Discussion:
Self taught Guitarists
(too old to reply)
Average Brownie
2006-01-27 22:40:10 UTC
Permalink
Lots of natterig going on about being self taught versus using a
(several) teacher(s). I'm trying to come up with a successful (simi
even) contemporary self taught classical guitarist, but drawing a
blank. Any one heard of one? No dead people please!
Matt McNabb
2006-01-27 23:01:21 UTC
Permalink
Julian Bream
Post by Average Brownie
Lots of natterig going on about being self taught versus using a
(several) teacher(s). I'm trying to come up with a successful (simi
even) contemporary self taught classical guitarist, but drawing a
blank. Any one heard of one? No dead people please!
Average Brownie
2006-01-27 23:23:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt McNabb
Julian Bream
Well almost (self taught and dead):
http://tinyurl.com/82qbc
Sam Culotta
2006-01-27 23:27:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt McNabb
Julian Bream
Phew... and just in time!
Post by Matt McNabb
Post by Average Brownie
Lots of natterig going on about being self taught versus using a
(several) teacher(s). I'm trying to come up with a successful (simi
even) contemporary self taught classical guitarist, but drawing a
blank. Any one heard of one? No dead people please!
Tom Sacold
2006-01-28 08:40:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt McNabb
Julian Bream
Didn't he study cello at the RCM in London? i.e. He was a trained
musician.
Average Brownie
2006-01-28 12:58:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Sacold
Post by Matt McNabb
Julian Bream
Didn't he study cello at the RCM in London? i.e. He was a trained
musician.
yes, and had a years worth of CG lessons. Obviously an exceptional
talent.
Kent Murdick
2006-01-28 13:58:57 UTC
Permalink
I'm copying this message on this thread. I think it fits better here.
BTW, I was self-taught on that thumb thing. >>>
John, if you watch steel string players, you get to see what
self-taught really means. I've seen a few with what I would call
perfect P-strokes and I've seen a lot of supposedly well trained
classical players with a P-stroke so tense it absolutly halts their
progress - one in particular, a masters degree student, at a Tennant
master class who kept asking him to help with his P-stroke -Tennant
couldn't help him.

The deal with untrained guitarists is this, although some of them will
be able to do some of the technique efficintly some of the time, almost

none of them does all of the techique efficiently all of the time (hey
maybe no one does). If
we consider Bream self taught, why throw out everything Bream taught
us? The new generation takes advantage of the old and there are no self

taught players who make it these days. I've heard it argued on RMCG
that you can't make it unless you have doctorate! Could Bream make it
today? Probably not, but people will argue this I'm sure. It's not that
he's not a good player, it's that there is so little room at the top.
Toom Tabard
2006-01-28 17:08:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kent Murdick
I'm copying this message on this thread. I think it fits better here.
BTW, I was self-taught on that thumb thing. >>>
John, if you watch steel string players, you get to see what
self-taught really means. I've seen a few with what I would call
perfect P-strokes and I've seen a lot of supposedly well trained
classical players with a P-stroke so tense it absolutly halts their
progress - one in particular, a masters degree student, at a Tennant
master class who kept asking him to help with his P-stroke -Tennant
couldn't help him.
The deal with untrained guitarists is this, although some of them will
be able to do some of the technique efficintly some of the time, almost
none of them does all of the techique efficiently all of the time (hey
maybe no one does). If
we consider Bream self taught, why throw out everything Bream taught
us? The new generation takes advantage of the old and there are no self
taught players who make it these days. I've heard it argued on RMCG
that you can't make it unless you have doctorate! Could Bream make it
today? Probably not, but people will argue this I'm sure. It's not that
he's not a good player, it's that there is so little room at the top.
The reason there are few (or no) self-taught artistes in the classical music
field is because of the ubiquitous spread of grades and conservatories and
the fact that 'talent' gets sucked into that route at an early age. It is
nothing to do with whether genuine talent could succeed (which it certainly
could) if it was lucky enough to bypass these routes.

That's why now you're unlikely to hear another Georges Cziffra playing
Liszt, or a Franco Corelli singing at La Scala or the Met, or another gutsy
performer like Bream. It's all skilled and highly competent 'virtuoso'
sludge as instilled by the style of the conservatory, or by masterclasses,
where every 'interpretation' is what the student is told is the correct
interpretation, rather than their own interpretation taken directly from the
original score.
That's why, in the context of the guitar, there are endless recordings of
e.g. the Villa-Lobos Preludes which are indistinguishable, and which
demonstrate that the performer has had them taught, demonstrated and
masterclassed to death rather than actually playing their own interpretation
directly from the score. If they did the latter, someone of our major
'virtuosos' might be interpreting them, or at least show some sign of
playing them as actually annotated by the composer.

Toom
Roscoe Heywood
2006-01-28 17:26:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Toom Tabard
The reason there are few (or no) self-taught artistes in the classical music
field is because of the ubiquitous spread of grades and conservatories and
the fact that 'talent' gets sucked into that route at an early age. It is
nothing to do with whether genuine talent could succeed (which it certainly
could) if it was lucky enough to bypass these routes.
That's why now you're unlikely to hear another Georges Cziffra playing
Liszt, or a Franco Corelli singing at La Scala or the Met, or another gutsy
performer like Bream. It's all skilled and highly competent 'virtuoso'
sludge as instilled by the style of the conservatory, or by masterclasses,
where every 'interpretation' is what the student is told is the correct
interpretation, rather than their own interpretation taken directly from the
original score.
That's why, in the context of the guitar, there are endless recordings of
e.g. the Villa-Lobos Preludes which are indistinguishable, and which
demonstrate that the performer has had them taught, demonstrated and
masterclassed to death rather than actually playing their own interpretation
directly from the score. If they did the latter, someone of our major
'virtuosos' might be interpreting them, or at least show some sign of
playing them as actually annotated by the composer.
Toom
Wow! This has to be one of the most incredible conspiracies of our age!
All these universities setting up sham programs and sucking up all
available talent and cranking out mindless clones! And to think Segovia
was a part of it! I always thought there was something sinister about
that man.
Toom Tabard
2006-01-29 16:55:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roscoe Heywood
Post by Toom Tabard
The reason there are few (or no) self-taught artistes in the classical music
field is because of the ubiquitous spread of grades and conservatories and
the fact that 'talent' gets sucked into that route at an early age. It is
nothing to do with whether genuine talent could succeed (which it certainly
could) if it was lucky enough to bypass these routes.
That's why now you're unlikely to hear another Georges Cziffra playing
Liszt, or a Franco Corelli singing at La Scala or the Met, or another gutsy
performer like Bream. It's all skilled and highly competent 'virtuoso'
sludge as instilled by the style of the conservatory, or by
masterclasses,
where every 'interpretation' is what the student is told is the correct
interpretation, rather than their own interpretation taken directly from the
original score.
That's why, in the context of the guitar, there are endless recordings of
e.g. the Villa-Lobos Preludes which are indistinguishable, and which
demonstrate that the performer has had them taught, demonstrated and
masterclassed to death rather than actually playing their own
interpretation
directly from the score. If they did the latter, someone of our major
'virtuosos' might be interpreting them, or at least show some sign of
playing them as actually annotated by the composer.
Toom
Wow! This has to be one of the most incredible conspiracies of our age!
All these universities setting up sham programs and sucking up all
available talent and cranking out mindless clones! And to think Segovia
was a part of it! I always thought there was something sinister about
that man.
Are you able to comment meaningfully on what I actually said, showing
independence and originality of thought, or did you take lessons in how to
think ?

Toom
Kent Murdick
2006-01-29 17:15:32 UTC
Permalink
Toom, you are right, of course, it has in the last 40 become customary
to study guitar with a teacher. Before this there were no teachers to
speak of. Could someone be self-taught and compete with the new breed
of players? Maybe, but it would be tough. They would be competing
against players who have benifited from all the recently accumulated
knowledge. Remember, the guitar has had an interupted history and we
are in perhaps its longest continuous period use. This has certainly
been it's most productive period, by far. Gutiar programs like rograms
like Berg's, Yates', Provost's, etc (hundreds more here and abroad)
didn't exist 50 years ago. We've crossed the Rubicon and we'll never
go back. Unfortunately, some of us (MO for example) never got on the
boat.
Larry Deack
2006-01-29 17:47:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kent Murdick
Toom, you are right, of course, it has in the last 40 become customary
to study guitar with a teacher. Before this there were no teachers to
speak of. Could someone be self-taught and compete with the new breed
of players? Maybe, but it would be tough. They would be competing
against players who have benifited from all the recently accumulated
knowledge. Remember, the guitar has had an interupted history and we
are in perhaps its longest continuous period use. This has certainly
been it's most productive period, by far. Gutiar programs like rograms
like Berg's, Yates', Provost's, etc (hundreds more here and abroad)
didn't exist 50 years ago. We've crossed the Rubicon and we'll never
go back. Unfortunately, some of us (MO for example) never got on the
boat.
Since my personal path has differed from yours I have to wonder about
those like me who had little contact with Shearer or his students methods.

