D01 Classical guitar lesson 04

Archive of on-line classical guitar lessons from previous years.
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Christopher Langley
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Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 04

Post by Christopher Langley » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:33 pm

Ed Butler wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:00 pm
Tom, Christopher - just curious, how big a learning help do you feel it is to have had a steel string background before taking up classical? I have always wondered this when I see the big gap in skillset with certain student's playing at the same Delcamp level.

Tom - I am working on the Visee Minuet and will post it later in the month. I liked your version

Ed
Ed, I think my background was both a help and a hindrance.. It allowed me a large degree of familiarity with the instrument that I found very valuable.. My fingers were already well callused and used to moving in sychronicity, but I also ingrained some inproper habits, which I have had to unlearn.. I haven't had problems reprogramming because I view classical as it's own thing. When I go to play a CG piece my technique switches over like flipping a switch.

If I was going to do it again.. I would do it in the same order. I'm glad that I learned my notes all over my fretboard, cowboy chords, barre chords, how to do pretty much any cover song someone might request by playing along to a chord chart with lyrics.. Playing a 12 bar, a shuffle and a minor blues, playing some minor pentatonic lead and licks and getting comfortable enough with it that I can come up with my own stuff on the fly. some folk fingerstyle stuffs, learning to listen, learning to persevere, learning to be adaptive.

I'm sure all of this is going to make me a better musician for the rest of my life and.. most of it was probably easier to tackle than a lot of the stuff in d01 (maybe). I think I would recommend someone to pursue these things before pursuing classical. At least learn one pop song or 12 bar blues.. something real run of the mill. It's good to know how these things work because you will start to hear them ALL over in the popular music that is just impossible to avoid. It becomes a fun game, figuring out songs when you realize most the ones on the radio are following the same rules.

However, if a student was far and away truly interested in classical, no reason why they couldn't start with classical. But, they should probably also learn some popular music as well, in their free time. They should learn anything that catches their ears. Blues and the minor pent really helped me learn to improvise. I stopped going to blues jams.. but I imagine the minor pent is something I will use the rest of my life :)

Sorry if I rambled on. I can get type happy when I get into a rhythm, I think I like the way the keyboard sounds. :lol: That's like the forum equivalent of liking the sound of your own voice! haha
Studying Jazz and Blues now.. So it goes friends. I might make a return to Classical at some point.

Tom Wimsatt
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Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 04

Post by Tom Wimsatt » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:38 pm

Ed Butler wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:00 pm
Tom, Christopher - just curious, how big a learning help do you feel it is to have had a steel string background before taking up classical? I have always wondered this when I see the big gap in skillset with certain student's playing at the same Delcamp level.

Tom - I am working on the Visee Minuet and will post it later in the month. I liked your version

Ed
Hi Ed! Here's what I can share in terms of my prior experience, starting from most recent to as far back as I can remember:

1990-1992: I took private Classical Guitar lessons (my first exposure to the wide neck and nylon strings). My instructor taught at the University of North Texas (they had a pretty good music school)
1981-1983: I self-studied acoustic guitar, continuing with William Leavitt's books.
1977-1978: I took a few lessons, then began messing around with William Leavitt's books. I felt that learning to read music was very important (a literacy thing I guess). His books seemed to provide that sort of thing.
1966: I took lessons for approximately 6 months, using a Mel Bay book (didn't everyone start here???).

To summarize, I am not a beginner. I have been messing around with guitar for quite a long time (and have not gotten anywhere :( ), as a hobby. In conclusion I feel: We don't choose music as a profession, Music chooses us... ... But there is still hope we can make a hobby of it :D
1989 Takamine C132S, Aquila 19C strings

Ed Butler
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Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 04

Post by Ed Butler » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:57 pm

Christopher, Tom - thank you for your experience history, thoughts and insights. Having taken up classical guitar 2 years ago after retiring, no previous musical experience - in 4th grade the nuns told me I had a awful singing voice so that turned me off music for 50+ years. I feel better with my struggles and achievements and I can aspire to play anywhere close to you in the coming years.

Tom - see you in am month.

Ed
Cordoba C7

Tom Wimsatt
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Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 04

Post by Tom Wimsatt » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:24 pm

Ed, I am looking forward to working with you and Lucian (and any others joining us) on level D03 in September. That was an awful thing to tell a 4th grader by the way. Your teacher completely missed the point with that one...

Everyone progresses at their own rate, and as you can see some of us have been down this road before. I think Christopher made a very good point in noting his prior guitar experience providing a "degree of familiarity with the instrument". This is certainly a huge factor for me, especially with work spanning the first 5 frets of the guitar.

Just give yourself time, keep an open mind, and keep at it. It will take as long as it takes. One source suggested this (take it for what its worth...:
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1989 Takamine C132S, Aquila 19C strings

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Christopher Langley
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Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 04

Post by Christopher Langley » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:39 pm

I think some people absorb things faster than what is shown in that estimate... but the thing is.. from my point of view it's really not about absorption, it's about having patience with yourself and using mindful practice which ultimately leads to the goal which is complete autonomous retention. (you can do it without thinking)

In my experiences people who learn things quickly.. also forget them just as quickly because they often do not spend the time applying the knowledge before moving on to acquire more. People who are slow learners might not progress as quickly at first, but ultimately they almost certainly retain the information to a higher degree and probably wind up better players.

As one of those people who can absorb a whole lot at a time, I have had to learn how to slow myself way, way, way down when it comes to CG in order to -truly- retain things. I find myself wanting to move ahead when I have not yet completely mastered things. I have to really watch this.

It was very easy for me at first to trick myself into believing I had mastered and retained something, when I had really only memorized it for the moment. I guess the trick is moving things from the working memory to the more permanent storage type memory. For me, it feels like the memory is actually in my fingers themselves.. like a mechanical memory of some sort.


I find the best way for me to truly retain things personally, is to constantly be picking up the guitar and practicing, but also constantly putting it down so I then have to recall the information, which somehow leads to retention. Putting it down a lot also keeps me from getting mentally and physically burnt out and developing repetitive strain injuries.. It is easy to see how people develop them playing this instrument for long periods of time. I think it's better to break practice up as much as possible..

I also notice practice is much more productive earlier in the day.. towards the end of the day I can forget about memorizing new notes.. best I can do is practice what I absorbed earlier in the day.

Am I way off topic here? Lol.. I dunno. I have a feeling you guys might pick up what I'm putting down. You guys are on d03? Awesome.. I appreciate you hanging out with me down here. I hope to be up in d03 some day! Back to practicing!
Studying Jazz and Blues now.. So it goes friends. I might make a return to Classical at some point.

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