Beginner Classical Guitar Lessons

//Beginner Classical Guitar Lessons

Beginner Classical Guitar Lessons

To accompany the podcast on beginner classical guitar lessons available above, I have included extensive notes on the topics below. If you have questions of your own, or if you would like to contribute your own knowledge to help others, please do! You will find the comments at the bottom of this page.

Classical Guitar, an incredible instrument

Welcome to the most beautiful instrument in the world! I am so glad you have found your way to the classical guitar because it can be a lifetime companion and a great way to find focus and beauty in this complex modern world.

For me, the classical guitar represents an exploration and a experimentation. It is one of the most expressive instruments to play and is physically very intimate with our hands and body.

In the beginning stages, there might seem to be a lot of information and small mountains to climb, but I guarantee you that its worth it. Know that even the simplest sounding of a string is a technique that can be explored for decades and there is no finish line that we are striving for. Rather, you will get to enjoy little revelations on a regular basis whether it be with beginner technique or advanced repertoire and each revelation is as pleasurable as the next.

So enjoy this beginner stage, because it is one of the most exciting.

Here are the fifteen questions I have addressed in the podcast and on the page.

  1. Buying your first guitar
  2. Accessories – Strings, supports, cases, tuners
  3. Sitting position
  4. Nails vs. No Nails
  5. Injuries and Ailments
  6. Free stroke vs. Rest Stroke
  7. Right and Left Hand independence
  8. Notation vs. TAB
  9. Do I need to know theory?
  10. When do I start playing repertoire and what do I play?
  11. Progress and Frustration
  12. Finding a teacher
  13. Recommendations of players, composers, and teachers
  14. How much should I practice?
  15. Common mistakes and some general suggestions…

#1 Buying your first guitar

CGC-Course-Image-TechniqueI will recommend to you the same two guitars I recommend to all of my students when they are first starting out. Either the Yamaha C40 or the Cordoba C5. There is around a one to two hundred dollar price difference between them, so if you want to get the best bang for your buck, go for the Yamaha, which can be found for approximately $150 USD. If you are willing to go to the $300 price range, I would recommend the Cordoba C5. I have no affiliation whatsoever with these companies, I recommend them because I know them and have had many students use them.

We are living in a ‘buyers market’ for classical guitars and it really is quite phenomenal that we can get quality instruments at these price points. As you progress through the beginner stages you will most likely start searching for other instruments that provide a richer sound and more refined playability but these two guitars will serve you well in the beginning stages.

Should you buy one of these instruments on the internet? In general, I would say no. This is because even though the instruments are quite consistent there can be variations between each one even if they are the same make and model. My best recommendation would be to take someone along with you to a guitar store that can play guitar and have them try out several guitars of the same model. Even if you don’t play them yourself, you will probably be able to hear a difference between them and this will help your choice. If you can already play a little, make sure you try each one while observing the playability of the instrument. 

When I say “playability” I am referring to how the instrument feels in the hands and how easy it is to play. Sometimes the fingerboard can feel rough, or the strings are too high on the guitar, or perhaps the tuning pegs get stuck. These are all elements that vary slightly between instruments. 

If you do a bit of digging on the internet you will find advise on checking the ‘action’, checking the straightness of the neck, making sure the frets are not poking out the side. The tricky part about thisadvise is that you are probably not able to check these things for yourself at the moment, so it can just add to the confusion. I find that #1 taking a player along with you will most likely get around this issue and #2 the instruments I recommended really are quite good and I would be surprised if important aspects like the string action or neck shape were severely out of whack. 

Lastly, and this always seems strange to me, if you have gone to a guitar store and picked an instrument, don’t accept the offer of the salesperson to grab another guitar from the storeroom! The idea that you get a “fresh” one all wrapped up defeats the purpose of choosing one in the first place (I always find it strange when this happens…).

#2 Accessories

Strings

We are even lucking with strings these days than we are with instruments! They are affordable and they are consistent. Just like the guitar, the strings will affect the sound you produce and experimenting with different strings can be a fun experience but not one I would recommend for beginners. So, when you are starting out I would recommend using D’Addario J45 which is normal tension or D’Addario J46 which is high tension. The high tension strings will have a little more resistance on the fingers, so if you are just getting used to the sensation of playing and your fingertips hurt, go for the normal tension. 

