Instead of Sitting Around Moping
by Jeff Stanley
(San Antonio, Texas)
Like others posting here, I have wanted to play guitar since I was young. Lately, circumstances have found me living alone with no family close by. One day it dawned on me, that instead of sitting around moping, I should buy a guitar.
Before I acquired an instrument, as I surfed the Web for information, I discovered your wonderful site, Mr Maurice. And while I could tell that it would soon become an invaluable resource, I was an absolute "square-one" beginner in need of the most basic instruction on the instrument. And as far as music in general, I had ended my piano lessons in sixth grade and my rock drumming career in twelfth.
The day I bought a student-model Spanish guitar at a local music store I remembered a music stand, a stool, a metronome, and electronic tuner, but I forgot to look for a method. So on the way home, I swung by a bookstore figuring they'd have a shelf-load of Mel Bay for beginners. They didn't. Every book on the shelf was either too advanced for me or was for electric guitar, except one.
But the volume had a really off-putting title. "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Playing the Guitar," by someone named Frederick Noad (at the time I didn't know what a widely-recognized teacher of the instrument he is). Inside, however, it looked like it was the kind of method I was on the lookout for.
To begin with it was written with a beginner such as myself in mind, starting with the simplest of basics. I also liked that it had an emphasis on the classical style and also covered how to read standard notation, but that it included tabs also and covered other styles as well. So I bought it.
Three months in, and I have several songs up to tempo, including "Streets of Laredo," "Aura Lee," and "Waltzing Matilda." And I have my first classical piece memorized and ready to recite, "Andantino" by Frederico Carulli.
Now, with a little basic instruction under my belt, your site is beginning to come into its own for me. The piece I am working on now is "Green Sleeves." Like everyone, I have always enjoyed the tune. And although Noad includes a study of it, that study covers the melody only (in 3:4 time BTW). So I am delighted to have your arrangement. Next on my list here are Carulli's "Country Dance," Giuliani's "Allegro Etude," and Coste's "Baracarolle."
Thank you for your love for the classical guitar, Mr Maurice, and for the wonderful place to come learn it which that love has produced.