ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

become a virtuoso guitarist

Updated on October 21, 2009

The Old Master

The Old Master, godfather of the modern guitar, Andres Segevia
The Old Master, godfather of the modern guitar, Andres Segevia

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.

Play loudly

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.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Masters apprentice 

      6 years ago

      Great article.. Once you get the basics on how to practice learn as much as you can and if you have a musical ear all of these lessons will be combined and unified into your style. That's what's happened to me. I've become very good considering I'm a self taught guitarist.

    • Portamenteff profile imageAUTHOR

      Portamenteff 

      8 years ago from Western Colorado, USA

      Thank you VivekSri. I haven't been active lately, but Thank you for leaving the comment on there so long for approval.

    • profile image

      VivekSri 

      8 years ago

      couldn't have been better! always loved that hubs with a musical feel to them. thanks and keep your hubs open.

    • Portamenteff profile imageAUTHOR

      Portamenteff 

      8 years ago from Western Colorado, USA

      Well I've spent around $10,000 on lessons. It was worth every penny. Navigating the delicate labrynth of peices made a lot of sense, with a master as my guide. There are thousands of peices. Which one do you learn? In what order? You can hurt yourself doing it alone.

    • profile image

      GLucas7797 

      8 years ago

      You should listen to other classical guitarists -- Segovia, Williams, Perkneing, etc.

      The cost of lessons is outrageous. But take lessons for the firsttwo years of serious practice, until you reach an advanced level. Butonce you know what you're doing, you can make it on your own. Breams and Segovia did it without teachers.

    • Portamenteff profile imageAUTHOR

      Portamenteff 

      8 years ago from Western Colorado, USA

      I haven't heard them. Do they have a website or social network profile?

    • profile image

      kingn0thing 

      8 years ago

      Great page, what do you think of Rodrigo y Gabriela? I think they play some beautiful music.

    • Portamenteff profile imageAUTHOR

      Portamenteff 

      8 years ago from Western Colorado, USA

      Glad to help. If you find that you love it, greatness will come easily. There are some amazing guitarists and teacher in Spain, especially Andalucia where Andres Segovia was from.

    • marieryan profile image

      Marie Ryan 

      8 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      Hi,

      I've just watched a documentary on Andrés Segovia on Spanish TV. (I live in Andalucia, Spain.)

      I enjoyed your article very much. I'm just new at the music thing...(never too old to learn?) and have been learning Spanish Classical guitar for two years now ...with a teacher... at my local Town Hall and I'm going to take all your advice! I already knew about the mind-altering substances and the teacher but all the rest is really USEFUL! Thanks

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)