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Classical Guitar Lessons


   If the student chooses to learn to play solo guitar music from the classical music genre, the door is open to a vast repertoire of pieces by composers from the early Renaissance period to those of the present. While this musical genre may be most commonly or easily associated with famous orchestra, chamber and keyboard composers such as J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Tchaikovsky and many others most known, the classical guitar repertoire is made up of thousands of pieces written by lesser known composers who wrote specifically for the lute, vihuela, and guitar. While sometimes we learn to play transcriptions of pieces which were not written for the guitar (ie.: classics by the best known composers listed above, amongst others), most of the guitar's repertoire is made up of pieces written by those who actually played the instrument.

   In studying the classical guitar, the goal, through practicing the mastering of our reading and technical skills, is to be able to play pieces from the classical guitar repertoire. Fortunately, the repertoire is filled with pieces of all levels of historic art music for the student to work on, so having not enough ideas to choose from is never a problem. Constantly practicing pieces from the repertoire which are at and slightly beyond our level, gives us a variety of good things to study and play, some mastered while others pushing us to a more advanced level of playing. Being able to play pieces well gives the guitar student confidence and a true sense of ownership over all of the musical and technical concepts he/she is learning.

  Each piece tells a story, has moods, colors, characters, main/secondary/other themes, etc., which, when artistically addressed, understood and played, help the student to create the aura intended by the composer. Right from the start of learning a new piece, we can be thinking about what the piece was created to express: Is it cheery like a child on a sunny morning? Is it dark and slightly vicious like a prairie tornado? Is it expressing something sorrowful, an overflowing river of melancholic beauty? On hearing an accomplished guitarist, live or on a recording, we can be moved to feel the emotions of the piece he/she is playing, but now when learning a piece it is our responsibility to do this. We are committed to playing with feeling and emotion. During guitar lessons, we spend time talking about things such as, but not limited to tone production (using descriptives bright, dark, tasto, ponticello, thin, 'bassy', etc.), articulation and tempo to discover how altering these can create the mood necessary for the piece being studied.


to be furthered soon...

 

© 2019 Stephen Weiss, West Island of Montreal


1st position notes of the guitar