Discussion:
Technique Can't Be Taught?
(too old to reply)
a***@yahoo.com
2016-06-13 12:54:08 UTC
Permalink
In a current thread, this assertion caught my eye:

"A great teacher does not teach the mechanics of playing
the guitar. You can get that stuff in books and on Youtube."

So according to this assertion, technique either can't or shouldn't be taught during a lesson.

Why?

In fact, the above quote seems absurd. It suggests that technique should learned, but only via books and video. For reasons left unsaid, having a teacher present in the room somehow invalidates good technical instruction.

Again, why?

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
d***@gmail.com
2016-06-13 13:11:51 UTC
Permalink
Tom,
David is a nice guy, but this is coming from someone who has taught approximately one person by his own admission and has exact zero successful sstudents. The statement is absolutely absurd and has no basis in reality. It is the same as a 2nd grader who still learning to read attempting to explain grammar. No David, I don't think you are stupid, I just think you talking about something you have little to credibility to back up your words and ideas. Learnwell comes off as an arrogant ass on here, but he does have credibility. Sorry typical Usernet.

Doug
wollybird
2016-06-13 13:59:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
Tom,
David is a nice guy, but this is coming from someone who has taught approximately one person by his own admission and has exact zero successful sstudents. The statement is absolutely absurd and has no basis in reality. It is the same as a 2nd grader who still learning to read attempting to explain grammar. No David, I don't think you are stupid, I just think you talking about something you have little to credibility to back up your words and ideas. Learnwell comes off as an arrogant ass on here, but he does have credibility. Sorry typical Usernet.
Doug
Yes, every group needs it's Edward Albee
dsi1
2016-06-13 18:20:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
Tom,
David is a nice guy, but this is coming from someone who has taught approximately one person by his own admission and has exact zero successful sstudents. The statement is absolutely absurd and has no basis in reality. It is the same as a 2nd grader who still learning to read attempting to explain grammar. No David, I don't think you are stupid, I just think you talking about something you have little to credibility to back up your words and ideas. Learnwell comes off as an arrogant ass on here, but he does have credibility. Sorry typical Usernet.
Doug
I respectfully disagree - the real function of a beginning guitar teacher is not to teach guitar but to foster a love of music first and the guitar second. I never liked the way my student played. His hand position was awful and gave me the creeps. That guy sort of resented me not going to see him on gigs but it was unavoidable - I'm not that kind of guy. The happy ending to this story that I met him about a year ago and he played for me some fingerstyle jazz arrangements of his. I was most impressed. The student should alway be better than the teacher if the world is to be in balance!

Teaching is the easiest thing in the world. I teach everyday. The only thing you need is a willing student and you have it made in the shade.
Learnwell
2016-06-13 18:52:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
Post by d***@gmail.com
Tom,
David is a nice guy, but this is coming from someone who has taught approximately one person by his own admission and has exact zero successful sstudents. The statement is absolutely absurd and has no basis in reality. It is the same as a 2nd grader who still learning to read attempting to explain grammar. No David, I don't think you are stupid, I just think you talking about something you have little to credibility to back up your words and ideas. Learnwell comes off as an arrogant ass on here, but he does have credibility. Sorry typical Usernet.
Doug
I respectfully disagree - the real function of a beginning guitar teacher is not to teach guitar but to foster a love of music first and the guitar second. I never liked the way my student played. His hand position was awful and gave me the creeps. That guy sort of resented me not going to see him on gigs but it was unavoidable - I'm not that kind of guy. The happy ending to this story that I met him about a year ago and he played for me some fingerstyle jazz arrangements of his. I was most impressed. The student should alway be better than the teacher if the world is to be in balance!
Teaching is the easiest thing in the world. I teach everyday. The only thing you need is a willing student and you have it made in the shade.
Typical Usenet.
dsi1
2016-06-13 18:54:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by dsi1
Post by d***@gmail.com
Tom,
David is a nice guy, but this is coming from someone who has taught approximately one person by his own admission and has exact zero successful sstudents. The statement is absolutely absurd and has no basis in reality. It is the same as a 2nd grader who still learning to read attempting to explain grammar. No David, I don't think you are stupid, I just think you talking about something you have little to credibility to back up your words and ideas. Learnwell comes off as an arrogant ass on here, but he does have credibility. Sorry typical Usernet.
Doug
I respectfully disagree - the real function of a beginning guitar teacher is not to teach guitar but to foster a love of music first and the guitar second. I never liked the way my student played. His hand position was awful and gave me the creeps. That guy sort of resented me not going to see him on gigs but it was unavoidable - I'm not that kind of guy. The happy ending to this story that I met him about a year ago and he played for me some fingerstyle jazz arrangements of his. I was most impressed. The student should alway be better than the teacher if the world is to be in balance!
Teaching is the easiest thing in the world. I teach everyday. The only thing you need is a willing student and you have it made in the shade.
Typical Usenet.
Typical Learnwell.
Andrew Schulman
2016-06-13 20:28:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
Post by Learnwell
Post by dsi1
Post by d***@gmail.com
Tom,
David is a nice guy, but this is coming from someone who has taught approximately one person by his own admission and has exact zero successful sstudents. The statement is absolutely absurd and has no basis in reality. It is the same as a 2nd grader who still learning to read attempting to explain grammar. No David, I don't think you are stupid, I just think you talking about something you have little to credibility to back up your words and ideas. Learnwell comes off as an arrogant ass on here, but he does have credibility. Sorry typical Usernet.
Doug
I respectfully disagree - the real function of a beginning guitar teacher is not to teach guitar but to foster a love of music first and the guitar second. I never liked the way my student played. His hand position was awful and gave me the creeps. That guy sort of resented me not going to see him on gigs but it was unavoidable - I'm not that kind of guy. The happy ending to this story that I met him about a year ago and he played for me some fingerstyle jazz arrangements of his. I was most impressed. The student should alway be better than the teacher if the world is to be in balance!
Teaching is the easiest thing in the world. I teach everyday. The only thing you need is a willing student and you have it made in the shade.
Typical Usenet.
Typical Learnwell.
Yes! The words *Typical Usenet* are in every way, *Typical Learnwell*!

Andrew
dsi1
2016-06-13 20:42:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by dsi1
Post by Learnwell
Post by dsi1
Post by d***@gmail.com
Tom,
David is a nice guy, but this is coming from someone who has taught approximately one person by his own admission and has exact zero successful sstudents. The statement is absolutely absurd and has no basis in reality. It is the same as a 2nd grader who still learning to read attempting to explain grammar. No David, I don't think you are stupid, I just think you talking about something you have little to credibility to back up your words and ideas. Learnwell comes off as an arrogant ass on here, but he does have credibility. Sorry typical Usernet.
Doug
I respectfully disagree - the real function of a beginning guitar teacher is not to teach guitar but to foster a love of music first and the guitar second. I never liked the way my student played. His hand position was awful and gave me the creeps. That guy sort of resented me not going to see him on gigs but it was unavoidable - I'm not that kind of guy. The happy ending to this story that I met him about a year ago and he played for me some fingerstyle jazz arrangements of his. I was most impressed. The student should alway be better than the teacher if the world is to be in balance!
Teaching is the easiest thing in the world. I teach everyday. The only thing you need is a willing student and you have it made in the shade.
Typical Usenet.
Typical Learnwell.
Yes! The words *Typical Usenet* are in every way, *Typical Learnwell*!
Andrew
At least it's not Typical Delcamp - not that there's anything wrong with
that.
a***@yahoo.com
2016-06-13 13:44:38 UTC
Permalink
As it happens, I also disagree with the quote I cited. (Doubtless that's a surprise to no one.) But I believe it's a topic worthy of discussion. The belief illustrated in the quote I cited is more prevalent than one might think. For example, I recently spoke to a guitarist about a major conservatory guitar program in Europe. He told me that in this program, no one discusses technique. They talk only about music. When it comes to technique, students are on their own.

This is pretty much the attitude David espoused.

Further, if this attitude is wrong, then it should be refuted with something other than: "I'm right—you're wrong." People should have reasons for what they believe. They shouldn't be afraid to describe their reasons. Finally, let's not assume that all are rigidly doctrinaire and will never change their minds, even in the face of contrary good evidence.

This is a chat group. So let's chat.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Matt Faunce
2016-06-13 14:50:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
"A great teacher does not teach the mechanics of playing
the guitar. You can get that stuff in books and on Youtube."
So according to this assertion, technique either can't or shouldn't be
taught during a lesson.
Why?
In fact, the above quote seems absurd. It suggests that technique should
learned, but only via books and video. For reasons left unsaid, having a
teacher present in the room somehow invalidates good technical instruction.
Again, why?
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
David's point is this:

If someone is playing the guitar he's using a technique; that technique
yields the sound it made; another technique yields a different sound; and
the idea that his sound is not good but the sound from a different
technique is good is not an absolute truth: it's purely a matter of taste.

It's a philosophical problem.
--
Matt
Matt Faunce
2016-06-13 15:24:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by a***@yahoo.com
"A great teacher does not teach the mechanics of playing
the guitar. You can get that stuff in books and on Youtube."
So according to this assertion, technique either can't or shouldn't be
taught during a lesson.
Why?
In fact, the above quote seems absurd. It suggests that technique should
learned, but only via books and video. For reasons left unsaid, having a
teacher present in the room somehow invalidates good technical instruction.
Again, why?
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
If someone is playing the guitar he's using a technique; that technique
yields the sound it made; another technique yields a different sound; and
the idea that his sound is not good but the sound from a different
technique is good is not an absolute truth: it's purely a matter of taste.
It's a philosophical problem.
He's furthermore saying: a beginning guitarist has a choice: follow a
teacher's technique, which accords with a specific taste that's probably
not the beginner's, or let his technique form according to his own taste.
He's saying technique will find its way; and YouTube, showing a wider
variety of techniques than any single teacher ever shows, will help the
talented student develop the technique that matches his taste.

So the question to be answered is this: is taste indoctrinated via the
teaching of technique?
--
Matt
Steve Freides
2016-06-13 18:01:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
"A great teacher does not teach the mechanics of playing
the guitar. You can get that stuff in books and on Youtube."
So according to this assertion, technique either can't or shouldn't
be taught during a lesson.
Why?
In fact, the above quote seems absurd. It suggests that technique
should learned, but only via books and video. For reasons left
unsaid, having a teacher present in the room somehow invalidates good
technical instruction.
Again, why?
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Tom, never argue with a fool; people might not know the difference.

Of course technique should be taught by a teacher - duh.

-S-
dsi1
2016-06-13 18:10:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
"A great teacher does not teach the mechanics of playing
the guitar. You can get that stuff in books and on Youtube."
So according to this assertion, technique either can't or shouldn't be taught during a lesson.
Why?
In fact, the above quote seems absurd. It suggests that technique should learned, but only via books and video. For reasons left unsaid, having a teacher present in the room somehow invalidates good technical instruction.
Again, why?
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Everybody interacts with the guitar strings in their own way. Ultimately, teaching the guitar is one of giving suggestions. These suggestions are either accepted or rejected by the student. Mostly it has to do with the geometry of their body and how they're neurologically wired. They may even change their playing temporarily to please the teacher. The teacher will fool themselves into thinking that the student is being molded into their own image but that's an illusion of perception.

For more info on the folly of trying to mold guitarists into the proper/correct form, I suggest the most authoritative book on the subject:

https://www.amazon.com/Segovia-Technique-Vladimir-Bobri/dp/0933224494
David Raleigh Arnold
2016-06-13 17:52:19 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 13 Jun 2016 05:54:08 -0700 (PDT)
Post by a***@yahoo.com
"A great teacher does not teach the mechanics of playing
the guitar. You can get that stuff in books and on Youtube."
Segovia didn't teach much technique in master classes
for several reasons which have nothing to do with
what journeyman teachers should do or wish to do in
lessons.

1. He did not like teaching beginners, and technique
is something that should be learned as a beginner.

2. He did not want to discourage new ideas. He wanted
to avoid confining the student.

3. He was not totally confident in his own technique.
He died with some issues still unresolved.
Post by a***@yahoo.com
So according to this assertion, technique either
can't or shouldn't be taught during a lesson.

It doesn't follow. Regards, Rale
a***@yahoo.com
2016-06-14 13:04:06 UTC
Permalink
First off, let’s dispense with the notion that Segovia has anything to do with a discussion of good teaching. It’s no secret that he wasn’t a good teacher. He’s no more relevant to good teaching than Donald Trump is to statesmanship.
I respectfully disagree—the real function of a beginning guitar
teacher is not to teach guitar but to foster a love of music first
and the guitar second.
Are you saying you wouldn’t show a beginner how to hold the guitar? If your students laid the guitar on their laps and played it that way (something kids typically do), you would ignore it and instead natter on about the joy of music? If students played every stopped note with only one finger of the left hand, would you ignore it? If your students plucked a string by grabbing it between thumb and index finger, would you say nothing?

Moving forward to more advanced students, imagine those who consistently scrape the bass strings when playing right hand alternation. Would you merely call their attention to the scraping noise without telling them how to eliminate it? Why? What’s the point of withholding information that would help them sound better? Apparently you see teaching as a game of “I know something you don’t know.”