Jose Tomas was a big influence on many of the best players and
teachers I know including my teacher.
John Nguyen
2006-01-29 17:55:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Kent Murdick
Toom, you are right, of course, it has in the last 40 become customary
to study guitar with a teacher. Before this there were no teachers to
speak of. Could someone be self-taught and compete with the new breed
of players? Maybe, but it would be tough. They would be competing
against players who have benifited from all the recently accumulated
knowledge. Remember, the guitar has had an interupted history and we
are in perhaps its longest continuous period use. This has certainly
been it's most productive period, by far. Gutiar programs like rograms
like Berg's, Yates', Provost's, etc (hundreds more here and abroad)
didn't exist 50 years ago. We've crossed the Rubicon and we'll never
go back. Unfortunately, some of us (MO for example) never got on the
boat.
Since my personal path has differed from yours I have to wonder about
those like me who had little contact with Shearer or his students methods.
Jose Tomas was a big influence on many of the best players and
teachers I know including my teacher.
My guess is that you and Kent crossed the Rubicon in different boats. I
cannot imagine there is only one boat!
Happy New Year,

John
Roscoe Heywood
2006-01-29 19:57:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Toom Tabard
Post by Roscoe Heywood
Post by Toom Tabard
The reason there are few (or no) self-taught artistes in the classical music
field is because of the ubiquitous spread of grades and conservatories and
the fact that 'talent' gets sucked into that route at an early age. It is
nothing to do with whether genuine talent could succeed (which it certainly
could) if it was lucky enough to bypass these routes.
That's why now you're unlikely to hear another Georges Cziffra playing
Liszt, or a Franco Corelli singing at La Scala or the Met, or another gutsy
performer like Bream. It's all skilled and highly competent 'virtuoso'
sludge as instilled by the style of the conservatory, or by
masterclasses,
where every 'interpretation' is what the student is told is the correct
interpretation, rather than their own interpretation taken directly from the
original score.
That's why, in the context of the guitar, there are endless recordings of
e.g. the Villa-Lobos Preludes which are indistinguishable, and which
demonstrate that the performer has had them taught, demonstrated and
masterclassed to death rather than actually playing their own interpretation
directly from the score. If they did the latter, someone of our major
'virtuosos' might be interpreting them, or at least show some sign of
playing them as actually annotated by the composer.
Toom
Wow! This has to be one of the most incredible conspiracies of our age!
All these universities setting up sham programs and sucking up all
available talent and cranking out mindless clones! And to think Segovia
was a part of it! I always thought there was something sinister about
that man.
Are you able to comment meaningfully on what I actually said, showing
independence and originality of thought, or did you take lessons in how to
think ?
Toom
OK, if you insist, I'll give it a shot.
Yes, I've taken lessons on how to think, for 18 years. I suspect you
have taken lessons on how to think, too. Would I think more originally
with out training? Hmmm... Maybe, but I suspect it would just be a
bucket of slop. Does this training affect how I think? Definitely. Do I
think about problems in my profession the same as every one else? In
general terms. People trained at other institutions may have a
different approach to the same problem. There are "schools of thought".
Glen Gould sounds different to me than Vladimir Horowitz, yet they both
had conservatory training. Why should it be any different for guitar?
Is Peabody the same as the RCM or Peperdine for that matter?
Any great self taught thinkers? A few, but all the ones I can think of
are in history books. Each generation builds on the foundation of the
last. There is simply too large of a body of knowledge today to become
a great modern day self-taught thinker.
Any great self taught classical guitarists? Yes, I've read about them,
too. People point to Julian Bream as a great self taught guitarist.
They ignore the fact that he is a graduate of the RCM. They love him
because he plays the guitar "musically". Where do you suppose that came
from? He was obviously very talented and had a natural ability, but he
wouldn't make it today, unless he got modern training. Do you think
Anna Vidovic would be a better performer today if instead of the
training she had, she was locked in a room for five hours a day with a
stack of books, some CDs and an internet connection?
Guitar isn't differential calculus, but it ain't bike riding either
(unless you mean Johnny Cash type guitar).
I play recreationally. Does it matter if I get training? No, except to
myself. Have I convinced any body of anything? No.
Teach yourself, then get a good teacher, and then tell me it does more
harm than good. Otherwise. this is like going to a priest for sex
counseling.
Jackson
2006-01-29 21:16:12 UTC
Permalink
Speaking of lessons on how to think, here you go:

http://tinyurl.com/crqsu

and

http://tinyurl.com/b6wax
Jackson
2006-01-29 21:36:36 UTC
Permalink
Incidentally, as for Romanza, Parkening ranks it at level C (most
difficult) in the repertoire section of his Vol. 2 method book, along
with such pieces as the Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1. Obviously, this
rating is relative only to the pieces in that book, but it does seem to
indicate that Romanza is not a piece for pure novices. Its ranking can
only be explained by the tricky chord changes.
Tommy Grand
2006-01-29 21:43:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jackson
Incidentally, as for Romanza, Parkening ranks it at level C (most
difficult) in the repertoire section of his Vol. 2 method book, along
with such pieces as the Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1.
It seems that we have a consensus among RMCG readers that cello suites
and romanza represent advanced repertoire.

I'm less than impressed that a Shearer teacher can get the average
student playing Romanza well in a two year time frame.
Larry Deack
2006-01-29 22:03:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tommy Grand
Post by Jackson
Incidentally, as for Romanza, Parkening ranks it at level C (most
difficult) in the repertoire section of his Vol. 2 method book, along
with such pieces as the Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1.
It seems that we have a consensus among RMCG readers that cello suites
and romanza represent advanced repertoire.
Consensus? Did I miss the poll?
Post by Tommy Grand
I'm less than impressed that a Shearer teacher can get the average
student playing Romanza well in a two year time frame.
What is playing well? It's a great gig piece with high recognition.
Arranged and played like Rak and it becomes a virtuoso piece.

YMMV
Roscoe Heywood
2006-01-29 22:11:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tommy Grand
Post by Jackson
Incidentally, as for Romanza, Parkening ranks it at level C (most
difficult) in the repertoire section of his Vol. 2 method book, along
with such pieces as the Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1.
It seems that we have a consensus among RMCG readers that cello suites
and romanza represent advanced repertoire.
I'm less than impressed that a Shearer teacher can get the average
student playing Romanza well in a two year time frame.
No. It's at the begining of the intermediate level. solidly, squarely,
symetrically.
It's at the end of the first Noad book, as well, which the author says
should take two years to work through. If you have a method to take a
recreational player who's never touched a guitar before, to doing a
competent version of that piece a lot quicker, I'm all ears (really).
Tommy Grand
2006-01-29 22:21:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roscoe Heywood
Post by Tommy Grand
I'm less than impressed that a Shearer teacher can get the average
student playing Romanza well in a two year time frame.
No. It's at the begining of the intermediate level. solidly, squarely,
symetrically.
It's at the end of the first Noad book, as well, which the author says
should take two years to work through. If you have a method to take a
recreational player who's never touched a guitar before, to doing a
competent version of that piece a lot quicker, I'm all ears (really).
I don't. I'd say it's an intermediate level piece and a player of
average talent starting from scratch should be able to play it
musicially in about two years. Kent seems to think a teacher who can
do this is something extraordinary.
a***@yahoo.com
2006-01-29 23:21:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tommy Grand
I'm less than impressed that a Shearer teacher can get
the average student playing Romanza well in a two year
time frame.
The fact that you think the average student can play Ro-
manza well within two years shows you either have little
experience as a teacher or your definition of "well" isn't
very stringent.

I've had an adult beginner learn to play Brouwer's Estudio
sencillo No. 6 within three months--it helped that she's a
professional violinist. I also have a teenage girl who's played
the guitar for three years and is now working on Bach's Prelude
to the 4th Lute Suite. In an ideal world, almost anyone could do
as well. But the real world is considerably more messy, and most
of us lack the discipline and emotional stability to make such
quick progress. It takes time to adjust to learning an instrument.
For most of us, much time is wasted trying to find short cuts to
competence. It's not that we're stupid, it's just human nature.
Only after many dead ends does the average student truly
grasp that there are no short cuts.

That's when the real progress can begin.

Tom Poore
Cleveland Heights, OH
USA
http://www.pooretom.com
Che'
2006-01-29 22:42:14 UTC
Permalink
Have I convinced any body of anything? No. Teach yourself, then get a
good teacher, and then tell me it does more harm than good. Otherwise.
this is like >going to a priest for sex counseling.<
This is dead on. Going to a priest for sex counseling is like eunuchs in a
harem about sex, they know how it's done (they profess) they've seen it done
every day but they're unable to do it themselves. Well.... except for little
boys and girls, in some cases.


