Larry McDonald wrote:Fair enough. Let me examine the first line of the post.
The OP wrote, "I recently bought my first CG, I have Carulli first volume revised by Tersi, I got Parkening Guitar Method...".
Since I am a guitar teacher, I will of course say that you need a guitar teacher. But first, let me point out just two reasons to get a teacher's perspective.
1) Carulli would often finger the down beat with "m", because he thought it was louder sound. This convention is not part of the modern pedagogy, and as a result, most of the right-hand fingering needs to be reconsidered.
2)The Parkening Method (which was written by his jazz playing brother-in-law, if I remember correctly), teaches the old style left hand technique, and not the modern 4th finger approach, and as a result, most of the left-hand fingering needs to be rewritten in the early pieces.
So, there are two significant problems with each of those methods that a competent modern-era teacher would correct within the private lesson. (As an aside, I still think that the Parkening Method is a pretty good method, but needs a teacher to correct to modern standards. His second volume is an excellent collection of intermediate techniques, but not a progressive method, per se.)
All the best,
L. A. McDonald
Good points.... but..
1. The OP asked about bad habits that can not be easily rectified. Do these really fall into that category?
2. It seems to me that the examples you cite are really examples of self teaching with the wrong materials. How is that different than learning from an teacher but picking a bad teacher.
Not trying to be argumentative here, but I do think there are a lot of people who for various reasons can't or choose not to use a teacher. I think what the OP and others are looking for is not to be told not to do this, but rather advice on how to be most successful and avoid major problems if they are teaching themselves.
I understand the reluctance of teaching professionals to give away free advice, but if any of you out there are feeling generous, your advice and guidance would be very much appreciated.
For the first point, the Carulli can be fairly easily fixed later on. So no big thing, but why practice it in the first place, and spend time re-training later?
For my second point, the older style left hand technique found in Noad, Parkening and others is not easily fixed because these methods encourage a left-hand pronation as a default position (a counter-clockwise rotation of the wrist), instead of the modern parallel presentation. This can be a deal breaker for the self taught; it almost was for me since I learned to play in the 1970's and '80's. If I could pick one problem to avoid, it would be bent/rotated wrists, in either hand.
Your right, if the student is self teaching, and (s)he unknowingly uses outdated materials, it's not any different than if the teacher is using outdated pedagogy. The best thing about learning from a good instructor is that they can anticipate the student's future difficulties, and nip them in the bud before the student has real trouble advancing.
So, to more fully answer the OP's questions regarding bad habits, some can be avoided by...
Keep the tuners on the headstock of the guitar level with the eyes.
Keep your shoulders over your hips.
Keep your wrists straight.
Curl all of your fingers like you are preparing to do a chin-up.
Both hands are in the same basic shape since the mechanics of the hands are the same for each. It's just that the left-hand is upside down.
The right fore-arm should be resting before the elbow and not on the bicep.
The left-hand fingers should be in the same shape regardless of whether they are powered up on the strings or in "hovering mode" above.
Study the right-hand first; it begins to go on autopilot around the beginning of the third week of study. Your r-h habits are formed first.
Only practice when you can concentrate. Don't practice inattentive mistakes.
Sit forward on the chair so that the lower right bout of the guitar does not rest on the seat.
Frame the hands in such a way the body will recognise that it can access the intrinsic muscles in the hands, such as the lumbricals and the interosseus, instead of the large muscle groups in the forearm.
I could go on... and on...
These convensions are pretty standard and are by no means complete. But they should be adapted to the student, which is incumbant upon the teacher. For example, those students with long arms may need to hold the guitar at a 45 degree angle away from the body.
Oh, and by the way, none of this is "secret sauce". All this info has been posted and reposted on Delcamp many times, and in guitar methods published in this millenium. The original question was a very broad one, and most teachers can't take the time to make long, detailed responses, and counter-responses. But I'm off tonight so what the heck.
All the best,
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar Instructor
Royal Conservatory Advanced Theory Instructor