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  1. #1
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    The Maestro speaks..

    ...not me, but Andres Segovia, master of classical guitar. Not so off-topic, as I was looking through Matt Warnock's site when I read his article about classical right-hand picking in relation to jazz guitar.
    I could get into that, as I long ago did Segovia's right-hand exercises, and managed to amaze myself, if no-one else!
    (If anyone wants to know about these, just ask. Hard to find them free on the net so far, but I suppose books are available).
    Anyway, from interviews with the late Andres:

    In his last major interview.......... interviewer Hugh Downs asks Segovia: "You do a lot of work, you practice, you perform, you travel. You're 94. You still teach. Do you ever feel like saying, 'This is enough, I want to rest'?" Segovia, whose career endured more than 70 years and who still had been giving 25 concerts a year, replied: "You know what I think? If I am tired now, I don't mind, because I have eternity to rest."

    In another recent interview, he said, "I've had three wives and three guitars. I still play the guitars."

    Wonderful !



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  3. #2
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    I have a bunch of Segovias music..theories methods and transcriptions....

    Wonderful music....wonderful person....

    He once said to chet atkins "If I knew you played electric guitar I would not have granted you a lesson"...

    Time spent playing your guitar is time well spent..Pierre

  4. #3

    maestro

    There are many who feel that Julian Bream is/was a much better guitarist than Segovia. I heard he was a very "difficult" man.

    Sailor

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    respect....

    Possibly, but surely anyone who achieves such stature in their field deserves our repect, regardless of our personal opinions about their level of talent.

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    Segovia hated the electric guitar and thought it was an abomination. My feeling is no matter how great he was, he was still just a bit too opinionated to me, even though he could get away with it. I would have said the electric guitar is fine. It's just that some stuff played on it is an abomination.

  7. #6

    a quote

    I remember hearing of Segovia being called, (in an interview?) the greatest, at 82, and he replied "I'm STILL learning!" (!)

    don't know much classical r-hand stuff or artists, but recall really liking sound of Juan Serrano

    thanks wordsmith, oughta jot down seeking out segovias' rhand exercises; as far as jazz, I read ted greene liked the sound of no fingernails, playing with flesh of tips (lightly plucking to voice chords, not 'picking' a la dobro) (also tone pot down to 30-40% of full)
    Last edited by beejazd; 01-22-2009 at 03:09 AM.

  8. #7
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    a little fact

    Look no further...exercises as below. There may be more, but these did what it said on the tin! I seem to remember Segovia saying he felt these exercises were the most effective a player could do, even if they did no others.


    I remember reading also that Segovia appreciated the different effects of the nail and the flesh, and used both in combination.
    As I recall, the main thing about the right-hand excercises was the fact that you pick groups of four notes with three fingers, leaving the pinky in bed for a snooze.
    So a sequence would be imai maim aima imai...and so on. Also in the other direction.
    The benefit comes from having to accent the first note of each group of four with a different finger each time....Imai Maim Aima Imai etc
    I started on the top string with rest strokes down to the second, no left hand. Then work on the top two strings, then all three, all the time using rest strokes down to the string below. The rest stroke thing is important...like a 'walking upstairs' or 'downstairs', kind of action. Once mastered, this produces a powerful string damping action, and you always feel exactly where your fingers are!.Once you get going with the right, bring in the left hand, and watch it all slow down again !! Not for long.
    Simple, slow 1234 4321, then, with the left, then more interesting variations.......1324....4231. Obviously try to get musical as soon as you can. Also each of the three right-hand fingers on a string each. At some point, bring in the thumb to do 'thumby' things!
    I remember thinking....'why am I doing this?' ......when I gave these exercises a go....the rest strokes felt strange and clumsy for a while. But, suddenly, one day.............
    Eventually, your three right-hand fingers can roll around in both directions in co-ordination with anything the left hand chooses to do, and you can accent any note at will, at any volume. Result....has to be felt to be believed, if you've never done it. A lot like lovemaking, ha ha!
    I am going to do it again (the exercises!!!) very soon... did them about 25 years ago and became indcredibly accurate. Wasn't very musically aware then though... just picked rhythmically.