It's obvious, from even the most cursory reading of this NG, there is a
great deal of difference between various posters, teachers, and guitarist on
these issues. I went through all this 40 years ago. I would never have
developed my skills without firm direction from teachers I trusted. Those
few teachers instilled a sense of self-discipline and taught me to think for
myself. I played better than a few teachers I worked with but I knew they
understood music much better than I did.

Studying technique is one thing, studying muisc and using that technique
effectively is quite something else.

For what it's worth,

Che'
virtual
2006-01-30 15:48:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Che'
Have I convinced any body of anything? No. Teach yourself, then get a
good teacher, and then tell me it does more harm than good. Otherwise.
this is like >going to a priest for sex counseling.<
This is dead on. Going to a priest for sex counseling is like eunuchs in a
harem about sex, they know how it's done (they profess) they've seen it done
every day but they're unable to do it themselves. Well.... except for little
boys and girls, in some cases.
It's obvious, from even the most cursory reading of this NG, there is a
great deal of difference between various posters, teachers, and guitarist on
these issues. I went through all this 40 years ago. I would never have
developed my skills without firm direction from teachers I trusted. Those
few teachers instilled a sense of self-discipline and taught me to think for
myself. I played better than a few teachers I worked with but I knew they
understood music much better than I did.
Studying technique is one thing, studying muisc and using that technique
effectively is quite something else.
For what it's worth,
Che'
Hi

Right, there are a lot of guitarists, and very few musicians playing the
guitar.

Have fun
--
Resources to play the guitar for fun and relaxation

http://www.virtualguitarcenter.com

***@virtualguitarcenter.com
Toom Tabard
2006-01-30 13:24:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roscoe Heywood
OK, if you insist, I'll give it a shot.
Yes, I've taken lessons on how to think, for 18 years. I suspect you
have taken lessons on how to think, too. Would I think more originally
with out training? Hmmm... Maybe, but I suspect it would just be a
bucket of slop. Does this training affect how I think? Definitely. Do I
think about problems in my profession the same as every one else? In
general terms. People trained at other institutions may have a
different approach to the same problem. There are "schools of thought".
Glen Gould sounds different to me than Vladimir Horowitz, yet they both
had conservatory training. Why should it be any different for guitar?
Is Peabody the same as the RCM or Peperdine for that matter?
There is if course, some variability, but that is within the context of a
recent increasing international homogenization of musical performance and
teaching. The examples you give are from an earlier age, and there are
always individuals who will show through. It's a question of how many, and
which system produces more individuality.
Post by Roscoe Heywood
Any great self taught thinkers? A few, but all the ones I can think of
are in history books. Each generation builds on the foundation of the
last. There is simply too large of a body of knowledge today to become
a great modern day self-taught thinker.
Let's not confuse thinking and knowledge. We all have access to a large body
of stored human knowledge. It is how we access, interpret,process and expand
that knowledge that determines the thinkers. The ordinary person today has
much more knowledge than the great thinkers of the past, But again, the
modern formal academic processing of mass number of students tends to give
them knowledge, and tell them how to interpret that knowledge, and
assessment for the pieces of paper largely depends on not thinking too
originally (or at all). I know several widely-informed, original and
interesting thinkers who had basic schooling and are otherwise self-taught.
Again, there are fewer such individuals as social and economic developments
move towards extended formal education .
Post by Roscoe Heywood
Any great self taught classical guitarists? Yes, I've read about them,
too. People point to Julian Bream as a great self taught guitarist.
They ignore the fact that he is a graduate of the RCM. They love him
because he plays the guitar "musically". Where do you suppose that came
from? He was obviously very talented and had a natural ability, but he
wouldn't make it today, unless he got modern training. Do you think
Anna Vidovic would be a better performer today if instead of the
training she had, she was locked in a room for five hours a day with a
stack of books, some CDs and an internet connection?
Can't comment on the individual. The degree of success under that extreme
would depend on whether it was an introverted, self sufficient,
self-didactic original thinker being locked in a room. The assessment of the
result would also be rather subjective. The originality of the self-taught
might not be to the liking of judges from the conservatories. Most people
would best benefit from individual placing on the continuum between the
extremes.
Post by Roscoe Heywood
Guitar isn't differential calculus, but it ain't bike riding either
(unless you mean Johnny Cash type guitar).
I play recreationally. Does it matter if I get training? No, except to
myself. Have I convinced any body of anything? No.
Teach yourself, then get a good teacher, and then tell me it does more
harm than good. Otherwise. this is like going to a priest for sex
counseling.
Are you sure that's a good metaphor? What kind of priests are there in your
part of the world ? ;-)
A good teacher, if you want or need one, is an asset. In that regard, I've
made the point several times on this board that some individuals decide they
don't want or need one. The reason I can understand this, is that I don't
want or need one.

Toom
Kent Murdick
2006-01-28 20:17:30 UTC
Permalink
Hey Toom, it beats the shit out of listening to Rey del Torre. Come
on, almost all the old players stunk to high heaven and if there wasn't
an accumulation of information passed on by teachers, everyone would
still sound like Rey de la Torre, or worse. After Bream came out with
his big sound and his novel idea that you should phrase guitar music
like other musicians do , many teachers picked right up on it. Then
they started picking up on what he was doing wrong. What you're
suggesting is that we stop the guitar from evolving.

John Dimmick once complained that the Shearer School and it's impact
was making all the U.S. players sound alike. He lamented the fact that
we were losing all the completely original styles. My answer was this.
Given a choice, what student would want spend their life on ta one in
10,000 chance of playing at high level and and developing a unique
style, when he could just take advantage of what is known and be more
or less guarunteed to playing well at the advanced level in two or
three years. Besides, if you are going to develop a new style, the best
place to start from is a solid advanced level.
Tommy Grand
2006-01-28 21:20:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kent Murdick
when he could just take advantage of what is known and be more
or less guarunteed to playing well at the advanced level in two or
three years.
Let's put this into perspective. Do you consider Guardame Las Vacas
and Bach cello suites to be advanced level material?
Kent Murdick
2006-01-29 12:48:02 UTC
Permalink
I would call the cello suites beginning advance level and so does the
the Ryal Conserbatory Series. I also played the Tarentella, Tarrega's
Allard and some other pieces on that level. This was was 30 years age
you have to remember. There are many schools out there where this would
suffice as a master's recital if well played.

As for Watch My Cows, this is one of the best early Ren pieces in the
guitar repertoire. It's been recorded by a lot of great plyers.
Kent Murdick
2006-01-29 18:47:53 UTC
Permalink
One more thing, Tommy, when I auditioned for college, I played an
advnaced level piece. I would have progressed a lot faster if I had
been a beginner like Christopher Berg who came e in the next year.
Tommy Grand
2006-01-29 19:10:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kent Murdick
One more thing, Tommy, when I auditioned for college, I played an
advnaced level piece.
Which one?

Kent, I'm not trying to trash you as a player. But you said anyone can
be playing well at an advanced level in two to three years if they find
the right teacher. You studied for 7 years with Shearer himself and
graduated playing rather modest pieces, imo. In order to properly
interpret your comments, people need to know that you consider Romanza
to be an intermediate level piece.
Kent Murdick
2006-01-29 21:11:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tommy Grand
But you said anyone can
be playing well at an advanced level in two to three years if they find

the right teacher. You studied for 7 years with Shearer himself and
graduated playing rather modest pieces, imo. In order to properly
interpret your comments, people need to know that you consider Romanza
to be an intermediate level piece. >>>>

The Royal Conservatory Series also considers Romanza an intermediate
level piece. I have my own view of levels of difficulty but it happens
to pretty much match that series. I would say that the advanced level
begins with the most difficult of the Sor Etudes. I think I played
either the study in 3rds (Sor) or the E minor (#17) or Leyenda for my
audition. I did graduate playing rather modest pieces, but these pieces
would get me through most state U. programs today, I believe.

I had to start from scratch and re-learn everything. As unsuccessful
in some ways as that might have been, I played much better when I was
done. I quit several times, BTW, that's why it took so long.

