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Strength and Accuracy for the Guitarist

 

 

Your Weekly Dexterity and Stamina Exercise

Updated March 10, 2005

Apoyando Part Three

 

Thirty one years ago as of this writing, I sat down as a nervous 17 year old new student of Albert Blain. The first thing (among numerous others, I am sure) that he noticed was that I played my right hand totally free-stroke. First I had to be taught that there was more than free-stroke -- the apoyando (rest stroke) which is explained in semi-depth in the first part of this series, PART ONE.

As a brief recap if you don't want to click over to part one, the rest stroke is a right hand plucking techinique whereby the plucking finger travels past the string as it is plucks and comes to rest on the string adjacent to it. [IE: when plucking the g string, the finger comes to rest on the d string.] The entire weight of the finger as well as the mechanical impetus is directly used to produce tone, big, large, fat tone. The finger does not lose energy through curling up at the knuckles to avoid the adjacent strings, no, it travels through the plucked note and comes to rest on the string adjacent to the plucked string. Obviously this isn't a chordal technique, but is intended as a dynamic tool for melodic passages -- and for accenting melody lines to pull them up and out of an accompaniment.

In PART TWO, we looked at a Sor Study that was assigned to me at that first lesson to reenforce what I had learned -- through application. I had listed some of the other pieces and exercises I was given that first week, but forgot about this little gem until I was busy one afternoon looking through my old music and found my very worn copy of the Llobet revised, Ricordi Edition of Carcassi's 25 Estudios Opus 60. Memories flooded back and I quickly turned to No. 16, reproduced below.

A simple an unassuming piece, it is not going to ever be a show-stopper or brilliant encore, but you know what? After I read through it for the first time in probably ten years, I realized that I actually liked this little ditty when I was 17.

Whereas the Sor Study in Part Two used the m or middle finger for the apoyando, in the Carcassi Estudio, the a or ring finger carries the tune. Pretty smart, that Mr. Blain to make me learn two fingers apoyando simultaneously -- that way I wouldn't be stronger on one than the other. No weak fingers, please!

An easy read, you'll be playing this gem like a champ in two read-throughs. Concentrate on the apoyando and follow the indicated dynamic markings. Keep an ear on the chordal accompaniment -- don't choke it with your apoyando. When comfortable with the technique, try accenting the melody notes differently. Play with the thing.

Here's a scan of the cover of my thirty-one year old copy. I am sure the graphics have changed, but I am equally sure that the material enclosed within its covers is as valid as it has ever been. I have reproduced one Estudio here -- the rest are equally interesting and beneficial for technical development. If you find a copy, pick it up. Advanced players: if you've never played these studies and even if you do not need to 'relearn' technique, you might want to take a look at these studies for your students. Good stuff.

 

 

Look inside this title
Matteo Carcassi: 25 Etudes Melodiques Op. 60 - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Matteo Carcassi: 25 Etudes Melodiques Op. 60 by Matteo Carcassi. For Guitar (Classical). solos. Chanterelle. Classic. Level: Intermediate-Advanced. Book. Size 9x12. 32 pages. Published by Chanterelle. (97386)
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  LOW END  By Harry George Pellegrin.  The first in the Gary Morrissey series of mysteries.  Dealing with modern subject matter in the classic style of the 1940's Mystery Noire masters--think Raymond Chandler in New York in the 1980's...  LOW END is the story of a drug addict who is murdered after he believes he has found evidence of a major government conspiracy.  Is it only drug-induced paranoia?  Might be, except his paranoia could be considered justified: he was murdered, after all.  Friend Gary Morrissey takes it upon himself to find out just what happened and lands himself in the crosshairs.
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Classic Guitar Method  Composed, written, transcribed, edited and arranged by Harry G. Pellegrin: Now in one volume, much of what the novice classical guitarist will need to know to lead him or her to the recital stage. From proper instrument care and maintenance to the necessary technical skills, musical mind-set, and the standard repertoire—all exposed and explored with enough detail and insight that the student will wish to keep this book handy years to come as a ready reference source.
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DEEP END: The Wreck of the Eddie Fitz  By Harry George Pellegrin. A mystery novel. Involving a semi-professional musician and a Kreyol death cult, DEEP END takes the reader from the bottom of Long Island Sound to the steamy streets and Blues clubs of New Orleans. Alternative spirituality does battle with the common working man.  Published by PAB Entertainment Group in association with LULU.com.
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Reflecting Pools    Original Music by Harry G. Pellegrin:
Reflecting Pools is a departure for me as it is totally keyboard. Well, the guitar did show up on one track...

"...Reflecting Pools is a notable first album [for Mr. Pellegrin]. A dramatic sense of tonality and mood are propelled by exemplary musicianship and exciting compositional exploits."

Available through www.BATHTUBMUSIC.com...

...And containing nine tracks that are relaxing, inspirational -- sounds like a snooze. Not really, this is great stuff to listen to on a rainy afternoon, while with your significant other (nudge, nudge, know what I mean?) Please visit the Reflecting Pools page on this site or www.bathtubmusic.com.

In That Zone, is now out! Please visit www.bathtubmusic.com for details and to order.

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For scholarly transcriptions and free sheet music, click the following link:


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Deep End is the exciting sequel to the first Gary Morrissey novel Low End. Spanning the gap between Haiti, New York and New Orleans, Deep End is an exciting tale of smuggling, rock n' roll, love and murder.

 
 


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