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Great Guitar Tips, Issue #047
February 29, 2008

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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 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

February 2008 Issue #047 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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. Updated pages/videos

3. Study Point - Use those Guide and Pivot Fingers!

4. Recommended Resource - The Classical Guitar Book - A Complete History

5. Don't Forget to add YOUR opinion!

6. This Month's Fr/ee Music


1. News

Hi to all new and old subscribers!

Welcome to the February 2008 issue. I can't believe it's February already! Time seems to get away so quickly especially when you're busy.

Speaking of busy, I've been very busy over the past year or so getting something ready for YOU. I'll keep it under my "hat", so to speak, but just keep an eye out for a major announcement in a few issues from this one - I think you'll be pleased :))

But back to the Feb issue. There's a new page on the Fr/ee Lessons page that helps you with playing in 6/8 time. It's quite a charming little piece that you should enjoy.

Also there's a challenging Arpeggio study by Carcassi as this month's selected piece. That's why I've included an article today about guide and pivot fingers (see below).

I've also got a great recommendation if you're looking for a book about classical guitar and it's history. But enough of news for now...

Let's get on with it!

2. Updated Pages

Firstly, I have REMOVED the password protection from the videos-for-monthly-music page as a few people were having difficulty getting access.

I decided the page was not that important to keep it password protected as it relates to music I provide at no cost.

So the bottom line?

You now don't need a password to access the page. Indeed, you can access it by using the left hand Nav bar on my site. You'll see the button near the top.

A new lesson page this month contains an Andantino by the Polish composer Felix Horetzky. Interestingly, it wasn’t until his mid-thirties that Horetzky went to Vienna to study guitar under the great Mauro Giuliani.

Read more on the

Andantino by Horetzky here...

Site Build It!

3. Study Point - Using Guide & Pivot Fingers

It's amazing how many of my students DON'T use guide and pivot fingers when playing classical guitar. What? You don't know what guide and pivot fingers are? You need to look at this page

As a matter of fact I have some young students studying for a guitar exam that is in September of this year. I have been trying of late to get them to understand and use guide and pivot fingers because it really, really makes a difference to their sound.

In particular, it makes the tone of their playing improve and makes everything sound much more (legato - smooth and connected) because they are changing positions and moving to notes in a much more economical and fluent manner.

The other advantage is that it gives you "more time" so to speak and this gives your playing a much more unhurried, relaxed and professional feel.

You'll notice on a lot of my monthly videos, now that they're shot in close up, that I employ an economy of movement and even stay in contact with the strings if I shift positions as this "guides" me to the next position.

It's a "feel" and finger memory that becomes second nature but you MUST concentrate on it when practicing otherwise it won't become part of your sub-conscious playing style.

In other words, you must be AWARE when you are practicing. Too many students have their "head in the music rather than the music in their head" when practicing.

Also, be aware of "opening your ears" when practicing because your sound develops much, much faster when you are aware of what you are doing. It doesn't take much. If you notice your concentration slipping just bring it back to the task at hand.

It's a bit like meditation. When you meditate in a proper way you focus only on one thing, be that a mantra or other words or an object like a religious icon or person. Your mind will naturally wander but when you notice it wandering you re-focus your attention and thus, over time, lessen the gap between meditation and wandering in your mind.

As usual, it's something that takes concentration and practice BUT, as always, the more proper practice you do the better you'll get.

4. Recommended Resource - The Classical Guitar, A Complete History

Recently someone emailed on my site asking for a recommendation about a classical guitar history book. I had no hesitation in recommending John Morrish's (and other contributors) The Classical Guitar, A Complete History

It's a book I've had in my personal library for some time and one I like referring to often. Here is a little blurb about the book from the Sheet Music Plus website...

"Offering essays by the world's top experts in a full-color, coffee-table quality book, this is the first work to tell the complete story of the classical guitar and its repertoire, players and makers - from its 19th century European roots to modern international interpretations.

This handsome softcover volume features lavish photography of classical guitars made by the best luthiers in the world. Additional essays cover use of the classical guitar in pop music, different playing and teaching techniques, the collectors' market, and the science of the guitar.

It also features profiles of legendary artists such as Andres Segovia, Julian Bream and John Williams, plus a full discography, a glossary, an index, a bibliography, and a guitar measurement chart."

Because it is simply one of the best books on the market for this type of information I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that anyone who is interested in classical guitar should expand their knowledge with such an attractively prepared book.

5. Don't Forget to add YOUR opinion!

The "Name Your 3 Favorite Classical Guitarist's" page continues to swell. It you haven't already given your opinion you can do so here...

But please, could you restrict this page to just classical guitar players? I have no doubt that other guitarists are talented in their own fields. Indeed, I love listening to guitar players such as George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and many, many others but this page is all about classical guitar players - your favorite 3.

Unfortunately I had to delete some pages this month because some people didn't read what the page was actually asking for. I hope that no one is offended because that's not my intention. I would just like the page to stay "on topic". Thank you :))

6. This Month's Fr/ee Music

And now for the music! This month's music is an Arpeggio Exercise by Matteo Carcassi. The piece needs attention to detail and care because there is a continual right hand finger pattern of p m i m a m i m. In other words: Thumb, middle finger, first finger, middle finger, ring finger, middle finger, first finger, middle finger.

I set the speed (on the video) at about 66 beats per minute. You can get a copy (including Tablature) here...

I hope you enjoy the music!

Now go here...

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

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