    I found it difficult at first (??), but like everything else.......
    Last edited by wordsmith; 01-23-2009 at 01:38 PM. Reason: addition of info

  9. #8
    "Imai Maim Aima Imai..."

    sounds like a the first line of a Maori lovesong.

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    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.

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    well said!

    Stackabones, your paragraph is just about the best thing I've read for as long as I can remember. British media culture has for a long time been to knock anyone who is successful, which is obscene. And western respect for elders is waning fast.
    Where will it all end up?

    Good that we have music!

  12. #11
    hi wordsmith,

    I wondered about the terminus "Segovia scales"...
    Can you deliver a short description of that "right hand exercises"?

  13. #12

    maestro

    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

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    segovia right hand exercises.....

    ..........and Hubert54's question.......that was the shortest way I could explain his right hand exercises. It was intended to be a guide in itself, and something to wet the appetite of anyone who might want to delve deeper into the subject. Lots of jazz dudes seem to enjoy the classical guitar aspect of playing jazz......I recommend at least a trial period playing classical....it is a very 'earthy' instrument, with which one can quickly feel at one.

    (I've run the end of the last sentence through my head, and conclude that it is good English).

    And remember: Nuffin' don't not never get done if you don't do nuffin'!

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by hot ford coupe View Post
    Segovia hated the electric guitar and thought it was an abomination. My feeling is no matter how great he was, he was still just a bit too opinionated to me, even though he could get away with it. I would have said the electric guitar is fine. It's just that some stuff played on it is an abomination.
    Wow, did he say that?
    I would have said/asked 'why?', and then sat back as I luxuriated in empathy with a master. because I feel like that also.
    I was talking to another member here about it really recently. I said how I didn't like the sound of electric guitars, and how many online teachers at youtube seem to hold an electric guitar.

    A teacher--who is apparently a very experienced guitarist, and outspoken, and emphasizes very strongly the importanct of technique, even criticizing a very important famous guitarist for yet bad technique--will then give lessons with the grossest of electric guitar sounds
    However, I have heard some of his works and he can make the electric guitar seem to talk, as did Hendrix.
    I of course admit, i LOVE Hendrix on electric guitar. And some Jazz guitarists and Brazilian guitarists really make electric sound cool.

    But I adore unplugged
    Last edited by elixzer; 04-24-2009 at 04:16 AM. Reason: extra

  16. #15
    may i ask why unplugged?

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by fast1 View Post
    may i ask why unplugged?
    It is hard to explain but will try. There is something about electric which gives what i am calling a solid-unrelenting sound. Of course this is most notable with the rock bands, and as we see their music becomes louder and louder, and can ruin hearing---as many of the top rock stars have lost hearing.

    So in that respect, the music form has been destructive.

    I ask your question too, because I also want to go deeper into what I mean. The other day I impulsively Googles ' unplugged guitar versus electric guitar' hoping I might find some articles which go deep into this. That hopefully would include quotes from Sergovia, and other Masters who feel like he did about electric guitar. But didn't find anything.

    I know the folk crowd really felt Bob Dylan betrayed them when he went on to use electric guitar, and I have seen a documentary where he first does a concert in England, with his new band of electric guitars, and gets booed by the audience.
    Now that is looked at as quaint. As though they are trying to hold on to some past thats dead and gone. But I am not so sure.

    There is a quality lost I feel, from natural sound to electrified sound.

    For a kick off, all the paraphanalia. The heavy equipment needed so as to play an electric guitar. The power needed (not sure how much).
    There is something really wonderful--to me--that an unplugged guitar leaning against the wall can when played with feeling produce enchanting and powerful music----------without all the messing about needed for electric output

    I am not saying 'ban electric guitars'. We would never have had a Jimi Hendrix, and I dig BB King, and as I said some jazz guitarists and Brazillian guitarists know how to senstively and powerfully play electricity.

    But my feelings are more open to unplugged.

    I remember once I heard Nirvana was playing unplugged----and Kurt Cobaine's performance was the most moving I have ever seen. And that unplugged performance is the one that remains with me!

    How do you feel about this?
    Last edited by elixzer; 04-24-2009 at 04:50 AM.

  18. #17
    Clasical guitarists (and even some audiences) despised the electric guitar when it first came out which I find brilliant since irony is fun.

