly what you should do - every time we try to upgrade our technique, we are small kids jumping blindly into the deep end of the pool 😁

      Like
  • here I'm practicing exercise 5B with the metronome set at 80 BEATS per minute.

    • Vilio Celli Bravo!!👍

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

      Vilio Celli thanks for sending this in, Vilio!

      Here is some targeted advice:

      • are you playing everything rest stroke? I can't quite tell from this angle, but based on what I hear, it kind of sounds like free stroke to me. This exercise is harder as a rest stroke exercise, since it's all about string changes, so I understand why you'd want to play it free stroke as a stepping stone towards that.
      • it's really hard to keep this one in tempo, since it switches back and forth from regular to odd meter, so I suggest starting out playing it even slower, and just really making sure that every note is as long as every other note.
      • on that note, because of the above-mentioned odd meter, it can be quite hard to practice this with a metronome. I'd say don't worry about having the metronome on, for now - just try to play as evenly as you can. If you do want it on, practice this very slowly and with one metronome beat per note (you might need to set the metronome quite high for it not to get boring, but it's worth it as an exercise.)

      Hope this helps!

      Like
    • Mircea Thanks Mircea, good advice as I have problems executing  the rest stroke, a new concept for me.

      Like 1
  • Hi, this is my recording of my practise session today on Thursday of Capriccio no.5. I'm gradually beginning to remember the notes. I've never played this before so it still feels uncertain/uncomfortable after a few days.

     

    Lots of mistakes I'm sure but I thought it would be good to see what I'm doing now and I'll record again on Sunday to see if I've made progress. 

    I noticed that my slurs were rubbish so I'll work on that. I'm also doing the descending scale in different shapes to Mircea but I still use thew open E to help my position shift.

     

    Regards Dennis

    Like 1
    • Dennis Greensmith  very good Dennis. I am also memorizing this one and the other of Villalobos, otherwise I can not play them! Both exercises are musically so nice that it is a pleasure to play them. Very nice excerpts Mircea!

      Like
    • Dennis Greensmith A good starting point!

      Like
    • Dennis Greensmith Bravo!! 👋

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

      Dennis Greensmith Well done, Dennis! May I ask about the stickers on frets 3 and 8 (I´m not sure) on the guitar behind you? I make my students use them on fret 5 or 7, depending on their skill level, but never thought about other possibilities.  Thank you.

      Like
    • Igor Hi Igor - I have extra stickers on frets 9 and 12 and sometimes on 15.  On my guitar has an inlay dot at fret 7.  I don't always have them on but I just thought I'd use them again for a while.

      Many thanks Dennis

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

      Dennis Greensmith this is great, congratulations on this Dennis! This is the hardest exercise of the bunch - well done on sticking with it and making it sound so well!

      Couple of ideas: 

      • remember to start the descending scales with m except for the very last one, as the fingering from the score says. This will ensure you have mostly direct rather than indirect string changes.
      • you can play the low A as a rest-stroke with i, if you prefer - no need to switch to the p for that one if you're coming off of the fast scale.
      • also, feel free to wait quite a long time on the low A - it's where the previous phrase ends, rather than where the new phrase begins (well, it's a little bit of both, but you shouldn't interrupt the scale before it - better to have a break after the A and before the arpeggio.)

      Well done, hope to see you around the forums with more submissions!

      Like
    • Mircea many thanks for spotting this and good points as always. Kind Regards Dennis

      Like 1
    • Igor Hi Igor - I realised you were taking about a guitar behind me. That's my electro-classical guitar that I use to play on open mic nights (singing and fun pop songs etc). Because it is dark on the stage I needed more slickers so I have then on 3 5 7 9 & 12 so I can see where I am.  My eyes are not that good in the dark so big stickers help me. Otherwise on my classical guitars it's normally just 7 9 and 15.

      Like 1
  • Wk. 2:    Working on excerpts from sessions 3 and 4. 

    Keeping a steady pulse on El Abejorro is a challenge.

    Posted below are Paganini Cappricio 5 and El Abejorro; both are works in progress.

    Like 5
Like1 Follow
  • 1 Likes
  • 3 yrs agoLast active
  • 209Replies
  • 532Views
  • 20 Following

Home

View all topics