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For Her

by Demetrius
(Shawnee, OK, United States)

As a freshman at a private university, I had never thought of trying to play the guitar. I had always wanted to learn an instrument but I couldn't find something that just felt right.


Well, a friend down the hall played his acoustic guitar from time to time and after he taught me a couple of open chords, I decided that I really wanted my own.

My 18hth birthday approached and I begged my mom to buy me a guitar. She took me to a local Hastings and it so happened to be Guitar Month. I settled on a Fender Starcaster.

Well, months go by and I play the guitar on and off. Eleven months later, I receive a call telling me that my mom is going to die in 24 hours. She passes away three days later. My Fender Starcaster was the last birthday present that she was able to give to me.

While looking at my school's course catalog for the fall, I notice a private guitar class in the music section. I sign up for it and spend the next two semesters learning the basics with my newly acquired Ibanez S470 electric guitar.

Going into my third semester of private lessons, my teacher tells me that I should invest in a classical guitar. I never was too keen on the idea but he tells me "With classical guitar training, you could eventually write a song for your mom." That's all I needed to hear.

I buy a classical guitar from Guitar Center but he tells me that I should return it and he will recommend me a better one. I end up with an Antonio Aparicio AA10 classical guitar with solid rosewood back and sides, and a cedar top.

It's been two weeks and I have yet to play my electric guitar. Even after I've spent more than a year playing that guitar every single day. I thoroughly enjoy classical guitar more than I do electric guitar and I will never put it down.

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How Classical Captured Me

by Pamela
(Kentucky)

My first experience with classical guitar music came from an interest in the influences of Carlos Cavazo of Quiet Riot.

I was probably 17 or 18 years old and playing guitar in a rock band. I had read an article in one of the guitar magazines where Cavazo was talking about how he incorporated classical guitar music into his playing style.

Already knowing how to read music (due to having a grandmother who taught piano and playing the flute since 4th grade), I picked up a book of Carcassi studies from my local music store and struggled my way through it on my own.

I began playing these studies on the electric guitar and my old acoustic and was just absolutely hooked.

When I started community college about a year later, I found they had a guitar class. I took this course along with my other basic courses.

This is when I bought my first classical guitar, which I believe was an inexpensive Yamaha.

My instructor then talked me into going to the University of Louisville's School of Music. Though I did not graduate due to many different circumstances, my love for the classical guitar did not fade.

I continued playing in rock bands until the birth of my first child. After that I continued playing both electric and classical guitar sporadically throughout the years.

I am now a 43 year old mother of two and classical guitar has just stuck with me through the years.

My husband and I both play guitar (though he's a heavy metal kind of guy) and we have many guitars we've acquired through the years.

When I do get a chance to pick up a guitar and play it always seems to be the classical guitar I reach for first. Though I still love all kinds of music, playing classical guitar just gives me a greater sense of accomplishment and gives me peace when I am stressed.

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Gone from life but here in thought.

by Dave McLaren
(Edinburgh, Scotland)

My story start's back in the mid 70's when I came back to Scotland after travelling half way round the world as a schoolboy. The first friend I met at my new school was Ian Watson. (RIP Mate).
We were keen rugby players for our school and later for our local club.

It transpired Ian was a gifted guitarist, We would have hours of fun playing his guitars and on many occasions me being told, "your playing the wrong notes". Ian could listen to a song on a cassette or 45rpm record 2 or 3 times and start playing the music we had just listened to. This for me was amazing how anyone could do that let alone my best mate.

3 years later I joined the army and went away to serve my country. 6 years later I returned home to be told Ian had been murdered by some drug addicts, Ian was diabetic, They put a large quantity of heroin in his coffee when he was staying at a friends house. Sadly Ian passed away that night.

This is why I arrived at this website, Ian told me if you want to learn guitar the best style of guitar to learn is Classical, It will teach me everything I need to know about guitars.

I learned my first beginners lesson last night and I'm already looking forward to lesson 2. As my best mate once told me. Practice makes perfect. Hush little baby will be my first tune for the following week, I will practice it for 1 hour a day.

Thank you for reading my story.
Kind Regards,
Dave.

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I didn't find classical guitar...classical guitar found me!

by Candy Wilson
(Garland TX USA)


I "inherited" my first guitar from my brother, who really never did much with it. I messed around with it in my early teens, and by my mid to late teens, I had taught myself some chords, and knew enough to play along when groups wanted to sing or something like that.

In my 20's, I found out about a group "guitar class" at a local community college, and thought it would be fun to take it. It turned out that this man would work us pretty hard and gave us some challenging pieces. It sparked my interest in learning classical pieces. Again, my teaching career was beginning, and I didn't pay much attention to my guitar for many, many years.

