Affirmation Alley

//Affirmation Alley

Affirmation Alley

You made it!  Thanks again for being a subscriber to the mailing list.

Let me know in the comments below what your best strengths are as a classical guitarist.

To get your positive thoughts flowing, here are a few things that might resonate with you…

A beautiful sound, great nails, a wonderful instrument, an experimental repertoire, great trills, a strong bass sound, good at phrasing, understanding the score, sight reading master, I bring joy to the listener, my dog sings with me, great rhythm, dedicated, making great progress, a love of learning.

So, hopefully those ideas will get you started.

I will start the ball rolling and give you my two best attributes as a guitarist (as I see them anyway).

I am a focused, hard worker  and I really love sharing my passion whether it be through teaching or performance.

O.K. now its your turn:


2016-10-24T00:19:50+00:0075 Comments


  1. Beau September 13, 2015 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Pretty fair blues guitarist…getting pretty good at scales using classical style…

    • Simon September 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm - Reply

      Nice one Beau. I started out with blues, playing along with Muddy Waters was my favorite thing :)

  2. Viv September 13, 2015 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    i am totally dedicated and can spend hours practicing or playing my limited repertoire, which i love. i am slowly expanding it, but, taking advice from Simon, not learning too many pieces. Better to be competent at a few, rather than poor at several. I am beginning to realise the dream that I had when I was nine years old. Come winter, I shall be subscribing to Practice Pass; really looking forward to that! Many thanks to Simon.

    • Simon September 13, 2015 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      Fantastic! Congratulations Viv.

    • John Earls September 14, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      Can’t figure out how to comment Simon on this page – but I agree with Viv.

      Always start off with runs of scales and appegios, and then onto Luís Milán’s pavanas (or 4 of them at least). Then to a bit of Gaspar Sanz and John Cooperari (Grey’s Inn 1st), and a few others.

      Finally I end with a sort of experimental thing of my own. One day I’ll try to write it down but it never seems to be ready enough :-(

      I let the guitar go for many decades but now I don’t see how to live without it.

      The best to all


  3. Chris September 13, 2015 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Beautiful low action classical guitar – I made it myself.

    • James Feltman June 23, 2016 at 2:26 pm - Reply

      Just saw this comment. How did you go about it.? Are you a luthier or a woodworker? I am an amateur woodworker working with only hand tools. It has always been in the back of my mind to attempt to build a guitar, but I have not started serious research yet.

  4. Richard Sørensen September 13, 2015 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    i am happy to hear that viv
    i have always had that ide
    but my teachers was allways forcing me to learn new pieces before i was finished with them

  5. Daniel Shugrue September 13, 2015 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    I have a good, solid sense of rhythm and I “play well” rhythmically with others. Part of growing up and playing with many many different people through high school, college, and in my 20s.

    • Simon September 13, 2015 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      Awesome, Dan. Thank you.
      How are the concert preparations going?

  6. Jack W"ilkinson September 13, 2015 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    I ran a classical guitar studio for 30 years and have taught classical guitar for over 40 years. I was good at enjoying what I do. I have known the English guitarist John Mills for over 20 years and I am a great fan of his tone and musicianship. In my own playing I manage on the odd occasion to get somewhere near that quality of sound and consider I am good at that when it happens. I have also composed a number of pieces for students that have been told are quite good so onward and upward more practice, practice, practice.

    • Simon September 13, 2015 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      Wow, that is an inspiring story to hear, Jack.
      I met John Mills a few times and had some lessons when I was at the RAM a wonderful teacher!
      Thanks for your contribution.

