The importance of a good private instructor

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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davekear
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The importance of a good private instructor

Post by davekear » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:44 am

This I feel is a very important subject, and especially one the beginning student of the classical guitar should be aware of.
When first starting out, there are some very important basics that should be learned and practiced in order to establish a solid foundation for further progress. It's not an easy thing to play the classical guitar; it takes hard work and diligent study. And of course it's very important to practice the correct exercises designed to develop the dexterity necessary to play the challenging repertoire of the classical guitar. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and it's very easy to get the wrong idea about things and develop bad mental and physical habits. So my advice to those who are interested in, and are serious about learning to play the guitar well, is to find a good private teacher. Find someone who plays well, who understands the importance of the basics of the instrument, and can teach you these things. I would say at least 6 months of good private instruction would be enough to establish a firm foundation for further progress. Too many times I've seen beginning guitarists flounder around, and waste valuable time getting into bad habits and major misunderstandings about what's involved in order to be a good player. I've seen those who have struggled for years and years, who have gotten nowhere because of the lack of proper instruction and basic knowledge. So get a good teacher. Get off on the right foot, before you know it you'll be a great player.

MessyTendon
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by MessyTendon » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:50 am

Okay...where do I find a good teacher in the North bay California? I was suggested a teacher...I called, they didn't call back.

davekear
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by davekear » Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:20 am

MessyTendon wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:50 am
Okay...where do I find a good teacher in the North bay California? I was suggested a teacher...I called, they didn't call back.
A couple of suggestions: One would be to find the closest classical guitar society, usually some pretty good players at these society's. And most are very helpful. If you found a teacher and called them, and they didn't call back, call em again. Check local paper and Craig's list. As a second choice, there are some good teachers who teach via Skype. I don't think as good as being there. But better than going alone.
Here's a link to the South bay Guitar Society:
http://sbgs.org/

kmurdick
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by kmurdick » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:28 am

Good teachers are hard to find. This is true for most instruments. If you live in a large metropolitan area, you can usually find a good teacher, but then there is the problem of knowing what a good teacher is. Being a beginner, this is quite hard. You might watch my videos. I'm not saying that I'm a great teacher or that I have a monopoly on correct technique, but these videos will give you an idea of the detail of information that you should be exposed to by competent teacher. Good luck.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... D7FA3F7B59

Classicalguitaristwannabe
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by Classicalguitaristwannabe » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:35 am

Great advice and well taken! I actually decided about 3 months ago to take classical guitar lessons from an outstanding classical guitarist here in the western slope CO. His name is, Javier De Los Santos and he teaches at Colorado Mesa University. Unfortunately, after my first lesson with javier, I called him back to tell him I reconsidered due to personal circumstances that would have made it very difficult for me to commit at this time. I have a very high regard and appreciation for the classical guitar, and would not waste my time or this instructors time if I know I can't commit. Lord willing, I will revisit this possibility next year. In the time I do have available, I am determined on learning short pieces 'by ear' and practicing them over and over again, until I can play it exactly how I hear it played - at least according to me. I will not begin learning another small piece until I am fully satisfied. I'm my own biggest critique right now. I just finished memorizing a piece by one of Sor's excercises, OP 35 #9, recorded by Steven Novacek. I wish I knew some warm up excercises before working on a piece. I most certainly need to learn how to read!

Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:10 am

I don't think that a beginner can make a Sor study--or any--sound the way a seasoned player does, no matter how many times you practice that one piece. There's fifty things that you have to master first, and you can't by playing a few pieces until you're blue in the face. Playing a variety of pieces as well as you can will expose you to a variety of technical problems, which is good. Meanwhile, you may not even know how Novacek or others are producing the sound you love because, for example, you might not be playing rest stroke fluently, etc. etc. Mere repetition without proper technique won't get you there. Another reason a teacher is important. You can't be expected to know what you don't know. Imagine playing a clarinet without knowing that it requires a reed.

