D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

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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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.
Jules Wilkins
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Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Jules Wilkins » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:11 am

Welcome to the :discussion: Jeron. All I can say is "and on that farm he had a rooster".
I am not sure how you posted your videos. What I see is a black rectangle with a "play" arrow which, when pressed, shows snow and an error message. I have a couple of theories. First, you may have marked the video as private. I should be "public" or, as I mark my videos, "unlisted" (If I get good enough I will go for public :) ). Second, you may be listing the "HTTP//..." stuff instead of just the unique reference number. I am actually guessing that the latter is what you did as you follow with a link that works.
You seem to be on the right track in that you played the right notes with the right fingers, your posture is roughly correct as are your hand positions. I think my best advice for now is just to keep up the good work. There is lots to work on (that is why we are in D01) but further critique I suspect is premature. See you in lesson 2 :casque:
"We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve." — Bill Gates
"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." — unknown

Utku Demir
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Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Utku Demir » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:54 pm

Hello musicians,
Can we just submit the sounds of the assignments? I have a problem about the camera of my computer, the sound is changed. Also, I recorded the sound and it is better than video.

Jules Wilkins
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Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Jules Wilkins » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:45 pm

Lots of people just submit the sounds. However, I would think it better to submit a video with poor sound quality than no video but better sound. A huge part of the value in these lessons comes from feedback. Is that slight buzzing coming from a warped neck or is it because the left finger is way back from the fret? For that matter, maybe there is no buzz but the finger is still not close enough to the fret but is pressing way harder than necessary to compensate. You have not stated what equipment you have at your disposal and why the sound is so bad in a video but I think there is a thread dedicated to recording equipment. If I record solely with my webcam the sound is horrid, but I have a dedicated mic that I can use in conjunction with the webcam and the sound is quite acceptable. It would be best if you can find a combination that works. I gather from other posts that most of us have had difficulty finding something that works in the beginning. As an aside, your video should ideally be face on and clearly show your posture and both hands.
"We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve." — Bill Gates
"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." — unknown

Utku Demir
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:43 am

Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Utku Demir » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:55 pm

Thanks Jules Wilkins. Maybe, the problem is background sound or recording equipment. I will look at another microphone or webcam.

Christopher Langley
Student of the online lessons
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Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:59 pm
Location: Marthasville, Missouri

Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Christopher Langley » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:30 am

Hey everybody, I've just joined the class.. Figured I would go ahead try to share the exercises I have completed thus far.

I'm looking forward to implementing any possible feedback. I think you guys have a pretty cool thing going on here.

I've played guitar for about 3 years, self-taught.. predominately playing fingerstyle type stuff on steel strings. I have noticed that I tend to do some unorthodox muting with my thumb and pinky and ring finger on my right hand.. I also tend to let my thumb creep up over the top of the neck. Trying to address my old habits, but you guys know how it is trying to unlearn things. :roll:










This one got cut short, it seems, but I don't think we had to upload these exercises, anyways. I was just on a recording roll.


Missed the repeat didn't I?


Uploading A La Claire Fontaine.

Jules Wilkins
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Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Jules Wilkins » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:40 am

Hello Christopher and welcome to the class.
Kudo's for starting at lesson 1 of year 1. I too am self-taught, and as far as technique is concerned our only difference is the specific bad habits we bring into these lessons, but that is why we start at the beginning.
My first and strongest advice to you at this juncture is to give yourself a huge pat on the back, and then proceed to retrain yourself as to proper posture, hand position, stroke execution, muting...and the list goes on. If you are diligent in this you will find each lesson to be a challenge, but your playing will improve dramatically.
That advice clearly addresses your unorthodox muting. You need to get out of the habit starting yesterday. A properly executed rest stroke is plenty powerful enough and will not sound the lower string (yes, I know it is physically higher, but it is a lower string because it plays lower notes). We need to learn and perfect our rest strokes and free strokes and that starts for you with dropping your habit. You are going to need that finger for other purposes.
You also need to stick that left hand thumb where it belongs. No peeking at its brothers.
Because you have been playing you have a huge advantage over someone who has hardly touched the guitar, but you also have a disadvantage. Watch plenty of youtube videos on the basics, being careful to avoid the many that clearly don't know how to play classical guitar. I suggest you start here:
https://www.thisisclassicalguitar.com/lessons/. Make sure you are as close to perfect as possible as you plug though these lessons.
"We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve." — Bill Gates
"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." — unknown

Christopher Langley
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Location: Marthasville, Missouri

Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Christopher Langley » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:23 am

Jules Wilkins wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:40 am
A properly executed rest stroke is plenty powerful enough and will not sound the lower string You are going to need that finger for other purposes.

