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  1. #26

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    Yes! I was going to comment to the interesting post at end of my thread about modes, but agreed with poster not to derail the theme, but hope that a new thread about the Blues could be started....In the post is said how guitar players who have done 'bad things' like for example, playing on an upside down guitar have been some of the really great original players!

    This reminds me of an old Chinese saying I love:

    "Sometimes the right way works the wrong way for the wrong man"

    Meaning that, yeah for some strict conformity to technique etc may really work, but for other creatives you can kill their spirit. So the good teacher has to be aware of that I reckon...

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  3. #27

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    ....that less well-rounded people are in short supply in an increasingly 'copycat' world, with TV stardom seeming to be the measure of success for hoardes of people. Plastic smiles, too much make-up, talking rubbish and giving no clue as to who they actually are......
    Morrissey, formerly lead singer with British band The Smiths, came up with a great lyric in one of his later solo songs:

    "....it's just more lock-jawed pop stars, thicker than pig shit, nothing to convey,
    so scared to show intelligence - it might smear their lovely career......this world, I am afraid, is designed for crashing bores...."

    Not one to mince words! Top guy, Morrissey, in my view. It's love him or hate him in Britain - no middle ground! For more quintessential British complaining with great style, the album is 'You are the Quarry'. A great sense of humour, the man has, often subtle.

    A few more grumpy goats would be a welcome sight amongst all the sheep.

  4. #28

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    It's extremely disturbing and frustrating as hell to me when some educated conservatives actually go out of their way to encourage ignorance and shallowness in this modern world of "hollow men". I will say nothing else or the discussion will turn to such horrors as the eight-year reign of Bush administration fascism.

  5. #29

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    ...this is 'Chit Chat', the right place for any discussion or point of view. Where else is there?
    This forum gets better by leaps and bounds. I'm a jazz novice, so I just chip in where I can.

    I have the feeling that this 'hollowness' and 'shallowness' is starting to wear thin among people. The 'credit craze', started by Thatcher and Reagan in league with the financial institutions back in the early eighties, has finally run its course and vapourized. I remember in about 1986, my local back offering a free, crappy camera for just filling in an application form for a credit card, regardless of whether you were successful in the application or not.
    I also remember telling people at the time that this was the road to hell. You've guessed....nobody listened, and I remained a voice in a plastic wilderness for two decades.

    Every generation can express dismay with the antics of the following generation (I think Segovia just became grumpy.....he was 64 when Elvis started out) but I think we are in different times. We should express our concerns that young people today are getting a raw deal in many ways. Money is very important, no two ways about it. But there is more, and a lot of that 'more' is inside the individual, and need not be nurtured purely for financial gain.

    With many schools at breaking point and teachers being harassed to 'perform' ......ie produce better exam statistics for the bureaucrats...., and the banal state of modern popular music, and many parents just too tired working all the hours God sends to make ends meet, and rappers spouting that it's better to 'get rich or die trying', etc etc etc etc etc etc.........who is going to tell young people anything of what many here would consider to be of value?

    Well, Morrissey, for sure.

  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsmith
    ...this is 'Chit Chat', the right place for any discussion or point of view. Where else is there?
    This forum gets better by leaps and bounds. I'm a jazz novice, so I just chip in where I can.

    I have the feeling that this 'hollowness' and 'shallowness' is starting to wear thin among people. The 'credit craze', started by Thatcher and Reagan in league with the financial institutions back in the early eighties, has finally run its course and vapourized. I remember in about 1986, my local back offering a free, crappy camera for just filling in an application form for a credit card, regardless of whether you were successful in the application or not.
    I also remember telling people at the time that this was the road to hell. You've guessed....nobody listened, and I remained a voice in a plastic wilderness for two decades.

    Every generation can express dismay with the antics of the following generation (I think Segovia just became grumpy.....he was 64 when Elvis started out) but I think we are in different times. We should express our concerns that young people today are getting a raw deal in many ways. Money is very important, no two ways about it. But there is more, and a lot of that 'more' is inside the individual, and need not be nurtured purely for financial gain.

    With many schools at breaking point and teachers being harassed to 'perform' ......ie produce better exam statistics for the bureaucrats...., and the banal state of modern popular music, and many parents just too tired working all the hours God sends to make ends meet, and rappers spouting that it's better to 'get rich or die trying', etc etc etc etc etc etc.........who is going to tell young people anything of what many here would consider to be of value?