About 4 years ago, I decided I wanted to study flute. I fell in love with music again and wanted to add a second instrument. My flute teacher said that I could study guitar again because it wouldn't mess up my flute embouchure. So I came back to my guitar after all those years.

I quickly realized how awful my guitar was, and I was able to buy a better one, which made all the difference in the world. Now, 4 years later, I left flute and have put everything I have into studying/playing classical guitar.

I even had the honor of studying with a university professor for awhile. I love it and plan on playing from here on out.

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Classical Guitar

by K L Catterton

I first started playing guitar when my father gave me the tablature for "Blackbird" by the Beatles. I used my mother's Yamaha classical guitar from the 1970's and I found that I was drawn to that sound more than my father's Alvarez Yairi.

I played guitar on and off over the next several years until I got to college where I could take guitar lessons. I've picked up playing classical with "Guardame Las Vacas" by Luys Narvaez and I don't ever want to stop playing!

I want to buy a guitar soon, but I'll have to save for an indefinite amount of time... after all, I am a poor college student. :)

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James Edward McCutcheon

by James McCutcheon
(Decatur, Alabama, USA)

 Me & my Takamine Hirade 5

Me & my Takamine Hirade 5

I began experimenting with my older brothers $15.00 Silvertone Parlor guitar it was made by Harmony, painted Black with a faux orange tiger burst.

I now own 3 and purchased 1 for my son, also an avid guitarist musician composer. I did not know that a left handed person could not play right handed so I played just like my older brother did; I was about 9 years old. I just looked at the Folk Music, Peter Paul and Mary and remembered the Song :Puff: I watched him finger pick.

I liked the sound. Later at age 12 I decided to purchase an amplifier and guitar to start a "garage band". In high school we played around just goofing and parties nothing ever went serious. Later when I was in Germany, I played bass with a Club band I studied with the Lead Guitarist after the band terminated its' contract. He was a Classical Guitarist-Maestro Bruno Schmidt/Goethe Institute Wurzburg.

I completed the The Solo Guitar Playing by Fredrick Noad and Bruno's choices of Legnani Caprices in 1 year. Then came to the USA to take College. I did not make a performer artist but have been a private teacher part time over the years. I now have a small studio in Decatur.

I was a member of the Huntville Alabama Classical Guitar Society, we had world Class Guitarists to perform and give master classes. I was fortunate to be able to study with John Marlow, and Manuel Barrueco.

Now I play with the Calhoun Junior College Guitar Ensemble Alumni and the regular College Ensemble as Directed by Mrs. Margarita Valls de Quesada. She is recognized in a recent book in the foreword by the author for her dedication in pedagogical sensitivity to performing using the reststroke properly interpretation during performance and tonality. I also study with Margarita a dear friend.

"I Love the Classical Guitar as it has no boundaries of creation for
its music and expression within the soul of the player to the ears of those who listen"
Sincerely,

James McCutcheon

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From Metal to Rock to Jazz to Classical back again.

by Melvin Williams
(Corning, NY)

I started out like every other guitarist trying to learn chords, and eventually songs by my favorite guitarists. Then I discovered, the local library where I found recordings of everything from punk, to delta blues, to jazz, and of course classical guitar.

Many years later after studying with a couple of local guitar teachers, I began to desire the expertise to play jazz guitar.

The one school that looked promising, wanted me to study classical first with the chance to play in the Jazz Ensemble.

So at Mansfield U I learned how to play classical guitar, became a performance major, played in the Jazz Ensemble, put together a couple of Jazz combos.

As soon as I graduated with a BM I found myself playing a local Indie Rock band, teaching 30 students a week, and so forth.

Now I teach at local community college, I practice every day, everything from classical, to Jazz, to Rock and Blues, and I even play bluegrass with some friends.

Now I want to go back and earn my master's degree in Musicology or Performance.

I still teach some students how to play metal guitar as well.

That's my story, what's yours?

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Thanks to Segovia

by Roy Sarkin
(White River South Africa)

It was 1958 and my father was given something new to South Africa , a long playing record the first in the country and it was a Segovia Recital. I was 8 yrs old and would fall asleep listening to the marvellous sounds coming from the record.

Fifty years later (after dabbling with a guitar for years) I decided to play the guitar in ernest. Sadly there are no teachers where I live (30kls from the Kruger National Park) so I have had to teach myself to read music and to play this difficult instrument.

What a voyage of discovery!

The amount of pieces I have dicovered and composers I have never heard of before. The feeling you get when one plays the guitar is hard to describe to anyone who hasn't played.

I play every day and my guitar goes with me everywhere, we are lucky to have such a pleasure in the world today when all enjoyment seems to involve buying things (spending money).