A fundamental part of guitar teaching is to know how to do things well, and to be able to explain it so students don’t waste time wallowing in ignorance. And that applies to every aspect of guitar playing. Technique is an indispensable part of playing the guitar. A teacher who entirely ignores it is incompetent.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
dsi1
2016-06-14 16:12:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
First off, let’s dispense with the notion that Segovia has anything to do with a discussion of good teaching. It’s no secret that he wasn’t a good teacher. He’s no more relevant to good teaching than Donald Trump is to statesmanship.
I respectfully disagree—the real function of a beginning guitar
teacher is not to teach guitar but to foster a love of music first
and the guitar second.
Are you saying you wouldn’t show a beginner how to hold the guitar? If your students laid the guitar on their laps and played it that way (something kids typically do), you would ignore it and instead natter on about the joy of music? If students played every stopped note with only one finger of the left hand, would you ignore it? If your students plucked a string by grabbing it between thumb and index finger, would you say nothing?
Moving forward to more advanced students, imagine those who consistently scrape the bass strings when playing right hand alternation. Would you merely call their attention to the scraping noise without telling them how to eliminate it? Why? What’s the point of withholding information that would help them sound better? Apparently you see teaching as a game of “I know something you don’t know.”
A fundamental part of guitar teaching is to know how to do things well, and to be able to explain it so students don’t waste time wallowing in ignorance. And that applies to every aspect of guitar playing. Technique is an indispensable part of playing the guitar. A teacher who entirely ignores it is incompetent.
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
One can teach a student how to hold a guitar or change guitar strings. One can call attention to string scraping and perhaps even get the student to stop doing this. That's not what I'm talking about. What cannot be done is getting the student to operate against his body mechanics and his neurological wiring to play to the teacher's preference. My point is that most classical guitar teachers operate in this ego-driven manner instead of allowing the student to learn in their individual way. My second point is that believing that you've succeeding in molding the student in your image is an illusion. A nice, tidy, delusion.

These are not difficult ideas to understand. Take it or leave it. You get to choose what you want to believe. Ain't life grand? :)
Richard Yates
2016-06-14 20:10:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
What cannot be done is getting the student to operate against his body mechanics and his neurological wiring
What is gapingly absent from your theory is the recognition that
teaching usually involves helping the student to NOT work against his
body's mechanics and, rather, to find those more quickly than if left
on his own.
dsi1
2016-06-14 20:16:46 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 14 Jun 2016 09:12:24 -0700 (PDT), dsi1 <dsi1>
Post by dsi1
What cannot be done is getting the student to operate against his body mechanics and his neurological wiring
What is gapingly absent from your theory is the recognition that
teaching usually involves helping the student to NOT work against his
body's mechanics and, rather, to find those more quickly than if left
on his own.
Point taken, I've not seen that attitude displayed here. It's a good attitude.
a***@yahoo.com
2016-06-15 00:33:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
One can teach a student how to hold a guitar or
change guitar strings. One can call attention to
string scraping and perhaps even get the student
to stop doing this. That's not what I'm talking about.
What cannot be done is getting the student to operate
against his body mechanics and his neurological wiring
to play to the teacher's preference. My point is that
most classical guitar teachers operate in this ego-driven
manner instead of allowing the student to learn in their
individual way. My second point is that believing that
you've succeeding in molding the student in your
image is an illusion. A nice, tidy, delusion.
You have an incredibly negative attitude toward teachers. And your description of teachers is one that bears little resemblance to what I see on a daily basis. I see teachers working hard to help their students enjoy music and learn how to make it. I see teachers contributing their time—usually unpaid—to organize recitals for their students. I see teachers who take pride in watching students grow in confidence and competence.

Yes, there are bad teachers—there are bad apples in every profession. But to pigeonhole “most classical guitar teachers” as you’re doing is cynicism run amok. One can only wonder at how a mindset such as yours comes about.

To move this discussion beyond your hazy and ominous buzzwords, you could offer a sample of “getting the student to operate against his body mechanics and his neurological wiring.” You imply that there’s an epidemic of this going on. Okay, please describe an instance. One will do for starters.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
d***@gmail.com
2016-06-15 01:28:13 UTC
Permalink
Tom said:
You have an incredibly negative attitude toward teachers. And your description of teachers is one that bears little resemblance to what I see on a daily basis. I see teachers working hard to help their students enjoy music and learn how to make it. I see teachers contributing their time—usually unpaid—to organize recitals for their students. I see teachers who take pride in watching students grow in confidence and competence.

Yes, there are bad teachers—there are bad apples in every profession. But to pigeonhole “most classical guitar teachers” as you’re doing is cynicism run amok. One can only wonder at how a mindset such as yours comes about.

To move this discussion beyond your hazy and ominous buzzwords, you could offer a sample of “getting the student to operate against his body mechanics and his neurological wiring.” You imply that there’s an epidemic of this going on. Okay, please describe an instance. One will do for starters.

Doug:

A-fucking- men! Every good teacher I know donates time towards students which they never get paid for. I just did it last week. The pay is watching your students grow in a performance setting. And not grow in our image but their own. BTW, this is a very twisted idea you have about teachers wanting to make their student be just like them.

I don't know any good teacher that works against the principles of sound body mechanics and anatomical alignment. The human body is remarkably similar from person to person and this includes the hand. Good technical principles are universal to humans regardless of the technical method- barring a physical anomaly. To say otherwise is going against science and silly. A given student DOES NOT have special mechanics specific to the student which other students do not have as well.

Your citing the 'use of pictures' etc. by Vladimir Bobri really illustrates just how out of touch your ideas about what actually happens in a 21st century classical guitar studio with a good teacher.
dsi1
2016-06-15 01:57:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by dsi1
One can teach a student how to hold a guitar or
change guitar strings. One can call attention to
string scraping and perhaps even get the student
to stop doing this. That's not what I'm talking about.
What cannot be done is getting the student to operate
against his body mechanics and his neurological wiring
to play to the teacher's preference. My point is that
most classical guitar teachers operate in this ego-driven
manner instead of allowing the student to learn in their
individual way. My second point is that believing that
you've succeeding in molding the student in your
image is an illusion. A nice, tidy, delusion.
You have an incredibly negative attitude toward teachers. And your description of teachers is one that bears little resemblance to what I see on a daily basis. I see teachers working hard to help their students enjoy music and learn how to make it. I see teachers contributing their time—usually unpaid—to organize recitals for their students. I see teachers who take pride in watching students grow in confidence and competence.
Yes, there are bad teachers—there are bad apples in every profession. But to pigeonhole “most classical guitar teachers” as you’re doing is cynicism run amok. One can only wonder at how a mindset such as yours comes about.
To move this discussion beyond your hazy and ominous buzzwords, you could offer a sample of “getting the student to operate against his body mechanics and his neurological wiring.” You imply that there’s an epidemic of this going on. Okay, please describe an instance. One will do for starters.
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
This is not true at all. I have much respect for teachers. I don't care
for the ones that try to make their students fit their needs and egos.
Hey, I've read the posts. I see what's going on.

I stated my views and you can state yours. I think that's quite fair.
What I'm not going to do is go back and forth repeating the same things
over and over. You got a whole gang of players here that go for that
kind of sport. Feel free but count me out.

Don't make this about you or me. I'm not interested in talking about
personalities in this group and I sure as hell don't want to discuss
your opinion of my opinions.
a***@yahoo.com
2016-06-15 02:57:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
I have much respect for teachers. I don't care
for the ones that try to make their students fit their needs and egos.
Hey, I've read the posts. I see what's going on.
I stated my views and you can state yours. I think that's quite fair.
What I'm not going to do is go back and forth repeating the same things
over and over. You got a whole gang of players here that go for that
kind of sport. Feel free but count me out.
Don't make this about you or me. I'm not interested in talking about
personalities in this group and I sure as hell don't want to discuss
your opinion of my opinions.
You haven’t repeated anything. You haven’t offered a single post to back your claim. In fact, other than Segovia, you’ve offered no other evidence of teachers who “try to make their students fit their needs and egos.” That’s a long way from proving that “most classical guitar teachers operate in this ego-driven manner.” That you can’t defend your wide net of insults is your problem, not mine.

Also bear in mind, this discussion is about your claim that guitar technique shouldn’t be taught. You’ve taken an aberrant example of a bad teacher and used it to dismiss wholesale something unrelated. Indeed, it’s hard to see why you’ve concluded anything about technique training based on Segovia’s example. You might more logically conclude that musicianship shouldn’t be taught. Segovia’s flaw, after all, was to insist that students mimic his musicianship. He was relatively indifferent to their technique.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
dsi1
2016-06-15 04:11:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by dsi1
I have much respect for teachers. I don't care
for the ones that try to make their students fit their needs and egos.
Hey, I've read the posts. I see what's going on.
I stated my views and you can state yours. I think that's quite fair.
What I'm not going to do is go back and forth repeating the same things
over and over. You got a whole gang of players here that go for that
kind of sport. Feel free but count me out.
Don't make this about you or me. I'm not interested in talking about
personalities in this group and I sure as hell don't want to discuss
your opinion of my opinions.
You haven’t repeated anything. You haven’t offered a single post to back your claim. In fact, other than Segovia, you’ve offered no other evidence of teachers who “try to make their students fit their needs and egos.” That’s a long way from proving that “most classical guitar teachers operate in this ego-driven manner.” That you can’t defend your wide net of insults is your problem, not mine.
Also bear in mind, this discussion is about your claim that guitar technique shouldn’t be taught. You’ve taken an aberrant example of a bad teacher and used it to dismiss wholesale something unrelated. Indeed, it’s hard to see why you’ve concluded anything about technique training based on Segovia’s example. You might more logically conclude that musicianship shouldn’t be taught. Segovia’s flaw, after all, was to insist that students mimic his musicianship. He was relatively indifferent to their technique.
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
You're taking this way too personal. Do ideas that run counter to your beliefs threaten you? Get a grip man. I'm not going to run through hoops for you because you don't really care about what I have to say. Mostly you just love the sound of your own voice. You got ideas of your own? State them. Leave mine alone.
a***@yahoo.com
2016-06-15 11:41:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
You're taking this way too personal. Do ideas that run counter
to your beliefs threaten you? Get a grip man. I'm not going to
run through hoops for you because you don't really care about
what I have to say. Mostly you just love the sound of your own
voice. You got ideas of your own? State them. Leave mine alone.
The person unwilling to discuss ideas is you, not me. I’ve repeatedly asked you to explain yourself. You repeatedly refuse. And then you complain that I don’t care about listening to you. It’s hard to care about listening to someone whose response is essentially “go to hell.”

Maybe your ideas need a reassessment. At the very least, you might reconsider the propriety of demonizing an entire profession, and then affecting wide-eyed innocence when someone calls you on it.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Curmudgeon
2016-06-15 13:09:17 UTC
Permalink
you might reconsider the propriety of demonizing an entire profession, and then > affecting wide-eyed innocence when someone calls you on it...
Hey, this approach seems to be working for the orange guy - apparently "people" love him.
b***@optimum.net
2016-06-15 14:54:11 UTC
Permalink
I've read most of these replies, Tom (et al), and I agree with you.
People seek a teacher for either themselves or their kids BECAUSE they want to learn technique and all the other factors involved in learning correctly.

Many teachers today 'advertise' they inspire a 'love of music' first, and it is simply wrong. I think we can assume that if one goes out of their way to study, they already possess a love of music.

If one starts out on the wrong foot, then it is safe to say that, regardless of their goals, they will never be able to participate on a professional level.

I've taught far too many students who required 'fixing mistakes' wrought upon them by bad teachers of the past. It's heartbreaking for most to see that after so much study they have learned so very little.
dsi1
2016-06-15 17:10:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by dsi1
You're taking this way too personal. Do ideas that run counter
to your beliefs threaten you? Get a grip man. I'm not going to
run through hoops for you because you don't really care about
what I have to say. Mostly you just love the sound of your own
voice. You got ideas of your own? State them. Leave mine alone.
The person unwilling to discuss ideas is you, not me. I’ve repeatedly asked you to explain yourself. You repeatedly refuse. And then you complain that I don’t care about listening to you. It’s hard to care about listening to someone whose response is essentially “go to hell.”
Maybe your ideas need a reassessment. At the very least, you might reconsider the propriety of demonizing an entire profession, and then affecting wide-eyed innocence when someone calls you on it.
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
I have no problem with discussing ideas but you're more interested in having a biggest dick contest. I've seen this far too many times on this and other groups. I'm not interested in partaking. You might feel that you can demand things of me but I don't owe anybody here nothing. I shall operate on that basis.

You want to discuss some idea of mine that you might have issues with, that's fine - just don't get personal and don't demand. Where's yo manners boy?
a***@yahoo.com
2016-06-16 12:21:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
I have no problem with discussing ideas but you're more
interested in having a biggest dick contest. I've seen this
far too many times on this and other groups. I'm not interested
in partaking. You might feel that you can demand things of me
but I don't owe anybody here nothing. I shall operate on that basis.
You want to discuss some idea of mine that you might have
issues with, that's fine - just don't get personal and don't
demand. Where's yo manners boy?
Yes, I want to discuss an idea of yours that I have issues with. You, however, seem more concerned with your hurt feelings and calibrating the etiquette one must follow to ask you a question. I’m not inclined to watch you reenact the five stages of grief merely because you’ve met an idea counter to your own.

If you’re ready, I’ll be happy to discuss something of actual substance. If not, then I apologize for upsetting you.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Richard Yates
2016-06-16 12:47:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by dsi1
I have no problem with discussing ideas but you're more
interested in having a biggest dick contest. I've seen this
far too many times on this and other groups. I'm not interested
in partaking. You might feel that you can demand things of me
but I don't owe anybody here nothing. I shall operate on that basis.
You want to discuss some idea of mine that you might have
issues with, that's fine - just don't get personal and don't
demand. Where's yo manners boy?
Yes, I want to discuss an idea of yours that I have issues with. You, however, seem more concerned with your hurt feelings and calibrating the etiquette one must follow to ask you a question. I’m not inclined to watch you reenact the five stages of grief merely because you’ve met an idea counter to your own.
If you’re ready, I’ll be happy to discuss something of actual substance. If not, then I apologize for upsetting you.
In all of this back-and-forth about nothing, ds1's reply to my post
indicated to me that he was in fact receptive to other views and new
information, even when it was almost exactly counter to what he
originally posted and despite my provocative and ill-advised use of
the word "gapingly."

I think it is curious that his reply received no comment, let alone
anyone using it as a productive extension of the topic.
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by dsi1
Post by dsi1
What cannot be done is getting the student to operate against his body mechanics and his neurological wiring
What is gapingly absent from your theory is the recognition that
teaching usually involves helping the student to NOT work against his
body's mechanics and, rather, to find those more quickly than if left
on his own.
Point taken, I've not seen that attitude displayed here.
It's a good attitude.
a***@yahoo.com
2016-06-16 13:44:24 UTC
Permalink
To be honest, I doubt that David really believes his assertion that I quoted at the outset of this thread. Notice that he had no objection to the examples of technical instruction I described in my 6/14 post. So his blanket condemnation of technical instruction is absurd, and he knows it. Only a fool would believe that technique can’t be taught. David isn’t a fool.

