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  1. #1

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    Hey what is a good guitar method to start playing classical guitar? I'm experienced in other genres but I want to start studying classical guitar, alongside the studying I put into jazz. I want a good method to develop strong finger picking technique as well as start me in the right direction towards classical proficiency. I have heard the hal leonard method is not bad, however, I have never had a great book from hal leonard.. let me know what you think. Thank you very much in advance.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    If you can already read, I would advise jumping right into Carcassi 25 progressive and melodious studies. I've never met a method book I liked.

  4. #3

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    And get yourself a copy of Pumping Nylon​ as a technique reference.

  5. #4
    alright guys. much appreciated. will check these two out. i tend to start with guitar methods because of their systematic exercises for building certain skills. an organized approach has always made me feel comfortable

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by blues442
    alright guys. much appreciated. will check these two out. i tend to start with guitar methods because of their systematic exercises for building certain skills. an organized approach has always made me feel comfortable
    The 25 studies are far more systematic than any method I have seen. They start from easy and go to hard. Each one addresses a certain technique or two that you will see in many pieces as you continue your studies. Best of all they are musical.

    While many many many folks use the pumping nylon book, I always thought playing actual music was the best thing for your playing. Also if your getting a late start there is a ton to learn. How much of your time you want to devote to excercises is debatable, and probably dependent on your goals and current level of music ability.

  7. #6
    Christopher Parkening's is pretty straight-forward, progressive, and always musical. Begins with pieces which IMO more naturally teach good right hand technique, arpeggiating, compared to methods which major in single-string playing at the start (like Fredrick Noad). Lot of Carcassi and the like.

    I can't imagine doing classical without a teacher BTW. Just saying.

  8. #7

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    if classical proficiency is really the goal, I'd have to agree with matt above in regard to needing a teacher. if there is REALLY no teacher near you, there are multiple doing Skype lessons. Jason vieaux has a program on artist works where he guides you through learning and you can submit your videos to him for a critique. I had the pleasure of taking a master class with him in person and seeing him perform. out of the 10 or so classical master classes I've been to, his was my favorite. outstanding player and teacher.

  9. #8

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    If you are already a reader, the Royal Conservatory graded etudes are a great way to start learning tunes and building repertoire. I haven't looked at the new series. I have all 8 grades of the older series and they have been and are very beneficial.

    Also, +1000 on the pumping nylon. Best book out there for right hand position guidance.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rsclosson
    If you are already a reader, the Royal Conservatory graded etudes are a great way to start learning tunes and building repertoire. I haven't looked at the new series. I have all 8 grades of the older series and they have been and are very beneficial.

    Also, +1000 on the pumping nylon. Best book out there for right hand position guidance.
    have you tried the jamie andreas book on technique? a lot of right hand information i hear. how is it compared to this one, if you've read it?

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by blues442
    have you tried the jamie andreas book on technique? a lot of right hand information i hear. how is it compared to this one, if you've read it?
    I haven't seen that one but I will check it out.

  12. #11

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    Carcassi.

  13. #12

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    Sor's book edited by Costa

  14. #13
    ^thank you

  15. #14

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    Carcassi studies are too advanced for a beginning classical player. You may find them frustrating. Even Carcassi himself had a method that was more basic.

    Community colleges start out with something like this:

    Noad book 1,
    sagreras book 1
    pumping nylon
    segovia scales

    (Plus, there is ABRSM levels 1,2,3 and up to measure yourself in terms of advancement. That is, for each level you select 3 pieces for a recital, whether it's for a judge, instructor, tape recorder, or your Labrador retriever. There are about 25 pieces to choose from at each level, and pre-recorded CDs of professional performers playing "model" performances. Very helpful.)

    after a few semesters of the Noad and Sagreras etc, community colleges move you on to Carcassi, Sor, Brouwer studies (among other studies) for 2-3 years. Then you might be able to audition as a freshman classical guitar performance major.

    just painting the picture. You may not want to take things that far.
    Last edited by fumblefingers; 07-15-2015 at 02:01 PM.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers
    Carcassi studies are too advanced for a beginning classical player. You may find them frustrating. Even Carcassi himself had a method that was more basic.

    Community colleges start out with something like this:

    Noad book 1,
    sagreras book 1
    pumping nylon
    segovia scales

    (Plus, there is ABRSM levels 1,2,3 and up to measure yourself in terms of advancement. That is, for each level you select 3 pieces for a recital, whether it's for a judge, instructor, tape recorder, or your Labrador retriever. There are about 25 pieces to choose from at each level, and pre-recorded CDs of professional performers playing "model" performances. Very helpful.)

    after a few semesters of the Noad and Sagreras etc, community colleges move you on to Carcassi, Sor, Brouwer studies (among other studies) for 2-3 years. Then you might be able to audition as a freshman classical guitar performance major.

    just painting the picture. You may not want to take things that far.
    Maybe you're right. Carcassi is good for the self-learner but probably not for the beginner. Carcassi seems to be popular with self-learners who aren't complete beginners.
    Last edited by Stevebol; 07-16-2015 at 01:18 AM.

