Preface to “THIRDS – Aguado” revised
It is time to mention again a particularly pernicious bête noire which has been the subject of much debate among teachers for decades: the fact that most of the literature for beginners and intermediate guitar players is peppered with fingerings and presented, mostly, in low positions. Many decades ago, John Williams (illustrated here at the risk of inciting serious nostalgia)
tried to combat this, preaching wherever he could, stating that guitarists learned to read fingerings rather than notes, advocating (to no avail) that beginners should start immediately – albeit slowly and steadily - in high positions as well as low ones. Below is an excerpt of one of his transcriptions (© 1978/79[!]) bearing no fingerings, position suggestions, or string denominations (a phenomenon, to this day, virtually unique in guitar publication):
The intention was soundly optimistic but the powers-that-be wanted none of it. His efforts failed, as did everyone else’s. And the bête noire gnaws away at the ebony, unseen … noir sur noir.
From here on, those classics with which you may be familiar, will be taken out of the putative comfort zone; they will feel unsettling and the fingerings resulting from the given positions will not necessarily make the performance easier; but then, scalic as they are, the reward lies more in the achievement than any musical gratification. Always bear in mind that the essence of this course is the exploring, familiarising with, and mastering of fingerboard knowledge, not technique or musicianship which, vital though they are, belong to different territories which are adequately explored elsewhere.
See “THIRDS – Aguado” revised on the Classical Guitar Technique Forum
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