As to your question why no one has followed up on David’s reply to you:

“Point taken, I've not seen that attitude displayed here. It's a good attitude.”

He’s free to elaborate. It would be interesting to hear how he thinks your statement and his apparent attitude toward technical instruction are compatible.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Tommy Grand
2016-06-16 15:05:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
To be honest, I doubt that David really believes his assertion that I quoted at the outset of this thread. Notice that he had no objection to the examples of technical instruction I described in my 6/14 post. So his blanket condemnation of technical instruction is absurd, and he knows it. Only a fool would believe that technique can’t be taught. David isn’t a fool.
“Point taken, I've not seen that attitude displayed here. It's a good attitude.”
He’s free to elaborate. It would be interesting to hear how he thinks your statement and his apparent attitude toward technical instruction are compatible.
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Does it matter whether or not Learnwell can play worth a damn?
Curmudgeon
2016-06-16 16:49:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tommy Grand
Post by a***@yahoo.com
To be honest, I doubt that David really believes his assertion that I quoted at the outset of this thread. Notice that he had no objection to the examples of technical instruction I described in my 6/14 post. So his blanket condemnation of technical instruction is absurd, and he knows it. Only a fool would believe that technique can’t be taught. David isn’t a fool.
“Point taken, I've not seen that attitude displayed here. It's a good attitude.”
He’s free to elaborate. It would be interesting to hear how he thinks your statement and his apparent attitude toward technical instruction are compatible.
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Does it matter whether or not Learnwell can play worth a damn?
Not to me, anyway...
Andrew Schulman
2016-06-16 17:42:23 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 16 Jun 2016 05:21:28 -0700 (PDT),
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by dsi1
I have no problem with discussing ideas but you're more
interested in having a biggest dick contest. I've seen this
far too many times on this and other groups. I'm not interested
in partaking. You might feel that you can demand things of me
but I don't owe anybody here nothing. I shall operate on that basis.
You want to discuss some idea of mine that you might have
issues with, that's fine - just don't get personal and don't
demand. Where's yo manners boy?
Yes, I want to discuss an idea of yours that I have issues with. You, however, seem more concerned with your hurt feelings and calibrating the etiquette one must follow to ask you a question. I’m not inclined to watch you reenact the five stages of grief merely because you’ve met an idea counter to your own.
If you’re ready, I’ll be happy to discuss something of actual substance. If not, then I apologize for upsetting you.
In all of this back-and-forth about nothing, ds1's reply to my post
indicated to me that he was in fact receptive to other views and new
information, even when it was almost exactly counter to what he
originally posted and despite my provocative and ill-advised use of
the word "gapingly."
I think it is curious that his reply received no comment, let alone
anyone using it as a productive extension of the topic.
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by dsi1
Post by dsi1
What cannot be done is getting the student to operate against his body mechanics and his neurological wiring
What is gapingly absent from your theory is the recognition that
teaching usually involves helping the student to NOT work against his
body's mechanics and, rather, to find those more quickly than if left
on his own.
Point taken, I've not seen that attitude displayed here.
It's a good attitude.
David's a good guy. He likes to be provocative, but most of us here like to do that dance.

Andrew
dsi1
2016-06-16 16:59:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by dsi1
I have no problem with discussing ideas but you're more
interested in having a biggest dick contest. I've seen this
far too many times on this and other groups. I'm not interested
in partaking. You might feel that you can demand things of me
but I don't owe anybody here nothing. I shall operate on that basis.
You want to discuss some idea of mine that you might have
issues with, that's fine - just don't get personal and don't
demand. Where's yo manners boy?
Yes, I want to discuss an idea of yours that I have issues with. You, however, seem more concerned with your hurt feelings and calibrating the etiquette one must follow to ask you a question. I’m not inclined to watch you reenact the five stages of grief merely because you’ve met an idea counter to your own.
If you’re ready, I’ll be happy to discuss something of actual substance. If not, then I apologize for upsetting you.
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
I will propose to you that our ideas are not so far apart. Mostly, it's a difference of how we define "technique." I don't mess around with other people's word definitions or ideas because I don't have time to go through other people's stuff. If you want to get my goat, just try going through my stuff and make demands on my time. Yeah, that'll do it every time.
Andrew Schulman
2016-06-16 17:43:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
Mostly, it's a difference of how we define "technique."
The definition of technique in Webster's 5th Edition is: "That which is not tilapia."

Andrew
Tommy Grand
2016-06-16 18:05:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by dsi1
Mostly, it's a difference of how we define "technique."
The definition of technique in Webster's 5th Edition is: "That which is not tilapia."
Andrew
are you joking
Matt Faunce
2016-06-16 18:51:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tommy Grand
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by dsi1
Mostly, it's a difference of how we define "technique."
The definition of technique in Webster's 5th Edition is: "That which is not tilapia."
Andrew
are you joking
are you joking
--
Matt
a***@yahoo.com
2016-06-16 21:04:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
I will propose to you that our ideas are not so far apart.
Mostly, it's a difference of how we define "technique."
I don't mess around with other people's word definitions
or ideas because I don't have time to go through other
people's stuff. If you want to get my goat, just try going
through my stuff and make demands on my time. Yeah,
that'll do it every time.
It’s hard to know if our ideas are far apart, since you’re so dead set against explaining yours. Not sure why this is such a hot button issue for you. Also not sure why you equate asking a question with an insulting demand on your time. (Sheesh, remind me never to ask you for the time of day.)

The irony is that, during this thread, I’m one who tried to take you seriously. Other than Richard Yates, I’m the only one who seems curious about what you think. When someone asks you to explain your ideas, it’s a sign of respect. It implies that one wants to better understand what you think. It’s odd that you don’t see this.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Charlie
2016-06-16 21:21:58 UTC
Permalink
I too would like to know. I would think that technique is necessary to attain a specific sound. As an simple
example, I would think that specific grace notes have specific meanings and must be taught at the appropriate time.

Charlie
dsi1
2016-06-16 22:53:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charlie
I too would like to know. I would think that technique is necessary to attain a specific sound. As an simple
example, I would think that specific grace notes have specific meanings and must be taught at the appropriate time.
Charlie
I don't believe that technique is necessary to attain a specific sound.
A specific sound arises from a combination of the interaction of the
player's body on the strings and his neural pathways and the sound that
the player hears in their head. Everyone processes/analyzes sound
differently. If this is the case, then there's no reason to assume that
a player can achieve a specific sound through instruction. There's lots
of people that I'd like to sound like but I cannot. That's the breaks.
wollybird
2016-06-16 23:40:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
Post by Charlie
I too would like to know. I would think that technique is necessary to attain a specific sound. As an simple
example, I would think that specific grace notes have specific meanings and must be taught at the appropriate time.
Charlie
I don't believe that technique is necessary to attain a specific sound.
A specific sound arises from a combination of the interaction of the
player's body on the strings and his neural pathways and the sound that
the player hears in their head. Everyone processes/analyzes sound
differently. If this is the case, then there's no reason to assume that
a player can achieve a specific sound through instruction. There's lots
of people that I'd like to sound like but I cannot. That's the breaks.
My experience tells me I must most politely disagree, and then drop the subject/
dsi1
2016-06-17 00:07:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by wollybird
Post by dsi1
Post by Charlie
I too would like to know. I would think that technique is necessary to attain a specific sound. As an simple
example, I would think that specific grace notes have specific meanings and must be taught at the appropriate time.
Charlie
I don't believe that technique is necessary to attain a specific sound.
A specific sound arises from a combination of the interaction of the
player's body on the strings and his neural pathways and the sound that
the player hears in their head. Everyone processes/analyzes sound
differently. If this is the case, then there's no reason to assume that
a player can achieve a specific sound through instruction. There's lots
of people that I'd like to sound like but I cannot. That's the breaks.
My experience tells me I must most politely disagree, and then drop the subject/
I heartily endorse your right to state your position. I especially like
the "drop the subject" part. :)
Andrew Schulman
2016-06-17 01:37:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
I don't believe that technique is necessary to attain a specific sound.
Of course technique is necessary to attain a specific sound.

Is that specific enough for you, buddy?

Andrew
John Nguyen
2016-06-17 01:58:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by dsi1
I don't believe that technique is necessary to attain a specific sound.
Of course technique is necessary to attain a specific sound.
Is that specific enough for you, buddy?
Andrew
I think technique is necessary but not sufficient to attain a specific sound. Every ear processes sound differently, and therefore the internal loop back between producing and hearing will create a particular sound that's personal to the player. Sometimes a sweet spot is found that resonates well with most audience, then the player will be elevated to the next level. That's is my theory, and I'm sticking to it.
Cheers,

John
Andrew Schulman
2016-06-17 02:14:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Nguyen
I think technique is necessary but not sufficient to attain a specific sound. Every ear processes sound differently, and therefore the internal loop back between producing and hearing will create a particular sound that's personal to the player. Sometimes a sweet spot is found that resonates well with most audience, then the player will be elevated to the next level. That's is my theory, and I'm sticking to it.
Cheers,
technique |tekˈnēk|
noun
a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure.

That's what technique means. It's all inclusive: physical, mental, psychological, emotional.

Andrew
John Nguyen
2016-06-17 02:40:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by John Nguyen
I think technique is necessary but not sufficient to attain a specific sound. Every ear processes sound differently, and therefore the internal loop back between producing and hearing will create a particular sound that's personal to the player. Sometimes a sweet spot is found that resonates well with most audience, then the player will be elevated to the next level. That's is my theory, and I'm sticking to it.
Cheers,
technique |tekˈnēk|
noun
a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure.
That's what technique means. It's all inclusive: physical, mental, psychological, emotional.
Andrew
I think technique is one possible and probably efficient process/procedure/skill to produce a particular result, but the technique itself does not guarantee that result. Can technique be taught? Yes! Does that learned technique lead to consistent results for everyone? Not so sure!

If the technique is successfully taught and the resulting consistency is obtained, everyone who masters a sound producing technique would pick up a guitar and produce indistinguishable sound from the next person, and that's clearly not the case, right?
Cheers,

John
Andrew Schulman
2016-06-17 06:39:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Nguyen
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by John Nguyen
I think technique is necessary but not sufficient to attain a specific sound. Every ear processes sound differently, and therefore the internal loop back between producing and hearing will create a particular sound that's personal to the player. Sometimes a sweet spot is found that resonates well with most audience, then the player will be elevated to the next level. That's is my theory, and I'm sticking to it.
Cheers,
technique |tekˈnēk|
noun
a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure.
That's what technique means. It's all inclusive: physical, mental, psychological, emotional.
Andrew
I think technique is one possible and probably efficient process/procedure/skill to produce a particular result, but the technique itself does not guarantee that result. Can technique be taught? Yes! Does that learned technique lead to consistent results for everyone? Not so sure!
If the technique is successfully taught and the resulting consistency is obtained, everyone who masters a sound producing technique would pick up a guitar and produce indistinguishable sound from the next person, and that's clearly not the case, right?
Cheers,
John
I think you're overcomplicating it. Technique is simply the manner in which you do something. You can have a good technique or a bad technique, that depends on how you were taught - whether by a teacher or self-taught - and what you did with that learning. It's also dependent to other factors - physical, psychological, emotional, etc.

Most if not all people who have learned to play a musical instrument and continued to an advanced stage have a mixture of being self-taught and having a teacher. For example, someone who starts out without a teacher, then studies with someone, then continues to advance their learning and playing skills on their own. That's very common.

To have a good technique you have to have a process that fits you, like clothing that looks good because it fits well. A good teacher knows how to tailor the instruction so it works for that individual. When it comes to playing the guitar there are often different ways to achieve a desirable effect. I remember when I was a student and Jerry Willard discussed right hand technique with me we examined various possibilities. For example, whether to play off the right or left side of the nail, whether to use only nail or nail/flesh. The shape of someone's hand, the interest in a particular sound one of these approaches will make, are the kinds of things you consider when you are developing a technique. Because people have different size and shape fingers and nails, different composition to the nails (hard or soft), they will sound different, but you can have two people that have such similarity in sound that a blind fold test will result in the results being determined by chance.

Frederic Hand is well know for particularly beautiful and varied tone production. It was something he naturally gravitated to, he was self-taught in that technique. When I studied with Jerry, as just mentioned, he suggested various possibilities and I gravitated to the one I liked the most, that felt natural to me.

With an instrument like the classical guitar it is very rare to find someone who's reached a highly accomplished level who was completely self-taught. I've never heard of anyone who became a highly regarded professional classical guitarist who did it that way.

