You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
kirolak
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Re: You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Post by kirolak » Sun May 26, 2019 1:56 pm

Yes, a Black Art indeed - very insightful thread & comments.

Just my small contribution - I was told at the age of about 8, when gifted with a bright yellow guitar with a painting of COWBOYS on it, that I "would never play that thing"! I just wanted to play like Segovia. But those stupid, hurtful words found their mark & often replay in my head when I struggle with Giuliani or Bach. But even though I am just an aging bedroom guitarist, I have found my will power & practise as though I were immortal, & destined for Great Things. My greatest fear as a young woman was to be considered "unmusical". I accept that I won't be playing Brouwer's wonderful, menacing concerto & try to convince myself it is by choice . .

So many of the contributors on this forum have proved to be really wise souls, I feel sure it is because of their love of great music and their dedication to the difficulty of the Guitar.
Last edited by kirolak on Tue May 28, 2019 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AKim
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Re: You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Post by AKim » Sun May 26, 2019 4:50 pm

kirolak wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 1:56 pm
Yes, a Black Art indeed - very insightful thread & comments.

Just my small contribution - I was told at the age of about 8, when gifted with a bright yellow guitar with a painting of COWBOYS on it, that I "would never play that thing"! I just wanted to play like Segovia. But those stupid, hurtful words found their mark & often replay in my head when I struggle with Giuliani or Bach. But even though I am just an aging bedroom guitarist, I have found my will power & practise as though I were immortal, & destined for Great Things. My greatest fear as a young woman was to be considered "unmusical". I accept that I won't be playing Brouwer's wonderful, menacing concerto & try to convince myself it is by choice . .

So many of the contributors on this forum have proved to be really wise souls, I am feel sure it is because of their love of great music and their dedication to the difficulty of the Guitar.
It is sad when words sting so much. I, too, have faced a lot of negativity about being female and a guitarist. Seems a lot of people think that certain instruments are not suitable for girls (my mother included). At 44, I don’t give it much thought any more. But it used to bother me a lot too.

Todd Tipton
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Re: You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Post by Todd Tipton » Sun May 26, 2019 5:43 pm

Rognvald wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 4:28 pm
Isn't this the same question we should ask ourselves about our potential musical abilities and focus on accessible repertoire rather than devoting useless time and energy to music that is far beyond our dreams and latent ability wasting valuable time in the process? Will determination alone overcome average skills and abilities? Is honest, self-evaluation and feedback from others critical to our growth . . . or, do you think you're still a home run hitter? What do you think???? Playing again . . . Rognvald
This can be a complex situation. Mixed in with it are these monumental pieces so many of us know. On the other hand, there is a wealth of repertoire out there that is far easier to manage. And much of this music is is continuing to be created by contemporary composers. As merely one example, almost everyone knows the name Carlo Domeniconi. And as many of you read this, you are already thinking about Koyunbaba. (To you advanced players: Yes, I know the piece isn't as difficult as it seems, but it still makes a great point). Koyunbaba is a good example of a piece that inspires many people. Without a doubt, it is also a piece many begin working on far too early which leads to frustration, low self esteem, etc. not to mention promoting poor technique and excess tension. This could be said about any great piece that is far too difficult. But speaking of Domeniconi, few people ever talk about the Klangbilder. Yet almost anyone that hears this collection of 24 preludes loves the music. Being able to play that music at a professional level would be (and is for those exposed to it) deeply inspiring and rewarding. And many of the preludes require nothing more than preparatory or grade 1 level of playing ability. This is merely one example from a collection of a lifetime of music that is continuing to expand.

With specifics, that is where the answer is more and more, "It depends." Yes, it can be beneficial to push the boundaries, or to work on pieces that are more difficult. But I think so many of that get wrapped up in a habit that started from the very beginning. In the beginning, everything we did was the most difficult thing we had ever done. But we managed to get to a preparatory level. We continued learning more and difficult things taking us to grade 1 and grade 2. For many of is, the process continued into higher levels. For many of us, the process may continue for the rest of our lives. And if that is what someone chooses to do and they are passionate and enjoy the journey, then great! Keep it up!

But so many of us fail to stop the process long enough to more fully reap all of the benefits and rewards of our hard work. As an example, a student may start diving into grade 5 as they continue their journey to who knows exactly where. But at what point do they ever take a step back? When do they finally decide to give themselves credit for all of their accomplishments and begin exploring a world of new and undiscovered music well within their current capabilities?