Segovia gave a recital 6 weeks before he died at 97 yrs old . What an amazing man, to be able to remember all those millions of notes and have the dexterity at that age to play. We owe a lot to this man, me especially for turning me on to Torroba, Tarrega, Ponce and many others.

Kind Regards Roy Sarkin , White River, South Africa

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56 years young woman finally takes time for herself

by Karen
(Hollister, CA USA)

I received at HiRo guitar from my parents over 40 years ago. I was very interested in the music of Joan Baez and Peter Paul & Mary. A couple lessons here and there, I remember loving it, but never really took the time.

Through the years of raising my family, I put my daughter through music lessons, piano, drums and she definitely had the music genes from my mom and brothers. I never really took the time, but was sure I wanted my daugher to play. One of the best memories of my mom was her playing at my piano when she was 87 years old and still had the rhythm and memory to play songs from her past as a child.

Well, it's my turn now, took out my almost new-looking 40+ year old guitar, checked out Learning the Guitar for Dummies, bought a tuner and I am having the most fun ever. I can see myself not loosing site of regular practice as I see how fast I have progressed in the short time.

I am interesed in learning about your site and will be filling out my email address to receive your notifications. I heard they were free, but I'll have to wait and see what you have available. Thank you for inquiring about our stories.

Karen

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Ah, another musical skill!

by James
(Savannah USA)

I grew up listening to great music--from the cradle I listened to symphonic music, Pops and the great soloist and keyboardist of the 50's and 60's (Herb Alpert too!).

Of course my parents wanted me to take piano, but as often as not, most kids simply don't want to spend 30 minutes a day practicing (we'd rather be playing outside). So musical training occurred through church choirs.

I wanted to be in the band, so in 5th grade I joined the beginner band at my elementary school; I was the best trumpet player there from day one.

I continued to play trumpet in the band until high school graduation, and music was truly an emotional outlet that was otherwise denied me by strict parents. For some dumb reason I gave up trumpet in college, which turned out to be the 5 longest years of my life without a daily dose of musical participation.

Since graduating from college I've been singing in church choirs ever since, for the past 20 years. Of course hanging out with other musicians does offer variety, and guitar is one of those things that really offers a great way to occupy one's time.

After buying a steel string and picking through the obvious beginner books, I reasoned that the best way to learn guitar was to go classical. Again, right to the beginner books--but then I realized I'd need a lesson or 2 to get perspective on proper technique (technique is everything!).

So that's where I am now; playing the beginner tunes of the grand masters. My goal? To be able to sit under a tree and play pieces that I like. No pressure, no stage fright, no wedding gigs that rattle my nerves--just to play beautiful, simple tunes for the rest of my life. There you go, my story!

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Segovia and Noad

Watching tutorial classes by these two were an exciting intro to the classical guitar years ago. After buying guitar books I was always stopped by the barre dead in my tracks.

I gave up many years but came back again and again. One adviser suggested to only find music without the barre. Well, here I am again at 79 years young trying again only now I have art and rhytis as playing buddies.

This time I will try to the day I die (hopefully not tommorow). I need the simplest form to learn. Thanks for a nice site.....Joe

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My Passion

by Arja Lambrechts
(South Africa)

I grew up in a musical family and had music as a subject in school with piano as main instrument.

Thirty years ago my husband bought me a guitar and I didn’t know how to get started. Then one day I met a lady who gave classical guitar lessons. With her help and other professional teachers I started to do all the exams, up to Gr 7 and also did the theory exams.

Last year I played Trinity Guildhall’s ATCL Recital exam. Since 2005 I teach classical guitar at a school, with good results.

At the moment I have 36 pupils and really enjoy teaching them. Guitar teaching is a passion for me and it is like making my hobby my work.

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Pepe Romero had dinner at my house

by Paul Ugalde
(South Burlington, VT)

I am a beginning student of classical guitar but it has been an influence in my life for years. My father was a professor of Spanish and a musician so there was Spanish music playing in our house all the time.

The university had a concert series and they would occasionally book a Spanish guitarist. They came to my dad asking if he would help to entertain the musician who usually didn't speak much English.

My father suggested that they should invite the artist to our house where my mother would cook an authentic paella and the table would be filled with other Spanish speakers and people interested in music. These dinners took place after the concert so these were lively events starting around 11:00 pm.

Over the years, that dining room had guests that included Carlos Montoya, Sabicas, and the whole Romero family. My parents have passed away but I own the house today. When I need some inspiration, I just remember who had dinner at my house!

