Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
Forum rules
IV Laws governing the quotation/citation of music


For discussion of studies, scales, arpeggios and theory.
dtoh
Posts: 296
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:54 pm

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by dtoh » Fri May 25, 2018 3:28 am

IMHO, for relative beginners developing muscular strength (and concurrently finger independence) in the LH is the single biggest hindrance to advancement. If you just play pieces, these muscles will develop very slowly. IMHO the failure to emphasize exercises to develop these muscles is the biggest flaw with current CG pedagogy.

Alexander Kalil
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:53 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by Alexander Kalil » Sun May 27, 2018 12:52 pm

ronjazz, imaginative players will find ways to practice music without over-practicing it and letting it grow stale on them. Also, nothing prevents a guitarist from regularly practicing music besides their current repertoire to maintain their ability to sight-read and play chamber music. As for exercises being able to fix technique problems, I think we should just agree to disagree here. In my world exercises don't fix anything - teachers do. It saddens me to see people spending countless hours on books and exercises trying to fix things a good teacher could fix in one lesson. But maybe that's just me. Finally, I really do hope that my views being "in a tiny minority" as you emphasize isn't supposed to make them wrong by default.

User avatar
Mark Clifton-Gaultier
Posts: 1422
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:03 pm
Location: England

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sun May 27, 2018 1:28 pm

ronjazz wrote:I am a high-level pro with worldwide experience, several CDs out, and have taught at the top conservatories and music schools.
So now you've piqued my interest Mr. Jazz ... any chance that you'll reveal who you really are?

User avatar
Schneider
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:34 am
Location: Paris, France

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by Schneider » Sun May 27, 2018 6:42 pm

segobreawill wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 2:43 pm
Here's very short vid of Maestro Pepe Romero. Listen to his comment about technique at 2:15 . [...]
Hmm, pretty unfair to quote Mr Romero to promote a book he probably never heard of... :roll:

ronjazz
Posts: 811
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by ronjazz » Mon May 28, 2018 10:50 am

Alexander Kalil wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 12:52 pm
ronjazz, imaginative players will find ways to practice music without over-practicing it and letting it grow stale on them. Also, nothing prevents a guitarist from regularly practicing music besides their current repertoire to maintain their ability to sight-read and play chamber music. As for exercises being able to fix technique problems, I think we should just agree to disagree here. In my world exercises don't fix anything - teachers do. It saddens me to see people spending countless hours on books and exercises trying to fix things a good teacher could fix in one lesson. But maybe that's just me. Finally, I really do hope that my views being "in a tiny minority" as you emphasize isn't supposed to make them wrong by default.
Beginners are hardly imaginative players. and practicing your solo repertoire does nothing for sight-reading or chamber music playing. your world seems to be imaginary, if exercises don't fix anything. teachers fix nothing without the student doing the work. again, you're an outlier, and your advice will be counter-productive to most aspiring guitarists.
Lester Devoe Flamenco Negra
Lester Devoe Flamenco Blanca
Aparicio Flamenco Blanca with RMC pickup
Bartolex 7-string with RMC pickup
Giannini 7-string with Shadow pickup
Sal Pace 7-string archtop

User avatar
segobreawill
Posts: 295
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:34 pm
Location: Mtl, Canada

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by segobreawill » Mon May 28, 2018 1:28 pm

Schneider wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:42 pm
segobreawill wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 2:43 pm
Here's very short vid of Maestro Pepe Romero. Listen to his comment about technique at 2:15 . [...]
Hmm, pretty unfair to quote Mr Romero to promote a book he probably never heard of... :roll:
Salut Pierre, ca va? :)

I put in that short vid of Pepe Romero for the sole purpose of showing his enjoyment of practicing the basic technical exercises even now at his age with a specific note to watch for his enthusiasm at around 2:15. That's all, no promotion on my part, that's for sure. As for his promotion of his book, strings, etc. well, I too could have done without that but again, I draw attention to the fact that my intention was his remark at 2:15. I hope that's clear. :)

Btw, what exactly do you mean by "to promote a book he probably never heard of" ?

