Week 1: "Villa-Lobos Vibe"

Welcome to the Main Thread for the first week of "Villa-Lobos Voyage" practice challenge! 

  1. Select a mesmerizing piece from Villa-Lobos or a composer connected to his Brazilian heritage. Whether it's a soulful Villa-Lobos composition, a rhythmic Brazilian-inspired work, or a piece by another artist inspired by the Brazilian musical tradition, the choice is yours! 🎼

  2. Commit to regular practice and share your progress with the community. Strive to practice daily and upload at least two videos per week to showcase your musical voyage. This not only keeps you motivated but also allows you to share your artistic journey with our tonebase family. 🎥

  3. Share your favorite performance or recording that captures the spirit of the "Villa-Lobos-Voyage Challenge." Your submission will inspire others and create a vibrant collection of potential pieces for fellow members to explore. 🎧

↓ Happy Sharing! ↓

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  • HVL Prelude 2 (Aug 3)

    As you might guess, I have been working like crazy on this since the challenge was announced this morning. There is a very clear ABA structure, and the two sections are basically like two different pieces.

    • A section (measures 1-34). I worked out some of the fingering, but I'm sure I'll change a few here or there. Still a lot to work on, but I think I have a good foundation.
    • B section (measures 35-90). This is the section that scares me. I have never been particular good at fast arpeggios. I first broke down the right hand patterns (there are really only two or three patterns, depending on how you group them). I then practiced those patterns on open strings, with planting as much as possible. Then I threw in the left hand and dropped the planting. In a way, the left hand is easy, since it's almost all just one moveable chord, very typical of HVL. But it does have a lot of big shifts, and since the chord shape is on all the bass strings, my string squeak is REALLY LOUD still. I figure I will work on quieting that down later! Sorry to hurt your ears.
    Like 12
    • Eric Phillips really nice start for this HVL Challenge! You already have most of it under the fingers... the hard work now begins 😅

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    • Eric Phillips absolutely love this piece since I heard Julian bream play it many years ago. 

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    • Jacques farmer Well, my goal is to play it even better than Bream. 😀 Just kidding. I’ll be happy with just getting most of the notes right.

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    • Eric Phillips you’re doing ok. Have you played this piece before? 

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    • Jacques farmer I had noodled around in the A section before, but every time I saw those big arpeggios in the B section, I just stopped. But this time I decided I wouldn't do that. I took a closer look and saw that there are only a couple right hand patterns to learn. I then sat down and practiced them, playing very slowly, on open strings, using planting in the right hand to give it stability. I really thought that I would have to stay at that stage for a while (like a week or more), but after doing it for maybe an hour, suddenly, I was able to do it faster and without planting. That's when I decided to put the left hand chords in. Now, maybe I shouldn't have rushed that next step, but I am just so impatient about these things. I hate playing things that sound like exercises and not music.

      Obviously, it still needs to go faster, so we'll see how that goes. If I can't do it, I may need to go back and spend more time in that earlier stage, really making the movements very automatic.

      Like 2
    • Eric Phillips you have a really good approach. I am looking at suite popular bresilienne no 4 gavotte choro. I had a go at it in 1978. I found the music out around an hour ago, all fingered so I have just skimmed through it, amazing how muscle memory works. I will spend some time on it tomorrow, and try and post the first section early next week before I go away on holiday. 

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    • Jacques farmer Wonderful! That whole suite is so good.

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    • Eric Phillips Yes its awesome, I will certainly give it my best shot. 

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    • Eric Phillips I'm not familiar to this piece, but those barre chords are very rock 'n' roll. I dig it! Even that C chord shape moving down the fretboard is a familiar thing... Thanks, as always, for sharing! I feel so luck to connection with Eric and this community! Thanks, tonebase crew!

      Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips great start to this! I didn't know this was a Villa Lobos piece! I heard it before but never knew the composer. 

      Like 1
    • Spare Machine Yes, this is as close as we get in our repertoire to heavy metal. I actually think it sounds a lot like Rush (I’m thinking Xanadu or Limelight).

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      • Andre Bernier
      • Retired
      • Andre_Bernier
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips  

       

      As usual Eric, a great start. Bravo👍

      Like 1
      • Ronnull
      • Ron.3
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips This is a really great start. I agree with you about playing fast arpeggios but it seems to me you have already mastered the patterns. I find string squeak is an ever present problem with HVL - in many older recordings I've listened to I hear it lot so it certainly didn't hurt my ears 😂! It's a beautful prelude and I look forward to hearing the whole piece

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips you're right about the B section right hand pattern practice. At some point, once you kind of master the mechanics, it becomes like one big movement and then gets easier to go faster... but the trick is to always get back to slow motion practice, it'll enhance the fast result overtime.

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    • Jacques farmer definitely a beautiful one, probably my preferred one of the suite with the Valse.

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    • Blaise Laflamme 

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    • Blaise Laflamme I agree one of my favourites. I’m in holiday from the 11th so I will see if I can get 2 of the sections on here this coming week 

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  • Yay! This "Pobre Cega" piece is one of the main reasons I started to learn to play classical guitar. It popped up on my Spotify as I was exploring Brazilian jazz music. It's was so brooding and emotional and just cool to my ear that I set out learning it which took a long, long time for a guy like me. Now I look forward to sharing my progress with you all!

    There is a "Pobre Cega" by Villa-Lobos, which I guess helps connect it to this challenge. I can't really hear a similarity between his and Dinorá's compositions, so if anyone knows if there is a connection between Villa-Lobos' "Pobre Cega" and Dinorá de Carvalho's version, please tell me about it!

    Like 1
      • Pavel
      • Pavel
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Spare Machine Really beautiful! Out of curiosity - how many strings does that guitar on the cover have? Seems more than 10... Is that what the performer plays, and that's what classical Brazilian guitar is?

      Like
    • Spare Machine Beautiful! I found this video of Pobre Cega by Villa-Lobos. At about 0:20, the melody enters in the inner voice, and I think it's the same melody as the version you posted. My guess is that it's a common folk song in Brazil, and Villa-Lobos was just having some fun with it on the piano, adding somewhat clashing material around it. I tried looking it up, but I couldn't find anything. I presume the title means Poor Blind Woman (Pobre Ciega in Spanish). If you ask me, this sounds like a job for Tonebuddy David Krupka .

      Like 2
    • Eric Phillips Awesome! Thank you! This going to be fun!

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    • Pavel As far as I can tell the Marcos playa normal 6-strong classical. I assume the label’s art director just thought that guitar on the cover looked cool…

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    • Spare Machine 

      Like 2
    • Spare Machine Guitar gang, please bring on the feedback, ideas, and suggestions!

      Like 1
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