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  #16  
Old 11-23-2019, 10:01 PM
Su_H. Su_H. is offline
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Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
You’re very welcome Su! Good luck with Asturias and do keep us posted on your progress!
It'll be my pleasure. Thank you.
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  #17  
Old 12-13-2019, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
You’re very welcome Su! Good luck with Asturias and do keep us posted on your progress!
Hi Andre,

I have some pressing issues with Austurias but I won't address them just yet. Hopefully those issues will correct itself as I gain more control of my right hand.

Like I've said, I've never came this close to being able to play Austurias so I want to proceed carefully. These next few weeks will probably decide my fate whether I should continue with Austurias or not.

When I'm practicing only my right hand, no matter how good it sounds at 60 or 80bpm, it sounds so much worse when I add the left hand to it. Realizing this, I started practicing the triplets with both hands now. I have not gone over 80bpm since chatting with you. Here's my question: When practicing the triplets, (at slow tempo like 60bpm), with my right hand, do play the triplets with as much control as possible or do I play them freely?

When I play them with full control, my right hand has a certain shape. When I play them freely, the shape looks slightly different and the way i and m fingers strike the strings is slightly different also.

If you can help, I would greatly appreciate it? And if you can give some more encouraging words, I can sure use it?

Note: April until now have all been spent on these triplets. I could have learned a few intermediate and or solid pieces by now...and that's the dilemma I'm facing right now. Do I keep toughing this out or do I put it on the back burner while learning or re-learning new and old pieces? I know you can't answer that for me but any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You, Andre.

Su

Last edited by Su_H.; 12-13-2019 at 05:46 AM.
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  #18  
Old 12-13-2019, 04:56 PM
AndreF AndreF is online now
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Hi Su,
Great to hear from you. Thanks for the feedback and progress report. I'll try to comment on your various points:
Quote:
When I'm practicing only my right hand, no matter how good it sounds at 60 or 80bpm, it sounds so much worse when I add the left hand to it.
Likely a simple explanation: Both hands aren't yet coordinated (i.e. synchronized) enough at the speeds you are playing.
Quote:
Here's my question: When practicing the triplets, (at slow tempo like 60bpm), with my right hand, do play the triplets with as much control as possible or do I play them freely?
I'm not quite sure what you mean by playing in control vs playing freely. There should only be one playing goal, and that is: to play cleanly (both hands) and with good tone. That usually means in control of things, both hands playing in *coordinated fashion. Most especially in a piece like this.
You’ve been at it a while so by now you must have the piece well memorized.
In fact, when I last posted, I wasn't intending for you to practice improvements in your control just by focusing on one hand.
What I meant was for you to find a slow tempo, e.g. 60 bpm, where everything (both hands) is working out as it should, i.e. clean execution + good tone.
And speed up from there. Don’t practice each hand for speed, independently. I mean, you can if you want, but it’s not the most time efficient way of practicing this tune imo.

I’m guessing that right now, your right hand is likely better at handling the quicker bpms, and when your left hand gets into the action, especially for the trickier chord fingerings and fast strums at the beginning of each measure, it's impacting the overall synchronization of both hands if you're going about it too fast.

So, don't over complicate things in your practice. Just find a tempo (be it 40, 50, 60 or whatever) where you're playing the music, and are in control.
That means that both hands are playing in coordinated fashion, and in tempo. With good tone. Clean execution.
Stay there and get used to that.
Then, notch it up incrementally, using the metronome.
Nothing should be morphing from "in control" to "freely". It should feel and look the same, only faster.
Remember too, that the entire piece is an exercise in dynamics. You have to incorporate that aspect too at some point.
Let's face it. This is an extremely challenging piece. You picked a good battle.
But you obviously love it, so stick with it. You don't have to reach virtuoso speeds (imo) to make this piece sound wonderful and a treat to listen to, and feel rewarded by it. And slower clean will always beat out sloppy fast.
Also, you're not wasting your time at all. Just working on the piece will benefit your technique for other material.
Quote:
Note: April until now have all been spent on these triplets. I could have learned a few intermediate and or solid pieces by now...and that's the dilemma I'm facing right now. Do I keep toughing this out or do I put it on the back burner while learning or re-learning new and old pieces? I know you can't answer that for me but any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
I was going to make that point as well. When working on something so demanding, you really need to diversify your practice and allow time for different material. At least I do. Otherwise, it can get overwhelming, and start affecting you negatively.
So, definitely. Play other things, fun things. Set Asturias aside for a day or so. It might even be beneficial.
For example, if you want a much simpler piece that is well written and emphasizes triplets, why not give Andrew York's "Snowflight" a go. It's simple enough, but can also be challenging at the allegro tempo. And it's appropriate for the time of year.
Just a suggestion. I'm sure you can find your own good music that is not so taxing to lighten things up.
Also good: Pick some studies that mimic the techniques that Asturias demands of you. There are lots of those in the repertoire.