  7. Peter Lauzier September 13, 2015 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    From 1989-92 I owned a used John Mills signature model Asturias guitar with a spruce top. It was the best guitar I have ever owned, although I do enjoy my spruce Loriente Marieta. Someone I loved very much took a hammer to it in a pique of frustration/anger. I didn’t see the results of her handy work, but I still mourn for that guitar. I am 70 years old and though healthy, I see my relation to the guitar… and most things generally differently than when I was in my 20s to 50s. But even with seeing less time before me, I still see the need for the same systematic approach I employed when I was young and I thought I had all the time in the world to develop. I see that as being still true on a spiritual plane, but as an earth-bound person, I am still subject to some of the physical laws that are thought to be immutable.One of my strengths is my increased ability to listen. I am also more patient and forgive myself more often than in my youth for being all too human; that is, I am not perfect. I have also developed an increased empathy for all living things. I also do not let thoughts of the guitar dominate my life or thoughts, but recognize the need for a balanced existence. It distresses me when I hear guitarists seem almost exclusively concerned about things related to the guitar.The guitar is an instrument of prayer through which we reveal ourselves to ourselves.Peter

    • Gerard Ruppert September 14, 2015 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Wow. That was touching.

  8. Jerry Caprio September 13, 2015 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Bringing out, or trying to bring out, beautiful tone colors from my Jean-Noel Rohe guitar. I also work tirelessly at exercises from Rob Phelps, the person with whom I study, and have developed a new-found discipline to work patiently with the metronome on my tremolo.

  9. Chris September 13, 2015 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    I am also a hard worker and tenacious at practicing with my instrument. Thank you Simon for creating this website. It is informative and you have a gift for teaching. I enjoy learning how to play classical guitar from you.

  10. sandy September 14, 2015 at 2:15 am - Reply

    just starting out – so honestly not good at any aspect of guitar artistry (yet) but I love the guitar and I am really good at persevering, practice time is always a pleasure regardless of the outcome.

    I have also become quite good at being the tortoise and not the hare – mainly because the pieces in the level 1 and 2 books are interesting to a beginner and I can be confident that they will progress my ability in a structured and efficient way – thanks Simon!

  11. Douglas Robinson September 14, 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

    What am I good at?

    I seem to be good at wanting to do things.

    In the past, I wanted to qualify to go to university, and I wanted to qualify for engineering school, then I wanted to graduate as a Metallurgist, then I wanted to win a scholarship to study in Britain, then I wanted to complete a PhD, then I wanted to get experience in the metal production field, then I wanted to teach at a university, then I wanted to go into my own business, and then I wanted to work and live in Italy, then I wanted to sell my business to a larger engineering company, and through all this I wanted to travel the world, and most important I wanted to have a life partner, a wife.

    At the present time, I want to live a retired life. In doing so, I want to play golf, I want to build and fly model aircraft, and I want to play the guitar.

    I wanted to learn some chords and strum an acoustic guitar, playing mostly Beatles songs, and I did that for a number of years. Now I am wanting to learn to play classical guitar, and so I’m working through Simon’s various lessons. I have wanted to be able to read sheet music, and now I can, I want to play strings with all of my fingers, and I am developing dexterity at that. I have mostly wanted to play more than one string simultaneously, and I am learning to do so.

    Wanting to do things seems to be what I am good at!

  12. Gerard Ruppert September 14, 2015 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    I have a good ear, I know when I miss a note. Everything else…that’s on my ‘to do’ list.
    Picking up my new La Patrie Etude clams me regardless of how well I play.

  13. Chris September 14, 2015 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Simon,

    • I’m a very good reader
    • I play with a great tone
    • I can learn/memorize new music rather quickly
    • I’m becoming much better at hearing the music I play in my head and bringing it to life on the guitar
    • I think most of these positives are the result of a strong attention to detail

    Thank you for this prompt. Today we’re more likely to be modest and this forces us to focus on the negative aspects in our lives. This was a nice opportunity to escape that pitfall.



  14. Willim Braunstein September 14, 2015 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Positives: I have 2 wonderful Fleta guitars. Ihave been able to acumulate a fair repertoire of
    app. 50 pieces since 1986. I memorized them all at one timeor another. They are all quite beautiful,
    but difficult, and require constant practice. I love to work on them, and I do have the free time to
    do so.

