When is it time to perform?

Guitar Performance Tips

I had a strange shift in my guitar playing these fast few weeks.  I was pretty on top of doing some intense practice for the past three months, and that suddenly stoped.  Go from an average of 18-25 hours/week with my instrument down to about 10ish now is a pretty dramatic change. But I have […]

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Goal Oriented Guitar Practice

Classical Guitar Practice Tips

See a more updated version of this theory: Goal Oriented Guitar Practice (revisited) I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m not a huge fan of practice schedules.  A lot of folks out there think they need absolute structure to their practice time: 10 minutes arpeggios 20 minutes scales 30 minutes etudes 5 minutes checking cell phone […]

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How to Deal with Criticism

Guitar Performance Tips

I read an article about criticism early last week.  As students of music we often have incredible opportunities to perform for and get advice from great musicians.  With any luck, your studio teacher is a great musician with a list of impressive accomplishments and experience (this is not always the case). Criticism can come from […]

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Just Starting is the Hardest Part

Classical Guitar Tips

I thought of something today that I haven’t thought of for a while. Sometimes just starting something–anything, really–is the hardest part.  I’m an avid weight-lifter and fitness participant, and many times this statement holds true there.  For instance, some days I am not motivated to go to the gym at all.  I love lifting, and […]

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Quick Tip: Have a few pieces…

Classical Guitar Tips

Have a few pieces in your bag.  These should be pieces that can be played well with minimal practice time and sound good. I keep a binder of “gig” music that’s all very easy, sounds good and is easy to get under my fingers (45+ minutes of music that can be brought back in a […]

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On Being a Music Major

Classical Guitar Tips

A lot of people play guitar.  Generally speaking, people start with rock and pop and keep doing the same thing or move on to more of an “art music” type activity (including jazz).  With the rise of programs that cater to popular/commercial music training, it’s becoming easier for those pop/rock players to get higher degrees […]

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Classical Guitar TV

Classical Guitar Tips

Kevin R Gallagher, the 1993 GFA competition winner (among other prizes), has started to post a few video lessons on youtube.  Mr. Gallagher also has a great album (aff.) with Naxos. Check out the lessons on youtube Kevin’s Website Kevin’s Blog

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The Six Day Week

Classical Guitar Practice Tips

I’m taking a day off from practicing today.  I came on this six day practice week a while ago, but it was not my own idea. Notably, Ricardo Iznaola mentions it in his book, On Practicing: A Manual for Students of Guitar Performance, mentions the following: “The week should consist of six days only, with […]

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Performance Anxiety…

Guitar Performance Tips

…sucks.  In fact, let’s not even give it the dignity of calling it anxiety.  Let’s call it what it is:  stage fright.  We go to play in front of a crowd and we get terrified.  Hands shake – the confidence we had in the practice room disappears, and our hands go on autopilot while our […]

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Play Lines

Musical Interpretation and Musicianship

When I was but a young, freshmen guitarist doing my undergrad work, I had the opportunity to play in a masterclass for the Assads.  Naturally, I was terrified – I just started classical a few months ago.  While my own playing went…mediocre at best, I learned a lot from listening to other play and hearing […]

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