Lastly, I find your enthusiasm for playing, and for this piece in particular, to be a great asset. Even if you do give it up for a spell, don't even worry about it. Sometimes, a break can work to your advantage.
As long as you enjoy picking the guitar up to play, you'll be fine! Stick with it.
Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
__________________
Best regards,
Andre
http://www.youtube.com/user/Gitfiddlemann

Last edited by AndreF; 12-13-2019 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Clarification: * coordinated meaning: synchronized
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  #19  
Old 12-14-2019, 06:01 AM
Su_H. Su_H. is offline
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Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
Hi Su,
Great to hear from you. Thanks for the feedback and progress report. I'll try to comment on your various points:

Likely a simple explanation: Both hands aren't yet coordinated (i.e. synchronized) enough at the speeds you are playing.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by playing in control vs playing freely. There should only be one playing goal, and that is: to play cleanly (both hands) and with good tone. That usually means in control of things, both hands playing in *coordinated fashion. Most especially in a piece like this.
You’ve been at it a while so by now you must have the piece well memorized.
In fact, when I last posted, I wasn't intending for you to practice improvements in your control just by focusing on one hand.
What I meant was for you to find a slow tempo, e.g. 60 bpm, where everything (both hands) is working out as it should, i.e. clean execution + good tone.
And speed up from there. Don’t practice each hand for speed, independently. I mean, you can if you want, but it’s not the most time efficient way of practicing this tune imo.

I’m guessing that right now, your right hand is likely better at handling the quicker bpms, and when your left hand gets into the action, especially for the trickier chord fingerings and fast strums at the beginning of each measure, it's impacting the overall synchronization of both hands if you're going about it too fast.

So, don't over complicate things in your practice. Just find a tempo (be it 40, 50, 60 or whatever) where you're playing the music, and are in control.
That means that both hands are playing in coordinated fashion, and in tempo. With good tone. Clean execution.
Stay there and get used to that.
Then, notch it up incrementally, using the metronome.
Nothing should be morphing from "in control" to "freely". It should feel and look the same, only faster.
Remember too, that the entire piece is an exercise in dynamics. You have to incorporate that aspect too at some point.
Let's face it. This is an extremely challenging piece. You picked a good battle.
But you obviously love it, so stick with it. You don't have to reach virtuoso speeds (imo) to make this piece sound wonderful and a treat to listen to, and feel rewarded by it. And slower clean will always beat out sloppy fast.
Also, you're not wasting your time at all. Just working on the piece will benefit your technique for other material.

I was going to make that point as well. When working on something so demanding, you really need to diversify your practice and allow time for different material. At least I do. Otherwise, it can get overwhelming, and start affecting you negatively.
So, definitely. Play other things, fun things. Set Asturias aside for a day or so. It might even be beneficial.
For example, if you want a much simpler piece that is well written and emphasizes triplets, why not give Andrew York's "Snowflight" a go. It's simple enough, but can also be challenging at the allegro tempo. And it's appropriate for the time of year.
Just a suggestion. I'm sure you can find your own good music that is not so taxing to lighten things up.
Also good: Pick some studies that mimic the techniques that Asturias demands of you. There are lots of those in the repertoire.

Lastly, I find your enthusiasm for playing, and for this piece in particular, to be a great asset. Even if you do give it up for a spell, don't even worry about it. Sometimes, a break can work to your advantage.
As long as you enjoy picking the guitar up to play, you'll be fine! Stick with it.
Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
Hi Andre,

I guessed you already answered my question but just to clue you in on what I'm talking about, I'll go ahead and elaborate.

When I first started playing the triplets at a very slow speed (40bpm), my fingers moved very slowly. After gaining more control in the hand, the fingers wait until the precise moment to make the attack and as a result the fingers move/strike faster.