Andrew
DCaswellUK
2016-06-17 09:21:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by John Nguyen
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by John Nguyen
I think technique is necessary but not sufficient to attain a specific sound. Every ear processes sound differently, and therefore the internal loop back between producing and hearing will create a particular sound that's personal to the player. Sometimes a sweet spot is found that resonates well with most audience, then the player will be elevated to the next level. That's is my theory, and I'm sticking to it.
Cheers,
technique |tekˈnēk|
noun
a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure.
That's what technique means. It's all inclusive: physical, mental, psychological, emotional.
Andrew
I think technique is one possible and probably efficient process/procedure/skill to produce a particular result, but the technique itself does not guarantee that result. Can technique be taught? Yes! Does that learned technique lead to consistent results for everyone? Not so sure!
If the technique is successfully taught and the resulting consistency is obtained, everyone who masters a sound producing technique would pick up a guitar and produce indistinguishable sound from the next person, and that's clearly not the case, right?
Cheers,
John
I think you're overcomplicating it. Technique is simply the manner in which you do something. You can have a good technique or a bad technique, that depends on how you were taught - whether by a teacher or self-taught - and what you did with that learning. It's also dependent to other factors - physical, psychological, emotional, etc.
Most if not all people who have learned to play a musical instrument and continued to an advanced stage have a mixture of being self-taught and having a teacher. For example, someone who starts out without a teacher, then studies with someone, then continues to advance their learning and playing skills on their own. That's very common.
To have a good technique you have to have a process that fits you, like clothing that looks good because it fits well. A good teacher knows how to tailor the instruction so it works for that individual. When it comes to playing the guitar there are often different ways to achieve a desirable effect. I remember when I was a student and Jerry Willard discussed right hand technique with me we examined various possibilities. For example, whether to play off the right or left side of the nail, whether to use only nail or nail/flesh. The shape of someone's hand, the interest in a particular sound one of these approaches will make, are the kinds of things you consider when you are developing a technique. Because people have different size and shape fingers and nails, different composition to the nails (hard or soft), they will sound different, but you can have two people that have such similarity in sound that a blind fold test will result in the results being determined by chance.
Frederic Hand is well know for particularly beautiful and varied tone production. It was something he naturally gravitated to, he was self-taught in that technique. When I studied with Jerry, as just mentioned, he suggested various possibilities and I gravitated to the one I liked the most, that felt natural to me.
With an instrument like the classical guitar it is very rare to find someone who's reached a highly accomplished level who was completely self-taught. I've never heard of anyone who became a highly regarded professional classical guitarist who did it that way.
Andrew
An interesting discussion that raises many different issues. David is right to draw attention to the ability of the teacher to engender a love of the instrument and it's music. A pupil who has this will overcome all the hurdles and challenges that the instrument presents. The importance of this aspect can't be underestimated!
However it must be of benefit if there is good instruction to go alongside this. Correlation between movement and sound; learning how to produce volume and tone; clear single notes and chords, and how to coordinate the hands are all things that a good teacher can help to instill.
How much of the teacher's own 'philosophy' should be present in the student is another interesting issue. Allowing a pupil to develop there own way of doing things is a challenge for any teacher. On the other hand, a pupil may choose a certain teacher exacly because he plays/thinks in a way that the pupil would like to emulate.
My own idea is to consider the role not so much as a teacher, but as a guide. At each stage of a pupils development I'd hope that they would be 'on the fairway', that is to say in a position where they are well placed for further development. My old prof used to say: 'music is much more than just technique, but without technique there can be no music'!

Regards,

David
DCaswellUK
2016-06-17 09:24:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by John Nguyen
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by John Nguyen
I think technique is necessary but not sufficient to attain a specific sound. Every ear processes sound differently, and therefore the internal loop back between producing and hearing will create a particular sound that's personal to the player. Sometimes a sweet spot is found that resonates well with most audience, then the player will be elevated to the next level. That's is my theory, and I'm sticking to it.
Cheers,
technique |tekˈnēk|
noun
a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure.
That's what technique means. It's all inclusive: physical, mental, psychological, emotional.
Andrew
I think technique is one possible and probably efficient process/procedure/skill to produce a particular result, but the technique itself does not guarantee that result. Can technique be taught? Yes! Does that learned technique lead to consistent results for everyone? Not so sure!
If the technique is successfully taught and the resulting consistency is obtained, everyone who masters a sound producing technique would pick up a guitar and produce indistinguishable sound from the next person, and that's clearly not the case, right?
Cheers,
John
I think you're overcomplicating it. Technique is simply the manner in which you do something. You can have a good technique or a bad technique, that depends on how you were taught - whether by a teacher or self-taught - and what you did with that learning. It's also dependent to other factors - physical, psychological, emotional, etc.
Most if not all people who have learned to play a musical instrument and continued to an advanced stage have a mixture of being self-taught and having a teacher. For example, someone who starts out without a teacher, then studies with someone, then continues to advance their learning and playing skills on their own. That's very common.
To have a good technique you have to have a process that fits you, like clothing that looks good because it fits well. A good teacher knows how to tailor the instruction so it works for that individual. When it comes to playing the guitar there are often different ways to achieve a desirable effect. I remember when I was a student and Jerry Willard discussed right hand technique with me we examined various possibilities. For example, whether to play off the right or left side of the nail, whether to use only nail or nail/flesh. The shape of someone's hand, the interest in a particular sound one of these approaches will make, are the kinds of things you consider when you are developing a technique. Because people have different size and shape fingers and nails, different composition to the nails (hard or soft), they will sound different, but you can have two people that have such similarity in sound that a blind fold test will result in the results being determined by chance.
Frederic Hand is well know for particularly beautiful and varied tone production. It was something he naturally gravitated to, he was self-taught in that technique. When I studied with Jerry, as just mentioned, he suggested various possibilities and I gravitated to the one I liked the most, that felt natural to me.
With an instrument like the classical guitar it is very rare to find someone who's reached a highly accomplished level who was completely self-taught. I've never heard of anyone who became a highly regarded professional classical guitarist who did it that way.
Andrew
An interesting discussion that raises many different issues. David is right to draw attention to the ability of the teacher to engender a love of the instrument and it's music. A pupil who has this will overcome all the hurdles and challenges that the instrument presents. The importance of this aspect can't be underestimated!
However it must be of benefit if there is good instruction to go alongside this. Correlation between movement and sound; learning how to produce volume and tone; clear single notes and chords, and how to coordinate the hands are all things that a good teacher can help to instill.
How much of the teacher's own 'philosophy' should be present in the student is another interesting issue. Allowing a pupil to develop there own way of doing things is a challenge for any teacher. On the other hand, a pupil may choose a certain teacher exacly because they play/think in a way that the pupil would like to emulate.
My own idea is to consider the role not so much as a teacher, but as a guide. At each stage of a pupils development I'd hope that they would be 'on the fairway', that is to say in a position where they are well placed for further development. My old prof used to say: 'music is much more than just technique, but without technique there can be no music'!

Regards,

David
Andrew Schulman
2016-06-17 12:16:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by DCaswellUK
My own idea is to consider the role not so much as a teacher, but as a guide.
Yes. That was Jerry Willard's approach when I was a student, and in the the twenty years or so that I taught that was my approach
Post by DCaswellUK
My old prof used to say: 'music is much more than just technique, but without technique there can be no music'!
That's it in a nutshell.

Andrew
dsi1
2016-06-17 18:14:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by DCaswellUK
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by John Nguyen
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by John Nguyen
I think technique is necessary but not sufficient to attain a specific sound. Every ear processes sound differently, and therefore the internal loop back between producing and hearing will create a particular sound that's personal to the player. Sometimes a sweet spot is found that resonates well with most audience, then the player will be elevated to the next level. That's is my theory, and I'm sticking to it.
Cheers,
technique |tekˈnēk|
noun
a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure.
That's what technique means. It's all inclusive: physical, mental, psychological, emotional.
Andrew
I think technique is one possible and probably efficient process/procedure/skill to produce a particular result, but the technique itself does not guarantee that result. Can technique be taught? Yes! Does that learned technique lead to consistent results for everyone? Not so sure!
If the technique is successfully taught and the resulting consistency is obtained, everyone who masters a sound producing technique would pick up a guitar and produce indistinguishable sound from the next person, and that's clearly not the case, right?
Cheers,
John
I think you're overcomplicating it. Technique is simply the manner in which you do something. You can have a good technique or a bad technique, that depends on how you were taught - whether by a teacher or self-taught - and what you did with that learning. It's also dependent to other factors - physical, psychological, emotional, etc.
Most if not all people who have learned to play a musical instrument and continued to an advanced stage have a mixture of being self-taught and having a teacher. For example, someone who starts out without a teacher, then studies with someone, then continues to advance their learning and playing skills on their own. That's very common.
To have a good technique you have to have a process that fits you, like clothing that looks good because it fits well. A good teacher knows how to tailor the instruction so it works for that individual. When it comes to playing the guitar there are often different ways to achieve a desirable effect. I remember when I was a student and Jerry Willard discussed right hand technique with me we examined various possibilities. For example, whether to play off the right or left side of the nail, whether to use only nail or nail/flesh. The shape of someone's hand, the interest in a particular sound one of these approaches will make, are the kinds of things you consider when you are developing a technique. Because people have different size and shape fingers and nails, different composition to the nails (hard or soft), they will sound different, but you can have two people that have such similarity in sound that a blind fold test will result in the results being determined by chance.
Frederic Hand is well know for particularly beautiful and varied tone production. It was something he naturally gravitated to, he was self-taught in that technique. When I studied with Jerry, as just mentioned, he suggested various possibilities and I gravitated to the one I liked the most, that felt natural to me.
With an instrument like the classical guitar it is very rare to find someone who's reached a highly accomplished level who was completely self-taught. I've never heard of anyone who became a highly regarded professional classical guitarist who did it that way.
Andrew
An interesting discussion that raises many different issues. David is right to draw attention to the ability of the teacher to engender a love of the instrument and it's music. A pupil who has this will overcome all the hurdles and challenges that the instrument presents. The importance of this aspect can't be underestimated!
However it must be of benefit if there is good instruction to go alongside this. Correlation between movement and sound; learning how to produce volume and tone; clear single notes and chords, and how to coordinate the hands are all things that a good teacher can help to instill.
How much of the teacher's own 'philosophy' should be present in the student is another interesting issue. Allowing a pupil to develop there own way of doing things is a challenge for any teacher. On the other hand, a pupil may choose a certain teacher exacly because they play/think in a way that the pupil would like to emulate.
My own idea is to consider the role not so much as a teacher, but as a guide. At each stage of a pupils development I'd hope that they would be 'on the fairway', that is to say in a position where they are well placed for further development. My old prof used to say: 'music is much more than just technique, but without technique there can be no music'!
Regards,
David
Most every human is born with the ability to listen and love music. Some music teachers have the power to squash that love of music in their students - that is unforgivable. Classical guitar teachers from the beginning will teach their students as if their goal is to be a concert performer. Their thing is reading and exercising. Is there anything sadder than a kid being forced to exercise? I think not. Some teachers need to get hit with a reality slap to their pusses and see the big picture. Some teachers do get it - but not enough.
a***@yahoo.com
2016-06-17 22:50:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
Most every human is born with the ability to listen and
love music. Some music teachers have the power to
squash that love of music in their students - that is
unforgivable. Classical guitar teachers from the beginning
will teach their students as if their goal is to be a concert
performer. Their thing is reading and exercising. Is there
anything sadder than a kid being forced to exercise? I think
not. Some teachers need to get hit with a reality slap to their
pusses and see the big picture. Some teachers do get it -
but not enough.
I don’t feel qualified to say what classical guitar teachers do as a monolithic entity. I can, however, speak for myself. The vast majority of students have no professional aspirations. Smart teachers know this, and begin with where each student is. Teachers who see every beginner as a potential concert artist will end up frustrated and cynical. Such teachers should either be upfront in their goal to teach only aspiring professionals, or get out of teaching. They shouldn’t be browbeating students into goals the students themselves don’t share.

To me, part of my job is to help students meet their goals. That’s my immediate concern. My longer term goal is to help them discover there’s more to music than they might have thought in the beginning. When a student starts getting the hang of things, I like to point out that they no longer see music as an outsider. Instead, they’re getting an insider’s view. When students attend a guitar recital for the first time, I like to tell them they’ll see and hear things that they themselves can do. When a young player sees a world class concert artist play an E minor chord, he or she can say “hey, I can do that!” They have a privileged perspective denied to non-players.

This is at least as important as teaching someone to play.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
John Nguyen
2016-06-17 14:49:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by John Nguyen
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by John Nguyen
I think technique is necessary but not sufficient to attain a specific sound. Every ear processes sound differently, and therefore the internal loop back between producing and hearing will create a particular sound that's personal to the player. Sometimes a sweet spot is found that resonates well with most audience, then the player will be elevated to the next level. That's is my theory, and I'm sticking to it.
Cheers,
technique |tekˈnēk|
noun
a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure.
That's what technique means. It's all inclusive: physical, mental, psychological, emotional.
Andrew
I think technique is one possible and probably efficient process/procedure/skill to produce a particular result, but the technique itself does not guarantee that result. Can technique be taught? Yes! Does that learned technique lead to consistent results for everyone? Not so sure!
If the technique is successfully taught and the resulting consistency is obtained, everyone who masters a sound producing technique would pick up a guitar and produce indistinguishable sound from the next person, and that's clearly not the case, right?
Cheers,
John
I think you're overcomplicating it. Technique is simply the manner in which you do something. You can have a good technique or a bad technique, that depends on how you were taught - whether by a teacher or self-taught - and what you did with that learning. It's also dependent to other factors - physical, psychological, emotional, etc.
Most if not all people who have learned to play a musical instrument and continued to an advanced stage have a mixture of being self-taught and having a teacher. For example, someone who starts out without a teacher, then studies with someone, then continues to advance their learning and playing skills on their own. That's very common.
To have a good technique you have to have a process that fits you, like clothing that looks good because it fits well. A good teacher knows how to tailor the instruction so it works for that individual. When it comes to playing the guitar there are often different ways to achieve a desirable effect. I remember when I was a student and Jerry Willard discussed right hand technique with me we examined various possibilities. For example, whether to play off the right or left side of the nail, whether to use only nail or nail/flesh. The shape of someone's hand, the interest in a particular sound one of these approaches will make, are the kinds of things you consider when you are developing a technique. Because people have different size and shape fingers and nails, different composition to the nails (hard or soft), they will sound different, but you can have two people that have such similarity in sound that a blind fold test will result in the results being determined by chance.
Frederic Hand is well know for particularly beautiful and varied tone production. It was something he naturally gravitated to, he was self-taught in that technique. When I studied with Jerry, as just mentioned, he suggested various possibilities and I gravitated to the one I liked the most, that felt natural to me.
With an instrument like the classical guitar it is very rare to find someone who's reached a highly accomplished level who was completely self-taught. I've never heard of anyone who became a highly regarded professional classical guitarist who did it that way.
Andrew
I think we are in agreement more than we thought we are. All I'm saying was the technique is necessary but "not sufficient" to get good results. Technique is as a guide to get there, but no one will arrive exactly the same point or the same time. The danger here is that some teacher may try to mold the students into something, not guiding the students based on their own idiosyncrasy to arrive at the goals. When that happens, it does more harm than good. Agree?
Matt Faunce
2016-06-17 02:48:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by John Nguyen
I think technique is necessary but not sufficient to attain a specific
sound. Every ear processes sound differently, and therefore the internal
loop back between producing and hearing will create a particular sound
that's personal to the player. Sometimes a sweet spot is found that
resonates well with most audience, then the player will be elevated to
the next level. That's is my theory, and I'm sticking to it.
Cheers,
technique |tekˈnēk|
noun
a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or
performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure.
That's what technique means. It's all inclusive: physical, mental,
psychological, emotional.
Andrew
Webster's 2nd edition:

technique (-nēk‘), n. [Fr., from Gr. technikos, from technē, an art,
artifice.]
1. the method of procedure (with reference to practical or formal details)
in rendering an artistic work or carrying out a scientific or mechanical
operation.
2. the degree expertness in following this; as, the pianist had pleasing
interpretation but poor technique.