    Negatives: I do neglect the formalism of music,i.e. scales arpeggios, etc, but work on the passages
    that force these exercises.I DO NOT SEEM TO BE ABLE TO PLAY IN FRONT OF ANYONE.
    The hands will not be controlled! I struggle on but the frustration does not end.
    I realize this varies from your format, but that’s my situation. Thanks for the “Guitar Corner”. Bill

    • Colleen Dixon July 8, 2016 at 4:04 am - Reply

      i have the same problem. The best thing is to play in front of people that care and love you and dont care….then move to strangers who generally don’care…then the world is your oyster!

  15. Chris ( Dusty ) September 14, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    I must confess I have had to rack my brain on this one, but outside from my love of music, I suppose my ‘good point’ is patience . . oh and shear bloody mindedness at times as I don’t know how to give up a good challenge. A case in point lately is the ‘Open Strings and Right Hand Rhythms of Lesson #4 of Simon’s Technical Routines. I regularly stumble over these, but over time they are at least beginning to resemble something like music rather than a collection of notes, some of which might be in the correct order. ( The last bit a quote from the late great English comedian ‘Eric Morecombe’ ).

  16. Brian Cullen September 15, 2015 at 2:51 am - Reply

    What a great idea Simon, it is easy to forget how we have to appreciate ourselves in order to understand guitar playing and life in general.
    I am good at drill type practice and recognising left hand problems and fixing them. I am also good at inspiring others through putting on my own concerts locally.

    I think I am a fair business man in regards to my gigging too.

    I was just practising the other day (first time in a while due to illness and work load issues) and I discovered that my left hand had lost strength, was sluggish and unresponsive / unexpressive. This article may help me to keep chipping away at the long patient practice ahead of me. ;)

  17. JR September 15, 2015 at 4:18 am - Reply

    I don’t know if this counts but at this point (only one year into it after taking it up at age 57 and retirement) I would have to say it is my DESIRE to become proficient…I am practicing every day to make that happen…so it is the journey I feel I am good at…occasionally I am hitting the right notes at the right time and they sound beautiful…that keeps me going…

  18. Jo September 15, 2015 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Good Tonal Memory.

    Good Memory for rhythm.

    Probably best at musicology !

  19. James Huckson September 18, 2015 at 7:38 am - Reply

    Thinking about the this topic I reckon what I have that is positive regarding classical guitar is my enthusiasm, as well as desire to play, learn and progress my skill base. My love of this beautiful instrument has continued since hearing recordings of John Williams playing ‘Asturias’ and Segovia playing the ‘Chaccone’, in the early 2000’s. Also I reckon I am reasonable at music theory.

  20. Frank Varano September 20, 2015 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    A couple of years ago I had to give up the guitar due to arthritis in my hands. But surprisingly, my hands are now returning to normal, enough so that I picked up the guitar again and started going through my repertoire of arrangements I used for accompanying my flute player. I am 97 now! I remember when I played the rhythm guitar in an orchestra in the 30s as a teenager. I had a guitar with me throughout WWII in the Pacific. You’d be amused at the musical combo we had aboard the minesweeper, Elliot (DMS 4) in the Bering sea. Guitar, harmonica, and a jug. A jug? Yes a jug for the bass.

  21. John D September 21, 2015 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    I love the instrument and the music. I have a good ear which helps in my tone and musicality development. Also, I possess a good rhythmic sense. I am determined yet flexible and enjoy trying different techniques, fingerings, etc. to overcome playing obstacles. I’m not afraid to experiment or “push my limits.” – John

  22. greg knittel September 23, 2015 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    I am looking forward to guitarfest next month. I love playing Chet Atkin arrangements and am pretty good at “Windy and Warm” – enjoy playing Beatle songs in that finger picking style. My sight reading is slow but I am enjoying my progress in getting better at it. My sense of rhythm is good, and I have a pretty good ear.

  23. Leonie September 24, 2015 at 2:15 am - Reply

    What a great topic…. we are all so good at putting ourselves down but every one has strengths and I think mine is a love of the guitar I never feel that the time i spend playing and practicing is wasted …I also love learning so for me the best part is learning each new piece [but not performing them because I get very nervous] Thanks again for the Guitar Corner

    Leonie t

  24. Tony Calduch October 12, 2015 at 7:44 am - Reply

    I am good at singing, hearing good tones from my guitar, writing down my practice goals for that particular session, and focusing on a small repertoire.

