Future of the online lessons on this forum.

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.

PDF, MP3, Vidéos, Lessons : Level D01 - Level D02 - Level D03 - Level D04 - Level D05 - Level D06 - Level D07 - Level D08 - Level D09 - Level D10 - Level D11 - Level D12.
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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by kirolak » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:16 am

Cher Maestro Delcamp,

I would just like to add my humble thanks to you for having started this forum, & all the wonderful resources made available free of charge; it is quite unique & will become part of the world history of the guitar, I am sure.

You have given so much, your time, your experience, your music & your presence. Especially those of us who live far from any cultural centre, this site is a daily virtual stopping point to enter into communication & communion with wonderful musicians & teachers, especially yourself.

Whatever you decide about the lessons, I am sure everyone will understand & support you whole-heartedly.

Respect & gratitude to you!

Tom Wimsatt
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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Tom Wimsatt » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:39 pm

"By force of circumstances, I have switched to playing without nails, but I'm not yet fully adapted to it. I can't give clear examples. I would need to find a springboard, something to motivate me again. "

I will stay tuned on how this is working out. This was the main reason I quit playing long ago, other hobbies regularly resulted in broken fingernails and I figured classical guitar wasn't for me.

I must say that your program, even if it's largely unchanged over the years, is the best I've found - short of hiring a private instructor. Mandatory student participation (your rules) plays a huge role in the educational experience in my opinion. This was a fantastic idea and pretty much ensures good results with a minimum of extra work on your part (beyond the incredible effort you put into getting this curriculum together).

I wish you all the best,

Tom Wimsatt
1989 Takamine C132S, Aquila 19C strings

Stewart Doyle

Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Stewart Doyle » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:22 pm

Firstly, as with many others, I want to express my gratitude for being able to make use of the online lessons for many years. In doing so, it has provided the encouragement I need to practice and the opportunity to engage with some wonderful fellow students and moderators.

Although it seems a little impertinent to discuss how the lessons could be changed going forward, I'd like to offer the following suggestions as someone who has taken the courses from D02 in 2011 and has also repeated D05 three times. (Although I passed D05, I felt more work was needed before moving onto D06. This repetition is behind some of my suggestions.)

The lessons are a fabulous resource and I would hope that some trusted, willing moderators may be able to keep breathing new life into the courses with minimal effort. All this would have to be subject to Jean-François's approval of course.

I wonder if a number of options could be given approval, so that the main content would be untouched, but under the

"I ask you first...... upload your recordings of:" section, a number of options could be possible. For example:

1) Two full songs, but different each year

2) As above but with added exercise or scale

3) One full song (different each year), an exercise and short excerpts from other pieces

If there are willing volunteers, I am sure they could consider other options and then check which are acceptable to Prof. Delcamp.

This would still leave the issue of proposed changes and handling the exam. The former may rely on some collaboration with some senior members of the forum to perhaps realise the changes that Prof. Delcamp seeks. I'm not sure how much effort is involved in the exams, but if this was too burdensome for volunteers, it might be worth considering whether peer assessment could be used. Ideally, this would involve a programming solution to minimise the overheads, but alternatively could be a manual process whereby everyone submitting an exam recording then submits a mark for their fellow pupils. It might then just need one 'moderator' to do some assurance.

As I said earlier, it seems somewhat impertinent to make some radical suggestions around a resource I have contributed so little to, but benefited from so much. I trust they are seen as positive suggestions from a very grateful pupil.

Best wishes


PS Enjoy the kayaking Prof. Delcamp! I'm no expert but have enjoyed kayaking on a few occasions, including around the wonderful coast of Brittany.

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by tcee » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:06 am

I know this may shock some people but how about monetizing the forum either by some (subtle) ads or by something like Patreon? Probably being the biggest guitar forum on the net I suspect that this would generate a very decent return. Very likely even enough to not only pay a bunch of Mr. Delcamp's daily expenses but also give some credit to the moderators.

Well, I know that the people here love what they do. But from my +10 year experience as a board administratior/moderator even the most dedicated volunteering can be even more fun if you get something out of it and can free yourself of other obligations that might stand in your way. It can also open up possibilities for other projects that you might not be able to do otherwise.