Why D’Addario? First and foremost they are affordable and high quality, secondly I know the people and the company and they contribute greatly to the musical community at large. 

Footstools and supports

Classical guitar technique has the guitar neck raised upwards so the hand is able to do some finger acrobatics without stressing the wrist. In order to raise the angle of the neck we need to either raise our left leg up to support the guitar, or use any number of different guitar supports that raise the guitar without needing to raise your actual leg. 

The footstool has been the method of choice for most of the the twentieth century, it is a simple device that can change height to accommodate your set up. The main issue with the footstool is that it requires you to have your left leg raised for sustained periods of time which can stress muscles in your back. It is rather innocuous for short periods, but used every day for several hours… it can cause problems. 

Guitar supports have become increasingly popular because of their ergonomic benefits. There are cushions, A-frames, custom wood designs, discreet attachments, magnets, and suction cups. The common downfall among these supports is that they can be less stable than a footstool. Also, many of these devices use suction cups which can either come unstuck or damage the finish of the guitar. 

I would recommend using a guitar support over a footstool as it is so important to take care of our bodies. 

What do I use? An Ergoplay Täppert model. 

Cases

Accord-envyYes, your guitar needs a case. It will protect it from light scratches to full on punctures in the soundboard. 

Cases, like many of the accessories are kind of fun because they can add a stamp of personality to your instrument. So, if you want to go crazy and get a colorful case that can withstand a jumbo jet rolling over it, go for it! For a slightly more practical approach…

If your guitar is going to live at home, and you don’t plan on traveling anywhere with it, you can get away with a simple soft case which has light padding on the inside. 

If you are planning to take your instrument on public transport of any kind I would suggest getting a hard case. These can vary from simple plywood cases with three latches to sleek carbon fibre custom cases. Hiscox cases are more than sufficient for all needs and are readily available around the world. They are a bit bulky and cumbersome but do a good job on flights. The nice thing about classical guitar cases is that they can be used for different guitars. Unlike the infinite variety of electric guitars or even the various steel string guitars out there, classical guitars are fairly uniform in size and shape. 

Is there a case out there that will survive the gauntlet of airport baggage? No. I have heard of guitars being destroyed in all types of cases, so you will just have to cross your fingers. 

I have a variety of cases, as I have several guitars. Hiscox, an Eastman fiberglass case, and a no-name brand that is pretty flimsy.

Tuners

This is easy. There are some great ‘clip-on’ tuners out there that will make your life very easy. D’Addario makes them, Korg makes them and a variety of other brands too. Another alternative is a simple iPhone app that you can use. Gotta love living in the 21st century!

#3 Sitting position

The classical style uses a raised angle of the neck. This facilitates ease of access to the fingerboard and also allows the right hand to attack the string at an angle. As with everything there are wonderful examples of exceptions to this norm. Ricardo Gallen, Yamandu Costa, even Paco De Lucia had a variation that suited him. 

I don’t like setting black and white rules, so I am open to variations that people come up with. I do, however, recommend that you start with the classical position and try it for at least six months before coming up with any necessary alternatives. It is stable, ergonomic and time tested so I encourage you to use it from the outset. 

#4 Nails vs. No nails

Modern classical guitar technique uses a combination of nail and flesh to make sound with the right hand digits. The nail surface is shaped and polished to give us a clear and versatile sound. The vast majority of players use their right hand nails as part of their technique and I would recommend this too. 

Sometimes, because of work or a multitude of other reasons, nails just aren’t a possibility. This is completely fine, you can still play classical guitar! 

There are a number of members here at CGC who play without nails and they make a wonderful sound. In fact, some will prefer the sound made without nails and also enjoy the sense of connection between flesh and string. The use of nails on the classical guitar started around the turn of the 19th century so a lot of the music you are going to be playing would have been played by the fingertips in their origin renditions. 

If you are using nails, know that you are embarking on a long path of experimentation. It takes time to find out what shapes work best for you, and that time is made even longer by the fact nails take time to grow out so you can try them all at the same time… 

#5 Injuries and Ailments

We all have our challenges when it comes to the body, it is going to be a matter of adaptation and compromise to find the best playing situation for you. 

