Classical Guitar Technique and Musicianship
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Here's a lesson for both classical musicians and fingerstyle guitarists who want to discover their "natural dexterity" for speed, tone and effortless technique! Whether you are a beginning or advanced guitarist, you will benefit from Fred Hand's in-depth exploration of the fundamental principles of classical guitar technique. "Your body and mind have an innate ability to express the music that you hear," says Hand, "you only need to tap into this source."
By learning the essentials of good playing, such as posture, relaxation, fingernail shaping and the correct application of the free stroke and rest stroke, you will quickly become a smoother and more efficient player. As you practice your arpeggios, scales, vibrato, trills and cross-string trills, you'll learn to apply them to beautiful classical-style pieces such as John Dowland's "Lady Hunnsden's Puffe" and a dance by Gaspar Sanz. Hand's own compositions, "A Celtic Tale," "Heartsong " and "Lesley's Song" are perfect examples of the application of classical techniques to pieces in a contemporary setting. This is a lesson that will dramatically improve the playing of both classical musicians and fingerstyle guitarists of other tradition.
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The DVD comes with a booklet which includes a left hand warm-up exercise, slurring exercises, free stroke chords, free stroke arpeggios and speed bursts, as well as songs such as A Celtic Tale, Lesley's Song, Heart's Song, La Caballeria de Napoles con Dos Clarines, My Lady Hunnsdon's Puffe.
Mr. Hand is no doubt an excellent guitar player and a good communicator, but the package that he has prepared is far from perfect. He may want keep these comments in mind when planning a next edition.
Mr. Hand teaches about classical guitar, but says nothing about the guitar itself. What makes it a classical guitar, where to purchase a classical guitar, what kind of classical guitar should one buy, when is it time to upgrade to a better guitar. Is a made in China classical guitar appropriate for a beginner, or should a serious player - no matter how inexperienced - ever bother with such an instrument. Information about the actual guitar seems like a legitimate expectation, if we keep in mind that Mr. Hand spends time talking about the file necessary to keep the nails appropriately trimmed, and even suggests where to buy such file (kind of unnecessary, he recommends any good drugstore and most of us already know that nail files are purchased at drugstores). Also, the guitar that he plays is not the best looking guitar I have ever seen. It is true, he may not be aware that he is not using a very photogenic guitar. But the two string ends sticking out of the bridge give an impression of carelessness. My guitars - and all the ones that I have seen - always have their strings neatly tucked in.
Mr. Hand also may want to keep in mind - when revising the booklet - that the letters p, i, m, a, indicating the right had fingering are not from the Spanish, pulgar, indicio, medio, anular, they are from the Italian pollice, indice, medio and anulare (since when we use Spanish in the musical score!?!?!?!). Indicio is not the index finger in Spanish, it is a sign. The index finger is called indice, same as in Italian (although it is pronounced differently). Caballeria (if it is the Spanish word that he is using) is spelt with a b not with a v. There may be more inaccuracies, I have only looked at the booklet very superficially. All of this gives again an impression of carelessness, in addition to lacking respect towards the foreign language that he is trying to use. Why does the man provide the information, when he does not seem to have such information for himself.
Some of the advice - for example, a happy tune should be played in a happy mood, a sad tune in a sad mood - seems redundant.
Classical Guitar - Technique and Musicianship provides much useful information, as well as practical assistance and is ideal for the self taught who do not want to bother with a teacher: these people are often unaware of many mistakes and failings until it is too late to eliminate them. But the DVD and attachments need a more professional presentation.
(...)the package is overpriced.
The first part of the DVD which I was counting on to give me basic right and left hand use and exercises did provide some but at a pace that was to fast. Further along the lessons which included arpeggios moved much to fast for my ability. I am going to buy either Pumping Nylon or Frederick Noad's complete beginners course.
I can't honestly recommend this DVD course to any one. I would however suggest that the producer of the lessons separate them on the DVD so one can tell where one ends and practice should begin on that part before just blending them all together.
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With that in mind, it does the job well.