CGC 056 : Member Q&A with Linda Tsardakas

/, Uncategorized/CGC 056 : Member Q&A with Linda Tsardakas

CGC 056 : Member Q&A with Linda Tsardakas

In this episode of The Classical Guitar Corner Podcast, Simon kicks off a new series where he will sit down with members of Classical Guitar Corner Academy and do a Q&A session to help those members with various questions they have in their own playing but also to perhaps answer some questions you may have as well.

In this inaugural episode of the Member Q&A Simon discusses learning difficult pieces, bad fingerings, and more with Linda Tsardakas, a beloved member of the Classical Guitar Corner Academy. We hope you enjoy!

Linda has a private teaching studio in Offenburg, Germany. Find out more here:

2018-01-14T20:13:55+00:0017 Comments


  1. Pick Kim, Cheong January 14, 2018 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Linda, thanks for bringing out the question on ‘right fingering’. I am currently pursuing level one and am following Simon’s materials. With the finger alternation marked on the guitar scores, this question pops up in my mind. The rationale provided by Simon perfectly answered my question. So, thanks to Simon for the elaboration.

    Best regards

  2. Kevin White January 14, 2018 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    Excellent podcast! I anticipated it might be over my head since I’m both new to the classical guitar and classical music. I was once again pleasantly surprised with Simon’s podcasts. Simon and Linda’s reflections as both students and teachers of guitar was very interesting, helpful and encouraging. From preconcert prep ideas like eating “bananas, dark chocolate and water” to the idea of putting on frequent intimate concerts. Thank you both. I started the podcast trying to both wash my wife’s car and listen to the podcast. I stopped washing the car to just listen. Still lots of sunshine in AZ and time to finish the car afterwards. 😉

  3. Linda Tsardakas January 14, 2018 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Hi Simon – It was a pleasure talking with you for this podcast!

    Thank you especially for mentioning my teaching studio here in Germany. I have pictures and videos at the website, too.

    All the best,

  4. Drew Burgess January 15, 2018 at 12:20 am - Reply

    Thank you Simon and Linda, another interesting podcast! Good ideas for performance preparation and hosting small events.

    Best Regards,

  5. Kari Conroy January 15, 2018 at 1:34 am - Reply

    Thank you to Simon and Linda for this Q&A session. As an amateur who is planning her first home concert this year, the insight into pre-performance routines was soooo valuable. Banana, chocolate and water, check. Take opportunity to play concert three or four times in different venues. Check. Play a piece I feel very comfortable with first, then ease into more difficult pieces. Check.
    All great ideas.

    Linda, wonderful to hear more about your background. You are such a valuable part of CGC. I look forward to hear more about your spring concert. =)


  6. Bruce January 16, 2018 at 6:05 am - Reply

    Hi Simon and Linda:

    I went for my walk today and listened to the podcast. I really enjoyed it. (Of course, I know you guys — so that added something.) The questions were interesting, and the discussion of how to prepare for a recital of course interested me. And Simon, I think you’re correct: getting up to play cold one piece or two in front of a classical guitar society is a very challenging gauntlet. First, you’re cold and have to go from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds; second, I always found that an audience of guitarists or classical guitar aficionados are the hardest for me to play for — they inspire the inner critic. It’s a refreshing contrast to play for folks who have never heard a piece like the Sor Bm Etude before, in contrast. The other week I played for some folks the standard easier and familiar pieces, and afterwards someone asked me “is there any modern atonal music for the classical guitar?” And Linda, thanks for sharing and offering your thoughts and videos! Very helpful and inspiring!

  7. Richard January 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm - Reply


    I listened to the podcast while walking this morning. I enjoyed all of it and thank you and Simon for your time.

    I was especially interested in two of the topics:

    – lists of material that are “graded.” I had this problem about 6 months ago, and I don’t know if I asked this in public or not, but while prepping for my Level 2 submission I was stuck for a time and needed something else on level two to play while I worked on the performance pieces. It would have been nice to refer to the list and just wander off with a couple of pieces that would serve as a change of pace.

    – the fingering question/discussion is related to what I asked about after last weeks podcast. Seems like topics come in related waves ;-)

    All the best.


