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How to start on Classical Guitar?

Ive been playing for 4 years, basically rock, metal, and recently some jazz... I also know two or three classical pieces. (I can play "Dee" by Rhandy Roads!!!)
Anyway I want to expand my knowledge and ability... So where do I start?
I know "Romance D'amour" (or whatever this piece's name is...)
and also some parts of Leyendes by Albeniz.
What should I try next?
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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/13/2002 10:49 AM

Jon Riley (9697) wrote:

Depends how serious you are about classical guitar.
Ultimately (as with any classical instrument) you should take lessons. For strict classical guitar, posture is important, for example - which could be awkward for you to get used to if you've been playing rock for some time.

OTOH, if you just want to dabble in nylon-string fingerstyle, dip a toe in the ocean of classical music (and why not?), get hold of some classical guitar books of tunes. (I'm assuming you can read notation - you really do need to!)
I'd recommend Tarrega, who wrote some very cute tunes for guitar, rewarding to play and not too difficult. (He's the one who transcribed Albeniz' Leyenda for guitar.)
Bach is cool too; there are transcriptions of some of his short violin/keyboard pieces (bourrees, sarabandes, preludes) which work really well on guitar. (I use them all the time for finger exercises :-))
If you want something a little more advanced, Villa-Lobos is great: he really knew how to write for guitar, to exploit its sonorities. His "5 preludes" are excellent, esp no.1 and no.5.

JonR



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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/13/2002 12:58 PM

Yossi Chen (336) wrote:

also, do I need to grow nails for classical guitar?
Or just for tremolo pieces like Recuerdos De La Alhambra...



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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/15/2002 8:26 AM

Jon Riley (9697) wrote:

Yes, definitely.

They don't need to be very long: just past the end of the finger is fine.

The correct classical picking technique, the "rest stroke", is where the flesh of the fingertip rests on the string or brushes it before the nail picks it.
So the nails shouldn't be too long, maybe 1/8 inch or less beyond the fingertip - any longer and they'll catch on the strings.
They should be naturally rounded too, not cut to pick-shape points or anything :-)

I just discovered the site www.guitarprinciples.com (from another thread), which has some good advice on technique.

JonR

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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/14/2002 7:56 AM

Antonio Rosa (6847) wrote:

Hi Yossi,
I agree on taking lessons, because a teacher can lead you from a stage to the next one.
Also it's important to learn the technique correctly since the early beginning or you'll have to correct wrong things later, which is more difficult then learning correctly from scratch.
Actually, some schools do not allow nails in the right hand in the beginning, they prefer you use your fingertips flesh.The right hand technique consists in playing a string and resting the finger in the next one, muting it. In portuguese
they call it "pulsar apoiado".
Personally I've found that for fast passages it's easier if you use the fingernail. After 2 years of lessons I was allowed to let my fingernails grow a little. I can still play without fingernails.
About suggesting material, the suggestions already made are intermediate to advanced. As you are asking for starting material, I would sugest Fernando Sor, Dionisio Aguado or Mauro Giuliani studies, then you can go to more advanced material (Tarrega and Villa-Lobos).
If you are interested, look at www.guitarnotes.com ad do a search for classical guitar tab. There's some sites with tab, music scores and also midi files that can help you.
Good luck,
Antonio

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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/14/2002 9:50 AM

Daniel Yourdon (904) wrote:

technique is critical in classical, get an instructor that can evaluate you and at least teach you the proper techniques. then you can adjust from there

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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/14/2002 10:02 AM

Stewart McCaslin (117) wrote:

Yossi...

I took classical guitar lessons for a couple of years... Here are a few points:

1) Technique is 100% critical!!! You must get this down first (seek out a good instructor to get you started!

2) A classical guitar is different than a normal 6 string. The fretboard is wider and the strigs are all nylon. (You can pick up a real cheap one for under $100)...