I have received many emails asking if playing classical guitar is a possibility when dealing with (X).  The answer for almost everyone is yes. Arthritis, missing tendons, missing digits, back pain, the list goes on. The key is to be thoughtful and mindful about your body, and then be willing to adapt to your individual situation. 

Some compromises I have used for students in the past include:

  • Using a pick in the right hand because of missing tendons in the fingers
  • Using artificial nails because of brittle nails in the right hand
  • Dropping out certain notes in a piece of music because the stretch was not possible or causing grief
  • Re-finging passages for the left hand to suit a person who had fewer fingers at their disposal

I also a big believer in taking care of the body to prevent injuries. So, stretch and be mindful of your body when playing. 

#6 Free Stroke vs Rest Stroke

Over time you will find that, like a painters brush, you will have many right hand strokes at your disposal for different musical needs. In the beginner stages with classical guitar we tend to lump these strokes into two broad categories. Free stroke or rest stroke. 

Free stroke is used for almost all playing in the classical guitar repertory, and rest stroke is used for fairly specific needs like bringing out a melodic line or projecting sound. For this reason, in my method I put the bulk of my emphasis on free stroke in the beginner lessons. 

The rest stroke is usually easier for beginner guitarists to achieve, so it can be tempting to use the rest stroke to start off with. In my experience it can be a hard to free stroke once rest stroke has been instilled first and it can make the student form a bad right hand position. 

#7 – Right Hand Accuracy and Left Hand Independence

You will find that in both hands, dexterity, strength, and accuracy will come with time. Part of this is to do with your brain learning new movements, but there is also a physical change that has to happen. When answering this line of questioning I often tell a story about my good friend Janet Agostino.

Janet and her family came to visit me in New York, and then decided to go ice skating at Rockerfeller Center… big mistake.

Four wrist fractures later, Janet had her left wrist in a cast foo about six weeks. Janet is a professional musician and she has been playing guitar for over forty years. However, when the cast came off she had lost the strength and flexibility in her muscles, ligaments and tendons. Surprisingly after the cast came off she could not even play a G Major chord in first position. She had to develop her strength and flexibility all over again.

So, you will have to be patient like Janet as your hands develop these attributes. With time, and perseverance you will find that your fingers start “behaving” and the small movements on the guitar become more familiar.

#8 Notation vs. TAB

CGC-Course-Image-NotationBoth standard notation and tablature (TAB) are visual instructions for us to make music. Neither of these forms of communication are perfect, but there are some specific benefits and drawbacks to each one.

Tablature is easy to understand straight away, and it can communicate the basics of what finger where very clearly. For simpler repertoire it can work quite well, however, it starts to show serious deficiencies as music becomes more complex and has layers of rhythm and pitch.

Standard notation is also flawed, especially when it comes to the guitar! One crucial aspect is that it is a common language shared by the classical music community at large and it will allow you to interact with other musicians, which is absolutely necessary.

Furthermore, almost the entirety of the music you will be working on in the classical guitar repertory is written in standard notation, so there really is no question about whether you should learn standard notation or not. You need to.

It can be a steep learning curve in the beginning, but you can do it, and it gets easier with time.

#9 Do I need to know theory?

No, you can play classical music without knowing the theory behind it… but you can learn it very easily.

Theory and Analysis carry a little bit of a stigma in that it seem overwhelming, and overly complex. The truth is that anything that helps you understand the music that you are working on will add to the pleasure of your study and the quality of your performance.

Analysis can be anything you want it to be, it does not have to be using a certain vocabulary and it definitely is not exclusive to scholars. Are there two sections in this piece? Yes? Great that is some analysis that will help. Is there a repeated musical idea that surfaces several times? Yes? Great, that is helpful too.

Starting off with simple observations often leads to some wonderful discoveries, and these discoveries will make your musical studies infinitely more enjoyable.

Theory can be a bit more specific in that there are particular concepts that you will apply in western music. Scales, building chords, and the relationship between those chords are all part of what you will learn. It can seem abstract for quite a while during the early stages, but given time it opens up another perspective and level of musical comprehension in your repertoire.