Moving on, I've tried a few ways to practice the triplets.
1. Fingers moving as slowly as possible.
2. Fingers only move when it's time to strike - resulting in a fast and precise strike.
3. Finger preparation - For the sake of communication, I'll explain anyway: Thumb strikes and immediately i finger rests on the string - ready to strike and so on.
4. Thumb, i, and m are placed on their respective strings - ready to strike. Thumb strikes. i strikes. m strikes. Thumb, i, and m come back to rest on their respective strings - ready to begin the next cycle.

Please let me know if any of these ^^^ are bad for Austurias?

About my dilemma, I'm going to pick up some easy pieces to keep me company while still hammering at Austurias. Something just dawned on me. I've studied very hard get to this stage of Austurias....and I barely got here. I need to study very hard to get to the next level.

While at Fresno State University, I had the privilege of studying with Juan Serrano for 1 year. I caught him right before he retired. Serrano said something to this effect. When you have achieved advanced playing level, you need 2 hours of practice a day just to maintain your level of playing...and you'll need additional practice time if you want to improve. I'm not at the level Serrano is talking about but I can see how this relates to my triplets. These past weeks, I've been just maintaining. That is not to say your guidelines have not helped me. They have. I'm going to give it a big push these next few weeks to see if I can make a significant improvement.

Thank You again, Andre.
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  #20  
Old 12-14-2019, 08:43 AM
AndreF AndreF is online now
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Hi Su,
Thanks for your feedback.
Quote:
Moving on, I've tried a few ways to practice the triplets.
1. Fingers moving as slowly as possible.
2. Fingers only move when it's time to strike - resulting in a fast and precise strike.
3. Finger preparation - For the sake of communication, I'll explain anyway: Thumb strikes and immediately i finger rests on the string - ready to strike and so on.
4. Thumb, i, and m are placed on their respective strings - ready to strike. Thumb strikes. i strikes. m strikes. Thumb, i, and m come back to rest on their respective strings - ready to begin the next cycle.

Please let me know if any of these ^^^ are bad for Austurias?
When I was being taught classical guitar I learned basically two ways of playing arpeggios. One was called "Full Planting" (that would be your #4, and perhaps #3 as well to some degree), and the other was "Serial or Sequential planting".
Generally speaking, full planting works best in ascending type arpeggios, and serial planting for descending ones. Both can be combined if your fingers are ascending and descending, depending on the arpeggio.
It's not an absolute rule though. The music has a lot to say about what works best for what. That's when your ears come in to make the judgment.
For Asturias though, with its very quick tempo, the best way (imo) to have the most control at the highest speed, is to to use full planting (#4). Keeping the fingers ready to play will help you go faster, and should make your triplets sound tighter and snappier.
That's definitely what I would recommend for that piece.

Quote:
About my dilemma, I'm going to pick up some easy pieces to keep me company while still hammering at Austurias. Something just dawned on me. I've studied very hard get to this stage of Austurias....and I barely got here. I need to study very hard to get to the next level.

While at Fresno State University, I had the privilege of studying with Juan Serrano for 1 year. I caught him right before he retired. Serrano said something to this effect. When you have achieved advanced playing level, you need 2 hours of practice a day just to maintain your level of playing...and you'll need additional practice time if you want to improve. I'm not at the level Serrano is talking about but I can see how this relates to my triplets. These past weeks, I've been just maintaining. That is not to say your guidelines have not helped me. They have. I'm going to give it a big push these next few weeks to see if I can make a significant improvement.
Yes, I think he was correct in his assessment of the commitment it takes to achieve higher levels of proficiency in classical guitar.
In a way, you have to keep that in mind too when working on a piece like this. Keep your expectations in line with what you are able to achieve given your stage of development and overall routine.
Don't let it get to you either. It's easy to burn yourself out on trying to do something you might not be ready for. It often helps a lot just to step away and move on. Refreshes the outlook when you come back to it.
Fortunately for us guitarists, there's not a shortage of enjoyable material to tackle, in any style.