User avatar
msd
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:26 pm
Location: Boone, NC

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by msd » Tue May 29, 2018 12:51 pm

ronjazz wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 5:45 pm
you didn't do them right. spending 2 hours on technique exercises is a basic minimum for mastering any instrument. proper, mindful practice of technique saves years of correcting things.
Imagine how good John Williams could have been had he followed this approach. :mrgreen:

tamfam
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:29 pm

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by tamfam » Wed May 30, 2018 5:45 pm

I've moved onto Level II, and the exercises get very interesting--how about a pima arpeggio, where p plays on 6th, i on 5th, m on 4th, and a on 1st? How about doing that with free stroke p, rest stroke ima, then reverse it?

These are unique and challenging exercises, and I will probably never do something like that in a performance situation. So why practice it? Well, because by pushing boundaries, you become more confident and comfortable within the boundaries of your performance technique. You strengthen and stretch beyond the requirements of performance!

This philosophy would be difficult, if not impossible, to realize by simply using performance pieces as exercises.

Think about, say, an Olympic runner who specializes in the 5K. In training, why don't they simply repeat 5K runs at or near performance level?

Why do they run hills, when they compete on a flat track?
Why do they run 160 km a week, when their event is only 5 km?
Why do they run 16x400 meter intervals at much faster than race pace, when they do not require such speed in their race?

tamfam
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:29 pm

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by tamfam » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:47 am

Wax on, wax off, baby.

Perfect analogy, for those who have both seen the movie and understand the connection.

User avatar
slidika
Posts: 553
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:51 pm
Location: Zebulon, NC

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by slidika » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:55 pm

RobM posted:
I was watching the Guitar Coop interview with Goran Sollscher just yesterday, where he says he never plays scales or exercises, "Just pieces."
My (combination) clawhammer banjo and guitar instructor told me he never practiced scales. He is an outstanding guitarist (been playing about 50+ years) and is a VERY well known and respected clawhammer banjo player. His attitude, which he told me at my first lesson with him, was 'whatever works'.
Whenever I am not ready for my music lesson, I call it 'facing the music'.

ronjazz
Posts: 811
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by ronjazz » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:29 pm

msd wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 12:51 pm
ronjazz wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 5:45 pm
you didn't do them right. spending 2 hours on technique exercises is a basic minimum for mastering any instrument. proper, mindful practice of technique saves years of correcting things.
Imagine how good John Williams could have been had he followed this approach. :mrgreen:
John Williams had a lesson every day, from his father, a great teacher. He practiced 30 minutes every day after his lesson, and started at around 5 years of age. But he time he was a young teenager, he was practicing several hours daily, like everybody else. And even up until his retirement, he practiced slowly and mindfully. Imagine how good you could be if you did the same!
Lester Devoe Flamenco Negra
Lester Devoe Flamenco Blanca
Aparicio Flamenco Blanca with RMC pickup
Bartolex 7-string with RMC pickup
Giannini 7-string with Shadow pickup
Sal Pace 7-string archtop

sbondy
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:29 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by sbondy » Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:32 pm

I'll chime in here to share my 2 cents.

I did my master's degree with Ricardo Iznaola at the University of Denver '97-'99.

I am a firm believer that everyone has to follow their curiosity. This was a real Ricardo-ism too. That the best way to learn is to learn like a child, to try and figure things out that interest you, with a spirit of 'what if?' and purse a spirit of child-like curiosity.

As for 'to practice music or to practice technique', it really misses the point. Follow your curiosity, follow your teacher's advice. As an undergrad, I found that I would practice repertoire repertoire repertoire, all the stuff I was dying to play. I'd get through the required recital, and would look at my playing, and say, "ugh, my technique sucks". I'd work really hard on my chops for months, until I was dying for music, then I'd start the cycle over again. It was not the most even handed approach, but I stayed in love with what I was working on, and was always dying to play guitar.

