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  #31  
Old 01-28-2021, 09:02 AM
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Hi Peter,
All great points you make. I totally get them.
Andrew York is quite the resource. I've been working on quite a few of his pieces lately. And when I ordered music from his site, he sent it to me directly, so I've had a few email exchanges with him. A bonus for us from the pandemic. Artists like that are usually on the road all the time, concertizing. But a lot of them must still be holed up.
His music is really captivating. And deep. From the first note to the last, a journey. It's been a real joy learning this stuff. I should have looked into his music much earlier.
He's also a mad scientist of sorts. He's published on his site a number of mathematical and physics papers. Quite an interesting individual. And of course, a world class player.

Ditto that. And a great sense of humor. He has some really fascinating master classes on YouTube.
Thanks for posting your insights. Glad you are enjoying the ride!
I couldn't agree more re Andrew York - I have however just avoided being tempted into trying one of his pieces as there are so many "right of passage" type pieces that I feel I want to (and should learn first) like simpler Tarrega and things like Sor's study in Bm.

So I am saving them..
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  #32  
Old 01-31-2021, 08:59 AM
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I couldn't agree more re Andrew York - I have however just avoided being tempted into trying one of his pieces as there are so many "right of passage" type pieces that I feel I want to (and should learn first) like simpler Tarrega and things like Sor's study in Bm.

So I am saving them..
Hi Peter,
Re: Sor's study in Bm.
Really a great piece to learn.
I came across this, and thought it might be useful for you should you decide to tackle it.
Enjoy your nylon practices!
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  #33  
Old 01-31-2021, 12:48 PM
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Hi Peter,

Re: Sor's study in Bm.

Really a great piece to learn.

I came across this, and thought it might be useful for you should you decide to tackle it.

Enjoy your nylon practices!


Thank you!

I am already well into learning it.
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  #34  
Old 01-31-2021, 06:32 PM
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Another very nice one in a similar vein is Op 60 #23- here's a video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQf4Uf6YU_4
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  #35  
Old 02-01-2021, 01:10 AM
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Default The transition to classical..an update

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Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
Hi Peter,

Re: Sor's study in Bm.

Really a great piece to learn.

I came across this, and thought it might be useful for you should you decide to tackle it.

Enjoy your nylon practices!


Listened to this last night - great podcast!

Thanks again.
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Last edited by Wrighty; 02-01-2021 at 03:26 AM.
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  #36  
Old 02-01-2021, 04:09 AM
Don W Don W is offline
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Hi all

So I am about a month in to this journey and have been surprised by some of the experiences, so I thought I would share..

1. I have not picked up another guitar in this time, and it doesn't look like I will for a little while yet - classical has captivated me and challenged me at the same time. I have loved the tone, the music and the commitment this instrument demands. You don't dabble in classical...

2. It's much harder than I anticipated to make good sounds - everything I was aware of and tried to do when possible on steel string is a must do on classical. For example, string squeak avoidance and quality of my nails are both massive factors when I play classical.

3. The focus and intensity of the playing are very demanding - the precision and economy of movement are just so much more important.

4. Right hand - my right hand has always been fairly good when playing finger style. I don't have to think about it much and instead focus on learning the fingering. Playing classical my right hand is probably a bigger focus than my left - rest strokes, alternate finger use are just two things that I am having to really work to achieve.

5. Strings - I thought that the world of steel strings was fairly complex, but oh how wrong I was! Classical strings are not only available in multiple tensions and materials but it is common to play one set of bass strings and another of trebles. I am having to re-learn from scratch what I thought I knew as all the materials are different (Silver wraps, fluorocarbon trebles etc) They are also more expensive - the set I have liked the most so far are £17/set..

Oh, and then there is changing them and settling them - I have changed hundreds and hundreds of steel sets but learning how to string nylon is a complete change. Then - they take much much longer to settle in to tune - several days!

Overall, I have to admit to being totally immersed and loving every moment - the variety of new pieces open to me, both classical and modern, is huge. I love the tone and I love the feel of it all.

I do also feel that my steel string playing will benefit in a big way (when/if I get back to it!)

Thanks all for the help and support so far.

