Beginner's impressions

A "classroom" environment for exchanging Technical Questions & Answers, How-To's, music theory concepts, etc.
rayjang

Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:20 pm

Greetings all:

Having made numerous abortive attempts at guitar during my lifetime, I wondered if an old guy could learn to play CG well.
I don't have an answer yet. I got my new guitar 18 days ago, and I only have one lesson in, however, I've averaged 2-3 hours practice a day and my 68 year old LH is getting stronger.

Serious guitar study is much easier now than when I first tried it in the '50s (wow, that long ago!). Web-sites like Delcamp and Youtube let you see and hear performances from a range of skills. Today's recording gear also let's you see yourself (Ugh, quite deflating).

1. Even though I thought I was doing right, with just one lesson, what I learned about posture and strokes was enlightening and invaluable.
2. If a beginner can only read one book, I think Lee Ryan's Natural Classical Guitar is the one. What great information for getting started and seeing what musicianship is about.
3. So far, I resonate better to Kanengiser's "Effortless" DVD than I do to Tennant's "Pumping Nylon"

This wonderful forum has helped me tremendously. I have found my muse, your MP3 and video examples and encouragement have inspired me. Thank you all.

I'll post again in 30 days.

Ray in Cincinnati

Ray in Cincinnati

Azalais

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by Azalais » Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:11 am

There are quite a few of us late starters who are asking ourselves the same question... even five-ten years into the process... the important thing seems to be to that you (we) haven't given up yet! You will have moments of blissful self-deception when you feel really proud of your meager progress, interspersed with moments of despair when you're convinced that you're wasting your time and will never get anywhere... (especially where you might have HOPED to be)... but the very ritual of practicing/playing becomes like a form of meditation... and as long as you "learn" to derive satisfaction from that, it is worth pursuing... (At least that what most of us come to believe :roll: )

At least you will get plenty of support from the forum... Misery LOVES company! :wink: :bye:

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:44 am

Azalais:

Thanks for your reply. The forum is indeed a sympathetic space and I enjoy the humor and banter. Some members are so accomplished, it is very impressive. I have come to anticipate the joy of discovery with each video interpretation I explore. What a rich instrument we strive to master!

You are a well established member on this web-site. May I ask how long you have played CG?

Ray

Rick714

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by Rick714 » Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:16 am

Dear Ray,

Sounds like you're off to a great start, with your head really in it. You seem to demonstrate a remarkable amount of understanding of the instrument and you probably don't even have a callous yet! :) Good luck and keep us posted - I'd love to hear what your teacher is giving you to practice, and how you're going about it.
Azalais wrote:)... but the very ritual of practicing/playing becomes like a form of meditation... and as long as you "learn" to derive satisfaction from that, it is worth pursuing...


Azalais - that's so spot on. It's one of those things that you know is the case but don't often stop and think about it in those terms.

User avatar
Hans W
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6025
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:25 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by Hans W » Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:46 am

Ray, I'm so happy to hear you're enjoying CG so much despite the initial effort required to get anything meaningful out of our adopted master. She is reluctant to show her true beauty to those not willingly to accept the demands she makes.

I see you're also enjoying the forum and find it helpful as I just knew you would.

And thanks for the update Ray. I and many others appreciate not only your posts but also, well, members like you, and are always interested to know how things are going.

Thanks again Ray

Hans
Classical Guitar rules!

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:27 am

Rick714 and HansW

Thanks for your posts.

I am taking 60 minute lessons. To see where I was, since I dabbled with guitars off and on, my teacher had me sight read the first, second and third string pieces in Duncan's Modern Approach to Classical Guitar Book One. We got half-way through the book.

I've been focusing on Rest Stroke tone and coordination with a better LH stance. Simple pieces so far, Au Clair de la Lune, Shenandoah and Good King Wenceslas to be done with the teacher as a duet when next we meet. Been working with a metronome at 50-60 bpm. Winter snow precluded a second lesson this past Friday. My assignment for next week is "Streets of Laredo", dotted quarter notes. Once my teacher has a better feel for my level he promises to move to Classical pieces if I'm technically capable.

My original end goal for the 10 weeks of lessons this semester is to have a firmer handle on Pachelbel's Canon in D which I have tried to learn on my own. I have figured out the fingering, with Tab, and I can sound the notes with clarity, but it will take some focused study to get it to tempo (even if slow) and to make it musical.

I've also taken a peek at Lagrima and puzzling over the 3rd finger C (playable with my 2nd finger but marked 3rd) and 4th finger E at frets 11 and 12 starting the 5th measure. That can wait, however, until I get those digits stronger and controllable to obey better.

Progress is slow, but, I'm enjoying the journey and the sheer beauty of the music to be played down the road. Once in a while I hit some notes on the upper strings in the higher frets that are so clear and pretty its terrific.

Kind regards, Ray.