    Thank you for all of your help Simon.

  25. Cath October 19, 2015 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Being patient enough to not be too anxious to get off the second string! Well, I haven’t had a guitar for 40 something years and the fingers need time to untangle. I have no idea what happened to my Aria, but Lorelei ( a Manuel Rodriguez model E) was on eBay and she decided she was coming to live with me. A pro guitar playing friend also appreciates the total awesomeness of her sustain, although we are not quite up to luring unsuspecting passing sailors to their doom – yet..

    Best advice I can give anyone – keep a music stand in the bathroom for midnight practice sessions. Even the recorders and the singing don;t annoy the neighbours, while surrounded by tiles.

  26. Ben November 8, 2015 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    I first got turned on to classical guitar when I was about 12 or so, having spent the previous two years trying to learn to play like Elvis (I know, he mostly just wore it as a prop, but you get the idea). I got my parents to trade the old Kay archtop that I had gotten for Christmas a couple of years before on a classical guitar, then discovered that there was no one around who could teach the style. And of course back then we didn’t have the Internet or tons of books and DVDs (which didn’t even exist), so I gave up. Got caught up in the folk boom of the 60s, then later got turned onto bluegrass, which I played until about twenty years ago, when I got bored with three-chord songs and decided to try something more interesting. Took up big band swing guitar, which I still do. I eventually got turned on to Django Reinhardt and played in a gypsy jazz band for nine years until it broke up recently (amicably, fortunately).

    Back in the spring I thought, why not go back and try classical guitar again? I spent an hour at a local store, selected a nice Almansa guitar, and mentioned on Facebook that I was going to look for a teacher. Within an hour, someone I had known for years, who had taught at a local university before retiring, wrote to say that he would love to take me on as a student. I’ve bene studying with him ever since and loving it. The beauty of his teaching style is that it’s not strictly devoted to classical guitar technique and repertoire, there’s a lot of theory that was new to me, and he stated at the beginning that I would learn stuff that would affect anything else I do musically. Interestingly, one of my bandmates commented one day that since I started taking classical lessons, my gypsy jazz playing had become more interesting and adventurous.

    So to get to the point – what are my strengths? Well, first of all, over the years I have developed a very good ear. Unless the chart is really complicated, I can play most jazz tunes by ear and can figure out the progressions. I memorize well without really consciously trying – it’s more like the music becomes internalized somehow. I am dedicated and will work hard on assignments. All of which is good, because at the age of 69 and just starting out in classical guitar, there are a lot of challenges that a younger person might not face. Oh well, better late than never, as they say.

  27. Lord November 9, 2015 at 3:39 am - Reply

    I am good at improvising, producing melodies on the spot, playing with others and I have good tone. I am good at collecting odds and ends, I listen to other guitarist and collect from them bits and pieces and compile them in a way that allows me to accurately express my emotions in the moment.

  28. John Howarth May 7, 2016 at 9:54 am - Reply

    I first picked up Classical Guitar when I retired last year at the age of 65. I have always wanted to play, but lack of time was the main barrier due to a demanding job. How I wish I’d made time earlier in my life. However, with the help of a great teacher I am overcoming many barriers including an inability to read music, a less acute memory and less flexibility in my hands. In fact, in 12 months, she has taken me from zero to Grade 1 examination level. No mean feat. My strengths are patience, an ability to listen and learn from my mistakes, and gratitude to my instructor and the advice on your website. I really have thought at low points that I had left it too late to learn, but with encouragement it’s onward and upwards (even if I remain in first gear for most of the journey).


  29. Gregwhite25 May 9, 2016 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    I play an Esteve gr11 cedar top classical that’s 21yo. It has a beautiful tone and I am prou of the quality of tone I can make when I look after my nails and concentrate on RH. I have been learning about 5y.