    That aside if you look at the electric guitar the same as an acoustic than it will sound like a bad acoustic guitar and the reverse is true too. They are different instruments. As far as feeling lost that is the sillyest thing I have ever heard.

    When I drink whiskey I drink Highland Park because one day my dad gave me a Highland Park and said it was one of the finest whiskeys ever. To me highland park is special, to someone else maybe annother.

    Likewise many people like an instrument for reasons that are similar. Unfortunatly they never seem to embrace the fact that their opinion was just formed by their life rather than it being a universal truth.

  19. #18

    Check This Out! Segovia

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    There are many who feel that Julian Bream is/was a much better guitarist than Segovia. I heard he was a very "difficult" man.

    Sailor
    Sailor,
    It's kind of beside the point. Segovia was the player who single-handedly changed the world's perception of the guitar from it's humble folk image, to a serious classical instrument. He did this through playing
    pieces like the Bach Chaconne, in D minor, [his dropped "d" transcription of the piece written for violin]. He was self-taught and uneducated, kind of a red-neck perhaps in his opinions. I was lucky enough to have seen him play live afew times, he was great.] Bream is amazing, a bit more modern perhaps,
    [Segovia played a lot of rest strokes on a Ramirez with high action,]
    players today tend to play more free strokes, lower action, etc.
    Anyhow, there probably woudn't be a Bream if there wasn't a Segovia.
    BTW, he demanded respect when he performed. He'd warn the audience if it was noisy, and after a warning or two would leave the stage if they didn't pipe down. That's prettty cool, IMHO
    Cherrs,
    Barry
    www.HotClubPhilly.com
    www.ManoucheNorthAmerica.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCPhilly View Post
    Sailor,
    It's kind of beside the point. Segovia was the player who single-handedly changed the world's perception of the guitar from it's humble folk image, to a serious classical instrument. He did this through playing
    pieces like the Bach Chaconne, in D minor, [his dropped "d" transcription of the piece written for violin]. He was self-taught and uneducated, kind of a red-neck perhaps in his opinions. I was lucky enough to have seen him play live afew times, he was great.] Bream is amazing, a bit more modern perhaps,
    [Segovia played a lot of rest strokes on a Ramirez with high action,]
    players today tend to play more free strokes, lower action, etc.
    Anyhow, there probably woudn't be a Bream if there wasn't a Segovia.
    BTW, he demanded respect when he performed. He'd warn the audience if it was noisy, and after a warning or two would leave the stage if they didn't pipe down. That's prettty cool, IMHO
    Cherrs,
    Barry
    www.HotClubPhilly.com
    www.ManoucheNorthAmerica.com
    I agree with all the above. However, the guy could be mean and somewhat abusive. Not acceptable, no matter who you are. There was a video of Segovia tearing down Michael Chapdelaine over minutia during a Master's Class in front of God and country. The guy went another direction afterward, so for him, this encounter was certainly career changing, but not necessarily in a positive way. Michael speaks about it now more philosophically from what I have read.

    I have a number of Segovia discs, along with Bream, Williams, Parkening, etc, and greatly admire his contribution. However, such behavior is at times overlooked if one is percieved as great. I do believe it tarnishes his legacy a bit.

  21. #20
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    I don't really know how I feel about him:

    I love his work ethic.
    I love his modesty and some of the responses he makes when people call him a master.
    I just heard that he was the one who standardised the tuning of the guitar way back when (have no idea if its true or not), but I read that EADGBE was not even close to being what most people tuned to in the early 1900s.

    On the other hand I absolutely despise his closed-mindedness with respect to:

    refusing to be amplified
    blanket rejection of any guitar style other than classical (I have an absolutely horrible quote about jazz guitarists from a Guitar Player Interview in the 70's that makes my face go red with anger every time I read it....something like jazz guitarists are only playing half their instruments, like they're cutting off the part after the neck...implying that their right-hands are useless). GRRRRR.

  22. #21

    Check This Out! Segovia's personality

    Quote Originally Posted by derek View Post
    I agree with all the above. However, the guy could be mean and somewhat abusive. Not acceptable, no matter who you are. There was a video of Segovia tearing down Michael Chapdelaine over minutia during a Master's Class in front of God and country. The guy went another direction afterward, so for him, this encounter was certainly career changing, but not necessarily in a positive way. Michael speaks about it now more philosophically from what I have read.