RockDoc

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by RockDoc » Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:43 pm

Ray,

Congrats on your commitment and how it's being rewarded with successes and enjoyment
already! I too am a late starter, having taken up this lovely instrument a bit over a year ago
and I'm in by 50s. Having lessons has really helped me too. I don't have the experience or
skill to offer much advice, but I have found that not getting impatient with one's progress
helps; spending plenty of time on basics is well worth it.
There is an old adage: "go slow and get there quicker" that really seems to apply to learning
this instrument too.

Best wishes for your progress and enjoyment!

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:44 am

Rockdoc:

Thanks for your reply. I agree, slow is faster. Taking the time to get a clear vision of where the finger needs to be and seeing that it gets there makes the next repetition contribute to forward progress. The other thing I picked up from a message by JohnRoss here on Delcamp was to play each note striving to make it a "pearl".

Being in your 50s, you have a lot of time to develop, best wishes for continued advancement and enjoyment.

Ray

jimmyblues

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by jimmyblues » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:23 pm

Hi Rayjang,

Welldone on all the hard work you're obviously putting in! I can only hope to be half as dedicated and motivated by the time i get to such a venerable age.

You've made a huge committment to learning CG and so all I can say is, to paraphrase a Zen parable, 'walk on!'. You've done the hard part, it just gets more enjoyable from here on in!
:D
all t best

jdc

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:19 pm

jimmyblues:

Thanks for your posting. "Venerable" huh, OK thank you very much, you are kind and respectful.

How about yourself? Your identifier suggests you may have quite some interest in playing blues on guitar. Am I right? One of my dreams is to take the discipline and precision learned in CG and to just have fun playing blues. My son plays by ear and is a blues band member in Boston. He's sooo much more musical than I.

Play on jimmyblues. Kind regards.

Ray

GEO

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by GEO » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:29 pm

HI, Ray:

Your posts remind me of bulletins from some intrepid explorer in the wilds of the Amazon or the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas. Keep 'em coming!

Cheers,

geo

rayjang

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by rayjang » Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:41 pm

Geo:

You're right, it is exploration, and every twist and turn brings on new things to learn Its been great fun to just let go and pursue it.

For example, I would like to capture my playing for study purposes, so now I'm figuring out all the postings in the "Home Studio" section. Seems like there is no simple way to do it, like just plug in this mike into your camcorder. First you have to adapt XLR to 1/4 then 1/8. Last week I'd never heard of XLR, let alone cardiod, hypercardiod or omnidirectional and preamps or signal chains.

Its a hoot, and my ever patient spouse is being quite understanding even as I mentally total the costs of mike(s), stands, preamps, mixers. Those would be on top of the camcorder by the way, and of course the new guitar and the 60 minute lessons. Brings to mind the post by someone who keeps his each of his guitars in different rooms so his wife won't see the whole collection! LOL.

What the heck, you cannot take it with you and if not now, when?

Best regards, Ray.

User avatar
Hans W
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6025
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:25 pm
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by Hans W » Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:59 am

Ray, I just love your posts and the way you can manage to bring into focus the personal aspects of this journey to learn CG. We're all doing it but somehow the way you express it is... precious.

SO KEEP GOING and the rest of us up to date.

Bye for now my friend.. its great getting to know you.

Hans :bye:
Classical Guitar rules!

jimmyblues

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by jimmyblues » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:51 am

rayjang wrote:jimmyblues:

Thanks for your posting. "Venerable" huh, OK thank you very much, you are kind and respectful.

How about yourself? Your identifier suggests you may have quite some interest in playing blues on guitar. Am I right? One of my dreams is to take the discipline and precision learned in CG and to just have fun playing blues. My son plays by ear and is a blues band member in Boston. He's sooo much more musical than I.

Play on jimmyblues. Kind regards.

Ray
Hi Ray,

I'd like to think I've got quite a broad range of tastes...but true, there's always a special place for the blues in my soul :D
my real passion at the moment is classical guitar though...i get such enjoyment playing it, such satisfaction and meditation in the complexity and challenge of the music that it really gives me a buzz.

I'm actually self-taught (shudder....) so I don't have much trouble combining blues with CG (I can sit and improvise for hours - much to my girlfrriend's chagrin... :mrgreen: ), but I would say be wary of letting your CG technique get too exclusive...playing and improvising blues is great and it needs that lightness of touch, experiment and mischief which can (but doesn't have to be!) hampered by CG pedagogy.

(Hope I haven't stirred up anythying there...there's actually a few threads on this topic already i think...)

Best of luck with all your endeavours, and I'm sure I'll see you around on the forum! ANd respect for your son...I'm sure youll be onstage iwth him sooner than you think!!

take care

jdc

cerusin

Re: Beginner's impressions

Post by cerusin » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:02 pm

Maybe this delcamp topic will inspire you it certainly inspired me.
(broken link removed)

[MOD EDIT: Unfortunately, for one reason or another, this topic no longer exists]

Return to “Classical Guitar Classes”