This agrees that technique can be all inclusive, but context can limit it
to "the method of procedure of ... carrying out a mechanical operation"
aside from the artistic result; as, the pianist had great technique but
poor interpretation.
--
Matt
Matt Faunce
2016-06-17 02:53:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by John Nguyen
I think technique is necessary but not sufficient to attain a specific
sound. Every ear processes sound differently, and therefore the internal
loop back between producing and hearing will create a particular sound
that's personal to the player. Sometimes a sweet spot is found that
resonates well with most audience, then the player will be elevated to
the next level. That's is my theory, and I'm sticking to it.
Cheers,
technique |tekˈnēk|
noun
a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or
performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure.
That's what technique means. It's all inclusive: physical, mental,
psychological, emotional.
Andrew
technique (-nēk‘), n. [Fr., from Gr. technikos, from technē, an art,
artifice.]
1. the method of procedure (with reference to practical or formal details)
in rendering an artistic work or carrying out a scientific or mechanical
operation.
2. the degree expertness in following this; as, the pianist had pleasing
interpretation but poor technique.
This agrees that technique can be all inclusive, but context can limit it
to "the method of procedure of ... carrying out a mechanical operation"
aside from the artistic result; as, the pianist had great technique but
poor interpretation.
That last paragraph is mine, not Webster's.
--
Matt
dsi1
2016-06-16 22:35:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by dsi1
I will propose to you that our ideas are not so far apart.
Mostly, it's a difference of how we define "technique."
I don't mess around with other people's word definitions
or ideas because I don't have time to go through other
people's stuff. If you want to get my goat, just try going
through my stuff and make demands on my time. Yeah,
that'll do it every time.
It’s hard to know if our ideas are far apart, since you’re so dead set against explaining yours. Not sure why this is such a hot button issue for you. Also not sure why you equate asking a question with an insulting demand on your time. (Sheesh, remind me never to ask you for the time of day.)
The irony is that, during this thread, I’m one who tried to take you seriously. Other than Richard Yates, I’m the only one who seems curious about what you think. When someone asks you to explain your ideas, it’s a sign of respect. It implies that one wants to better understand what you think. It’s odd that you don’t see this.
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
The real question is why this is such a hot button issue for you and why
do you keep pressing on about it. Maybe if you double-dog dare me, I'll
grant you your request. Maybe. :)
Learnwell
2016-06-15 03:00:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by dsi1
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by dsi1
One can teach a student how to hold a guitar or
change guitar strings. One can call attention to
string scraping and perhaps even get the student
to stop doing this. That's not what I'm talking about.
What cannot be done is getting the student to operate
against his body mechanics and his neurological wiring
to play to the teacher's preference. My point is that
most classical guitar teachers operate in this ego-driven
manner instead of allowing the student to learn in their
individual way. My second point is that believing that
you've succeeding in molding the student in your
image is an illusion. A nice, tidy, delusion.
You have an incredibly negative attitude toward teachers. And your description of teachers is one that bears little resemblance to what I see on a daily basis. I see teachers working hard to help their students enjoy music and learn how to make it. I see teachers contributing their time—usually unpaid—to organize recitals for their students. I see teachers who take pride in watching students grow in confidence and competence.
Yes, there are bad teachers—there are bad apples in every profession. But to pigeonhole “most classical guitar teachers” as you’re doing is cynicism run amok. One can only wonder at how a mindset such as yours comes about.
To move this discussion beyond your hazy and ominous buzzwords, you could offer a sample of “getting the student to operate against his body mechanics and his neurological wiring.” You imply that there’s an epidemic of this going on. Okay, please describe an instance. One will do for starters.
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
This is not true at all. I have much respect for teachers. I don't care
for the ones that try to make their students fit their needs and egos.
Hey, I've read the posts. I see what's going on.
I stated my views and you can state yours. I think that's quite fair.
What I'm not going to do is go back and forth repeating the same things
over and over. You got a whole gang of players here that go for that
kind of sport. Feel free but count me out.
Don't make this about you or me. I'm not interested in talking about
personalities in this group and I sure as hell don't want to discuss
your opinion of my opinions.
Typical Usenet.
Andrew Schulman
2016-06-15 03:34:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Typical Usenet.
Absolutely the most entertaining two word phrase ever repeated endlessly here at the good ol' RMCG. I get a good laugh every time, can't help but LOL.

Typically Usenet-edly,

Andrew
Jerry Willard
2016-06-15 15:35:44 UTC
Permalink
This is an interesting thread - i had some teachers that helped me, teachers that damaged me and teachers that did both. When i was starting out guitar pedagogy was in it's infancy at least in the USA and good teachers were few and far between. I was asked by the NYCCGS to write something about my most influential teacher and here it is at this link or see below http://nyccgs.com/2008/04/nylon-asks-the-pros/

Jerry Willard: When I was a child in the late 1950s, just beginning to become interested in music, the guitar was in its infancy as a concert instrument and teachers were difficult to come by. There were few players and few teachers and even fewer good teachers. I was a young man, a bit of a prodigy, in that I could play some difficult pieces in an era when very few people could. I was used to being coddled and people were continually saying, “You play so beautifully, you’re so young,” and so forth. It was then that I met not only my first good teacher but the most unforgettable person I have ever known: Richard Lurie.
Mr. Lurie had a guitar studio in Cleveland, Ohio and was known as very fine jazz and classical guitarist. Dick also sponsored artists and set up concerts for the young Julian Bream, Segovia, Presti & Lagoya, and John Williams. Needless to say, it was a thrill for me to be able to talk to, take an occasional lesson from, and rub shoulders with these truly great musicians. I was young and had the arrogance of youth. So at my first lesson with Dick, I sat down, opened the music and said, “I think…” Mr. Lurie’s baton slapped down on the page of music. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Who cares what you think? You’re here to find out what I think. If you want to know what you think you can stay at home!” That was my introduction to boot camp with Mr. Lurie. Sometimes in my lessons I felt as if I was being taken apart and reassembled. Every truth I held about music and art was examined and dissected. I was being taught to think in spite of myself. That is the most valuable gift a teacher can give a student. Underneath his tough exterior there was a man who loved art and music. He cared about people and that came across in his teaching. It also kept me coming back for more lessons.
I studied with Dick Lurie off and on from 1964 to 1972. Towards the end of my tenure with Dick we had become good friends. I was getting ready to move to New York City in an effort to further my career and live the life of a professional musician. I remember Dick saying, “Just because you like to do something is not a reason to try to make a living at it.” I looked at Dick quizzically. He looked back at me, “You like sex, right?” I gulped and said yes. He said, “Well, it might not be such a good idea to make a living at it.” That was Dick, invariably cutting to the core with his own unique eccentricity.
Dick passed away in August of 2000. He knew he was going to die and was selling off his extraordinary collection of instruments to dealers in Asia. Guitars such as Hauser and Fleta, acoustic jazz guitars such as D’Angelico and Stromberg. He wanted to make it easier for his wife so she wouldn’t have to deal with it. He accepted his death in a way that was realistic and not sentimental. I wept when I heard of Dick’s passing. He taught me about music, and he taught me about life and a realistic view of my place in it. Today, every concert I play, every rehearsal I attend or lesson I teach, I use ideas and concepts I learned from Dick Lurie.
Learnwell
2016-06-15 16:05:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jerry Willard
Sometimes in my lessons I felt as if I was being taken apart and reassembled. Every truth I held about music and art was examined and dissected. I was being taught to think in spite of myself.
That is a tough thing to deal with. Those that can't never get better, and we've invented a magical word to describe those that do - talent.

David is forever stuck at that level - he'll never evolve past that immature stage. He is proud of his ignorance. Which is, of course, Typical Usenet.
Andrew Schulman
2016-06-15 16:27:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jerry Willard
This is an interesting thread - i had some teachers that helped me, teachers that damaged me and teachers that did both. When i was starting out guitar pedagogy was in it's infancy at least in the USA and good teachers were few and far between. I was asked by the NYCCGS to write something about my most influential teacher and here it is at this link or see below http://nyccgs.com/2008/04/nylon-asks-the-pros/
Jerry Willard: When I was a child in the late 1950s, just beginning to become interested in music, the guitar was in its infancy as a concert instrument and teachers were difficult to come by. There were few players and few teachers and even fewer good teachers. I was a young man, a bit of a prodigy, in that I could play some difficult pieces in an era when very few people could. I was used to being coddled and people were continually saying, “You play so beautifully, you’re so young,” and so forth. It was then that I met not only my first good teacher but the most unforgettable person I have ever known: Richard Lurie.
Mr. Lurie had a guitar studio in Cleveland, Ohio and was known as very fine jazz and classical guitarist. Dick also sponsored artists and set up concerts for the young Julian Bream, Segovia, Presti & Lagoya, and John Williams. Needless to say, it was a thrill for me to be able to talk to, take an occasional lesson from, and rub shoulders with these truly great musicians. I was young and had the arrogance of youth. So at my first lesson with Dick, I sat down, opened the music and said, “I think…” Mr. Lurie’s baton slapped down on the page of music. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Who cares what you think? You’re here to find out what I think. If you want to know what you think you can stay at home!” That was my introduction to boot camp with Mr. Lurie. Sometimes in my lessons I felt as if I was being taken apart and reassembled. Every truth I held about music and art was examined and dissected. I was being taught to think in spite of myself. That is the most valuable gift a teacher can give a student. Underneath his tough exterior there was a man who loved art and music. He cared about people and that came across in his teaching. It also kept me coming back for more lessons.
I studied with Dick Lurie off and on from 1964 to 1972. Towards the end of my tenure with Dick we had become good friends. I was getting ready to move to New York City in an effort to further my career and live the life of a professional musician. I remember Dick saying, “Just because you like to do something is not a reason to try to make a living at it.” I looked at Dick quizzically. He looked back at me, “You like sex, right?” I gulped and said yes. He said, “Well, it might not be such a good idea to make a living at it.” That was Dick, invariably cutting to the core with his own unique eccentricity.
Dick passed away in August of 2000. He knew he was going to die and was selling off his extraordinary collection of instruments to dealers in Asia. Guitars such as Hauser and Fleta, acoustic jazz guitars such as D’Angelico and Stromberg. He wanted to make it easier for his wife so she wouldn’t have to deal with it. He accepted his death in a way that was realistic and not sentimental. I wept when I heard of Dick’s passing. He taught me about music, and he taught me about life and a realistic view of my place in it. Today, every concert I play, every rehearsal I attend or lesson I teach, I use ideas and concepts I learned from Dick Lurie.
What a great post, Jerry. I've heard you talk about Dick Lurie before but this adds to it. What he was to you, you are to me, but I must say I'm really glad you never asked me if I like sex. (Did you just forget?)

Thanks for posting this.

Andrew
Jerry Willard
2016-06-15 16:31:40 UTC
Permalink
I must say I'm really glad you never asked me if I like sex. (Did you just forget?)
Post by Andrew Schulman
Thanks for posting this.
Andrew
HAHA i knew forgot SOMETHING :)

J
Andrew Schulman
2016-06-15 17:04:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
I must say I'm really glad you never asked me if I like sex. (Did you just forget?)
Post by Andrew Schulman
Thanks for posting this.
Andrew
HAHA i knew forgot SOMETHING :)
J
Thank God.

