mww-- in the words of the great Albert Einstein, God does not make mistakes. Think about how much fun you can have complaining about them now! Call it "entertainment value"...
To saw, to slice or punch -- that is the question.
What an amazing thread. While I own all of the methods listed, I prefer the 3-ring binder/copier technique. This method allows me to organize my practice by placing this week's material -- scales, studies (one each, scale & arpeggio), and repertoire, new and old -- in the front. And, at the end of the year, I retire old stuff to another binder where it is easily resurrected/reviewed. Since I own the books I copy from, I am legally permitted to make a copy for my own use.
I find the Shearer, the Mel Bay edition, with the metal-ring binding, easiest to use, especially considering the large font size. For that reason, I would recommend the Shearer.
The Provost books, with the plastic-ring binding are also excellent. And since they are up-to-date and material is presented in an order that makes sense, I don't need to make copies, good as-is. But who wants to learn fundamentals, what a waste.
The Noad books usually become shredded when I put them through my table saw (I call it "The 'Shreda"). Although, the copy shop doesn't have a problem with putting them on the slicer, either. And I can find them used online (so the publisher doesn't make a cent); then I don't mind shredding a copy or two every now and then.
I loved playing the Carcassi method, girls really liked those tunes. The book, however, doesn't fit on the copier too well so I don't use it so much any more.
The Duncan method is also too big for the copier, and it doesn't have my favorite Carcassi tunes. Although, I knew a woman who played "Ash Grove" (out of the Duncan) busking in the Boston subway one summer; she was making $175 a day, not bad for a six dollar investment. Payed for itself in the first four minutes. Maybe I should own two of those.
And the left-arm pronation issue, I found placing a capo on the fifth fret reduced wrist strain at the beginning. As the extensors in the back of my hand stretched, I moved the capo down one position at a time, until I could play open without collapsing the hand onto the one-finger, the real problem.
Fourth-finger wasn't introduced until later, anyway (in 'Hava Nagila', C to D# on the second string) -- by the time I got to it, it wasn't an issue.
Alternatively, Aikido stretches may help...
PS Frederick Noad has earned the respect he has garnered. His contribution to the classical guitar has been and continues to be enormous. The fact that, thirty years after he wrote it, we are still debating the pros and cons, says a lot. Be careful not to take anything anyone says too literally. Not me, and not him.
Kevin Collins, Amherst, Mass, USA All rights reserved.