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Great Guitar Tips, Issue #041
August 10, 2007

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Great Guitar Tips - The World's Most Useable Guitar E-Zine ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A free, monthly E-Zine dedicated to providing you with useful information and tips for your guitar playing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

July/August 2007 Issue #041 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you like this E-Zine, please do a friend a big favor and pass it on. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting...


Table Of Contents

1. News

2. Technique - Stay Relaxed!

3. New Page Additions

4. Product Review - The Segovia Style by Eliot Fisk

5. This Month's Fr/ee Music


1. News

Hi to all new and old subscribers!

Welcome to the July/August 2007 issue of Great Guitar Tips.

First of all, apologies for making this edition of Guitar Tips July & August. I've had massive Vista problems. Four months old and I had to replace the whole "E" drive. Add to that the fact I have to render my videos on the XP because the software doesn't install on the Vista. GGGRRR!

Anyhow, where there's a will, there's a way, as they say :))

I've been able to make a new lesson page highlighting the beautiful El Testamen Den Amelia by Llobet (see below).

Also I've changed some of the videos over to YouTube AND I have finally made the videos for the guitar lessons page and made it "password protected" just for subscribers of this e-zine.

Unfortunately, because the videos chew up quite a bit of bandwidth I haven't been able to put all of them on the private video hosting site I use until I can afford to go up to the next "plan".

Hopefully within the next few months they'll all be available. See below for the password!

Anyhow, let's get on with the show, as they say...

2. Technique - Stay Relaxed!

I'm often amazed at how tense most of my students can be when playing the guitar. If I try to move their hand or even their finger often times they are so rigid it is nigh on impossible to shift it until I ask them to relax.

It's quite strange because often the student doesn't outwardly look tense.

The trouble with being tense is that it often restricts your sound in terms of volume, but more importantly, in terms of how you "color" a piece of music. It can really put a dampener on the tone quality of your performance.

The way to overcome this is to become aware of when you are becoming tense so that you change the habit.

This is really the only way. You can only change a habit if you are aware of it and you can only change a habit by creating a new one until it is absorbed.

A good way to start to counter-act this tenseness is to "go around your body" before you begin practicing or playing a piece.

Start with your head and facial muscles. if they are tense, relax them. Proceed to do this with the other major sections of your body like arms, shoulders, chest, thighs etc.

Stay aware when you play a piece that you already know so that when you feel some area of your body tensing up you can "let go" again.

Playing through a piece slowly whilst doing this technique is also helpful. If you do this often enough it will become second nature to you and you will get to the stage where you achieve "unconcious competence" of the technique and you'll be more relaxed in other situations too!

An ideal way to stay relaxed at a deeper level is to learn meditation, but as this is beyond the scope of this article I'll leave that one up to you :))

3. New Page Additions

One of the new page additions this month is on the beautiful and haunting El Testamen Den Amelia by Miguel Llobet.

El Testamen Den Amelia, basically translates as the last will and testament of Amelia. This haunting melody was written, or rather, was arranged from a Catalan folk tune time out of mind.

Read more here...

I've also put together a Classical Guitar Fun Page Blog where I'm making a collection of more unusual pieces played on classical guitar.

Have a look here to see what I mean...

Additionally, there's some pages that I've replaced the old hard-to-see videos and replaced them with YouTube videos.

You can see them here...

And the page a lot of you have asked me for and have been waiting for, the video page for the PDF's you get with the monthly music.

You can access the page here...

Don't forget, it's a password protected page so you'll have to copy and paste this password to get in this month...


I hope you enjoy them and they help you play the music more effectively!

4. Product Review - The Segovia Style by Eliot Fisk

The product review this month is The Segovia Style by Eliot Fisk. Overall I found this DVD to be highly engaging, entertaining and educational.

It's like having a little master class in your own home!

The lighting (and some sound) is not always consistent, but it's just a minor irritation and doesn't detract from the end result.

Although he appears slightly awkward in his manner, facial expressions and even seems over-large compared to the instrument, this quickly fades as Mr Fisk's personality, charm and great passion for the guitar and indeed music, shines through.

You get the feeling he would never hear a bad word about Segovia and is probably over-devoted to him but with good reason. He manages to convince us of the maestro's legacy and it's a great one indeed.

It is quite "spooky" how Mr Fisk can "conjure" the sound of Segovia so that if you just closed your eyes and listened you'd think it was Segovia himself.

But this is much more than mere imitation. There's a lot of in depth analysis of the music and explanations as to why certain chord progressions and voicing’s are used. I found that quite fascinating and challenging. He is definitely an expert in this area. You also get a lot of interesting facts such as how the figured bass is used for example.

The videoing of the playing itself is quite good in that you often get the "picture in picture" technique so that you can see what both hands are doing at the same time. Additionally there are a lot of close-ups.

The blurb on the back of the DVD says, among other things...

"This important and comprehensive instructional DVD takes us to the heart of the music of the great Andres Segovia. Eliot Fisk, a protégé of Segovia's and a master of classical guitar in his own right, has put together a lesson that is filled with invaluable advice on interpretation, musicianship, guitar technique and insights into the timeless Segovia legacy..."

Often times the claims that are made for certain products are a little "generous" can we say. I must say that the above blurb is no exaggeration in this instance. You really do get your money's worth on this one. It delivers on its promise. I would highly recommend this DVD on many levels.

Get your copy of The Segovia Style here...

5. This Month's Fr/ee Music

This month's fr/ee music is the delightful Country Dance No.1 by Anton Diabelli. It's full of light, joy and grace.

You can get a copy here...

Don't forget to right click and use "Save Target As" to your desktop (if you're using Windows). I hope you enjoy the music!

And that's all for this issue. See you next month:))

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