Many years ago I heard Andrew York make a comment that stuck with me. I forget the situation, but someone was asking him something about the Lute Suites. York didn't know the answer and had to plead ignorance, and in a sort of honest yet deadpan humor sort of way he replied, "I don't play the lute suites; I have a life." Your opinions of York are not what is important here. What is important is that this was a man that has achieved a very high level of success with the instrument as well as a great deal of fame, polarity, and respect. But just like every other human being, here was a man that knew his limitations. Does he have the ability to play the lute suites? It is irrelevant. He made a choice balancing his abilities with how hard he was willing to continue working. To go back to your analogy, could the man be an all star player in a world series game? I don't know. But the man can play baseball very well. All of us can play baseball to a certain level. We should just try to remember that.
Dr. Todd Tipton, Noda Guitar Studio
Charlotte, NC, USA (available via Skype)

doug
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Re: You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Post by doug » Sun May 26, 2019 6:54 pm

Maybe I'm WAY off base here???, but when I first read this topic, it brought to mind a quote......"Those also serve who stand and wait."

Not all of us have the gift of the ability to become a concert guitarist. I certainly don't, and I know it. But a concert guitarist wouldn't be very successful without an audience, and I can be part of that. Those of us who support live music are an important part of it, and the gift that we DO have is appreciation and love of music. :)
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montana
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Re: You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Post by montana » Sun May 26, 2019 9:34 pm

Rognvald wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 4:28 pm
Last night, I was listening to a wonderful recording of Giuliani Variations by the gifted Artist Ricardo Gallen recorded in Canada in 1999 by guitarist/ engineer Norbert Kraft. And, it occurred to me, once again, that we all have been drawn to this Black Art of Music by being moved by the beauty and artistry of CG performance. However, it also occurred to me that like an Olympic gold medal or the Nobel Prize, there is some repertoire that is only accessible to a few. If we begin with "the dream," we may delude ourselves into believing that one day with great determination, we will be able to emulate the "greats," but the reality is that there are so many factors to success that it is more likely than not that your dream will not be achieved. As a serious athlete in my youth, I played baseball from Little League through my college years and believe that we musicians are, in fact, athletes. And being athletes, we are limited by our abilities. On my university team, I played with a third baseman who was average in stature and size but wanted to be a home-run hitter. And, every time he came to the plate, he would hit the ball deep into left or center field for a long out but never could hit the ball out of the park. Consequently, his batting average fell and despite his fielding talents, he was benched for the season and then lost his scholarship. Should he have kept his dream as a home-run hitter ad infinitum or should he have focused on being a good "line-drive" hitter with a 300 pct. batting average? Isn't this the same question we should ask ourselves about our potential musical abilities and focus on accessible repertoire rather than devoting useless time and energy to music that is far beyond our dreams and latent ability wasting valuable time in the process? Will determination alone overcome average skills and abilities? Is honest, self-evaluation and feedback from others critical to our growth . . . or, do you think you're still a home run hitter? What do you think???? Playing again . . . Rognvald
I never want to understand the term...he knows his own limitations . Mainly because I thought I could do anything . But being 60, I realize the benefits of knowing your own limitations .

brooks
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Re: You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Post by brooks » Sun May 26, 2019 11:59 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 12:53 am
Arion Romanus wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 11:41 pm
Without getting overly morbid, I think that when it comes to these things its helpful to keep one's mortality in view. It's very easy to get caught up in these notion of success............
I found your post quite profound and I agree with everything you said.
Thirded. Words of wisdom Arion, and beautifully put.

Rognvald
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Re: You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Post by Rognvald » Mon May 27, 2019 1:33 pm

Most of us, I believe, live in a world like Hemingway's novel as "Islands in the Stream" where we are disconnected from other sentient beings in our daily lives. We go to work, we recreate, visit family and friends and yet find ourselves in intellectual and spiritual isolation from those who share our vision of life, music/arts, and the world. Yet, we always manage to find solace in the sounds we make and the dreams those sounds provide for us. And, in order to keep the dream alive, we must be honest in our personal evaluations and specific goals since they are critical to the dream. I am greatly impressed with the quality of the remarks made by our respondents on this subject so far since it gives me assurance there are are other islands that exist . . . we just need to find them. Kudos to all who are making this a very interesting and serious discussion about this "Black Art" we call Music.
Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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slidika
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Re: You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Post by slidika » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:00 pm