However you can do a lot by using instruction books and viewing teaching videos.
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davekear
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by davekear » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:32 am

Jeffrey Armbruster wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:10 am
I don't think that a beginner can make a Sor study--or any--sound the way a seasoned player does, no matter how many times you practice that one piece. There's fifty things that you have to master first, and you can't by playing a few pieces until you're blue in the face. Playing a variety of pieces as well as you can will expose you to a variety of technical problems, which is good. Meanwhile, you may not even know how Novacek or others are producing the sound you love because, for example, you might not be playing rest stroke fluently, etc. etc. Mere repetition without proper technique won't get you there. Another reason a teacher is important. You can't be expected to know what you don't know. Imagine playing a clarinet without knowing that it requires a reed.

However you can do a lot by using instruction books and viewing teaching videos.
Very well stated. I couldn't agree more. And I do think you're correct about using instruction books and teaching videos. Especially in this day of You Tube etc. But you do have to be extra vigilant, and choose the right books and teachers. So for very beginning students, do what you can to find a teacher to get you over the first few major hurdles. Many teachers use Skype these days, not as good as in person, but can be very helpful. And also, without a doubt, check out Kmurdick's link right below here.
Last edited by davekear on Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

davekear
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by davekear » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:33 am

kmurdick wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:28 am
Good teachers are hard to find. This is true for most instruments. If you live in a large metropolitan area, you can usually find a good teacher, but then there is the problem of knowing what a good teacher is. Being a beginner, this is quite hard. You might watch my videos. I'm not saying that I'm a great teacher or that I have a monopoly on correct technique, but these videos will give you an idea of the detail of information that you should be exposed to by competent teacher. Good luck.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... D7FA3F7B59
Absolutely. That's some really good material. Nice that you're there! For you beginning students, I would definitely recommend checking out Kmurdick's link there. He covers very clearly and correctly, indispensable basics you need to know.
Last edited by davekear on Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:50 am, edited 4 times in total.

davekear
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by davekear » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:35 am

Classicalguitaristwannabe wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:35 am
Great advice and well taken! I actually decided about 3 months ago to take classical guitar lessons from an outstanding classical guitarist here in the western slope CO. His name is, Javier De Los Santos and he teaches at Colorado Mesa University. Unfortunately, after my first lesson with javier, I called him back to tell him I reconsidered due to personal circumstances that would have made it very difficult for me to commit at this time. I have a very high regard and appreciation for the classical guitar, and would not waste my time or this instructors time if I know I can't commit. Lord willing, I will revisit this possibility next year. In the time I do have available, I am determined on learning short pieces 'by ear' and practicing them over and over again, until I can play it exactly how I hear it played - at least according to me. I will not begin learning another small piece until I am fully satisfied. I'm my own biggest critique right now. I just finished memorizing a piece by one of Sor's excercises, OP 35 #9, recorded by Steven Novacek. I wish I knew some warm up excercises before working on a piece. I most certainly need to learn how to read!
That's good stuff. Just as important to know what you don't know, as it is to know what you do know. Maybe even more so. With so many, it's north to blind.
Last edited by davekear on Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lagartija
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by lagartija » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:47 pm

I firmly believe that the lessons I have received from the second week after I made the decision to embark on my classical guitar journey, have been the best and most important investment I could have made in my musical development.
My teachers were able to see exactly what was holding me back or where there were things missing in my understanding at that particular moment in time. They assigned the appropriate study to address that issue.
They gave me repertoire that was appropriate (although they also allowed me to dabble occasionally with a piece I loved that was beyond me as a "long term project" to aid in motivation), and kept me focused on what I needed to develop in order to play the pieces I loved.
They taught me how to listen...to what I was producing from my instrument and how to get the sound I wanted, as well as to accomplished players and what they were doing musically do get the effect I found so compelling.