    I have a number of Segovia discs, along with Bream, Williams, Parkening, etc, and greatly admire his contribution. However, such behavior is at times overlooked if one is percieved as great. I do believe it tarnishes his legacy a bit.
    Maybe so. I'm not defending his behavior. [He was dismissive of Django, which says a lot about his ego and intelligence.] He was pretty boorish to say the least. Case in point; my Classical guitar teacher at Temple U. was the late great Peter Segal. Peter was fluent in Spanish and he published a collection of Segovia's letters to and from Pnce, [I believe the book is in print]. Peter mentioned to me that Segovia said a lot of ingorant things, [he was quite free with his anti-semetic remarks.] Unfortunately, I have found that in some cases you really almost don't want to know too much about some players, you'll be diasaponted. Just because someone achives greatness in music or sports, etc. it doesn't give them the excuse to be an a--hole.
    Everybody deserves respect.
    Cheers,
    Barr

  23. #22

    Check This Out! Segovia's personality, [continued,]

    [quote=peterk1;31599]I don't really know how I feel about him:

    "I love his work ethic.. "
    Peter,
    yeah, I know... check out my other response.
    Again, I am not going to defend his ignorant behavior.
    Life is just too short for all of that.
    Barry

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    Since I was quoted at the start of this thread's rebirth, and since I expressed an opinion about electric guitars in another thread, I need to get something straight. Let's not get too high on the horse here. I never said I didn't like the electric guitar and that unplugged was the only way to go. What I alluded to was the fact that I didn't like what a lot of players were doing with it. Personally, I like to play acoustic archtops with floating pickups. That's what I like to do. Unless I'm just playing at home in a closed room, I stick a floating pickup on everything I play. That's the seasoning in my recipe that gives me the best sound I can get and my audiences continually tell me they love the sound of the guitar. I can still get similar tones out of my ES 355 and my Les Paul Custom before I sold it. I've gotten nice, mellow, sweet and emotion filled passages out of a Fender Strat and a Tele when I had the controls adjusted just right for what I was playing. Listen to Johnny Smith, Billy Bauer, Ed Bickert, Joe Pass, George Van Eps and all the other guitarists famous for chord melody playing. They all play mostly electrics. Ed Bickert plays a Tele and Joe Pass sounded great on a Jaguar. (Or was it a Jazzmaster ?) I've heard musicians play strictly acoustic guitars and sounded horrible. I wouldn't blame the electric guitar for anything. A guitar is a guitar until you put a player behind it. A good friend of mine once confessed to me when he saw me bring one of my guitars to work that he absolutely hated the guitar in general. When I asked him why, he said all the guitarists that he heard would pick up the guitar and scrub the strings with a pick making a "jinga jinga jinga" sound. Then I plugged in my guitar which was a 63 Byrdland with PAFs and played Darn That Dream. the next thing I knew, he went out, got a guitar, brought it to me and said "show me how to play like that". Like I said, don't blame the type of the guitar, blame the guy behind it for playing what you don't like.

    As far as how I feel about Segovia, I recognize what he did for the guitar and I recognize his talent. As far as the rest of that crap especially those anti semitic remarks, I don't care how good he was or how famous he got, he had no right to be abusive, crude and nasty. He was an elitist and felt everyone should feel like he does and that's a bunch of junk. I'm finally done now. Everybody grab your guitars and pluck your G strings.

  25. #24
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    amazing how threads can go....

    ....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.

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    Hey Wordsmith. That was a very good quote and I liked it. Also, referring to Segovia as "the Maestro" is the correct terminology as well. He definitely is a guitar icon and has a distinct place in music history. These are undisputed facts. My problem is how he relates to other people, especially other guitarists. Humility is not a word in his vocabulary. You can still be the greatest at something and treat others with respect and courtesy. It doesn't make you superior to others, just a better guitarist and it definitely doesn't give you the right to indiscriminately trash people. The rest of my rant was only me defending the electric guitar.