Tommy, you seem to be concerned with the level of difficulty of pieces
when there are only a few perfomers out there who have a clue how to
play music (more all the time though). The fact that you go after me
instead of JW - a guy made millions of dollars playing like he's on
anti-psychotic drugs - says a lot. Where's your indignation about that?
Tommy Grand
2006-01-29 21:35:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kent Murdick
The fact that you go after me
instead of JW - a guy made millions of dollars playing like he's on
anti-psychotic drugs - says a lot. Where's your indignation about that?
C'mon Kent, that's Bill O'reilly's style of reasoning. I wasn't going
after you, I was asking for clarification on a claim *you* made, namely
that we could all be playing advanced material well after around two
years of study with a Shearer-type teacher. Clearly either you are an
exception to that rule, or you consider your recital pieces to be
advanced material. From what I can decipher it seems like the answer
it the latter. Thanks for clearing it up.
Kent Murdick
2006-01-29 22:27:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tommy Grand
From what I can decipher it seems like the answer
it the latter. Thanks for clearing it up. >>

The advanced level is a large swath. I think you could say that the
cello suites are at the beginning of the advanced level. The music gets
a lot harder, of course.
Average Brownie
2006-01-29 22:37:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kent Murdick
Post by Tommy Grand
From what I can decipher it seems like the answer
it the latter. Thanks for clearing it up. >>
The advanced level is a large swath. I think you could say that the
cello suites are at the beginning of the advanced level. The music gets
a lot harder, of course.
Yea! I'm on the threashold of advanced! I've never been advanced
anything.
Larry Deack
2006-01-29 22:41:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Average Brownie
Yea! I'm on the threashold of advanced!
I've never been advanced anything.
If you live long enough you will be pretty advanced in all kinds of
stuff you will probably wish you were less advanced in.
Steven Bornfeld
2006-01-29 23:26:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Average Brownie
Yea! I'm on the threashold of advanced!
I've never been advanced anything.
If you live long enough you will be pretty advanced in all kinds of
stuff you will probably wish you were less advanced in.
LOL--don't get me started!

Steve
Larry Deack
2006-01-31 06:00:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven Bornfeld
LOL--don't get me started!
"Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless
laughter can be said to remedy anything." - Books of Bokonon
Mark & Steven Bornfeld
2006-01-31 14:58:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
Post by Steven Bornfeld
LOL--don't get me started!
"Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless
laughter can be said to remedy anything." - Books of Bokonon
Well, that...and death.

Cheery thought for this morning,
Steve
--
Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
http://www.dentaltwins.com
Brooklyn, NY
718-258-5001
Larry Deack
2006-01-31 16:42:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark & Steven Bornfeld
Post by Larry Deack
"Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists,
unless laughter can be said to remedy anything." - Books of Bokonon
Well, that...and death.
Cheery thought for this morning,
Ha! That's funny. Life's a real kick in the pants, ain't it? Being
paid to teach and play guitar is one heck of an interesting way to live
too. I need to go see my dentist. He's a guitar player too and has a
bunch of us guitarists who go to him. Weird world but I kinda like it
that way.
Steven Bornfeld
2006-01-29 22:20:00 UTC
Permalink
Kent Murdick wrote:

(snip)

The fact that you go after me
Post by Kent Murdick
instead of JW - a guy made millions of dollars playing like he's on
anti-psychotic drugs - says a lot. Where's your indignation about that?
I dunno. How do I get some thorazine?




;-) Sorry, Kent!

Steve
Kent Murdick
2006-01-29 23:33:34 UTC
Permalink
That's OK, get me some too!
dsi1
2006-01-28 22:32:45 UTC
Permalink
I assume that you think that anyone who wants to ride a bike has to use
professional techniques, equipment, and take lessons. ;') The reality is
that 94% of bike riders have no intention of doing it professionally.
Strange as it might seem, they just want to use the bike to move to
different locations. Some people might even ride a bike for fun. Deviant
behavior?

I use the classical guitar as stress-relief therapy and God, it really
works! I even have fun playing sometimes. So while my playing sucks I
can't agree with you that it's a failure - it has kept me level - mental
health-wise. OTOH, you think that John Williams is a failure so I'm in
good - no, make that great, company.

dsi1
Post by Kent Murdick
Hey Toom, it beats the shit out of listening to Rey del Torre. Come
on, almost all the old players stunk to high heaven and if there wasn't
an accumulation of information passed on by teachers, everyone would
still sound like Rey de la Torre, or worse. After Bream came out with
his big sound and his novel idea that you should phrase guitar music
like other musicians do , many teachers picked right up on it. Then
they started picking up on what he was doing wrong. What you're
suggesting is that we stop the guitar from evolving.
John Dimmick once complained that the Shearer School and it's impact
was making all the U.S. players sound alike. He lamented the fact that
we were losing all the completely original styles. My answer was this.
Given a choice, what student would want spend their life on ta one in
10,000 chance of playing at high level and and developing a unique
style, when he could just take advantage of what is known and be more
or less guarunteed to playing well at the advanced level in two or
three years. Besides, if you are going to develop a new style, the best
place to start from is a solid advanced level.
virtual
2006-01-28 22:49:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
I assume that you think that anyone who wants to ride a bike has to use
professional techniques, equipment, and take lessons. ;') The reality is
that 94% of bike riders have no intention of doing it professionally.
Strange as it might seem, they just want to use the bike to move to
different locations. Some people might even ride a bike for fun. Deviant
behavior?
I use the classical guitar as stress-relief therapy and God, it really
works! I even have fun playing sometimes. So while my playing sucks I
can't agree with you that it's a failure - it has kept me level - mental
health-wise. OTOH, you think that John Williams is a failure so I'm in
good - no, make that great, company.
dsi1
Post by Kent Murdick
Hey Toom, it beats the shit out of listening to Rey del Torre. Come
on, almost all the old players stunk to high heaven and if there wasn't
an accumulation of information passed on by teachers, everyone would
still sound like Rey de la Torre, or worse. After Bream came out with
his big sound and his novel idea that you should phrase guitar music
like other musicians do , many teachers picked right up on it. Then
they started picking up on what he was doing wrong. What you're
suggesting is that we stop the guitar from evolving.
John Dimmick once complained that the Shearer School and it's impact
was making all the U.S. players sound alike. He lamented the fact that
we were losing all the completely original styles. My answer was this.
Given a choice, what student would want spend their life on ta one in
10,000 chance of playing at high level and and developing a unique
style, when he could just take advantage of what is known and be more
or less guarunteed to playing well at the advanced level in two or
three years. Besides, if you are going to develop a new style, the best
place to start from is a solid advanced level.
Hi

There are two ways to stick out of a crowd:

A- Reach down, grab your shoelaces and pull up.

B- Hammer down the heads of everybody around you.

Too many people are using method B because they are incapable of using
method A.

What you are doing is great and worthwhile. I wrote my website for you
and people like you. Tell me what yu need and i'll see what i can do
about it.

Have fun
--
Resources to play the guitar for fun and relaxation

http://www.virtualguitarcenter.com

***@virtualguitarcenter.com
Roscoe Heywood
2006-01-28 22:55:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
I assume that you think that anyone who wants to ride a bike has to use
professional techniques, equipment, and take lessons. ;') The reality is
that 94% of bike riders have no intention of doing it professionally.
Strange as it might seem, they just want to use the bike to move to
different locations. Some people might even ride a bike for fun. Deviant
behavior?
I use the classical guitar as stress-relief therapy and God, it really
works! I even have fun playing sometimes. So while my playing sucks I
can't agree with you that it's a failure - it has kept me level - mental
health-wise. OTOH, you think that John Williams is a failure so I'm in
good - no, make that great, company.
dsi1
Nothing wrong with that. I play for the same reason. I've taught myself
and now take lessons. I have found my trip to failure greatly
accelerated . I do think the time has come where one can't make a
living being a performer with out formal training. The new group of
performers are doing technical things Bream didn't do.
virtual
2006-01-28 23:42:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roscoe Heywood
Post by dsi1
I assume that you think that anyone who wants to ride a bike has to use
professional techniques, equipment, and take lessons. ;') The reality is
that 94% of bike riders have no intention of doing it professionally.
Strange as it might seem, they just want to use the bike to move to
different locations. Some people might even ride a bike for fun. Deviant
behavior?
I use the classical guitar as stress-relief therapy and God, it really
works! I even have fun playing sometimes. So while my playing sucks I
can't agree with you that it's a failure - it has kept me level - mental
health-wise. OTOH, you think that John Williams is a failure so I'm in
good - no, make that great, company.
dsi1
Nothing wrong with that. I play for the same reason. I've taught myself
and now take lessons. I have found my trip to failure greatly
accelerated . I do think the time has come where one can't make a
living being a performer with out formal training. The new group of
performers are doing technical things Bream didn't do.
HI

There is nothing wrong with being an amateur. There is nothing wrong
with being self-taught.

I have been teaching professional music at college level for more than
30 years. Out of all the graduates (98%), only 3% pursue a career in
music. All the others find themselves a decent job.

Tarrega was surrounded by gifted amateurs. Without the amateurs, the
guitar making business would collapse, hardly anybody would buy a
guitar. I am not even talking about the music-sheet industry, or the CD
business.

I do believe that the amateurs, the people who are playing for fun and
relaxation, are making it easier and more affordable for the gifted
individual who wants to become a professional.

Without the amateurs, there would be no job for the private teachers,
and far fewer jobs for the academic teachers.

