A Londoner returns to the guitar...

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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:05 pm

A Londoner returns to the guitar...

Post by trunnacl » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:09 pm


I'm Tom, I'm a Londoner, and I've come back to classical guitar after a *very* long break of about 30 years.

I started as a kid, and got to Associated Board grade 5, just scraping a distinction I think, before I went off on a lengthy detour of playing electric guitar, mainly the blues and, more recently, doing chord melody arrangements of jazz standards. I've never stopped playing, but the classical instrument completely dropped off my radar for a very long time.

In retrospect I think my classical teacher was a probably rather dry old stick, though a perfectly nice man and I'm sure a very good guitarist; and he just couldn't compete in my teenage brain with the opportunity to make a lot of noise with an amp.

My loss. I picked up a nylon string guitar at the end of 2016 and was blown away by the different colours I could still pull from it - our instrument has so much more richness and variety than the steel-string, it seems to me. Consequently, this year I've been playing classical guitar pretty much every day, on weekdays for probably no more than 20-30 minutes, but on the weekends often for hours at a time.

To cement my enthusiasm, I've bought myself a cedar Burguet 1A as a present, which makes a much nicer sound than I'm sure I deserve given my technique. For what it's worth, I seem to have settled on high-tension Savarez Cantigas for strings, since they seem to help me to get the instrument to sing a bit.

Of the pieces I've been working on i can mention a few: I've been warming up with the Stanley Yates' arrangement of the Prelude to the Bach cello suite number 1 in G; I'm having fun with Ponce's 'Scherzino Mexicano'; and I'm being very pleasurably tortured by Takemitsu's lovely arrangements of 'Over the Rainbow' and 'The Londonderry Air', since my hands are quite small, and some of those stretches are an absolute bugger ;)

I don't currently have a teacher, but I think I need to fix that.

Meanwhile, my Stratocaster sits forlornly in the corner, unattended and awaiting fresh strings ;)

I look forward to learning from the many excellent and patient players who I know use this forum.


Tom R
Last edited by trunnacl on Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: A Londoner returns to the guitar...

Post by Erik Zurcher » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:12 pm

Hello Tom and welcome to Delcamp forum! Enjoy yourself and see you around!

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Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

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Re: A Londoner returns to the guitar...

Post by hunyuan7 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:13 pm

Welcome back, Tom. I myself am inconsistent with playing the classical guitar. I hope that changes this time around. I just registered on this site today.


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Re: A Londoner returns to the guitar...

Post by trunnacl » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:27 am

Hi Hunyuaan7, best of luck with your return to playing!

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Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:49 am

Re: A Londoner returns to the guitar...

Post by wchymeus » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:48 am


Cantigas are nice strings but they simply name the basses. Trebbles can be either nylon - new crystal - or carbon Alliance (or a mix. G as carbon and B, E as nylon with their "creation" set). Which one did you pick?
Field 2014, Oberg 2013, Vincente Sachis Badia 1977

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Re: A Londoner returns to the guitar...

Post by trunnacl » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:51 pm

You're right! I've actually been using the alliance, carbon upper strings, which seem to sing especially well on this guitar. I should definitely try the nylon trebles as well though.

Was really quite surprised to find how much difference the strings make; I gave D'Addario Pro Arte's a go a few months back since they seemed to be a safe default kind of choice, and it was as if I'd converted my beautiful guitar into a plank! Not trying those again ;)

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