    Well, Morrissey, for sure.

    Yes, that little plastic beastie thing that Americans worship seems like it is going to be the next House of Cards or "bubble" to implode. I don't know where this extraordinary financial/economic crisis ends for the US (and, by extension, the rest of the world). It's interesting that Italians never fell for the credit card thing, for some reason. Italy has massive economic weakness and problems. Some of the commercial banks also got heavily involved with the "derivatives" and sub-prime easy money mania. There's also a public debt that us much vaster than the US: 105% of GDP or something close to that.

    However, it's interesting that Italians themselves never became spending-crazed. Over here, almost no on I have ever met uses a credit card regularly!! They are DEEPLY distrusted.

    Anyway, as I was born and raised in the US, I am very much concerned with the situation of my home country. I don't know what to make of it, or whether the Obama adminsration won't end up being blamed for increasing the deficit while trying to stimulate the ecomony. It looks like the Republicans have set up a situation where "heads I win, tails you lose."

  7. #31

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    I am 'alone' in this world. I look at it and it looks insane, people fighting each other, the greed, conning, doubletalk, cruelty to animals, and total disrespect for nature. I am happy to look at it this way

    Music can dissolve all this. Have anyof you walked down some dirty consumerized typical city high street with all its corporate drabness and blank faces hurrying about, and then you hear music---a busker, and all is transformed into magic. Even THAt ugliness...

    I look at places which are extremes of oppression. They all ban music! Our consumer obsessed shopowners have also done the same in our town claiming the 'noise' is 'bad for business' and is 'giving our staff headaches', etc

  8. #32

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    ......gives us this forum, great music software to play with, instant communication with anybody, anywhere......
    The price we pay is the equally instant news media in all its forms, drowning us with the 'news' that it is all insane.
    But the world always has been a crazy place. Just that years ago a bunch of guys would come rushing into your village, hacking folk to pieces with swords and axes and taking what they wanted. The craziness continues, in different forms these days.
    So I don't worry about myself......I'm fifty-two. It's the kids I worry about, as I wrote. When I was a child we had a valve (or tube) radio and a hoover, and we played outside a lot, getting dirty and often into trouble with the owners of local apple trees.
    I really can't imagine what the effects of all this electro-technology will be as things proceed. I was in a multimedia technology superstore recently, and actually felt nauseated. All these gadgets and stuff....none of which anyone needs at the level of daily survival. I do try to possess the minimum amount of these goods. I suppose I have quite a lot, like many people, but I am aware that what I have is rather devilish in some ways, like the internet itself.

    I suppose my decision to concentrate on acoustic playing with classical guitar for now was partly influenced by all this. Electricity is needed to produce the strings, but that's the end of it.

  9. #33

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    Yes, I feel like that, and feel what you mean about preferring unplugged guitars. That you have the freedom to be without electricity when doing something you love, play music

    and I know exactly that feeling in one of those tech stores--overwelmingly

    I never really took to techno music. It sounded mechanical to me. For instance, if you familiar with gnawa music, and Yoruba music which is real musicinas playing very complex rhythms and compare with the sample like loop electro rhythmic musics there is--for me no comparison. The former breathes, is organic because people are playing it not machines
    Some of it i like though because of the very interesting sounds you can get, and with a real creative person some really interesting music. But I prefer unplugged. Has more soul for me

  10. #34

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    the more you get into the recent history of classical guitar, the more you discover that segovia's reputation is not as SOLID as a player or a teacher as he would have had you believe. of all his talents, self promotion was definitely his most natural.

    he was inarguably very conceited and liked to spread the idea that he single handedly brought the guitar out of the shadows and that his OPINION was unquestionable. in reality, there have always been GREAT classical players. and his self advirtisement as the saviour of the guitar had more to do with his own ambition than reality. some of whom were his contemporaries AND WAY more talented than him. the only guitarists that he EVER liked were young student guitarists that accepted his word as FACT.

    dont get me wrong, i like some of segovia's playing. there is something romantic that i like that i dont hear in many other more technically developed players. but just like anybody that gets all the recognition early on...they are the standard that is very quickly surpassed. there are 1000s of players (likely way more) that would school segovia nowadays. in this way, hendrix is more inspirational to me than segovia. still havent heard anyone do what he did better than him.

    this video basically shows segovia getting all worked up that someone would have the gall to come up with their own interpretation of a piece. he doesnt even listen to the piece before criticizing his fingerings (different from his own). he just comes across as a salty old crank...chapdelaine has way more class then this so called master.