Peter
Exactly what I have found!!!...great post.
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  #37  
Old 02-01-2021, 04:49 AM
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So, for anyone interested, I wanted to post update number 2 after just over a month with this instrument.

1. It's harder than I thought it would be given where I was at with a steel string

2. My left hand is taking some strain - thought it was pretty strong but clearly it's not...

3. The quest for the right nail shape, length and where it hits the string has become borderline obsessive ;-)

4. Tone - the holy grail, a never ending search through Michael Chapdelaine videos to find the secret (There isn't one..)

5. Strings - I am a gear nerd and I love the string journey although I am finding the differences more subtle than I found with different sets on my steel string

6. The breadth of music takes my breath away - starting with contemporary and the likes of Andrew York, moving to the Spanish and also into the classical (Bach etc) are places I never would have thought I would find myself, but here I am, loving it and wondering how it eluded me for so long..

There is a seeming endless number of pieces I deeply want to learn and play

7. Julian Bream - it was partly his videos that pulled me into classical but on digging deeper and reading his book I am sad I didn't discover his true value before now. A true master of the instrument but full of personality and charisma.

8. Lastly, the big question - is there ever going to be room for steel string in my life again? Honestly, if you asked me to choose one guitar to keep right now it would be my nylon string - the prospect is quite scary but I am already thinking about how much I could get for my steel string guitars to put towards a serious nylon..

All that having been said, things change so no hasty moves afoot - just more practice.

Thanks all for the support so far.

Peter.
I love your post. I have been working through Frederick Noads book on solo guitar...It has been great. But...like your wonderful post says, I find the left hand really challenging. Hand position is everything. The great players look to have such relaxed hands...I find that unbelievable at this point. I am a steel string fingerstyle player who was introduced to classical 2 years ago. I have a beginners full size classical Yamaha guitar and it is strung with Savarez Alliance Hard tension and sometimes Normal tension. I have been working on Lagrima, Snowflight and Willow (York). I love the classical guitar but struggle with getting good tone. I would be interested in which guitar you have and how you like it. I Play steel string and have liquid gel nails done at the local salon (perfect for steel string) but I'm not sure for nylon. I file them and polish them for best tone on the steel strings but I think I should shorten them for nylon so some of the flesh also stikes the string. I would love your thoughts on this. When I see someone like Anna Vidovic play I am amazed at the perfect clarity and relaxed technique. Everyones comments are meaningful to me.
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  #38  
Old 02-01-2021, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Don W View Post
I love your post. I have been working through Frederick Noads book on solo guitar...It has been great. But...like your wonderful post says, I find the left hand really challenging. Hand position is everything. The great players look to have such relaxed hands...I find that unbelievable at this point. I am a steel string fingerstyle player who was introduced to classical 2 years ago. I have a beginners full size classical Yamaha guitar and it is strung with Savarez Alliance Hard tension and sometimes Normal tension. I have been working on Lagrima, Snowflight and Willow (York). I love the classical guitar but struggle with getting good tone. I would be interested in which guitar you have and how you like it. I Play steel string and have liquid gel nails done at the local salon (perfect for steel string) but I'm not sure for nylon. I file them and polish them for best tone on the steel strings but I think I should shorten them for nylon so some of the flesh also stikes the string. I would love your thoughts on this. When I see someone like Anna Vidovic play I am amazed at the perfect clarity and relaxed technique. Everyones comments are meaningful to me.
Perhaps we need a sub-forum for us steel to classical converts!

I have an Almansa classical - it's a decent enough low to mid range instrument and seems to do the job for now. It's better than I thought it would be, but to be fair I have not had much experience with playing higher end classical guitars (yet..)

Tone is a struggle - sometimes I feel I have it and then it's gone and I start fretting about my right position or my nails etc. It is however getting better the more I listen critically and focus on it.

Like you I have found myself playing with much shorter nails on nylon - I once had gels, but have settled into my own natural nails now and they are easier to manage while shorter. No doubt the nail shape and length plays a much much bigger part in tone generation on nylon strings.