So, to summarize, I would encourage you to go full planting on the Asturias triplets. Start slow, and just go from there. You'll eventually reach your speed limit, but it might be a lot faster than what you can do now.
How's your left/fretting hand btw? Once memorized, the right hand should feel like it's on automatic pilot. The left hand work in that piece is very challenging I think, especially with the very quick chord fingering and strumming changes that have to be spot on the beat.
So, I would think that the "speed bumps" in your progress might come more from the need to synchronize both hands as you negotiate these quick fretting hand changes, as opposed to the right hand triplet work. Do you find that?
This is where practice at a slow tempo, with everything working, i.e. both hands, is what you need to focus on at this stage, to make the most efficient time of your practice. Since by now, the piece must be fully committed to memory and comfortable under your fingers.
One thing too that might be help as well: Find a comfortably slow tempo, and record yourself playing it. That can be very revealing too in terms of what you need to work on.
Good luck going forward. Definitely stick to it! but don't let it overwhelm you and make you not want to play. That would be bad.
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Andre
http://www.youtube.com/user/Gitfiddlemann
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  #21  
Old 12-14-2019, 04:37 PM
Su_H. Su_H. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
Hi Su,
Thanks for your feedback.


When I was being taught classical guitar I learned basically two ways of playing arpeggios. One was called "Full Planting" (that would be your #4, and perhaps #3 as well to some degree), and the other was "Serial or Sequential planting".
Generally speaking, full planting works best in ascending type arpeggios, and serial planting for descending ones. Both can be combined if your fingers are ascending and descending, depending on the arpeggio.
It's not an absolute rule though. The music has a lot to say about what works best for what. That's when your ears come in to make the judgment.
For Asturias though, with its very quick tempo, the best way (imo) to have the most control at the highest speed, is to to use full planting (#4). Keeping the fingers ready to play will help you go faster, and should make your triplets sound tighter and snappier.
That's definitely what I would recommend for that piece.


Yes, I think he was correct in his assessment of the commitment it takes to achieve higher levels of proficiency in classical guitar.
In a way, you have to keep that in mind too when working on a piece like this. Keep your expectations in line with what you are able to achieve given your stage of development and overall routine.
Don't let it get to you either. It's easy to burn yourself out on trying to do something you might not be ready for. It often helps a lot just to step away and move on. Refreshes the outlook when you come back to it.
Fortunately for us guitarists, there's not a shortage of enjoyable material to tackle, in any style.

So, to summarize, I would encourage you to go full planting on the Asturias triplets. Start slow, and just go from there. You'll eventually reach your speed limit, but it might be a lot faster than what you can do now.
How's your left/fretting hand btw? Once memorized, the right hand should feel like it's on automatic pilot. The left hand work in that piece is very challenging I think, especially with the very quick chord fingering and strumming changes that have to be spot on the beat.
So, I would think that the "speed bumps" in your progress might come more from the need to synchronize both hands as you negotiate these quick fretting hand changes, as opposed to the right hand triplet work. Do you find that?
This is where practice at a slow tempo, with everything working, i.e. both hands, is what you need to focus on at this stage, to make the most efficient time of your practice. Since by now, the piece must be fully committed to memory and comfortable under your fingers.
One thing too that might be help as well: Find a comfortably slow tempo, and record yourself playing it. That can be very revealing too in terms of what you need to work on.
Good luck going forward. Definitely stick to it! but don't let it overwhelm you and make you not want to play. That would be bad.
Thank You, Andre. I think full planting will do it for me and if not - it will at least help with maintaining hand position.

Trivial question for you. Who is the first guitarist to be featured on Guitar Magazine?
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  #22  
Old 12-14-2019, 06:43 PM
AndreF AndreF is online now
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Trivial question for you. Who is the first guitarist to be featured on Guitar Magazine?
Yikes. I couldn’t even hazard a guess.
Can you give me a hint?
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:39 PM
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Yikes. I couldn’t even hazard a guess.
Can you give me a hint?
I had a feeling you didn't know who he is...thus the trivial question. Juan Serrano is also known by many as the King of Flamenco. I mentioned that Serrano was my professor and when you didn't say anything about him, I figured you didn't know him. As a guitarist, you will be delighted if you look him up.
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Old 12-14-2019, 08:31 PM
AndreF AndreF is online now
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I had a feeling you didn't know who he is...thus the trivial question. Juan Serrano is also known by many as the King of Flamenco. I mentioned that Serrano was my professor and when you didn't say anything about him, I figured you didn't know him. As a guitarist, you will be delighted if you look him up.
Thanks for the heads up Su. You’re right that I didn’t know of him. I can be very ignorant that way. My bad!
Well, he must have been a terrific resource for you back then.
Come to think of it, I don’t ever recall seeing “Guitar Magazine” as a publication either. I have to get out more!
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:51 PM
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Thanks for the heads up Su. You’re right that I didn’t know of him. I can be very ignorant that way. My bad!
Well, he must have been a terrific resource for you back then.
Come to think of it, I don’t ever recall seeing “Guitar Magazine” as a publication either. I have to get out more!
Lol. My mistake. It's Guitar Player magazine.