Andrew
wollybird
2016-06-15 16:52:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by Jerry Willard
This is an interesting thread - i had some teachers that helped me, teachers that damaged me and teachers that did both. When i was starting out guitar pedagogy was in it's infancy at least in the USA and good teachers were few and far between. I was asked by the NYCCGS to write something about my most influential teacher and here it is at this link or see below http://nyccgs.com/2008/04/nylon-asks-the-pros/
Jerry Willard: When I was a child in the late 1950s, just beginning to become interested in music, the guitar was in its infancy as a concert instrument and teachers were difficult to come by. There were few players and few teachers and even fewer good teachers. I was a young man, a bit of a prodigy, in that I could play some difficult pieces in an era when very few people could. I was used to being coddled and people were continually saying, “You play so beautifully, you’re so young,” and so forth. It was then that I met not only my first good teacher but the most unforgettable person I have ever known: Richard Lurie.
Mr. Lurie had a guitar studio in Cleveland, Ohio and was known as very fine jazz and classical guitarist. Dick also sponsored artists and set up concerts for the young Julian Bream, Segovia, Presti & Lagoya, and John Williams. Needless to say, it was a thrill for me to be able to talk to, take an occasional lesson from, and rub shoulders with these truly great musicians. I was young and had the arrogance of youth. So at my first lesson with Dick, I sat down, opened the music and said, “I think…” Mr. Lurie’s baton slapped down on the page of music. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Who cares what you think? You’re here to find out what I think. If you want to know what you think you can stay at home!” That was my introduction to boot camp with Mr. Lurie. Sometimes in my lessons I felt as if I was being taken apart and reassembled. Every truth I held about music and art was examined and dissected. I was being taught to think in spite of myself. That is the most valuable gift a teacher can give a student. Underneath his tough exterior there was a man who loved art and music. He cared about people and that came across in his teaching. It also kept me coming back for more lessons.
I studied with Dick Lurie off and on from 1964 to 1972. Towards the end of my tenure with Dick we had become good friends. I was getting ready to move to New York City in an effort to further my career and live the life of a professional musician. I remember Dick saying, “Just because you like to do something is not a reason to try to make a living at it.” I looked at Dick quizzically. He looked back at me, “You like sex, right?” I gulped and said yes. He said, “Well, it might not be such a good idea to make a living at it.” That was Dick, invariably cutting to the core with his own unique eccentricity.
Dick passed away in August of 2000. He knew he was going to die and was selling off his extraordinary collection of instruments to dealers in Asia. Guitars such as Hauser and Fleta, acoustic jazz guitars such as D’Angelico and Stromberg. He wanted to make it easier for his wife so she wouldn’t have to deal with it. He accepted his death in a way that was realistic and not sentimental. I wept when I heard of Dick’s passing. He taught me about music, and he taught me about life and a realistic view of my place in it. Today, every concert I play, every rehearsal I attend or lesson I teach, I use ideas and concepts I learned from Dick Lurie.
What a great post, Jerry. I've heard you talk about Dick Lurie before but this adds to it. What he was to you, you are to me, but I must say I'm really glad you never asked me if I like sex. (Did you just forget?)
Thanks for posting this.
Andrew
but he could have skipped the "Dick cutting to the core" part
Andrew Schulman
2016-06-15 17:04:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by wollybird
Post by Andrew Schulman
Post by Jerry Willard
This is an interesting thread - i had some teachers that helped me, teachers that damaged me and teachers that did both. When i was starting out guitar pedagogy was in it's infancy at least in the USA and good teachers were few and far between. I was asked by the NYCCGS to write something about my most influential teacher and here it is at this link or see below http://nyccgs.com/2008/04/nylon-asks-the-pros/
Jerry Willard: When I was a child in the late 1950s, just beginning to become interested in music, the guitar was in its infancy as a concert instrument and teachers were difficult to come by. There were few players and few teachers and even fewer good teachers. I was a young man, a bit of a prodigy, in that I could play some difficult pieces in an era when very few people could. I was used to being coddled and people were continually saying, “You play so beautifully, you’re so young,” and so forth. It was then that I met not only my first good teacher but the most unforgettable person I have ever known: Richard Lurie.
Mr. Lurie had a guitar studio in Cleveland, Ohio and was known as very fine jazz and classical guitarist. Dick also sponsored artists and set up concerts for the young Julian Bream, Segovia, Presti & Lagoya, and John Williams. Needless to say, it was a thrill for me to be able to talk to, take an occasional lesson from, and rub shoulders with these truly great musicians. I was young and had the arrogance of youth. So at my first lesson with Dick, I sat down, opened the music and said, “I think…” Mr. Lurie’s baton slapped down on the page of music. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Who cares what you think? You’re here to find out what I think. If you want to know what you think you can stay at home!” That was my introduction to boot camp with Mr. Lurie. Sometimes in my lessons I felt as if I was being taken apart and reassembled. Every truth I held about music and art was examined and dissected. I was being taught to think in spite of myself. That is the most valuable gift a teacher can give a student. Underneath his tough exterior there was a man who loved art and music. He cared about people and that came across in his teaching. It also kept me coming back for more lessons.
I studied with Dick Lurie off and on from 1964 to 1972. Towards the end of my tenure with Dick we had become good friends. I was getting ready to move to New York City in an effort to further my career and live the life of a professional musician. I remember Dick saying, “Just because you like to do something is not a reason to try to make a living at it.” I looked at Dick quizzically. He looked back at me, “You like sex, right?” I gulped and said yes. He said, “Well, it might not be such a good idea to make a living at it.” That was Dick, invariably cutting to the core with his own unique eccentricity.
Dick passed away in August of 2000. He knew he was going to die and was selling off his extraordinary collection of instruments to dealers in Asia. Guitars such as Hauser and Fleta, acoustic jazz guitars such as D’Angelico and Stromberg. He wanted to make it easier for his wife so she wouldn’t have to deal with it. He accepted his death in a way that was realistic and not sentimental. I wept when I heard of Dick’s passing. He taught me about music, and he taught me about life and a realistic view of my place in it. Today, every concert I play, every rehearsal I attend or lesson I teach, I use ideas and concepts I learned from Dick Lurie.
What a great post, Jerry. I've heard you talk about Dick Lurie before but this adds to it. What he was to you, you are to me, but I must say I'm really glad you never asked me if I like sex. (Did you just forget?)
Thanks for posting this.
Andrew
but he could have skipped the "Dick cutting to the core" part
Wollybird, no matter how many times I tell you to behave you still Typical Usenet. Sheesh...

Andrew
JPD
2016-06-17 10:49:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jerry Willard
So at my first lesson with Dick, I sat down, opened the music and said, “I think…” Mr. Lurie’s baton slapped down on the page of music. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Who cares what you think? You’re here to find out what I think. If you want to know what you think you can stay at home!”
My first lesson with Rey de la Torre, I was 22 years old. At 59, he was three years younger than I am now. (Just wow.....)

Anyway, early in the lesson I suggested a fingering in the Carcassi study he was teaching me. His immediate response:

"I am not here to be taught by YOU."
Matt Faunce
2016-06-17 14:07:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by JPD
Post by Jerry Willard
So at my first lesson with Dick, I sat down, opened the music and said,
“I think…” Mr. Lurie’s baton slapped down on the page of music. He
looked me straight in the eye and said, “Who cares what you think?
You’re here to find out what I think. If you want to know what you think
you can stay at home!”
My first lesson with Rey de la Torre, I was 22 years old. At 59, he was
three years younger than I am now. (Just wow.....)
Anyway, early in the lesson I suggested a fingering in the Carcassi study
"I am not here to be taught by YOU."
I would not have lasted long with him, or Mr. Lurie, unless your
descriptions hid their flexibility. My first teacher was like this in
rhetoric but he let me have my opinions. He either was OK that I had them
or he let them slide. That's a good thing.

I know I grew up in a different era, and that's important. But here's a
passage telling a little about C. S. Peirce's idea of education; he lived
in an even earlier era (1839-1914). Note his opinion of instruction vs.
study.

http://www.iupui.edu/~peirce/ep/ep1/intro/ep1intro.htm

... "But throughout his life, committed as it was to science, he maintained
a continuing research program in philosophy and logic. He delivered series
of lectures at different institutions from the mid-1860s until after the
turn of the century and, from 1879 to 1884, he taught logic at the Johns
Hopkins University, the first true graduate school in America. When in the
late 1880s he wrote definitions for the Century Dictionary, it was no doubt
his enthusiasm for the Hopkins model that led him to define "university" as
"an association of men for the purpose of study, which confers degrees
which are acknowledged as valid throughout Christendom, is endowed, and is
privileged by the state, in order that the people may receive intellectual
guidance and that the theoretical problems which present themselves in the
development of civilization may be resolved." The definition was the
subject of an anecdote by John Jay Chapman:

"Charles Peirce wrote the definition of University in the Century
Dictionary. He called it an institution for purposes of study. They wrote
to him that their notion had been that a university was an institution for
instruction. He wrote back that if they had any such notion they were
grievously mistaken, that a university had not and never had had anything
to do with instruction and that until we got over this idea we should not
have any university in this country."
--
Matt
Matt Faunce
2016-06-23 19:59:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by JPD
Post by Jerry Willard
So at my first lesson with Dick, I sat down, opened the music and said,
“I think…” Mr. Lurie’s baton slapped down on the page of music. He
looked me straight in the eye and said, “Who cares what you think?
You’re here to find out what I think. If you want to know what you think
you can stay at home!”
My first lesson with Rey de la Torre, I was 22 years old. At 59, he was
three years younger than I am now. (Just wow.....)
Anyway, early in the lesson I suggested a fingering in the Carcassi study
"I am not here to be taught by YOU."
I would not have lasted long with him, or Mr. Lurie, unless your
descriptions hid their flexibility. My first teacher was like this in
rhetoric but he let me have my opinions. He either was OK that I had them
or he let them slide. That's a good thing.
I know I grew up in a different era, and that's important. But here's a
passage telling a little about C. S. Peirce's idea of education; he lived
in an even earlier era (1839-1914). Note his opinion of instruction vs.
study.
http://www.iupui.edu/~peirce/ep/ep1/intro/ep1intro.htm
... "But throughout his life, committed as it was to science, he maintained
a continuing research program in philosophy and logic. He delivered series
of lectures at different institutions from the mid-1860s until after the
turn of the century and, from 1879 to 1884, he taught logic at the Johns
Hopkins University, the first true graduate school in America. When in the
late 1880s he wrote definitions for the Century Dictionary, it was no doubt
his enthusiasm for the Hopkins model that led him to define "university" as
"an association of men for the purpose of study, which confers degrees
which are acknowledged as valid throughout Christendom, is endowed, and is
privileged by the state, in order that the people may receive intellectual
guidance and that the theoretical problems which present themselves in the
development of civilization may be resolved." The definition was the
"Charles Peirce wrote the definition of University in the Century
to him that their notion had been that a university was an institution for
instruction. He wrote back that if they had any such notion they were
grievously mistaken, that a university had not and never had had anything
to do with instruction and that until we got over this idea we should not
have any university in this country."
From an biographical note introducing a collection of Plato's writings:

"From the allusions of Aristotle it appears that Plato lectured without
manuscript, and 'problems' were propounded for solution by the joint
researches of the students. In addition to philosophy, particular attention
was given to science and law."

Of course, this is the Socratic method. What happened to this method of
teaching, championed by Plato and Peirce? If it's good for science and law
shouldn't it be even much better for art?
--
Matt
David Raleigh Arnold
2016-06-23 20:54:33 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 23 Jun 2016 19:59:58 -0000 (UTC)
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by JPD
Post by Jerry Willard
So at my first lesson with Dick, I sat down, opened the music and said,
“I think…” Mr. Lurie’s baton slapped down on the page of music. He
looked me straight in the eye and said, “Who cares what you think?
You’re here to find out what I think. If you want to know what you think
you can stay at home!”
My first lesson with Rey de la Torre, I was 22 years old. At 59, he was
three years younger than I am now. (Just wow.....)
Anyway, early in the lesson I suggested a fingering in the Carcassi study
"I am not here to be taught by YOU."
I would not have lasted long with him, or Mr. Lurie, unless your
descriptions hid their flexibility. My first teacher was like this in
rhetoric but he let me have my opinions. He either was OK that I had them
or he let them slide. That's a good thing.
I know I grew up in a different era, and that's important. But here's a
passage telling a little about C. S. Peirce's idea of education; he lived
in an even earlier era (1839-1914). Note his opinion of instruction vs.
study.
http://www.iupui.edu/~peirce/ep/ep1/intro/ep1intro.htm
... "But throughout his life, committed as it was to science, he maintained
a continuing research program in philosophy and logic. He delivered series
of lectures at different institutions from the mid-1860s until after the
turn of the century and, from 1879 to 1884, he taught logic at the Johns
Hopkins University, the first true graduate school in America. When in the
late 1880s he wrote definitions for the Century Dictionary, it was no doubt
his enthusiasm for the Hopkins model that led him to define "university" as
"an association of men for the purpose of study, which confers degrees
which are acknowledged as valid throughout Christendom, is endowed, and is
privileged by the state, in order that the people may receive intellectual
guidance and that the theoretical problems which present themselves in the
development of civilization may be resolved." The definition was the
"Charles Peirce wrote the definition of University in the Century
to him that their notion had been that a university was an institution for
instruction. He wrote back that if they had any such notion they were
grievously mistaken, that a university had not and never had had anything
to do with instruction and that until we got over this idea we should not
have any university in this country."
"From the allusions of Aristotle it appears that Plato lectured without
manuscript, and 'problems' were propounded for solution by the joint
researches of the students. In addition to philosophy, particular attention
was given to science and law."
Of course, this is the Socratic method. What happened to this method of
teaching, championed by Plato and Peirce? If it's good for science and law
shouldn't it be even much better for art?
--
Matt
In this country, a Univerity's function is to create debt.
Regards, Rale
Matt Faunce
2016-06-23 22:06:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
On Thu, 23 Jun 2016 19:59:58 -0000 (UTC)
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by JPD
Post by Jerry Willard
So at my first lesson with Dick, I sat down, opened the music and said,
“I think…” Mr. Lurie’s baton slapped down on the page of music. He
looked me straight in the eye and said, “Who cares what you think?
You’re here to find out what I think. If you want to know what you think
you can stay at home!”
My first lesson with Rey de la Torre, I was 22 years old. At 59, he was
three years younger than I am now. (Just wow.....)
Anyway, early in the lesson I suggested a fingering in the Carcassi study
"I am not here to be taught by YOU."
I would not have lasted long with him, or Mr. Lurie, unless your
descriptions hid their flexibility. My first teacher was like this in
rhetoric but he let me have my opinions. He either was OK that I had them
or he let them slide. That's a good thing.
I know I grew up in a different era, and that's important. But here's a
passage telling a little about C. S. Peirce's idea of education; he lived
in an even earlier era (1839-1914). Note his opinion of instruction vs.
study.
http://www.iupui.edu/~peirce/ep/ep1/intro/ep1intro.htm
... "But throughout his life, committed as it was to science, he maintained
a continuing research program in philosophy and logic. He delivered series
of lectures at different institutions from the mid-1860s until after the
turn of the century and, from 1879 to 1884, he taught logic at the Johns
Hopkins University, the first true graduate school in America. When in the
late 1880s he wrote definitions for the Century Dictionary, it was no doubt
his enthusiasm for the Hopkins model that led him to define "university" as
"an association of men for the purpose of study, which confers degrees
which are acknowledged as valid throughout Christendom, is endowed, and is
privileged by the state, in order that the people may receive intellectual
guidance and that the theoretical problems which present themselves in the
development of civilization may be resolved." The definition was the
"Charles Peirce wrote the definition of University in the Century
to him that their notion had been that a university was an institution for
instruction. He wrote back that if they had any such notion they were
grievously mistaken, that a university had not and never had had anything
to do with instruction and that until we got over this idea we should not
have any university in this country."
"From the allusions of Aristotle it appears that Plato lectured without
manuscript, and 'problems' were propounded for solution by the joint
researches of the students. In addition to philosophy, particular attention
was given to science and law."
Of course, this is the Socratic method. What happened to this method of
teaching, championed by Plato and Peirce? If it's good for science and law
shouldn't it be even much better for art?
--
Matt
In this country, a Univerity's function is to create debt.
Regards, Rale
True.

