Week 2: Deep Dive into Dynamics!

Get the Scores for the Carcassi Etudes op.60 Challenge 

HOW TO BEGIN 🚀
Ready to join the "Carcassi Etudes op.60 Challenge"? Here’s your starting line:

  1. Pick Your Etude: Dive into the evocative world of Carcassi by selecting an etude from op.60. Whether it's a piece that tests your technical limits or one that you've longed to perfect, the choice is yours. 🎼
  2. Commit to Practice: Embark on a disciplined practice routine, aiming for consistency. Share your journey with at least two video updates each week on our platform. This commitment will not only enhance your skills but also enable us to experience your progress, fostering a supportive atmosphere in our tonebase community. 🌱
  3. Share Your Practice: Submit a recording that you feel best captures your connection with Carcassi's music. This will inspire and contribute to a rich collection of performances for our community to enjoy and learn from. 🎶

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  • Week 2 of 18 and 20 with no repeats. Because of all the leaps and glissandi in these pieces, I decided to memorize them since reading makes it even harder for me. I've been working on the right and left-hand fingerings and doing a lot of back-and-forth between versions since some things that seem to make the most sense musically aren't realistic for me at tempo. Muting has been a challenge since ringing notes are so obvious, especially in 20. As Joosje said, a lot is going on musically in these pieces so next I'll work on things like dynamics, tempo, and voicings. I might have bitten off a little more than I can chew but I'm happy with where they're heading, especially 18. 

    Like 4
    • Steve Price Good work Steve , you show a very good progress .....specially etude Nr20 is not a easy one..... 

      Like 1
    • Steve Price Great playing and amazing progress Steve. 👍

      As a beginner, I have one question for you. On a few occasions in the no. 18, there is a musical line that repeats. You are playing the first one with your right hand over the sound hole repeat with your right hand close to the bridge. Is it something from an indication on the score or is it just a personal  interpretation?  

      Like
    • Andre Bernier Thanks, Andre! As far as changing hand position it's just personal preference in this case. I learned just from listening to others and what I thought sounded good to me. In this case, I hear it as kind of a call and response in the orchestra where maybe the flutes play a passage and then the oboes repeat. Same phrase but a different character.

      I didn't see a specific Tonebase lesson on it, but if it's called out in the score I think it is usually sul tasto or just tasto closer to the neck or sul ponticello, ponticello, or pont. closer to the  bridge. Borbala Seres did a livestream that was really interesting where she talks about how she makes these kind of choices. She actually creates stories and characters. "Borbála Seres: Improving Phrasing, Articulation and Characters through Torroba's Suite Castellana"

      Like
    • Steve Price Thanks Steve for taking the time to answer my question. The call and response concept is a very interesting subject. Well I learned something new today 😉

      Like
    • Carlo Martins
    • A scientist with a passion for the study of proteins
    • Carlo_Martins
    • 3 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi everyone! So many little jewels in Carcassi's op60! Here is my go at n6 and n7, which I have studied a long time ago and had some time now to remember. I was just thinking for this week to improve dynamics on them.

    So, any and all suggestions are very much welcome.

    (I am starting to read n9 as well, but need some inspiration to make a video and upload here for your comments 😁)

    Like 3
    • Carlo Martins bravo! very nice playing, Carlo. Perfect rendition of no. 6 and good tempo. Only one remark, If I may: try to keep the melodic upper notes in bars 24-29 ringing, it’s not easy but it will sound really nice.
      Wow, you have a great tempo also in no. 7! For my taste you may take more freedom (as in rubato). This piece can have that, as Carcassi alternates varying techniques in combination with different tensions in harmony and melody. But it is an also matter of personal taste. I really appreciate your rhythmic consistency in the piece . 

      I understand that the great Borbála Seres will guide a 2 weeks intensive on rubato and legato playing. I already signed up for that one. 

      Like 1
      • Carlo Martins
      • A scientist with a passion for the study of proteins
      • Carlo_Martins
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje Hi! Thank you for the remarks. Indeed, bars 24-29 in n.6 are a bit hard for me, but I think I can try to keep the melodic notes ringing. For n.7, you've hit the nail in the head! I have a personal problem with using rubato. It is good to know that an intensive is coming on this subject.

      Cheers!

      Like
      • Matteo Laurenzi
      • Guitar teacher and lover
      • Matteo_Laurenzi
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Carlo Martins Great work!!!