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Romulo Souza

by Romulo Souza
(Cedar Rapids IA, USA)

I always wanted to learn guitar since I was a kid. Finally when I was 16 years old, I had my first guitar and like most teenagers, I wanted to play what it was popular at the time.

However, with little knowledge of music, I quickly recognized that classical guitar is indeed the best way to learn how to appropriately play guitar.

Due to lack of time and money, I didn't have the chance until recently when I acquired a classical guitar. For many years, I would play songs reading from tabs and didn't spend much time learning techniques and music structure.

Now at the age of 40+, I am really trying to dedicate more time playing classical, learning musical theory, which has greatly improved what I have learned for some many years just strumming my guitar.

I am very thankful to find this website, which has inspired me to continue learning and to actually understand it.

Trevor, you have been a positive influence on my desire to learn classical and Yes!!! It is possible and fun to learn classical guitar. Please continue sharing your knowledge and also, inspiring others to master classical guitar.

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Another student of Mr. Noad

by Richard
(Denver)

When I was in high school a good number of years ago, my sister dated a guy in a rock band, he was the lead guitar. He and my sister found an old guitar so I could learn how to play.

Well, the thing was old and the neck was warped with a 1/2" action. Needless to say I could never get anything to sound well, I just couldn't press hard enough.

A couple of years later I saw a gentleman on TV, PBS, playing guitar in one of his TV lessons. I had never seen anyone hold a guitar like that and the music was so interesting. He wasn't just strumming chords. He was actually playing individual notes! His name was Frederick Noad.

I ordered his book and took his TV lesson. I later took private lessons. I'm getting back into it and am looking forward to learning again. Thank you Mr Noad.

Richard

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Dr. Michael Tveraas

by Dr. Michael Tveraas
(Vermont)

Arun Chandra, my best friend and school mate in high school, introduced me to classical guitar. We learned what we could listening to Julian Bream & others. Arun went on to a life in teaching and creating music while I went on to become a Chiropractic physician.

33 years and 5 children later, I retired and took up playing again, with an exceptional Cervantes Hauser replica. I now play daily and have a very satisfying and growing reparatory. Among my favorite pieces to play are Madronos, Sevilla, Asturias, Soleares, Granada, and Cavatina.

I play for the pure pleasure and love of beautiful timeless music.

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A Life Long Experience

by Jim
(Savannah, GA)

My father was a guitar teacher (jazz) but thought I did not have a real interest in the instrument. In a way I was the shoemaker's son that went barefoot. We were together when I first heard Segovia play and at that time I knew I had to learn to play in the classical style.

I started lessons when I was 35 years old. I progressed rapidly and soon was equal in some respects to my teacher, Unfortunately I was in an auto accident and broke my neck.

My recovery was slow and I lost a lot of strength in my left arm and hand. My neck was fused and it was hard to sit and play comfortably. Sadly, I put the instrument away for several years.

I again started studying and love the sound much more than before. My playing is a little slower but realize that I am now 74 years old. It is hard to believe that almost 40 years has gone by.

To parents of young children, I say please put those x-boxes away, introduce your child to classical music, this will be a gift for a lifetime. To students, keep at it, don't give up.

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addinall

by Mark Addinall
(Brisbane QLD AU)

Well, it's not much of a story, but at the ripe old age of 50 I decided to buy myself a Les Paul and a BIG Fender amp and to start guitar seriously.

My teacher Paul tried to teach me the 'power chords' and yet I was more driven towards the clean chords, style and fingerwork!

I must admit this is the quietest Les Paul in the world. Little note from Australia, thanks for the great website, and POSTURE!

Regards,
Mark.

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retirement wonders

by Bob A
(Knoxville, Tn. USA)

I didn't start guitar until I was 69 years old. I was looking for something that would challenge me in several ways, concentration being one of them.

I decided to buy a classical guitar and try the Suzuki course on my own. After about a year of that I slinked into book 2 and did not know what to do with the music.

A guy in our church who is a great guitarist began helping me every Wednesday for about an hour each week. Then I WAS hooked!

He told me about your site just before Christmas 2008. I have purchased Sight Reading level 1 thru 3 and level 4 thru 5. They are the most amazing books I own.

Thanks for everything. Bob A.

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i love guitar...

by petros machattos
(cyprus)


i love very much the classic guitar...i hope one day i can play classic quitar...thank you for learning....sorry for my english .....

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My dark past!

by Dave W
(Southampton, England)

From age 14 to 40 something? I played drums in a semi pro 'PoP' club & pub band. Well several actually & when I got too old...fed up with humping all that kit around I wanted something musical to continue to occupy me.

I learn't to read score for drums in my early years & so only had to add pitch & other non-drum score material into the pot to make the reading skill work.

