Friday, October 29, 2010

Counterfeiting Blumenfeld

It's been quite a while folks. In fact, the longer the hiatus the more burdensome finding inspiration becomes; at times it felt like there wouldn't quite be a return to form. Considering the illuminating investigation (and musical translation) of the Slonimsky text, it has proven to be difficult to offer something as novel or singular. Working on something new - especially amidst work responsibilities, social and romantic endeavors - is sometimes near-impossible. For the delay, my sincerest apologies.

Although I haven't denuded the Holy Grail of guitar lickery, I did stumble across a beautiful slew of arpeggio ideas while digesting Felix Blumenfeld's piano Etude Op. 3 No. 1. In all sincerity, I can only attribute the first example to the etude, but with the beauty of the work resounding in my head I went on a hunt for new sounds. At new costs, too.

One thing of significant importance is to look for stimuli outside of guitars, guitar playing and guitar players. Or, at times, even outside of music! How will I tackle the arpeggio formations of Paganini or Wieniawski? Is Blumenfeld, Henselt or Alkan playable on our instrument and how? How can I duplicate piano, violin or vocal ornamentation? All of these questions are valid and will arise as you broaden your musical intake, especially if you attempt to translate the language onto the guitar.

I'll explain each example in sequence and try to simplify their hazards. They expand in length and laboriousness toward the end; the last two are 32 note patterns! Don't mind the time signatures of 22/16 and 32/16, they were implemented to force perfect repeats in GuitarPro. I implore you to make use of any information imparted here, no matter how small. Take what you need and shed what you do not.

Etude exercise:

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