  17. #16
    ill try it. I've been playing guitar for 10 years. started with blues for the first 8 then started applying myself with jazz knowledge and playing standards. Im just starting with classical. I'm not a complete beginner, so i will try the carcassi along with the others. I'm looking into noad's book and the others. also I do study at a community college, so your info was really helpful although i do study jazz, thank you a lot.

  18. #17
    I see for Noad's books there are various editions for each year.. do you know if there is a difference?

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by blues442
    I see for Noad's books there are various editions for each year.. do you know if there is a difference?
    You mean like the 3rd edition, 4th edition? They have a little extra supplemental material in later editions, but it's the same core material. I'd get the newest edition. It's really a sales thing, but why not get the newest edition? 4th edition

    Get the Christopher Parkening as well. Inexpensive stuff.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 07-15-2015 at 10:16 PM.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by blues442
    ill try it. I've been playing guitar for 10 years. started with blues for the first 8 then started applying myself with jazz knowledge and playing standards. Im just starting with classical. I'm not a complete beginner, so i will try the carcassi along with the others. I'm looking into noad's book and the others. also I do study at a community college, so your info was really helpful although i do study jazz, thank you a lot.
    The thing is, you can probably handle the notation and such. However, the probability that one will adopt the desired sitting, right hand, left hand positions, planting, damping, etc. on his/her own is quite small, while the probability that one will develop bad habits right away (that will have to be corrected later) are significant. These techniques are not described in detail in Carcassi's 25 studies.

    So...... A solid teacher who can oversee your progess is also vital.

  21. #20

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    that's really true... for classical guitar a good teacher at the beginninb is very important


    another point: when we speak about 19th century methods there was deference between the Italian and Soanish schools...

    e.g. Carcassi's and Sor's music and methods show this difference quite clearly...

    to me also musically So is much more interesting composer than any guitar compser of the period

    and las but not least: if you're intersted in playing 18-19th century guitar repertoire you may consuder also romantic guitar that was actually used by Sor, Carcassi and others

    sample (though Barrios lived later but the style is of earlier period)


  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers
    The thing is, you can probably handle the notation and such. However, the probability that one will adopt the desired sitting, right hand, left hand positions, planting, damping, etc. on his/her own is quite small, while the probability that one will develop bad habits right away (that will have to be corrected later) are significant. These techniques are not described in detail in Carcassi's 25 studies.

    So...... A solid teacher who can oversee your progess is also vital.
    Definitely agree with this. I was introduced to the Carcassi studies fairly early on, but I was having weekly lessons from a very good visiting classical guitar teacher at my school. Without his guidance, I doubt I could have figured out all the correct posture, hand positions, etc. by myself. Getting these things right from the beginning is very important with classical guitar, I think.

  23. #22

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    Scott Tenant's Pumping Nylon vids are helpful if you don't have access to a teacher (It's not "free" although it gets posted on YT from time time).

    http://tinyurl.com/ptp3u2f

  24. #23

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    The latest iteration of Shearer's work, called The Shearer Method: Classic Guitar Foundations, from Alfred Publications, is thorough, highly informative and very well-laid-out, in terms of steady progress, each new step building on what came before. Once you've reached about halfway, then investigating the Giuliani 120 (as presented by Christopher Berg) and some of the Pumping Nylon material can be done without going crazy. While almost all of the methods mentioned above have good points, not a single one is as well organized or researched as the Shearer stuff. Shearer comes with a DVD and a website for more examples as well; a very good deal at around $26 on the "big river".

  25. #24

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    I learned from Shearer's books, which were great. I haven't investigated his new books as Noad seems to have gotten all the attention, but have no doubt they are likewise outstanding. He and his program produced some top players, Barrueco and Cobo in particular. Cobo's Brouwer CD is top stuff.

  26. #25
    yea well I have a teacher... A master of jazz, flamenco, and classical. I just have not expressed my interest in playing classical to him. Thank you I will go over some of these books you suggested with him. Thanks ronjazz, I am adding the Shearer book to the list. Also technique is extremely important to me as of now. I have been using the correct principles of practice for guitar book by jamie andreas. Anyone read this as well as Pumping Nylon? Anyone know how they compare?
    Last edited by blues442; 07-18-2015 at 11:38 PM.

  27. #26

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    I suspect it may be overkill, but I've been to IMSLP, and there are quite a number of Public Domain guitar methods published there. There's several editions of Sor and Coste, Aguado, Carcassi, Carulli, Giuliani, etc, and even
    IMSLP112274-PMLP229290-ribeiro_nova_arte_de_viola.pdf
    (Portuguese: the Portuguese refer to the guitar as the viola or violao, and a six-string cittern tuned in open C - CEGceg - as guitarra: Ribeiro Nova gives training on playing a five-string guitar.)