We stand in awe in front of the outstanding athletes, it does not mean
that there is no room left for jumping and running just for the fun of
it!

So many people live far away from urban centers. So many people have
reduced mobility. So many people cannot afford the fee of a teacher.
Yet, they have the courage and the perseverance to teach themselves.
Maybe their technique is not to the level of a professional, so what?

I salute all the amateurs, self-taught or not, who persist in learning a
difficult instrument, just for the fun of it.

Have fun
--
Resources to play the guitar for fun and relaxation

http://www.virtualguitarcenter.com

***@virtualguitarcenter.com
Larry Deack
2006-01-29 00:06:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by virtual
I have been teaching professional music at college level for more than
30 years. Out of all the graduates (98%), only 3% pursue a career in
music. All the others find themselves a decent job.
Last night I played for a group of psychologist. The incoming
president of the organization was a CG graduate who got his PhD in
psychology. He plays in a jazz group and still does gigs.

It's fun to play for folks who know music well. Nice folks and nice
place to play. It's a good thing for me that he learned CG from some
teacher so he thought to hire me. I thank all people like him and
whoever taught him for the gigs I get like this where its' obvious they
enjoy the music.

Playing a musical instrument is a good indicator of academic success.
John Sloan
2006-01-29 00:13:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
Playing a musical instrument is a good indicator of academic success.
How so? What's the connection?

John Sloan
Larry Deack
2006-01-29 00:40:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Sloan
How so? What's the connection?
http://tiger.towson.edu/users/tgagne1/musiceducation.htm

google = "musical instrument" "academic success"
Jackson
2006-01-29 01:10:18 UTC
Permalink
Etymologically, the word "amateur" connotes "a lover." Why then is it
now a disparaging word? Answer: Modernity's barbarism of
specialization. One of you composers should write an ode to amateurism.
Roscoe Heywood
2006-01-29 01:14:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jackson
Etymologically, the word "amateur" connotes "a lover." Why then is it
now a disparaging word? Answer: Modernity's barbarism of
specialization. One of you composers should write an ode to amateurism.
Yes! and sell it to us for $3.95 a copy at GSP
John Sloan
2006-01-29 06:08:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
Post by John Sloan
How so? What's the connection?
http://tiger.towson.edu/users/tgagne1/musiceducation.htm
google = "musical instrument" "academic success"
No thanks. If I'd wanted a link or website instead of a conversation I'd
have done that in the first place. I wanted to know what *you* think, not
somebody else.

John Sloan
Larry Deack
2006-01-29 15:44:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Sloan
No thanks. If I'd wanted a link or website instead of a conversation I'd
have done that in the first place. I wanted to know what *you* think, not
somebody else.
Sorry, I thought you were interested in the subject. It's not someone
else's opinion but a summery of much of the research in this area. I've
read many of the papers and even talked to researchers in the field.
It's all very interesting and I think that article was pretty darn good
compared to anything I could whip up for you in RMCG.

My opinion is much like that article, sorry.
Che'
2006-01-29 06:18:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
google = "musical instrument" "academic success"
Googled = "MARGINAL FINANCIAL SUCCESS"
Roscoe Heywood
2006-01-29 01:07:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
Playing a musical instrument is a good indicator of academic success.
but does it stave off senility? I'd google musical instrument -
senility, but I forgot how
Steven Bornfeld
2006-01-29 03:47:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by virtual
HI
There is nothing wrong with being an amateur. There is nothing wrong
with being self-taught.
I have been teaching professional music at college level for more than
30 years. Out of all the graduates (98%), only 3% pursue a career in
music. All the others find themselves a decent job.
Tarrega was surrounded by gifted amateurs. Without the amateurs, the
guitar making business would collapse, hardly anybody would buy a
guitar. I am not even talking about the music-sheet industry, or the CD
business.
I do believe that the amateurs, the people who are playing for fun and
relaxation, are making it easier and more affordable for the gifted
individual who wants to become a professional.
Without the amateurs, there would be no job for the private teachers,
and far fewer jobs for the academic teachers.
We stand in awe in front of the outstanding athletes, it does not mean
that there is no room left for jumping and running just for the fun of
it!
So many people live far away from urban centers. So many people have
reduced mobility. So many people cannot afford the fee of a teacher.
Yet, they have the courage and the perseverance to teach themselves.
Maybe their technique is not to the level of a professional, so what?
I salute all the amateurs, self-taught or not, who persist in learning a
difficult instrument, just for the fun of it.
Have fun
Nicely put. It's not just guitarists, either:

http://tinyurl.com/9eka6
Che'
2006-01-29 23:04:34 UTC
Permalink
Besides, if you are going to develop a new style, the best place to start
from is a solid advanced level.<
I don't think most guitarist who have 'a style' set out to develop one. I
think it slowly creeps through the hinges and we exploit that diffrence.

C
virtual
2006-01-27 22:57:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Average Brownie
Lots of natterig going on about being self taught versus using a
(several) teacher(s). I'm trying to come up with a successful (simi
even) contemporary self taught classical guitarist, but drawing a
blank. Any one heard of one? No dead people please!
I knew one and then he passed away ;)
--
Resources to play the guitar for fun and relaxation

http://www.virtualguitarcenter.com

***@virtualguitarcenter.com
t***@lycos.com
2006-01-28 17:27:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Average Brownie
Lots of natterig going on about being self taught versus using a
(several) teacher(s). I'm trying to come up with a successful (simi
even) contemporary self taught classical guitarist, but drawing a
blank. Any one heard of one? No dead people please!
I guess one could and most likely should ask the same question of the
taught guitarist. I have written extensivley on this subject for many
years now and have traveled to many distant places in search of the
information needed to properly discuss this often touchy subject. I
don't think you are even remotely aware of the can of worms you have
opened here. Your ignorance stinks the foul stench of a dozen rotten
eggs dipped in fly infested feces. "Any one heard of one?" "No dead
people please?". What kind of questions are these? I will answer that
for you. They are stupid questions. The kind that idiots ask when they
are trying to sound like morons to get attention. Have you no shame?
Must you refer to past and present performers in this light. Let's put
things in this context. No Average Brownies please! You owe the whole
group, no make that the entire free world an apology. Now let's get
busy!!

TroyIII
Average Brownie
2006-01-28 17:40:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by t***@lycos.com
Post by Average Brownie
Lots of natterig going on about being self taught versus using a
(several) teacher(s). I'm trying to come up with a successful (simi
even) contemporary self taught classical guitarist, but drawing a
blank. Any one heard of one? No dead people please!
I guess one could and most likely should ask the same question of the
taught guitarist. I have written extensivley on this subject for many
years now and have traveled to many distant places in search of the
information needed to properly discuss this often touchy subject. I
don't think you are even remotely aware of the can of worms you have
opened here. Your ignorance stinks the foul stench of a dozen rotten
eggs dipped in fly infested feces. "Any one heard of one?" "No dead
people please?". What kind of questions are these? I will answer that
for you. They are stupid questions. The kind that idiots ask when they
are trying to sound like morons to get attention. Have you no shame?
Must you refer to past and present performers in this light. Let's put
things in this context. No Average Brownies please! You owe the whole
group, no make that the entire free world an apology. Now let's get
busy!!
TroyIII
Thank you for your thoughtful response. I am tired of tremolos, and
need something to do until Spring scale season opens. I have carefully
reviewed your past posts on the subject, and see no further comment is
needed on the subject, which is entirely beside the point.
Che'
2006-01-29 05:22:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Average Brownie
Post by t***@lycos.com
Post by Average Brownie
Lots of natterig going on about being self taught versus using a
(several) teacher(s). I'm trying to come up with a successful (simi
even) contemporary self taught classical guitarist, but drawing a
blank. Any one heard of one? No dead people please!
I guess one could and most likely should ask the same question of the
taught guitarist. I have written extensivley on this subject for many
years now and have traveled to many distant places in search of the
information needed to properly discuss this often touchy subject. I
don't think you are even remotely aware of the can of worms you have
opened here. Your ignorance stinks the foul stench of a dozen rotten
eggs dipped in fly infested feces. "Any one heard of one?" "No dead
people please?". What kind of questions are these? I will answer that
for you. They are stupid questions. The kind that idiots ask when they
are trying to sound like morons to get attention. Have you no shame?
Must you refer to past and present performers in this light. Let's put
things in this context. No Average Brownies please! You owe the whole
group, no make that the entire free world an apology. Now let's get
busy!!
TroyIII
Thank you for your thoughtful response. I am tired of tremolos, and
need something to do until Spring scale season opens. I have carefully
reviewed your past posts on the subject, and see no further comment is
needed on the subject, which is entirely beside the point.<
Dear Average Brownie,

There is no reason to follow the herd if you're not a wildebeest. If you've
had your fill of tremolo why not seek greener savannas? There's no reason
to wait for Spring Scale season to open. The spring rains swell the rivers
that boil with the din of drowning wildebeest and the slashing post of
crocodiles. It's good to be far from the maddening herd, cruched by
inertia. Just don't expect the leopards to drop their standards at the old
water hole.

http://www.readprint.com/work-945/Rudyard-Kipling

"If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
You'll be a better man than me"

Che' de Gunga Din
Nick Roche
2006-01-29 15:20:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Che'
"If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Google pound cost averaging
Outlander
2006-01-30 19:46:35 UTC
Permalink
Long live the wildebeest (at least till the next hunt!)

