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I am practicing some short guitar etudes. Many of them have short repeated sections, which are identical and so sound rather boring (example: both first and second half are played twice in this Sor's etude).

What is the easiest way to play them differently?

I tried playing one repetition louder than the other - the result is one sounds normal, and the second uneven (bad skills; will improve).

I tried playing one repetition normal, and the other nearer to the bridge - but that's harder to play and I don't like the sound.

So what else can I change to make short repetitions sound more interesting?

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Play once w/ straight meter, then switch to swing :-). Actually, that's useful for working on transitions, but I wouldn't perform it that way. – Carl Witthoft May 22 '13 at 12:14
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You could add some trills for variety on repeated sections. Not too much, just enough to break the monotony and give the song some variation and build anticipation. A slowing of the tempo to draw attention to key points can also make pieces like this come alive.

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You could vary how you break the sections into phrases. The limiting cases would be to play the entire phrase staccato and then play it legato, but you could also make similar variations in the interior of the section.

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Traditionally, these should be played with varying dynamics. Forte first time, piano second time, usually.

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i agree with the guys above. One last thing to add is that typically a piece should expand or increase in energy from relatively "straight" (no/little embelishments, typically quieter) to more expansive/energy by playing in a higher register/brighter and including embellishments like more trills , slides , bends, fancy stuff. Eseentially i think of it like energy levels.

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To get a variation in tone, play one with flesh of fingers and another with your nails. Having said that, if you didn't much like the change of tone close to the bridge, you may not like this either.

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