How do you vary tone color on the guitar? Change where you pluck on the string. And change your attack angle.
How do you practice Carcassi Etude 3? Practice right-hand planting and then practice the left-hand shapes while playing block chords.
Many guitarists might be wondering if there’s any benefit to studying 19th-century guitar methods. Aren’t there plenty of modern method books? Yes, there are great modern guitar methods, but none of them will take you into the mind of a 19th-century guitarist.
Studying 19th-century methods can dramatically deepen your understanding of the music of Sor, Giuliani, Carulli, and Carcassi, and make playing their music more fun!
Here are five lessons you can learn from 19th-century guitar methods:
How do you learn a piece of music? I believe there are five stages: mapping, learning, memorizing, polishing, and performing.
How do you practice vibrato? Start by practicing slowly and rhythmically.
How can you be more creative? The first step is not being afraid to try things.
How do you tune a guitar by ear? Let me give you a hint: Don’t use the 5th fret method. Oh, and avoid those 7th fret harmonics.
At the end of the year is a natural time to look back and reflect. As each year comes to a close, I think about various areas of life, including what I post online.
When I create a new article or video, I invest time into making something that I believe will be useful and enjoyable to others. When I share each post, I can’t predict which one will be most popular.
But looking back, the numbers don’t lie. Seeing which posts were most widely viewed helps me create future posts that are especially helpful to people. Below is the summary of my most viewed posts of 2016.
One of my students asked how he would know whether his musical performances were successful. As I reflected on his question, I thought about the many ways we can measure performance success.
How Did You Do?
You can evaluate factors such as accuracy of notes and rhythms. Effective use of expressive elements like dynamics and rubato. Appropriate tempo. Engaging stage presence.
How Did Your Group Do?
If you are playing in an ensemble, you can evaluate how well the ensemble performed together as a unit. Cohesiveness of musical execution, both technically and expressively.
How Did the Audience Respond?
You can measure how many people came. How much they clapped. What they said afterward.
I think these are valuable factors to include in evaluating your performance. But there are other types of questions.
We all have built-in guitar picks. Our fingernails. But how do you make sure yours are ready to use? Here are some tips for taking care of your fingernails and making sure the length, shape, and smoothness are the way they need to be.