I drive an hour to get to my teacher's house every week, and judging by the progress I feel I've made, the time is well worth it. For those of us who started on our musical journey later in life, time is the one thing we may have in short supply to get to the level of playing we desire. :sage: The investment in lessons with a good teacher saved me from spinning my wheels and wasting time going down dead end paths.

This does not prevent me from discovering things and learning things on my own, which I do. It is that I can take my discoveries to a far more experienced musician and accomplished player and discuss them and explore them within the context of my overall development.
When the sun shines, bask.
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CathyCate
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by CathyCate » Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:14 pm

Well put Davekear and Lagartija!
+1

davekear
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by davekear » Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:33 pm

lagartija wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:47 pm
I firmly believe that the lessons I have received from the second week after I made the decision to embark on my classical guitar journey, have been the best and most important investment I could have made in my musical development.
My teachers were able to see exactly what was holding me back or where there were things missing in my understanding at that particular moment in time. They assigned the appropriate study to address that issue.
They gave me repertoire that was appropriate (although they also allowed me to dabble occasionally with a piece I loved that was beyond me as a "long term project" to aid in motivation), and kept me focused on what I needed to develop in order to play the pieces I loved.
They taught me how to listen...to what I was producing from my instrument and how to get the sound I wanted, as well as to accomplished players and what they were doing musically do get the effect I found so compelling.

I drive an hour to get to my teacher's house every week, and judging by the progress I feel I've made, the time is well worth it. For those of us who started on our musical journey later in life, time is the one thing we may have in short supply to get to the level of playing we desire. :sage: The investment in lessons with a good teacher saved me from spinning my wheels and wasting time going down dead end paths.

This does not prevent me from discovering things and learning things on my own, which I do. It is that I can take my discoveries to a far more experienced musician and accomplished player and discuss them and explore them within the context of my overall development.
Now that's a great story! And so true. It's so important early on to learn those basics. If you don't get those in, your chances of really making it, most likely, will be pretty slim.

beanctr
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by beanctr » Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:46 pm

I agree 100%, six months of lessons in the beginning can get you off to a great start. Chances are you will have to go back to square one so its much better to start over after hacking around for a few months than a few years. R
"Guitar Hobbyist"

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by AndreiKrylov » Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:51 pm

davekear wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:44 am
This I feel is a very important subject, and especially one the beginning student of the classical guitar should be aware of.
When first starting out, there are some very important basics that should be learned and practiced in order to establish a solid foundation for further progress. It's not an easy thing to play the classical guitar; it takes hard work and diligent study. And of course it's very important to practice the correct exercises designed to develop the dexterity necessary to play the challenging repertoire of the classical guitar. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and it's very easy to get the wrong idea about things and develop bad mental and physical habits. So my advice to those who are interested in, and are serious about learning to play the guitar well, is to find a good private teacher. Find someone who plays well, who understands the importance of the basics of the instrument, and can teach you these things. I would say at least 6 months of good private instruction would be enough to establish a firm foundation for further progress. Too many times I've seen beginning guitarists flounder around, and waste valuable time getting into bad habits and major misunderstandings about what's involved in order to be a good player. I've seen those who have struggled for years and years, who have gotten nowhere because of the lack of proper instruction and basic knowledge. So get a good teacher. Get off on the right foot, before you know it you'll be a great player.
it is great to have a good teacher!
But how one who know almost nothing about craft could know if "good teacher" is good?
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime etc. Thanks!

davekear
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Re: The importance of a good private instructor

Post by davekear » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:00 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:51 pm

it is great to have a good teacher!
But how one who know almost nothing about craft could know if "good teacher" is good?
One thing that's important is how well does he/she play? If they don't play well, find someone who does.
Go to a classical guitar society and ask there. Go there or call them.
And for right now, go to kmurdick's you tube site (He's got a post here on this topic.)
Here's his page https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... D7FA3F7B59 ... The guy knows what he's doin.
Also go get Aaron Shearer's Classic Guitar Technique, volume 1. One of the best beginning classical instruction books there is.
Last edited by davekear on Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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