Greetings from Phoenix

Albert
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:14 pm

Greetings from Phoenix

Post by Albert » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:47 pm

Greetings from Phoenix

Hello from the land of sunshine. I've dabbled with instruments throughout my life but never really took them seriously. Hope to this time around. I currently own an acoustic (steel string) guitar and have used it enough to not have any finger pain while playing :). So, I guess the first hurdle of many has been crossed. I know a few chords and am practicing a few songs. Great fun and very enjoyable. I've been playing about a month now and can almost play Blackbird. Unthinkable a month ago.

I'd like to learn more about classical guitar and may trade my acoustic in for one soon. They seem to be lighter and obviously, the strings are different. Really enjoy listening to one played well. I am self-taught but am thinking about the lessons here, which I believe should begin in September.

I first came across classical guitar while searching for videos on YouTube, and really enjoyed watching them. It is frankly amazing to me how one person playing guitar can make so many wonderful sounds at one time.

Look forward to reading the posts, watching the videos and hearing the music.

Albert

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Greetings from Phoenix

Post by Erik Zurcher » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:17 pm

Hello Albert and welcome to Delcamp forum! Enjoy yourself and see you around!

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Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

BellyDoc
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:52 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Greetings from Phoenix

Post by BellyDoc » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:07 pm

Welcome!

I'm in the west valley (Peoria).

I did things just like you. I felt the urge to start playing guitar and started self-teaching with a steel string acoustic from Guitar Center, but when I really committed to practicing and lessons, I ended up loving classical guitar. I've been practicing seriously and taking lessons for just less than 2 years.

As you're probably aware, the classical guitar is different in several key respects. The strings are different as you've noted, and I agree that they're more comfortable to play. However, more importantly, they're played against a wider, shorter and FLAT fret board that facilitates the clarity of individual note fingerings to get all those overlapping voices you're hearing. The body is also smaller than the typical dreadnaught acoustic and the instrument is held differently, in order to free the left hand for all the movements it needs to do. You can get into a new entry level classical guitar for a few hundred bucks, or perhaps a slightly better used one for the same amount if you want to start fishing Craigslist. At the upper end, the sky is the limit... My advice is don't sell any guitars. Start a collection. If you don't have the bug yet, go visit the Musical Instrument Museum over by the Mayo hospital and see if that gets you thinking.

I can't emphasize enough the value of having a teacher. Many will make the argument for this based on what a teacher can do for you by observing you and helping you to correct technical errors, and although I agree with that 100%, I also recognize that a goal directed self teaching learner can get a lot done by themselves, and they may or may not have technical excellence as a goal in the first place. I'll still argue for the value of a teacher, but I'll reason differently.

Music is inherently an art form of emotional communication. To open yourself up to this fully requires that it be an interactive process. You may be able to get somewhere with it in privacy, but eventually the question is exactly where you're going. The burnout rate in self starters is extremely high, and I think this is the missing piece of the puzzle.

I'd recommend my teacher, personally, because he's just the kind of music nut I want to be. Not every teacher is for everyone, though. I found him through a Google search near my house and then started making calls and he stood out immediately.

I've been aware of the Phoenix Guitar Society for several months and just recently made it to a meeting. It's low key and nice folks. Several people through that group are actively engaged in teaching, from what I understand. Their website also has a calendar of events. I'm promoting on their behalf for any of my teacher's students who want to join in.

I'm always looking to connect with other adult beginners. Good luck!
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." -Sir Isaac Newton

Armin Hanika 56PF

Albert
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:14 pm

Re: Greetings from Phoenix

Post by Albert » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:35 am

Hello BellyDoc and good to hear from you. Thank you for your encouragement and information. I've already traded in my acoustic for a classical (C5) and am enjoying it greatly. Thanks also for the suggestion regarding a teacher, which I see and hear everywhere I go on the internet. Right now time won't permit that for me, so for a while, I will be on my own so to speak.

How is it going two years down the line?

BellyDoc
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:52 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Greetings from Phoenix

Post by BellyDoc » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:31 pm

That's a great guitar to start with. When I decided to get a classical guitar, I started with the same one! As a matter of full disclosure, I've apparently been affected by what many describe as the "Guitar Acquisition Syndrome" (GAS), so I've continued to get additional instruments since then, which is probably why I so quickly advise starting a collection. I also put off starting lessons for a long time. I got lucky and then capitalized on the luck to clear time. Even now, it gets messed up frequently and I'm forced to reschedule.

Two years in, I'm very happy with my progress. I practice a lot, though. Guitar is difficult! For me, it helps that there are many beginning studies which are musically beautiful and challenge-appropriate for my level. If you're interested in a recommendation, you might look at the complete studies of Fernando Sor. My belief is that the learning curve for guitar is not smooth and uniform. I believe it's inherently going to have phase changes with periods of more rapid and less rapid progress. I just go with it. At two years, I'm still working on getting through simple studies error-free in terms of missing correct notes. However, my speed at learning pieces has improved significantly, my tone has improved dramatically, and at this point I do sometimes get through studies error-free that I have practiced many times. That's a relatively new development.

Good luck and stick with it!!
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." -Sir Isaac Newton

Armin Hanika 56PF

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