become a virtuoso guitarist
The Old Master
How I did it, My Humble Offering
The classical guitar is the easiest instrument to learn, the most difficult to master. The first thing to remember is that you can play beautiful notes and chords the fist day, and then take the rest of your life learning the pieces of the great masters. I navigated this complex labyrinth for ten years. My opinion is a humble one.
Get a great teacher. The first thing to do is get a qualified teacher. That doesn't necessarily mean one that went to college either. My teacher never set foot in college, until he taught there. Find a teacher who keeps true to the traditions of the old masters. Their blood, sweat, and tears paved the way for us. They built a "virtuoso superhighway" for us.
Become a reader, not a memorizer.
When you memorize a peice, you will (not even maybe) miss many nuances and markings that add to the beauty of the peice. This will also break you of the bad habit of looking at your hands. You should be able to play blindfolded eventually. Remember, the lights of Carnegie hall will blind you. What are you going to to then?
Diligence is key.
Daily devotion to the instrument will give your hands the stamina they need, the muscle memory you can rely on and the discipline that will help you climb the mountain. Even a half hour a day is better than taking days off, then trying to cram the day before the lesson.
Don't listen to other guitarists.
Listening to other guitarists will hurt you in many ways. If their interpretation is flawed, so will yours be. If they play a wrong note, So will you. Don't listen to other guitarists. Listen to Flutes, pianos, symphony, the birds chirping, the wind howling for inspiration.
No mind altering substances.
Your music will become "disembodied" with these vices. Your fingers will not obey the page as well. You may forget important aspects of the interpretation. The essence of the piece could be lost. When I played under the influence, I never really played as well.
It may sound too loud practicing in your living room, but consider the fact that someday, there may be five thousand people coughing, sneezing, and talking (rudely) in front of you. You'll want to be able to be heard in the back of the auditorium as well, after all, they paid to hear you in the cheap seats too. One of the hardest things for me to get students to do is play loud enough.
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