Jesu Joy O Man's Desiring - Kevin's Practice Diary

I want to do this piece because it's beautiful and up until this year, I never considered it a Christmas tune. This would be my first actual Christmas tune I've learned on Classical Guitar. And truthfully, I couldn't think of a better one.


Goal: Be able to play through it "perfectly"


Part 1 Analysis:

I picked up these pointers for basic analysis from David Krupka from another thread. I like this because it's a simple approach and I need simple

1. Key Signature is G Major 

2. Time Signature 9/8

3. Structure: My best guess is ABAA'A

4. Repeated Motifs: I see a main melodic theme with a Chord progression decending-acending back to variations on the main theme then the end. The melody is a consistent wave like motion throughout. Very pretty

5. Potential problems: For me I think is deciding on the fingerings. As I play it I think it's important for me to have a consistent right hand finger pattern for most of the melody so it's automatic. For the left hand, making the transitions smooth being faithful to the note value.


Part 2 Mark the Fingerings

I completed this. My goodness my score is becoming messy 馃檪. Until Tonebase鉂わ笍 I was never really taught how to mark up a score. My past sheets are very clean maybe a fingering here or there since I usually followed the fingerings suggested. But, because of what I learned from Thomas Viloteau's Lagrima class, I realized  that I have to own my abilities and find what's best for me and my body. That suggestions are only suggestions and not commands. And nothing is set in stone, I can change anything that doesn't work....very freeing for my rigid brain.

So I spent a few days going through the piece before I actually started working on it (first time ever) as instructed by Thomas, at full tempo. And I already feel like I have accomplished a lot. 


Part 3 Practicing / Correcting Mistakes

Here is where I am currently, working on Part A. I will put together a video for each part as I complete it and hopefully in the not too distant future I will produce a video of me playing it through "perfectly" (hate that word - lol)


If you have made it this humble thanks 馃檹



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  • Hello players, 

    I was working towards submitting videos for each section but life happened and I kept working on it so this is my first run through.. still polishing it though I think this is a good place to start track improvement. 
    I hope you enjoy it

    Like 1
    • Kevin Mudd Great work, Kevin! As you noted, this one is all about the fingerings. Your choices look good, and other than a few small mistakes, the melody was quite legato.

      Like you said, this melody is like a wave, or maybe like a river, it just keeps flowing. Because of that, I think it would be good for you to add some more variety in dynamics, tone color, and even speed (a bit). I wouldn't go too crazy, as this is not Romantic music with lots of rubato. Still, having some variety would make it more interesting to the listener. Small crescendos, decrescendos, and ritardandos would give a better sense of phrasing. When the same phrase is repeated, maybe try it with a little different tone color, changing the right hand position and/or angle, almost to give the sense of the phrase being played by a different instrument, To get a better sense of all this, listen to how it is played by Matthew MacAllister ( He adds so many subtle things to make the music more engaging.

      I hope that is helpful. Keep up the good work!

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips yes! It helps a lot. And thank you for your time. All of these suggestions make sense and now I know that I am fundamentally on track and can begin working on musical expression. Thank you for giving me confidence, I鈥檓 inspired & challenged to really get to know this great piece and play it well and bring honor to it and Bach. Thanks again Eric 馃槉

      Like 1
    • Kevin Mudd You're very welcome, Kevin. I look forward to hearing the results.

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