I work with solid and effective methods that have stood the test of time. Depending on the experience and/or preference of the student, the lessons are given on classical, western, or electric guitar. For example: If you are a beginner guitarist, with soft untrained (and sensitive) fingertips, I would recommend you to start with the classical guitar with wider fretboard and more finger-friendly nylon strings.
If you are a guitarist with some experience wanting to familiarize yourself with plectrum technique and/or finger picking styles, then the western/steel string guitar would be a better choice. The electric guitar would be an option for someone who wants to learn to play Pop, Jazz, Fusion or Blues.
Below I outlined the possibilities per instrument. As for the classical guitar goes (see the three different curricula), one could of course deviate from the curriculum to suit your own preferences.
The lessons are supported (at the student’s request) with mp3 recordings, these are made during the lesson.Beginners Course Classical Guitar
Attention is given to basic skills such as:
- Posture/positioning of the body and hands.
- Simple right- and left hand exercises.
- Basic reading skills (regular notes and/or guitar tablature) in the 1st and 2nd position.
- Learning to play the C , G , D , F major scales and the a, e , d minor scales.
- Playing chords in the 1st. position.
- Learning to read and play simple chord progressions in basic time signatures and rhythms.
- concise music theory.
- simple tone control techniques.
- playing simple etudes and solo and two-part polyphonic pieces.
- playing simple chord accompaniments.
For the guitarist who wants to extend the basic skills, one can proceed with:
- more advanced exercises for the left and right hand.
- more advanced reading technique and playing in the 3rd., 4th., and 5th. position.
- scales B flat, A major and B minor.
- seventh and barred chords up to the 7th. position.
- more elaborate chord progressions in more advanced time signatures and rhythms.
- playing études and simplified arrangements of baroque & romantic-classical repertoire.
In the third year we focus on the aesthetics of playing music i.e. expression, tone control, phrasing and timing are now the priorities on the agenda, so the curriculum continues with:
- performing techniques such as vibrato, harmonics, ligado, glissando and ponticello.
- scale of E major.
- practice and the executing of position changes.
- reading technique and playing up to the 12th. position.
- chord construction, application of chord substitution, chord alterations and writing chord progressions.
- progressive études.
- building-up/expanding a music repertoire of composers such as F. Tárrega, F. Sor, M. Giuliani, F. Carulli, R. de Visee, J. Dowland etc.
In the early thirties of the last century the “western guitar” (a steel-stringed acoustic guitar) was the favorite instrument of emerging popular USA Country- and Folk entertainers, and later (in particular the so-called Dreadnought model due to the extra loud basses) was THE choice for playing “Bluegrass” music wich was an upcoming music style initiated by an artist by the name of Bill Monroe. Nowadays this steel string guitar can no longer be ignored as a workhorse for many guitarists, and is used in almost all musical genres such as Pop, Jazz, Folk, Country, Fusion, Blues and Barock and Roll…
On the agenda for this instrument is:
- accompaniment techniques for both singing songs of the Bluegrass, traditional folk music, ballads, jazz and singer-songwriter repertoire as instrumentals, (flat-picking and finger-picking style).
- melodic flat-picking style, including fiddle tunes from the North American, Canadian and Celtic repertoire (jigs, reels, hornpipes etc.).
- Country-Blues style finger-picking.
- chord construction.
- learning to read music (conventional- and tablature notation).
- writing of chord progressions.
- the practical use of jazz chords (i.e. learning mainstream jazz ballads).
- application of chord substitution and chord alterations.
- improvisation technique.
My personal preference is playing with a “clean” guitar sound to preserve the original characteristics of the instrument and amplifier as much as possible, and I therefore do not use any external effect devices except some basic on-board sound-enhancement on my guitar amp.
The course includes the following:
see point 3 to 9 for western-/steelstring guitar, in addition the curriculum continues with:
- accompaniment of pop songs, country/rock- , blues and jazz ballads (most students bring their own songbooks).
- tone control techniques, but now applied to the electric guitar.