However, in the beginning I turned to steel strings & strum 'n' hum material. This however did'nt give me what I sought & so I brought a keyboard into play. Not very well though & I secretly found that trying to learn keys & strings spread me too thinly.

Around the same time as this I also recognised that stum'n'hum wasn't floating my boat so much either. I wanted to play both accompaniment & melody. CG provided the answer by way of an interest in general fingerpicking skills.

3 years later I commit 1 hour a day min to CG but have lately also started to introduce non-classic material such as Beatles & other 60's-70's arrangements into the mix.

My inspiration to keep going when frustration hits the wall. Your LCG site along with other interactive forums provides videos to watch and aspire to.

However there's always soooooooo much material I'm not even fully through what's here.

Please, please, please keep it coming, I really need that next example to aim for.

That's my lot, cheers! Dave W

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Trombone to guitar...

by Sandy
(U.S.A.)

Not much of a story, I'm afraid... I am a classically trained trombone player, who suffered a jaw injury making it impossible for me to play any brass or woodwind instruments without a great deal of pain and inconsistency in my playing. I'm ravenously trying to learn classical guitar to fill that loss. I love music, and classical music especially. That's all there is to it...

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A wedding story

by Philip Jones
(Reston VA)

I started guitar when I was 16. My mom bought me an old Kalamazoo (Gibson). Lucky for I could read music and my fingers were in shape (I played viola).

I learned everything I could from Mel Bay and pretty soon I could play along with "Blowin' in the Wind". Did mention this was 1962? In college I acquired a Goya G-10 because I was impressed with it's bass. That plus the Kalamazoo had never been set up properly and playing it was like fretting a barbed-wire fence.

About 1996 we attended my wife's cousin's wedding in Oregon. It was an outdoor affair. They had hired a guitarist to provide music. The first piece played was "Adelita" by Tarrega. When I was young I listened to this piece from a recording by Laurendo Almeda. I loved it then; at the it was warm wet nostalgia.

When returned home I went to the music store and pawed through the guitar books until I found "Adelita". I learned it plus some other pieces. In 2000 I started guitar lessons at the college level. I am retired now, semi-well-off and spend most of my time on music. I also bought a better guitar (Ramirez).

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Classical to blues and back

by Mike
(Wigan, England)

When I was 13, I am now 68, I asked my parents if I could learn the piano, I was told that it would be to expensive to learn and, as we didn't have a piano, too expensive to acquire one, so it was suggested that I learn guitar.

My first guitar was a steel-strung, Russian made guitar on which I learned fingerstyle. My teacher was a guitarist in a dance band although he was very good at all styles of playing.

I spent 2 years with him but stopped when I won a scholarship to art school; while at art school I met several other guitarist and after art school we formed a band which lasted 7 years.

Over the years I have played in several bands but never forgot or gave up my love for the simple, satisfying sound of the true classical guitar.
I am not very good at reading and often try making up my own little pieces purely for my own amusement.

For anyone interested in playing guitar I would recommend classical guitar for several reasons, but mainly for the cost; no need for an amplifier or a backing band!!

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In my head, out of my hands

by Mike Ripley
(Franklin, Ma, USA)

When I was in about fourth grade, my aunt died, and left me her acoustic guitar. The only musical experience I had at that point was a year of violin.

The guitar was a 1968 Hohner Contessa Classical. It was missing a couple of strings, so I never played it, nor did I know how to play it. So I went on playing violin for two more years.

Eventually I wanted to just play guitar. I got a piece of junk electric for Christmas. One humbucker, no tone knob, very basic, but it came with a book. I looked in the book and learned the chords. And that's when I stopped the book and started to teach myself.

Through out the years, I got some guitars, sold some, but I kept my Hohner. I never played it...it sat there, with steel strings on it.

I have always liked classical music, but never thought I would ever be able to play anything like it. I played my Jackson KV, shredding, and realized that I could learn classical.

The next day, I strung the Hohner with nylon strings. I got the tab, sheet music, and recordings of "Dee," a piece by Randy Rhoads. I sat with that for almost six hours, and made a bit of progress. Once I got that down, in about a week or so, I moved on to Flamenco.

I watched videos, listend to people, and learned it. Since then, I've been playing Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Pachelbell even. Just about anything I could get into my head and out of my hands. It's been a few years now. I still play electric, but I love my Hohner.

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Like the Style

by Jon Morgan
(Port Charlotte, Florida)


Just got my guitar with the mail this week, one I had bid on in an auction on-line (not advertising the well known site) Really thrilled with it, being 37 years old but in perfect condition.

I decided to learn the guitar and had to think about it as I was looking at the different models available. I like the idea of plucking individual notes with the classical and I think it goes well with what I already do musically, which is flute and violin.

