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Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
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#1970125 - 10/08/12 01:40 AM Method for classical guitar player???
eyemgh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 12
My son has been playing classical guitar for 10 years. He reads well. He's able to read two lines as he sometimes plays both lines of guitar duets simultaneously. He is also ok at reading bass.

I'm looking for music and/or a method that he can work with that doesn't start with the presumption that the student can't read and doesn't focus only on single notes, but also covers some techniques that might be technically rudemantary. For instance, he was messing around with Gymnopedie No. 1, but he doesn't understand any of the technical markings like he would in guitar music.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

M

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#1970129 - 10/08/12 01:59 AM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
kayvee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Santa Barbara
_________________________
A linguistics major who loves piano and knows too much theory/history without knowing how to play it as well as he wants to be able to.

Let's hope that changes. Taught piano for almost two years and currently working on:
"Going back to the basics..."

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#1970139 - 10/08/12 02:32 AM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Canada
Kayvee, what is the reason that you suggest starting directly in repertoire?

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#1970146 - 10/08/12 03:00 AM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Hi there, The most helpful time to have a teacher is at the beginning. Piano technique is different from guitar, and it is quite possible to start off in a way that can lead to tension and injury (meaning a break from both instruments).

Having said that, most printed 'methods' do assume the student can't read music and start from there. He may need to bite the bullet and put up with it, as the method books also provide material that is simple enough to allow him to develop technique. He may be proficient in bass clef, but learning to read two staves at a time still takes a while.

But what you didn't ask about is long fingernails on the right hand, and this is important. Good piano technique requires short fingernails for 99% of the human race, though a few do differently. If he's going to try to play piano with long fingernails, he definitely needs a sympathetic teacher, and realistic expectations of what he may actually achieve.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#1970160 - 10/08/12 04:06 AM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: keystring]
kayvee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Santa Barbara
Originally Posted By: keystring
Kayvee, what is the reason that you suggest starting directly in repertoire?
Most classically trained musicians I know are able to do this, given enough time to practice and learn the coordination necessary to the piano.

Very rarely do they need as much time to develop this as someone who has had no training. Of course, the repertoire books I suggested remain in very easy positions/keys/etc to allow for attention to technique rather than learning how to play while reading harder pieces than a method book.
_________________________
A linguistics major who loves piano and knows too much theory/history without knowing how to play it as well as he wants to be able to.

Let's hope that changes. Taught piano for almost two years and currently working on:
"Going back to the basics..."

Top
#1970188 - 10/08/12 06:54 AM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
eyemgh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 12
Kayvee, thanks! Books are on the way.

Tenthumbs, I don't think he'll play nearly as much piano, so I doubt the odd attack (if that's what you call it in piano) necessitated by nails will lead to any repetitive use injuries. He's pretty sensitive to his hands and hopefully won't push it. Good call and thanks for the concern.

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#1970416 - 10/08/12 05:32 PM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Canada
I know that TenLeftThumbs is a piano teacher, and also seem to remember that she has taught students coming from guitar, so her advice should merit consideration (imho).

Kayvee, I play/played a number of instruments, including classical guitar. Each instrument has its own technique, and in some respect, different kinds of "musical thinking". On piano you want to think and play like a pianist, rather than a guitarist learning to play a piano. Understanding how music in general works, being able to read music, is an advantage but it's only part of it.

I'm not familiar with the Alfred books. I have Guhl's "Keyboard Proficiency" which is written for music majors learning piano as a second instrument, and it is based on Guhl's many years of teaching just that at university. Her approach includes creating kinesthetic responses - i.e. the physical end of it. It does not only have repertoire, but also teaches skills in a variety of areas. Above all, however, I would recommend a teacher in order to get at those things that a book can't - and sooner rather than later in order to start with the right physical setup.

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#1970584 - 10/08/12 11:59 PM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
eyemgh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 12
keystring, he's not looking to study piano per se, just to get an efficient foundation for noodling around. I think a teacher is always the best option. He doesn't have the time right now.

M

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#1970587 - 10/09/12 12:12 AM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: keystring]
kayvee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Santa Barbara
Originally Posted By: keystring
Kayvee, I play/played a number of instruments, including classical guitar. Each instrument has its own technique, and in some respect, different kinds of "musical thinking". On piano you want to think and play like a pianist, rather than a guitarist learning to play a piano. Understanding how music in general works, being able to read music, is an advantage but it's only part of it.