And by the way, I can see full planting working for me.
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:42 AM
Su_H. Su_H. is offline
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Hi Su,

Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
Hi Andre,

I think it's time to address those issues I mentioned a week ago.

I've always had bad right hand technique and it was never addressed...partly because I was able to hold mine own as a student in high school and while as a music major in college. Starting a few months ago, I've been trying to fix my right hand. I've gone back and forth on different positions. When I play "p,i,m,a,m,i" repeatedly, my right hand has a certain shape. When I play "a,m,i" repeatedly, it has a new shape and the angle of strike is different for all three fingers. Once again, I've gone back and forth a handful of times trying to fix this issue. A week ago, I've started practicing "p,i,m,a,m,i,a,m,i" repeatedly...and I told myself I'm going to commit to that and make it work. For the most part, I see that it is sort of working and my right hand is slowly becoming used to it. On the down side, this process has hurt my triplets on Austurias. Before committing to the new right hand position, I was able to play the triplets beautifully at 100bpm using full planting. After making the change on my right hand, the triplets at 60 - 100bpm aren't as clean and the notes don't come out as full.

Hopefully this set back is only temporary while my right hand adjusts to the new position. If you have any advice for me, that would be awesome.

Thanks,
Su
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:49 PM
AndreF AndreF is online now
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Originally Posted by Su_H. View Post
Hi Andre,

I think it's time to address those issues I mentioned a week ago.

I've always had bad right hand technique and it was never addressed...partly because I was able to hold mine own as a student in high school and while as a music major in college. Starting a few months ago, I've been trying to fix my right hand. I've gone back and forth on different positions. When I play "p,i,m,a,m,i" repeatedly, my right hand has a certain shape. When I play "a,m,i" repeatedly, it has a new shape and the angle of strike is different for all three fingers. Once again, I've gone back and forth a handful of times trying to fix this issue. A week ago, I've started practicing "p,i,m,a,m,i,a,m,i" repeatedly...and I told myself I'm going to commit to that and make it work. For the most part, I see that it is sort of working and my right hand is slowly becoming used to it. On the down side, this process has hurt my triplets on Austurias. Before committing to the new right hand position, I was able to play the triplets beautifully at 100bpm using full planting. After making the change on my right hand, the triplets at 60 - 100bpm aren't as clean and the notes don't come out as full.

Hopefully this set back is only temporary while my right hand adjusts to the new position. If you have any advice for me, that would be awesome.

Thanks,
Su
Hi Su,
Good to hear from you.
I'd be more than happy to give you my take on some of the observations you shared.
Quote:
When I play "p,i,m,a,m,i" repeatedly, my right hand has a certain shape. When I play "a,m,i" repeatedly, it has a new shape and the angle of strike is different for all three fingers.
That is unusual, since both arpeggios feature "a,m,i".
Answer me this: What is changing? How does the shape change?
It would be great if you could post a video.
Everyone's individual finger lengths vary to some degree, but once you have positioned your right hand in the "sweet spot", i.e. good alignment and no bouncing, all 4 fingers comfortably planted, there is no reason why your hand should change positions to accommodate what is essentially a repeating pattern of identical fingers.
Quote:
A week ago, I've started practicing "p,i,m,a,m,i,a,m,i" repeatedly...and I told myself I'm going to commit to that and make it work.
I agree with that.
Are you using a mirror? That would help a lot.
Get a mirror, and position your hand comfortably to alternate "p,i,m,a,m,i" and "a,m,i".
What you're looking for in the mirror is: No change in hand position.
And no change because: The patterns are the same. So, once the hand is in place, the fingers should just be pumping away to play the pattern.
Quote:
On the down side, this process has hurt my triplets on Austurias. Before committing to the new right hand position, I was able to play the triplets beautifully at 100bpm using full planting. After making the change on my right hand, the triplets at 60 - 100bpm aren't as clean and the notes don't come out as full.
I don't really understand why that would be. One shouldn't be hurting the other.
Both scenarios are not identical, however.
The triplets in Asturias are commonly played p,i,m. I assume that's what you are doing too. So, you're essentially programming the hand in various "p,i,m"
configurations to play the piece notes. (and your hand should be moving across the soundhole accordingly depending on where those notes are, with no bounce or vertical motion.)
That's not really the same thing as playing p,i,m,a,m,i,a,m,i arpeggios repeatedly, with the hand in a stationary position.

