Saturday, August 25, 2007

Guitar Repertoire Set Maintenance (Again)

I have finished the latest go-through of my set with the metronome slow-play regimen, and it now looks like this:

*****

I] Irreducible Sonatina: La Patrie Concert Cutaway

01] **(120-60 @ 2/4) I: Sonatina in A Minor
02] **(110-55 @ 6/8) II: Menuetto in B Minor
03] *(100-50 @ 6/8) III: Alegretto in C Major §
04] (NM YET) IV: Trajectorial Variations in A Minor ||||\ ||||\ ||||\§

II] A Minor Suite: La Patrie Concert Cutaway

05] **(100-50 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 1 in A minor
06] **(160-80 @ 2/4) E-Axis Study No. 2 in A minor
07] **(80-40 @ 3/4) Sarabande in A minor, 3rd Lute Suite - J.S. Bach
08] †(NM YET) Irreducible Fugue No. 1 ||||\ ||||\ ||||\ §
09] **(80-40 @ 6/8) Tears in the Rain - Joe Satriani

III] C Major Suite: La Patrie Concert Cutaway

10] **(100-50 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 2 in C major
11] **(160-80 @ 2/4) E-Axis Study No. 3 in C major
12] **(120-60 @ 4/4) Bourree II in C major, 4th Cello Suite - J.S. Bach
13] **(140-70 @ 2/4-3/4) G-Axis Study No. 2 in C minor
14] **(140-70 @ 4/4) Ode to Joy - L. van Beethoven
15] **(140-70 @ 2/4-6/8) G-Axis Study No. 5 in C major
16] **(180-90 @ 6/4) Guardame Las Vacas - Luys de Narvaez
17] †(NM YET) Irreducible Fugue No. 2 ||||\ ||||\ ||||\ §
18] †*(NM YET) Desert Song - Eric Johnson ||||\ ||||\ ||||\

IV] E Minor Suite: Godin Multiac Grand Concert SA

19] **(120-50 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 3 in E minor
20] **(160-80 @ 2/4) E-Axis Study No. 6 in E minor
21] **(140-70 @ 2/4) B-Axis Study No. 2 in E minor
22] †****(140-90 @ 4/4) Bourree in E minor, 1st Lute Suite - J.S. Bach §
23] **(140-70 @ 2/4) G-Axis Study No. 4 in E minor
24] †*(NM YET) Spanish Fly - Eddie Van Halen ||||\ ||||\ ||||\

V] G Major Suite: Godin Multiac Grand Concert SA

25] **(120-60 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 4 in G major
26] **(140-70 @ 2/4) B-Axis Study No. 3 in G major
27] **(140-70 @ 2/4-3/4) G-Axis Study No. 6 in G minor
28] †****(140-90 @ 3/4) Minuet in G major, Anna Magdalena No. 4 - Christian Petzold/Attr. J.S. Bach §
29] **(140-70 @ 2/4-3/4) G-Axis Study No. 1 in G major
30] †*(NM YET) A Day at the Beach - Joe Satriani ||||\ ||||\ ||||\

VI] B Minor Suite: Godin Multiac Grand Concert SA

31] **(140-60 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 5 in B minor
32] **(140-70 @ 2/4) B-Axis Study No. 6 in B minor
33] †(NM YET) Minuet in B minor, Anna Magdalena No. 15 - Christian Petzold/Attr. J.S. Bach ||||\ ||||\ ||||\ §
34] †*(90-60 @ 6/8) Scherzo in B minor

VII] D Major Suite (Drop D Tuning): La Patrie Concert Cutaway

35] **(100-50 @ 9/8) Figuration Prelude No. 6 in D major
36] **(180-90 @ 4/4) Bourree II in D minor, 3rd Cello Suite - J.S. Bach
37] †*(120-60 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 23 in D minor
38] †*(100-70 @ 4/4) Eu So Quero Um Xodo - Dominguinhos

VIII] F-sharp Minor Suite: La Patrie Concert Cutaway

39] **(140-70 @ 10/8) Figuration Prelude No. 7 in F-sharp minor
40] †(NM YET) Irreducible Fugue No. 3 ||||\ ||||\ ||||\ §
41] †(NM YET) Yankee Doodle Dixie - Chet Atkins ||||\ ||||\ ||||\ §

