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Old 04-05-2015, 03:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 1
Question Lacking 'drive' or goals for classical guitar.

I'm in my mid teens and have been playing/learning music for the majority of my life. Started off with keyboard, then progressed to classical guitar and learned drums for a brief period. I've also studied musical theory up to grade 5 and have taken music as a subject in school. Guitar has been my staple instrument and I've been playing it for six years now with lessons throughout. I had one teacher for 4 years who I had through a music school.

I studied classical guitar with the teacher and took grade exams and was given loads of opportunities to perform and be praised, and then for some reason decided to change to electric guitar which initially liked ( and I did well in, but I disliked the exam set up in the electric syllabus as it was repetitive and generic). I reverted back to classical guitar with the teacher but it was hard to transition back to actually reading guitar music despite my stave reading being very good.

Then the teacher went to study abroad and as I was moving to a private school my parents felt the music school was far too expensive so I ended up getting a teacher at home for nine months as I needed one for the practical component of my music state exam.

Whilst the teacher was a good player, it was terrible for my own grasp of classical guitar as I as just given fingerings similar to tab for complicated pieces and occasionally told how to execute techniques used in the pieces.
My sight reading on guitar deteriorated to a horrific extent and became practically non existent despite my musically being very good. I also became very nervous performing as I fell out of the habit.

That teacher finished with me at the end of the school year to go abroad and I joined another music school . This teacher is quite good and my sight reading has improved dramatically and I feel my technique is back to a similar standard as before . I'm practising on a daily basis and doing very well according to my teacher but I'm still lacking the structure of any exams or performances. I feel performances really help my confidence and motivate me and exams are good for a goal orientated person like me. I know it takes time for a teacher to gauge where you're at but I'm just left feeling rather frustrated when I'm putting the work in. The school appears kinda soulless aswell.

I've also had this burning desire to learn the trumpet as I have a great interest in jazz music but I'd also love to be able to play a more sociable instrument and eventually join an orchestra etc. Back to the classical guitar though, does anyone have any advice as to how I can progress further? There's a few conservatories where I live who offer part time tuition and was wondering should I try work towards getting up to a standard good enough to audition next year?. I can envision myself losing interest otherwise and would appreciate anyone's thoughts.

Last edited by TheEdgeOfGlory; 08-13-2015 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Your vision and self-motivation are admirable. Conservatory would be good for somebody like you. You could also look into taking private lessons with somebody on the guitar faculty at the conservatory. They would probably be more consistent than somebody who is not professionally involved in academia. May I also suggest writing your own compositions and arrangements? Take some piano music and find a way to play it on guitar. It would be awesome to hear some of Bartók's Mikrokosmos arranged for one or two guitars.

Mikrokosmos, Sz.107 (Bartók, Béla) - IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music

If you haven't done much composition or theory, I recommend the following (in no particular order):

Try to find music that you want to perform, as well. I had an awful piano teacher who did nothing to motivate me and I didn't make any improvement until I picked the pieces that I wanted to work on and ditched his. A year of my life wasted...

Some stuff that's a bit out there:

Jacques Hétu - Suite, Op.41

Claude Vivier - Pour Guitare

Tōru Takemitsu - Toward The Sea

Helmut Lachenmann - Salut für Caudwell

Last edited by Quality Cucumber; 04-08-2015 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 11

Also, just an idea: you may want to consider taking some flamenco guitar classes -- it's hugely beneficial to your right hand technique, sense of rhythm, & will keep you more interestedly involved, so to speak, guitar-wise. Big plus if there are any flamenco dance classes in your area - see if they have a live guitarist & ask if you can come to sit in/listen to learn. Most are very welcoming.

That ^ and playing with other instrumentalists (preferably non-guitarist ones) It helps with focusing in on music as opposed to the instrument itself.

Wish you much good in your musical endeavors!!
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