#Let’s Review | Acoustic Poetica: Fingerstyle Etudes by Peppino D‘Agostino & Truefire.com

Acoustic Poetica: Fingerstyle Etudes by Peppino D‘Agostino & Truefire.com

Author:              Peppino D’Agostino

Genre:               Acoustic Etudes

Style:                 Acoustic Fingerstyle

Level:                Late Beginner / Intermediate

Length:             1 hr, 38 mins

Features:          Tabs/Notation as .pdf & gp5 files

Course Link:    Acoustic Poetica: Fingerstyle Etudes

Pieces/Etudes:

  1. Coordination Nation
  2. Basso Ostinato
  3. Sliding Sweetness
  4. Around the Bend
  5. Percussion Introduction
  6. Traversing the Neck
  7. Arpeggiated Voyage
  8. Harmonically Speaking
  9. Rhythmic Slap
  10. Open & Melodic

In today’s review I am going to check an interesting course I found on Truefire.com by the amazing Peppino D’Agostino. I first learnt about Mr. D’Agostino from his performance of the “Godfather Waltz” & “Godfather Theme”. The amount of expressiveness he put into each note and the way he articulated during his performance is incredible and worth listening to! I was so happy to discover that – at the time of writing – he had already produced two courses on Truefire.com. Let me give you some insight of what to expect from the course named “Acoustic Poetica: Fingerstyle Etudes”.

Since Peppino D’Agostino is renowned for his skills on the acoustic guitar, these technical etudes are designed particularly to match the acoustic player who already learnt the most elementary stuff on the guitar. It is always difficult to arrange course material so that it fits a variety of different players, who most likely started out on different ends and chose a different path, while getting the basic chords down, a good feeling for rhythm as well as the theoretical knowledge that is crucial to be able to progress to a higher level.

Mr. D’Agostino stated in his introduction to the course that he had faced the same problem while developing those ten studies. In order to really get a feeling for what the aspiring student needs to further develop his skills as a fingerstyle player he had to go back in time, back to his teenage years when the master himself was working hard on his own skills, getting the very basics down that now define his virtuosic play. After all, the goal is the same in order to step beyond what is widely regarded a beginner. Getting the basics down isn’t that difficult but passing beyond that stage is because you will have to put certain time and effort into it. This course sets sail exactly where the basics end, focusing on crucial elements of each fingerstyle player. Those selected chops, elements or milestones are presented to you in ten fingerstyle etudes that will both challenge and further enhance your technique on the guitar. Let’s have a look at them…

First of all, the etudes presented here vary in difficulty, bridging nicely the different requirements and needs of late beginner/intermediate players. Each etude comes in three parts. A brief introduction in which you are going to know what the purpose of this etude is and what technique it features. Then you’ll see the performance of this study in full tempo and in the last section you are going to get a step-by-step explanation of how to approach and learn the etude.

The very first study is called “Coordination Nation” and is all about coordinating your two most important components while playing: your both hands! When starting out, you learn to produce your first sounds on the guitar and how to call the notes or the chord you are playing. However, once you advance in that and are able to produce a good, strong and clean tone you likely start to incorporate rhythms or techniques that require you to coordinate your both hands in a way that accompanies your playing. That’s sort of where I see this study kicking in. It is presented in a very modest tempo, can, however, be accelerated to put your fingers to a test. The piece consists of a basic base articulation at the beginning of each measure while your remaining fingers are required to connect with the base. This, combined with a beautiful and harmonic chord progression, results in “Coordination nation”. A really cool etude that may very well serve as a warm-up for your daily practice routine. For beginning fingerstyle players this is also a great way to practice the PIMA technique.

Basso Ostinato”, “Percussion Introductions” and “Rhythmic Slap” are etudes that focus on improving your rhythmic feeling. As a fingerstyle player, you are a one-man band! This comes with quite a lot responsibility since you are the one pulling the strings, directing everything and also… keeping time as well as the beat and groove going! This requires a solid feeling for rhythm. In addition to that you also have to play the rhythm part well and add a melody line to it. So, you are basically replacing the members of a band and instead rely on your own abilities. This is quite a challenge for your hands and with those studies you will be able to get a steady bass going and add percussive elements and that way simulate a drum kit! In these studies you are going to learn how to manipulate the perception of the beat, shifting the accents to make it fit your music so that you become the director instead of a mere actor.

Sliding Swiftness” picks up the theme of Basso Ostinato where you had to get used to having control over the ringing strings, knowing when and how to stop them at an appropriate moment. Adding a basic technique such as the slide. It is something your fingers will most likely have to get used to if you have never done it before but the variety in sound it provides you with is great and really worth knowing.

If there is an etude in this course that will put you to the test, then it is “Around the Bend”. This study increases the difficulty by a notch, adding a slightly more complex rhythm to it but also challenging you on the bend! The difficulty lies in the degree you bend your strings. If you bend it too high, you miss the pitch and you get a squeaky sound. However, if you don’t bend enough, you’ll just miss the pitch as well but in that case, get a rather muffled sound. So, you see, as much as beginners had to work hard to squeeze a good, solid tone out of their guitar, without any buzzes, as much you will have to work on this one to get a feeling for the correct amount of bendiness. The tune itself sounds really great but you will have to keep practicing in order to play it properly. This may take some time but it is rewarding!

