A brilliant explanation of how to shape your nails by Bill Kanengiser. He provides a visual demonstration of exactly what happens when the string is plucked and how best to shape your nails for that beautiful tone we all want to achieve. This has changed the way I approach shaping my nails—which wasn’t terribly meticulous to start with, I admit—and has made me pay more attention to it. It should make a big difference both to the range of sounds I can produce and the consistency of my tone.
Today is this blog’s 1st birthday—happy birthday it! I made its inaugural post (“Hello, World”) on the 24th of May 2016. In the blogosphere, making it past your first birthday is not an insignificant achievement. So many blogs peter out and disappear into the ether long before they reach this milestone, their creators having lost interest, been distracted, forgotten about them, or just run out of ideas. My blog has kept going because of the steady stream of recordings of short practice pieces. From now on, however, I’m not going to upload so much. I feel the whole process of recording pieces, uploading them, and writing blog entries takes time away from actually practising the guitar. I still intend to post now and again, perhaps more polished performances, maybe more in the dark days of winter when I spend more time inside.
Vals by Bartolomé Calatayud (1882-1973). The thumb plays a bass line, just one note per bar, index and middle fingers play the accompaniment, and ring finger the melody. Apart from a run of bass notes mid way, it follows the same pattern throughout, uses the open strings and makes infrequent use of the higher frets. I was almost able to play it by sight-reading and yet, by bringing out the melody line and applying some vibrato, it can sound quite nice. It’s probably one I should have tackled earlier, but it’s good to have some sight-reading practice.
To counterpose the melancholy that makes up so much of the classical guitar repertoire, I thought I’d try something a little different. This is a ragtime piece by A. J. Weidt, written in 1902 and titled simply Ragtime. You can get the score from the Delcamp forum. It’s a fun little piece, so I’ve memorised it and will keep it fresh in the fingers.