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My story

by Oscar
(USA)

About a year ago i finally decided to pick a guitar, And like most teenagers I got an electric guitar.

The sweet riffs and melodies of rock and roll just wowed me. Well I started practicing many hours a day, almost became addicted in a way.

Sadly though my amp crapped out on me. I had no money for a new one, so I was pretty down. Then I told my father about my dilemma. He said maybe I should try the classical guitar and handed me this dusty guitar.

For a month and a half it just sat in my room. I continued to play my electric guitar. Then on one day, I don't know why but I started playing classical guitar I had received.

Instantly I loved the soft, nice, sound that it gave! I was very surprised. Soon enough I started listening to classical guitar pieces on the internet and I was amazed. I knew then the classical guitar was meant for me.

Well it's been 3 months now, and I really can't put it down at all! I haven't touched my electric guitar the whole time. I don't know why but finger style picking just came so naturally to me. Before reading anything on finger picking my hand already had proper hand positioning! I was using the right fingers with the right string, With out even knowing!

I can say I probably will be playing classical guitar for the rest of my life.

Peace.

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Just Starting!

by Julie
(Washington)

I inherited a classical guitar that belonged to my uncle. He passed away at a young age, and when I was 18, my grandmother gave it to me as a gift.

It's an older Yamaha classical, made in the 70's. It's got some dings and scratches where my uncle doodled on the back for whatever reason...sometimes I wonder who he was talking to or what he was thinking as he was marring the finish.

For a number of years now, it mostly sits in storage, occasionally coming out to be strummed and played with. But now, I think it's high time to learn to play it as it was intended to be played - I am sure my uncle would be very happy to know his guitar was being enjoyed, instead of gathering dust in the basement.

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Bob Anderson

by Bob A
(Knoxville, Tn. USA)

I'm back again to thank you for recommending Pumping Nylon. I recently purchased that book along with a sequel entitled, "Easy to Intermediate", which had a CD with it.

I would recommend these books to anyone who is just starting to pick up some skills in classical guitar. There is some beautiful music that is nearly within my reach, and these two books are helping me along, on that journey.

The word "Easy" shouldn't be taken too literally, because they aren't really easy. I'm trying to say that if you aren't really in an intermediate to advanced stage, this book will help.

Thanks again.
Bob

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Living The Frustrations of Not Being Blessed By The Muses.

by Rodney W. Diehl
(Sonoran Desert)

Fiesta

Fiesta

College, 1970, University of Arizona. My roommate, a classical artist with Oboe and Guitar, spoke the language of music, it's theories, it's major and minor chords, how to build an augmented chord. So, naturally, I, wanting to transfer a very brief but educational piano experience to the guitar, picked his brain.

I learned enough to really become frustrated. He moved on and I toyed with the classical guitar that I had purchased. I took lessons at the University, group classes in the "introduction" to guitar. But I didn't have the time to or the dedication to stick with it.

Years have passed, and I am now wanting to take the time that I have to do something worth while. Since the work that I used to do has dissolved into nothing, I've had to revert to another job where I could pay the rent.

Unfortunately it's only a three day a week job. That leaves me time to either watch tv or do something worth while. I am opting for the "worth while".

I have filled my music collection with Andres Segovia, Flamenco, Jazz, etc. Now, I want to grow, to learn how to play "Spanish Carivan" by the Doors. But more importantly, I want to be able to take that song and turn it into mine, exploring different avenues, picking out different ways to keep the general theme, but improvise.

That's where I am right now.

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My story... not a happy one

by Ulises Victoria
(Monterrey, Mexico)

When I was a teenager I wanted to be a drummer. I learned to play drums by listening to Sandy Nelson, Gene Krupa, etc, without ever taking a lesson.

When I was 15 my dad told me that if I ever learned to play guitar, he would buy me a drumset. 3 years later on my 18th birthday he gave me an envelope with a letter saying that he had to abide by his word and that he would give me that drum set he had promised me, because I did my part of the deal.

I told my dad I would now prefer an electric guitar instead. I learned to play guitar indeed. In no time I was playing fingerstyle solos and making my own simple arrangements of songs I liked.

I continued playing guitar, learning by myself by listening mostly The Ventures' records and later Chet Atkins', as well as taking Classical Guitar lessons in my local Music Conservatory. Before I was 30 I was considered one of the best guitar players in my city.

Then at 30 I decided to become a pro, and went to Hollywood to study at the recently formed GIT (Guitar Institute of Technology) now MI. Graduated in 1980 and came back to my hometown to start a guitar school, which I succesfully maintained for several years.