You also need to stick that left hand thumb where it belongs. No peeking at its brothers.
Thank you for your welcome and advice Jules (what a great name.. ever watch trailer park boys? :lol: )

I think I got into the habit of digging into the strings like that because my old guitar didn't project very much.. I think I'm getting a little better with my technique. Anchoring the thumb on the A string helps a lot.. although I catch it sneaking down to D quite often. :lol:

Alternating the fingers properly challenges me.. but I think I'll get there. Trying to fix one problem at a time, while still allowing myself to enjoy playing. Can't throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak!





Learning these simple melodies has been a lot of fun. Looking forward to the next one.

Jules Wilkins
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:12 pm

Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Jules Wilkins » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:46 am

Christopher Langley wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:23 am
Can't throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak!
One of the pieces of advice I see continually repeated is to always practice with a specific purpose in mind, which I think ties in with your comment. There is no way on earth that you or I can focus on every aspect of our playing during practice. My weakest link (I think) is left hand position in the first position and getting my pinky to stretch all the way up to just back of the fret, so the chromatic scale has become part of my daily routine concentrating just on that. My right hand is just imim because that is easiest and I don't want to be thinking of anything else. I play it slowly and if I get a buzz I slow it down still more. Your left thumb and your rest stroke may be your weakest links and if so it makes sense to concentrate just on one of those for several minutes each day until they become your strong points. You will need to decide for yourself where your most fertile grounds for improvement are.
"We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve." — Bill Gates
"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." — unknown

Christopher Langley
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:59 pm
Location: Marthasville, Missouri

Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Christopher Langley » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:28 pm

Thank you so much for confirming what I was thinking Jules! Part of me wanted to try to correct everything all at once, but I quickly realized that didn't feel humanly possible. :lol:

To tell you the truth, my reading is by -far- still my weakest point. I tend to memorize the notes and I wind up playing the piece faster than I can even read it.

Maybe I should isolate and focus on just my reading for a bit? A potential problem could be that I'm trying to learn strictly off of the computer screen. I think I need to figure out a way to print off the materials and physically have them in front of me. I could probably also use a proper music stand too. It's really easy to overlook the simple things when you are self-teaching.

P.S. I'm curious about those guitar support thingies, anybody have any luck with them or am I better off sticking with a footstool?

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John Montes
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Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by John Montes » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:41 am

Jeron James wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:58 pm
Nice work Jeron and great timing

I didn't mind the dog and rooster :-)
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1998 German Rubio Vazquez Estudio
2015 Cordoba Solista
2012 Cordoba C7
La Bella & D'Addario Strings

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John Montes
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Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by John Montes » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:43 am

Christopher Langley wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:30 am
I've played guitar for about 3 years, self-taught.. predominately playing fingerstyle type stuff on steel strings. I have noticed that I tend to do some unorthodox muting with my thumb and pinky and ring finger on my right hand.. I also tend to let my thumb creep up over the top of the neck. Trying to address my old habits, but you guys know how it is trying to unlearn things. :roll:
Hi Chris regarding the thumb planting while performing rest strokes, its not uncommon to plant the thumb on a bass string when performing rest strokes on treble strings with (i) and (m) fingers, typically the A string. I can provide hand stability and great force/power when strinking down into the strings

JFD mentions this in the lesson 1 written notes for rest stroke (Apoyando), and watch his video on Apoyando very closely and you will see his thumb plant.

If you are thumb planting on say the B string while trying to rest stroke on the high E string then that is a bit awkward and I'd argue that your losing power and ability to project a full forceful tone, range of motion is limited.

If you are thumb planting on say the B string while performing free strokes on the high E and just using the thumb as a muting aid and its not inhibiting the ability to execute particular passages, phrases, or chord changes in a piece then i don't see that as problem.