Um, no. Not really. Musical thinking is musical thinking. It's all about application. How one goes about doing it will depend on the instrument, yes, but there are always workarounds to this. Rarely are you trying to 'break' away from your preferred instrument, though it can show in ways (movements, tone production, etc).

And, again, every music major/classically trained musician I know is able to do this, so while it may be anecdotal, I think the number is high enough where I'm positive her son will have no issues. In any case, the Alfred books are the same as the Guhl, and there are dozens more just like these. The best case would be to work with a combination of repertoire and these method books designed for music majors.
_________________________
A linguistics major who loves piano and knows too much theory/history without knowing how to play it as well as he wants to be able to.

Let's hope that changes. Taught piano for almost two years and currently working on:
"Going back to the basics..."

Top
#1970632 - 10/09/12 02:29 AM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Canada
Kayvee, I don't know whether you play other instruments, or much of your background, actually, so I don't know whether my idea of "musical thinking" came across as intended. I did not spend a lot of words explaining - I've just returned from a trip.

Here is the kind of thing I meant. If I think like a pianist, then I am very aware of the vertical aspect of music - the chords and harmonies. There are many notes and voices to be played at the same time. The instrument is percussive and pre-tuned, so you are trying to bring out articulations including legato, and your expressive means do not include pitch - rhythmic nuances may play a greater expressive role. You cannot shade the dynamics of a single note as you can with many other instruments. The nature of the instrument, and the nature of the music written for that instrument, will affect (or should affect) aspects of how you relate to, and interpret music. That makes the difference between a pianist playing piano music, or a guitarist (or oboist etc.) playing the piano. There is such a thing as thinking like a pianist, in addition to what is common. If you do play other instruments, you may be able to relate to this.

Quote:
In any case, the Alfred books are the same as the Guhl, and there are dozens more just like these.

I trust that you have examined both the Alfred books and Guhl? I'm actually surprised, because I thought that Guhl's approach was relatively unique. I cannot imagine that there are dozens like Guhl - seriously - not from what I've seen.
Quote:
How one goes about doing it will depend on the instrument, yes, but there are always workarounds to this. Rarely are you trying to 'break' away from your preferred instrument, though it can show in ways (movements, tone production, etc).

I was not thinking about breaking away or workarounds, but rather the uniqueness of each instrument, and what its character brings to the music. Just as important or even more so at the beginning with a new instrument is to get the proper foundations for that new instrument. Some general principals such as effective movement and good practice habits are the same across all instruments, but the specifics are not.

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#1970634 - 10/09/12 02:42 AM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
kayvee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Santa Barbara
What you're discussing, in practice, is of very little use in the beginning for someone learning the basics of an instrument. At least, it's not a direct thought. That's why musicians are so good at picking up other instruments - they've trained their ears well enough to help force the rest of the body to fall into place.

It's a great point to consider, but that's like telling a high school biology student that he is best left thinking of the physics of biochemistry before he learns what a microscope is. There is a progression.

I own the Guhl too; I didn't find it particularly unique in any way. It's a good text, but just not as accessible as others, I think.
_________________________
A linguistics major who loves piano and knows too much theory/history without knowing how to play it as well as he wants to be able to.

Let's hope that changes. Taught piano for almost two years and currently working on:
"Going back to the basics..."

Top
#1970641 - 10/09/12 03:04 AM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: eyemgh
keystring, he's not looking to study piano per se, just to get an efficient foundation for noodling around. I think a teacher is always the best option. He doesn't have the time right now.

M


OK, so effective noodling for a guitarist would be working out how the chords (major, minor, dominant, etc) look in different keys, as he will get a different perspective on theory from what he already knows. He probably doesn't need a book for that.

Apart from that he can pick up any king of sheet music he likes, written for guitar or piano and have fun with it.
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

Top
#1970652 - 10/09/12 03:48 AM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: kayvee]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: kayvee
What you're discussing, in practice, is of very little use in the beginning for someone learning the basics of an instrument. At least, it's not a direct thought. That's why musicians are so good at picking up other instruments - they've trained their ears well enough to help force the rest of the body to fall into place.

