Can You Play a Simple Song?

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Wuuthrad
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:16 pm
Location: USA

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by Wuuthrad » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:26 am

praneeth.gadam wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:43 am
Wuuthrad wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:42 am
Yup. I think classical guitarists should learn to improvise too. And chordally.

Also, in my sometimes humble opinion, I think that the rhythm and phrasing of many modern players I hear is lacking.

History of guitar music includes improvisation; I fail to see where and how this was lost in classical.

I think people should be dancing to the guitar, but many players remind me of a human piano roll...
How does one go about 'learning to improvise'? Are there any techniques, methods, resources to help out?

I have been learning guitar for over an year now, but feel like I simply move on from one peice to the next without knowing what I am retaining.

Thanks!
I recommend the Frederic Zigante edition of Brouwer's Etudes Simples. Brouwer was teaching Etude 6 as an exercise in improvisation, changing meter and arpeggios for example, which I didn't know until I got this edition.
And it makes sense to me; Brouwer has a real jazz and street sound, to me anyway. Folksy and rhythmic.

Knowing chords and scales is an important part. I started learning chord shapes from my first teacher, who wrote chord names on the score, and I'm still surprised that this isn't done in notation of classical guitar! I learned scales by listening to blues, rock, jazz and metal, and buying guitar grimoire and also making my own shapes on the fretboard that sounded good to me.

Try to play a sound you hear in your head, a melody, a passage. You could copy (which is a lot of classical study anyway) and then change a part.

Take a "simple song" :wink: you know, and without reading music, figure it out by ear. Then change it: harmonize it, make a dissonant part, etc. Do an octave jam, change the rhythms, go to town.

What we don't have on classical guitar is sustain, Violin like sustain, which is possible on electric- which I love! You can make the guitar sing and cry, almost sound like a human voice.

Another thing to try: knowing a R or L hand pattern, then coming up with a random L hand or slowing the R hand for example, or varying it- than you may find happy accidents.

But you have to go outside classical, which is nowadays for some reason not about improv! Jazz Rock and Blues for example. :chitarrista:

Or playing Renaissance and Baroque music and improvising on the melody for each section. Which is what was intended as I understand it!

:guitare:

PeteJ
Posts: 702
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:52 pm

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by PeteJ » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:35 pm

I'm with Simon Cowell on the importance of being honest with hopefuls. If they're playing for fun then anything goes, but it wastes everybody's time to be less than honest with someone who has limited talent or ability and is thinking of devoting their lives to it (and their teacher's).

For improvisation I'd guess that learning the good old pentatonic blues scale is still a good way to get started. Then its just a question of picking up some riffs. Anything more demanding needs some real knowledge and technical grounding. Wuuthrad''s idea of playing around with simple songs seems a good one, and it will help with ear-training and in becoming familiar with the fretboard. In my generation most of us sat with a record-player trying to drop the needle onto the riff we wanted to learn.

Jeffrey Armbruster
Posts: 1618
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:16 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:18 pm

So you're going to leave it up to simon cowell to determine the course of your life?
Paul Weaver spruce 2014
Takamine C132S

davekear
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by davekear » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:26 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:35 pm
I'm with Simon Cowell on the importance of being honest with hopefuls. If they're playing for fun then anything goes, but it wastes everybody's time to be less than honest with someone who has limited talent or ability and is thinking of devoting their lives to it (and their teacher's).
Well I'll tell you, I'd drop that teacher in a second. Who's to determine how good one will get? I've been teaching for almost 50 years now, and I've had all types of students. Some start off very slow, but because of determination and persistence have become very talented, professional working guitarists. If a teacher feels a student is wasting his time, than he's a lousy teacher, and he's the one who's wasting his students time. If I had a teacher tell me that, I'd knock his f***ing teeth out.

Rognvald
Posts: 272
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by Rognvald » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:53 pm

davekear wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:19 am
Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:40 am


My apologies. I'm sure that Rognvald is a competent player. God forbid he ever teaches young people.
I don't think anyone should ever tell another that they will never be good enough at something. I think a teacher's roll should be to help those who want to learn the best they can. I've been surprised many times by students who didn't necessarily start out too well. If one is not talented enough to be accepted by an advanced class, that's a different thing. Maybe one day they will. But never tell anyone they don't have, and never will have enough talent to do something they want to learn how to do .

Dave,
I have never advocated that position for the average student. I do, however, believe that someone who thinks they have the talent to pursue the life of an "artist," should not be deluded into believing their talents are greater than they really are. And, I have explained this quite thoroughly in my previous statements. I'll share a story with you about a masterclass with David Russel I once attended in the GFA Conference in Miami in the early 2000's. One of the performers(perhaps a member here) was the first to play. When he introduced himself, he was quite effusive about his unique artistic talents to the point, for me, of feeling embarrassed for him. His manner was conceited and arrogant. When he played, he was stopped repeatedly by Russell who asked him to play the passage differently and his indignant attitude finally galled the even-tempered Russell to the point where he stopped being subtle in his criticisms. He was, in my opinion, a low-intermediate player with the musical sensitivity of a Bonobo and thoroughly made a fool of himself on the stage. When he finished(completely unperturbed by Russell's excellent criticism), he said "You'll be seeing me around!!" as he walked off the stage. Was Russell cruel in his handling of this dupe or did the performer get his first dose of reality? How many teachers had encouraged him(lied) with his musical journey and I've often wondered where he is today. I can assure you, the "artist" has long been forgotten. I am not an uncaring person and have never purposely hurt a persons feelings who was sincere. Nor, would I do so today. However, in life, there is fiction and fact and that annoying concept called Truth. Playing again . . .Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

davekear
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by davekear » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:45 pm

That scenario Rognvald, I agree with you 100%

skipintro
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:18 pm
Location: Derbyshire

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by skipintro » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:58 am

Wuuthrad wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:26 am
......
But you have to go outside classical, which is nowadays for some reason not about improv! Jazz Rock and Blues for example. :chitarrista:

Or playing Renaissance and Baroque music and improvising on the melody for each section. Which is what was intended as I understand it!

