Jan Sturiale Music

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Think Outside The Box

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Many times students asked about how to start studying guitar and most of the time they feel like you have to start with “classical" first and then switch to other genre. Given that the classical meaning is now for me obsolete, it means nothing, it's just music;

Music has been written and for the most part was composed by real improvisers.
This concept was lost and especially certain Conservatories have reinforced the idea that the musician must be a virtuous.

Back to make a decision, students feel lost also because of their parent's influence that for the most of the time are not into the music. It’s easy to get lost if you do not have any idea or never experienced music before.

I personally think that there are lot of ways to think and sometimes for “classical” non open minded guitarist seems impossible to let live classical guitar together with other genre especially in Europe where the classical tradition is at its highest.

My opinion is, "it depends". What are your goals as a musician?

I do personally love most of the “classical” guitar repertoire, I just love listen to it and I do it constantly. On a technical level it helped me a lot in being able to use my right hand fluently and in having a good control on tone as well. The focus on technique in classical is very important and it will defiineitly make you a better player.

On the other hand, "classical guitar" in the more frequently “way of teaching” is not about learning the fingerboard and nothing to do with improvisation. The majority of teachers I knew during my academic studies were very into the classical repertoire that not even considered the idea of analyzing repertoire, preferring the study of the composition with sole aim of running in front of the public. Of course the most of the time we run out of time but I personally think that probably will be much better to take a closer view on compositions,  sacrificing some reading.

I know many good "classical guitarists" who would be completely lost if it came down to making up a simple melody line on the spot. I thought many "classical guitarists” and to my eyes seems that ,for the most of them, they’re more concentrated on “HOW” that on “WHAT” and when I asked them if they listen to any other genre they’re lost in their world, this is valid especially for “classical guitar” students. Don’t get me wrong I knew brilliant classical guitarist and I fully respect them.

Music in general is an "never ending story” and that’s why we love it so much.

Said that study classical guitar has been helpful for me on the other hand you have to be conscious of what you DON’T KNOW in terms of theory and harmony applied on your instrument.

If you just focused on “classical repertoire” is great, just go for it, but think that you could also play with someone else (in another setting) and try to find a balance on the "two sides”.

At the very end we’ll need to be honest and try to learn form everyone.

I like to think about music in a global sense and the guitar is just the instrument I played and I choose but could be any other instrument.

For classical guitarist who are interested in expand their vocabulary I really recommend working on this topics to start.

 * Triads String Sets

* Improvising with Triads

* Hearing Scales

* Single String Improvisation

* Harmonizing Melodies

* Sing Melodies and Solos

* Listen Music

And for non “classical guitarist” a good idea is to start reading some new music other than chords, scales and arpeggios for instance!

Keep in mind that music is a “never ending” life process!

How do you practice guitar? What did you inspired the most in music?


Jan