It is not necessary to know theory, but I would highly encourage you to learn.

#10 When do I start playing repertoire and what do I play?

In the fundamentals course I get us playing a simple melody straight away. So in answer to this question, you can start playing a simple piece in your very first lesson!

From that point it really is a case of careful structuring with your repertoire. If you suddenly dive into a piece that is too far down the path then you will get frustrated and lose faith in your ability to progress.

To counter this in the beginning stages you need to find a method book, a course or a teacher who will map out this progress for you. It is really not possible to choose your own pieces at this point because many are deceptively difficult.

My level 1 course, the Frederick Noad Book and also the books from the Guitarist’s Way (for kids) are suggestions for this approach.

#11 Progress and Frustration

As I mentioned in the previous point, the number one cause of frustration is working on material that is too difficult for our skill set. This is much more of an issue for adults rather than kids because kids accept what they are given in a curriculum whereas adults want to jump to the repertoire that inspired them to play in the first place…

If there is one takeaway for everybody from the entire CGC site it is to be patient and mindful of advancing repertoire and technique.

In addition to this well worn concept we can sometimes just hit a wall. This can happen for no reason, and I often suggest a break from the current study materials and if it is really a depressing plateau then perhaps even a week off playing to explore some other musical paths like listening, concert attendance or reading.

We all hit plateaus, so you are not alone in this. Perseverance and a bit of creativity can get your through to the next level as well as a good dose of patience.

#12 Finding a good teacher

A good teacher is crucial.

In my education I had several teachers that were less than stellar and it hindered my progress quite a lot.

A good teacher should be able to play well, doesn’t have to be a virtuoso, but if they cannot play to an advanced level I would doubt their ability to guide someone else to an advanced level.

It is also a good idea to find examples of other students that the teacher has worked with, this can be a good indication of their effectiveness as a teacher.

To be honest, there are many teachers out there who are not passionate about teaching. Rather, they teach because it provides an income. This can lead to a lesson to lesson approach that lacks structure and will often result in working on inappropriate repertoire.

I put a great deal of though into my own teaching materials here at Classical Guitar Corner, so I can proudly stand behind this school’s method. Other teachers that I admire who are also online include Gohar Vardanyan, and Kevin Gallagher.

#13 Recommendations of performers and composers

Always a tough question to answer off the top of my head after workshops, so I am happy to have some time to think right now…

Performers who I admire and are outstanding musicians:

  • Julian Bream
  • John Williams
  • David Russell
  • Ricardo Gallen
  • Aniello Desiderio
  • Yamandu Costa
  • Benjamin Verdery
  • Andres Segovia
  • Duo Melis

Some composers who have written for the guitar or had music arranged for the guitar who I would recommend listening to:

  • J.S. Bach (Lute Suites, Violin Suites, Cello Suites)
  • John Dowland (Lachrimae Pavan, Forlorn Hope Fancy)
  • Benjamin Britten (Nocturnal)
  • Leo Brouwer (El Decameron Negro)
  • Agustin Barrios Mangore (La Catedral)
  • Issac Albeniz (Cordoba)
  • Enrique Granados (Valses Poeticos)
  • Astor Piazzolla (Invierno Porteño)
  • Fernando Sor (Variations on a Theme by Mozart)
  • Mauro Giuliani (Rossiniana No.1)
  • Nuccio D’Angelo (Due Canzoni Lidie)
  • Manuel Ponce (Sonata Romantica)
  • And sooo many more… but that should get you started.

#14 How much should I practice?

Classical Guitar Practice Templates

This might be the most frequently asked question in music education… and I think it is so frequent because the answer is always…. it depends.

One tenet is that regular practice trumps practicing in large disparate chunks. So fifteen minutes every day is better that one hour a week.

The other tenet is that you can practice for several hours and get very little done, so your practice has to be intentional and focused.

As a suggestion, a very broad one, for the beginning stages I would say 30 minutes to one hour each day will provide you with steady progress.