Some people also need to tilt the hand slightly when introducing the a finger, because of length differences between i, m, and a, which can sometimes vary a lot among people.
Also, the a finger is typically not as well trained or as dexterous as the i and m fingers, so, that will slow things down a bit, as opposed to just using p,i and m, arguably the most agile.

Just mentioning this to make the point that in your case your hand need not be necessarily positioned the same to play both of these scenarios, i.e. Asturias with p,i,m and arpeggio exercises, in order for both to come out well.

So, in summary, what is not correct:
1) That your hand is changing shape to play "p,i,m,a,m,i" and "a,i,m".
(It looks like you're addressing that).

2) Assuming that your finger/hand placement for Asturias and these arpeggios needs to be identical.
That's not necessarily the case. In both cases though, your hand should be steady, with no bounce, and all fingers should be plucking the strings in essentially the same fashion. As mentioned, that may require some tilting
of the hand to accommodate the a finger, as well as a moderation in tempo to play cleanly if the a finger isn't as coordinated as the others.

These are generalizations of course. You would know best what applies to you. But you might be doing a lot more things correctly than what you are giving yourself credit for.


Incidentally, playing Asturias at a 100bpm clip cleanly is nearing, or at, virtuoso tempo. Kudos to you! So, keep that in mind if that's working well. You must be doing something right. (When I was playing that piece years ago, I never got it near that, cleanly. It wasn't so much the triplets as the fairly demanding left hand work that went along with it. Asturias is, without a doubt, an advanced level piece, and is often played as an encore by the pros, to wow them before they leave the concert hall! )
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  #28  
Old 12-24-2019, 03:11 AM
Su_H. Su_H. is offline
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Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
Hi Su,
Good to hear from you.
I'd be more than happy to give you my take on some of the observations you shared.

That is unusual, since both arpeggios feature "a,m,i".
Answer me this: What is changing? How does the shape change?
It would be great if you could post a video.
Everyone's individual finger lengths vary to some degree, but once you have positioned your right hand in the "sweet spot", i.e. good alignment and no bouncing, all 4 fingers comfortably planted, there is no reason why your hand should change positions to accommodate what is essentially a repeating pattern of identical fingers.

I agree with that.
Are you using a mirror? That would help a lot.
Get a mirror, and position your hand comfortably to alternate "p,i,m,a,m,i" and "a,m,i".
What you're looking for in the mirror is: No change in hand position.
And no change because: The patterns are the same. So, once the hand is in place, the fingers should just be pumping away to play the pattern.

I don't really understand why that would be. One shouldn't be hurting the other.
Both scenarios are not identical, however.
The triplets in Asturias are commonly played p,i,m. I assume that's what you are doing too. So, you're essentially programming the hand in various "p,i,m"
configurations to play the piece notes. (and your hand should be moving across the soundhole accordingly depending on where those notes are, with no bounce or vertical motion.)
That's not really the same thing as playing p,i,m,a,m,i,a,m,i arpeggios repeatedly, with the hand in a stationary position.

Some people also need to tilt the hand slightly when introducing the a finger, because of length differences between i, m, and a, which can sometimes vary a lot among people.
Also, the a finger is typically not as well trained or as dexterous as the i and m fingers, so, that will slow things down a bit, as opposed to just using p,i and m, arguably the most agile.

Just mentioning this to make the point that in your case your hand need not be necessarily positioned the same to play both of these scenarios, i.e. Asturias with p,i,m and arpeggio exercises, in order for both to come out well.