  30. Nate June 5, 2016 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    I have good rhythm, my guitar sounds and plays great, my knowledge of the fretboard is solid, I can sight-read single-line music comfortably, my practice routine is well-thought out, and my i-m alternation is improving.

    Come to think of it, my greatest strength is that, little by little, I’m improving on a daily basis in all areas.

  31. Trina June 7, 2016 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Interpretation. Dedication to practice. I’m slowly building up my repertoire. Paying attention to technical details, while bearing in mind that each piece has a specific purpose and personality. I find this to be very exciting. And my unending fascination with music keeps me motivated to develop my musicianship as much as I can. BTW your website has been a great benefit, tool, resource … to me and I haven’t even explored all of its aspects. G O O D J O B!

  32. James Feltman June 23, 2016 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    I’ve been averaging 2 hours a day for the past few months. I’m hoping that good things come to he who is patient.

  33. James June 25, 2016 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    I’m a beginner at classical guitar, so I need a lot of work/practice in order for me to call myself good. However I’m very focused, borderline obsessive. A natural ability to create and learn music. I should have played classical guitar first.

  34. Colleen Dixon July 7, 2016 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    I kick ass at baroque.

  35. Oscar July 18, 2016 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    I was really good with repertoire and communicating, I had a good nails sound, a big sound. Since my left hand focal dystonia appeared I stop classical guitar and then focused more on songwriting. I can tell I’m good with it and producing perhaps I would like to be able to play classical guitar at least half of what I used to.

  36. Roy Neill July 24, 2016 at 11:10 am - Reply

    I’m pretty determined so I will pick a piece and stick with it until I can play it properly, even if it takes a year or two and sometimes it can. I use an Alhambra 7P with a cedar top which is about right for where I am at in my learning curve. I don’t have much time to practice due to work commitments but since I have joined the Classical Guitar Corner I have found that my practice time has become much more focused, and now I feel I am improving quite rapidly.

  37. Giovanni Herrera July 31, 2016 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    I love music, the guitar relaxed me, is like meditation. I do not care to be the best but the happiest. I am not competing I am having a long pleasant walk and enjoying everything about it. I have time to workout technique and musicality without feeling pressured. My kitty enjoys my playing. I am very greatful I have this oportunity in life.

  38. balazagi August 2, 2016 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    I am committed and good time manger with ability to focus on target when interests me!

  39. Dean Penny August 11, 2016 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Simon,
    Being English, I’m not used to talking about myself very much (we are a very reserved bunch generally!). But this does give me an opportunity to reflect on things musical apropos myself. My introduction to guitar was as a teenager, self taught in things “folky”, and to be honest not terribly good. It seemed OK when I was with other similarly minded friends, playing in folk clubs at college etc, but having left that environment, playing folky stuff on my own got terribly boring, and I yearned to be able to play “music”, something that I could develop and progress into. Hence I started learning classical guitar, was taught for a while by two different tutors, and progressed reasonably, since I was encouraged to play in student concerts, and hence had to practice rather a lot, often 2 hours an evening after work. However, not having had any basic music theory tuition, it was always going to be difficult. Sight reading was dismal! I found I could play pieces, seemingly “well”, after much work, without great understanding. This lack of musical understanding held me back.
    I was lucky enough to buy a guitar from a luthier in Cornwall, a family friend, who made beautiful violins, violas, harps, etc, and who received many awards for the musical tonality of his instruments, having entered his instruments in various luthiery shows. He made only three guitars, one of which is mine I am proud to say. Rio rosewood back and sides, cedar top, ebony fretboard etc, he sourced what was at the time perceived to be the pinnacle of guitar woods,and it has been my pride and joy for many years (built in 1983). It can produce a remarkably beautiful tone and volume. Hence, I have striven to do it justice.
    I have sought to tutor myself via the web, in music theory, and listen extensively to all things relevant. It was whilst sourcing such material I came across your website. I have been truly inspired by your approach to classical guitar tuition.
    So to answer your initial question, I think I’m inquisitive, determined to improve, receptive of advice, whilst being aware of my limitations. I want to learn and improve. My biggest joy at present is that my 7 yr old son is also learning, and doing well. I am encouraging him at his tender age, appreciative of the fact that I did not have that opportunity. To grow up with music is such a bonus. I am learning that rather too late, but I am giving it a go!