  11. #35

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    This is from the book "Maestro Segovia" by Graham Wade:

    ''When George Harrison of the Beatles acclaimed Segovia as 'the daddy of us all', Segovia remarked: 'The Beatles are very nice young men, no doubt, but their music is horrible. Even as illegitimate children I could not accept them.' ''

    This is typical of how Segovia spoke of anything that didn't fit with his own narrow view of music. He was a great success as a guitarist and an utter failure as a human being.

  12. #36

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    haha I just saw the video. Now last year I may have had a different feeling from watching it--even last week, yesterday, I don't know. But the thoughts and feelings I got watching it were: I would like to hear the piece the way Sergovia prefers in comparison with how the youngman was playing it. So then I woud be able to hear a comparison for myself.

    Also, instead of projecting onto Sergovia that he is a control freak etc, I thought of myself when sometimes judging music. For example (Sorry if it seems change of subject but its not really.) the other day I was watching a Youtube video of a an old Blues--just audio it was guitar and singer from way back, and I had never heard of them before but it REALLY moved me, because it had this real intensity that has to be natural.
    In the comments someone wrote something like 'the Blues evolution culminated in the 1970s with the likes of Eric Clapton' . Now, I have of course listened to and watched Clapton over the years. At one time his playing was likened to 'God', and there's no doubt he is highly skilled, yet I had to reply to that commenter that that old Blues by people I had never heard was vastly more to me than anything I'd heard from Eric, and in fact his playing left me cold.

    So, if I was a judge of some player and they began with the Blues cliche stuff I too would be tough on them lol. I cannot criticize Sergovia because I don't know Classical enough (though I know what I like), and his unique perspective will always be that, and so you would have to bear it if you played before him!

  13. #37
    TommyD Guest
    I saw Segovia at Carnegie Hall one wintery evening. We, the audience, could barely hear him. He sat on the fore part of an empty stage, and refused to allow the stage hands to place a small reflecting screen behind him so he could be heard by the paying customers. Little by little, all of us who really cared, moved forward in the orchestra and sat down on the floor of the aisles in our suits and ties and the ladies in their dresses.
    At one point someone in a box close to the stage had the audacity to sneeze just as the maestro was starting to play something. He stopped dead, made a big show of pulling a handkerchief out of a pocket and blew his nose raucously, then waved the handkerchief in the direction of the sneezer before pocketing it.
    As much as I respected him, I never bought another record. That night, many concertgoers departed early.
    tommy/

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsmith
    ....I started this one because I thought the following quote was good:

    "I've had three wives and three guitars. I still play the guitars."

    I must confess, apart from studying his right-hand technique from a 'third party' book, I knew very little about the man. I have been surprised and enlightened to find out more. I referred to him as 'the maestro' because he appeared to be one, to me.
    It just goes to show how much more there always is to know about something!
    This forum continues to be exceedingly educational.
    Yes, in spanish we don't PLAY a guitar, or a piano, or whatever the instrument...we TOUCH guitar, we TOUCH the trumpet, WE touch the drums...in fact we TOUCH music. The verb TO TOUCH (TOCAR) in spanish has a double meaning= to touch and to play (refering to music).
    That was the funny point of this Segovia's quote.

  15. #39

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    When I reflect back on that master class video I have to agree with some of the comments both pro and con here.


    That drill sergeant style doesn't go over anymore. Today a student might tell a master to stick it. Not that that would be appropriate, but teacher arrogance and impatience is not tolerated by gen x and gen y.

    I understand and have encountered the type of viewpoint that Segovia displayed (in the video and his assessment of the Beatles etc). "Classical music is the only music that should be taken seriously. Other styles of music might be amusing little diversions, but are not to be overly admired or placed in the realm of greatness". This viewpoint is also dated. Nowadays classical specialists are expected to at least tolerate, if not celebrate other styles. One might say - "if they know that classical is the pinnacle, why be threatened by other styles and go around with a chip on their shoulders"? Leonard Bernstein exemplified this attitude in his kick-off address on a Grammy show a couple of decades back, while praising rockers, Tina Turner in particular.

