Quoting Todd: Shearer's writings don't have much use for advanced players.
While I respectfully disagree with Todd’s statement, on the surface he has a good point. First, there are advanced players (of which I consider myself one) who were students of Shearer’s, concert performers, like Ricardo Cobo, David Tanenbaum and Manuel Barrueco.
Secondly, it's not the material - Aaron’s concepts, in my opinion, are bullet proof — but the delivery. Aaron was not a player some of the key elements in his technique (in particular, the movement forms of alternation and sympathetic motion and even follow-through) are explained well, but not taught well. As great as Shearer was at guitar pedagogy he was not a player and these concepts, I’ve learned, require a systematic integration — something Aaron, as a non player, would have a hard time conceptualizing.
I talked to Aaron about a lack of disconnect between his materials and what his players were doing.I asked him why I don’t see these motions (movement forms) in his students to which he replied; “I tell them over and over and just eventually stop mentioning them.”
And if you’re a full range of motion guy (and by that I mean drawing the flexing finger into alignment with the knuckle of P) Shearer’s explanations, while don’t give much direction, are accurate to a tee — would that more concert players followed them!
So yes I think Shearer’s materials are fantastic - That said, I think they need a more practical form of integration than his books. With regards to follow through, the first state in achieving a full range of motion accomplished through a properly positioned hand. One where the knuckle is positioned over the strings and the fingers form a leveraged angle. Guitarists rarely achieve this. I’ve been guilty of poor positioning for years; dropping my wrist, slightly extending my fingers, and playing back too far. An improperly positing of the right hand will make in nearly impossible to achieve a good stroke. Finally I decided to work on repositioning and when I finally integrated the proper position my accuracy — and ease of play — went up - Instead of my fingers searching for the strings they simply follow a consistent arc and contact the string, not only consistently, but at the strongest point in the stroke. Feels good! So using what i learned from Lorimer on practice, and some luck (or bad luck) I'm able apply these and other concepts into my playing as have my students.
Since leaving my college teaching positions most of my studio is made up of non-professional players and yes, these concepts translate well to the non professional (to Todd's point). But these are also critical to advanced/professional players (who I do currently, and in the past have taught).
My approach (under the guidance of David Feingold and through a beta online version) was integrated last year at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Two of the advanced students learned this method and taught and taught the other guitarists in the program. David had me up this year to shore things up but there wasn’t much to do but add some more advanced work. They did a great job teaching these concepts!
This summer I’m running a technique boot camp for a handful of guitar majors working under Jesse McCann and Mario Diaz at Portland State University in Oregon. So yes, even though many of them don't do it — a proper follow-through can be achieved, even by advanced players