 

#15 Common mistakes and some general suggestions

These are obviously bigger topics than a bullet point and they have all been addressed at length in the podcast and blog, but just as a reminder…

  • Set classical guitar goals for yourself. For the day, for the week, month and year. They will help you stay on track and avoid frustration.
  • Be restrained and patient with your repertoire selection, resist the temptation to take on something that is too hard.
  • Focused practice is better than scattered. Use your phone to set a timer and set a specific goal for fifteen minutes. Don’t break your focus or move on to more material until the time goes off.
  • Remain positive. This is a beautiful way to spend your time and even if you don’t feel it you are most likely making progress. A positive mindset will help you remain dedicated and improve.
  • Perform as much as you can, as soon as you can. Performance is daunting for all of us, but if I have learned one thing from the live CGC sessions with the members it is that everyone enjoys the experience and it gets easier after taking that first plunge!

 

2017-09-24T17:00:52+00:00 32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. George April 11, 2016 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Excellent article. I couldn’t agree more with the points made, especially the pleasure received from playing. However simple or complex the piece, if you can listen to yourself and play it well, “Nirvana”.

  2. Katherine April 11, 2016 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    This is so good and clear Simon. The direction of travel is traced, only now for me to get actions in motion..:) Raphaella Smits not in your list of performers? I like hearing her play Bach’ ‘Chaconne’. Thank you for opening up a whole new world of music for me.
    Cheers
    Katherine

    • Simon April 12, 2016 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      Hi Katherine, thanks for your addition. Raphaella is indeed a wonderful musician and person.

  3. Bryan Finley April 11, 2016 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Dear Simon,

    Your list of artists that you like is a good one, but you might want to go online and very carefully watch and listen to Ana Vidovic. As a professional musician, I would consider her technique very clean and accurate. Her expression of the music is also good, and she has an amazing amount of pieces in her memorized repertoire. It is impressive how little she looks at the guitar in most pieces. I would suggest listening to at least 15 of her pieces, and watching her interviews.
    Very impressive.

    I enjoy your dedication and commitment to the classical guitar.

    Bryan Finley

  4. Dan April 11, 2016 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    A very informative article Simon. I’ve already experienced some of the things you talk about in my very short time (3 months) with the guitar. I’m very fortunate to have found CGC and in fact that is one of reasons I even attempted to pick up the guitar. Thank you for making this possible. I’m working on Level one courses and, as you say, the small accomplishments are very rewarding. I will keep the things you talk about here in mind as I slowly progress. Thanks again.

  5. Anthony E Strong April 11, 2016 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Nails. I suffered from brittle cracked nails. Tried many ‘cures’, some expensive to no avail. I then tried Sweet Almond Oil, cheap and very effective. My nails are now in excellent condition.

    • Simon April 12, 2016 at 6:17 pm - Reply

      Hi Anthony,

      Thanks for the comment, I too have heard great things about Almond Oil. I will have to check it out!

    • Dobrogator March 26, 2017 at 1:32 am - Reply

      Anthony,

      Sweet Almond oil….not familiar with it….

      Is it a diet supplement or do you apply it directly to nails?

      Which brand is best and where can you buy it?

      Can you please PM me with more information?

      Thanks,

      John

  6. Gordon Corwin II / Lah Rahn April 11, 2016 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Very informative article, thank you Simon! Although I have only been playing 2 years now and have already experienced many of the points you speak of here, I notice some points are everlasting. How much to Practice – focus and intention, Then, of course, Progress and Frustration – valuable points about how to deal with issues that pop up for nearly all of us. Good stuff! !. KInd of like the path of on-going Spiritual growth.

  7. Wilson April 11, 2016 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    Hey Simon,
    Very useful article and podcast for the budding classical guitarist. I’ll just add my two cents to the discussion.
    Regarding strings, I abolutely agree with the choice of D’Addario. I’ve been using them for over 30 years, and I’ve found them to be extremely consistent and with excellent tone. However, if one would like an even lighter tension, the EJ43s quite well. They’re perfect if you have weak fhands or suffer from hand issues. They also seem to have more sustain and are sweeter sounding than the EJ45 or EJ46.
    If you have weak nails that chip and break easily, I strongly recommend using Mane ‘Tail Hoofmaker produced by the folks at Straight Arrow. I’ve been using this stuff for years and it really works! Leaves hands your hands soft and supple, which is a bonus.
    Wilson

  8. Susan April 12, 2016 at 2:51 am - Reply

    A very helpful and informative podcast for the beginning guitarist. Very important topics for starting out learning to play the classical guitar.