I am playing only classical right now and will do so until I feel I have stablished some decent habits - I am not missing steel string right now to be honest as this has been so all consuming.
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  #39  
Old 02-01-2021, 11:11 AM
JParrilla JParrilla is offline
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Hey Peter, just curious... how long are you nails currently? I am also trying to keep mine as short as I can get away with as I do quite a bit of woodworking/other work with my hands and they are easily broken and damaged when I keep them long.

Currently I have mine at a length where my nail and finger tip touch a flat surface at the same exact time when I touch something straight on. I got this from the Pumping Nylon book, where Tennant recommends this length. So basically the nail and flesh are perfectly in line with each other if you were to lay a straight edge across your finger tip
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  #40  
Old 02-01-2021, 11:54 AM
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Hey Peter, just curious... how long are you nails currently? I am also trying to keep mine as short as I can get away with as I do quite a bit of woodworking/other work with my hands and they are easily broken and damaged when I keep them long.



Currently I have mine at a length where my nail and finger tip touch a flat surface at the same exact time when I touch something straight on. I got this from the Pumping Nylon book, where Tennant recommends this length. So basically the nail and flesh are perfectly in line with each other if you were to lay a straight edge across your finger tip


IMG_1940.jpg

Hereís a quick snap - probably about 1-2mm beyond the end of my finger (2mm on M&A and 1mm on I)

Seems to be about right now I have the ramp on I&M from thumb side up to pinky and then flatter on A with a gentle slope the other way.
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  #41  
Old 02-01-2021, 12:42 PM
JParrilla JParrilla is offline
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Just about the same as mine... cool.

I can already tell your nails are WAY thicker than mine. I was a nail biter from childhood till around 20, so my nail beds are really short and my nails in general are quite thin. Im hoping to avoid going the acrylic route so Im going to keep them as short and strong as I can
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  #42  
Old 02-01-2021, 01:42 PM
steveh steveh is offline
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It's harder than I thought it would be given where I was at with a steel string
I did the same a few years ago and initially found nylon hugely frustrating, but soon got hooked by the fact that the more effort you put in, the more reward. Ultimately, I find myself more satisfied when I (almost) get it right.

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Originally Posted by Wrighty View Post
Strings - I am a gear nerd and I love the string journey although I am finding the differences more subtle than I found with different sets on my steel string
I find the two completely different. On steel-string, the differences between strings is obvious to me, and I also hear them go off quite quickly. On nylon, it's the reverse: Beyond the glaringly obvious (fluorocarbon vs. nylon) they all pretty much sound the same to me. That's great - no more GBP spent on trying zillions of different strings. AND to my ears they last a lifetime (...about as long as it takes to get the trebles in tune!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrighty View Post
The breadth of music takes my breath away - starting with contemporary and the likes of Andrew York, moving to the Spanish and also into the classical (Bach etc) are places I never would have thought I would find myself, but here I am, loving it and wondering how it eluded me for so long..
I've always had bad GAS but, thankfully, at the end of the day it's ultimately been about the music. A friend of mine recorded "In Sorrow's Wake" by Andrew York a few years ago and that tune was a real "earworm" for me. I started to listen to Andrew's music and, inevitably, wanted to start playing it. Got myself a good nylon guitar, and that was it. Hooked. Never looked back. Ultimately, I wouldn't play nylon if there were no great tunes to learn.

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Originally Posted by Wrighty View Post
Lastly, the big question - is there ever going to be room for steel string in my life again? Honestly, if you asked me to choose one guitar to keep right now it would be my nylon string - the prospect is quite scary but I am already thinking about how much I could get for my steel string guitars to put towards a serious nylon..
I did exactly that: I was offered a "lifetime" guitar a few years back and decided to move on several of my steel-strings to get it, so that's what I did. Ultimately, I moved that guitar on because I never really felt comfortable with what it cost, although it was very reasonable compared to the Somogyis and Traugotts etc. you find around here. The great thing about nylon is that most "high-end" guitars are way more affordable than the equivalent steel-string. There are very, very few builders charging the prices asked by, for example, Somogyi apprentices, so a world class nylon is relatively affordable if you avoid the obvious Hauser, Smallman, Dammann, Friederich etc. (and dealers...).