  8. Becky Dement January 17, 2018 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Hi Simon and Linda –
    Thank you both for this informative and entertaining discussion. Great tips for finding repertoire, fingering it, and then performing it. Linda, thanks for being such a supportive and helpful CGC member! Simon, I really like the idea of podcasts featuring CGC folks!
    Looking forward to seeing you at summer school!

  9. Al January 19, 2018 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Very encouraging podcast especially for a new student. The comments on fingerings were spot on. I often use the fourth finger in the third fret.

    Also encouraging was hearing that Linda has been playing for many years. This takes pressure off newcomers. I can remind myself “Oh, that’s right, she has been playing for 30 years. I’m four months in.”

    Thank you Simon and Linda for the helpful podcast.


    P.s. Kevin is right about the weather in AZ 🙂☀️

  10. Mark January 19, 2018 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Another wonderful CGC podcast! I look forward to these, and am never disappointed!

    I loved all three discussions, but the last (about rituals) kept reminding me of the following story, which I’ve always enjoyed:

    A friend was visiting in the home of Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr, the famous atom scientist.

    As they were talking, the friend kept glancing at a horseshoe hanging over the door. Finally, unable to contain his curiosity any longer, he demanded:

    “Niels, it can’t possibly be that you, a brilliant scientist, believe that foolish horseshoe superstition! ? !”

    “Of course not,” replied the scientist. “But I understand it’s lucky whether you believe in it or not.”

    Thanks again,

  11. ARMANDO BALTRA January 19, 2018 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    I join all the other members in congratulating Simon and Linda for such a wonderful show.
    Just wanted to focus on a couple of the many many great ideas presented here.

    Simon said that we amateur guitar players tend to wait for opportunities to play arise, as opposed to creating them for ourselves. That touched a nerve in me for it’s true: I have rarely created those opportunities. Normally I have simply waited for somebody to ask me if I would like to play at a small gathering. As a result, I almost never play for anybody! Not very good. Obviously I should push myself and invent home recitals!

    So! Let this be my resolution for 2018: I’ll somehow create at least three opportunities to give a small home recital somewhere!

    Great Podcast Linda and Simon


  12. Lissa January 21, 2018 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Thank you Simon and Linda for a wonderfully informative interview. As noted, so many pertinent insights. The vitality and passion of bringing classical guitar to friends (and future friends) shows through.
    It’s difficult for a beginner to know when to wait, and develop the skills, before trying to play a more challenging piece.
    I love the forum and congratulate you both.
    I’m happy to see you Linda on the site in another role. You’re an inspiring guitarist.

  13. Gino January 26, 2018 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Thanks Simon and Linda! I really enjoyed your conversation and the tips you shared. A suggestion for this new format would be to give a little more time for short questions to the guest so that the audience get to know a little more the person and what is his/her “musical universe”. What does look like the person’s musical approach to practice, what does she listens to, what has been his/her best concert, her favorite piece… Some things like that. I would personally enjoy a little more of this, and then the Q and A. It could be interesting. Just a suggestion.

  14. Mark Campbell January 26, 2018 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    “Bananas, Dark Chocolate and Water”. Isn’t that the name of a popular movie?? Wonderful and very helpful podcast. Thank you both! I look forward to more of these!

  15. Bonnie Stenstrom February 13, 2018 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Kudos to you Linda and Simon! It was an interesting and informative discussion of fingering, creating opportunities to perform, a performance routine and the challenges of performing your one piece after being on the receiving end of performances by other dedicated amateur adult musicians. I’ve found at times that the performance that I’ve just heard onstage with say, for example, a grand piano, will leave me in a state whereby I can’t even hum my piece, the melody has completely left my head and now I’m the next performer. It’s a challenge that’s been somewhat mediated by doing as you’ve suggested … performing the piece in as many situations as possible. Listening to your collective thoughts makes me realize, we’re all in the same boat, our levels may be different but the challenges are similar. It’s comforting! Thank you!
    Bonnie S.

  16. Lynda April 20, 2018 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Really interesting discussion, Linda and Simon and I liked the general format of the interview. Some of the points raised were very pertinent for me, particularly the issues of ‘alternative’ fingering and coping with pre-performing terrors! I enjoyed the podcast very much.

    • Dave Belcher April 22, 2018 at 8:48 am - Reply

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Lynda. Thanks for the comment!


      Dave B (CGC team)

Leave A Comment