AKim posted: I think it’s important to balance personal ability with challenge. I’ll never be a concert classical guitarist. And I’m long past the opportunity to pursue the violin performance thing either. So I focus on getting really good at music within my ability and always working on a few things that are a bit beyond me. Sometimes I get there, and sometimes I have to keep chipping at it...not to perform it for an audience, but to keep trying to attain those skills. I’m limited by my hand span and flexibility...and the time to really dig into practicing. But it’s personal enrichment for me, so I keep chipping away at it.
Well, I play piano, CG and clawhammer banjo, and agree with this. Soon to be 67, my RH has started developing some issues, so I am deciding on CG with minimal RH stretches between my P and I fingers, steel string (narrower neck) fingerstyle/flatpicking or possibly flamenco where strumming seems to be a main part and use of the I finger is not (as far as playing a string goes).
Whenever I am not ready for my music lesson, I call it 'facing the music'.

Barry Guy
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Re: You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Post by Barry Guy » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:07 pm

The great thing about music is that we can all participate, I play for my own enjoyment and am very pleased when others appreciate it, when someone says you will never ... it always spurs me on to play better. Today I was playing my clarinet, tomorrow I will play my classical guitar, as I am 74, I have ceased to worry what others think. I was at a Milos Karadaglic concert last Friday and now want to play like him, it may take a considerable time, but time I have, how many years no one knows, but hopefully I have tomorrow.
Keep playing.

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Post by Rick Beauregard » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:59 am

Barry Guy wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:07 pm
The great thing about music is that we can all participate, I play for my own enjoyment and am very pleased when others appreciate it, when someone says you will never ... it always spurs me on to play better. Today I was playing my clarinet, tomorrow I will play my classical guitar, as I am 74, I have ceased to worry what others think. I was at a Milos Karadaglic concert last Friday and now want to play like him, it may take a considerable time, but time I have, how many years no one knows, but hopefully I have tomorrow.
Keep playing.
That’s the spirit!
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
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Nikos_Greek
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Re: You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Post by Nikos_Greek » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:28 am

Hello, everyone. I do not know how much the OP meant his words, or to what extent he was just being provocative just to elicit interesting discussion. The latter at least he has managed well. Arion's post is poignant in that whether one becomes the guitar GOAT or not matters ridiculously little. The OP seems to imply that greatness is written in our DNA somehow, finger length does matter and so does elasticity and so on. Rightly it has been pointed out that music is not sport, there are no winners or losers in music, unless one competes for a trophy in a competition. Since our experiences will be irrevocably lost with us, as Arion says, the only factor that matters for us playing the guitar is the enjoyment, fulfilment, sense of meaningfulness we feel while plying every day. For me this is what brings me back to the practice room every day, not an elusive goal. One needs to visit a chemo ward, or watch a loved one struggle every day with cancer to realise what is important in life and set their priorities. Mine , at least, are not becoming a top guitarist, even if that were within my capabilities.

Rognvald
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Re: You'll Never Play Giuliani or Hit Home Runs!

Post by Rognvald » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:51 pm

" The OP seems to imply that greatness is written in our DNA somehow, finger length does matter and so does elasticity and so on. Rightly it has been pointed out that music is not sport, there are no winners or losers in music, unless one competes for a trophy in a competition." Nikos

Hi, Nikos,
Thanks for your reply. When I referenced Music in light of sports, my point was that a musician must be "in shape" similar to an athlete. His hand/eye coordination, reflexes, instincts, condition of hands/nails, conditioning(practice) are as important to him/her as they are in baseball, soccer, football, etc. players. Just ask a musician who is suffering from a physical problem that impairs his/her playing! It has nothing, really, to do with winners and losers other than the fact some musicians play better than others and this of course is hard work coupled with genetics. The personal benefits that you write about in your reply are of course important aspects in many hobbyist musicians lives as they are with the pros. And, a hobbyist can have a very fruitful and productive musical experience playing mid-grade pieces without ever tackling the artist level performance pieces accessible by a few. So, my discussion really has nothing to do with disregarding the many levels of musicianship today or discounting the benefits of music performance but rather the need for a realistic approach/attitude when climbing the proverbial mountain. I hope this is clear. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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