Music Learning Notes (Classical Guitar) 09/08/2020

Classical Guitar learning has been quite challenging lately. I do have a lot of new books to look at including the Trinity exam book. I think based on my sight-reading and playing for this book I’m squarely a Grade 5, even if I’m shaky on rhythm.

For now, updates on what I’ve been learning.

  1. Preludium by John Dowland. I worked out the drop F# tuning on my own and other stuff. Had the damndest time w/ the rhythm, time signature because it’s in 2/2 time but some of the measures almost sound like compound time. Also got confused because it’s in a Largo but then WHOOSH entire measures of semiquavers. So, I just turned on the metronome to Largo (42 bpm), and just tried to breathe in this song. Inhale, exhale, try to feel the pulse of it, when it quickens, like the breath quickens and the pulse races. Like how emotions gather steam and heft and rhythm and then ebb again. This is such a grand and beautiful song. I hope eventually I’ll be able to do it justice. Dowland really knows how to capture emotion and the complexities of this song evokes the complexities of the English Renaissance and what it inherits from the Italian Renaissance. But the slur and hammer in the first measure is still confounding me in terms of timing. Anyway, likely playing it for taster class.
  2. Carmen Guzman’s Dedicatoria — this is also a Trinity exam piece and I’m really certain I want to play this for exams. It’s a beautiful tango at around 82 BPM, but I’m playing it Largo for now because I want to get my fingerings and tempo right, as well as — I’m just really wallowing in the emotions of this piece. It’s bringing that out in me when I play for myself, though who knows how stilted I’ll play this for audition.
  3. Sarabande from Violin Partita #2 by Bach — Been practising this off and on, suspect it’s going to be another taster class piece if the first two are not enough.
  4. Memories of Summer by Gary Ryan — This is also another exam piece that I absolutely adore. My playing here is quite shaky but I still really love this piece. There are so many beautiful pieces in the Trinity exam book, honestly. I’m torn between this one and Inveraray Castle by Stephen Daw which is so gorgeous. Definitely not playing this for the trial/taster class.
  5. I’ve also been practising On the Patio by Joseph Castle (who also arranged that Saint-Saens piece, so I can see the similarities). Tremolo is beginning to sound even more like a tremolo, so I can be grateful for that positive bit of CG education.

It’s amazing how much my motivation, love and zeal for practising CG came back these past 3-4 days. That should speak volumes. `nuff said. Don’t wanna wash dirty music laundry in public.

Featured picture: I’ve decided to use recurring pictures (piano and guitar) for my music learning posts. Easier that way!