    On the other hand, where "top of the art" playing and rendering of classical music is concerned, honestly is the best policy. Why should a master teacher or conductor beat around the bush? The student or player needs to know the truth in order to become the best or one of the best.

    Finally, Segovia was self-important and displayed arrogance and impatience in that video. I have seen David Russell and The LA Guitar Quartet give master classes. Very enjoyable I must say. They were constructively critical, yet polite. But Segovia was old school and his peers behaved that very same way. Many still do. He was also an old man. He may have had diarrhea or arthritis pain that day.

  16. #40

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    I try to avoid being grumpy, and I try to keep an open mind about music, but I still find it hard to force myself to listen to rap or hip-hop music.

  17. #41

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    The whole Chapeldaine thing was because Chapeldaine changed Segovia's fingerings for that work.

    That's a big blow for Segovia. I've never met a real musician who didn't have a real ego.

    That was naive of Chapeldaine to think that he could play Segovia's repertoire and also change Segovia's fingerings and that everything would be dandy. No way.

    When I played for Dyen's or for Fisk or Dilla, I didn't touch any of their repertoire or any music they that had published with their fingerings. It's just something you don't do. Unless you want to get burned, or you're just an absolute prodigy - which I ain't. And neither was Chapeldaine.

  18. #42

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    There are so many people who perhaps will never understand the man and musician Andres Segovia. As a person whose entire life was inspired by him, and who knew him just a little, perhaps I may paint a word picture here to allow viewers to see the canvas of him more clearly than just the colors it displays.

    There is certainly no dispute he was a guitar genius- both in technique and poetic expression. Those who say "why, so and so can move their fingers faster than Segovia ever could, hence they are greater", are so foolish their viewpoint deserves no attention whatsoever. But his poetic expression of the music? Perhaps it will never be equaled, let alone exceeded. The incredibly beautiful tone he produced on the guitar is beyond description. Hardly any guitarist can fail to recognize his playing even after just a few beginning notes. For these two things alone, his legacy should live on perhaps forever.

    As a man, yes, perhaps he indeed had failings. Who among us does not? Sometimes great men and their accomplishments are accompanied by great failings. He worked tirelessly on his transcriptions and fingerings in an effort to squeeze the very last drop of beauty from the inert paper. Is it really to hard to understand why he became angry when someone chose to undo all his work for no particular reason? He was a Spaniard after all! Diligent in his work beyond description, but quick to admonish those who seemingly had little regard for his sacrifice of blood.

    When one has dedicated their life to the classical guitar and its music, perhaps the most delicate, lofty, and expressive of all human endeavors, is it really so hard to understand his dislike for that he considered a crude and lower form of music? May he rest in peace.

  19. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor
    Segovia scales are just Major and minor scales w/left hand fingerings described.

    Basically a two octave scale up and down with one position shift. Probably on-line somewhere and available at all music stores.

    Sailor
    And 3-octave scales with his unique left hand fingerings, which differ when descending...

  20. #44

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    I think many lies has been told about Segovia, but sure He only saw the guitar in a limited way. But We don't care, We can take whatever We like from Segovia, and the things we like from Wes, Chet, Jimmy,..., his limits cannot be ours.
    One of the wrong legend pursuing Segovia's memory is about the dismissing of Barrios music. This is not true, Segovia was amazed by "La Catedral", but Barrios was badly advised by his managers and He never sent the asked composition to Spain. It wasn't Segovia's fault.
    Some people said He was rude as a teacher, but Charlie Byrd said kind words about Segovia's methodology. The maestro only wanted that his students followed his instructions, They could always look for another master if not.
    Olivier Messiaen didn't like jazz at all, but many jazz players are incorporating his ideas to this music, just as an example.

  21. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philip Conrad
    Is it really to hard to understand why he became angry when someone chose to undo all his work for no particular reason? He was a Spaniard after all! Diligent in his work beyond description, but quick to admonish those who seemingly had little regard for his sacrifice of blood.
    As a spaniard, I don't know if that's a compliment, but I will take it as such.

  22. #46

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    No doubt Segovia was a virtuoso, but he considered himself the best guitarist and sure he and his manager sold that very well even abroad. But the thing is he wasn't the only Maestro. Check out Narciso Yepes, you'll be blown away I promise. No need to mention Paco de Lucia, he played classical a lot (check out Concierto de Aranjuez) and he was able to play with DiMeola, McLaughlin or Chick Corea without knowing a thing about jazz, to me that's a real virtuoso, and he was the opposite to Segovia, a very humble person, not an extremist that embraced different styles.

