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Classical Guitar Lessons: Carcassi: Etude No.4

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[MUSIC]
Carcassi's Etude number four,
opus 60, number four from the progressive
studies.
This is a great etude in the beginning
stages of, of development for
descending slurs, or otherwise commonly
known as pull offs.
The main point I want to get across in
this lesson is that ins,
that there's a, there's a tendency for
guitarists to focus a lot when there is
slur, descending or ascending really for
that matter, to focus on the, the finger
that's playing the higher note.
So, for example, if we just take on the
first string, A to B.
[MUSIC]
A lot of focus seems to,
seems to be on the, on the, on the finger
that's playing the higher note.
But, really, if you can think of that
higher,
any finger that's playing the higher of
two notes in a slur as being light.
It doesn't actually take a lot of effort
to execute a descending slur or
an as, or an ascending slur, a hammer-on
or a pull-off,
if you keep the, the upper finger, if you
will, nice and light.
The finger that actually has to have some
measure of strength without having a vice
grip on the guitar is the lower note.
Particularly in the descending slurs.
So if we look at the first measure of
this, of etude number four.
[MUSIC]
It's the really, it's the finger that's
holding down the A on the first string.
The first finger of the left hand, that
really needs to secure the string.
And if it has a good pretty firm grip on
it, again,
not only as firm as you need to be.
You don't wanna really be pressing too
hard or
really be pressing with the thumb on the
back of the neck too much either.
If you're just pressing enough to secure
the string and
keep the string from sliding up and down
on the fret, then your upper note finger,
in this case the fourth finger on the left
hand can be extremely light.
[MUSIC]
Again a descending slur,
especially in the 19th century, is,
is not so much a technical device as much
as it is
an expressive device used to communicate
or
to get across to the listener the, the
musical
affectation of an appoggiatura or a
sighing effect.
And we've covered that in other lessons as
well.
A non-chordal tone.
In this case B which doesn't belong to the
D-major triad.
Resting or resolving to the A which is in
the triad of D-major.
[MUSIC]
So
the right hand is a place with just the,
just enough sound.
[MUSIC]
And
you lightly pluck the string with the left
hand.
Which is essentially what a descending
slur is, is basically it's the left hand
is the upper note finger, in this case
four, plucking re-plucking the string.
[MUSIC]
If it's plucked pretty lightly,
it stays light, it actually it actually
executes or
it it produces the desired effect of an
appoggiatura quite nicely.
And so, slurs can be a very good
expressive tool for melodic inflection.
I'll demonstrate with the first half,
here.
[MUSIC]
And this is a great etude
because it gives you all different
kinds of combinations,
you know, four one,
four two three two,
two, two zero, one zero.
There's also a couple of shift things that
can be worked on in the left hand.
You can provide alternate fingerings for
it if you like.
But the printed fingering here on the
final phrase of the study on the,
the last four measures here.
[MUSIC]
Gives you a pretty good
shift exercise in the left hand.
You can cheat and in the second last
measure, first beat,
you can play that in fifth position, and
that makes it much easier.
[MUSIC]
By taking the second last measure and
playing that first beat in fifth position
you actually save yourself two shifts.
So for the purposes of the etude, of
course,
you should follow the original fingering.
But sometimes in performance if I'm
performing this or a piece and
I don't think it's such a bad thing to
stray from original fingerings if
it indeed helps the musical flow of, of
the piece.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]