So, in summary, what is not correct:
1) That your hand is changing shape to play "p,i,m,a,m,i" and "a,i,m".
(It looks like you're addressing that).

2) Assuming that your finger/hand placement for Asturias and these arpeggios needs to be identical.
That's not necessarily the case. In both cases though, your hand should be steady, with no bounce, and all fingers should be plucking the strings in essentially the same fashion. As mentioned, that may require some tilting
of the hand to accommodate the a finger, as well as a moderation in tempo to play cleanly if the a finger isn't as coordinated as the others.

These are generalizations of course. You would know best what applies to you. But you might be doing a lot more things correctly than what you are giving yourself credit for.


Incidentally, playing Asturias at a 100bpm clip cleanly is nearing, or at, virtuoso tempo. Kudos to you! So, keep that in mind if that's working well. You must be doing something right. (When I was playing that piece years ago, I never got it near that, cleanly. It wasn't so much the triplets as the fairly demanding left hand work that went along with it. Asturias is, without a doubt, an advanced level piece, and is often played as an encore by the pros, to wow them before they leave the concert hall! )
Hi Andre, thanks for the compliment. My goal for Austurias is 140bpm. That may be a little too ambitious but I don't think I can lift this weight off my shoulders until 140 is achieved.

My issue(s): When I first started playing, my a finger would naturally want to do a rest stroke. Also, the transition from i to a was difficult for me and to compensate for that - I would power through with a using a rest stroke....thus re-enforcing a bad technique.

As of today, when playing p,i,m,a,m,i,a,m,i - my hand no longer bounces or shifts and I can feel a certain muscle group in my hand being worked as though they have never been worked before. My hand, right now, is in a new world as though I have just started to learn classical guitar playing. ....so you can imagine what that is doing to my Austurias triplets. At the moment, I cannot even play Romance.

I am still practicing the triplets but I'm making a point to stay at 60bpm until my right hand is resolved. It's disheartening. When you mentioned full planting, I did it for 3 or 4 days and it felt so good. I had another one of those moments that I felt I was on the verge of conquering the triplets. That same week, I started learning the middle passage of Austurias and now my hand is sort of in a crippled stage. I even thought of forgoing the pimamiami practice and just concentrate on Austurias....but I'm afraid the transition is too far in the process.....and I'll just have to tough this out and go from there.

You've been instrumental in helping me figure out my shortcomings which has led me to the brink of conquering this piece.

I would like to share something with you. I only started playing again because my two youngest daughters were wowed by Austurias when I played it on YouTube. As their Dad, I made a promise I will learn that piece for them. You're probably wondering why I'm telling you all this. Well, I feel like there's a third person I would be letting down also if I don't finish this piece. I hope I won't let you down.