After getting the fundamentals down there comes a point in time where you will have to learn the fretboard and how to navigate on it. Moving out of the first or second position requires some good understanding of how the fretboard is constructed, how notes are placed all over the fretboard and how they relate to the individual strings. “Traversing the Neck” and “Arpeggiated Voyage” gives you the opportunity to explore new voicings by exploring the fretboard, changing positions and moving up to the 12th fret! The tune for this etude is a relaxing one, one in which you truly feel as if you were taken on a journey, with just the beauty of music with you, nothing to worry about and your mentor who takes you by the hand and guides you towards your next milestone!

Following the etudes that focus primarily on neck navigation you will add another technique to your repertoire that is a common theme on the guitar… harmonics! “Harmonically Speaking” is a pretty demanding one in which you will need to prove that you’ve obtained a good control over your instrument. Being able to play harmonics is dependent on several factors. Of course, once you’ve gotten used to implement it in your playing you will find it easier but developing the skill will most likely take some time, so be patient! The etude itself will ask you to separate several sections and accentuate various parts of the tune to fully embrace the potential of this technique.

As the last etude, you will face “Open & Melodic”, an etude designed to give you insight into different tunings. Loosening or tightening a string results in different tensions and this requires you to maybe alter the way you play a note. It may become more difficult to keep a string ringing while playing and to sustain the sound. The tuning in this piece is an unusual one but that doesn’t mean it isn’t rewarding. Getting used to various tunings opens up the instrument and allows you to explore sounds you wouldn’t be able to reach that easily on a single guitar. This etude fits pretty well into the whole course, as the student was almost getting used to having the concept being presented on a silver plate. A slide was a slide, a bend a bend but now with the introduction of a non-standard tuning that doesn’t include just a mere drop D tuning, the student gets to know that there is still much to be explored and that the blank spots on the road map are yet to be filled!

That’s it, ten etudes that focus on different aspects of guitar playing, presented by a charismatic instructor that really manages to spark the interest in his students. You can choose whether to play it at full tempo, to slow it down or to practice on your own with your own set tempo. The course comes with the notations being provided in .pdf format as well as .gp5 format.

I really enjoyed playing my way through the course and though I wouldn’t claim that I’ve mastered every bit of it, it still motivated and inspired me and once again showed me, why the guitar was, is and will forever be such a beautiful instrument.

Highly recommended for each beginner who is willing to devote more time to the guitar.

Lukas Wedrychowski

MeridirhProductions.com | ‘cause music matters

 

This course was kindly provided by www.TrueFire.com

You can find the course following this link: Acoustic Poetica: Fingerstyle Etudes

#Let’s Play | Heyho Blues (I’m new to you) | Original Fingerstyle Blues

Hey everyone!

This is the very first fingerstyle blues piece that I’ve written. It was inspired by one of my favourite fingerstyle blues players: David Hamburger!

This fingerstyle blues combines some basic elements that I’ve learnt while working on fingerstyle blues. It consists of a steady base that keeps going and only at times alters from the usual 4/8 pattern. This, combined with a cool chord progression I’ve received, two small licks and a call and response theme gave birth to “Heyho Blues (I’m new to you)“. Once my vocals improve I can also add the lyrics to it!

I really hope you like it and enjoy listening to it. If this video reaches 10 likes or 200 views I’m going to publish the sheet music on my website. 🙂 See you soon!

 

#PROGRESSLOG | VIOLIN (Y0/W3)

Year 0 – Week 3

Violin | SUMMARY

  • Repertoire
    • Basic etudes to practice bow division and basic rhythm pattern
  • Theory
    • Repeating the fundamentals from above
  • Technique
    • Warm-Up:
      • Open bow strings
    • Bow & violin hold
      • Playing in the middle of the Bow
      • Playing at the Tip of the Bow
      • Bowing at the Frog
      • Playing at the Frog and Tip
      • Thumb and Left Hand Placement
      • Finger Action of the Left Hand
      • String Crossings
      • Whole bow strokes

 

I’ve started with some guided practice (i.e. with a backing track and sheet music). I feel that my tone improved over this week and by working with that backing track. That’s pretty cool. However, there are still some slight mistakes. I’ll try to improve upon it by adding a small, very easy piece to the next week. It’s a violin duet so I can easily play the second violin. I’ll see if I can get the permission to record that piece. That would be great!

