WEEK 3: Mastering Carcassi's Etudes

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of the Carcassi Etudes op.60 challenge! 


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

  • Things you found easy:
  • Things you found difficult:
  • (Optional): a video of you performing it!
  • (Optional:) questions

↓ Reply below with your assignments and questions! ↓

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  • Here's me playing Carcassi's Etude no 3.

    https://youtu.be/P23iUTU1SqA

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  • I realized that I never posted my audio recording of Etude #2 which I did last week.  Here it goes. 

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    • Dale Needles your intepretation has a personal character. Really nice Dale! :)

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    • Khiem Nguyen Thanks.  I also enjoyed your posts and your interpretation of this and other Etudes.

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  • Probably my last update: I'll continue to work on the pieces I've been looking at (!,3,7, 8, 10, 16 and 19) and maybe a few more until I achieve a decent performance level of all of them. I've looked a t a few others in the past which I will revive so hopefully be able to play at least 10 of these studies in a few weeks (...months...years etc). I probably won't get chance to do any more recordings before the watch party (unless I manage some tomorrow) so here is my latest recording of number 19 - it maybe simple but I think it is a really beautiful little piece. Recorded straight to my phone - no editing.

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    • Derek beautiful Derek. It’s not as simple as it looks, but one of the greatest pieces for warming up and ‘feel your fingers’… you control it really well. 

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  • Study 15 update.

    What was easy: Typing these words.

    What was difficult:

    • There are a few spots where it is difficult to transition from one chord to the next (measure 4 to 5, middle of measure 27, middle of measure 30).
    • There is some squeaking on bass strings that is hard to get rid of.
    • The 8th fret barre C chord in measure 41 sounds out of tune due to intonation. Any helpful tips about this?
    • I don't think it needs to be lightening fast, but I'd like it to be a bit faster than it is right now.
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    • Eric Phillips very good, Eric. I like the overall sound and also this tempo. Sounds and looks very relaxed. For this C chord at the end, there are 2 things you can do : adjust the tuning beforehand to this position, and make sure your barre and 4th finger are not too tensed. Or turn your hand a bit so you can play the chord with four fingers (4th on e is a bit uncomfortable, but it’s ok); that way you can adjust the individual notes of the chord…

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    • joosje Thank you so much for your help, Joosje. Do you mind if I ask some follow-up questions? (Sorry if I'm bugging you.)

      For the first method, wouldn't adjusting the tuning beforehand for this one chord make everything else in the piece a little out of tune? Is it just a matter of compromise (i.e. make everything out of tune, but only by a little bit)?

      For the second method, do you mean to play the chord as pictured below? If so, I don't understand how I adjust the notes. Would I push a string a little toward the bridge to make it flatter, or pull it toward the nut to make it sharper? That seems very difficult. Is that something that can really be done in time and accurately? It just seems a bit extreme to me.

      Again, I hope I'm not bothering you. It's an issue that comes up in many pieces, so I'd love to know if there is a good way for me to improve it.

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    • Eric Phillips I agree it is a bit more complicated. Maybe it is not suitable for this situation. For the second option , I remember Sabrina in her lesson Bach’s bourrée mentioning something like that. A little less or more pressure on a finger. For the first option I have to do some research. I saw a lesson on that, but I don’t remember if it was on tonebase or some masterclass by Pavel or again some one else. I’m not able to find out now, but I’ll let you know later (traveling these days and depend on open wifi along the road…)

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    • joosje Thank you so much, Joosje, but don’t do any extra work on my account. I hope your travels are safe!

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  • This time I tried Carcassi #2 with the fingerings Martin suggested in his video.  I think these were a little easier for me than the fingerings on TY's lesson.  Also I tried pima mama this time.  I think I like that a little better too.  I found that I lost the legato a bit when trying to keep time with the metronome.  Hope I can give it another try this weekend and smooth it out.

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara It just keeps sounding better and better, Elizabeth!

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara warm and round sound! You improve everytime Elizabeth. Congratulations! :)

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    • Elizabeth Uyehara great job Elizabeth. You are taking us along and we witness your progress, it’s fascinating. I hope to hear more of you in the tonebase challenges to come.

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    • Eric Phillips Khiem Nguyen joosje Thank you for your encouragement. Most of the community challenges seemed too advanced for me, but I think I figured out a way to participate.  I think I will just do whatever I can (like just do a few measures or concentrate on a particular fingering/picking pattern) and just try to absorb the nuances that the advanced players bring to a piece by listening.  I'm learning so much just from the little that I did. 😊

      Like 1
    • Elizabeth Uyehara I’m glad to hear it Elizabeth. This is one of the things I love about the TB community. Everyone can fully participate, and we all can help, encourage, and inspire each other. I hope to see you in the next challenge!

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  • Hi all,  It was great to do this Carcassi Challenge with everyone over the past few weeks and thank you Martin for challenging us all with these great Carcassi Etudes and for your insights.  It was also wonderful to get to know everyone a little bit better through all the posts and comments.  During this difficult time of covid, having such a supportive online community is critical to our mental health. 

     

    As this Challenge comes to end, I wanted to suggest another possible future challenge - Abel Carlevaro 20 Microestudios.  These are wonderful short studies, ranging from easy to difficult and would be a nice musical contrast to the Carcassi Etudes.  If you agree, you can vote for this idea in the Live Stream suggestions forum.  Or, if you simply want to check our these Microestudios, they are published through Chanterelle Music.  

     

    Best regards,

    Dale

    Like 1
  • I wanted to squeeze one more in before the "official" close of this challenge, so here is a one and only take of No.16.  The sight reading is not great, so I lost my place in a few spots and made a few errors.

    This piece has a simple texture of melody and accompaniment and a bit difficult to keep legato;  Wish I had the sustain pedal of piano to achieve result I had in mind.

    Like 4
    • Barney Really great, Barney! I love going to the second string on the repeat.

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    • Eric Phillips Thanks Eric!  I wanted to make the repeat a little warmer.  The first time, I used the RH fingering in score--"m" for melody and "i - p" for accompaniment.  Second time used my own  "a" for melody and "i-m" for chords combo.  Glad you liked it!

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    • Barney Nice touch bringing out the melody. 

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    • Dale Needles Thanks Dale!

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    • Barney sooo beautiful ! Yes, it’s definitely easier on the piano. But such a lovely sound on the guitar 

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    • joosje Thank you Joosje!  Yes, we are hooked on the beauty and poetry of the guitar.  However I still get chills when listening to wonderful performances of Chopin on piano.  I get jealous that we don't have enough range on our instrument to play certain repertoire.  I can see where that extra 7th string helps to a degree in certain cases. 

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      Barney Beautiful Barney! You did an extraordinary job of keeping the intonation stable right in the beginning when we move the the F major in third position, that fifth between f-c is always tricky!

      And going for the second string is quite stellar and unique, bravo ⚡

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    • Martin Thank you Martin!  Looks like a simple piece, but not easy to bring out its  beauty and singing melody on the guitar; so I tried the second string approach which  I think sounded a bit better on my instrument...

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  • I am still working on #21 . Most of the chord shapes are coming well. What still needs to be worked out are the fingerings on the ornaments going into the chords. There are lots of options so I'm still exploring what works well for me while still sounding good. The whole challenge has been fun. I plan to keep exploring the studies I have not yet done.

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      Peg Barrett Awesome, this cycle offers such a big variety of different topics, both musically and technically!

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  • Study 15 final update.

    I'm not sure this is any better than the last update, but here it is, my final post.

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      • martin.3
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      Eric Phillips What a nice way to conclude this challenge! Thank you for posting that, I didn't know this one!

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