Classical Guitar Corner Reviews and Testimonials
“Simon Powis is the rare combination of a virtuoso guitarist and a thoughtful, forward thinking pedagogue”
Simon Powis is at the vanguard of classical guitar pedagogy. By following his method, one can build a solid classical guitar foundation and much more. I have been using and recommending his scales and arpeggio book for years now and find it to be one of the very best available. Simon presents all of his material with great enthusiasm, clarity and authority. He is the rare combination of a virtuoso guitarist and a thoughtful forward thinking pedagogue.
Professor of Guitar, Yale University
“Although he has performed, taught and given master classes all over the world, the talented and personable guitarist is perhaps most widely known these days for his highly regarded online classical guitar pedagogy: Classical Guitar Corner.”
Classical Guitar Magazine
Editor, Blair Jackson
“I am very pleased that I can now read a sheet of music without having to stop and pencil in the notes!!”
Reading Music – I had fallen into the habit of using tablature to learn new songs. This had been drummed into me from day 1 when, at 11 years old, I took my first guitar lesson. No music, only tab. I had grown comfortable with this so having to back up an learn music again was really tough. I am very pleased that I can now read a sheet of music without having to stop and pencil in the notes!! The structure of the course really helped me to do this and the advice on how to practice (slow and constantly) plus how to structure my practice time really helped.
CGC Academy Member
“Finding this site has been one of the great joys in my life.”
CGC Academy Member
“I appreciate the possibility of posting something you are working on and getting feedback from people”
“I would highly recommend this site to anyone who is approaching guitar as a beginner, intermediate, or even advanced player.”
“A well thought out, well planned, curriculum makes it easier for me to organize my practice time, because it is very limited”
“Simon provided me with the many tools necessary for me to improve my playing and prepare me for a Master’s degree in guitar performance. ”
I had the pleasure of studying with Simon as an undergraduate at Yale University. Simon played an influential role in my development as a guitarist and my interest in pursuing a career in music. Prior to studying with Simon, I had been playing guitar for many years but had never received extensive training in technique and efficient practice methods. Simon provided me with the many tools necessary for me to improve my playing and prepare me for a Master’s degree in guitar performance. It was through Simon in which I learned the importance of practicing scales and working on technical exercises, as well as how to be my own teacher so that I could understand what methods of practicing worked for me. In addition to giving me many helpful ideas and tips, Simon constantly pushed and encouraged me to strive for improvement and explore new opportunities, such as entering a competition and giving my first solo recital; as a result, I gained a deeper passion for guitar. Through Simon’s guidance, I realized that I wanted to pursue guitar as a career.
Masters of Music (Yale) Doctorate of Music (Stony Brook NY)
I’ve seen a lot of change in guitar pedagogy in my life and I think that the clarity of your teaching as well as your expert use of technology provides enormous value to guitar students at all levels. – Lou
“I hope that you will please excuse me, as I am still getting over the shock of the amazing quality of this site, our teacher and all of you! I looked at the free lessons skeptically and then joined for just a month (because what could that hurt really)….but honestly I was prepared for the experience to be an utter waste of time and money. I could not have been more WRONG. Now that I’m in the middle years of my life I’m excited to have time to re-focus my efforts and I’m thrilled at having found this incredible resource! Looking forward to meeting my fellow students and sharing our passion for guitar.”
– Cheryl Ann
I am now 56 years young and it took a lot of trial and error trying to learn on my own and jumping from one you tube channel to the next without any clear path for progression until I came upon Classical Guitar Corner! – Chris
I was never taught how to practice and this is making a huge difference.– Paul
“There’s a way for each player to learn something and gain confidence”
“Simon has a structure that brings students up to a level they never thought they would achieve.”
I just went back and played scales I had been practicing in Segovia’s scale book before I discovered your courses…what a difference in how I played the shifts in those scales…thank you, thank you, thank you! – John R.
I’ve just got to say I love your website, the sense of community, the podcasts
and more importantly for me I’m really making progress.
I took lessons 30 years ago, however, I realise I was never taught how to practice and this is making a huge difference. Not getting hung up on little errors when keeping tempo is also a new approach for me. I used to do the classic ‘fix it up’ error as you have talked about. – Paul L.