:guitare:
Or Spanish and S American music where the border line between "folk" forms (flamenco, tango, and many others) and formally written "classical' is not so distinct.
In fact the sheer formality of "the classical repertoire" is its greatest weakness and for many spoils the experience of learning the guitar.
For some, 'enjoyment' and having fun is against the rules! That's their problem you don't have to take any notice.

PeteJ
Posts: 702
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:52 pm

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by PeteJ » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:42 pm

davekear wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:26 pm
PeteJ wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:35 pm
I'm with Simon Cowell on the importance of being honest with hopefuls. If they're playing for fun then anything goes, but it wastes everybody's time to be less than honest with someone who has limited talent or ability and is thinking of devoting their lives to it (and their teacher's).
Well I'll tell you, I'd drop that teacher in a second. Who's to determine how good one will get? I've been teaching for almost 50 years now, and I've had all types of students. Some start off very slow, but because of determination and persistence have become very talented, professional working guitarists. If a teacher feels a student is wasting his time, than he's a lousy teacher, and he's the one who's wasting his students time. If I had a teacher tell me that, I'd knock his f***ing teeth out.
Quite right. But if you go on the X-factor then you're asking for an opinion on your chances as a professional. I didn't think we were discussing beginners. If a person is not going to be able to benefit from a high-level course they should be told imho,

skipintro
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:18 pm
Location: Derbyshire

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by skipintro » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:53 pm

PeteJ wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:42 pm
.....If a person is not going to be able to benefit from a high-level course they should be told imho,
They should be told they are on the wrong course (of course!) - but nobody can predict their eventual capabilities. Not least because it will largely depend on the opportunities given them by teachers, good, bad or indifferent.

PeteJ
Posts: 702
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:52 pm

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by PeteJ » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:03 pm

I'm sure we all agree that most people need encouragement. I refuse to believe it when people tell me they don't have the talent to sing or play an instrument.

I was going to post a track here out of interest but can't see how to do it. My attachment is rejected for having an 'mp3' file extension. Any ideas? Or is this not allowed?

I posted it elsewhere. Not quite a simple song but this style of picking allows a thousand songs to be played. viewtopic.php?f=90&t=116642

Rognvald
Posts: 272
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by Rognvald » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:30 am

skipintro wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:58 am
Wuuthrad wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:26 am
......
But you have to go outside classical, which is nowadays for some reason not about improv! Jazz Rock and Blues for example. :chitarrista:

Or playing Renaissance and Baroque music and improvising on the melody for each section. Which is what was intended as I understand it!

:guitare:
Or Spanish and S American music where the border line between "folk" forms (flamenco, tango, and many others) and formally written "classical' is not so distinct.
In fact the sheer formality of "the classical repertoire" is its greatest weakness and for many spoils the experience of learning the guitar.
For some, 'enjoyment' and having fun is against the rules! That's their problem you don't have to take any notice.

Skip,
You didn't have to steal my lines! Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Rognvald
Posts: 272
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by Rognvald » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:34 am

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:18 pm
So you're going to leave it up to simon cowell to determine the course of your life?
Jeffrey Armbruster


Does anyone here know how to spell gadfly???????? Playing again . . .Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Jeffrey Armbruster
Posts: 1618
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:16 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:50 am

Rognvald wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:34 am
Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:18 pm
So you're going to leave it up to simon cowell to determine the course of your life?
Jeffrey Armbruster


Does anyone here know how to spell gadfly???????? Playing again . . .Rognvald
?
Paul Weaver spruce 2014
Takamine C132S

skipintro
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:18 pm
Location: Derbyshire

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by skipintro » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:41 am

Rognvald wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:30 am
skipintro wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:58 am
Wuuthrad wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:26 am
......
But you have to go outside classical, which is nowadays for some reason not about improv! Jazz Rock and Blues for example. :chitarrista:

Or playing Renaissance and Baroque music and improvising on the melody for each section. Which is what was intended as I understand it!

:guitare:
Or Spanish and S American music where the border line between "folk" forms (flamenco, tango, and many others) and formally written "classical' is not so distinct.
In fact the sheer formality of "the classical repertoire" is its greatest weakness and for many spoils the experience of learning the guitar.
For some, 'enjoyment' and having fun is against the rules! That's their problem you don't have to take any notice.

Skip,
You didn't have to steal my lines! Playing again . . . Rognvald
They are my lines. Presumably we thinking along the same lines!
It's been a revelation to me as a born again beginner - that I don't have to play Bach, or Lagrima, or learn by dancing to someone else's tunes.

Rognvald
Posts: 272
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Can You Play a Simple Song?

Post by Rognvald » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:05 pm

skipintro wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:41 am
Rognvald wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:30 am
skipintro wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:58 am


Or Spanish and S American music where the border line between "folk" forms (flamenco, tango, and many others) and formally written "classical' is not so distinct.
In fact the sheer formality of "the classical repertoire" is its greatest weakness and for many spoils the experience of learning the guitar.
For some, 'enjoyment' and having fun is against the rules! That's their problem you don't have to take any notice.

Skip,
You didn't have to steal my lines! Playing again . . . Rognvald
They are my lines. Presumably we thinking along the same lines!
It's been a revelation to me as a born again beginner - that I don't have to play Bach, or Lagrima, or learn by dancing to someone else's tunes.
Yes, of course . . . it was a compliment to your post! Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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