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In­the­firsto­fanewvideo­mas­ter­classseries,mod­ern­clas­si­cal vir­tu­osoCar­losBonelldemon­stratesto Brid­getMer­mikides his­ap­proach­tomak­ing­mu­si­cus­ingny­lon-string­gui­tar.

Guitar Techniques - - • Contents • November 2014 • -

Clas­si­cal gui­tarist Car­los Bonell presents the first in a se­ries of videos on clas­si­cal tech­niques.

Car­loswen­ton­to­be­come pro­fes­so­rof­gui­taratthe Roy­alCol­le­ge­ofMu­sic.In thisserieso­far­ti­cleshe talksaboutand demon­strates­some fun­da­men­ta­laspect­sof clas­si­cal­gui­tartech­nique, and­start­sthis­mon­th­with thep­ick­ing­hand.

Finger­picking­ona clas­si­cal­gui­tar,he­ex­plains, is­re­ally­base­donthei­deaof al­ter­nat­ingth­efin­gers (ratherthanre­peat­ing­with the­samefin­ger).The­most ob­vi­ou­sand­com­mon al­ter­na­tion­iswith‘i’and ‘m’(fir­stand­sec­ond fin­gers),andth­is­form­san es­sen­tial­ground­ing­for tech­nique.But­be­causewe playquitein­volved pas­sages,it’svery im­por­tant­tode­velop equal­i­ty­be­tweenallthe fin­gerssoweshoul­dalso prac­tise‘i’and‘a’(fir­stand thirdfin­ger),and‘i’‘m’‘a’ ‘m’(first,sec­ond,third, sec­ond),andthata­gai­nis al­ter­nat­ingfin­gers. To­be­gin,Car­los­demon­strates‘rest­stroke’. Thi­siswherethefin­ger,on­cei­thas­pluckedthe string,rest­sont­head­ja­centstring.Thinkofthe fin­ger­tip‘push­ing’thestring–the­move­ment start­sattheknuck­le­join­tand­thetoneshould be­stron­gandwell­con­trolled.Startonopen string­susin­gall­com­bi­na­tion­so­fal­ter­na­tion an­dacrossallthestrings(Ex­am­ples1and2). Next,tryaddin­gachro­mat­icex­er­cise­with­the fret­ting­hand­forco-or­di­na­tion­be­tween­the twohands,anda­gain­prac­tise­with­allthe pick­ing­handfin­ger­com­bi­na­tions(Ex­am­ple3).

Car­los­nex­tex­plain­sthatit’sim­por­tant al­so­tode­vel­o­pare­al­ly­good‘free­stroke’.This iswherey­oudon’trest­thefin­geron­the pre­vi­ousstringafter­pluck­ing,butin­steadthe fin­ger­con­tin­ue­sits‘push’un­der­the­hand slightly.Free­stroke,how­ever,canbe prob­lem­at­icbe­cause­thetonecan­bethin­ner andqui­eterthanrest­stroke,andwe­needto ide­al­ly­work­to­wards­mak­ing­th­et­wotone­sas equalas­pos­si­blein­qual­ity.Car­losshow­show the­move­mentofthefin­geran­dan­gle­o­fat­tack on­thestringisverysim­i­lar­in­both­rest­stroke and­free­stroke.Both­strokes­be­gin­with­the same‘push’ofthefin­ger­to­ward­s­the un­der­side­ofthe­hand­whilethe­han­dan­darm re­main­still.Oncey­ous­tart­toachie­vea­good tonewith­the­free­stroke,tryre­peatin­gand al­ter­nat­ing­be­tween­rest­stroke­and­free strokeon­the­samenote­and­workon match­ing­th­et­wotone­sas­closelyas­pos­si­ble. Again,try­thiswith­d­if­fer­entfin­ger com­bi­na­tions(Exam­ple4).

Nextcomes­thep­ick­ing-han­darpeg­gio (Ex­am­ple5).Car­los­first­demon­strate­sall­free stroke­andthen­show­show­toad­darest strokethirdfin­ger‘a’in­tot­hearpeg­gio (Ex­am­ple6)soy­ou­can­workon­switch­ing be­tween­rest­stroke­and­free­stroke.

Car­losBonell: agreat­gui­tar com­mu­ni­ca­tor

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