Classical guitar; audience?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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georgemarousi
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Classical guitar; audience?

Post by georgemarousi » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:21 pm

Hello to all !

I believe that the classical guitar is an instrument that has a very specific and limited audience ( in my country, Greece, at least, though I guess everywhere is about the same ).

I thought about it after noticing some Classical guitar festivals and / or concerts where the audience is generally of a few people and almost always directly relative to the topic ( i.e. classical guitarists/studends and their friends / relatives )

This is in contrast with electric or acoustic guitar, which - as parts of a band usually (that is a key of course) - many times have very wide and big-number audiences, even up to rock festivals etc.
One the one hand, I love Classical guitar sound and feel by far, and this is enough for me to choose this path! But on the other hand I have to admit that sometimes i feel that I am a "weird" that invests in time and energy, and finally may get to play for me myself and I, a few friends, and a few-people concert at most.. This is a little bit discouraging as a perspective I have to admit.

I would like to hear your thoughts about it. Do you also think we are very limited / would you like that to change? If no, why? / if yes, how?

Regards,
George
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Kevin Cowen
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Kevin Cowen » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:29 pm

I can't answer the wider question but can say my most fulfilling time as a musician has been playing for myself or a small group of friends.

steve lu
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by steve lu » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:00 pm

I totally understand your point. I feel the same, as I've been playing other styles (jazz, rock...) and am now back on the classical guitar. I love playing it and I love the repertoire, but sometimes miss the thrill of playing to a larger audience. I am thinking of trying to create a group of classical musicians and have meeting where we would play for each other. Sort of a 19th century salon sort of thing, musicians society, that might be the way.
Also another idea would be to play for the opening of other gigs in other styles, folk or rock for example, since classical guitar is pretty versatile, this could be a way to reach a wider audience.
That's a really interesting question and surely something to think about.

Kurt Penner
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Kurt Penner » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:15 am

Classical guitar has a small audience, get used to it. I liken it to obscure art forms like origami. Most people will say, "that's cool" but few will seek it out and few will pay for it. It doesn't bother me in the slightest because the art speaks to me; that's enough for me.

Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:05 am

Origami?

More like poetry, I hope. Small audiences there too.
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Kurt Penner
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Kurt Penner » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:37 am

OK, maybe more like poetry. Maybe I chose an extremely obscure art to make the point.

kp

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Sharon Vizcaino
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Sharon Vizcaino » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:37 am

Heh, I used to be obsessed with origami when I was a kid. I used to make dragons and unicorns. For some reason most people didn't find them nearly as exciting as I did. Imagine that.

I think for classical guitar it also depends where you are. In Mexico classical guitars are a lot more common, although I still doubt most people would pay to listen to it. When they think of an acoustic guitar pretty much everyone will picture a classical, though, since steel-strings are somewhat rare there.

I've accepted the fact that most people have no interest whatsoever in classical guitar. Just yesterday I had a pretty amusing conversation that went something like this:
Other kid, who plays cello: I like the cello, but practicing classical music makes me really anxious because there's the expectation that it has to be perfect.
Me: Oh. I guess I hadn't thought about that. I guess since classical guitar isn't that well-known I don't feel as much pressure from other people, mostly just myself.
Other kid: You know, most people just call it "guitar." No one says classical.
Me: ...I think I just proved my point.

So I am not the least bit surprised guitar has such a tiny audience. And it's even tinier among people my age (college-age). Though fingerstyle's helped a little, since I've seen a lot of kids get into classical after playing fingerstyle for a while.
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Salvador
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Salvador » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:38 am

When i performed before, after i play, someone would always approach me and said you are good but you should play more popular songs, or jazz. It's always like that. Even friends and family do that to me.

