martedì 8 novembre 2011

Andrés Segovia Scales : classical guitar technique

Segovia scales
Ed Columbia Music Co., cover design by Vladimir Bobri

Segovia scales are, on my opinion, the first step to learn Segovia mouvements on the fingerboard and the style applyed by the andaluzo Maestro in his pieces: he used various standards to memorize faster the music.
 I want to remember that Segovia was engaged in a concert tour for 77 years: when not in a concert he was busy on recording, it's about 30 records from 1927 to 1977.
I advice you to purchase these scales and to play them every day for 10 minutes at least.

As Andrés Segovia wrote in 'Major and Minor diatonic scales' preface: 'in order to derive the greatest possible benefit from the following exercices, play them slowly and vigorously at first, more lightly and rapidly later. Many hours of arduous and frequently futile exercises can be condensed into one hour of scales.

 The practice of scales enables one to solve a greater number of technical problems in a shorter time than the study of any other exercise.'

My experience teached me that Segovia scales were the basic point to build my classical guitarist technique but they allowed me to start again playing the guitar after a period of pause too.

It's really important to start again playing guitar using Segovia scales. I usually play all scales in turn from C major to D minor after choosing one of the possible right hand fingering every day.
Referring to the right hand I sometimes apply some personal variation as p e i or only p with pizzicato technique ( or Staccato or Vibrato ).

The main problem to play all scales in turn is memorization. But this results easier think about different patterns to shift along the fingerboard.

1) Let's start from C major and shift it one fret forward to become Db, D, Eb, E.

2) Then try to memorize the G major pattern and shift it to Gb, Ab, A, Bb, B.

3) After a while try to memorize the A minor pattern: this pattern is a little more difficoult because we are not used to think or sing the minor scale and when it's a descending one and its alterate notes becomes natural notes it's even worse. It's time to transpose this pattern only once you are able to play it fine. This pattern have to be transposed going backward on the fingerboard as Ab minor, G minor, Gb minor and F minor.

4) Once this work is done, you'll know sixteen Segovia's scales! The road towards the full turn of all scales is now easier.

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