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Classical Guitar Lessons: Carcassi: Etude No.6

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Etude #6
by Carcassi.
And this is a, an excellent introduction
into playing counterpoint.
But also melodies with your thumb.
It really gives your right hand thumb a
great workout and
also helps you to better focus on phrasing
with the thumb actually creating
a more of a linear and lyrical tone, and,
phrase solely with your thumb but also,
with that introduction of counterpoint
with another line over the top.
So just going into the first couple
we'll, I'll play the first four measures
of it to demonstrate.
Right off the bat, of course, it just, it
with a melody
entirely in the thumb, and
a very light line to accompany it over the
top in the soprano here.
So in terms of phrasing you know,
basically the, the phrases are about four
bars per phrase.
And you can really just follow the contour
of the line, I mean, I basically,
you'll see in the lesson on the
performance of that most of the time,
I'm generally just following the line.
If it goes up I crescendo with the thumb,
if it goes down I, if the line actually
visually goes down to lower notes I,
I de-crescendo, and that, that works
really quite well in this piece.
For the technique with the thumb,
you may notice in the other lessons that I
use a lot of
different angles with my thumb to strike
the string with.
Sometimes I'll use just the side of my
and when playing rest stroke or
free stroke and I, that's facilitated by
actually me
bending this tip joint all the way back.
I like to think of that as something more
of a, a alternative stroke that I have.
In my early development, that was really
the only stroke that I for
my thumb that I used.
And it became something of a detriment to
my overall technique.
My teacher at Cleveland Institute of
Music, John Holmquist,
stressed with me that I needed to learn
how to make, a thumb stroke,
a free stroke with the thumb, with, with
P, with a more firm tip joint.
And then that would serve me well over
time in about 90 percent of my thumb
strokes, and, and he was absolutely right.
And so this study is really something you
wanna really watch that, that you,
that you're able to keep the tip joint a
little bit firm and don't collapse it.
So that your contact point,
the point where the string meets the the
flesh of, of your finger of your,
the tip of your thumb and the nail at the
same time has a really good solid.
And if it collapses you can,
you can get kind of some scratchiness or
some, some thin sounds with it.
But that contact on your, a point on your
thumb that you developed in the earlier
lessons and that we that we have, that
should serve you well here.
So the other things to watch for is make
sure that just because you,
you maybe be working on your thumb tone.
Does not mean that you get to neglect the
tone of the upper line,
the line with the stem pointing up.
Whatever fingers might be playing that
line, if it's A or M or I,
you also have to make sure that your hand
position is such that
the tone is even throughout in both
Let me demonstrate that, by playing the
first half here.
And then after that first repeat as it
as the piece goes on, then the roles
The stem up notes.
Now become the melody and stem down notes
the base notes become the accompaniment so
their the, the base line is much sparser
And most of the and the melodic activity.
These actually happening in the notes,
with the stems up.
Like so.
So this, again, it's a great, it's a great
study, it's a,
it's an early introduction into playing
counterpoint, and
if you can master this study, the
introduction of,
of more complex counterpoint in the works
of, say, J.S. Bach.
Which we'll cover in later lessons.
Will not be quite so daunting.