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 B section slow

    Next, I want to focus on the string squeak issue in the B section. The obvious solution is to lift the three fingers on bass strings (1,3,4) while using the 2nd finger as a guide finger. I see two things that make it difficult for me to do that:

    1. After the shift, it is difficult to place the fingers down in precisely the correct spot, up on the fingertips.
    2. At speed, it feels like there is just not enough time to lift the fingers and re-place them.

    So, it seems to me that the solution to these problems is to play the section very slowly, and once the motion is mastered at that speed, slowly bring the speed up. Here it is at a much slower speed. (Sorry for the big squeak at 0:35! I forgot to lift the fingers that time.)

    Like 6
    • Blaise Laflamme That performance is just crazy good! Thanks for sharing it!

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart Here's an early version of Metallica, before Cliff Burton replaced HVL.

      Like 4
    • Eric Phillips haha... then HVL was pre-KEA with Dave Mustaine!

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

      Eric Phillips I guess he had to grow his hair out when he joined Metallica. However, I see he didn't replace his stogie for a doobie.

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

      Blaise Laflamme Yes, Blaise, that is a great interpretation that gives it a whole new perspective! 

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

      Eric Phillips 😂

      Like 1
  • I was not contemplating to participate because Villa-Lobos work exceeded my technical knowledge. However, I asked my good friend (google) to find A Brasilien classical guitar composer with beginner pieces..... Well in the list there was  ''The 10 Brazilian folk tunes for guitar'' by Isaias Savio. I was able to find the scores on the net and listen some of the pieces on youtube.

     

    I finally decided that the ''no.2  Lullabies'' which is very nice was probably within my skill level. I'm not sure I will have enough time to play it reasonably well but worst case scenario this will become an ''unfinished business'' for the next challenge  😉

    Like 3
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Andre Bernier Sounds like a great idea Andre! I've never heard of Isaias Savio, so I appreciate you introducing him to me and expanding my Brazilian composer knowledge! I also gave this piece a listen on YouTube and it sounds wonderful. I look forward to you posting your first video! 

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

      Andre Bernier Excellent choice, Andre! Savio was an important figure in the development of the guitar in Brazil. (Among his students were Luis Bonfa and Carlos Barbosa-Lima!) The collection you found is full of engaging music that is not too challenging technically. Number 8  ('Samba-Lele') although a little more difficult than the lullaby you mention, is also well worth learning. (It's one of those 'crowd-pleasers' that is far easier than it sounds - my favourite kind of piece to play!)

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    • Andre Bernier We're happy that you're joining us in this challenge and look forward to listening to you play!

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

      Andre Bernier doesn't matter if you don't finish it the effort spent on polishing a piece will not go to waste. The skills adds up. Some of folk tunes can be really beautiful and challenging too. Looking forward to you submission. 🙂

      Like
    • David Krupka Thanks David, I listened to no. 8 and this will certainly be a keeper for another challenge in the future. 😄

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Andre Bernier I was not familiar with Isaias Savio and had to look his works up on YT. I think the Lullaby you mentioned would be beautiful to work up. Looking forward to hearing your progress.

      Like
    • Andre Bernier I'm happy to see you found something that fits the challenge... but no worries, all cases at some point are just «unfinished business»!

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

    HVL - Choros No 1, Section A. 

    I know this piece is probably a bit cliché, but I've been wanting to learn it for a long time, and this seems as good a time as any. 😉

    I just started taking a look at this first part this morning, so I am just muddling my way through it. 

    Making smooth chord changes is probably my first task, which would involve making sure I have the best fingering. After multiple run-throughs this morning my left wrist was starting to get a little sore/fatigued, so I'll have to be careful not to over-do it with this one. 

    The noise in the background is not eggs frying, but cars driving in the rain outside my open windows. 

    This piece reminds me a bit in some ways of Sons de Carrilhõe by João Pernambuco.

    Like 7
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson You're off to a good start, Steve. I seem to recall this 'Choros' being quite demanding on the left hand because of all the barring - so definitely take it easy! By the way, some clichés never grow old - they're called 'classics'! Personally, I don't think this piece is heard often enough these days- I have the impression (mostly gathered from YouTube) that it's fallen a little out of fashion, but maybe I'm wrong about this. To end, here's something relevant, that I happened upon in YT Shorts just yesterday (something we already know, but it's interesting to hear it from a pianist):

      https://www.youtube.com/shorts/LEOT3je6Wws

      Like 1
    • Steve Pederson Good work, Steve! I don't think this is cliché at all. I don't even remember the last time I heard it (although I have listened to Bream's performance of it something like a trillion times). It's got that rhythmic drive that's not too difficult to get going, like Sons de Carillhoe, as you observed. Keep it going! (But like David Krupka said, don't hurt yourself.)

      If you haven't already, check out this video of Bream playing it. The sideburns and facial expressions are priceless! And there are some pretty cool names in the credits, too.

      Like 5
      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      David Krupka Thanks David. This was helpful. Thanks for sharing that YouTube short. Great point. 

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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 8 mths ago
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      Eric Phillips Thanks Eric. What a great version by Bream! It's funny, I was just watching some Monty Python this morning, and some of the faces that Bream made reminded me of Terry Jones. 😄

      Like 1
    • Steve Pederson They both gave the world a lot of joy. May they both rest in peace!

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

      Eric Phillips Amen to that! 

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

      Eric Phillips Steve Pederson Bream set the standard with this one! Phenomenal performance. By the way, did you guys notice the lineup in this particular broadcast? In addition to Bream, Paco Pena, John Renbourn, Barney Kessel and Jeff Beck! (Plus a name new to me, Mike Harding - a stand-up comic as well as as musician, apparently - I wonder what faces he was pulling!?). That's a lot of talent on one stage!

      Like 3
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Steve Pederson Another recording you should definitely give a listen to, if you haven't heard it:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJvG1o1Emp4

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-aeiCvQL8w

      (Same recording; second with some noise reduction (I think) and an interesting video track, plus commentary in Spanish from Segovia.) HVL was not only a first-rate composer, he was a remarkably good guitarist! Too bad so little of his playing is preserved. If you're interested, here he is performing prelude no.1:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-rfrBzNv8Q

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

      David Krupka Wow David! Thanks so much for sharing these! This is incredible! ¡Esto es increíble! 

      This will definitely shine some light on this piece. It's interesting to hear how he treats things - in some cases much different rhythmically. 

      I never thought of this before, but Villa Lobos looked a little bit like a mobster in a couple of those shots! 😲

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

      Steve Pederson Think you gotten your fingerings down already.  You say is a cliche but I've actually never heard of it so I get to discover new music. It actually reminds me of a video game tunes - probably Mario bros or something. 

      Like 1
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