    I found the list of performers and composers especially helpful as a way to complement ones’ study with the guitar between practice sessions, for inspiration, and to acquire a broader sense of classical guitar music styles and performers.

    Thank you for posting the podcast, Simon!

    • Simon April 12, 2016 at 6:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Susan,

      I am glad you liked the list, it can be a wonderful surprise to hear a new artist. Kind of like seeing a good movie without seeing the trailer…

  9. fred April 12, 2016 at 4:27 am - Reply

    Wonderful information, this program has assisted me in teaching my sons how to learn the basics fundamentals of classical guitar. It will continue to be a source of information throughout their lifetime. Thank You.
    Fred

    • Simon April 12, 2016 at 6:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Fred,

      Thank you and I am grateful to be able to help your family.

  10. Nancy April 12, 2016 at 4:57 am - Reply

    Excellent coverage of topics! I have been playing for several years and I am highly critical of my progress. So much so that I am deathly afraid of playing in front of anyone, including my own husband! I realize I must get past this and just ‘get it over with’ but how??

    • Wilson April 12, 2016 at 2:32 pm - Reply

      Nancy,
      The only way to get over performance anxiety is to just take a deep breath and play. Sounds simple, I know. But I find if you’re quite intently focused on what you’re playing, you want worry too much about who may be listening.

    • Simon April 12, 2016 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      Hi Nancy,

      Just pick the simplest thing you know, and play…
      Start with a scale even!

  11. RKordel April 14, 2016 at 10:59 am - Reply

    Simon, all,

    Thank you for an excellent podcast. This was great advice to beginning guitarists (and good review for “not-beginners too”). As I listened to the section on theory I had some additional thoughts that come from someone who has spent time “just playing the notes” and not worrying about theory. If you are starting out you owe it to yourself to devote some time to focus on theory – there are great lessons here on the site, and others that you can find on the web. It is the one area that I have come to late and I wish I had done much more of it much sooner.

    In addition to understanding the classical music repertoire, another thing it will let you do is play other styles of music that are very similar to classical guitar. Two guitarists that Simon did not mention in his list are Charlie Byrd and Laurindo Almeiada. True, they are jazz players and not classical guitarists, but I love to listen to both (and both have released classical or near-classical songs that true delights). At the end of the first CGC group session Simon showed how to read a jazz fake book and it reminded me of how much I want to be able to do this.

    The other thing I would add to the list of guitarists at the end is to listen to songs too. If you have a service like Spotify you can search on a piece by title, then listen to 10-20 guitarists play it. You will find many of the guitarists Simon mentions, along with many others. It is fascinating to listen to multiple players approach the same piece. It is a fascinating exercise to listen to Segovia, then Bream, then Williams, then Parkening all play the same piece one after another (and all thanks to cool digital technology ;-)

    Thanks to Simon and all for a fascinating podcast and follow-up thread.

    Richard

    • Don August 1, 2016 at 3:33 am - Reply

      Thank you for showing me that I can still love jazz guitar AND learn classical guitar! Sometimes it seems as if the two styles have nothing in common, and players of one style tend to want to have nothing to do with the other. Personally I love jazz, would dearly like to be a better player of it myself (and am looking forward to that podcast on how to read a fake book!).

      I do have one question, though. Will learning proper classical technique adversely impact my jazz technique, limited as it is? Or ( as I am hoping) is good technique – such as is required to properly play classical guitar – going to make me a better jazz player too?

  12. Nancy April 14, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much. I verbalized my fears to group of friends so I would be accountable to ‘Just Do It”. Hope to play one song at a nursing home this weekend?

    • Wilson April 15, 2016 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      That’s wonderful, Nancy. I’m sure that you’ll do a great job!

  13. Jan Mollitor April 14, 2016 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Well done again! I always like to listen to your podcast on my way to work! But I missed one good advice, which I got from a guitarist: “try to practice loud and clear! Don’t be shy, otherwise you can not hear if your sound is good.” It helped me a lot and my neighbour knows for sure that I play my guitar. ;-)

    regards
    Jan

  14. James Crespo May 21, 2016 at 7:03 am - Reply

    What a wonderful Podcast!! It was very inspiring . Thank you Simon, it did not feel that it was long at all, it was Packed with positive, & articulation, about every aspect in regards to Classical guitar. Definitely has helped me.