  40. Dawn C. November 18, 2016 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Great suggestion, thanks Simon!

    I can slow down to great effect, make certain phrases slower, others faster. I can do silence…I’m not afraid of silence…before moving on with a piece. I can also put great emotion into pieces that I like. I really enjoy encouraging others too!

    I also know when to answer a specific question, so I’m not even going to start with what I’m not good at…..;)

  41. Ian January 28, 2017 at 2:08 am - Reply

    I am good at approaching a topic with the best evidence for improvement.
    Musically I am good at chords , my innate ear for music is good . I have a great guitar. I am getting good at producing good tone-and starting to appreciate the concept of legato.
    “In music performance and notation, legato [leˈɡaːto] (Italian for “tied together”; French lié; German gebunden) indicates that musical notes are played or sung smoothly and connected. That is, the player makes a transition from note to note with no intervening silence. Legato technique is required for slurred performance, but unlike slurring (as that term is interpreted for some instruments), legato does not forbid rearticulation. Standard notation indicates legato either with the word legato, or by a slur (a curved line) under notes that form one legato group. Legato, like staccato, is a kind of articulation. There is an intermediate articulation called either mezzo staccato or non-legato (sometimes referred to as “portato”).” ref wiki

  42. Ken Yuska February 20, 2017 at 1:12 am - Reply

    I love sounds, making a tune. When I play bass with in a church (or other) group, I enjoy ensemble, making others sound good and adding a bit of my spirit to the group; I am a backup guy. While my guitar experience is not yet up to performing with others, as a I become more proficient, it should come.
    The guitar is fun because it is a big, complicated instrument with a lot of strings, like a piano. There are lots of fun fingerings, all kinds of different tone qualities to explore. There is a big mellow sound inside my guitar; when I am alone with it sometimes it comes out.

  43. Gabe Flicker February 21, 2017 at 11:04 am - Reply

    I’m 64 and try to ski or cycle daily. Some day that will stop. I’ve taken up classical guitar to exercise my mind as well as body. I call it my dementia prevention program. I’m blessed and have more than enough stuff and never thought I’d actually love anything I owned. But if my guitar were to die by being damaged beyond repair I know I would mourn. My strength is that I play daily and enjoy the process as much as the result.

  44. Thomas February 25, 2017 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    I have my persist drive to get it prefect. I just picked up my guitar a few months ago after 20 years of it sitting in the case, So now I am driven to make it sing as best that I can. Your emails on how to practice help out a lot. Like the one practice slow I found myself trying to play the piece at the speed it was written and just fumbling it so I SLOWED it down and tada got.

  45. Jonathan Draper March 28, 2017 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Discipline! I have a choice every day: practise, or decide that I can’t be arsed. I choose to practise. It works! I can play all sorts now, and the rewards only get bigger. You just have to do it. If you don’t like your playing level, your lack of repertoire, or whatever, just sort it out.

  46. Eddie Jefferson April 1, 2017 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    I am still in early stages of classical guitar, but I am dedicated and disciplined. I try to practice every day even if it is for 10 mins. If I know that I only have 10 mins I will try to nail a scale. I cannot wait to start building my repertoire, but I am determined to listen to Simon’s guidance and make sure that I get the correct technique down first. My musical taste is vast and hopefully this will help in my journey. :-)

  47. Thomas April 18, 2017 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    In all honesty, I think my strongest skills when it comes to the guitar is my ability to be creative, and think creatively. I am good at experimenting with sounds, and pitches the guitar makes. One of my goals, and reasons for becoming a member of Classical Guitar Corner is to find that perfect sound.