I know for some it is even taboo to say that out loud but once you see how people value your work not only in terms of gratitude by words or participation but also in terms of money they spend to support you, your whole outlook on what you do can change even more to the positive. Don' know, maybe it is not what Mr. Delcamp intends to do and maybe he is just not that kind of guy. But it may be worth thinking about.

Tom Wimsatt
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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Tom Wimsatt » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:53 pm

I am new to this forum, but I did not get the impression financial pressures drove the thread.

Personally, I dislike ads (and advertising in general) and I hope they don't show up on this forum.
1989 Takamine C132S, Aquila 19C strings

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by James A. Showalter » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:18 am

I understand the allure of the Kayak that is drawing Jean-Francois. I had my 1st experience with a Kayak this past week and it was a great time. The water did wrinkle my fingertips but stimulated my spirit just like music.
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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by simonm » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:05 am

For a teacher and arranger 12 graded books of music, 12 complete levels of online courses, and loads of other published music projects is an achievement that is pretty much unbeatable. And all that while doing a full time "day job". A magnificent achievement. Few people in any field can boast of such an achievement. Everything printed out and bound would take quite a lot of shelf space. All the recording would fill a few DVDs. All that without mentioning facilitating a great community. Congratulations!

The fact that the artist/creator sees room for improvement does not take away from the excellence of a work. Carcassi, Pujol, Sagreras are no less useful just because they have never been updated although the authors would not doubt have liked to make improvements as soon as they saw their work published.

It is impossible to predict how long the momentum of the online classes will continue but I see no reason for them not to continue being successful. Happy students will recommend them to others and the forum continues to attract new members. There is a magnificent team of moderators to keep things on track. Consider the online class an extremely successful project which is now complete, self-contained and able to look after itself. There is nothing wrong with repeating a good story. In six months or a year have a chat with the moderators and review any options that may have been suggested.

In short ... Don't Worry, be Happy. Move on to the next project be it Kayaking or something else.


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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by CarlWestman » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:39 pm

What a time to check back in while waiting for my coffee to finish brewing.

First, let me echo those who have expressed their deep appreciation for the existence of these lessons and the forum in which to share our efforts. They were absolutely essential for me to progress, and I really liked the camaraderie that I found here.

Second, let me just say that there is some well-regarded kayaking here in southeast Tennessee; indeed, the 1996 Olympic kayaking competition was held in this area. Mssr. Delcamp may consider this an invitation! :) I certainly can understand the sense one gets on occasion that it is time to move on. The comment about "once I get home from the conservatory in Brest I feel like doing something different (kayaking, for example). " is revealing, but then again, if Mssr. Delcamp is still motivated to go to the conservatory in the morning, then it sounds more like he is seeking balance in his life, not necessarily retirement from CG entirely.

Finally, let me offer my thoughts on the lessons. I stopped last year after D04; I may take up D05 even after a year's break, but I'm not sure. One thing that would energize my interest is if one could pursue progressively more complex pieces within a given genre or style of classical guitar music. I have come to really like certain styles, periods, and composers, and less so others. During D01-D04, I viewed playing unappealing pieces as the musical equivalent of "eating my vegetables" - I knew they were good for me and that I should do it, for developing technique as well as exposure to unfamiliar genres. But going forward, if I could focus on progressing in a particular style or from the works of a given composer (or their method), or if there was a modular system that let me pick and choose the pieces (a la carte, from an approved set) to record and post, that would have much greater appeal to me.

Also, with the final exam, one's grade comes with no constructive or critical feedback. It would be good to know what weaknesses one should be working on. Is it timing? Legato? Mere accuracy with playing the right notes? Since presumably the jury is of more experienced players, not merely peers (as with the month-to-month lessons), their feedback should carry more weight, and thus, having it would be very helpful.

I echo Rick's comment - it would be wonderful to have a GFA-type convention of JFD students to gather in person! Either at a central location or multiple places (one per continent, perhaps). I do hope the lessons continue in some form or fashion, for they provide at least one thing that most in-person teachers don't provide, and that's a community of players. And for many, they provide instruction that we simply can't find locally. Again, many thanks.