3) To get a good quality tone, you do need to grow the fingernails long on your right hand.

4) The guitar is held totally different. You put the body between your legs, with your right foot sitting on a small stand (about 6 or so inches raised). The neck is held much more vertical.

I think many more guitar players should spend a little time learning how to play this style. The control of your picking is essential and does then translate back to 'normal picking'. Once you have mastered it, you will be light years ahead!

There are many many excellent classical works for guitar but I will reiterate - you must get some advice on your technique. Any errors you make in style need to be corrected before they become bad habits!

Good luck with this style! I think you will enjoy it!

Stewart
J

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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/15/2002 3:12 AM

Charles Gacsi (42523) wrote:

You have some great answers given you on this site. The neck of the classical guitar generally is concave .. opposite of the folk guitar neck.. also position markers are generally only on the edge instead of the face of the neck. Charlie



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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/15/2002 8:43 AM

Jon Riley (9697) wrote:

Actually AFAIK the neck is flat, cross-wise (in the direction in which steel-string necks are convex).

All guitar necks should be very slightly concave lengthwise. That's the "relief" which allows the string to leave each fret at the same angle.

BTW, it took me ages to get used to those edge fret markers. I was so used to looking at the fretboard (as a self-taught folk-blues player) I couldn't play my first classical guitar without marking the 5th, 7th and 12th frets with bits of tape..tut tut.:-)

JonR



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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/15/2002 4:20 PM

Maciek Sakrejda (8047) wrote:

Actually, I believe Charlie is right. My classical, at least, has a slightly concave (width-wise) fretboard. It's a pain in the butt to barre...

-m

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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/15/2002 8:36 AM

Jon Riley (9697) wrote:

On point (4): the left foot, for a right-handed player, is on the stool, so that the left thigh supports the guitar, and the right leg is tucked back a little, out of the way (the bottom edge of the guitar rests against it). The neck of the guitar is held at around 45 degrees, so that all frets are within easy reach.
However, the top of the guitar is in a vertical plane, so you don't look down on the fingerboard surface, you look down on the top edge of it. In correct classical position, you can't actually see the fingerboard surface. This gives the left wrist a much more relaxed position.
In correct position, an index finger barreing around 5th-7th fret will point straight up at your eye or forehead.

JonR

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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/15/2002 11:21 AM

Stewart McCaslin (117) wrote:

Absolutly right Jon... It has been a while!

Stewart

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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/15/2002 1:56 PM

Yossi Chen (336) wrote:

I have a cheap-ass (excuse me) guitar, worth 10 bucks. Its all right, intonation wise and all that. I know how to play in the classical position, but my problem was that I didnt know what to play. I tried some of the Tarrega's, and they were pretty easy, and Ill check the rest of them out. If Ill really get into it during this process, Ill try to find a private instructor.

But this was very helpfull, thanx!

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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/15/2002 3:59 PM

Stewart McCaslin (117) wrote:

I had just paid $800 (Cdn$) for my Yamaha Acoustic when I decided to try classical (a week later)... So I went and paid $40 for my classical guitar - A cheap, falling apart, piece of junk but it worked well enough for a bit... Don't remember the pieces I worked on but I am sure the suggestions above will keep you busy!

Good Luck!

Stewart

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Re: How to start on Classical Guitar?

1/16/2002 2:55 PM

Jake Lizzio (985) wrote:

I went on Ubid.com and got a Yamaha C-40 for only $40. I went to my local music shop and it was $220.
Yossi- I started off as a metal guitarist, then became infatuated with classical. Growing your nails out is a must. Its a pain in the ass, but it's worth the music. I don't know why, but when I play classical guitar, I feel something different (besides the cramps in my right hand) than when I'm playing metal or anything else. Classical is so much more different, I think thats why I love it so much. Leyenda is a great peice to learn all the way through- I have a lesson here on WN on the main part of it. I'm thinking about adding in the rest.
Good luck
Jake