 

Year 1 – Week 4

Violin | PLANNING

  • Repertoire
    • Basic etudes to practice bow division and basic rhythm pattern
    • “Little Suite” (Bordun-Marsch) by Franz  Kanefzky
  • Theory
    • Repeating the fundamentals from above
  • Technique
    • Warm-Up:
      • Open bow strings
    • Bow & violin hold
      • Playing in the middle of the Bow
      • Playing at the Tip of the Bow
      • Bowing at the Frog
      • Playing at the Frog and Tip
      • Thumb and Left Hand Placement
      • Finger Action of the Left Hand
      • String Crossings
      • Whole bow strokes

#PROGRESSLOG | PIANO (Y1/W3)

Year 1 – Week 3

Piano | SUMMARY

  • Repertoire
    • Film Music:
      • “Misty Mountains” by Ramin Djavadi
  • Theory
    • Repeating proper right hand and left hand technique
    • Basic chords (without extensions)
    • Sight reading
  • Technique
    • Legato
    • Chord Practice: [to the announced]
    • Basic rhythm pattern:
    • Major Scale: C (up and both with each hand individually and then synchronized)

I’m pretty happy to announce that I managed to fullfill my whole plan for this week on the piano! The next week will still be mainly about getting my technique right. Plus, I will work on Honor Him by the legendary Hans Zimmer! I’m really looking forward to it! 🙂

Year 2 – Week 4

Piano | PLANNING

  • Repertoire
    • Film Music:
      • “Honor Him” by Hans Zimmer
  • Theory
    • Repeating proper right hand and left hand technique
    • Basic Major Chords
    • Sight reading
  • Technique
    • Legato
    • Chord Practice: [to the announced]
    • Basic rhythm pattern:
    • Major Scale: C (up and both with each hand individually and then synchronized)

#PROGRESSLOG | GUITAR (Y1/W3)

#PROGRESSLOG | GUITAR (Y1/W2)

Year 1 (2017) – Week 2

Guitar | SUMMARY

  • Repertoire
    • Classical:
      • “Für Elise” by Ludwig van Beethoven (practicing the current two parts)
    • Spanish / Flamenco:
      • “Study in Dm” from “Spanish Guitar 1” by “Guita-in-a-nutshell.com”
  • Theory
    • Scales:
      • Major Scale (D, A, F, B)
      • Minor Pentatonic Scale (2nd box)
    • Chords:
      • Am, E, F
    • Key signatures
      • Repeating C, D, E, F, G, A, B
    • Intervals
      • Root to perfect 8th – Repetition
  • Technique
    • Spider exercise (Warm up)
    • Scale practise
      • Major Scale (D, A, F, B)
    • Chord Practice
      • [to be announced]
    • Rhythm Practice
      • Standard 4/4 fingerstyle pattern (4)
    • New Technique
      • Basic percussive elements

 

This week was the “Spanish week” which means I studied one of those pieces in the Spanish Guitar Course by Guitar-in-a-nutshell.com. It’s a course I can really recommend to every single one of you! Below this article you will find the video to the piece. It will be uploaded the upcoming days since I didn’t manage to do so due to a cold.

The next week will be the Blues week, consisting of another Fingerstyle Blues piece as well as some further exercices on percussive elements on the guitar. I’ll try to record a small beat consisting of basic elements such as the base drum and snare.

Year 2 (2017) – Week 3

Guitar | PLANNING

  • Repertoire
    • Classical:
      • “Für Elise” by Ludwig van Beethoven (practicing the current two parts)
    • Blues
      • A small fingerstyle blues study by David Hamburger & Truefire.com
  • Theory
    • Scales:
      • Major Scale (D, A, F, B)
      • Blues Scale
    • Chords:
      • Am, E, F
    • Key signatures
      • Repeating C, D, E, F, G, A, B
    • Intervals
      • Root to perfect 8th – Repetition
  • Technique
    • Spider exercise (Warm up)
    • Scale practise
      • Major Scale (D, A, F, B)
    • Rhythm Practice
      • Standard 4/4 fingerstyle pattern (4)
    • New Technique
      • Basic percussive elements
      • Blues Turnarounds

 

 

 

#PROGRESSLOG | PIANO (Y1/W2)

Year 1 – Week 2

Piano | SUMMARY

  • Repertoire
    • Film Music:
      • “Blood Ritual / Moonlight Serenade” by Klaus Badelt
  • Theory
    • Repeating proper right hand and left hand technique
    • Basic chords (without extensions)
    • Sight reading
  • Technique
    • Legato
    • Chord Practise: D (2nd inversion), E

 

Alright then. I managed to finish the piece “Blood Ritual / Moonlight Serenade”. I do like it alot and will probably plan on learning another awesome piece from the Pirates of the Carribbean movie series as well.

I’ll also start over again with an old piano book of mine. “Russische Klavierschule” will be the one I will revisit to practice my basic piano techniques. The schedule for the next week is therefore going to look like this:

Year 2 – Week 3

Piano | PLANNING

  • Repertoire
    • Film Music:
      • “Misty Mountains” by Ramin Djavadi
  • Theory
    • Repeating proper right hand and left hand technique
    • Basic chords (without extensions)
    • Sight reading
  • Technique
    • Legato
    • Chord Practice: [to the announced]
    • Basic rhythm pattern:
    • Major Scale: C (up and both with each hand individually and then synchronized)