When Berta Rojas went to Manila like 3 years ago. She visited a TV Station to promote her concert. I think she played Julia Florida, after playing Julia Florida. The female tv host said (i forgot the exact words but close i think), that's nice. Do you know any popular songs, like Rock music, Led Zeppelin? I forgot what Berta Rojas said but she continued to play a classical guitar piece. But she did play one of our traditional music in her concert. She sight read it, and played it perfectly like she knew the piece well.

malc laney
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by malc laney » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:32 am

"Classical Guitar " why is it so difficult for many to be able to sight read with any speed and accuracy ? We could perhaps have a more dynamic instrument and join our violin/clarinet/flute friends ? hang on the clarinet is in Bb !!!
The salon idea seems promising , when i took my guitar to a Meet Up for classical ensemble[amateur] everyone was very polite , then they got the Brahms out wow what fun ! Itried taking Bach and other reasonable stuff , but out came the piano larded with arpeggios the size of the Shard , not very encourageing.
Who writes viable ensemble pieces including CG ?

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muirtan
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by muirtan » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:48 am

Salvador wrote:When i performed before, after i play, someone would always approach me and said you are good but you should play more popular songs, or jazz. It's always like that. Even friends and family do that to me.

When Berta Rojas went to Manila like 3 years ago. She visited a TV Station to promote her concert. I think she played Julia Florida, after playing Julia Florida. The female tv host said (i forgot the exact words but close i think), that's nice. Do you know any popular songs, like Rock music, Led Zeppelin? I forgot what Berta Rojas said but she continued to play a classical guitar piece. But she did play one of our traditional music in her concert. She sight read it, and played it perfectly like she knew the piece well.
I had the very opposite last Tuesday when I played at an open mic at the local pub. They know and have heard me play classical music but that night I decided to give them a break and play some Beatles and a tango. After I played they were very polite but one said you should have played classical music. Just can't win.

Salvador
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Salvador » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:35 am

muirtan wrote:
I had the very opposite last Tuesday when I played at an open mic at the local pub. They know and have heard me play classical music but that night I decided to give them a break and play some Beatles and a tango. After I played they were very polite but one said you should have played classical music. Just can't win.
There's also similar situation on Facebook in my country. There's this guy, he was classical guitar trained but he is now a Fingerstyle guitarist. He do live streaming on FB for his friends and followers. All his repertoire are popular music and yet he receives lots of request to play Cavatina, Fur Elise, Romance and other classical pieces. He insists that he doesn't play classical music anymore and yet he continue to receive request to play classical music lol, I am amused.

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muirtan
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by muirtan » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:04 am

Salvador wrote:
muirtan wrote:
I had the very opposite last Tuesday when I played at an open mic at the local pub. They know and have heard me play classical music but that night I decided to give them a break and play some Beatles and a tango. After I played they were very polite but one said you should have played classical music. Just can't win.
There's also similar situation on Facebook in my country. There's this guy, he was classical guitar trained but he is now a Fingerstyle guitarist. He do live streaming on FB for his friends and followers. All his repertoire are popular music and yet he receives lots of request to play Cavatina, Fur Elise, Romance and other classical pieces. He insists that he doesn't play classical music anymore and yet he continue to receive request to play classical music lol, I am amused.
They were after Walton , Tarrega, Torroba etc. so actually classical guitar repertoire rather than popular classics.

Salvador
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by Salvador » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:24 am

muirtan wrote:
They were after Walton , Tarrega, Torroba etc. so actually classical guitar repertoire rather than popular classics.
Yeah that's the difference. Most of them are popular classics. We still have a long way to go in classical guitar.

PeteJ
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by PeteJ » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:28 pm

I feel that there's a dearth of informal and performable ensemble music for CG. It's more versatile than it sometimes seems. When I saw John Mayall at Glastonbury (just after the last ice age) he'd fired the drummer and was using a CG for the rhythm section. If I were going out performing I'd want onboard pick-ups, reverb, delays, a bit of compression, a couple of mates on gtrs, keyboard strings and some bongos and would do the pubs and cafes. Best gig I ever did took this form, at a music club. Knocked 'em out. One note on the CG is to die for when you've got a string orchestra behind it.

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chelson
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Re: Classical guitar; audience?

Post by chelson » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:38 pm

Whenever I took out my guitar and played, my wife and children would shut the door and commented that it was noisy to the family and the neighborhood despite how soft I was playing. Initially, I argued. Eventually, I enlightened and bought a silent guitar, effectively stopped people from closing their door. Audience? None.
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