Everyone in this forum has much better credentials than myself. I am
very much a self-taught player. I don't consider myself to be a
classical guitarist, because I always felt that there were invisible
boundaries on what I could do.

After playing for 20 years, I finally went to a classical guitar
teacher. He was very skeptical of my background and I auditioned on his
porch. I played blues, folk and some outrageous tunes that I created in
Open tunings. When I finished he was staring at me. He finally told me,
"I don't usually take students such as yourself, but I feel that I
could make an impact on your playing.

He was right. My biggest problem was tension. The prepared arpeggio was
entirely new to me, but I have an open mind for new things. I found
that a humble attitude to learning is the best.

This teacher had great technique and he really dazzled me, but one
thing didn't make sense: he didn't know how to write an original song.
He just played the works of others. Even if he did write a song, what
would it sound like? Sometimes I had the impression that he was living
in a Guilded Cage. All that technique, but he couldn't write an
original song.

I'm not trying to impress or anger anyone here, but what good is a
one-sided discussion with people who are not self-taught.
Steve Perry
2006-01-31 19:57:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Outlander
I'm not trying to impress or anger anyone here, but what good is a
one-sided discussion with people who are not self-taught.
As a poor player who is self-taught, I agree with the sentiment.
However, the point that there aren't any world-class concert classical
guitarists around *now,*, as opposed to once-upon-a-time, is probably
valid.

(Of course, if there used to be concert-class guitarists who were
self-taught, then logic dictates that it is still possible -- a thing
done once may sometimes be done again.)

For the duffers, who play for fun or smaller audiences, there are
certainly plenty who are autodidacts -- or largely so.

The pedagological argument seems to be that a teacher makes it easier
and more likely that you will reach professional class, and that is
hard to argue against. Going down the road by yourself, you likely will
find a lot of potholes that an experienced guide can show you how to
avoid.

That everybody who picks up the instrument might not wish to be a
concert-grade classical guitarist tends to get lost. Probably because a
lot of the posters here would like that for themselves. And at least a
few of them either are (and some hiding under pseudonyms) or are close
enough that the leap wouldn't be that far. If you spent a lot of time
getting to that level, you are apt to point at your method of doing so
as valid, since it was for you. And since most of those at that level
got there via formal classes, that would be the point they espouse.

This is what worked for them, they say, and they are right.

It's when they don't leave any room for other options that they err.
--
Steve
Outlander
2006-01-31 21:07:02 UTC
Permalink
Steve,

Thanks for that thoughtful reply. I'm just wondering about what
happens when you learn things too well. I was also thinking about the
effect rote learning has on creativity.

Thanks again,

Noman
Average Brownie
2006-02-01 02:39:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Perry
For the duffers, who play for fun or smaller audiences, there are
certainly plenty who are autodidacts -- or largely so.
That's the simile. Guitar isn't like riding a bike, or like theoretical
mathmatics, it is like golf, and apparently has the same affect on
people who engage in it.
I am a self tought golpher, btw (not that there is any thing wrong with
that).
Kent Murdick
2006-01-31 21:09:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Outlander
'm not trying to impress or anger anyone here, but what good is a
one-sided discussion with people who are not self-taught. >>>>

I tught myself for the first two years and then I went to a
well-known moron teacher in NYC who told me to practice what I was
doing wrong twice as hard. I practiced three hours a day in the wrong
direction and he said I was lazy, so I ramped it up to 6 hours a day. I
did that for a year and half and I never really recovered.

But I digress, let's talk about my two years of self-teaching. I
DIDN'T LEARN A FUCKING THING! Actually I learned less than nothing.
I was well on the road to bacoming a Will Clinger.
Jackson
2006-01-31 21:25:20 UTC
Permalink
I've learned much in one year of self-teaching for the classical
guitar.
Mark & Steven Bornfeld
2006-01-31 21:35:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jackson
I've learned much in one year of self-teaching for the classical
guitar.
You're a better man than I, Gunga Din.

Steve
--
Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
http://www.dentaltwins.com
Brooklyn, NY
718-258-5001
Larry Deack
2006-01-31 21:45:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jackson
I've learned much in one year of
self-teaching for the classical guitar.
Assuming that by "self-teaching" you are not including this NG or any
'informal' instruction, do you think a good teacher/coach who could work
with you could accelerate your progress? If so how much would you think
a good teach could reduce your learning curve over time?

I think one of Kent's points is trying to help others avoid his
pitfalls as early as possible so as not to waste time. You seem to be
doing fine with tools like this NG and the wealth of stuff that's been
around for a long time now becoming easily and rapidly available on the
Internet.

In a way I'm glad I didn't have the Internet since it forced me to
find real world teachers. RMCG has been a great way to sort though a lot
of ideas about playing and teaching. Lots of really bright folks have
put a lot of nice ideas into the RMCG archive when you sort through the
noise and find the good threads.
Outlander
2006-01-31 21:34:28 UTC
Permalink
My history is similar. I started out life on the guitar by going
through the 7 levels of Mel Bay Hell. Yeah, I had a teacher, but he was
horrible. He played violin and taught guitar on the side because it
drew more students. He was from the Big Band era and had this horrible
habit of writing his own compositions. They were all hand-wrtitten and
I remember to this day what it said at the bottom:

"Copying of this music is STRICTLY PROHIBITED"

We must be talking "Night of the Living Dead," because that's what you
would have to be to enjoy those tunes. Actually it was intimidating: "I
have something special for today's lesson." ...."Roses are Red" for
Plectrum Guitar! He even gave me a folder to store all of the future
compositions. By the time I reached the middle of Mel Bay Book 3, I
was hating the guitar. Then fate intervened...

At a local store I spotted a book called "The Carcassi Method." This
was a rare find. I couldn't get over all the notes that could be played
at once. That's when I fell in love with fingerpicking. I quit my
teacher and went on my merry way. This continued for several years.
Yes, I was up to this time cultivating bad habits with or without a
teacher. Didn't matter.

The moment of truth came in 1985, I spotted a teacher named Francis
Perry in the classifieds. He explained to me posture and most
importantly - awareness of tension. I made it through Aaron Shearer -
Volume 1 and also Frederick Noad's Solo Guitar - Book 1. Then I
realized that I didn't want to learn any more classical pieces. At the
time I got married and didn't play for about 20 years.

I just returned to the instrument this past summer and made it a point
to do things not only slowly, but in the most relaxed way possible. So
far my method is paying off and I am finally smiling.
Larry Deack
2006-02-01 00:52:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Outlander
My history is similar.
-snip-
Post by Outlander
I just returned to the instrument this past summer and made it a point
to do things not only slowly, but in the most relaxed way possible. So
far my method is paying off and I am finally smiling.
Ouch! Relaxed learning is an interesting idea. Glad you finally found
your own approach.

I was lucky and I found many fine teachers in life so far. Seems like
I am about the only lucky one in RMCG, judging by this thread. I stayed
with teachers as long I they put up with me and as long as I felt I
could learn from them what I needed to know.

Thinking back on my teachers, both formal and informal, I can't help
but wonder why I was so fortunate when so many other people have had
many more experiences like yours than like mine.
Che'
2006-01-31 22:05:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kent Murdick
Post by Outlander
'm not trying to impress or anger anyone here, but what good is a
one-sided discussion with people who are not self-taught. >>>>
I tught myself for the first two years and then I went to a
well-known moron teacher in NYC who told me to practice what I was
doing wrong twice as hard. I practiced three hours a day in the wrong
direction and he said I was lazy, so I ramped it up to 6 hours a day. I
did that for a year and half and I never really recovered.
Was that teacher Mo?
Post by Kent Murdick
But I digress, let's talk about my two years of self-teaching. I
DIDN'T LEARN A FUCKING THING! Actually I learned less than nothing.
I was well on the road to bacoming a Will Clinger.<
In the end, a musician's intelligence is his or her ears, imo. I got myself
lost on Baffin Bay when a dense fog rolled in one night. There is
intercoastal small ship and
barge traffic at times. I used my hands, cupped to my ears, to increase my
hearing and listened for buoy sounds. It's easy to tell someone to work
harder. It requires skill to _show them_ how to work better.