In addition to Plato and Peirce as examples of champions of good teaching I
should've included Richard Jernigan's teacher, R. L. Moore.

https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!searchin/rec.music.classical.guitar/Jernigan$20math$20teacher/rec.music.classical.guitar/Un_AKDrJapM

I've read similar stories of Benjamin Peirce teaching his son Charlie.
--
Matt
David Raleigh Arnold
2016-06-24 17:57:52 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 23 Jun 2016 22:06:36 -0000 (UTC)
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by David Raleigh Arnold
On Thu, 23 Jun 2016 19:59:58 -0000 (UTC)
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by Matt Faunce
Post by JPD
Post by Jerry Willard
So at my first lesson with Dick, I sat down, opened the music and said,
“I think…” Mr. Lurie’s baton slapped down on the page of music. He
looked me straight in the eye and said, “Who cares what you think?
You’re here to find out what I think. If you want to know what you think
you can stay at home!”
My first lesson with Rey de la Torre, I was 22 years old. At 59, he was
three years younger than I am now. (Just wow.....)
Anyway, early in the lesson I suggested a fingering in the Carcassi study
"I am not here to be taught by YOU."
I would not have lasted long with him, or Mr. Lurie, unless your
descriptions hid their flexibility. My first teacher was like this in
rhetoric but he let me have my opinions. He either was OK that I had them
or he let them slide. That's a good thing.
I know I grew up in a different era, and that's important. But here's a
passage telling a little about C. S. Peirce's idea of education; he lived
in an even earlier era (1839-1914). Note his opinion of instruction vs.
study.
http://www.iupui.edu/~peirce/ep/ep1/intro/ep1intro.htm
... "But throughout his life, committed as it was to science, he maintained
a continuing research program in philosophy and logic. He delivered series
of lectures at different institutions from the mid-1860s until after the
turn of the century and, from 1879 to 1884, he taught logic at the Johns
Hopkins University, the first true graduate school in America. When in the
late 1880s he wrote definitions for the Century Dictionary, it was no doubt
his enthusiasm for the Hopkins model that led him to define "university" as
"an association of men for the purpose of study, which confers degrees
which are acknowledged as valid throughout Christendom, is endowed, and is
privileged by the state, in order that the people may receive intellectual
guidance and that the theoretical problems which present themselves in the
development of civilization may be resolved." The definition was the
"Charles Peirce wrote the definition of University in the Century
to him that their notion had been that a university was an institution for
instruction. He wrote back that if they had any such notion they were
grievously mistaken, that a university had not and never had had anything
to do with instruction and that until we got over this idea we should not
have any university in this country."
"From the allusions of Aristotle it appears that Plato lectured without
manuscript, and 'problems' were propounded for solution by the joint
researches of the students. In addition to philosophy, particular attention
was given to science and law."
Of course, this is the Socratic method. What happened to this method of
teaching, championed by Plato and Peirce? If it's good for science and law
shouldn't it be even much better for art?
--
Matt
In this country, a Univerity's function is to create debt.
Regards, Rale
True.
In addition to Plato and Peirce as examples of champions of good teaching I
should've included Richard Jernigan's teacher, R. L. Moore.
https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!searchin/rec.music.classical.guitar/Jernigan$20math$20teacher/rec.music.classical.guitar/Un_AKDrJapM
I've read similar stories of Benjamin Peirce teaching his son Charlie.
So, what I said. Find the teacher first. That's where
the school is. Regards, Rale
Post by Matt Faunce
--
Matt
Steve Freides
2016-06-17 15:01:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jerry Willard
This is an interesting thread - i had some teachers that helped me,
teachers that damaged me and teachers that did both. When i was
starting out guitar pedagogy was in it's infancy at least in the USA
and good teachers were few and far between. I was asked by the NYCCGS
to write something about my most influential teacher and here it is
at this link or see below
http://nyccgs.com/2008/04/nylon-asks-the-pros/
Jerry Willard: When I was a child in the late 1950s, just beginning
to become interested in music, the guitar was in its infancy as a
concert instrument and teachers were difficult to come by. There were
few players and few teachers and even fewer good teachers. I was a
young man, a bit of a prodigy, in that I could play some difficult
pieces in an era when very few people could. I was used to being
coddled and people were continually saying, "You play so beautifully,
you're so young," and so forth. It was then that I met not only my
first good teacher but the most unforgettable person I have ever
known: Richard Lurie.
Mr. Lurie had a guitar studio in Cleveland, Ohio and was known as
very fine jazz and classical guitarist. Dick also sponsored artists
and set up concerts for the young Julian Bream, Segovia, Presti &
Lagoya, and John Williams. Needless to say, it was a thrill for me to
be able to talk to, take an occasional lesson from, and rub shoulders
with these truly great musicians. I was young and had the arrogance
of youth. So at my first lesson with Dick, I sat down, opened the
music and said, "I think." Mr. Lurie's baton slapped down on the page
of music. He looked me straight in the eye and said, "Who cares what
you think? You're here to find out what I think. If you want to know
what you think you can stay at home!" That was my introduction to
boot camp with Mr. Lurie. Sometimes in my lessons I felt as if I was
being taken apart and reassembled. Every truth I held about music and
art was examined and dissected. I was being taught to think in spite
of myself. That is the most valuable gift a teacher can give a
student. Underneath his tough exterior there was a man who loved art
and music. He cared about people and that came across in his
teaching. It also kept me coming back for more lessons.
I studied with Dick Lurie off and on from 1964 to 1972. Towards the
end of my tenure with Dick we had become good friends. I was getting
ready to move to New York City in an effort to further my career and
live the life of a professional musician. I remember Dick saying,
"Just because you like to do something is not a reason to try to make
a living at it." I looked at Dick quizzically. He looked back at me,
"You like sex, right?" I gulped and said yes. He said, "Well, it
might not be such a good idea to make a living at it." That was Dick,
invariably cutting to the core with his own unique eccentricity.
Dick passed away in August of 2000. He knew he was going to die and
was selling off his extraordinary collection of instruments to
dealers in Asia. Guitars such as Hauser and Fleta, acoustic jazz
guitars such as D'Angelico and Stromberg. He wanted to make it easier
for his wife so she wouldn't have to deal with it. He accepted his
death in a way that was realistic and not sentimental. I wept when I
heard of Dick's passing. He taught me about music, and he taught me
about life and a realistic view of my place in it. Today, every
concert I play, every rehearsal I attend or lesson I teach, I use
ideas and concepts I learned from Dick Lurie.
Great post - thanks for sharing that with us, Jerry.

-S-
a***@yahoo.com
2016-06-17 13:30:23 UTC
Permalink
I really don’t understand the notion that technique is in any way separate from music. To me, technique is nothing less than a description of how one makes music. That applies to every little thing one does.

Yesterday I made a recording of Fernando Sor’s Op. 32, No. 1:

http://www.pooretom.com/soremajor.html

Were you to ask me about anything I did in this performance, I could make a pretty good stab at explaining it. Some things would be harder to explain than others. But I could explain just about anything that happens in this performance. Vibrato, tone color, dynamics, tempo, phrasing, articulation, fingering, slurring, you name it. I could tell you what’s good about this performance. I could tell what might have been done better.

Why would anyone dispute this? If one can sense something, then one should be able to explain it. Obviously more accomplished players can explain things with more detail and accuracy. And obviously those with an above average command of language can explain things with more clarity and flair.

However one does something is, in essence, one’s technique. Even someone who claims to be indifferent to technique is still exhibiting technique. Their technique might be described as willful ignorance, but that in itself is a technique—a bad one, mind you, but it’s a technique.

The instant one picks up an instrument and begins to play, one is doing technique. Whether one talks about it or not, it’s there. Refusing to discuss it is an option. It’s just not a particularly productive one.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
p***@gmail.com
2016-06-17 15:23:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
I really don’t understand the notion that technique is in any way separate from music. To me, technique is nothing less than a description of how one makes music. That applies to every little thing one does.
http://www.pooretom.com/soremajor.html
Were you to ask me about anything I did in this performance, I could make a pretty good stab at explaining it. Some things would be harder to explain than others. But I could explain just about anything that happens in this performance. Vibrato, tone color, dynamics, tempo, phrasing, articulation, fingering, slurring, you name it. I could tell you what’s good about this performance. I could tell what might have been done better.
Why would anyone dispute this? If one can sense something, then one should be able to explain it. Obviously more accomplished players can explain things with more detail and accuracy. And obviously those with an above average command of language can explain things with more clarity and flair.
However one does something is, in essence, one’s technique. Even someone who claims to be indifferent to technique is still exhibiting technique. Their technique might be described as willful ignorance, but that in itself is a technique—a bad one, mind you, but it’s a technique.
The instant one picks up an instrument and begins to play, one is doing technique. Whether one talks about it or not, it’s there. Refusing to discuss it is an option. It’s just not a particularly productive one.
Tom Pore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Nice little piece and well played. It exactly quotes a bit of the Mozart Theme (that apparently isn't Mozart's) from his Op. 9 Variations. I know you hear it slow but it plods along right now, if you're really convinced of this tempo maybe there's a way to make it flow a little better. I think maybe the accompaniment is too loud so everything sounds a bit heavy now.

As for your assertion that accomplished players can explain what they do with better clarity, I don't think that's always the case especially with the accomplished players I most admire, they can't seem to explain what they do very well at all. For instance I absolutely love the gorgeous tone(s) that Manuel Barrueco produces and if you read articles and interviews about him he's alway talking about how he wants the guitar to produce the most beautiful sound possible. And when it comes to explaining how he achieves his beautiful sound(s) and tone(s) he says that "one should imagine the kind of sound/tone in their mind they want before they play it and then go and play and produce that very sound" (something like that). Is that really the secret to getting a beautiful tone like Barrueco? There must be something much more detailed to it than that.

I think that having a beautiful sound in the guitar is a innate natural gift, like a great singer who is born with a unique rich sweet timbre and wide range. I realize that I will never have the voice of a Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye or Paul McCartney, maybe it's the same way with classical guitar, there's no way I'm ever going to have the beautiful tone of Barrueco, Russell or Marcin Dylla because that's a technique and aspect of classical guitar playing that can't be ever taught, you're just born with it or not.
tom g
2016-06-17 17:17:27 UTC
Permalink
On Friday, June 17, 2016 at 5:23:26 PM UTC+2, ***@gmail.com wrote:
"...there's no way I'm ever going to have the beautiful tone of Barrueco, Russell or Marcin Dylla because that's a technique and aspect of classical guitar playing that can't be ever taught, you're just born with it or not."

That is absolutely untrue. Find a good teacher who knows the different ways to play. If you are able to hear a beautiful tone you will also be able to create it. It is mostly a mechanical question but any good tone is more beautiful if you also play beautifully.

A lot of people become fascinated by their own journey with the guitar and then they cant listen to the advice of others. One aspect or another obsesses them and they never develop as musicians because they are waiting until they have solved the problems that intrigue them. In the end, their journey is very little about music.

(No, Im not referring myself to you, Phlat!)

So many excellent guitarists give lessons on the internet that only lack of time and/or money excuses to remain in ignorance.

tom g
dsi1
2016-06-17 21:43:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by a***@yahoo.com
I really don’t understand the notion that technique is in any way separate from music. To me, technique is nothing less than a description of how one makes music. That applies to every little thing one does.
http://www.pooretom.com/soremajor.html
Were you to ask me about anything I did in this performance, I could make a pretty good stab at explaining it. Some things would be harder to explain than others. But I could explain just about anything that happens in this performance. Vibrato, tone color, dynamics, tempo, phrasing, articulation, fingering, slurring, you name it. I could tell you what’s good about this performance. I could tell what might have been done better.
Why would anyone dispute this? If one can sense something, then one should be able to explain it. Obviously more accomplished players can explain things with more detail and accuracy. And obviously those with an above average command of language can explain things with more clarity and flair.
However one does something is, in essence, one’s technique. Even someone who claims to be indifferent to technique is still exhibiting technique. Their technique might be described as willful ignorance, but that in itself is a technique—a bad one, mind you, but it’s a technique.
The instant one picks up an instrument and begins to play, one is doing technique. Whether one talks about it or not, it’s there. Refusing to discuss it is an option. It’s just not a particularly productive one.
Tom Pore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Nice little piece and well played. It exactly quotes a bit of the Mozart Theme (that apparently isn't Mozart's) from his Op. 9 Variations. I know you hear it slow but it plods along right now, if you're really convinced of this tempo maybe there's a way to make it flow a little better. I think maybe the accompaniment is too loud so everything sounds a bit heavy now.
As for your assertion that accomplished players can explain what they do with better clarity, I don't think that's always the case especially with the accomplished players I most admire, they can't seem to explain what they do very well at all. For instance I absolutely love the gorgeous tone(s) that Manuel Barrueco produces and if you read articles and interviews about him he's alway talking about how he wants the guitar to produce the most beautiful sound possible. And when it comes to explaining how he achieves his beautiful sound(s) and tone(s) he says that "one should imagine the kind of sound/tone in their mind they want before they play it and then go and play and produce that very sound" (something like that). Is that really the secret to getting a beautiful tone like Barrueco? There must be something much more detailed to it than that.
I think that having a beautiful sound in the guitar is a innate natural gift, like a great singer who is born with a unique rich sweet timbre and wide range. I realize that I will never have the voice of a Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye or Paul McCartney, maybe it's the same way with classical guitar, there's no way I'm ever going to have the beautiful tone of Barrueco, Russell or Marcin Dylla because that's a technique and aspect of classical guitar playing that can't be ever taught, you're just born with it or not.
I can't say what's going on when other people's head when they play but when I play I don't want to be aware of what my hands are doing. I can't tell you if I'm planting my thumb/fingers or muting the strings with my palm because I just play what I hear inside my head, not outside with my body.

