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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  • Work in progress

    Didn’t have the courage /energy yet, to record the whole prelude. This B section takes a lot of time. I worked on it with intervals, to prevent stress. I keep struggling with the part in 12th position sliding back to 2nd. 
    Within the time frame of this challenge it won’t be ready, but I will post updates. Two positive results of this week’s slow and intermittent practice: it’s memorized and I can play this section now several times in a row without feeling any fatigue or pain in my LH. But then, at times the RH gets tensed….. sorry for this noisy stuff. (Turn volume down)

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

      joosje This is coming on really well Joosje - well done! I love the musicality - I wasn't aware of any noisy stuff!

      Like
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje Very impressive, joosje. I would love to hear your complete recording.

      You and Eric should have dueling B sections. I think that would suit the aggressive nature of the music. Lots of growls and grimaces, of course.

      Like
    • joosje Very nice, Joosje.  The arpeggio is sounding very good, and much less string noise coming from the left hand. I can see some of Carlevaro's left hand/arm technique in your playing.  Just remember to lift off the strings each time before the shift with the arm and not just the fingers. 

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

      joosje This B section is like one mini piece in itself. It looks difficult but you already manage to made it sound smooth and relax. And it is only week 1. Look forward to hearing the whole piece. 

      Like
  • HVL Prelude 2 (Aug 9)

    Here is another update. I have one video for each section.

    • The A section continues to get a little more familiar each time.
    • For the B section, I thought it might be good to practice with a metronome (which I do not do often enough), just so I can track my progress. A couple days ago, I started at 60, and this morning, I could do it fairly well at 80. For this video, the anxiety of recording seemed to hold me back, so I lowered the tempo to 77. I like that I have made progress. However, when I hear this section played at 140-150 by many professionals, I feel a little overwhelmed. Maybe 100-110 will be the best I can do. We'll see! 🤷‍♂️
    Like 5
      • Ronnull
      • Ron.3
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Wow both sectins are sitting under the fingers well! Definite progress. With the B section, speed isn't everything (my view). I'd rather hear a musical performance (which you produce so well) than speed for speed's sake! Can't wait to hear what it sounds like when you're happy with it!

      Like 2
    • Eric Phillips you are doing a great Job, your work ethic is monstrous! 

      Like 2
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Your improvement is impressive, Eric. The A section is almost there, and the B section is showing a lot of improvement. I know what you mean about being overwhelmed by the master who can tear thru a piece. But I believe interpretation can mitigate the difference, To some extent, at least.

      Like 2
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips This is such a beast of a piece. I really admire the progress you've made so far, and I think slow and steady wins the race. I understand getting frustrated with feeling like you're not making the progress you think you'd like to or maybe feel like you should. But then, I take a look at the pieces we're working on and it's no wonder! This is not easy stuff we're doing! 

      Like 1
  • Hi All, I will struggle getting a piece ready for this week and i am on holiday in greece from Friday so it will be visualisation only. I will change my piece Gavotta - Choro and drop it into unfinished busines and replace with Etude 1. 

    Like 4
    • Jacques farmer no need to rush... there are 3 remaining weeks!

      Like
    • Ernesto
    • Ernesto.1
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    New left hand for the bars I was struggling with... 

     

    Ready for part C on next take

    Like 6
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Ernesto This is sounding very good, Ernesto. You have this well under your fingers and your progress is very noticeable. Great job! Keep it up!.

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

      Ernesto Nice Ernesto! I can definitely see the improvement over your last video. Seems like you're getting much more comfortable with it. 

      Like 1
    • Ernesto Coming along nicely, Ernesto.  Looking forward to hearing you put it all together.  

      Like 1
    • Calin Lupa
    • Calin_Lupa
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Joining the voyage with a first recording of Etude No.1 . I tried here to play at medium speed ( still too fast? ) , flat, no colors or dynamics, planting m and a for hand stabilization. 

    Much more work needed for constancy, then eliminating squeaks, adding dynamics and colors. 

    Like 5
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Calin Lupa This is very good, Calin. Your right sounds very consistent and solid.  Even though I play the first half as a daily exercise I have never really played it as a piece. it does seem to me that the real challenge is the interpretation. You have a great start.

      Btw. you handle the little finger stretch from e minor to E major very smoothly. I can never get my pinky to make that stretch w/o some major contortion.

      Like
      • Calin Lupa
      • Calin_Lupa
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Jack Stewart you are too kind , thanks for the encouragement, the pinky stretch is challenging indeed. I also played this etude for many years as a warm-up, but never got it close to a finished piece.  This challenge gives me the opportunity to attempt to polish it.  Btw my RH thumb fingernail got broken and is very short now, it's amazing how much more challenging is now to keep the RH playing fluid.

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

      Calin Lupa Great job Calin! I have great respect for anyone who can pull this off. I have attempted it a few times myself - merely as a warm up. So, I know how challenging it can be. Can I make one suggestion? When doing the descending diminished chord, you may want to try lifting your middle and ring fingers off the strings to try to avoid some of that string squeak noise. 

      Like
    • Calin Lupa Very nice. Calin.  You have a great right-hand arpeggio. I know you mentioned that you still need to add some colors and dynamics.  One suggestion you might consider is when the patterns repeat for each chord, play one forte and the other piano or play one dolce and the other claro.  This is something that Maestro Carlevaro suggested when teaching this piece.  It creates a nice echo effect.

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      • Calin Lupa
      • Calin_Lupa
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson thank you  for the recommendation, will definitely work on  lifting the fingers when shifting, although I know that adds the challenge of keeping a nice flowing legato on those strings , especial at higher speeds. 

       

      Dale Needles thank you, I'll consider those ways when adding color, plus a couple more, it is a piece that gives so many possibilities ...

      Like 1
  • Today I went back to the gavota to record it . Crazy how much more stress it gives to record the whole piece, even if the separate parts are (more or less) in control.  Towards the end this growing worry that some stupid mistake the last part might spoil it all. (I still don’t have the software&skills to copy/paste between takes.)
    so, this is one take, and, what’s more, the first! Not perfect yet but pretty flowing. Pity that the stress made me play more timidly than when I play for my self, okay that’s the whole thing about recording and performing…. And I am much more aware now of what to work on, technically and musically.

    Like 7
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje This is beautiful, Joosje. I found your performance very expressive as well as relaxed and flowing. It is still hard for me to believe this is HVL!🤔

      Like
    • joosje very well done Joosje! I find the C part harder somehow than the others (if I recall). At your level having a bit of audio / video skills would provide another dimension to your performance and reduce your stress of performance of a «one take».

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

      joosje Bravo Joosje!!! I think this is so beautiful and absolutely amazing! I'm so glad I got to hear it all together. As for recording and editing, I think we live in a wonderful age where we can record video of ourselves and share it with people on the other side of the world with great audio and video quality.

      When it comes to editing, though, I think that can be a crutch that keeps us from becoming our best. I wouldn't worry about learning how to edit. It's so time consuming. Time is better spent on playing than editing in my opinion.   

      Like 1
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