Legato and left hand shifts
Smooth playing is the trick to playing musically. I hope this exercise helps.
As with all the exercises, if progress is made playing them, new pieces will not seem so challenging, enjoyment will be heightened and you'll naturally play more musically.
Even if you don't want to play 'Recuerdos de la Alhambra', this is a great exercise for the RH: it improves flexibility and strengthens muscles.
Once you have developed a good tremolo, it is a good idea to keep it up as part of your regular routine as the evenness and strength will disappear over time. However, it does come back quicker than had you never practised it.
More than any other technique, the slightest change in hand angle or sitting position will effect the balance and evenness of your tremolo, so try to keep it consistent.
Also, try it staccato too, which will help with speeding up.
Changing chords need not be uncomfortable if we work within the limitations of the way the hand works. The rule in the video doesn't apply to all chord changes though, but where it can be applied, it should help.
3rd finger independence exercise
This exercise is very useful at increasing the independence of the 3rd finger. There is no quick fix though, so expect progress over a long period of time.
As with all exercises, play it slowly with a regular beat. Play it higher up the fingerboard to reduce unnecessary stretches.
As soon as any tension or strain is felt, stop and have a break.
Building an exercise like this in to your daily routine will have a huge impact on the playing of pieces. When you play a piece you won't need to spend time focusing on manipulating the 3rd finger into place as all that hard work has been done in the exercise previously, thus allowing you to focus on making music.
We encounter independence and mobility issues regarding our ring/3rd finger. This is simply a result of how our hand works: these fingers share a tendon with the middle/2nd finger and are reluctant to move on their own. There are compromises that we have to make and little tricks to help.
This video is the first part of two exploring possible solutions.
Carcassi Op. 59
It may sound a crazy concept, but practising just the left hand, or just the right hand, can really speed up learning a piece of music. This way we can concentrate on one aspect of our playing or technique at a time, for example: recognising a right hand finger pattern, listening out for the tone we create or focusing on smooth left hand shifts.
The movement of our hands is limited by various physical restraints, the obvious one being that our fingers don't move freely if we play with bent wrists. Another very useful technique to aid freedom of movement of our left hand fingers is the position of our left elbow.
This video explains that we have to work within the limitations of the body, but by simply moving our elbow, in or out, our fingers can stretch to higher positions with little effort.
A straightforward exercise would be to play the sticky chromatic exercise (http://www.jonnymossguitar.com/guitar-basics-blog/finger-independence-chromatic-exercise) starting on the sixth string with our elbow tucked in and then as the exercise develops, smoothly swing the elbow to the normal playing position.
It is important to be as relaxed a possible, in our mind, body and hands, to play musically. Hesitations, jumpy playing and irregular dynamics creep in if we are tense when we play. This video examines what we can do to reduce tension, particularly in our hands.
This simple technique will very quickly improve finger accuracy and ease of playing.
There are certain situations where we tend to tense up, a demanding performance for example, and hopefully, if we have practiced the piece without tension in our hands, this will be half way to playing without stress.
The music is an excerpt from 'Crossover Preludes' by Bertrand Groeger.
Music to inspire!
I stumbled across the music of Francis Kleynjans when I first lived in France some years ago and have been playing his music ever since. His hyper-Romantic pieces are a bit too 'sweet' for many in the classical guitar world, but he does write beautiful tunes.
This one is more demanding than most, with a few techniques which push it beyond a straightforward intermediate level with the melody singing out over the soaring arpeggios, the lightly played trill and the delicate artificial harmonics at the end.
I love Kleynjans' markings: 'intimate', 'more intimate', 'in the distance', 'even more in the distance'...
All these things added together make for a great study piece and not too painful on the ears!