We are going to talk about the minimum time you need to devote to the study of the guitar, about the position for holding the guitar, and finally about some techniques, exercises and pieces.
Timetable for players of a year's experience:
In order to progress, you need a little time each day for 6 days of the week. Here is the minimum necessary for players of this level :
3 days when you can devote 15 minutes to repeating each difficult passage 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 40 minutes to studying the guitar, made up of
- 15 minutes practicing the difficult (boxed) passages,
- 15 minutes repeating the individual phrases several times in succession (3 to 6 times)
- and finally 10 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 15 and 40 minutes:
Monday 40 minutes
Tuesday 15 minutes
Wednesday 40 minutes
Thursday 15 minutes
Friday 40 minutes
Saturday 15 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.
Finally, choose a chair of a height that allows your thights to be horizontal, like this your guitar will rest in a stable manner. If your thigh is angled in one direction or the other, your guitar will slip and interfere with your playing.
To begin the course we will firstly look at, or relook at, pages 26 and 58 of volume D01.
- page 26 of volume D01 : Jean-François DELCAMP (1956) POLYPHONIE
- page 58 of volume D01 : Jean-François DELCAMP (1956) REST STROKE - APOYANDO
These exercises will work upon the technique of simultaneous rest strokes (apoyando) with the thumb and index finger, and also with the thumb and middle finger.
The rest stoke is a way to play the string with a finger movement which plucks the string and then continues to move until it comes to rest on the adjacent string. The work on this technique will allow you to discover the best position for your plucking hand (the right hand if you are right-handed).
If you are already used to plucking the strings with free strokes, the simultaneous rest strokes with the thumb and a finger will seem difficult to you, even impossible. But be assured, with patience and consistence, this difficulty will be resolved in 30 minutes. I know from experience that the first tries are truly discouraging, particularly for adults. It is for this reason that I wish to reassure you in advance, take heart, you will be able to do it.
Then we will study three pieces, the easiest of volume D02. Two pieces are to be played either with rest stroke or free stroke, both for the melody and for the bass.
- page 7 ANONYME (1750) DANSE D'AVILA with rest strokes (apoyando).
- page 8 Stephen Collins FOSTER (1826-1864) OH! SUSANNA with rest strokes (apoyando). This piece will serve to work on rhythm. To keep time, count out loud the beats as indicated above the stave.
- page 19 ANONYME (1750) QUE NE SUIS-JE LA FOUGÈRE with free strokes (tirando),
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:
- page 26 du volume D01 : Jean-François DELCAMP (1956) POLYPHONIE (apoyando).
- page 7 ANONYME (1750) DANSE D'AVILA (apoyando).
- page 8 Stephen Collins FOSTER (1826-1864) OH! SUSANNA (apoyando).
I thank Geoff (GeoffB) who has helped in the translation of my lessons into English.
It sounds to me that in your videos there are two audio tracks playing which are slightly misaligned. One is probably from the camera mic and the other from the external mic. When you add the audio from the external mic, you should disable the audio already contained in the video. As it is now it sounds like there's a strange reverb or echo.
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Thank Stefan, I was trying to imbed the videos but was unsuccessful. Thanks for helping me out and explaining how to do it.
Marko; I just bought the microphone and so I am still learning to use it. I'll mess with it some more but I think you're right, it maybe from the camera mic. God, I wish I had an Apple PC, recording would be much easier
Sounds good, except for that microphone issue. I have an apple and recording was very easy on it until apple disabled the microphone in imovie on the mavericks update. My postings are going to be a bit late, having trouble with my van so I haven't had enough time to practice. Additionally, I'm having unexpected visitors for a week or so. Hopefully I'm going to be able to post mine in a few days.
Postby Archit Junnarkar » Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:44 am
First of all, I am so glad that the lessons have begun and most my fellow mates from D01 are here. Good to see you all, no wonder I am so excited on my D02 lessons this season. Well this is my first post on D02 thread and it's a review to start with and not my video post of lesson 1 . Well I am still practicing, will post my videos soon.
Your timing was very good. Apart from the sound problem which was causing an echo in your video, I don't think there was any other issue. Great work ! ! In fact, even I have purchased a mini studio recently and I am still trying to figure out how to make the sounds sound perfect. Until I get a hang of it, I will probably stick to my video recording using my Tab.
Wow ! I am impressed. I felt everything was perfect and I really liked the sound of your guitar. Good to see the way you controlled each piece without rushing in or delaying the notes, which, I believe, is very difficult to do so. Nice work ! !
David Yang wrote:Hi all, it's my pleasure to start the new study together with you guys. My videos are as below. I'm only able to upload to Google, sorry for the inconvenience. Your comments are welcome
David. This sounded very nice. Timing sounded good. You seem to really have your rest stroke down and your fingers have good posture. Wish I could say the same for me. Well done. Bill
Hi Scott, great achievement to be able to record as first, well done. I would only like to add that I think the rythm is a bit unstable. Related to rythm, I think we are supposed to count out loud with Oh Susanna. Well done nonetheless!
Thank you. It's funny how you don't notice those things until you look at yourself, which I never did until these recordings in D01, etc. I have been thinking about your suggestion for some time even before you mentioned it so your comment is a good reminder to address this. I have looked at the way my fingers close in on my palm and they are not closing square to my palm, they curl in towards my thumb. Which means when I try to play squared up the side of my pinky finger is what would press on the string and not the tip of my pinky. So I am afraid this is going to be some work for me. So I better try to correct this now rather than in more advanced pieces. Thanks for the encouragement and recommendation.