      Like 1
    • Carlo Martins Very nice, Carlo. I've always liked 7 and think it's very dramatic. 6 never really appealed to me on the page but seeing it played well makes me want to take another look at it. Carcassi really put together an impressive set. 

      Like 1
    • Carlo Martins Good work indeed on No. 7 (I'll listen to your No. 6 later). The lower register parts are sonorous and steady. I like how there's a flourish as the melodic line goes into higher pitches. You deliver these passages very well.

      Like 1
    • Carlo Martins good take of both studes .....bravo

      Like 1
    • Carlo Martins Just listened to your No. 6. This one canters along in a jolly mood and you convey that very well, with very good separation of voices. Good work.

      Like 1
      • Carlo Martins
      • A scientist with a passion for the study of proteins
      • Carlo_Martins
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Carlo Martins Thank you all for the kind comments. Study n.7 reminds me of a 'chorinho' (for a reference, listen to this https://youtu.be/FJJhm7gNL8c?si=bD-oEWEHzOPvfMa_). Does this makes any sense?

      Like
  • https://youtu.be/AXJPGH0ixqs

    A session on Bar 9 to Bar 17 of Study 2. 

    Focus is on dynamic markings and changes in arpeggio pattern in Bar 9 and Bar 16.

    Like 3
    • Neil Macmillan Nice, Neil. That's coming along well. The repeated notes sound even to me which I think is one of the main things Carcassi was going for so well done. 

      Like
    • Neil Macmillan that’s really good Neil. Sounds even and secure. I think I saw you playing the repeated notes with your m finger. For practice purpose you can also vary different fingerings there (once you have good control of the piece). mimi, mama, or even mima. This study is great for development of RH control!

      I really like the way you are analysing the harmonic structure and technical aspects carefully before you start playing. I think that’s a very good strategy. Well done.

      Like
    • joosje Thanks for your commentary. The edition of the score that I work from (downloaded from BenMcCartney.com) recommends p i m a m a m a for the arpeggio LH. I try to use p i m a m i a m. But my fingering is probably not on "autopilot" so I might lapse into other fingerings, especially with the distraction of recording.

      Like
    • Carlo Martins
    • A scientist with a passion for the study of proteins
    • Carlo_Martins
    • 3 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi all,

    I finally made a first video with the results of my 2nd week studying n.9

    There are many obvious mistakes. Anyway, tell me what you think. Even tips to improve these trickier passages are all very welcome!

    Like 2
    • Carlo Martins Good take of stude Nr9.....bravo

      Like 1
    • Carlo Martins congratulations, Carlo. Very musical and good sound. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of op. 60  and you play it with style and  grace,. Great control on your slurs!  For those tricky parts, you seem to manage them quite well., already. What could help making them ‘less tricky’? Maybe f.e. to make a big jump or slide, you can take more time to execute it with more relaxation. It’s what singers and violinists etc do, and it’s a natural way to follow the musical outline. Those chords in 13-15 are just tricky, but sound so nice in position with a bit of ponticello. In bars 15-16 I go back to ll pos. and make the slides with 4 and 2 finger. 
      What also helps: at the end of  a phrase, before the next phrase, breathing a bit longer will give you time for preparation and for the listener it creates space and helps to understand what’s going on, musically. This is, again, something you will see most musicians do, but we guitarists often forget.

      Like 1
      • Carlo Martins
      • A scientist with a passion for the study of proteins
      • Carlo_Martins
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje Thank you for the insightful comments! I deeply appreciate. I really need to think in terms of 'breathing' during the phrases. It is, afterall, what we do when we sing (possibly the most primitive form of music), so this is natural. I just need to accept this 😁. Wish I had more time this week, but it has been difficult to pick up my guitar...

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

      Carlo Martins Great job, Carlo. You have all the technically aspects under control. This will sound really good as you become familiar with it. Looking forward to hearing your progress.

      Like 1
    • Spare Machine You are capturing the rhythmic drive of this very nicely. Spending more time with it will give better flow and smoothness.

      There's a whole cottage industry of guitar support options. I go back and forth between a fairly high footstool and a low footstool in combination with the Dynarette support cushion.

      Like 1
    • Spare Machine nice playing, Mark. Rhythm, tone and fluidity are great. There is some talk here on tonebase about guitar supports. I guess a lot is about  personal preference - different bodies and postures. Have a look around here. Nice to have you in the community !

      Like 1
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