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  1. #1

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    Greetings all, I would like to share a composition of mine from six years ago. My companion did the video work. This piece is fairly representative of my composition interests although I am also very fond of world music. I hope to meet others here with similar interests and exchange ideas etc. I play a 1976 Dieter Hopf Grand Concert classical guitar (cedar top) on this home recording.


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Lovely tone and playing! Not to mention the beautiful video images.

    I cannot help but hear strains of two songs here - but I may be mistaken. In any case the playing is excellent as is the recording. Welcome!

  4. #3
    Thank you very much, Jay. You are very kind. My companion, Fiona Flores, is quite talented regarding video work. Since this video was made (six years ago), she has upgraded to Final Cut Pro and her work has made quantum leaps with this very powerful software. This composition was a bugger to play when I recorded it, requiring excessive hand strength. Six years later, my hand is considerably more powerful due to countless practice and study sessions. Well, thanks again for listening and commenting.

    Saludos de Panamá.....

    Ron

  5. #4

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    Ron - It is not without a tinge of jealousy that I note you are in Panama. This weekend in New England here in the States we will be enduring sub-zero temperatures from a blast of artic air. Where is my sunscreen?

    As regards hand strength, I appreciate your point. I have played classical guitar and other styles daily for over fifty years, which unfortunately means that I am at a point in my life where you fight to retain your muscle strength. Just generally I am an advocate of resistance training which I practice daily. Specifically in regard to hand strength which of course is really about the strength of the flexor and extensor muscles in the forearm, I have been using an inexpensive "hand grip" exercise tool - essentially a heavy spring - with excellent and noticeable results. All within moderation so as not to cause injury. Some might be wary of the practice for fear of hurting their technique, but all I find is benefits.

    Kudos to your composition and playing as well as to your partner's beautiful video work.

  6. #5

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    Really lovely. Do you want have sheet music you could share, or lead sheet?

  7. #6
    Jay, you would love the weather here in the Panamanian Highlands, rarely below 17C and usually no more than 27C. We have two seasons, rainy and dry.

    I applaud your dedication to maintaining and building muscle strength, apparently not just for guitar playing. I too am an advocate of resistance training. For the fretting hand, I use a device called "ProHands" which is excellent as it separates the individual fingers so none are 'loafing" while the stronger ones do the work. I also do forearm curls, forward and reverse. For the right hand, I use ProHands but also use a device called "Digi-extend" which is for the extensor muscles. I play some flamenco and Digi-Extend is excellent for exercising the extensor finger muscles which are essential for playing rasqueados. ProHands is excellent also because it can be used for building strength for barring with the index, middle, and ring finger. I also spend about two hours a day playing scales and practicing picado, legato, arpeggio, etc. and utilize Cardoso's book extensively. At 72 years old, I know the future will be challenging to maintain/advance strength in my hands but I'm not going down without one hell of a fight.

    Anyway, thanks for the nice compliment. I visited your YT page, very nice indeed. You play with much sensitivity. Nice vocals as well.

    Here are links for ProHands (the first) and the second for Digi-Extend

    Prohands : Products : Prog Grip : Hand Exercisers : Prohands, Via, Gripmaster, Pro, Hand Exercisers, Flexibility, Dexterity, Strength

    26207 - Digi-Extend - set of 4 | Fysiomed

  8. #7
    Thanks very much for the nice compliment, thrush40. I have a Finale file of this composition but, being lazy, have not completed it as of yet. As of this time, no one has ever requested a score of any of my compositions, thus I have been slow to complete them. Nowadays, I engrave new compositions but mostly so I don't forget them (Since I no longer play professionally, I don't maintain a performance repertoire because of the enormous effort and time involved).

    I send you warm greetings from tropical Panamá....

  9. #8

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    I'll be the tough love guy here. The playing seems too strongly plucked for the atmosphere I believe is trying be created. Too much of a choked sound. I can't make hide nor hare of what and where the melody is; as if you are overdoing all those grip-strength exercises. Very first chord is a #11 ! That is usually the very last chord. Too staccato and cold feeling. Whole thing is bass heavy. It feels like it's being played at me instead for me..This whole progression feels like one long non sequitur. Lack of silence (rests) throughout. Oh, and there's that #11, at the end too ! (along with several in the middle to boot).
    I'm sorry folks, but it's my right and even duty to speak my mind in a forum..I don't like this piece at all...And what's up with the video ? No continuity of images; from busses and cars, swirling liquid, to opaque flower leafs, a gal's tummy and repetitive cubes and patterns. Just whom or what are we're serenading ?
    That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.....

