Hello <<First Name>>,
Firstly, a huge thank you to the people who have submitted their variations on Pratten's Theme Original! I have received two so far, and I know more are on the way.
I will send you the scores and recordings of these variations, and soon we'll hopefully have enough of them to create the very first Variations on a Theme by Pratten!
If you have some second thoughts about composing, I want to describe one of the major benefits for writing music. Perhaps this will get you over that 'edge' of hesitancy or doubt.
Composing requires you to synthesize many skills at once
This includes, but is not limited to:
- Your technical ability
- Your understanding of musical elements
- Your understanding of the style
You could listen to many recordings, watch all sorts of documentaries, have masterclasses with the best teachers, but nothing will teach you about a style of music better than composing or improvising in that style.
I think it's unfortunate that composing and improvising are not a core part of classical music education. A lot of the music we play was written by musicians who were as much composers/improvisors as they were performers.
So why is composing/improvising not a core part of musical education?
I think a big reason is that there is a lack of resources for building up these skills. Look through any modern technique book, and you will come across many great exercises for your fingers, but little or none for building up musical skills (which incidentally happen to be very good exercises for your fingers too).
Fun fact: I was in college for around 10 years straight, so I know for a fact that these skills are not a core part of college education in music.
Even if there happen to be exercises for developing musical skills in modern books, they are still presented with an emphasis on technique first. They are not presented in a way that emphasizes musical understanding, composing, and improvising.
Scales, arpeggios, chords, and ornaments can all be used for creative purposes - they are not mere finger moving exercises!!
For example, Giuliani's 120 Right Hand Arpeggios can be applied to 19th century pieces, or to themes like Pratten's to create variations.
They are also found everywhere in the music we play, so you should always be looking for them in your pieces.
The good news!
Fortunately, 19th century guitarists left us tons of exercises for developing musical skills, and to a very high degree at that. I want to show you just some of these for today, and then tell you about my new course called Play Like a 19th Century Guitarist.
It's my hope that by showing you these exercises, you will have greater incentive to learn them. Perhaps then you will experiment with applying them towards composing, improvising, and your musical analysis.
Also remember that these are the exercises that 19th century guitarists were practicing, so if you're playing pieces by Sor, Aguado, Giuliani, Legnani, Mertz, Regondi, etc, then you will literally be practicing like how they practiced.
The videos below are quite straightforward. There's no talking, because I actually find that it can distract rather than enhance. Listen to the sound and watch my hands - that will speak better and clearer than any words I say!
Everyone will take away their own unique lessons from watching an example of the "end result".
If you want one-on-one help with these and similar exercises, then you might want to think about taking my course! More info below.
I hope you begin to use these in your creative work, musical analysis, and interpretation!
Scales, Arpeggios, and Cadences
- These are taken from Pratten's Guitar School
-I selected A Major because it's probably one of the most common keys for 19th century guitar pieces.
-If you want to do some extra work, I suggest learning the same materials for the keys that your pieces are in
-These are taken from both of Pelzer's method books
- I chose some of the more common ornaments you find in pieces
- For comparison's sake, I chose to play the full page (49) of exercises un-ornamented first and then ornamented
The Resourceful Guitarist has been going on for several weeks now, and is offered to you for free. It's my absolute pleasure to do this, but I do want to give a huge thanks to the people who have donated!
So if you've been getting great results and eye-opening new resources from this free series, then imagine what a paid course would be like. Imagine the information and results you would get from that.
Here's how it goes: Over four weeks, I will walk you through eight different topics that will totally transform your playing. You'll get video demonstrations like you saw above, but I'll also give you private coachings and tailored info to iron out any difficulties and trials you have with the materials.
I will work with you one-on-one to show you how to apply this information to the pieces you're working on. Together we will modify your scores to create personalized editions containing dynamics, ornaments, fingerings, etc. so that you don't forget any of it.
You'll also have access to an ever-growing vault of 19th century pieces that are rarely played. Each piece will have a video and score. All demonstrations and pieces will also come with a download option (audio and/or video), so you can listen anytime, anywhere.
Short readings and playing tasks will be given each day of the course, and the information you will read will totally transform your understanding of 19th century music. I've researched this topic thoroughly, and I want to make it as easy as possible for you to get the best results, by giving you the best information.
I also want you to become a more creative and inventive guitarist - I know it's in you! So you will compose a variation, short prelude, and short etude in the final week. You will learn how to synthesize all the techniques and information so that you can compose quickly, and understand every single note of any 19th century piece you play.
As this is such an in-depth course, the number of students enrolled at any one time will be limited to five.
The course will open on March 13th and will end on April 10th.
After that the course will be opened again at a time tbc.
After you've completed the course, all the materials will be available to you forever. You will get years and years worth of materials from this course.
Registrations are now open and more information can be found at: http://danielnistico.weebly.com/19th-century-performance-practice.html
|If you enjoy this series, please consider making a one time donation to help me keep delivering rare resources to you for a long time to come!
$25 USD Donation