On Fingerings & Breakthroughs

Classical Guitar Technique
On Fingerings & Breakthroughs

Choosing the fingering for a passage of music is an extremely personal process—what comes off easy for one player might prove a stumbling block for another. Granted, there are some general guidelines and principles that can be applied to everyone as a starting point, but that still leaves a critical amount of discretion to the […]

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The approaching New Year gives us a chance to assess where we are as well as where we want to go. Although any day is just as good a day for making things better, there is an undeniable psychological boost to starting anew together with the calendar. Here’s a few music-related resolutions to make the […]

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An Interview with Jon Mendle

Interviews with Classical Guitarists

Jon Mendle is a young classical guitarist who performs on seven- and eleven-string guitars. A graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory, he has recently released an album of 18th century German music by C.P.E. Bach, Flanckenhagen, and Weiss, entiled L’Infidele and available through In A Circle Records. In this interview Jon talks about his approach […]

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They Sound Good, and They’re Good For You: Rasgueado 101

Rasgueado strums represent the backbone of many Mediterranean and Latin American folk styles, and they’re found throughout the modern classical repertoire from Joaquin Turina to Magnus Lindberg. Because of their reliance on extensor muscles, rasgueados also make for an excellent practice tool, even if you’re not trying to incorporate them in your playing otherwise. The […]

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The Texas Guitar Quartet Needs Your Help

A while back classical guitarist Giacomo Fiore asked for help. He did it with a Kickstarter campaign that raised several thousand dollars and helped him cover the licensing costs for the music he recorded. The Texas Guitar Quartet is doing the same. They’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising funds for their […]

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As a budding musicologist living in the Bay Area, I couldn’t have avoided this year’s iteration of the AMS meeting if I tried. For four days, the biggest names in music history and criticism convened in an unusually sunny and terse San Francisco. Imagine my excitement when I spied a lecture recital on early-nineteenth century […]

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Practicing Performance

Guitar Performance Tips

The time we spend practicing is probably the most critical time from a creative and professional standpoint. Part athletic conditioning, part meditation, and part artistic development, who we are on the concert stage depends largely on who we are in the practice room. If you’re not prepared for a concert, your nerves are going to […]

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Gearing Up: External Pickups, Preamps, and Other Amplification Accessories

Splitting the Difference: Removable External Pickups External pickups, such as the Schatten Dualie and the Schertler Dyn-G, offer an interesting compromise between the convenience of internal installation and the non-invasive nature of microphones. Although they lack the airy detail of the latter, external soundboard pickups can sound surprisingly natural. I’ve used one for many years […]

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Of Mics and Men

Classical Guitar Amplification

We have taken a look of some of the most commonly used permanent/internal solutions for amplifying classical guitars. Let’s flip to the opposite end of the spectrum and discuss the king of external amplification: the microphone. I’m just going to go ahead and say it: mics are a much more cost-effective and tonally accurate way […]

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Speak Up: How a Few Words Can Enhance Your Musical Presentation

Musical Interpretation and Musicianship

For the past hundred and fifty years or so, classical music concerts have been somewhat of a hallowed affair: performers wearing formal attire, presenting the music in a highly ritualized environment; the audience sitting passively and quietly, waiting to receive their fix of the sublime. In such an environment, talking might seem sacrilegious. When performers […]

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