Su
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  #29  
Old 12-24-2019, 02:42 PM
AndreF AndreF is online now
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Hi Su,
Thanks for your reply and it's very touching that you have your daughters in mind as you practice through this. I'm humbled to be included in that group but I think your kids are motivation enough. You got this!
Some comments:
Quote:
My goal for Austurias is 140bpm. That may be a little too ambitious but I don't think I can lift this weight off my shoulders until 140 is achieved.
I think you and I must be talking different bpm's.
My figures are based on 3/4 time, which is the time signature I'm familiar with for this piece. That means 3 clicks per measure or, two eight notes per click using the p bass melody notes. If I play this at a slow tempo, let's say 60 bpm, I can play at the same speed at 120 bpm, as long as I now play one eight note per click, (or one 1/16 note triplet per click (18 notes instead of 12) for the triplet section). Which I believe is what you must be doing. (i.e. 6/8 instead of 3/4).
Otherwise, 140 in 3/4 time would be much too fast a tempo, even for the fastest of virtuosi.
That's why I would encourage you to practice using the slower metronome speeds in 3/4 time, if you can. It's not only more in line with the beat and melody notes, but it will also spare you the (annoying) fast clicking metronome.
(You'll develop better timing too, generally speaking, by slowing the metronome down to the lowest common denominator, so to speak.)
A little while ago, you were playing the triplets well at 100. That would mean 50 in 3/4 time. You still have room to go slower if you wish.
Do you follow what I'm saying here? If not let me know.
Quote:
My issue(s): When I first started playing, my a finger would naturally want to do a rest stroke. Also, the transition from i to a was difficult for me and to compensate for that - I would power through with a using a rest stroke....thus re-enforcing a bad technique.
That is unusual. Maybe tilting your hand towards you might help. In any case, the a finger is no different from the others as far plucking the string, be it free stroke or rest stroke. So, something to work on for sure. It will pay off if you're patient and practicing correctly.
Quote:
As of today, when playing p,i,m,a,m,i,a,m,i - my hand no longer bounces or shifts and I can feel a certain muscle group in my hand being worked as though they have never been worked before. My hand, right now, is in a new world as though I have just started to learn classical guitar playing. ....so you can imagine what that is doing to my Austurias triplets. At the moment, I cannot even play Romance.
Well, as mentioned, I just hope that you are practicing correctly because, whether you are doing these arpeggios, or the Asturias triplets, you shouldn't be experiencing any awkwardness going from one to the other. It might be worthwhile seeking out a local classical teacher that you can sit across from. You probably only need a few lessons just to make sure things are right. Might be worth your while.
Quote:
I am still practicing the triplets but I'm making a point to stay at 60bpm until my right hand is resolved. It's disheartening. When you mentioned full planting, I did it for 3 or 4 days and it felt so good. I had another one of those moments that I felt I was on the verge of conquering the triplets. That same week, I started learning the middle passage of Austurias and now my hand is sort of in a crippled stage. I even thought of forgoing the pimamiami practice and just concentrate on Austurias....but I'm afraid the transition is too far in the process.....and I'll just have to tough this out and go from there.
I feel bad about that because I still think full planting + p,i,m is the right way to go about Asturias in the most controlled fashion.
You'll have to come back to me regarding the bpm's to make sure we are on the same page. But don't give up full planting as the way to go.
Quote:
As their Dad, I made a promise I will learn that piece for them.
Great stuff.
I have no doubt that you will achieve your goal, and make them very proud. You can do this.
__________________
Best regards,
Andre
http://www.youtube.com/user/Gitfiddlemann
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  #30  
Old 12-26-2019, 06:28 AM
Su_H. Su_H. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
Hi Su,
Thanks for your reply and it's very touching that you have your daughters in mind as you practice through this. I'm humbled to be included in that group but I think your kids are motivation enough. You got this!
Some comments:

I think you and I must be talking different bpm's.
My figures are based on 3/4 time, which is the time signature I'm familiar with for this piece. That means 3 clicks per measure or, two eight notes per click using the p bass melody notes. If I play this at a slow tempo, let's say 60 bpm, I can play at the same speed at 120 bpm, as long as I now play one eight note per click, (or one 1/16 note triplet per click (18 notes instead of 12) for the triplet section). Which I believe is what you must be doing. (i.e. 6/8 instead of 3/4).
Otherwise, 140 in 3/4 time would be much too fast a tempo, even for the fastest of virtuosi.
That's why I would encourage you to practice using the slower metronome speeds in 3/4 time, if you can. It's not only more in line with the beat and melody notes, but it will also spare you the (annoying) fast clicking metronome.
(You'll develop better timing too, generally speaking, by slowing the metronome down to the lowest common denominator, so to speak.)
A little while ago, you were playing the triplets well at 100. That would mean 50 in 3/4 time. You still have room to go slower if you wish.
Do you follow what I'm saying here? If not let me know.

That is unusual. Maybe tilting your hand towards you might help. In any case, the a finger is no different from the others as far plucking the string, be it free stroke or rest stroke. So, something to work on for sure. It will pay off if you're patient and practicing correctly.

Well, as mentioned, I just hope that you are practicing correctly because, whether you are doing these arpeggios, or the Asturias triplets, you shouldn't be experiencing any awkwardness going from one to the other. It might be worthwhile seeking out a local classical teacher that you can sit across from. You probably only need a few lessons just to make sure things are right. Might be worth your while.

I feel bad about that because I still think full planting + p,i,m is the right way to go about Asturias in the most controlled fashion.
You'll have to come back to me regarding the bpm's to make sure we are on the same page. But don't give up full planting as the way to go.

Great stuff.
I have no doubt that you will achieve your goal, and make them very proud. You can do this.
I think I've just found the sweet spot for pimamiami. Correct me if I'm wrong but it should feel very similar to piami tremolo, correct? And when I get a chance, I'll post a video of the bpm(s) I'm using.
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