Fast forward to my DU days with Ricardo, and I will tell you that I was a devoted Kitharologus practicer. 3 routines a day, 6 days a week. Each routine took 15-40 minutes, but heck, I had moved to study with Ricardo, and if he said that was the thing to do, I did it. Once I complained about it taking too long, and like someone mentioned earlier in the thread, he said to me I was doing too many repetitions. I was also doing them too fast and not in a controlled enough manner, so I learned to curb those impulses eventually.

I love the K-book (my pet name for Kitharologus) and will often recommend it to my adult students. Individual exercises only, no adult amateur I've taught has time for the full monty...

I also still work out of the K-book, but I also work on material from Sagreras, Tennant/Pumping Nylon, and repertoire excerpts. The fact is that when I was studying with Ricardo, he COMPLETELY revolutionized my playing. I was working waaay too hard, and he helped me discover a much finer level of proprioception. Working with just the K-book would NOT have fixed my playing. I would have just done the same cool exercises with my previous level of misunderstanding of technique. While I think one can learn lots from books and videos (YouTube is pretty amazing), everyone needs to sit with a master player/teacher to have their playing observed.

Read books, do exercises, play repertoire, love every minute of it! See a teacher if you're not sure!

Peace out,

Steve Bondy

crazyrach97
Posts: 346
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:17 pm

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by crazyrach97 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:48 am

Does anybody know where I can get the updated edition? I was just about to order it from A-azon and realized it was the older version. Everything I'm finding in searches is the old edition.

JohnB
Posts: 1072
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:17 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by JohnB » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:21 pm

crazyrach97 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:48 am
Does anybody know where I can get the updated edition?
I presume you are referring to the "Updated Edition" in the title of the thread, however the thread was created back in 2010 and the title almost certainly referred to the 2009 revision which had been published the previous year. It is unlikely that any pre-2009 copies are now on sale, especially from the well know major retailers.

(The cover of the 2009 edition makes no mention that it is "updated" or "revised" - the publishing/reprint details are given on the first page.)

A word of warning - the book is a (graded) collection of technical exercises with minimal instruction. I don't think that the book is aimed at beginners (not that I am assuming you are a beginner), even though the first exercise seems to be very simple. At the back of the book there are suggested practice routines but IMO the book is more suitable for people with experience of classical guitar or students guided by a teacher.

I am currently using the book because I my right hand is now frustratingly crappy (after a right hand operation some 20 years ago and 20 years away from the guitar following the op) - so I decided that I need to do some technical work.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso", Christopher Dean 2018, Ana Maria Espinosa 2014

crazyrach97
Posts: 346
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:17 pm

Re: Kitharologus - Updated Edition

Post by crazyrach97 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:32 pm

JohnB wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:21 pm
crazyrach97 wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:48 am
Does anybody know where I can get the updated edition?
I presume you are referring to the "Updated Edition" in the title of the thread, however the thread was created back in 2010 and the title almost certainly referred to the 2009 revision which had been published the previous year. It is unlikely that any pre-2009 copies are now on sale, especially from the well know major retailers.

(The cover of the 2009 edition makes no mention that it is "updated" or "revised" - the publishing/reprint details are given on the first page.)

A word of warning - the book is a (graded) collection of technical exercises with minimal instruction. I don't think that the book is aimed at beginners (not that I am assuming you are a beginner), even though the first exercise seems to be very simple. At the back of the book there are suggested practice routines but IMO the book is more suitable for people with experience of classical guitar or students guided by a teacher.

I am currently using the book because I my right hand is now frustratingly crappy (after a right hand operation some 20 years ago and 20 years away from the guitar following the op) - so I decided that I need to do some technical work.
Oh! I feel stupid. There are a lot of recent comments in the thread so I never checked the date on the early ones! Thank you.

Besides, I decided last night to put the exercise book on hold. I'm progressing really well right now without it and I decided to spend the same money on some more music. I can only buy so much at once... :-(

Return to “Classical Guitar technique”