10th Year Anniversary Edition:
I’m revisiting some of my best old posts on playing guitar. Enjoy!
If you really want others to enjoy what you play, you need to be enjoying yourself.
They call it self-expression, but how can you fully express yourself if you aren’t fully connected to yourself or to the music? How can you fully express yourself if everything is clowded out by technical concerns?
In this video, I work with a Villa-Lobos Study, breaking it down into its chord components, because this illustrates the concept very clearly.
But you don’t have to alter the music at all to do this exercise. You also can do this exercise with:
- a very simple, shorter piece
- with smaller sections of any piece
- even with a musical phrase or snippet
- anything that you are reasonably comfortable with and want to go deeper with
- You can even do this with scales or other technical exercises–which forms a new kind of technical exercise:an “inner technique” exercise that develops musical self-expression and understanding.
Thanks for the demonstration of the wonderfull piece. This piece is a very good practice for the righthand techinique. It is difficult to do fast but slow practice initially will allow to get up to speed. Very tricky right hand practice. It ensures the flexibilty of the fingers. Pima pattern takes some to time to get used to it.- Pipipmiamaimpipi -Sequential planting to be applied. Harmonically , a beautifull piece. It gives a very good feeling. Left hand technique is basically easier as it is the similar chord pattern to be followed throughout.
I used this piece as a warm up practice and increases the flexibilty of right hand.
can you please tell me what format this video file is in – it will not play in movie maker or media player or any other software I have
I did manage to get the audio to come through. You have a fabulous right hand technique on this. I’ve been playing guitar most of my life as an amateur, including a lot of villa lobos pieces. The Etude #1 is one that has eluded me. In the past I’ve practiced so hard on this my right hand almost falls off but I can never get that crucial ama finger sequence smooth… I feel that I;m missing a simple approach to this… I’ve slowed down Julian breams version to decipher the notes and I cannot actually even hear the “m” not between the two “a”s which makes me think he skips it… which would of course make it a lot easier…
anyway – i came across your site whilst looking for technical pointers on how to play this very difficult piece (the chords are easy.. the right hand technique i find impossible.)
anyway thanks for your video – at least the audio part that I managed to get
Professor of Physics
Dave, thanks for the comment:
most of my videos are hosted on youtube but this one I put up earlier on, and it’s hosted on amazon, I can’t even remember right now what kind of file it is; probably an mp4 set for streaming. I am not sure what your issue is, unfortunately.
As for the arpeggios, it’s hard for me to say, not having seen your hand, but the ama tends to be the last element of right hand arpeggio technique to fall into place. Those fingers act a little differently. I’m aware that some people have more trouble with it than most due to differences in hand structure.
I’d suggest 1. looking at any excess motion in the hand itself 2. practicing it in arpeggios that target those two fingers (try Guilliani’s arpeggios and just practice the ones that target a and em mostly. But relax into it rather than try to practice until your hand falls off. That’s very possibly where you’re going wrong—trying too hard and introducing excess tension and movement without being fully conscious of it.
I’ll be releasing an eBook soon called “Mastering Technique” which will cover issues like this in more detail!