Technique Tuesdays - 29 July - Leo Brouwer Etude 3

For the third instalment of Technique Tuesdays we'll be continuing with Leo Brouwer's Etudes Simples. Once again, you can buy a copy of the etudes here

Here's this week's video:

Technical Challenges

  • The P-M-I Right Hand Pattern

One of the main challenges this etude poses is in the right hand fingering pattern p-m-i, which I like to think of as a triplet, or three-finger, tremolo pattern. The rapido tempo indication exacerbates the difficulty of this pattern. I find planting is the only way one can play the study at speed and maintain a consistent tone and balanced hand. In this case I use sequential planting (you can find many explanations of this technique online if you don't know what it is, such as in this great video by as using a full plant, or even planting and m, feels too clunky at speed. In the video I show this in better detail - watch for planting m as plays. To practice the act of planting in this study you can make an exercise of playing through with the pattern p-m, which will allow to you to focus solely on the act of placing your middle finger down as your thumb plays.

  • The Tenuto Markings on the Bass Notes

The bass notes throughout have tenuto markings above them, indicating that the note should be held for its full length, or given a slight emphasis. I feel both of these are important to achieve. In keeping with the theme of the preceding studies, Brouwer places an emphasis on bringing out the bass by giving us a clear melody to play. We went to make sure to bring these notes out and hold them for their whole duration to create a legato line. I go in to some more detail on this in the video.


That's all for this week folks! Most of the other challenges in this study have been covered in the previous videos so just be sure to apply what you've learned to this one too. As always, please comment and let me know what you liked, what you want to see changed, and what you'd like to see in the future. Happy practicing!