If I don't want to know what my hands are doing, I sure as hell don't want instructions on how I can sound more like some classical guitarist. This does not mean I don't love and admire other players - it just means that I prefer to be myself.

What it all comes down if ones believes that a player's sound originates on the inside or from the outside.
a***@yahoo.com
2016-06-18 00:55:02 UTC
Permalink
Nice little piece and well played. I know you hear
it slow but it plods along right now, if you're really
convinced of this tempo maybe there's a way to
make it flow a little better. I think maybe the accom-
paniment is too loud so everything sounds a bit heavy
now.
I agree that my tempo is slow. In fact, when I practiced this with a metronome I always shot for a tempo of 70. That’s still slower than most people play it, but not as slow as my recording. Yet when it came time to ditch the metronome and record, I ended up with what you heard. Seems this piece has a gravitational pull that dials me down a notch.

Still trying to decide whether to record it again. I’ll live with this version for a while. If it starts to annoy me, I’ll redo it.

Regarding what other guitarists say about their playing, bear in mind that some are better at playing than describing how they play. Famous concert artists will land teaching gigs regardless of whether or not they have a gift for gab. Those who struggle to explain things don’t prove that things can’t be explained.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Andrew Schulman
2016-06-17 21:07:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
http://www.pooretom.com/soremajor.html
This is a very musical performance, Tom. I really enjoyed listening to it.

Andrew
Murdick
2016-07-05 14:01:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
"A great teacher does not teach the mechanics of playing
the guitar. You can get that stuff in books and on Youtube."
So according to this assertion, technique either can't or shouldn't be taught during a lesson.
Why?
In fact, the above quote seems absurd. It suggests that technique should learned, but only via books and video. For reasons left unsaid, having a teacher present in the room somehow invalidates good technical instruction.
Again, why?
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
There is no one way to play the guitar, but there are certain things that must be in place or the student will probably not succeed. A good teacher knows these things and is capable evaluating the student's progress and making adjustments as needed. Unfortunately, there are very few good music teacher's out there on any instrument. With the classical guitar, I think we have gone backwards.
Learnwell
2016-07-05 18:15:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Murdick
Post by a***@yahoo.com
"A great teacher does not teach the mechanics of playing
the guitar. You can get that stuff in books and on Youtube."
So according to this assertion, technique either can't or shouldn't be taught during a lesson.
Why?
In fact, the above quote seems absurd. It suggests that technique should learned, but only via books and video. For reasons left unsaid, having a teacher present in the room somehow invalidates good technical instruction.
Again, why?
Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
There is no one way to play the guitar, but there are certain things that must be in place or the student will probably not succeed. A good teacher knows these things and is capable evaluating the student's progress and making adjustments as needed. Unfortunately, there are very few good music teacher's out there on any instrument. With the classical guitar, I think we have gone backwards.
I just got back from a week teaching at the top rated Music Ed program in the country (IU). One of the things I said, including at a presentation attended by all, including the faculty from around the country, was that the hardest part of learning an instrument is finding good instruction.

Many can fool others into thinking they are thoughtful teachers, very few actually are.
d***@gmail.com
2016-07-06 00:55:35 UTC
Permalink
Congratulations on your success. I find it ironic that IU is one the top rated music ed programs. A few years ago I met a guitarist who attended there for both their bachelor and master degrees in guitar performance. They easily had the lowest level of technique I have ever seen from a guitarist running around with a master degree. They knew about their deficiencies too. They informed me in lessons technique was not addressed (I thought, 'clearly!'). He asked me for lessons but it never materialized. You would think an institution of high standing would not be letting students slip by like this, right. Or the reality is universities are just another business. I realize all studios have some dead weight, but certainly a high caliber music shouldn't be one of them.
Learnwell
2016-07-06 01:23:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
Congratulations on your success. I find it ironic that IU is one the top rated music ed programs. A few years ago I met a guitarist who attended there for both their bachelor and master degrees in guitar performance. They easily had the lowest level of technique I have ever seen from a guitarist running around with a master degree. They knew about their deficiencies too. They informed me in lessons technique was not addressed (I thought, 'clearly!'). He asked me for lessons but it never materialized. You would think an institution of high standing would not be letting students slip by like this, right. Or the reality is universities are just another business. I realize all studios have some dead weight, but certainly a high caliber music shouldn't be one of them.
I was not working with the guitar program, but the legendary studio of violin teacher MImi Zweig.

Guitarists are, largely, clueless when it comes to education.
Andrew Schulman
2016-07-06 01:33:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Guitarists are, largely, clueless when it comes to education.
Well, in your case that is very apparent from your many posts here, as well as the videos of your students that you used to post as well.

Andrew
Learnwell
2016-07-06 01:26:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
Congratulations on your success. I find it ironic that IU is one the top rated music ed programs. A few years ago I met a guitarist who attended there for both their bachelor and master degrees in guitar performance. They easily had the lowest level of technique I have ever seen from a guitarist running around with a master degree. They knew about their deficiencies too. They informed me in lessons technique was not addressed (I thought, 'clearly!'). He asked me for lessons but it never materialized. You would think an institution of high standing would not be letting students slip by like this, right. Or the reality is universities are just another business. I realize all studios have some dead weight, but certainly a high caliber music shouldn't be one of them.
And, by the way, a degree in performance has little or nothing to do with a degree in education.
John Nguyen
2016-07-06 01:38:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
And, by the way, a degree in performance has little or nothing to do with a degree in education.
Hmm, this is interesting. A top-notch institution in music ed has mediocre performance-degree graduate, and they have nothing to do with each other. I sense an irony somewhere in this sentence.
d***@gmail.com
2016-07-06 01:54:15 UTC
Permalink
Learnwell:
And, by the way, a degree in performance has little or nothing to do with a degree in education.

Response:

Of course you are right. A degree in performance has nothing to do with a degree in education. However, a graduate with poor skill speaks VOLUMES about the level of education taking place in the institution.
Learnwell
2016-07-06 02:03:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
And, by the way, a degree in performance has little or nothing to do with a degree in education.
Of course you are right. A degree in performance has nothing to do with a degree in education. However, a graduate with poor skill speaks VOLUMES about the level of education taking place in the institution.
Only within that particular department. Do you really think they are rated #1 by accident, or deception?

http://music.indiana.edu/departments/academic/music-education/
d***@gmail.com
2016-07-06 16:05:54 UTC
Permalink
I think academia is very far removed from what actually happens in a classroom. I think any 'rating' should be approached with a great deal of skepticism because the criteria for this kind of rating would be almost impossible to measure. They may have the greatest department in the world, but I KNOW of at least one graduate from their institution who is significantly subpar in their field. When this happens, it effects the perception on an institution's standard. This person may be able to solfege like a son of a bitch, but they can't play guitar worth a shit. I actually do think you have some good stuff to offer, but you have and continue to over intellectualize the whole process too much. It is a very stile approach.
Learnwell
2016-07-06 17:38:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
I think academia is very far removed from what actually happens in a classroom. I think any 'rating' should be approached with a great deal of skepticism because the criteria for this kind of rating would be almost impossible to measure. They may have the greatest department in the world, but I KNOW of at least one graduate from their institution who is significantly subpar in their field.
A field far removed from the one we were discussing, and a situation that illustrates my position that guitarists and good education are, for the most part, like oil and water.

When they do work together it is wonderful.

I'm working on it.
Learnwell
2016-07-06 23:38:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
I think academia is very far removed from what actually happens in a classroom. I think any 'rating' should be approached with a great deal of skepticism because the criteria for this kind of rating would be almost impossible to measure. They may have the greatest department in the world, but I KNOW of at least one graduate from their institution who is significantly subpar in their field. When this happens, it effects the perception on an institution's standard. This person may be able to solfege like a son of a bitch, but they can't play guitar worth a shit. I actually do think you have some good stuff to offer, but you have and continue to over intellectualize the whole process too much. It is a very stile approach.
OK, then what would meet your standards?

What if I did a residency at APSU?

Looking forward to your answer.
d***@gmail.com
2016-07-07 01:36:15 UTC
Permalink
Gregg,
I am well aware of your time at APSU. Congratulations. It is a small school with a handful of of excellent musicians. I am sure really helped students there. Obviously, I attended there purely because Stanley taught there and it was free for me. I attended a much larger music school in NY and the best conservatory in Venezuela with pretty much the best teacher and the best player in that country. My standards are not unreasonable or high. A player with a MM degree should be able to play advanced repertoire with OK technique. The person who could not and attended the university in this discussion for both degrees. The blame has to fall somewhere. Of course, mainly on the student, but the school plays a part. IU is a great music school, but no school will make you a great player. I just had this conversation with a friend of mine who attended state schools and has students from private conservatories studying with him on the down low. How ironic!

Any public school teacher KNOWS that academia is deeply out of touch with what actually happens in the classroom. I have talked with more than one public school teacher who felt their education classes were relatively worthless. From my own experience (I was a certified teacher), I agree!
Learnwell
2016-07-07 02:10:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
Gregg,
I am well aware of your time at APSU.
Really, then tell us about it.
d***@gmail.com
2016-07-07 02:26:59 UTC
Permalink
Of course, I know you were there. You are the 'outstanding string teacher of the year' aren't you? I have tried to be reasonably nice and respectful to you. You aren't returning the favor. You act like you are the smartest person, best player in the room. Not an endearing quality. I think you do have much to offer and I respect what you are doing, but open your mind. Imagine there might be other ways than your own. Many roads lead to Rome...
Learnwell
2016-07-07 03:11:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
You act like you are the smartest person, best player in the room. Not an endearing quality.
The truth is rarely popular, and speaking it is less so. Strive to find it irrespective of how that may make you feel.
Andrew Schulman
2016-07-07 05:44:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Learnwell
Post by d***@gmail.com
You act like you are the smartest person, best player in the room. Not an endearing quality.
The truth is rarely popular, and speaking it is less so. Strive to find it irrespective of how that may make you feel.
An interesting comment. Do you really think the truth is rarely popular? I don't. But striving to find it is a crucial step in so many ways. Looking at just these two threads you might want to consider striving a little harder to find the truth.

Andrew
d***@gmail.com
2016-07-07 12:24:44 UTC
Permalink
Gregg,
You have one version of a partial truth. And certainly, you are popular because people are buying your version. Strip the neuroscience (which you have very little academic creditials to be talking about it in the first place), you are just doing what good music teachers have done for generations.
Andrew Schulman
2016-07-07 17:06:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
Gregg,
You have one version of a partial truth. And certainly, you are popular because people are buying your version. Strip the neuroscience (which you have very little academic creditials to be talking about it in the first place), you are just doing what good music teachers have done for generations.
Doug, you about summed it up. A selling campaign based on very basic neuroscience, but the neuroscience simply explains what people have known empirically for eons about how people learn. However, it impresses some people who are not knowledgeable about the topic. I've shared some of this with actual neuroscientists, the experts I worked with in my book, and they laughed at the gimmickry. Yet this fellow we have been posting with claims to be the arbiter of a rare truth.

You and John and others have gotten to what the actual issue is; the total lack of ability to have a reasonable dialogue. He thinks he holds the one and only truth, and any statement to the contrary is "willful ignorance", "typical usenet". Weak. But not only that. It's a manifestation of some serious issues.

The most important sign of great teaching producing high level playing is the number of highly accomplished students the teacher is associated with. We have some really highly regarded teachers here. Among them: Tom Poore, Kevin Taylor, and Jerry Willard, I was just the first of many who studied with Jerry who went on to have professional careers as musicians.

Andrew
d***@gmail.com
2016-07-08 15:32:14 UTC
Permalink
Hi Andrew,
Your Dr. colleagues said the same thing as my wife who deals with neuroscience daily to treat trauma victims (she has 3 psychology degrees too). I don't know anything about neuroscience, but I have had students succeed in competitions and person enjoyment-which is far more important than competitions. Jerry had professional students while Gregg was still in diapers! These older teachers who have experienced many different students with many personalities and skill levels are the ones I am interested in hearing from.

Doug
Andrew Schulman
2016-07-08 17:04:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
Hi Andrew,
Your Dr. colleagues said the same thing as my wife who deals with neuroscience daily to treat trauma victims (she has 3 psychology degrees too). I don't know anything about neuroscience, but I have had students succeed in competitions and person enjoyment-which is far more important than competitions. Jerry had professional students while Gregg was still in diapers! These older teachers who have experienced many different students with many personalities and skill levels are the ones I am interested in hearing from.
Doug
The field of neuroscience is fascinating. I'd previously mentioned a book in one of these threads that directly relates to all these discussions. Written by William Forde Thompson, one of the leaders in the field of music cognition and perception. I think you'd benefit a great deal from reading it: https://www.amazon.com/Music-Thought-Feeling-Understanding-Psychology/dp/0195377079

Andrew
Learnwell
2016-07-08 18:08:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@gmail.com
Your Dr. colleagues said the same thing as my wife who deals with neuroscience daily to treat trauma victims (she has 3 psychology degrees too).
What of my work did you show her? Is the answer – nothing, but you had a casual conversation based on your opinions of a Usenet exchange?

Here, show her this.

http://ggoodhart.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Cincinnati-Conservatory-of-Music.pdf

With her background it should take less than 10 minutes to take it in. I GUARANTEE she will see the worth of it and probably be shocked a high school teacher came up with it. Neuroscience is a small part of what I do, it is mostly cognitive and behavioral psychology. She should be able to tell pretty quickly what it is worth.

Now the only question is do you want to know?

What would your opinion of someone’s character be if they denigrated the work of another without giving it a FAIR HEARING? Just curious.
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