  48. Marten April 25, 2017 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    My strength at the moment is my newly found and wonderful interest in music. I listen to LOTS of classical music at the moment, I think about and try to study the theory. I went to my first classical music live event a few weeks ago and was totally blown away! It was a professional clarinet quintet playing Brahms in our local church and I couldn’t believe the sound and feeling!!
    I wouldn’t be surprised if I will end up trying to compose a bit in a few years.
    I am confident that my guitar playing will help me enjoy my listening and vice versa.
    Thank you very much for all the Inspiration Simon, Dave and the rest of the CGC-community :)

  49. Jay Soobrayen May 19, 2017 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    To be honest I’d never have spared time to think of what I’m good at the guitar if that interesting question hadn’t been put. I’m learning to play the classical guitar since two years now. I’ve Ramirez student model guitar which pleases me in terms of sound quality and projection. I note that with constant practice my sound quality is getting better. I’m patient and I don’t miss any opportunity to practice. I’m a good student as I always strive to learn and to apply the advice that best suits my situation. I’ve a good sense of rhythm though my sight reading is not that perfect. I’m building up a repertoire little by little. I’ve the chance of having a good teacher and I follow all the valuable pieces of advice provided by Simon on CGC. I wish that my playing will keep on improving with more commitment on my part. Thank you Simon.

  50. Bubble Burns August 1, 2017 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    At best I can claim to be very disciplined about practicing as I really want to learn.

  51. David Maletich September 8, 2017 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    I seem to have a fairly easy time at memorizing the musical score, ergo I’m not too great at sight reading!!! Kind of good news – bad news! :-)

  52. Adolfo October 25, 2017 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    My forte is the practice, to be as perfect as possible in the performance and my intention is to create a group of guitarists where we give to know our national music interpreted in marimba and to interpret it in guitar. regards

  53. David Nigel Lloyd November 5, 2017 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    I am fearless and shameless. I hear a great guitarist and never determine to quit but what I can legitimately steal from that musician. About five years ago, I sat about four feel in front of Johannesburg Moller. I can recognize his tone anywhere. So my takeaway was to remember that the left hand is vocabulary and the right hand your voice. Think about that. And he had this very simple thumb and first finger figure he played on his 6the string. I can That! So I do. I am composer of folk/art type songs. I use techniques, motifs etc. wherever I find them.

  54. Sergio Romero November 6, 2017 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    My strengths? That’s easy. I always, always, always, did I mention that I always, set the metronome to practice some Sagrera’s lessos (15 min), 5 Giulliani arpeggios (2 min each), the first six Segovia scales (three runs).

    After that I practice repertoire and, if I am not working on “musicality” which means I am focusing on a specific section weather learning, or polishing it I always, always, always set the metronome at around 70% of the target tempo.

    I have found that this way of practicing first and foremost requires the utmost discipline, that was the hard part. After doing this consistently I have seen consistent improvements in my playing which allowed me to tackle a piece which would have been just outside my reach before that.

  55. Keith Masey November 21, 2017 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Hmm? My biggest strength as a musician and guitarist is also my biggest weakness! I’m scatterbrained eclectic with next to no self-discipline. I listen to everything I like and that ranges from punk rock to Stockhausen by the way of J.S. Bach and Iron Maiden. My greatest strength is that I can analyse well and break down something I like and understand it. Music analysis is a big thing for me, I can do it just as well with Bartok as The Ramones. My lack of focus (weakness) is made up for (I hope) with the fact I have passion and really good music theory knowledge.

    Anyway, my greatest strength is that I’m a musical magpie. I think it was the great work of Frank Zappa that made me how I am as a musician.

  56. Jim Graham January 8, 2018 at 1:27 am - Reply

    I started out wanting to learn Classical Guitar, how to read music and Music Therory. I’m getting better at all three as well as really good at making all the cats in the neighborhood yowl!

  57. Katherine Caldwell February 2, 2018 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    As a single mom of two in the military I find myself incredibly busy, but I still take the time to play my old classical guitar I got from a submariner or my piano in the morning for a few minutes to help me start the day in a good mood. I feel like I am good at playing improv and just letting the stress out into the music.