You live in the UK right? Philip Woodfield, Christopher Dean, David Merrin, & Simon Ambridge have international reputations as do many others. A Stephen Eden will get you a great guitar for half the price of what's being asked for an "equivalent" steel string. There is a ton of choice.

What are you playing at the moment?

I do still play steel-string though, albeit much less than I did, and it has benefited tremendously from my learning nylon technique. It's all about the music: If I want to learn a steel-string piece, that's what I pick up. Same for nylon.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #43  
Old 02-01-2021, 02:51 PM
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Just about the same as mine... cool.

I can already tell your nails are WAY thicker than mine. I was a nail biter from childhood till around 20, so my nail beds are really short and my nails in general are quite thin. Im hoping to avoid going the acrylic route so Im going to keep them as short and strong as I can


I am very lucky that I do have very thick nails.
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  #44  
Old 02-01-2021, 03:00 PM
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Default The transition to classical..an update

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Originally Posted by steveh View Post
I did the same a few years ago and initially found nylon hugely frustrating, but soon got hooked by the fact that the more effort you put in, the more reward. Ultimately, I find myself more satisfied when I (almost) get it right.



I find the two completely different. On steel-string, the differences between strings is obvious to me, and I also hear them go off quite quickly. On nylon, it's the reverse: Beyond the glaringly obvious (fluorocarbon vs. nylon) they all pretty much sound the same to me. That's great - no more GBP spent on trying zillions of different strings. AND to my ears they last a lifetime (...about as long as it takes to get the trebles in tune!).



I've always had bad GAS but, thankfully, at the end of the day it's ultimately been about the music. A friend of mine recorded "In Sorrow's Wake" by Andrew York a few years ago and that tune was a real "earworm" for me. I started to listen to Andrew's music and, inevitably, wanted to start playing it. Got myself a good nylon guitar, and that was it. Hooked. Never looked back. Ultimately, I wouldn't play nylon if there were no great tunes to learn.



I did exactly that: I was offered a "lifetime" guitar a few years back and decided to move on several of my steel-strings to get it, so that's what I did. Ultimately, I moved that guitar on because I never really felt comfortable with what it cost, although it was very reasonable compared to the Somogyis and Traugotts etc. you find around here. The great thing about nylon is that most "high-end" guitars are way more affordable than the equivalent steel-string. There are very, very few builders charging the prices asked by, for example, Somogyi apprentices, so a world class nylon is relatively affordable if you avoid the obvious Hauser, Smallman, Dammann, Friederich etc. (and dealers...).

You live in the UK right? Philip Woodfield, Christopher Dean, David Merrin, & Simon Ambridge have international reputations as do many others. A Stephen Eden will get you a great guitar for half the price of what's being asked for an "equivalent" steel string. There is a ton of choice.

What are you playing at the moment?

I do still play steel-string though, albeit much less than I did, and it has benefited tremendously from my learning nylon technique. It's all about the music: If I want to learn a steel-string piece, that's what I pick up. Same for nylon.

Cheers,
Steve


Hi Steve

Thatís very interesting and somewhat re-assuring, as I have to admit to finding myself feeling a little apprehensive to be so committed to nylon when I wasnít expecting to be.

It certainly seems to be the case that a good classical is more reachable than a steel string equivalent and I had already stumbled across Simon Ambridgeís beautiful instruments. The others you mention I will now be researching ;-) (I am in the UK)

Iím playing an entry/mid level Spanish Almansa guitar (new I guess about £600) but have been pleasantly surprised by it - certainly more than I would expect from the same price SS.

I can see myself holding onto my Webber OM, as Iím very fond of it - but letting my Furch go at some point.

Thanks for the post, I found it very helpful.
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  #45  
Old 02-01-2021, 03:45 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is online now
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It certainly seems to be the case that a good classical is more reachable than a steel string equivalent
I think you'll find that as your ear and technique develop you'll find that they are about the same. For example, a classical guitar comparable in build quality and tone to your Furch will run around the same price.

A skilled player can make very nice sounding music even on an inexpensive instrument, be it a steel string or classical. A non-skilled player can make either sound poorly.
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