My tremolo so far

The tremolo, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a technique of playing a note very quickly over and over again to produce the illusion of a sustained note. It’s not particularly common in the classical guitar repertoire but it is used throughout one of the most famous pieces, Recuerdos de la Alhambra.

I haven’t practised this technique much. Now and again I give it a whirl, and over the course of a year and a bit I have noticed some small improvement. I’ve decided to record it now so that in the future I can compare recordings and see how much I have progressed. The fastest I managed before my technique started to fall apart was 130 bpm. You can hear the metronome ticking away in the background. The consensus seems to be that a proper tremolo starts around 140 bpm, so I’m a little way off:

But as well as bringing it up to speed, I want to have it more even and more consistent in tone. It’s very easy to slide into a galloping style of tremolo that doesn’t sound good. I’m still not going to spend much time practising it, though, because none of the pieces I will play in the near future requires this technique, and I think it will improve itself naturally as my overall control improves. I’ll record it again later in the year to see if I’m right or not.


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