Students' Corner

Archive of on-line classical guitar lessons from previous years.
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The classical guitar lessons are free. They are aimed at the isolated amateur who does not have access to a teacher. To join the class, apply for registration into the students group.

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Beatriz Martin

Re: Students' Corner

Post by Beatriz Martin » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:51 am

Hi Timo, I am not familiar with steel string guitar but I understand your concern. I just want to give you the idea of borrowing a nylon string guitar. Do you have a relative or friend who happens to have one, who doesnt play it and that you could borrow for a couple of months until you can get your own guitar? Twice I lent my guitar to friends at a time when I wasnt playing. This is an idea.
In re to the recording, some people have bought mics, they have spent between 150 or 200 $ for one, there is information about this somewhere else. I dont have that in budget and I dont consider it a need at the moment. I have used my cell phone which has a built in camera and it has worked. It is not quality audio but it has worked well to post lessons and receive feedback. I suggest in the beginning you try recording with what you have at home if you are on a budget. Later on you can think about investing in mic.

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: Students' Corner

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:13 am

Timo,

My main concern with starting the lessons with a steel string guitar would be that I'd possibly be learning 'wrong' technique (from classical guitar perspective) and/or bad habits regarding posture etc. If I was in your place, I would buy that cheap classical that you can afford, perhaps a second hand guitar if you can find a decent one. I understand what you're saying about not wanting to buy a guitar you'd feel that you'd like to upgrade soon.

However I see two faults in that logic. The first one is that the assumption you would succeed to buy as your first classical guitar an instrument that you would be content with for many years. I guess some people do manage to be content with what they have, but there is at least an equal chance that whatever instrument you would now find sophisticated enough for you, will in couple of years feel inadequate or limiting your abilities as a player. The second point is actually the same as the first, but from a more practical perspective: You will need experience in playing a nylon string classical to be able to select for yourself a suitable better CG at later stage. Things like judging the ease of playing or the tone the guitar produces will be hard if your only finger picking experience comes from playing a steel string guitar. Classical guitar has a considerably wider fretboard, higher action and different technique for right hand tone production compared to steel string finger picking.

My advice would be to look for a cheap second hand Yamaha. They are decent CGs for studying the basic technique, sound ok, should be available pretty much everywhere, and when you decide to replace it with a better guitar you haven't lost much money in the process.
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Timo N.
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Re: Students' Corner

Post by Timo N. » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:11 pm

Thanks for the advice, I guess I will go with a cheaper guitar for now.
I could actually get a second hand one from a friend of mine (Should have cost him about 100 Euros when it was new).
I did play that one once, seemed okay to me but then again I'm not really qualified to judge that.
Is it thinkable that a cheap guitar could actually impede me in my playing (aside from sounding bad)?
And if so, what would I have to check for? Again, that would be kind of more comfortable for me than looking for a used one online.

Edit: One other thing: I'm always reading that tone production on Cg is very different from steel-string. I get that the sound itself is different, but i the right hand technique all that different as well? I'm used to playing with long nails and using things like rest stroke or string dampening, so am I still in for a load of readjustment? sounds kind of scary :shock:

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: Students' Corner

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:24 pm

Timo N. wrote:Is it thinkable that a cheap guitar could actually impede me in my playing (aside from sounding bad)?
And if so, what would I have to check for? Again, that would be kind of more comfortable for me than looking for a used one online.
I'll confess that I'm not an expert in these things, but after reading some discussion in this forum and based on my own experience, I would say that a cheap guitar might be lacking in these areas (aside from the actual goodness of tone): sustain, responsiveness to tone production techniques, sympathetic ringing of bass strings, evenness of notes through the fretboard (dead notes, wolf notes, buzzing), action cannot be lowered to comfortable level without introducing buzzing, intonation.

If the guitar is at least half decent, I don't think it would seriously impede your progress. Short sustain could mean that you aren't forced to develop your damping skills, unresponsiveness to tone variation would mean that you wouldn't be experimenting that much with tone color, aside from playing near the bridge / over the sound hole. In some ways that could be even a blessing, letting you concentrate on the most important things first.

If I was testing a guitar, I would play every note on the fret board to check for wolf notes, and also that there are no severe intonation issues. The latter can be a bit difficult, because worn out strings usually intonate badly, and sometimes also the new ones do, at least with certain string manufacturers. So if possible, I would restring the guitar first with D'Addario EJ-45's, which is a kind of neutral string that intonates well. They're also widely available and cheap.

I would advice that you spend some time reading 'Advice on buying, selling or valuing a guitar' -subforum. Once you get to try that guitar of your friend, you could post specific questions there. People are very helpful in that part of the forum particularly.
Timo N. wrote:Edit: One other thing: I'm always reading that tone production on Cg is very different from steel-string. I get that the sound itself is different, but i the right hand technique all that different as well? I'm used to playing with long nails and using things like rest stroke or string dampening, so am I still in for a load of readjustment? sounds kind of scary :shock:
You probably won't need much readjustment. The feel of the nylon strings is naturally different from steel, and the tension much lighter. I'm afraid that I'm not too familiar with steel string tone production finger style, so I don't know for example whether it makes a difference with steel strings whether you aim the free stroke inwards as you do with rest stroke. With classical guitar it makes a difference between a thin and a full bodied tone.

I made the comment about possibly different techniques, because my understanding is that with steel string finger style there is a lot more individual freedom with the right hand technique than there is with classical, or at least what is considered a 'good classical technique'. I could be wrong though.
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Timo N.
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Re: Students' Corner

Post by Timo N. » Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:10 pm

Marko Räsänen wrote:I would advice that you spend some time reading 'Advice on buying, selling or valuing a guitar' -subforum. Once you get to try that guitar of your friend, you could post specific questions there. People are very helpful in that part of the forum particularly.
I'll check that one out once I get my hands on a nylon guitar, thanks again!

Scott Fountain

Re: Students' Corner

Post by Scott Fountain » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:58 pm

Timo,

I started out on a Cordoba C3 (cost $199.00 new). It was an excellent guitar to start with and I believe you may find one on e - b a y for about $100.00. I also seen Yamaha C40's for around $60 used. I bought one for my daughter and they are excellent for learning. Another great low cost guitar would be an Aria. Those three guitars could carry you a few years until you want to upgrade. Hope that helps!

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: Students' Corner

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:28 pm

Eric de Vries wrote:So I knew Tarrega's Chopin arrangement and was wondering what would happen at the first beat of bar 13. :D
I just played that piece for the first time today. Come bar 13, and I think "That's quite a reach with the index finger back to 7th fret..." I could do it, but it sounded very strange. After some brief confusion it dawned on me that the piece was in drop D tuning, and the B has moved two frets up. As that B is the only the fretted note on the 6th string in that piece, I had simply forgotten that I need to add two frets for every note played on 6th string :lol:
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Goran Penic
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Re: Students' Corner

Post by Goran Penic » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:36 am

I think this might be useful:

Search Youtube for "David Russell plays 20 studies by Francisco Tárrega"

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Guitar: Mirko Hotko 1989
Strings: D'Addario EJ46TT Pro Arte Dynacore Hard Tension
Recorder: Olympus LS-20M

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