Then, suddenly one day, I couldn't play anymore. Something had happened to my right hand. I had lost all agility and couldn't play scales or anything even at minimum speed. I saw every kind of doctor you could think of. After many years of trying, I finally gave up and quit.

I learned how to develop database programs on computers and started working on that area. But now, after so many years, I am trying to get back to my guitar playing. I got several new books on Guitar playing, and Im trying now again. (Im 60 years old now) I am looking for a step by step 2-3 hours a day routine.

Hope anyone can come up with some sugestions. I would really appreciate that.

Regards,
Ulises


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choir + guitar = classical guitar!

by andrew
(texas, USA)

In high school, I decided to pick up my dad's guitar, and I always had a thing for classical music anyway.

Next thing you know, I discover "tabs," crawling the internet for resources. I discovered LCG about a week ago and here we are. Thanks LCG!

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Harry New

by Harry New
(Dorset)

I shifted to classical guitar after a spell on flamenco, which was my first interest. Through my interest in flamenco I discovered the Spanish composers: De Falla; Granados; Tarrega and Rodrigo, whose Concerto de Aranjuez prompted me to shift to classical guitar.

I played both classical and flamenco for many years as a semi-professional. However, after a major stroke at the age of 76 causing paralysis down my left side and losing the use of my left hand I could no longer continue with my guitar interest.

However, after a year with no musical activity I discovered the electronic keyboard and sequencing. I discovered that in learning this new medium I could still indulge my interest using only my right hand.

I have now been experimenting with keyboard with general “middle of the road” music with some satisfaction.

I took the plunge in trying to produce the whole of the Rodrigo concerto featuring all the orchestra, oboe and guitar parts. This I achieved with some success and can now play this complete piece with one hand.

And now at the age of 83 I can still supply a musical programme to an appreciative audience.

Harry New

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Susan Heffron

by Susan Heffron
(Syracuse, NY USA)

I picked up an acoustic guitar in fourth grade and developed a passion to play classical guitar in high school; upon hearing Carlos Montoya in concert I was in awe of the enchanting music.

I also received a Segovia album (Castles of Spain) and a Christopher Parkening Album from my sister as a birthday present, and I wanted so much to play like them that I started lessons with Joseph Jewell and also went to New York State Music Camp in Oneonta, New York at Hartwick College for voice and guitar.

At first I had trouble with this difficult instrument, since Mr. Jewell had high doubts of my mastery, but when I went to Hartwick-
bully! I knocked his socks off when I came back.

Something I learned there clicked, and lo and behold, I was named a virtuoso by my high school chorus teacher when I played for my music theory class one day.

Now I have been playing for nearly fifteen years, and I absolutely love it! I even received a beautiful Ibanez guitar for Christmas one year and my late grandfather made me a wooden stool for my left foot for proper guitar positioning.

My late grandmother also encouraged me, and I will be eternally grateful to them for the wonderful, universal language of music. I still consider myself an amateur, as I have no formal degree in the performing arts.

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45 years later...

by Bob
(Summerville, SC, USA)


I've had the desire and passion to learn to play the classical guitar ever since I was a very young man.

I started taking lessons 45 years ago but found that I had to put a lot of time into it to make any progress at all. Soon I knew that I either had to give up the guitar or my job.

The guitar was set aside but not my love for it and the music. Upon retiring, I re-established my studies with a very fine teacher and spend many hours a day working out my lie-long dream.

Progress is still hard-won but definitely worth the effort.

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The long way around...

Manuel Sanguesa

Manuel Sanguesa

I showed an ear for music from a young age, and by the time I was ten my parents had tried pointing me at the xylophone and the accordion with nominal results.

At age ten I got a guitar, and after a year or so of cheesy Mel Bay-type lessons my Mom found a classical guitar teacher. His name was Manuel Sanguesa, and he was an old Spaniard with classical guitar in his blood. Under Manuel's tutelage, music cracked wide open for me.

Since those days my playing has gone far beyond pure "classical" territory, but no matter what style I am playing it is informed by my classical roots.

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How I started practicing guitar

by Santiago
(El Salvador)

I was 13 when I saw a guitar in a instrument store, a handmade guitar, it cost only 89 dollars here in my country El Salvador.

My uncle who died 4 years ago gave me money to buy it. I started with basic things: chords, exercises for both hands, but I didn't study solfa, I studied it in a music academy but the teacher didn't give his knowledge so very well.

So I retired from that class and I learnd solfa alone. Some years ago I was in an association for playing classical guitar but my studies occupied all my time so I took my distance.

At the present I study phsicology and I would like to start guitar again. If in my university exists a teacher or a group of teachers who give lessons of this greatest instrument, I want to play Matteo Carcassi or Agustin Barrios Mangore's lessons, so I could play classical guitar.