It is probably why I was so good at picking up other instruments - my ears were trained well enough to help for the rest of the body to fall into some kind of place. Subsequently, with a teacher, I've had to learn how to make the body fall into other kinds of places - that is why I suggest working with a teacher when starting a new instrument is a good idea.

I disagree that this is of little use in the beginning: understanding the nature of the instrument is especially important in the beginning. I'm not convinced that we're understanding each other.

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#1970726 - 10/09/12 10:28 AM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
eyemgh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 12
Keystring, please take no offense, but you've obviously not studied classical guitar. It is an instrument very capable of playing multiple voices with the added complexity of choosing tone and actively stopping notes. I can assure you, a good classical guitarist very much understands how music breathes. Does he want to go that far with piano or just chunk out some tunes, I don't know. I'm just looking for something he'll enjoy.

M

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#1970821 - 10/09/12 01:59 PM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: eyemgh
Keystring, please take no offense, but you've obviously not studied classical guitar. It is an instrument very capable of playing multiple voices with the added complexity of choosing tone and actively stopping notes. I can assure you, a good classical guitarist very much understands how music breathes. Does he want to go that far with piano or just chunk out some tunes, I don't know. I'm just looking for something he'll enjoy.

I most definitely have played classical guitar, and am quite aware of the things you have described. 1. How these things are produced is done differently on the two instruments. 2. Each instrument has its own attributes, and part of musicianship is to using those attributes to bring out the music. You cannot produce the things a guitar can produce, on a piano. But there are things belonging to piano which will highlight music if you know about them - which is where a piano teacher who is a pianist comes in.

I would suggest not making judgments about people you do not know. Why not find out from your son what he is looking for? If he has been playing for that length of time, he probably has an idea. Otoh, if he has not been exposed to the input of a real pianist, he also won't know what is possible with a piano and won't look for it. I am writing as an instrumentalist, and from my experience (among other things). It is an eye opener, and an absolute delight to discover the attributes specific to each instrument. It is also possible to simply transfer from instrument to instrument, and produce plausible music via what you know - but there is more if you can access it. Especially someone who has studied music and who is in part already a musician will be attracted to such things. The pleasure of "noodling" doesn't last that long.

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#1970825 - 10/09/12 02:10 PM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: keystring]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3238
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
It is also possible to simply transfer from instrument to instrument, and produce plausible music via what you know - but there is more if you can access it. Especially someone who has studied music and who is in part already a musician will be attracted to such things. The pleasure of "noodling" doesn't last that long.


I agree. Trombonists can all pick up a euphonium and play musically - but they tend to sound like a trombonist playing a euphonium. The difference isn't large, but it is meaningful.

But the noodling? I'm not sure about that. I don't have a background in classical guitar - I've read Sor, etc., but that's about all. But my impressions is that pedagogically it's very similar to piano: scheduled lessons, set practice times, mostly solitary practice, little emphasis on playing along with recordings and friends, little encouragement to join a gigging band as a raw beginner, little requirement for "real time" in tempo playing. In short, the exact opposite in every way from how people learn popular guitar.

But it seems the success rate for popular guitar is pretty high, higher than that from piano lessons.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1970857 - 10/09/12 03:17 PM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: keystring]
eyemgh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 12
Quote:
If I think like a pianist, then I am very aware of the vertical aspect of music - the chords and harmonies. There are many notes and voices to be played at the same time.


Sorry keystring if that came across as insulting. Not my intent. I was responding to the statement above. There's no doubt that a piano is different than a guitar. There's also no doubt that flamenco guitar is different than classical guitar. There just aren't enough hours in the day to attend school, do the homework, play one organized sport, and study an instrument to add properly studying another. There have to be some hours for just being a kid. Now a child who is solely obsessed by music might certainly see it differently. I absolutely agree that the best option for proper study is with a good teacher.

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#1970859 - 10/09/12 03:25 PM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: TimR]
eyemgh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 12
Quote:
But my impressions is that pedagogically it's very similar to piano: scheduled lessons, set practice times, mostly solitary practice, little emphasis on playing along with recordings and friends, little encouragement to join a gigging band as a raw beginner, little requirement for "real time" in tempo playing. In short, the exact opposite in every way from how people learn popular guitar.