I just wanted to say that going back to basics and using the exercises and lessons from your books and courses that I’ve purchased has made unbelievable improvements to my general technique. My sight reading is a little better with the more basic pieces but my playing technique has improved more than I could have possibly imagined. It has only been a few months since I discovered your material but the improvements I am making is giving me more and more enthusiasm to pick up the guitar as the days go by. I decided to pick a piece that I heard at one of my daughter’s dancing shows recently (Gymnopedie No1) and see how much of it I could learn to play over a few one hour sessions over this weekend. Not only did I get further than I thought but the tone and the quality of my playing totally surprised me. I don’t know if it will get onto the list of pieces that I have planned for my summer garden performance for my family and friends but judging by the way it went this weekend it stands a good chance of being ready so we shall have to wait and see. Thank you so much for your help and encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Last night we had some friends and family round for the evening and the conversation got around to music, as it usually does, and my wife told everybody about my renewed interest in the classical guitar. To cut a long story short they asked me to play them something. Now this is something I would not have done before discovering your lessons and courses but thanks to your help and inspiration I did play them something and they loved it. One piece lead to them asking for another and before too long I had given a rather impromptu ‘concert’ (for want of a better description). I played the Giuliani Allegro from your repertoire workbook and Etude 7 by Carcassi. These two went well so I played them my version of Malaguena from years back that I have recently remembered, Romanza and Walking in the Air. Everybody really looked like they enjoyed it but I can honestly say that nobody enjoyed it more than me. I want to say a huge thank you because without the material and the support you have given me over these last couple of months I would never have done it. I am really looking forward to your next course now and my enthusiasm has never been greater.
Many many thanks
Greetings! I wanted to express my appreciation and gratitude for the articles that I receive from Classical Guitar Corner! It has been a pleasure reading your posts. Ever since high school, I was fascinated by the sound of the classical guitar. It is only now that I finally told myself that I wanted to pursue this passion. Your articles have been very encouraging and inspiring, for a beginner like myself.
I look forward to receive the articles that you will write in the future. Thank you so much for being generous in sharing your knowledge and expertise with us. It’s a blessing to be one of your subscribers. I am your fan, too. I enjoy watching your videos on you tube.
Thank you so much, Dr. Simon Powis!
After using your website for a couple of months I want to let you know that I think it’s really great. I know you’ve stated that the best was to learn classical guitar is to work with a really great teacher, but I have to say that the classicalguitarcorner website, you and the suggestions of the other students are the best teachers I’ve ever had. This method of teaching allows students to work at their own pace, review material as often as needed and get the most detailed technical instruction I’ve ever seen at any time of the day. You just can’t get all this from $70 per hour private instruction. Yes, I know you disagree with that statement and I might have it all wrong, but I think this might be the future of adult music instruction for people who just want to learn to play an instrument for the fun of it. You have created my instruction of choice for the classical guitar.
A very very late thank you for all the material you have so generously given us free access to. There is so much I could say in praise of your abilities, that it might crash my email server! Suffice it to say that I know I have got the best tutor I would wish for even though you’re across the Atlantic from me. I did have a guitar tutor, but found that I got really stressed out before the lesson and had to stop, so this form of ‘distance learning’ really works for me. – Vivian
I am so inspired by you, Simon! Thank you!
This week I decided to come back to my classical guitar and start over after leaving it completely for a few years. I had been trying to teach myself classical guitar for a very long time and came to a halt when I realized I couldn’t progress if I only stayed in the first position. Sheesh. But while I was waiting for the ‘right’ time to come back to my guitar, I was playing and progressing on the clarinet. That has taught me a lot about music as I also played in a community band.
Anyway, I love how you teach. I love how you play. And I love that you are so generous with your art. Thank you so much for your dedication. And I thank my lucky stars that I found you on YouTube. I love YouTube.
I am going to give myself a few more weeks of diligent practicing before I enroll in one of your courses. I am psyched!! And, the scales I downloaded from your site already have taught me a little about the second position!
I’m still loving all the stuff you have taught me and supplied so far. Hopefully I will be ordering the Technique & Musicianship course at the end of the month because I am thoroughly enjoying my playing again with renewed enthusiasm.
Many thanks for all the pleasure you are enabling me to have with my guitar.
Thanks for the 12 Progressive Pieces.
When I first saw the list of lessons in Level 2, I was expecting to see a lot of theory – you know, stuff on intervals, chord constructions etc.. But when I went ahead and opened Lesson 1, I knew right away that here was something to learn that I had sadly neglected all these years. It’s one thing to read about shifting and economy of movement in a book (Shearer) but quite a different experience to see it actually being done on screen.
Really good stuff!
From Lesson 1, I saw right away a problem I needed to solve. How to play the G to C bass glissando in the third bar of Tarrega’s Mazurka in G without string noise. Quite difficult really.
You said you wished you had these lessons 20 years earlier.
I wish I had these lessons 40 years earlier. Still… never too late.
All the best,
I hope you don’t mind me emailing you again but I couldn’t let this weekend pass without dropping you a massive thank you. I would never have imagined that going back to basics would be so worth while. Over this weekend I have had so much fun and learned so many different things. I have always loved classical guitar and since I have started playing once again your course, videos and books have given me a huge amount of enthusiasm and a new outlook on what I can achieve with this instrument even at my age. Thank you seems an inadequate phrase for the amount of enjoyment you have enabled me to have.
I raise a glass to you sir.
