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Classical Guitar Lessons: Segovia Scales - Introduction plus C Major & G Major

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This is a lesson on
the Segovia Scales.
A, a book of scales that Segovia had
published that,
that showed us how he practiced his
And while they're not necessarily a
definitive way of practicing scales,
there are many, many ways to practice
scales and there are many books, that,
that are out there, that contain lots of
scale patterns and combinations.
One, one good one is the Royal the Royal
College one in Canada.
That's has a, a book devoted to different
So you can work out of that, but the
the thing that makes the Segovia Scales
books special or unique is that is focuses
mainly on shifting in the left hand, which
is a very important technical tool.
As you'll discover as when, when you get
to, if you're playing intermediate pieces,
or advanced pieces.
Well even, even some of the foundational
skills pieces.
we'll just,
I'll just give you an example of the C
major scale.
And, which is a two octave scale,
and then the G major Segovia Scale which
is a three octave scale.
So here's C major.
I'm gonna play it rest stroke and at a
fairly slow tempo, just so
you can watch the left and right hand and
as a, as a, as a model.
that's C
And that's probably one of the easier ones
in, in this very short book of scales.
Because it only has the one shift going up
and the one shift going down.
Shifting and, and the shift happens here.
On the third string.
Going from the fourth to the fifth.
So when I shift when I, I, I encourage you
to, again, make the shift,
use these scales as kind of a laboratory
to make your shifts feel as effortless and
gravity-driven, if you will, as possible.
If you're watching where your target is,
so the aim-directed movement principle as
explained by Aaron Shearer.
If I know that this shift has to occur on
the fifth fret,
then I'm watching that as I'm playing the
two notes before it.
And I just simply let, sort of let my left
hand go into it.
And when you practice your shifts,
you should not allow your first finger to
collapse or
hug the, the neck of the guitar.
And I, I, I personally think that
ascending shifts are a little easier than
descending, than descending shifts.
Because it's a little bit harder
to get that really legato sound.
I recommend that you pra, practice the
Segovia Scales and, and
try to get the smoothest transition
between notes.
In other words no planting or not staccato
no detache kind of articulation, but
a very, that sweep stroke that you've been
of course practicing.
Where the fingertip doesn't stop at
the string before plucking.
[SOUND] And that your shift notes,
once you get pretty good at them,
you can get them to the point where they
where it doesn't even sound like you're
That's kind of the goal that I try to, to
achieve there.
A seamless shift that doesn't sound
like this.
You know, where you accent the shifted
note and
there's a little break in between.
You wanna try to, try to smooth all that
over as much as possible.
And you could set up three, four,
five even different tempos on the
metronome to practice them with.
My teacher growing up in Buffalo, Jeremy
Sparks, had me had,
I did a metronome chart of them.
Where I would go from very, very slow,
like 40 to the quarter,
all the way to 100 or faster.
And I would fill out this chart and at
each metronome
tempo stop along the way for example at
He would he would have me practice the
scales at
the eighth note subdivision.
The eighth note
triplets subdivision.
then 16th note.
Like that.
I also would add to that, I would
encourage you to practice them both with
the free stroke that I was demonstrating,
and also with the rest stroke.
And then, just to give you another example
of the three octave scale
which has more shifts in it, the G major.
And I'll play that rest stroke.
I've been practicing
these scales for years,
ever since I was about ten years old,
and they've really helped to
clarify a lot of the issues
about shifting on the guitar.
And I know they will for you as well.