Tim, this is true, with one mild exception, the pedagogy of guitar is not as solidly established as it is for piano. There are methods, but many teachers, even good ones, don't follow them. The best teachers tend to follow some reasoned progression path. the worst just sort of wander around.

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#1970873 - 10/09/12 03:50 PM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Canada
eyemgh, what wrote was in a context and an attempt to convey some overall ideas. Any single sentence will lose much of its meaning.

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#1971010 - 10/09/12 09:17 PM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: keystring]
kayvee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Santa Barbara
Originally Posted By: keystring
I would suggest not making judgments about people you do not know.
I may have only been posting here recently but I've been a lurker for a very long time. And I have to say, this is about 50-75% of what your posts usually look like to me. Or, rather, they look to be someone who applies ONLY their experiences and opinions without ever being open to discussion.

So I would suggest that YOU understand that not everyone will agree with you.

And "a teacher is the best option" is such a bland statement. If they didn't know that, they wouldn't be here asking for either additional information or other information since a teacher isn't possible.
_________________________
A linguistics major who loves piano and knows too much theory/history without knowing how to play it as well as he wants to be able to.

Let's hope that changes. Taught piano for almost two years and currently working on:
"Going back to the basics..."

Top
#1971069 - 10/09/12 11:20 PM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: kayvee]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Canada
Kayvee, in forums we often see statements that seem to be uttered by an expert, because of the air of certainty; that is not good. We should know more about those statements, in order to judge. I try to give a clue to where my ideas are coming from. In my teacher training we were drilled to avoid giving a statement without personal observations if at all possible; it may be that this is not universal so maybe it's misunderstood. What I write is not only from personal experience. Giving background is for information, not in order to preclude dialogue or difference of opinion. It's the same reason that I asked you for more information on your ideas.

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#1971090 - 10/09/12 11:52 PM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
LadyChen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
Ultimately, eyemgh and son need to make a decision that works best for them. I can understand not wanting him to spend ALL his time studying/practicing etc, but I also think keystring makes a very good point.

I'm another person who has played piano and then migrated around to other instruments. Well, let me tell you, I played the trombone like a pianist and I sang like a pianist. It wasn't until I started studying with teachers who specialized in those instruments that I truly unlocked the potential of the instrument.

General musicianship can be transferred from instrument to instrument, absolutely, and it will take eyemgh's son a long way with any instrument he chooses. BUT there definitely is a "wall" where you need to learn the proper technique specific to the instrument before you can progress, and when you get there, it is doubly frustrating going back to the basics to relearn the instrument. Why not just learn it right the first time?

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#1971130 - 10/10/12 01:29 AM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
eyemgh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 12
Great post Lady Chen. At he end of the day he doen't even know how interested he'll be. He's just scratching the surface right now for fun. The reason not to "do it right" is time. He has 4 AP high school classes, plays varsity soccer, studies guitar, is studying for SAT, along with needing some time to be a kid. No doubt there is a best way for mastering an instrument. That's not what he's trying to accomplish. Should he, he'll make room to do it properly. Thanks everyone for the thoughtful input.

M

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#1971417 - 10/10/12 04:32 PM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11798
Loc: Canada
LadyChen was able to say what I didn't manage to. Thank you. smile

Eyemgh, I never meant that you *have* to get a teacher for your son. My children were high school age not long ago, and I agree that the senior years are brutal. What I wanted to convey is that there are aspects to piano that a good teacher can transmit which we can stay totally unaware of if we come to it from another instrument. It may not be for now, but at least if you (he) know about it, then you can look for it at some point. When you come to piano from another instrument like classical guitar, then piano seems ridiculously easy. You end up missing the technique which will make it continue being easy if you advance on it. You also can miss those things that make the piano feel like a real instrument, and for an instrumentalist, this is where the pleasure lies. If some day he wants to do more with piano, know that other possibilities are there. One can play for years self-taught without knowing this.

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#1971543 - 10/10/12 08:49 PM Re: Method for classical guitar player??? [Re: eyemgh]
eyemgh Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 12
Keystring, I got that from your beginning posts and appreciate what you said. Thanks!

N

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