There is a great deal of difference in the people who 'want' to play the
concert guitar and those that 'need' to play. For some people playing is a
need and for other's, maybe only an 'idle want'. It takes a while,
sometimes, to seperate the sheep from the goats. Maybe you were bluffed by
one of the best blowhards known in the guitar world, I don't know. I think
we can hear truth....if we really listen and you really need it.

Che'
Kent Murdick
2006-02-01 00:25:21 UTC
Permalink
Kent, what do you think of Fred Hand?>>>
I go back and forth. In some respects, he seems to be a lost soul
like myself. After all we were both just allowed to play as we wanted
and force fed music. He was a hell of a player as an undergraduate but
he hasn't seemed to have improve much since then except that he has a
much better tone. I suspect there is a story there. His video is
interesting.
Larry Deack
2006-02-01 00:30:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kent Murdick
I go back and forth. In some respects, he seems to be a lost soul
like myself. After all we were both just allowed to play as we wanted
and force fed music. He was a hell of a player as an undergraduate but
he hasn't seemed to have improve much since then except that he has a
much better tone. I suspect there is a story there. His video is
interesting.
I have some nice music Fred Hand wrote.

You make your CG education sound depressing and you make me realize
how lucky I've been.
Jackson
2006-02-01 04:52:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
I have some nice music Fred Hand wrote.
He has some excellent compositions. Kanengiser recently played one on
KUSC.
Kent Murdick
2006-02-01 15:27:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Deack
You make your CG education sound depressing and you make me realize
how lucky I've been. >>>

Depressing doesn't really cover it. When I finally enrolled at Peabody
my playing improved a lot and I was ecstatic. Then after my sophomore
year I hit a brick wall. My playing did not improve for the next 12
years and I quit playing. Now, in my old age when I don't care
whether I can play or not, I've taken my technique apart again and
pushed it forward considerably. I think sometimes it helps to be
dispassionate.

Jackson
2006-02-01 04:50:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kent Murdick
He was a hell of a player as an undergraduate but
he hasn't seemed to have improve much since then except that he has a
much better tone.
I'd love to improve so poorly.
Tommy Grand
2006-02-01 05:02:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jackson
I'd love to improve so poorly.
Mission accomplished
Jackson
2006-02-01 07:19:02 UTC
Permalink
Tommy, is there a premium on obnoxiousness?
Tommy Grand
2006-02-01 13:18:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jackson
Tommy, is there a premium on obnoxiousness?
75% of all people using this phrase are you.
http://groups.google.com/groups?q=%22premium+on+obnoxiousness%22&qt_s=Search
Kent Murdick
2006-02-01 00:01:08 UTC
Permalink
Was that teacher Mo? >>>
No, I only took one lesson from MO. MO had my right hand tied into a
knot so bad that my fingers would not move. Something about "Alexander
LaGoya teachnique as I recall. I didn't listen to him and later
studied with Leonid Bolotine at Mannes in NYC (Fred Hand was there at
the time. ) Bolotine was the guy who encouraged me to practice my bad
habits for six hours a day.
Jackson
2006-02-01 00:16:28 UTC
Permalink
Kent, what do you think of Fred Hand?
John Nguyen
2006-02-01 00:39:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kent Murdick
Was that teacher Mo? >>>
No, I only took one lesson from MO. MO had my right hand tied into a
knot so bad that my fingers would not move. Something about "Alexander
LaGoya teachnique as I recall. I didn't listen to him and later
studied with Leonid Bolotine at Mannes in NYC (Fred Hand was there at
the time. ) Bolotine was the guy who encouraged me to practice my bad
habits for six hours a day.
I can see now why you're so pasionate about advising newbies to get
good teachers. Two years of intensive daily grinding on bad habits is
just too much.
Cheers,

John
dsi1
2006-01-31 22:20:36 UTC
Permalink
I think that your tale of woe is true, but the old saying that the man
who wastes two years by teaching himself nothing must have a fool for a
teacher must also be true. At least you're persistent.

dsi1
Post by Kent Murdick
Post by Outlander
'm not trying to impress or anger anyone here, but what good is a
one-sided discussion with people who are not self-taught. >>>>
I tught myself for the first two years and then I went to a
well-known moron teacher in NYC who told me to practice what I was
doing wrong twice as hard. I practiced three hours a day in the wrong
direction and he said I was lazy, so I ramped it up to 6 hours a day. I
did that for a year and half and I never really recovered.
But I digress, let's talk about my two years of self-teaching. I
DIDN'T LEARN A FUCKING THING! Actually I learned less than nothing.
I was well on the road to bacoming a Will Clinger.
Che'
2006-02-01 01:06:50 UTC
Permalink
I think that your tale of woe is true, but the old saying that the man who
wastes two years by teaching himself nothing must have a fool for a
teacher must also be true. At least you're persistent.
dsi1<
I think Kent was really wrapped around the axil at one time with the guitar
thingie, like many I've known. We have all seen him get "wrapped" on some
purely pendantic issue. This is Kent's nature. Kent, I imagine was so
intense in trying to do the *right* thing, that sensible actions may have
totally escaped him. I have a friend very much like that. If Mo was that
teacher I could certainly understand that happening and deciding to teach
himself. I think Kent's writing is very carthardic. He lays his cards
face up on the table, win, lose, or draw. Kent has the guts to put it all
out there. What's not to like about t

In my daily notes for this day last year, 01/31/05, I saved this, from
soc.culture.israel :

Why Don Quixote is more important than Einstein
Simon Jenkins
It is the 400th anniversary of Don Quixote, a more important work than all
of Einstein's theories


A PICTURE of a battered warrior sits on my desk. I found it in a Bloomsbury
print shop many years ago. He sits thin and sad on an ass, his helmet
broken, his armour gone. He arrives home late at night to be greeted with
joy and relief by his loving household. He has returned from knight
errantry, to recover his reason and die. He is my icon.


This month we celebrate two anniversaries. One is of Einstein's Special
Theory of Relativity (1905), a great work of Western civilisation. The other
is Cervantes's Don Quixote (1605), also a great work of Western
civilisation. The first is greeted with BBC specials, colour supplements,
postage stamps and a United Nations Year of Physics. The other, at least
outside Spain, is being ignored. Which merits the bigger salute?


I have no quarrel with Einstein. The mobsters of Big Science have declared
him master of the Universe. His brain was measured and his shoes embalmed.
Women wrote him letters wanting to have his babies. His thoughts are
installed in Newton's temple and not found wanting. Einstein is cool.


But if Einstein had not existed, physics would sooner or later have invented
him. I am sure of that. His theory of relativity was an understanding of
nature. It lay over the cosmic horizon, awaiting discovery by the first
genius to pass its way. Einstein was its Columbus.


Not so Miguel de Cervantes. He surveyed the landscape of post-medieval
Europe and asked, but where is Man? He grasped at valour, love, loyalty,
triumph and mortification and, like his contemporary, Shakespeare,
compressed them in a human frame. He told a tale like no other man. If
Cervantes had not existed, he could not have been invented. There would be a
hole in the tapestry of Europe.


Few English people read Don Quixote, probably because they think they know
it already. We have heard of his fantasies and ordeals, of his poor horse
and loyal squire, Sancho Panza, "not rich but well-flogged". We know of the
tilting at windmills and ludicrous deeds to impress his yearning for the
matchless Dulcinea del Toboso. The man is mad and not of our time.


That is not the half of it. In 1605 there was also the publication of the
full text of Hamlet. Quixote and Hamlet are often compared, though rarely by
the chauvinist British. They share ghosts and demons, passion and honour,
and they use plays within plays as metaphors. They both lead us over the
bridge from the Middle Ages to introspection and the modern era. But Quixote
is the more inventive, funnier, sadder, the loftier mind and the better
conversationalist. His dialogues with Sancho, the knightly believer and the
doubting servant, are among the most enchanting in literature.


Cervantes lived his character. He fought the Turks at Lepanto in 1571, the
culminating struggle of medieval Europe. He lost his left hand, was enslaved
in Africa and imprisoned in Spain. His plays were failures. His life was a
mess. Yet in just a few months of 1605 he wrote a book which soared beyond
its time.


The two parts of Don Quixote are as different as thesis and antithesis. The
Don of the first part is the true fantasist, sated on fusty old texts. He
sets out to re-enact the rules of chivalry, to defend justice and love in a
sinful world. He battles with windmills, sheep and innkeepers' daughters. In
his great essay on the Don, Carlos Fuentes talks of "art giving life to what
history has killed".


Part II breaks step with the past. The Don hears tell of his own exploits,
indeed of his own book. Already he has chastised Sancho for thinking him
unaware that Dulcinea is not a great beauty. He knows that she is a vulgar
village girl, but she is the nobler for it. "Come Sancho," he cries, "it is
enough for me to think her beautiful and virtuous . . . I paint her in my
imagination as I desire her." A million Spanish women cheer. We are no
longer sure who is poking fun at whom. Who are we to legislate between dream
and reality? We are players and audience alike in the charade.


