Ana Vidovic Masterclass

Found a few videos of Ana Vidovic giving a masterclass. Worth watching. She seems big on experimenting with tonal color, but there’s not a lot of helpful advice about how to do that. That said, she does mention that phrases should, in her opinion, have a consistent sound. Sort of a hint at how the structure of a piece can help one experiment with tonal color.

Some other things stand out. Prepare and sequence left hand fingers and always think ahead of your hands. Play chords more connected; think about music in terms of lines, in other words (though she doesn’t say that).

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  • Naughty Groblin
    Naughty Groblin

    Oh Ana…
    There’s a lot of stuff that she doesn’t say. Though she’s gotten somewhat better (there are some really horrible masterclasses that she’s given), I still come away feeling that she should perhaps stick to giving concerts in nice clothes with that hint of sex-appeal, that makes it so interesting.
    PS: Is she married?

    • Frank

      NaughtyGoblin the INTENT behind your criticism of Ana Vidovic is questionable.
      It seems to me that you are trying to big note yourself……bit of an ego problem? Also, your patronizing, personal and sexist comments about her, imply more than a hint of misogyny, or perhaps they just indicate a lack of maturity?

  • Nikolay G

    Wow, really? I thought she gave some very good advice on right hand positioning, shifting, tone color and tempo. Pretty straight forward, compared to the usual abstract crap that many other ‘greats’ love talking about.

    • Christopher Davis

      I agree Nikolay. Of course she doesn’t talk about everything — no teacher in her right mind would try to cover every detail in a single lesson. But the advice she gave was okay. A big scattered, but not really any different than any other music coaching session.

  • Justin

    I thought the lesson was very good. No she did not go into detail on everything, but she probably assumes that at that level of playing, you can fill in the gaps yourself. She should not, for instance, have to tell you how to get a “brighter” sound, you should know where your bright sound is. The way she was speaking (2nd video i think) of playing a little faster in some parts and slower in others almost sounded like she was talking more about dynamics than tempo. I like that she said that however, for while the metronome has it’s place, it can also constrain a piece. One of the things I noticed, was she would comment on something that I completly missed, and then after she mentioned it, it became so obvious. Very insightful, truly a master of the instrument!

  • Nikolay G

    That’s true, although the guy didn’t really do what she asked him to – he kept moving his right hand during phrases. I catch myself doing that same thing sometimes and it’s a bit annoying. The sound is usually uneven but I can only tell if I record myself. The guitar is a very responsive instrument and you normally need only the slightest movement to change color.

  • Justin

    I noticed his hand as well Nikolay. Before she mentioned it, I had no idea, afterward you can tell the guy is all over the place. Seems like that is part of his technique when he rolls a chord, he moves his whole hand forward to do it. That being said, he plays that better than I probably can (I don’t even know the piece), and its really hard to change habits like that in a single mastersclass.

  • Jim Doyle

    Who can tell me what piece they are working on in the first video? It sounds so familiar, but I cant place it. Comments anyone? Jim

  • Jim Doyle

    It is j s bach- sarabande from the second lute suite, bwv997 I answered my own question. Thanks much. Peace to all and happy guitar playing.

  • Nick Cutroneo

    The idea of keep the phrase consistent color wise is great advice. How many times have you heard someone, inside of one phrase use about 3-4 different tone colors. Depending on the situation it can work, especially if you are using it to identify different voices. However, when the melody line has 3-4 different colors, that’s a problem.

    As for the “hand movement”, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I tend to move my Right Hand a lot, but to achieve tonal unity between notes. Every string has their own sound, and each note on a single string can tonally vary. I tend to move my hand to keep my sound consistent rather then to change my sound.

  • phil

    Aren’t they playing this very slow. I’m trying to time it with a metronome and it seems to be lower than 34 bpm. or am I doing something wrong? Surely it shouldn«t be that slow?

  • David

    There are some who think that Bach doesn’t need to be tampered with in tone colour or tempo. The music was written at a time which predated ‘personality’ culture. The requirement for adding the performer’s identity was not there. Lutes and keyboards were not so easy to adjust for tonal or dynamic changes crescendos and diminuendos were accomplished more often, not by hitting the strings harder, but by ‘thickening’ the harmony or by dividing the pulse into semi-quavers or even hemi-demi-semi-quavers!

    Ana is struggling with ideas for this because the ingredient that she has and he hasn’t cannot be taught.

  • Efrem Violin

    My compliments! There seem to be more talents being born in the latter part of
    the last century, than in the early one, where I was born! This is good, it insures
    the next period with some incredible gifts.

    Ana is gifted, in so many ways. We are not all so fortunate.
    Ana is also gorgeous. What a plus! Ana found a natural means of expression.
    Her communication is so very satisfying. It’s a much richer world with Ana here.

    As a violinist, I was taught, from the very beginning, to “prepare”, always prepare.
    I (did) dabble on the piano, and preparation is very important there, also. I guess it’s all in the mind. One has to KNOW what they are going to do, and how
    they are going to do it.

    Before today, I did not know there was an Ana Vidovic. Today, I am thankful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


  • William

    Does anyone know what are the requirments of getting into a masterclass?

    • Christopher Davis

      There usually aren’t requirements: just contact the organize and say you want to play. Occasionally there are screening processes, but nothing major — maybe an audition CD. AND, of course, not all masterclasses are free. Sometimes the only barrier to entry is a fee.