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Once More with Feeling...

by RJ Sauve
(Cameron, NC)

I am trained as a vocalist. As the first instrument known to man I've always felt that the human voice was the most expressive instrument that music has been created for.

My opinion about this changed the first time I heard the classical guitar played by someone. I was immediately struck by the richness of depth, feeling and emotion this instument could convey. It reached, it seemed, deeper into my soul than any other musical experience I had ever known. And although I had never before even considered learning to play an instrument I knew I had to try or I'd never forgive myself.


I took beginer and intermediate Classical Guitar classes from my Alma mater's (Universtity of Utah) College of music. I thuroughly enjoyed this course work but didn't continue playing again until after I'd been out of school for almost 15 years.


So I'm basically starting from scratch all over again. I've since bought an Esteban Acoustic/Electric that I tinker with now and then. I have built a YouTube library of my own Classical Guitar favorites to include Segovia"s Master Classes and personal interviews. I'd say that my favorite composition for this instrument is "Asturias" in many of it's different arrangements.

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How i got into classical guitar

by Dalton Blackwell
(wa)

I liked spanish music and got a guitar teacher who taught flaminco and classical guitar and loved it. Then my family and I moved to Seattle where in 9th grade I got hired for music therapy at Lake View Gardens senior rest home and now I need to learn some more songs for them. I just had a talent show and played. My video is on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSNYSTybn1c

-dalton blackwell

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How much and What?

by David Heap
(West Yorkshire UK.)

Not a story, more a thought:

All you musicians out there amateur or professional, when you "just play" music what do you play and why?

I realize that if you are to give a recital then you must learn and play selected pieces but other than these occasions call it "leisure time"

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Student for life

by Steve Garry
(UK)

I was a child of the 60s and my older teenager brother was, like every kid his age, in a rock and roll band. So there were always guitars around, all electric of course, but I had chance to have a go.

One day at college I met a guy who was carrying a small nylon strung guitar. I asked him to play and expected this little thing to sound like a banjo but he played finger style a simple chord progression C Am Dm G7 and it sounded wonderful.

That was it! I needed to learn to do this and show my older brother who was the musician in the house. As luck had it I found a guitar school and went for lessons.

Well, as I had played a bit I asked for intermediate lessons. I went along and the first thing my teacher said was "where is your music?"
"Music?" I want guitar lessons not piano lessons
So I came clean and said I think I should have enrolled for the beginners course .. "That's ok" he said "Where is your music?"

Within a month I had learned to read music with the aid of "Alfred's Guitar Method" and then good old Fredrick Noad.

It has been a slow process but I can play and will never stop learning. I like the story of when Andres Segovia went on tour in the USA when he was 80 and when asked to fill in the immigration form he put...

Andres Segovia ....Guitar student

And by the way my brother gave up guitar before he was 20, I still play every day.

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Al

by Timothy Higgins
(Missouri)

My wife had the guitar sitting in a case in a back room for more than 15 years, when I approached her about the guitar I asked why she had never played it, she said that it needed some work.

When I opened the case I found that the bridge was comming off of the face, I asked how long it had been like this and why she had never had it repaired, she said no one ever played it or wanted to spend the money repairing it.

When I told her I would have it repaired and pay for it she seemed surprised so I took it to a local music store and asked if they knew of a good guitar repair person. They informed me that they had an excellent repair person and could have it fixed.

Well needless to say, they got it fixed up in short order and did a great job too! My wife said that the voice of that guitar just wanted to be heard again so she gave me the guitar since I was the only one who ever played it and play it almost daily, love the sound.

A year after it was fixed I had to send it back in to repair the keys. I guess the years of neglect left them brittle, who would have guessed that a 20+ year old Alvarez would sound so good!

P.S....He's the father of our guitar family now have 4 other guitars and a ukele!

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Welcome!

A Bit About Me...

Welcome to LCG! I'm Trevor Maurice, owner of this site. I hope you find inspiration in these pages to help you with  your journey of learning to play the classical guitar. You can read more of my story here...

Classical Guitar
Blog Posts

Sons de Carrillhoes, performed by Samantha C. Wells...

http://ow.ly/FjYE302IK14

* J.S. BACH, Sarabande BWV 995, Viktor VAN NIEKERK, 10-String Guitar, classical guitar...

http://ow.ly/s7yq302x2W6

 * Robert de Visee - Petit Menuet (8 string guitar)...

http://ow.ly/gXxr302izIi

Manuel Ponce - Scherzino Mexicano...

 http://ow.ly/Hhz43026ZlZ

Segovia plays Bach's Chaconne (Read along)...

http://ow.ly/ZP953026ZW8

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