This lesson covers 10 important lessons for all levels of guitar but especially beginner and intermediate students. Learn classical guitar starting with this general overview lesson for beginners, see below for more specific topics.
1. Reexamine your posture and hand positions (0:34)- Small adjustments in a number of places in your set up can make a big difference. Beginners need to constantly reevaluate.
2. Consider ergonomics on classical guitar (2:16)- Beginners and intermediate students should closely watch for strange contortions and anything that is not ergonomic. Using a mirror can help.
3. Practice very slowly (3:35) – I’ve rarely encountered a student who practices as slowly as I think they should. Practicing ultra slowly will ensure you are playing with your best hand positions, sound, confidence, relaxation, accuracy, and more. Once you can play something well at a slow tempo, you can speed it up while keeping an eye on the quality level.
4. Play the melody on its own, keep it simple (5:03) – If you can’t play the melody nicely on its own, how can you play all the note? Learn to play the melody nice and legato first and introduce the rest of the notes after.
5. Dive deeper into musicality (6:55) – Students can get super caught up in their own technique and progress but remember to strive for better phrasing, dynamic shaping, and overall musicality.
6. Quality practice and happiness (8:08) – Making your practice sessions enjoyable will be key to long-term musical success and development. When experiencing difficulties, break up the piece or exercise into small manageable goals at a speed you can accomplish successfully. Even if you only play a few notes at a time, playing successfully will improve your skills and give you a feeling of accomplishment.
7. Treat and reward yourself (9:14) – Make your practice session an enjoyable and special time of your day. Have a treat or nice coffee, buy that nice music stand and metronome.
8. Playing well, don’t compare yourself to others too much (10:12) – Focus instead on having a solid rhythm, legato lines, confident and full tone. Forget about reaching fast tempos, develop a solid and beautiful foundation first.
9. Listen to more music, not just guitar (11:37) – You must increase your awareness of the larger musical world. Guitar is great but it’s only a small niche and won’t inform you of all the musical eras diversity. Listen to piano, strings, symphonies, Bach cantatas, voice, lieder, and more.
10. Practice everyday, there are no bad days (14:06) – I don’t believe in good or bad practice days. All days are good opportunities to practice something. On days when you are having trouble focusing or executing material cleanly, slow down your speed and use a metronome until you are playing well. You may have to play at half the speed you intended but you can still get in some quality practice.
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