High Degree Of Difficulty On Classical Guitar – Great Reward!
“Tremolo – a tremulous or vibrating effect produced on certain instruments…as to express emotion…”
This technique is probably one of the hardest things to master on guitar, but having said that, there is no reason to avoid trying it, because when mastered it brings with it great reward. Who out there hasn’t at sometime imagined themselves playing to an enraptured audience, our well controlled tremolo punching out the famous melody to the sighs and admiration of everyone?
Well, to reach that lofty peak you’ve just got to “practice, practice, practice” as they say. There’s no getting around this technique, you must be prepared, but I think it is well worth it, It’s worth it! Anything worth having is worth fighting for so again I say “practice, practice, practice.” I remember watching my teacher many years ago play in a concert he gave and being enthralled at the control and beautiful sound he conjured up. I felt literally transported to another dimension. Such was the effect it had on my mind and emotions. Even though I must have heard it a thousand times since, I never tire of its ethereal and magical beauty.
Just how do you master such a difficult technique? I’ve stuck to the tried and true methods over the years and that seems to have gotten me “over the hump” so to speak.
The first thing you need to do is practice SLOWLY. I cannot stress this more strongly. Your subconscious mind will basically do and accomplish anything you tell it to do but you must give it the CORRECT instructions or you’re basically headed for problems. Speed is always the last ingredient to anyone’s learning to play. The actual technique is learned first, absorbed second and then mastered, hopefully, before they move on to the next step.
With that being said, you must make your thumb and fingers work as one “unit” to make your tremolo sound smooth with continuity. In fact, you are trying to “trick” the ears of your listeners as the guitar without the tremolo is not capable of sustaining notes for a very long period of time like a violin, cello or other bowed instruments.
Another good way to accomplish mastery of this technique is use staccato in your practice routine as it seems to help with the articulation of the notes when you return to free stroke and speed up the tempo. You can also use a metronome to allow you to master tremolo in an incremental way. Here are some various things that may be of interest to you in your search for Tremolo Mastery.
Remember, to master the bar is to not go past your limit