I'm going to talk to you about the minimum time you need to devote to the study of the guitar, and about the classical position for holding the guitar.
Timetable for the beginner:
In order to progress, you need a little time each day for 6 days of the week. Here is the minimum necessary when you are a beginner:
3 days when you can devote 10 minutes to repeating each difficult passage from 6 to 12 times. I'll indicate these difficult passages to you by putting a box (a rectangular border) around them.
3 days when you can devote 30 minutes to studying the guitar, made up of
- 10 minutes practising the difficult (boxed) passages,
- 15 minutes repeating the individual phrases (indicated by phrase marks) several times in succession (3 to 6 times)
- and finally 5 minutes playing the piece or pieces in full.
Note that you must play for 6 days of the week. If you combine all this time into one day, that is to say, 2 hours in a single day, you will not make progress and furthermore you will risk injuring yourself by making demands on certain muscles for too long. Divide up your practice and play a little each day.
Spend most of your practice time on the parts you have trouble playing: difficult passages, difficult phrases. Only play pieces the whole way through once or twice a week.
So we understand one another properly, here is an example of a timetable where sessions alternate between 10 and 30 minutes:
Monday 30 minutes
Tuesday 10 minutes
Wednesday 30 minutes
Thursday 10 minutes
Friday 30 minutes
Saturday 10 minutes
The position for the classical guitar is the product of past experience. The classical position enables us to reduce effort to a minimum, and has arisen from a compromise between the needs for stability, comfort and the efficient use of both hands.
The principles of this position are:
sitting position, back straight, shoulders level,
the guitar rests on whichever thigh is on the neck side.
We raise the head of the guitar level with our head, with the aid of a footstool or of a support placed on the thigh.
The hand which plays the strings is placed over the sound hole, the elbow rests on the edge of the body of the guitar, level with the bridge.
The arm on the neck side is bent to bring the hand up to the height of the shoulder, the thumb is placed behind the neck, beneath the second fret and behind the third string, the fingers are over the strings.
Try to achieve relaxation, from the shoulders right down to the hands.
Some classical guitarists adopt a position similar to that used by cellists. I am not competent to teach you that position, but it is worth being aware of.
We will study some techniques and some exercises.
D01, page 6 and page 7:
- The rest stoke technique (apoyando). Apoyando is a way to vibrate the string by a finger movement which plucks the string and then continues to come to rest on the adjacent string.
- The technique of alternating the index and middle fingers of the hand that makes the strings vibrate. To stabilize the hand and fully benefit from this exercise, it is necessary to place the tip of the thumb on the fifth string (A string).
- The tempo. To measure yourself the time, you count the time aloud, as indicated in the score.
I ask you first to work on all these exercises and pieces for one week and then to post your recordings on the forum for:
Jean-François DELCAMP (1956) : CORDES A VIDE - OPEN STRING (page 6)
Anonyme : Old Mac Donald
Anonyme : Au clair de la lune
I thank Geoff (GeoffB) who has helped in the translation of my lessons into English.
Exam qualifying submissions:
CORDES A VIDE - OPEN STRING (page 6)
Old Mac Donald
Au clair de la lune
- Watch for repeat signs/markings such as in the Claire De La Luna piece (p10) in measure 4, the vertical double dots indicate the first 4 bars of the piece should be repeated, then continue at bar 5 till the end.
2001 Vicente Carrillo 1a Rio
1998 German Rubio Vazquez Estudio
2015 Cordoba Solista
2012 Cordoba C7
La Bella & D'Addario Strings
Just a couple of things I noticed that may help you. Your right wrist is a little flat. It should be up off the soundboard a bit more (about an inch or so). Also your right hand is a little high over the soundhole. You may want to bring it down a bit towards the bottom of the soundhole. This is a good standard position which does not have your hand blocking the soundhole. Where you are playing you will get more bass, which is a good effect but not the best all the time.
For your left hand, your index finger seems to be flying away. Even though it's not in use, you should try to keep it much closer to the fingerboard along with your other fingers. This will help a lot when you do use it. It will not have so far to travel to get to the string.
I hope this helps!
It's the player, not the guitar...
But, the guitar helps!!!
Im having a bit of trouble up loading my files. I recorded them on my phone, then emailed the files to me via my desktop computer only to find that are in MP4 format and this site doesn't recognize MP4...
Good effort. I'm hearing a bit of string buzz. Without a video I can only guess that your fingers are too far behind the fret and/or you're not pressing down hard enough with your left hand. I find that the real power in my left hand starts at the shoulder so that my whole arm works to keep the sting/s down and my thumb is just an anchor point that exerts SOME pressure but not all.
Great work! very consistent and smooth. I am in the process of uploading my submissions and for now audio will have to be sufficient. If you are looking for a good PC based program to convert audio files between multiple formats try SoundTaxi.
"Si de noche lloras por el sol, no verás las estrellas."