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Notes Classical Guitar

Notes Classical Guitar

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Published by gumymoty

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Published by: gumymoty on Jun 19, 2009
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05/27/2013

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Edited by Joshua Weage (jpweage@mtu.edu).Major contributions and many thanks go to Chris Goodwinwho was the prior maintainer of this FAQ. Stuart LeBlancwho has contributed much to the playing technique sectionof the FAQ. Len Frazier who has in fact written about halfof this FAQ. Brian Egras compiled the list of music,composers and personalities in the classical guitar world.Other peoples contributions have come directly from thenews group letters.To find the answer to a listed question, search forward with thesearch parameter 'A*.*' where *.* refers to the number of thequestion.A cross by a question number indicates that there is no answer for it.If you feel you could write a good answer, please do and send it to me andI'll add it. If you would like to add a question, tell me about it. Itwon't appear if you don't tell me about it.Any spelling mistakes, errors, and out-right fallacies you notice should bebrought to my attention please! Anyone who would like to help compilea more complete FAQ is welcome to, and if you have any commentsplease tell me. The answers given are not written in granite, and if youfeel you can write a better answer, please do so and send it to me.Here goes...Section 1 - Beginners Corner1.1 What distinguishes a classical guitar, and a classical guitarist?1.2 I want to start playing and need a guitar. Which sort (Quick guideto buying a guitar)?1.3 How do I start to learn (teacher or book)?1.4 How do I find a teacher?1.5 What are the good books?1.6 Should I learn tab or 'proper' music notation?1.7 What is a good sample of classical guitar music that someone who doesn'tknow much about it should listen to?1.8 Where can I get sheet music, strings and other accessories?1.9x I'm new to classical guitar - what pieces can I play?1.10 How do I tune my guitar?
CLASSICAL GUITAR
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Archive-Name: music/classical/guitar/faqPosting-Frequency: gumy moty
 
1.11 Where can I find classical guitar music (TAB and notation) on the net?1.12x What is the difference between an A-frame and a footstool?1.13x Who is a good teacher in my area?Section 2 - Strings and other problems2.1 What are the best strings for me?2.2 How do I take care of my nails?2.3 How do I prevent my nails from breaking?2.4 How do I repair my nails?2.5 How can I quickly memorize a piece?2.6 How much should I practice (Also: My fingers hurt!)?2.7 How do I avoid RSI, carpel tunnel syndrome, etc?2.8 You know that piece in the advert for ... , what is it?2.9 I'm taking my guitar on an aeroplane, to the antartic, then to theSaraha desert, and then to the moon. How do I protect it?2.10 Who are the composers and performers for the classical guitar?2.11 What are the differences between classical guitar and flamenco guitar?2.12 Can anyone recommend some flamenco music to listen to?2.13 How do I learn to sight read?ANSWERS=======A1.1 What distinguishes a classical guitar and a classical guitarist?A classical guitar has some specific features in its anatomy.It has six strings with the treble strings made of nylon and thebass strings made from nylon wrapped in brass wire. The body issymmetrical ie. no cut-outs at the higher frets and is made of wood.There are no electronics involved, so no pickups - volume comes from simpleresonance in the guitar body.A classical guitarist is more than someone who simply playsa classical repetoire. The way the guitar is played is also important.Essentially, a classical guitarist plays by plucking the stringswith his right hand fingers and thumb - strumming is a special effect, andno pick is ever used. There are other strong recommendations on the generalposture of the entire body and guitar for classical guitarists thatdistinguish them from other guitarists.A1.2 I want to start playing the guitar and to buy one. Which guitarshould I buy? (A quick guide to buying a guitar)?If you are a complete beginner then I don't suggest you go out andbuy a guitar worth hundreds or thousands, but I guess you don'tneed telling. On the other hand, some cheap guitars are reallyawful - so here is how to try and tell the difference between abargain and a bad banjo.The price of a guitar is largely determined by the woodsused in its construction - cheap guitar bodies are made from plywoodor laminates. As the price increases woods such as rosewoods, cedarand spruce will be encountered. These latter woods will alsoage well, with the sound of the guitar improving with time, unlilke thecheaper variety which are at their best when new. As a beginner,there is little harm in buying a plywood guitar - as long as itfits some other criterion...
Page 2 of 22Guitar Notes: CLASSICAL GUITAR FAQ
 
In general, the guitar should be solid with no loosebits inside - giving the guitar a small shake will determine this.The guitar's neck should be straight. This can be checked by sightingalong its length. Good fret work can also be checked at thistime by running your fingers along the edge of each side of theneck. Each fret position will need checking to make sure that thereis no buzzing of strings on poor frets. Do this simply by playinga note at every single fret position on the board, ensuringyou place a your finger close behind each fret when you do so.The action of a guitar (the height of the strings above thefret board) is down to personal choice, but it is recommendedthat you pick a guitar with low action (strings near thefingerboard) as this will make fretting easier.Do not buy a steel string guitar and replace the stringswith nylon ones. There are two main reasons for this. Classicalguitars are less rigid than steel strung ones, allowing thestrings to vibrate the wood more, producing better soundquality. Secondly, steel string guitars tend to have necks whichvary in width. A classical guitar should be 2-1/8" across over itsentire length - you'll need the width to correctly finger boththe left and right hands.Japanese makes, such as Yamaha, Takamine andRodriguez are cheap and quite cheerful, usually being perfectlyadequate for beginners. It is only after some months/years practicethat you may want to spend the money on an instrument wherethe tone is something very important to you.One overall guideline is this: take someone whois experienced in guitars with you. For example, a tutor (ifyou have one) or a friend who has been playing classical guitarfor several years. Tutors may also be able to showyou the good shops, good bargains, or offer you guitarsfrom other students of theirs who are progressing ontoa finer instrument.Cost: cheap and cheerful: 50-180 pounds sterling.expensive: 350 - thousands pounds sterling.A1.3 How do I start to learn (teacher or book)?Undoubtedly it is better to have a teacher. A good teacherwill be able to guide you correctly through the technicalpoints of posture, hand position, etc. far better than photosor illustrations in texts. It is possible to learn through books,but it will take longer and you may develop poor habits that limityour abilities and are hard to break after months of playing.Of course, the down point about a teacher is that theycost about 17-20 pounds an hour ($15-$25 US)A very useful approach is to find a teacher that offersgroup classes with 4-6 students. The cost per lesson isusually much lower, and you'll learn both by direct instructionand observing your classmates approach problems. You can laterschedule additional group or private classes as you desire.In addition, your teacher will be invaluable in terms ofadvice on beginner instruments, sources for music, strings,and other beginners in your area with whom you might practice.My advice is to get a teacher if you can, but if you can't,work closely with good, reliable texts.
Page 3 of 22Guitar Notes: CLASSICAL GUITAR FAQ

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