Jeffrey Armbruster

Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:31 pm

And take Rick's suggestion to heart and have the convention near his home; indeed, the kayaking is superb! Two birds with one stone! Cher Mssr. Delcamp, google as well pictures of the adjacent San Juan islands to 'wet' (punning en anglais with 'whet') your appetite.

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Paul Janssen » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:11 pm

As a former student of the online lessons and someone who hopes to rejoin the lessons in the future, I too would like to thank you Professor Delcamp for the amazing resource that you have created. I agree with what others have said that whilst the courses may not have been updated for some time, to the student taking a course the material is always new, fresh and relevant. I therefore think there is still much to be gained by continuing to run the online lessons unchanged if the administration could be passed on to another moderator to oversee. The reality is that you have already put in the hard work to create these brilliant courses and it would be such a shame to see them fade away especially when they have helped so many people in all parts of the world come to understand and love classical guitar playing.

I wish you continued good health and happiness in your personal pursuits and once again thank you for all that you have done in creating and running these online lessons.

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Satyajit Kadle » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:16 pm

Dear M. Delcamp, first of all, I can't thank you enough for this wonderful forum and the lessons. For an isolated amateur like me in India who started out classical guitar from scratch and completed D05, it's priceless!

I do understand your need for some R&R and you're entitled to it. I would hope this forum continues running. Perhaps when you come rejuvenated from your breaks, you can add fresh pieces, lessons etc. Even if that doesn't happen, the existing structure and lessons work perfectly well.

I plan to start D06 this September after a year's break myself. I feel more confident of the pieces and the small repertoire I've managed to build thanks to you and the lessons.

An offline meet-up would be fantastic sometime during the year.

David Florea
Student of the online lessons
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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by David Florea » Thu May 04, 2017 1:21 am

Mr. Delcamp, Thank you for the opportunity to better myself. As the late philosopher Joeseph Campbell said, "Follow your heart and you'll have made the correct choice!"

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by dropbydrop » Thu May 04, 2017 10:53 am

Dear Maestro Delcamp and all the members of the forum,
I want to submit my modest contribution to the discussion.

First of all, I want to express my opinion that this community is the best free resource for classical guitar in the net!!! This thanks to maestro Delcamp idea and efforts, work of moderators and contribution of all members.

It is definitely my point of reference!

Secondly, I understand the Maestro's doubts about his wished quality of online lessons
I can't attend online classes of classical guitar. On average, I take 2 months to complete a lesson.
But I attest this is the best free course on internet. His peculiarity isn't only in technical exercises and studies submitted by professor Delcamp, but also on reposts (videos and mp3s) of online students of all years. I can deal with them and this is an invaluable help!

Even if Maestro thinks of a revised course, the actual is enough for me!!! The copy year by year is not sad. It's like buying a manual of classical guitar, but alive thanks to all students!

If a development is considered, I think it can consign to some volunteers of the forum, with appropriate experience. They wil fulfill parts of the course with the supervision of Maestro Delcamp.

So he can kayaking with satisfation! It should be wonderful! :bravo:

first comes right, than comes fast!

Adam Puryear

Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by Adam Puryear » Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:03 am

I am brand new to the forum, and very interested in this online curriculum and the continuation of it. I have been attempting to figure out how to access all this information and make sense of where to begin so that I may tutor myself... I am an experienced pianist as is and am extremely comfortable with reading scores and music theory, however I need to understand the mechanics of guitar technique. From what I can tell all this information seems to be jumbled together I am having trouble finding that beginning point if someone here may direct me. It may be that I would need to register, but I haven't seen anything regarding a 2017-2018 session for this information to become available? Any help is much appreciated!

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Re: Future of the online lessons on this forum.

Post by GeoffB » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:09 am

Hi Adam, you can find FAQs on the lessons here which may be useful. I'm assuming they will restart as usual in September, at which point the first post of the Registration topic here will be updated with the new dates and any revised conditions. When it comes to the basic mechanics of playing the guitar, these are covered in Mr. Delcamp's demonstration videos in the lessons, which you can view whether or not you are registered to participate actively in the lessons. Does that help?

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