For six months I took beginning classical guitar lessons from a local instructor. While I did learn to play, I suspected I was not learning proper technique. For example, I questioned my instructor repeatedly about which fingers to use on my right hand. “Anything that feels comfortable” was the answer. Eventually I went in search of better instruction. Because there were no other local teachers, I took a leap and tried online. The first course (not Simon Powis) was geared toward more advanced players and left me frustrated. I almost gave up, thinking perhaps I was just not a good student. Then I found Classical Guitar Corner. At last, succinct and clear explanations of basic techniques and, even more valuable, how to practice. I was grinning from ear to ear while viewing this lesson on string alternation and crossing: here was the simple answer to the many questions I asked my first instructor. Thanks to Simon, I have re-booted my classical guitar “career” and feel like I finally have a roadmap that will get me to my destination. PLEASE keep offering these courses!
– Patti Level 1 Video Course
Really thrilled – just did the two classes on Introductory harmony and chords. I have often been puzzled by these phrases, major fifth and seventh! This wa a marvellous introduction. I not only am beginning to know how to play some chords but why they are so useful in playing music – Thank you again . By the way one of the advantages of learning this way is that I can repeat your lessons several times as I did in the case of these two 115 – 116.
– Ruth Level 1 Video Course
I recently ordered your 5 Technical Routines for Classical Guitar – Level3, and wanted to let you know how impressed I am with it. I have many classical guitar books with technical exercises in them, but yours are absolutely the best I’ve ever seen anywhere! In fact I was in the process of creating my own daily practice exercises when I ran across yours. Yours are much more thorough and detailed than mine. Thank you for saving me so much time. I have put your exercises into a notebook with Giuliani’s 120 arpeggio studies for the right hand and now I have a great practice routine for everyday. Thanks so much for a really great publication! I will be ordering some more of them soon.
With best regards,
As a “recovering” folk song guitarist at 76 years of age I wish to send you kudos for your excellent Fundamentals and Level One courses. I am one of those students who has tried many approaches with only limited success. I do have some questions which I hope you will be kind enough to answer.
The correct left hand/finger stretches are very difficult and, for me, at present, only possible at the fifth position with a capo. I plan to work at the proper finger placement and, fret by fret, work down to the nut. Is this productive or is it a waste of time?
In order to sing melodies, I believe that I can and should try to use a “fixed DOH” solfege approach. Notwithstanding the pro and con discussion of fixed or moveable DOH systems, it should be useful. Naturally the actual scale note names, ABC etc. must be learned for the whole fingerboard.
With regard to the quite reasonable fee for the courses, I wish to know what happens if a student makes rather slow progress and is not finished in the allotted time? I must confess that my experience with the Great Highland Bagpipe has shown that I do not learn as quickly as was once possible.
Your suggestion about progressing SLOWLY is “bang on” and, I think, well supported by a countrywoman of yours, Cheryl Grice in her post on practising slowly. Enjoy!
– Doug. Fundamentals and Level 1 video courses
I was initially learning the guitar in a very random, haphazard and unfocused way so thanks for making these videos; I’m finding them very well paced and I’m enjoying the learning process greatly so far :) The strings (and indeed, the guitar as a whole) no longer feel as unfamiliar as they did to my inept fingers – I think I’m bonding with it :)
What a great feat of brilliance you have accomplished at ClassicalGuitarCorner. So many thanks to you that you cannot count them. -Marilynn
I’ve taken the time to instill the basics. Thank you for the course and all the help! Really enjoying my practice time now.
Your online videos allow me to have an instructor ANYTIME!, I really really love your calm demeanor, your comment when you’re demonstrating a technique (i.e. the finger planting exercises) – and you buzzed – it allows me to know that it’s OK to buzz, just go back and focus on correcting THAT the next time. I’m doing your exercises for intermediate to advanced daily and really really enjoy them. I need structure – I can get in WAY over my head and have to back track to focus on excellent execution and technique. I find that after I watch your instructional videos, I have a calmer demeanor and am less stressed when I practice – so great job! – Laura
As a “recovering” folk song guitarist at 76 years of age I wish to send you kudos for your excellent Fundamentals and Level One courses.- Doug
Hey Simon, I am a classical guitar student who is immensely grateful to have discovered your website while searching the vast universe of stuff out there in cyber land. I can only imagine how much effort and time goes into a making the most organized, methodical lessons out there. So thank you!<
I have purchased several of your workbooks and hope to start working on Lagrima soon. Please keep those video lessons coming. – Veronica
What a beautifully constructed lesson. i feel i have hope i might get my old fingers around this piece…………with lots of practise! thank you. – Monica
Love the duet. Admittedly, the first two times I was so distracted by your cool part that I repeatedly flubbed my own. Finally I just listened to your part while *mentally* playing mine — and that did the trick for me. Once we were fully in sync, I recorded the piece and beamed with unabashed pride at the music coming out of my little Bose wireless speaker. Dude, we sound great!
Seriously, I live in a small town and really relish the opportunity to play with another guitarist, even a virtual one. Hope you will keep the duets coming.