I messed around on an acoustic steel string in my youth, learning chord patterns and strumming and even finger picking a couple of rote patterns.
While I could read music for piano and clarinet, I never applied that to the guitar at that time, instead just learning chord patterns.
When I graduated from college and started my first job I was able to pay for lessons. I chose the classical guitar because it was beautiful and I loved the sound of it. I also figured that it would force me to actually read music for the guitar.
I found a local instructor, a Mr. Truitt, I believe, and he was a fantastic teacher. I took lessons for the better part of a year, then moved on to other things, namely the hammered dulcimer.
That was 20 years ago. Now I am 43, and I have two young children and a job and very little time to practice. The hammered dulcimer can take up to 30 minutes just to tune correctly, and I have at most 20 minutes to myself at a stretch on a good day, so that just wasn't working anymore.
I purchased a La Patrie Presentation guitar, pulled out my old book by Frederick Noad, and started playing again. It is funny how the mind works. Pieces that I played fairly fluently 20 years ago will start to come back to me bit by bit, and my fingers seem to move by themselves when it happens!
If I start to think about it too much, the process stops. I only need to stop thinking and my fingers start to move again! Then I search through the Noad book because I've forgotten what the tune is called.
I remembered "Etude" by Ferdinando Carulli, and "Canary Jig" in that manner. They weren't forgotten as I had thought, only misplaced in my mind for a while!
My goal at this point is to simply enjoy rediscovering the classical guitar, and to grow my fingernails! The only finger nail that is currently long enough to actually sound the string nicely is the "a" finger, so I keep looking for excuses to use it, and it's been getting quite a workout lately!
Until "i" and "m" grow longer, the upper strings tend to get drowned out by whatever the thumb plays, and it's not pleasing to the ear!
I think that one day, I would like to be able to play, "El Testamen den' Amelia," but that would be a long term goal!
Another goal would be to become more familiar with where the notes are on the strings so that I can look at a note (or a chord) and know exactly where to play it.
Currently it takes too long to figure out where the notes are when learning a new piece. I can't figure out why this process is so difficult on the guitar, when it was relatively easier to read music for clarinet and piano. Anyone have any suggestions?
Thank you, Trevor, for this website. It's nice that you have set up this community in cyberspace. I am enjoying listening to your YouTube performances of each piece, and I'm looking forward to being part of this community.