IX] A Major Suite: La Patrie Concert Cutaway

42] **(100-50 @ 6/8) Figuration Prelude No. 8 in A major
43] **(160-80 @ 2/4) E-Axis Study No. 5 in A major
44] *(160-80 @ 2/4) Etude VI - Leo Brouwer §
45] †(NM YET) Irreducible Fugue No. 4 ||||\ ||||\ ||||\ §
46] †*(160-100 @ 4/4) Classical Gas - Mason Williams

X] C-sharp Minor Suite: Godin Multiac Grand Concert SA

47] **(120-60 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 9 in C-sharp minor
48] **(160-80 @ 2/4) E-Axis Study No. 4 in C-sharp minor
49] †*(120-70) Heavy Nylon

XI] E Major Suite: Godin Multiac Grand Concert SA

50] **(100-50 @ 12/8) Figuration Prelude No. 10 in E major
51] **(160-80 @ 2/4) E-Axis Study No. 1 in E major
52] *(120-60 @ 6/8) Caprice - Rodolphe Kreutzer §
53] **(140-70 @ 2/4) B-Axis Study No. 5 in E major
54] †*(120-90 @ 4/4) Fighter Pilots

XII] G-sharp Minor Suite: Godin Multiac Grand Concert SA

55] **(80-40 @ 4/4) Figuration Prelude No. 11 in G-sharp minor
56] †*(80-40 @ 2/4) G-Axis Study No. 3 in E-flat major
57] †*(140-90 @ 2/4) B-Axis Study No. 4 in G-sharp minor
58] †*(80-50 @ 4/4) Stairway to Heaven - Jimmy Page

XIII] B Major Suite: Godin Multiac Grand Concert SA (Encore Pieces)

59] *(180-90 @ 5/8) Figuration Prelude No. 12 in B major §
60] **(140-70 @ 2/4) B-Axis Study No. 1 in B major

****

* Slow-Play Regimen Complete (Additional stars= number of times regimen completed)
† Problematic piece (Stars= number of additional times regimen attempted)

42 Originals vs. 18 Covers

*****


KEY:

* The asterisks denote how many times I have successfully played the piece down to half speed with the metronome.

† Crosses denote "problem pieces" that I have not successfully gotten down to half speed. Asterisks following the crosses denote how many attempts I've made.

||||\ The hash marks are for new pieces I'm working up to the point where I'll be able to start metronome work with them. The perenthetical (NM YET) means, simply, that I'm not doing metrnome work with them yet. The routine is, when I get to new pieces in the set, I play them fifteen times through. Next time I'll play them fifteen times again, removing the hash marks as I go. The third time, I'll start playing them with the metronome.

§ Marks pieces that I want to go through again before I re-do the entire set.

(-@) Contains the tempo ranges that I play the pieces through, and their time signatures. By keeping this written down, I don't have to search my memory for what the specifics were.

*****

METHODOLOGY:

1) The routine is to start the piece out playing with the metronome set at slightly faster than the tempo I perform at.

2) I reduce the speed by 5 beats per minute each time through until I'm down to half speed.

3) Then, I increase the tempo by 10 BPM until I'm back up at the original tempo.

*****

The idea here is to bring pieces from the subconscious memory (Incorrectly so-called muscle memory) into the conscious memory, as well as to build strength and precision.

One of the biggest dangers for classical guitarists when they perform under pressure is for them to freeze. This happens because the subconscious is preoccupied with the pressure of the moment, and so the subconscious memory fails. By going through this process a couple of times a year, the finger coreography stays in the conscious memory, and freezing is less of a danger. It can still happen (Boy howdy), but it happens much less often.

I really don't think there is a more valuable technical practice regimen than this.

*****

2 Comments:

Blogger solitudex said...

Insightful!

Thanks, George, for all the advice you are so willing to share. I have lots to learn from you!

11:17 AM  
Blogger Hucbald said...

Thanks Jeff,

I first heard about this technique while I was at UNT in the 90's. I was amazed that I couldn't play ANY of my pieces down to half speed before they fell apart, so I started making sure I could play ALL of my pieces down to half speed.

5:11 PM  

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