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  1. #1

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    I am interested in learning a little bit of classical guitar, I have a few books on classical guitar, but from what I hear classical guitarist are very picky about things. I don't want to get bad habbits. Do you think it is easier to learn classical guitar with a teacher? or is it simple enough to really learn on your own?


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  3. #2

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    absolutely, get a qualified teacher. bad habits are easy to learn, hard to break.

  4. #3

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    it is preferable to get a teacher. But more so than with jazz guitar, I think it is possible to learn from a book. I learned out of the Shearer book.

  5. #4

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    It's hard to get proper right hand technique without a good teacher.

    You could easily spend a couple of months of lessons working on nothing but right hand technique. For that matter, you could spend half a lesson on how to file your nails. Those classical folks are very picky when it comes to technique.

    There's a story where Segovia told a student that guitar wasn't for him, all because his nails were too thin. Yes, Segovia, with fingers that looked like sausages, gave that command.

  6. #5

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    The question is, do you want to dabble, or get to the point of concert performance?

  7. #6

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    Get a teacher.Its quicker and less frustrating than being on your own.I had been playing for 30 yrs and then decided to do classical guitar.So did two years and it really paid off as you learn the whole fretboard and sight reading. Even now some jazz standards seem better on an acoustic nylon guitar.Best of Luck.

  8. #7
    I don't see any point in studying classical if you're not going to seriously work technique. That's kind of the whole deal with classical IMO. Definitely get a teacher, at least to start.

  9. #8

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    Jazzuki makes a great point...

    I took Classical lessons for two years when I was in high school/college.

    I have a few pieces of repertoire I can still pull off, but the stuff it taught me about reading, fretboard knowledge, finger independence, and good left hand technique are things that still help me out today. It was a very valuable two years, and having an actual teacher to stay on me was a big thing...

  10. #9

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    I am with the "get a teacher" crowd also. If you're into jazz already you can likely read fine and have a decent grasp of theory, so the difference will be technique, mostly right hand technique but also the left, where nylons do not require as much pressure to be exerted as steel. To me, that's where the teacher comes in the most handy because the techniques do not necessarily come very naturally, at least they didn't to me.

    It's not so much that it's complicated per se but it is relatively precise and nuanced where you are typically using a very responsive acoustical instrument that can punish slight-seeming errors to a greater degree than one may be used to on electric guitars. But when you do nail it there's nothing better, well almost. Good luck whatever you choose.

  11. #10

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    Put me firmly in the get a good teacher camp. As others have said, it's very easy to develop bad habits and very hard to lose them again.

  12. #11

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    Get lessons, classical is very specialised.

  13. #12

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    Segovia: Never had a single lesson.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archtop Bill
    Segovia: Never had a single lesson.
    if you buy into his personal mythology...

  15. #14

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    Yeah, the Segovia never had a lesson thing is apocryphal, most likely. On the other hand, he was mainly his own teacher, but actually presented a limited technique and approach compared to some of his contemporaries. In any event, teaching yourself classical guitar these days is really a formula for wasting a huge amount of time. find a teacher using the Shearer "Learning the classic Guitar 1 & 2" to get the best and most solid fundamentals down.

  16. #15

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    By all means find a teacher. It is a great thing to have a skilled musician to help navigate the learning terrain.
    At the same time get your hands on some music, recordings, go to classical guitar concerts.
    Classical music is made up notes and rhythms, same as all music. See what you can accomplish on your own as well.
    Making some mistakes is part of the process.

  17. #16

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    I think it depends on your seriousness. If you really want to be as textbook as possible, you should get lessons. I've got about a year and a half of self-taught classical experience under my belt, recently auditioned for a school with it and had a lot of my weaknesses pointed out (projection, left hand positioning on higher frets). It also helps to have someone there to watch and hear you play, because they can point out flaws you wouldn't notice otherwise.

    But if you just want to play classical just to dabble in it, I think there's plenty out there that would allow you to learn on your own. Like bako said, get your hands on recordings and actually go out and see performances. I've learned the most by watching great guitarists play live. Do your best to learn what the proper technique is and look up common mistakes to avoid.

    I think it also really depends on how well you're able to learn on your own. Works better for some than others.

  18. #17

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    Yes, if you want to approach classical guitar seriously, you really need a teacher.

    If you are in NY, PM me and I can help you. If you are not in NY, PM me anyway and I'll see if I know anyone where you are.