Hence the Don leaps up from a puppet show and decapitates the model
soldiers, to stop them arresting a lover and his princess as they escape to
freedom. He then richly compensates the puppeteer for this "debt of honour".
In the last chapter comes the final synthesis. The dying Quixote renounces
the "dark shadows of ignorance" that came from reading "my detestable books
on chivalry". He regrets only that he has no time to read "other books that
can be a light to the soul".


Don Quixote is supposedly the most popular novel in history. The Don was
worshipped by Sterne, Goethe, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Kafka and Melville. Two
years ago his saga was voted the best novel of all time by the world's
"hundred top writers".


Millions have come to regard Quixote as a friend for life. Like Cervantes,
they have slaved in the galleys at Lepanto and emerged with only their
dreams to live for. Like Quixote they have hoped beyond hope and loved
beyond love. All of us sometimes see windmills as giants, and giants as
windmills. Everyone has a knight errant within them, guiding his lance and
turning the most humble career into a noble crusade. Like Quixote we long to
leap on life's stage, to warm Mimi's frozen hand or stay Othello's dagger.
We imagine that frump in the Tube as the matchless Dulcinea, at least until
Tottenham Court Road. (SORRY)


Somehow I shall survive without Einstein. I can drive spaceship Earth
without knowing the workings of the atom. But I cannot do without my icon. I
raise my glass to the Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance, Don Quixote of La
Mancha, as he trots across the plain of life in search of self-fulfilment.
He knew that reason would triumph, but he also knew that reason was not
enough. Quixote's epitaph ran: "It was his great good fortune to live a
madman and die sane." Amen to that.


the times.
Post by Kent Murdick
Post by Outlander
'm not trying to impress or anger anyone here, but what good is a
one-sided discussion with people who are not self-taught. >>>>
I tught myself for the first two years and then I went to a
well-known moron teacher in NYC who told me to practice what I was
doing wrong twice as hard. I practiced three hours a day in the wrong
direction and he said I was lazy, so I ramped it up to 6 hours a day. I
did that for a year and half and I never really recovered.
But I digress, let's talk about my two years of self-teaching. I
DIDN'T LEARN A FUCKING THING! Actually I learned less than nothing.
I was well on the road to bacoming a Will Clinger.
dsi1
2006-02-01 02:44:24 UTC
Permalink
Thanks for the small tweak on my frame of perspective, big guy! I think
I can work with that. Take care.

david
Post by Che'
I think Kent was really wrapped around the axil at one time with the guitar
thingie, like many I've known. We have all seen him get "wrapped" on some
purely pendantic issue. This is Kent's nature. Kent, I imagine was so
intense in trying to do the *right* thing, that sensible actions may have
totally escaped him. I have a friend very much like that. If Mo was that
teacher I could certainly understand that happening and deciding to teach
himself. I think Kent's writing is very carthardic. He lays his cards
face up on the table, win, lose, or draw. Kent has the guts to put it all
out there. What's not to like about t
In my daily notes for this day last year, 01/31/05, I saved this, from
Why Don Quixote is more important than Einstein
Simon Jenkins
It is the 400th anniversary of Don Quixote, a more important work than all
of Einstein's theories
A PICTURE of a battered warrior sits on my desk. I found it in a Bloomsbury
print shop many years ago. He sits thin and sad on an ass, his helmet
broken, his armour gone. He arrives home late at night to be greeted with
joy and relief by his loving household. He has returned from knight
errantry, to recover his reason and die. He is my icon.
This month we celebrate two anniversaries. One is of Einstein's Special
Theory of Relativity (1905), a great work of Western civilisation. The other
is Cervantes's Don Quixote (1605), also a great work of Western
civilisation. The first is greeted with BBC specials, colour supplements,
postage stamps and a United Nations Year of Physics. The other, at least
outside Spain, is being ignored. Which merits the bigger salute?
I have no quarrel with Einstein. The mobsters of Big Science have declared
him master of the Universe. His brain was measured and his shoes embalmed.
Women wrote him letters wanting to have his babies. His thoughts are
installed in Newton's temple and not found wanting. Einstein is cool.
But if Einstein had not existed, physics would sooner or later have invented
him. I am sure of that. His theory of relativity was an understanding of
nature. It lay over the cosmic horizon, awaiting discovery by the first
genius to pass its way. Einstein was its Columbus.
Not so Miguel de Cervantes. He surveyed the landscape of post-medieval
Europe and asked, but where is Man? He grasped at valour, love, loyalty,
triumph and mortification and, like his contemporary, Shakespeare,
compressed them in a human frame. He told a tale like no other man. If
Cervantes had not existed, he could not have been invented. There would be a
hole in the tapestry of Europe.
Few English people read Don Quixote, probably because they think they know
it already. We have heard of his fantasies and ordeals, of his poor horse
and loyal squire, Sancho Panza, "not rich but well-flogged". We know of the
tilting at windmills and ludicrous deeds to impress his yearning for the
matchless Dulcinea del Toboso. The man is mad and not of our time.
That is not the half of it. In 1605 there was also the publication of the
full text of Hamlet. Quixote and Hamlet are often compared, though rarely by
the chauvinist British. They share ghosts and demons, passion and honour,
and they use plays within plays as metaphors. They both lead us over the
bridge from the Middle Ages to introspection and the modern era. But Quixote
is the more inventive, funnier, sadder, the loftier mind and the better
conversationalist. His dialogues with Sancho, the knightly believer and the
doubting servant, are among the most enchanting in literature.
Cervantes lived his character. He fought the Turks at Lepanto in 1571, the
culminating struggle of medieval Europe. He lost his left hand, was enslaved
in Africa and imprisoned in Spain. His plays were failures. His life was a
mess. Yet in just a few months of 1605 he wrote a book which soared beyond
its time.
The two parts of Don Quixote are as different as thesis and antithesis. The
Don of the first part is the true fantasist, sated on fusty old texts. He
sets out to re-enact the rules of chivalry, to defend justice and love in a
sinful world. He battles with windmills, sheep and innkeepers' daughters. In
his great essay on the Don, Carlos Fuentes talks of "art giving life to what
history has killed".
Part II breaks step with the past. The Don hears tell of his own exploits,
indeed of his own book. Already he has chastised Sancho for thinking him
unaware that Dulcinea is not a great beauty. He knows that she is a vulgar
village girl, but she is the nobler for it. "Come Sancho," he cries, "it is
enough for me to think her beautiful and virtuous . . . I paint her in my
imagination as I desire her." A million Spanish women cheer. We are no
longer sure who is poking fun at whom. Who are we to legislate between dream
and reality? We are players and audience alike in the charade.
Hence the Don leaps up from a puppet show and decapitates the model
soldiers, to stop them arresting a lover and his princess as they escape to
freedom. He then richly compensates the puppeteer for this "debt of honour".
In the last chapter comes the final synthesis. The dying Quixote renounces
the "dark shadows of ignorance" that came from reading "my detestable books
on chivalry". He regrets only that he has no time to read "other books that
can be a light to the soul".
Don Quixote is supposedly the most popular novel in history. The Don was
worshipped by Sterne, Goethe, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Kafka and Melville. Two
years ago his saga was voted the best novel of all time by the world's
"hundred top writers".
Millions have come to regard Quixote as a friend for life. Like Cervantes,
they have slaved in the galleys at Lepanto and emerged with only their
dreams to live for. Like Quixote they have hoped beyond hope and loved
beyond love. All of us sometimes see windmills as giants, and giants as
windmills. Everyone has a knight errant within them, guiding his lance and
turning the most humble career into a noble crusade. Like Quixote we long to
leap on life's stage, to warm Mimi's frozen hand or stay Othello's dagger.
We imagine that frump in the Tube as the matchless Dulcinea, at least until
Tottenham Court Road. (SORRY)
Somehow I shall survive without Einstein. I can drive spaceship Earth
without knowing the workings of the atom. But I cannot do without my icon. I
raise my glass to the Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance, Don Quixote of La
Mancha, as he trots across the plain of life in search of self-fulfilment.
He knew that reason would triumph, but he also knew that reason was not
enough. Quixote's epitaph ran: "It was his great good fortune to live a
madman and die sane." Amen to that.
the times.
Post by Kent Murdick
Post by Outlander
'm not trying to impress or anger anyone here, but what good is a
one-sided discussion with people who are not self-taught. >>>>
I tught myself for the first two years and then I went to a
well-known moron teacher in NYC who told me to practice what I was
doing wrong twice as hard. I practiced three hours a day in the wrong
direction and he said I was lazy, so I ramped it up to 6 hours a day. I
did that for a year and half and I never really recovered.
But I digress, let's talk about my two years of self-teaching. I
DIDN'T LEARN A FUCKING THING! Actually I learned less than nothing.
I was well on the road to bacoming a Will Clinger.
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