  58. Arturo February 27, 2018 at 4:00 am - Reply

    I am a good Hybrid style (Pick/Fingers) player. I play a variety of music from Classical to Contemporary Fingerstyle. I am creative and come up with unique chord progressions to play lead lines over top. I understand the value of “silence” in music and use it to create emotion. I can play a variety of alternate tuned songs. I am always striving to improve……

    BTW: As you can tell I am not the normal classical player but I love the dicipline and practice classical techniques. I enjoy your Podcasts and teachings. Thanks for blessing me & keeping me on the growth path.

    Arturo Echarte
    Acoustic for a Change
    “Changing Lives One Instrument at a Time”

  59. Molly Alcott February 27, 2018 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    An older acoustic folk music player from the ‘50s, I learned to read music at 69 . This has been a wonderful gift which has improved my skills on the classical guitar. Also it has provided the opportunity to play in a guitar/mandolin orchestra. I enjoy playing and meeting other musicians as well as advancing my playing abilities. Thanks Simon for the thought provoking question!

    • Susan Tonog May 26, 2018 at 8:14 am - Reply

      If you have a passion, there`s nothing impossible to accomplish your goal.

      This is always what i think. I persevere and enjoy playing

  60. Susan Tonog May 26, 2018 at 8:09 am - Reply

    I just enjoy playing and persevere in finishing up a certain basic classical piece i have started.

    I want to perform and use my skill when there is opportunity.

    Thank you Simon for your great encouragement.

    • Dave Belcher May 26, 2018 at 12:19 pm - Reply

      Keep on keeping on, Susan! Thanks for the note.


      Dave B (CGC team)

  61. Julian Lewis September 9, 2018 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    I don’t have a huge repertoire, my technical skills are limited, I take liberties with the tempo, I make minor changes and when I play a piece I make it my own, and play it my way. Bach would probably turn in his grave if he knew what I did to some of his music, but in the end what counts is to play the way you feel and to create something beautiful. Some times people who hear me play enjoy the result, basically though I play for myself and I’m good at doing that.

  62. Tony November 13, 2018 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    I can take on a challenge, a new piece or study that I want to learn and patiently move ahead. I can feel the music growing in me and it makes me feel good. I can find inspiration from all kinds of sources on the internet. I can write my own pieces and have been producing some ” Jazz ” compositions which I feel most comfortable with. I have grown up with Jazz and Blues. I think I am eclectic though and like to tune into many kinds of music.I like to busk. For a long time my favourite pieces were the Rumba and the Columbiana from Paco Pena/s Toques Flamencos. I am not really a Flamenco Guitarist though. i just loved to play those pieces. I know them so well I can leave alone for ages and get them together quite easy. I think I like to improvise or make up music as I go along. I sometimes get ides from watching others on the internet about different types of colour. I want to be open to experience
    and to enjoy my playing.

  63. David Nollmeyer December 12, 2018 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    I listen to great guitar music. I have many of the archives of Segovia, Parkening, Williams, Russel, Isbin, and even like Starobin hence 21st Century avant garde. I am serious about theory. I believe at 57 years of age I am playing to compose. I know my basic 4 Part Harmony and Counterpoint fairly well. I hope to get into sectional arranging and orchestration.

    I would tend to write chamber music, small ensembles, and solo.

  64. Sara January 16, 2019 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    As an intermediate guitar player, I think my strength is that I would like to feel the mood of the piece I’m working on, which makes me focus on the musicality a lot. I sometimes play the same measures for half an hour trying different ways of expressing the “feeling” of the piece (ex: emphasizing bass notes or using vibrato, legato etc). Interesting and fun for me — also a good way to practice different techniques.

    • Dave Belcher January 21, 2019 at 7:42 am - Reply

      That’s great, Sara! Often lingering for longer than expected with a small chunk of music can really unlock things we previously were unable to hear about that small chunk. This is a great way to dig into the mood of a piece. Thanks for sharing!


      Dave B (CGC team)

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