    Thank you
    Simon

  15. Don August 1, 2016 at 3:29 am - Reply

    Many thanks for taking the time to do this. There were so many questions I had that you addressed, and I am encouraged that I can just leave some of them alone and not worry about them, others I need to start working on right away. I though the time was very well invested, not at all too long.

  16. Steven August 15, 2016 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Dear Simon,
    You have my admiration, the information that is now freely available to the world is truly breathtaking. Classical Guitar Corner is set to be the go to site for well presented pedagogy for teachers, students and amateurs alike. This is truly a monumental body of work and something all participants should be proud of. Thank you for this podcast it is very helpful, you have a pleasing spoken voices.

    Thank You,

  17. John Gibson October 26, 2016 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Hi Simon
    I am 75! Originally from Sydney but now retired on the Sunshine Coast in QLD. I tried to learn 10 years ago but struggled with a couple of teachers and finally retired defeated! I recently discovered your website and was very impressed and think after your presentation for beginners I think I should bite the bullet and join your classes. TOO OLD??? I’m in pretty good shape but need an interest and here I am back at the classical guitar!
    Any comments would be appreciated.

    • Dave Belcher October 27, 2016 at 12:19 am - Reply

      Hi John,

      Thanks for the note. The answer to your question is, Most definitely not! Not only do we have many members your age and even older but we really believe that the courses at CGC are for you.

      Simon actually has discussed this very topic a few times on the site. For a great summary of all of those, have a listen to his excellent podcast interview with Janet Agostino, “Learning Classical Guitar at an Older Age” here: https://www.classicalguitarcorner.com/cgc-019-learning-classical-guitar-at-an-older-age-with-janet-agostino/

      Peace,

      Dave B (CGC team)

  18. Basilio October 27, 2016 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Simon,

    This is a lovely podcast. Very practical and right to the point, concerning the very beginning stages.

    What I liked the most is your eclectic approach to all the topics you address in this podcast.

    All the best,
    Basi.

  19. Basilio October 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Just one more thing:

    This is only the second podcast I have listened to; therefore the following comment may be a little bit hasty.

    Given the first podcast I listened to was “6 Practice Techniques to Boost Your Productivity and Progress”, I was expecting some guitar playing at the end.

    I think it would be lovely and encouraging if you could include some of your/others playing, at the end, as much frequently as you possibly can -It’s starting to sound too much, as I write it down; no need to die in the intent :-)

    All the best,
    Basi.

  20. kawalski January 14, 2017 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    hi simon.

    i am a little bit older begginer. bought classical guitar. ( haven´t got nails yet but as I see don´t even need them). for start i pick up johny cash song “walk the line” the first few steps are easy ( at least my opinion) just to practice my fingers. question is: am i walking on right path for bigginer cause i dont want too realize in few month´s that i chose totaly wrong way. i take online practice. is it better to take instructor at least for few hours to guide me throught first few steps?

    best regards!

  21. Philip March 24, 2017 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Good article. I didn’t see any link to beginning anything. I am 65 and really want some instruction.

    • Dave Belcher March 25, 2017 at 11:10 pm - Reply

      Hi Philip,

      Glad you liked the article. I think the last section should be a helpful guide on how to structure your practice sessions—starting with setting goals, restraining your repertoire selections, staying positive and focused, etc. . . . all these will get you off on the right foot. As for precisely where to start—have you looked at any of our free online lessons? A lot of this will depend on what level you are at with your playing, but if you’re brand new to guitar (or even just to classical style) then I’d recommend having a look at Simon’s lessons on left-hand position, right-hand position, the sitting position, your first melody (Twinkle, Twinkle). Familiarizing yourself with “Terminology” will also be helpful. You can find all those here:

      https://www.classicalguitarcorner.com/CGCforums/topic/6strings-level-1-certificate-performance-january-22-2016/

      And let us know if you have any questions at all.

      Peace,

      Dave B (CGC team)

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