  23. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stackabones
    I love hearing masters talking about their field, especially when they have strong opinions. Segovia, I believe, would have had a difficult time in our give-a-gold-star-to-every-student culture. Today's attitude is to deconstruct the masters so that they are meaningless. Now, we have to chastise the "patriarchal hegemony" and diligently argue about the possiblities of an Eskimo Shakespeare.
    Nothing new about that, it's gone on for centuries. Un fortunately, those that fail to recognize the truth of those complaints are the ones who perpetuate the problems.

  24. #48

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    As a guitarist I am so grateful to players like Bream and Williams. Have I to choose between them and their teachers?
    This post is finished for me, I can't see the reasons for taking down the memory of such and important figure in music.
    Some time ago, in other forum, the same thing happened with Tárrega: His playing wasn't impressive, mediocre player, corky compositions, bla, bla, bla, ...
    How many blues players today are technically better than Robert Johnson?
    People would be more respectful about an unknown Segovia with all his life collected in 29 songs.
    Last edited by sjl; 06-10-2017 at 06:27 PM.

  25. #49

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    I realize that this thread is three years old, however I have some information and opinions about Segovia.
    These are a result of my association with Ray Reussner, my friend and neighbor for 22 years. He has spent his lifetime as a concert guitarist, teacher and now guitar maker.

    Here is a link to a video of Ray in a Master Class with Segovia. Note the difference between Segovia's response to Reussner compared to Chapdelaine.

    My take on this is that Chapdelaine , not Segovia, was the arrogant party. Segovia students were there to learn, not to teach. Chapdelaine
    confused his role. As another poster has said, Chapdelaine had choices for other instructors.

    Another point that I find odd in Segovia's "quote" about three wives and three guitars. He may have had three wives but he had dozens if not a hundred guitars over his lifetime. Ramirez, Fleta and finally settling on Hauser as his choice. Ray Reussner found the same path and in fact got many of his guitars as cast offs by Segovia to include Ramirez and Hauser. Ray has been building guitars for the last 20 years and makes Hauser style instruments of very high quality. (having abandoned Ramirez after many years) He in fact brought his latest Hauser style guitar over three days ago to demonstrate it for me. A remarkable instrument. This was to be his last guitar construction. ( famous last words, he has been saying this for 5 years. )

    Reussner was not only a student of Segovia but a lifelong friend and arranged concerts on the West coast for the Maestro. It has been said that of all the Segovia students, he was the closest in replicating Segovia's playing.

    According to Segovia and others, Segovia became his own student and own teacher. He deserves credit for his accomplishments, which seem to be considerable.

    We all have opinions but facts are facts though mine are most definitely second hand, difficult to get closer than an association with one of Segovias longest enduring students and friends.

    Also one last note.. I found another thread of a poster saying Segovia quit playing Ramirez and switched to playing "Wagner" guitars.
    As I wrote earlier, Segovia played Ramirez from early on though the first of his "Ramirez" was documented to have been made by Santos Hernandez in the Ramirez shop. And it was converted from a multi stringed ( more than 6 strings), to a six string guitar.)
    He also played Fleta of Barcelona. It is said he admired the Fleta family but found the guitars difficult to play. He went back to Ramirez and then on to Hauser. There is no information about Wagner.
    Last edited by bohemian46; 10-04-2020 at 03:25 PM.

  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by bohemian46
    I realize that this thread is three years old, however I have some information and opinions about Segovia.
    These are a result of my association with Ray Reussner, my friend and neighbor for 22 years. He has spent his lifetime as a concert guitarist, teacher and now guitar maker.

    Here is a link to a video of Ray in a Master Class with Segovia. Note the difference between Segovia's response to Reussner compared to Chapdelaine.

    My take on this is that Chapdelaine , not Segovia, was the arrogant party. Segovia students were there to learn, not to teach. Chapdelaine
    confused his role. As another poster has said, Chapdelaine had choices for other instructors.
    .
    what is arrogant about using different fingerings than Segovia? There should have been no controversy, and there were some subsequent master classes between AS and MC that were cordial, it was the petty gossip mongering in the CG world that made an issue of this and ruined MC’s chances of a concert career. After all, it was not MC that supported Franco