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    Off topic (slightly): So why are so many Hollywood actors automaticaly national experts on so many subjects other than making money by pretending to be someone else?
    It must be said, I do not condone Segovia's personal attitudes & views outside of guitar, but let's face it, in today's world where everyone must tow the correct view on public issues (whether a particular correct view is beneficial for society or not), Segovia would never have have been more than quaint a regional oddity. None of us are perfect. Not that we need more abusive or mean people, but the world sure could use a lot more less-well-rounded people.

  28. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Henry View Post
    Off topic (slightly): So why are so many Hollywood actors automaticaly national experts on so many subjects other than making money by pretending to be someone else?
    It must be said, I do not condone Segovia's personal attitudes & views outside of guitar, but let's face it, in today's world where everyone must tow the correct view on public issues (whether a particular correct view is beneficial for society or not), Segovia would never have have been more than quaint a regional oddity. None of us are perfect. Not that we need more abusive or mean people, but the world sure could use a lot more less-well-rounded people.
    you use the word 'perfect'----some artist may be perfectionists. Is that a fair word to use though. Say you are a singer and depend on the musicians to support you---and you may have a bad day and be a 'bitch', and maybe a few bad days because this IS your life. Your art is your life..........And you want it to be good--better than good for your audience, and your art. And you lose it a few times. And that gets distorted into a myth that your a tyrant to work with, whatever

    I have heard--dont know if true, that Ella could be fierce sometimes if the musicians were on the ball. Also Dinah Washington, James Brown, who would cack musicians on the spot if they were being not on it--again, dont know if true

    Are these myths....dont know

    But in art you see it, because people are so passionate

    Remember that actor--forgot name---played Batman, and American Psycho. Theres a video where he completely loses it with some poor sod who walks on set and is in wrong place at the wrong time

    We are all human.................
    Last edited by elixzer; 04-28-2009 at 09:45 AM.

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    I useed the word 'perfect' to point out that no one is. Perfection is best as a self-aspiration, not an expection of others. Reach for perfection in what's important, but don't beat other people down when they don't measure up or have a different list of what's important, IMHO. Of course, we're all musicians here (right?), so at least feel & skill with our chosen instruments should be imprtant.

  30. #29
    In sum, I admire the musician and performer. Sorry, I am not thereby obliged to admire or even inclined to respect the man's repulsive attitudes and beliefs.

    Should people be more well-rounded than a talented, but hateful, ignoramus like Segovia? I certainly hope so!! It was that sort of narrow-minded conservatism and social irresponsibility among people of "high culture" that led to the gas-chambers and extermination camps of Nazi Germany.

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    re my choice....

    ....of classical guitar as my chosen instrument, posted elsewhere here yesterday. I hereby pledge to be a nice, friendly, jolly classical guitar player, on whom one can always rely to be civil, courteous and caring.
    I have always seen the playing of music as something which nurtures the positive aspects of being human. I can't imagine I would ever put anyone else down. Even if a player is quite terrible to listen to, he or she is at least making an effort creatively, and should be admired if only for that.
    Last edited by wordsmith; 04-30-2009 at 03:18 PM. Reason: speling corection

  32. #31
    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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    Obviously...

    Not that we need more abusive or mean people, but the world sure could use a lot more less-well-rounded people.[/quote]

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    I agree....

    ....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.

  35. #34
    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.

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    No, go on, Franco!

    ...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.

  37. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by wordsmith View Post
    ...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."

  38. #37
    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

  39. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    warsaw, Poland
    Posts
    295

    The double-edged sword of technology.....

    ......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.

  40. #39
    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

  41. #40
    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.


  42. #41
    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.
    Spiderman needs no fancy suit or gadgets plus he's a jazz guitar fan

  43. #42
    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!

  44. #43
    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/

  45. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by wordsmith View Post
    ....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.

  46. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    4,757
    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.

  47. #46
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Slovenia
    Posts
    279
    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.

  48. #47
    TommyD Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by wordsmith View Post
    ...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.
    Gad! I log in once every three months and Morrrisey is still at it! Give it a rest, man.
    Maybe "nobody listened" because they knew it WASN'T the road to Hell. And indeed, we're still chugging along.

  49. #48
    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.

  50. #49

    Segovia

    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.

  51. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    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...

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