  10. #9

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    I'll be the tough love guy here. The playing seems too strongly plucked for the atmosphere I believe is trying be created. Too much of a choked sound. I can't make hide nor hare of what and where the melody is; as if the player is overdoing all those grip-strength exercises. Very first chord is a #11 ! That is usually the very last chord. Too staccato and cold feeling. Whole thing is bass heavy. It feels like it's being played at me instead of for me..This whole progression feels like one long non sequitur. Lack of silence (rests) throughout. Oh, and there's that #11, at the end too ! (along with several in the middle to boot).
    I'm sorry folks, but it's my right and even my duty to speak my mind in a forum..I don't like this piece at all...And what's up with the video ? No continuity of images; from busses and cars, swirling liquid, to opaque flower leafs, a gal's tummy and repetitive cubes and patterns. Just whom or what are we're serenading ?
    That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.....
    Last edited by MarkInLA; 02-16-2016 at 06:46 PM.

  11. #10

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    The melody is quite strong. Nothing weird about a #11 chord.

    Mark, put on some Kenny G, you'll feel better.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    The melody is quite strong. Nothing weird about a #11 chord.

    Mark, put on some Kenny G, you'll feel better.
    I would if I didn't despise Kenny G ......., master of convoluted, pentatonic scales.......and you'd feel better with some ear training.....

  13. #12

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    Ron - A fair warning. We are a bit of a 'rough and tumble' lot here.

    I listened to two of your other compositions - Ballerina and Las Campanas de Tristeza. Once again beautifully played with great sensitivity and touching images. Congratulations. Your work reminds me of some of my favorite works from the classical guitar literature. Reginald Smith Brindle comes to mind.

    The term 'world music' is hard to define at least for me, but it seems to be a pool of various influences and an exciting road to explore. You are inspiring me to explore that pool more.

    I applaud your interest in physical fitness. I too am a devotee of maintaining physical strength. I had looked at that first hand grip tool as well. The extensor one is new to me. I use free weights and a home Universal style gym daily.

    Do not go gentle into that good night. - Dylan Thomas.
    Last edited by targuit; 02-16-2016 at 05:13 AM.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkInLA View Post
    I would if I didn't despise Kenny G ......., master of convoluted, pentatonic scales.......and you'd feel better with some ear training.....
    I think my ears are ok, remember, i was the one who could hear the melody in Ron's tune.

    Snarkiness aside, can you at least try being constructive in criticism? The Op was proud of his recording and wanted to share it, and you took a dump all over it. There's a way to say "I don't like something" and not come off as as downright mean.

    For example, post a link to one of the many recordings of yours you've shared here, I'll show you constructive feedback...oh, wait...
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  15. #14

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    Now, now boys! No dog of mine in the hunt, but don't you think this exchange lacks the dignity of the music Ron has created?

    How about we stick to the music rather than personae.

  16. #15

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    Look ! I am a member of this forum. I do not like Serenade. Someone said I should use constructive criticism ! What do you think it was, talking about his haircut, or what shoes he wears, car he drives, or where he lives ? !! I did just that; criticised the composition constructively; its musical content and playing style ! You need to know what 'constructive criticism' is ! It's not being a 'yes man' to everyone, or accepting everything someone or everyone does as being great or charming just to make yourself liked or accepted by everyone. I frankly, do not care if anyone dislikes me here. At least I spoke my true feelings, something which many times is lacking in these threads..You go against the grain or the beliefs of others, even the majority, and you get chastised for it instead of being respected for your honesty. "Sorry Mark you didn't take well to the Piece. But, hey, that's what make the world go round.." Mr. Hoggard may have several pieces I might even like. I simply do not like this one..
    This is my final retorte in this thread. Say what you wish. I'm outta' here ............

  17. #16

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    I think Mark is perfectly entitled to express his opinion. Too bad these dialogues occasionally digress into personal attacks.

    In any case I hope Ron is not dissuaded by this kerfuffle from posting his music. What is a kerfuffle anyway?