I'll try to add a post Saturday that discusses fretting hand thumb-creep
2001 Vicente Carrillo 1a Rio
1998 German Rubio Vazquez Estudio
2015 Cordoba Solista
2012 Cordoba C7
La Bella & D'Addario Strings

Jules Wilkins
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:12 pm

Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Jules Wilkins » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:18 pm

John Montes wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:43 am

I'll try to add a post Saturday that discusses fretting hand thumb-creep
Such a post would I think be extremely helpful to most of us down in level 1, and probably more than a few in higher levels. :wink: It was the first thing a fellow student here noticed about my playing. To correct the habit I would concentrate hard during the exercises, but once I started to learn a piece it would slowly creep back unnoticed, kind of like our cat trying to sneak inside when he knows we want him outside. :lol: I eventually put a piece of double sided tape on my guitar neck (since removed). If my thumb reached the tape it was quickly reminded to get back. Coupled with concentrating on a parallel hand, slur exercises and reach exercises I feel like it is progressing because when the fingers are correctly poised my thumb is too short to peak over the neck, but I am sure I have a ways to go and so look forward to your sage advice.
"We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve." — Bill Gates
"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." — unknown

Jules Wilkins
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:12 pm

Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Jules Wilkins » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:36 pm

Christopher Langley wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:28 pm
To tell you the truth, my reading is by -far- still my weakest point. I tend to memorize the notes and I wind up playing the piece faster than I can even read it.
Beginning students are urged to say the notes as they are being played, both for basic exercises designed in part for learning the fingerboard and for pieces while initially learning them. I have seen advice from teachers that this discipline should extend throughout the first 2 years referring to someone who is leaning the instrument in university. I resisted this at first (it is sooo boring, and hey, I am so smart that I don't need to take advice from anyone :oops: ) and paid the price. I started finally with these lessons to do that and will certainly be doing it when we move to the higher positions, and you know what....these teachers and authors actually know what they are talking about! Imagine that.
I'm trying to learn strictly off of the computer screen
Ha, welcome to the club. I prop my laptop on my music stand, but for pieces that go to multiple pages I break down and print a hard copy.
'm curious about those guitar support thingies, anybody have any luck with them or am I better off sticking with a footstool?
There are lots of threads on these and some excellent reviews on the web. I chose the Atlas because it offers the most adjustability, is the most secure, is the least likely to damage our instruments, with spare magnets you can use it on multiple guitars, it is grippy, and unlike some supports it allows the guitar to nestle down between the legs. It allowed me to find a position that was impossible with the foot stool and I had really been fighting before trying to find a position that suited my body. Pricey, but that only hurts once and now I have a support that I doubt I will ever regret having bought. And oh, because one is able to adopt a better posture it solves back ache problems for most people including me.
"We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve." — Bill Gates
"The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement." — unknown

Christopher Langley
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:59 pm
Location: Marthasville, Missouri

Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Christopher Langley » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:00 pm

Thanks for the clarification John!

In retrospect, I think I was more or less mixing up my rest strokes and free strokes. Rest strokes are still a little awkward for me. I guess I have mostly played free strokes up to this point so they are louder and more comfortable for me at the moment.

I just need to keep working on my rest strokes! I feel a lot better about anchoring my thumb and using it as a mute now that you have talked about it a little bit :)

I'm curious to hear what you have to say about the thumb in the left hand.. for me it's often simply a lazy thing, my thumb holds up my left hand. I've gotten in the habit of hooking the thumb onto the guitar neck and kind of letting my hand hang there. I got into the habit when playing blues, it's a very common technique utilized when you are bending strings. It gives you a better pivot point for bending.

I should note, I move my thumb position whilst playing.. If I need to fret the lower strings my thumb will creep down, as needed. I never allow my thumb position to restrict me.

I could see someone getting in trouble if they learned with their thumb high and never learned how to move it lower, as needed.

Christopher Langley
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:59 pm
Location: Marthasville, Missouri

Re: D01 Classical guitar lesson 01

Post by Christopher Langley » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:09 pm

Jules Wilkins wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:36 pm

Beginning students are urged to say the notes as they are being played

for pieces that go to multiple pages I break down and print a hard copy.

I chose the Atlas because it offers the most adjustability,
I will start saying the notes! I've been saying them in my head, and sometimes I sing them, but I will try saying them out loud.

I'll have to find a local library where I can print off the longer pieces.

I'll look into the Atlas, it looks nice. My dad and I both have lower back issues, I think we would benefit from having one of those.


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