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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  • 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
    • Spare Machine This is beautiful, Mark! Haunting and meditative. I’d suggest giving a little more care to the melody, making it stand out, playing it legato, giving it more shape and dynamics. Perhaps the best way to accomplish that it’s to play the melody on its own, imagining that you’re singing it (maybe even actually singing it).

      Like 1
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips That sounds like a challenge! Let's see what I can come with ...

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

      Spare Machine Mark this is very captivating. Well played. When I Googled the piece to find out more I found this (very) simplified version for guitar which someone did on Musescore 

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwGbbv9St54

      Although it's a synthesized version, for me it helped illustrate the melody that needs to shine through

      Like 1
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Spare Machine Fantastic work on this Mark! I like how the beginning sounds a bit like Mallorca by Albéniz. Brooding, as you say, and with the Crickets (I have rain in mine) it just adds to the ambiance. Thanks for posting! 

      Like 1
    • Ron Thank you for finding that for me!

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
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      Spare Machine This is beautiful and haunting, Mark. I agree with Eric about bringing out the melody more. You have a great start. I would encourage you to make alterations (ie; harmonics and chord shapes, etc.) for musical reasons rather than convenience. If you learn both ways you will increase your technique and be in a better decision to decide. Personally your alterations seemed to fit.

      Btw, your background sounds (crickets?) seemed fitting. Sort of a Hitchcock effect (Psycho maybe).😄

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      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      David Krupka Spare Machine Eric Phillips

      Alright, here's what I've found: "Pobre Cega' is evidently a Brazilian folk-song that was arranged three times each by Villa Lobos and de Carvalho. (There is also an original song for voice and piano by HVL with the same title (the first of the fourteen 'Serestas') but using a different text.) In addition to the modernistic setting from 'Cirandas' that Eric found, there are two versions in the 'Guia Pratica', a pedagogical series for piano. The second of these, for two unaccompanied voices, has been arranged for guitar: https://musescore.com/user/47616668/scores/9563749

      The earliest of de Carvalho's versions, for voice and piano, dates from 1948 but was not published until 1963 in the collection 'Volkslieder'. 1963 also saw the composition of two further versions: one for soprano with orchestra (the 4th of '6 Cancoes'); the other for guitar, dedicated to Maria Livia Sao Marcos, whose performance was presented in the original post. So that's the connection!

      Note: Dinora de Carvalho, a name unknown to me until now (and whose works have yet to appear in IMSLP) was a very important figure in the development of modern music in Brazil. For those interested, the wikipedia article is worth reading: 

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinorá_de_Carvalho

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    • don
    • don.2
    • 9 mths ago
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    martin what does Brazilian heritage means for the challenge? Brazilian composer during HVL time? Or a particular genre? 

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      • martinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 9 mths ago
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      don I want to keep it as open as you want, so feel free to dive into any South-American composer for this journey :)

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
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      martin thanks Martin! The challenges this year has been great.

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    • don
    • don.2
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    HVL Prelude 3

    The only Villa Lobos piece I know. I first heard it on youtube, was a performance by Laura Snowden, I just felt very moved by it.  I've learned this 9 months ago so not starting from scratch. I've forgotten some of it, especially with the second part, I kept forgetting which notes to press. Hopefully this gets corrected by end of the challenge. 

     

    Didn't do the repeat at the end. 

    Like 9
    • don  Very beautiful Don. Great start 👋

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    • don yes, you let the melody sing so beautiful.

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      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Stefanie Mosburger-Dalz Andre Bernier  thank you. Gonna take some more time to get it to work properly. 

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      • Ronnull
      • Ron.3
      • 9 mths ago
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      don Super start Don - look forward to hearing more

      Like 1
    • don Nicely played and beautiful tone. 

      Like 1
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 9 mths ago
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      don Really fantastic start to this Don! Your love for the piece really comes through. If it sounds this beautiful now, imagine what a few weeks focus on it will bring! 

      Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
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      Steve Pederson Dale Needles Ron thanks!

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    • don great start Don, you mostly have it under the fingers and already with some great musical ideas... can't wait to hear it in the upcoming days!

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
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      don This is a great start, Don. You have beautiful tone and a solid grasp of this work. Great job.

      I learned this piece when I first started guitar (well, shortly after I started). I haven't played it since though I might consider trying again. Thanks for presenting this.

      Like 1
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
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      Jack Stewart Thanks Jack! How's the vamping trip

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      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
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      don The vamping trip was great. The vampires were well behaved.

      We had a great, long hike that wore all of us out, our dog included. However, I'm not sure I want to van camp again. I hated driving a 20' van, though it did handle well. I also don't like being in such a gas guzzler.

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

      Jack Stewart glad no vampires disturbed your holidays. Think vamping is those things that looks very fun on internet when other people are doing them. Less fun when you are the one doing it. 

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    • Pavel
    • Pavel
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    I'm also learning Prelude #3. I started a few months ago, so it's already some way along but still in progress. The things I find particularly challenging are

    • Chord progressions in the first part - how to make the transitions smooth
    • Removing the squicking - in chord progressions and in other parts. When I lift my hand to move to another place there's often sound
    • Controlling the volume - there are so many parts that are very subtle and any note too soft or too loud is very noticeable, which is what always happens for me
    • Relaxing while playing - this is hard for me no matter what I play...

    Any suggestions from all you master players on the above points and anything else in my playing are welcome!

    Like 8
      • don
      • don.2
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Pavel very nice! Great start! 

      I'll share some of the tips my teacher taught me on for the opening that you can consider.

      Hold down the F in the first measure until you play the C in measure 2 to connect them so it doesn't sound so cut.  Same idea in measure 6 and 7. Hold down the last G in measure 6 until the F# is sounded to connect them.  And maybe try at a slightly faster tempo as the notes dies too quickly and the melody may sound too cut if played too slow. 

      Like 1
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