20 Sor Studies (Segovia)

Derek  jokingly indicated to me that it almost seems like I am doing all of Sor's studies. That put the idea in my head - why not try to do all twenty in Segovia's collection? I am a little intimidated by the difficulty of the later ones, but we'll see how far I can get. Who knows, this project might take me several years (decades?) and, by then, maybe my technique will have improved! 😊 (Since I'm not getting any younger, the reverse may be more likely.)

I am mostly using the edition that Tariq Harb has attached to his video lessons on the studies, found here on TB, of course. A copy of it is attached here.

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  • Study 1 (November 24, 2021)

    This one is all about legato and voice leading. I've read through it before, but I never really worked on it in a focused way. Here is a first take after deciding on some fingering. I mostly used the fingering in the edition attached above, but I did change a couple.

    Like 2
    • David Krupka
    • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
    • David_Krupka
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    That's a BIG project, Eric. A teacher put me through this way back when! I think I managed to play about half of them acceptably well; the rest were a real struggle. I never did get number 12 at anything near tempo. (But it was probably my favourite one to practice!) These days, I'd be lucky to get through any of them. You're off to a great start, and I'm sure you'll get through them (or at least most of them) in less time than you think. Btw, I also used an old Segovia edition. (Not quite as ancient looking as the one from ToneBase, but old nonetheless.) These days, I would definitely consult some earlier editions for original fingerings. I think Segovia tends to stray a little too far from Sor's intention. (Of course, the case can be made that Segovia's fingering better suits the modern guitar.)

    Like 1
  • Study 1 (November 24, 2021 later)

    After about an hour of practice, I really think there is a big improvement, so I'm posting an update already. I know, I'm strange! 🤪

    Like 2
      • Derek
      • Derek
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips nice Eric. I like balance and the way the separate lines come out

      Like 1
    • Derek Thanks, Derek!

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    • Derek
    • Derek
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    I started this a few months ago. No 2 was fine as I played that in the Sor opus 35 challenge. Still working on 1 and 3 (occasionally). I'm sure you'll get there before me Eric

    Like 1
  • Study 1 (November 26, 2021)

    I took this one at a slightly faster tempo.

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips That's great Eric. This is one of my favorite Sor etudes. I also play it at faster tempo than indicated. Roland Dyens did a beautiful arrangement of this etude for string quartet. It' really interesting to hear the four separate voices.

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    • Jack Stewart Thanks, Jack! I just listened Dyens' arrangement. That's spectacular! Thanks for letting me know.

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    • Eric Phillips Bravo Eric! Really nice work balancing all those voices! Very inspiring!

      When I first got that book back in the day I was thinking "#1 huh, that must mean it's easy, I'll start here". Well, it's not easy (for me), today I still struggle to bring out it's full potential. I think that's why I use it as a chord balance exercise.

      Anyway, Eric I'm glad you posted this I'll be returning to listen again for sure!. Can't wait to follow you through the whole 20 pieces.

      Like 1
    • Kevin Mudd Thanks, Kevin. None of the pieces in Segovia's collection are easy. If you want to play Sor, there are tons of studies easier than any one of these twenty. I'd personally recommend starting at Opus 60.

      As for getting through all twenty, I'm not sure if I'll ever get there. I'll give it the old college try, though.

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    • Eric Phillips Thanks for the time on Op60 I just downloaded a PDF and will check them out.

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  • Study 2 (November 26, 2021)

    This one has a pretty melody on top with an Alberti bass underneath. I've heard it played quite fast, but I really prefer it at a slower tempo.

    Here are some of the trouble spots that need work:

    • Measures 3 and 11 - I find it hard to squeeze my second finger (LH) up to get the F on the 4th string. It's uncomfortable, it squeaks, and I often get fret buzz.
    • Measures 27 and 29 - These measures require shifting up into a barre and I often don't hit them quite right, and have to adjust afterward.
    • Measure 30 - When I shift back down here, I get a lot of squeak, and often don't hit it accurately.
    Like 1
    • ivan paolonull
    • amateur guitarist
    • ivan_paolo
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Ciao Eric. Great job. I love the 20 Sor's studies. I remember that in Italy, many years ago, the first 10 was a must in the 5th exam's year, and 11-20 in the 8th exam's year. I'm also working on several of it (...calmly). In the 2020 the italian guitar magazine "Seicorde" has published on YT a project on these etudes. I put you the link to the first 5, then by yourself you can find the link to the others. I've a lovely second guitar part by great M° Hirokazu Sato (wich, unfortunately, passed away in 2016 ) to play with the study n. 5 in B minor. When you'll study it, we could try to play it in duo if you want. Let me know, and have a fun guitar's week-end.

    Like 1
    • ivan paolo Caio, Ivan. Thanks for listening. I had heard the Seicorde videos of these studies a while ago, but I honestly forgot about them. Thanks so much for reminding me - some really great performances in there.

      I'd be happy to try to play a duet with No 5. Not sure how to go about doing that, but I'm up for it.

      Where are you from in Italy? I lived in Rome for a few years back in the 90s, but also was able to travel around the country a bit. I miss so much about Italy (especially the food)!

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      • ivan paolonull
      • amateur guitarist
      • ivan_paolo
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips I've lived in Rimini ,on the Adriatic coast, since 1994. I'm a consultant in tax, administration and management of small business. I saw that you write Italian so I'd like to have a chat in English with you, when you have time, to improve my conversational skills. I could reciprocate and help you to refresh or mantain your Italian. As a starting point we both share a passion for the guitar. See you soon.

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  • Study 2 (November 28, 2021)

    Here's an update after a couple of days practice. I think it still needs work in the trouble spots, and I'd like to add more musicality to it.

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  • Study 2 (November 30, 2021)

    I'm going to make this my final update of this study and move on to number 3.

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      • Derek
      • Derek
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips well played Eric. I like the tempo

      Like 1
    • Derek Thanks, Derek. That one always sounds better to me when played slowly.

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  • Study 3 (November 30, 2021)

    Here is a first take on Study 3 (Op 6 No 2). For whatever reason, I have a really strong memory of listening to a recording of this one by Segovia back when I first started playing classical about 30 years ago.

    As I watch this video, my right hand again has some issues, most notably moving quite a bit. It seems that in order to bring the melody out, I have somehow picked up the habit of jerking my whole hand upward, toward my left shoulder. I'd like to focus on bringing out this melody while keeping my right hand more stable and secure.

    Like 1
      • Derek
      • Derek
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Nice start Eric. I see what you mean about the right hand

      Like 1
    • Derek I am always amazed by the crazy things I do while playing that I'm not even aware of.

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      • ivan paolonull
      • amateur guitarist
      • ivan_paolo
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Segovia suggested a particular rest stroke involving a movente of the RH; watching your video it seem that you are using free stroke, Am I wrong?

      Like 1
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