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Old 01-15-2021, 06:28 AM
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Default The transition to classical..an update

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
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:36 AM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Spot on and insightful comments Peter. What I would expect from someone who has made the commitment in the right way. Stay that course and you will be rewarded.
Not that you will, but don't get overly obsessive about it either, lest you lose the enjoyment once you get past the "honeymoon" stage. I did that in my past and paid the price. Keep it light and grab that steel string once in a while too.

Great stuff!

P.S: I've been playing a lot of Andrew York material lately. As great as he is a player, he might even be a better composer. There's always an advantage when an accomplished player like that can also match it with compositional talent. York and steel stringer Pat Donohue are two of my favorites that fit that description. They really understand how to unlock the instrument's potential for fulfilling and enjoyable music.
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
Spot on and insightful comments Peter. What I would expect from someone who has made the commitment in the right way. Stay that course and you will be rewarded.

Not that you will, but don't get overly obsessive about it either, lest you lose the enjoyment once you get past the "honeymoon" stage. I did that in my past and paid the price. Keep it light and grab that steel string once in a while too.



Great stuff!



P.S: I've been playing a lot of Andrew York material lately. As great as he is a player, he might even be a better composer. There's always an advantage when an accomplished player like that can also match it with compositional talent. York and steel stringer Pat Donohue are two of my favorites that fit that description. They really understand how to unlock the instrument's potential for fulfilling and enjoyable music.


Thanks Andre - wise words..

I am tempted by some of Andrew Yorkís pieces, and have started tinkering with Andecy, but Iím feeling my technique benefits more from simple classics like Lagrima and Adelita as they offer so much to learn from. My passion for Yorkís tunes may have to wait a little..
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Old 01-15-2021, 02:40 PM
TRose TRose is online now
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Thanks for the update, Wrighty.
The information maze concerning string options for classical guitar is daunting but makes for fun experimentation. Iím enjoying myself. I hope you are as well.

I look forward to one of your video posts.

Cheers!
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Old 01-15-2021, 03:15 PM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Originally Posted by TRose View Post
The information maze concerning string options for classical guitar is daunting but makes for fun experimentation.
How true!
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Old 01-15-2021, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by TRose View Post
Thanks for the update, Wrighty.
The information maze concerning string options for classical guitar is daunting but makes for fun experimentation. Iím enjoying myself. I hope you are as well.

I look forward to one of your video posts.

Cheers!


Thanks - Iím working hard to get something ready to record (itís taking longer than anticipated and even the recording process is quite different..)
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:25 PM
JParrilla JParrilla is offline
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You sound eerily like me! I originally thought I was going to pick up classical as a side practice to my other guitars... but like you my steel string as been on its wall hanger since I bought my CG. I am totally and completely captivated by this instrument.

The variety of tone production is amazing, as well as how absolutely awful you can make it sound if you have bad right hand technique

This practice has gotten me off of strumming on the couch and into a serious practice regimen that I am thoroughly enjoying. I am discovering new music that I never new existed.

I seriously wonder if I will ever play steel string again at this point. If I do it will likely be just with a pick so I dont destroy my nails on the strings.

I wish I could have told my 15 year old self that classical guitar was cool so I had learned that first, then maybe I wouldnt be struggling now at 30!

Good luck to you.
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Old 01-16-2021, 04:24 AM
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Thats very funny - it is an addictive instrument..

I never found steel string to have much of an impact on my nails, but I certainly polish them more now with classical and hear the tone changes.

I look forward to hearing some of your classical efforts in due course :-)
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Old 01-16-2021, 09:47 AM
ObiWanSymbian ObiWanSymbian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JParrilla View Post
You sound eerily like me! I originally thought I was going to pick up classical as a side practice to my other guitars... but like you my steel string as been on its wall hanger since I bought my CG. I am totally and completely captivated by this instrument.

The variety of tone production is amazing, as well as how absolutely awful you can make it sound if you have bad right hand technique

This practice has gotten me off of strumming on the couch and into a serious practice regimen that I am thoroughly enjoying. I am discovering new music that I never new existed.

I seriously wonder if I will ever play steel string again at this point. If I do it will likely be just with a pick so I dont destroy my nails on the strings.

I wish I could have told my 15 year old self that classical guitar was cool so I had learned that first, then maybe I wouldnt be struggling now at 30!

Good luck to you.

Good luck to OP.

And you Parilla, at your 30, are still young enough to learn anything you want.
I made the transition at 39. And think I was not to old for that.
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Old 01-16-2021, 09:54 AM
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If you are looking for tunes to learn I had started on these:



Get the tab here

And this one:



The tab is here
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Old 01-16-2021, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TBman View Post
If you are looking for tunes to learn I had started on these:







Get the tab here



And this one:







The tab is here


Thanks Barry - Iím on Tarregaís Lagrima and Adelita right now and loving those!
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:37 AM
Always Learning Always Learning is offline
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Default some comments and tips for your journey into playing classical guitar

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Originally Posted by Wrighty View Post
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.."

Wrightly.. a MONTH...! gheeesh you have just stepped over the threshold and out of door. This journey you are on with learning classical guitar has just begun.

"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..."

Boy are you ever so right about dabbling in classical... I started back in the late 60's / early 70's and am still learning.

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.

check out Allen Mathews tips and suggestion on squeaky strings...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wd9tsnNSLM

also may I suggest if you have dry hands, try applying moisturizer to them before playing. Not a lot, just enough to soften the finger tips.

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

Why should focus, intensity, precision and economy of movement be more so playing classical and not as important or less important if you are playing "Stairway to Heaven".

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.

My suggestion for right hand technique is like in all things, go slowly and deliberately. Call out each finger as you stroke the strings. Say out loud P for thumb, I for index, M for medius (middle or "bird" finger) and A for analur

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..

My one main suggestion on strings is talk to the luthier who made the guitar and ask them which they would recommend and why. The wrong string tension can cause a lot of issues.

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!

Have you looked into purchasing a set of string beads... example below.

https://www.stringsbymail.com/string...bone-7730.html

you can also find them on amazon. I use them and love them, really helps when tying the treble strings and saves damaging the saddle.


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.

By the way, both Allen Mathews and Bradford Werner have excellent youtube channels.

Peter

Best of luck on your journey Peter
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2021, 05:07 AM
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Best of luck on your journey Peter
Thank you for both the advice and the support - much appreciated :-)
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Old 01-22-2021, 02:58 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is online now
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Originally Posted by TBman View Post
And this one:



The tab is here
The Bach prelude is way, WAY too difficult for a beginner. Not a good choice. A setup for failure.
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:32 AM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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The Bach prelude is way, WAY too difficult for a beginner. Not a good choice. A setup for failure.
I agree. An unfortunate choice for someone just starting out on nylon. Like learning how to work a stick shift using a Formula 1 car.
I have a lot of respect for people who play Bach well on a guitar. Especially getting through a whole suite. As tough a challenge as it gets. Even for the pros.
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