  18. #17
    Ah, good people, don't be concerned on my behalf. Posting anything on a forum is an engraved invitation to criticism. Some will hate it, some will like it, but in reality, the vast majority will not even care one way or the other. Personally, I am field-hardened to criticism having spent 20 years playing in jazz clubs and, more significantly, spending the next twenty in science presenting research papers, applying for grants, and submitting papers for publication (those critics play hardball). The result, I have the skin of a pachyderm and lack even the basic concept of pride. Criticism should be viewed in light of from whom it comes. If it is from someone admired and respected for their education or prominence in their field, then it is meaningful. However, if it is from someone who thinks “being decorous” means hanging a painting on the bathroom wall, then the critique is little more than the buzz of an annoying insect at a family picnic. The truth is, every forum has its Alex Hoffman. The difference is, the Hoffman controversy is a case of a nobody viciously attacking one of the most influential jazz musicians in the past four decades, but here on this forum it is just one nobody taking a few jabs at another nobody, no harm done. Hoffman, on the other hand, is no doubt learning that being a tool has consequences. Peace......

  19. #18

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    Nice to know you have a suit of emotional armor to weather the slings and arrows of outrageous commentary. I enjoy your music and hope you will continue to contribute. Someone likened the forum to 'the bar where everybody knows your name" and personality. Still a nice place to converse and share.

    I saw that post about Hoffman but due to time constraints did not listen to the video and was unaware of this controversy. But I guess it goes with fame and fortune. I am familiar with neither, so...

    May I ask how you ended up in Panama? Business or pleasure?
    Last edited by targuit; 02-17-2016 at 10:04 AM.

  20. #19

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    Hey Ron that's pretty! I think it's a nice piece. The folks at the Delcamp forum would probably like it too. Plenty of luscious harmony and the resonant drop D really make it full sounding.

    It does seem to be played a little 'heavy handed' in places, though you did say it was tough on the hand...

    Anyways great job, I'd love to play it if you posted the score.

  21. #20
    Thanks very much, Dave. I am a member on Delcamp forum.... perhaps I'll post it there. When I composted and recorded this piece, it was three years following more than 25 years of not playing a single note. I really struggled with my left hand to properly articulate this composition so, indeed, it is heavy handed. I most likely would interpret the piece differently today (I often cringe hearing my older recorded works and ask "what was I thinking..."). Anyway, thanks for the input and I'll see what I can do about finishing the notation.

    Ron

  22. #21

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    I wonder if, if you're not a traditional classical player, if something like a crossover instrument with lower action would be a good fit for you?

    Usually I'm against the "gear to solve a technique issue" fix, but I think it might make a difference.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  23. #22
    Jay, to answer your question, I spent much time in Central America since my first visit to study tropical biology in Costa Rica (1994). As a botanist, Central America is a paradise in which to live. After retirement, I considered the various options for expatriation and selected this mountainous region in Panamá for the climate and numerous other reasons. Musically, there is a traditional Panamanian music called "mejorana" and a stringed instrument, the mejoranera (also often called mejorana) and a dance form that all date back to the conquistadores. The instrument is very similar to precursors to the guitar from the 1500's. Very animated, and interesting music.

  24. #23

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    Sounds like a recipe for contentment - beautiful climate and likely nice people. I have considered the notion of moving to another country. I lived in Italy for over a decade in the Eighties, coming home with my Italian wife, a love of the Italian version of joie de vivre - I should say "la dolce vita" - and a longing to return. But Costa Rica or Panama sound quite intriguing.

    Botany is a fascinating subject though outside my field of medicine. Naturally, many of our treatments at least in the past have come from botanical research. I know that many researchers lament the damage of encroaching deforestation of parts of the Amazon area for that very reason. Botany and jazz guitar. Go together in some way....

  25. #24
    Jeff, that certainly is a consideration. Since that recording (six years ago) I have worked diligently to rebuild my hands, and with good success. I play the same instrument I used professionally 35 years ago, Dieter Hopf 1976 Grand Concert classical guitar (named "Rosa"). I use Gallo high tension titanium strings because they seem to pull the most color out of the aging cedar top, but the tradeoff is the increased hand strength demand. I do have a flamenco guitar that I used almost exclusively when I returned to playing because of the string action being more accommodating to my underdeveloped hand muscles. Perhaps my early years of playing upright bass has lead me to play heavy.... but probably it is from my over-zealous compensation for lacking hand strength and proper technique. Anyway, thanks for the great suggestion.

  26. #25
    Jay, you should visit Panamá and check it out. Expatriation is not for everyone. There are cultural differences that drive some expats crazy. But, of course, you are quite familiar with expat life. Availability of common items is sometimes dismal, however, Amazon works well for most things not found locally. We do have a very big yearly event here in our small town, The Boquete Blues and Jazz Festival. It does not have the higher level professional players (like Yellow Jackets, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, etc.) but the quality of the players/bands is very good. And, you can fly to Cuba for world class Latin Jazz without having your passport stamped.

    Ron