We are going to talk about the minimum time you need to devote to the study of the guitar, about the position for holding the guitar, and finally about some techniques, exercises and pieces.
Timetable for players of a year's experience:
In order to progress, you need a little time each day for 6 days of the week. Here is the minimum necessary for players of this level :
3 days when you can devote 15 minutes to repeating each difficult passage 6 to 12 times. I'll indicate these difficult passages to you by putting a box (a rectangular border) around them.
3 days when you can devote 40 minutes to studying the guitar, made up of
- 15 minutes practicing the difficult (boxed) passages,
- 15 minutes repeating the individual phrases several times in succession (3 to 6 times)
- and finally 10 minutes playing the piece or pieces in full.
Note that you must play for 6 days of the week. If you combine all this time into one day, that is to say, 2 hours in a single day, you will not make progress and furthermore you will risk injuring yourself by making demands on certain muscles for too long. Divide up your practice and play a little each day.
Spend most of your practice time on the parts you have trouble playing: difficult passages, difficult phrases. Only play pieces the whole way through once or twice a week.
So we understand one another properly, here is an example of a timetable where sessions alternate between 15 and 40 minutes:
Monday 40 minutes
Tuesday 15 minutes
Wednesday 40 minutes
Thursday 15 minutes
Friday 40 minutes
Saturday 15 minutes
The position for the classical guitar is the product of past experience. The classical position enables us to reduce effort to a minimum, and has arisen from a compromise between the needs for stability, comfort and the efficient use of both hands.
The principles of this position are:
sitting position, back straight, shoulders level,
the guitar rests on whichever thigh is on the neck side.
We raise the head of the guitar level with our head, with the aid of a footstool or of a support placed on the thigh.
The hand which plays the strings is placed over the sound hole, the elbow rests on the edge of the body of the guitar, level with the bridge.
The arm on the neck side is bent to bring the hand up to the height of the shoulder, the thumb is placed behind the neck, beneath the second fret and behind the third string, the fingers are over the strings.
Try to achieve relaxation, from the shoulders right down to the hands.
Finally, choose a chair of a height that allows your thights to be horizontal, like this your guitar will rest in a stable manner. If your thigh is angled in one direction or the other, your guitar will slip and interfere with your playing.
To begin the course we will firstly look at, or relook at, pages 26 and 58 of volume D01.
- page 26 of volume D01 : Jean-François DELCAMP (1956) POLYPHONIE
- page 58 of volume D01 : Jean-François DELCAMP (1956) REST STROKE - APOYANDO
These exercises will work upon the technique of simultaneous rest strokes (apoyando) with the thumb and index finger, and also with the thumb and middle finger.
The rest stoke is a way to play the string with a finger movement which plucks the string and then continues to move until it comes to rest on the adjacent string. The work on this technique will allow you to discover the best position for your plucking hand (the right hand if you are right-handed).
If you are already used to plucking the strings with free strokes, the simultaneous rest strokes with the thumb and a finger will seem difficult to you, even impossible. But be assured, with patience and consistence, this difficulty will be resolved in 30 minutes. I know from experience that the first tries are truly discouraging, particularly for adults. It is for this reason that I wish to reassure you in advance, take heart, you will be able to do it.
Then we will study three pieces, the easiest of volume D02. Two pieces are to be played either with rest stroke or free stroke, both for the melody and for the bass.
- page 7 ANONYME (1750) DANSE D'AVILA with rest strokes (apoyando).
- page 8 Stephen Collins FOSTER (1826-1864) OH! SUSANNA with rest strokes (apoyando). This piece will serve to work on rhythm. To keep time, count out loud the beats as indicated above the stave.
- page 19 ANONYME (1750) QUE NE SUIS-JE LA FOUGÈRE with free strokes (tirando),
I ask you first to work on all these exercises and pieces for one week and then to post your recordings on the forum for:
- page 26 du volume D01 : Jean-François DELCAMP (1956) POLYPHONIE (apoyando).
- page 7 ANONYME (1750) DANSE D'AVILA (apoyando).
- page 8 Stephen Collins FOSTER (1826-1864) OH! SUSANNA (apoyando).
I thank Geoff (GeoffB) who has helped in the translation of my lessons into English.
David Hobstetter wrote:It looks like the sheet music for D01-D03 was last changed in 2014. Is that correct? I printed it all out last year and would prefer to save the paper and not print it again if I can do so.
As far as I can see that is correct, based on the version date.
I downloaded them last year and haven't changed them for this year.
Postby Matthew Sembaluk » Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:31 am
Hello D02 Class! Here are some up-lodes. I am aware of some minor phrasing issues, prolonged rests as well as my thumb being to high up the neck.I am working on cleaning these issues up Other than that please post some criticisms.
Hello Year Two! I am so excited. I have a new guitar, a cedar Cordoba Parlor C9. I put Aquila Alabastro Normal Tension strings on it. I am saving up for a guitar upgrade. But I will be okay with this one for a few years. Later I will use it as a travel guitar.
I have uploaded audio files of the three pieces. It is hard for me to get videos, but I will try to get a few down the line. I admit to having a lot of trouble with apoyando on the second two pieces. My right hand is spastic and affects how well I can stay on beat. Everything is clunky. I can play both songs much better using a free stroke; however, I understand the purpose for practicing apoyando. It helps if my right nails are short when playing apoyando.
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@Matthew You play well. I really enjoy your video. You might want to count out loud the beat or tap your foot.
@Jenni Gribble play the hard part(the part that you hesitate) slowly and accurately, like for a week, until you can play the hard part fluently. Keep it up Jenni
Exercise the hard part is suck, because it's boring, just like exercise. I just want to play the whole song
Matthew Sembaluk wrote:Hello D02 Class! Here are some up-lodes. I am aware of some minor phrasing issues, prolonged rests as well as my thumb being to high up the neck.I am working on cleaning these issues up Other than that please post some criticisms.
As Marko has pointed out you haven't posted second part of polyphony, your 2nd video is the APOYANDO exercise
The Danse is very well played, good speed and clean articulation.