Monday, 28 May 2018

What's happening May 2018

The not-much-to-report report. You'd think with the days getting shorter and colder and wetter there'd be more focus on guitar related stuff, but no.
  • My two students continue to do well. I'm stressing the classical style, starting from good technique - which has a bit of do as I say not as I do - but have branched out into teaching some basic chords. I need to keep it interesting, I'm naturally excited about it, and I'm not faking, but the reality is if the student doesn't fall in love with it then you can be excited all you want, it's not going to get you anywhere.
  • I continue to be obsessed with my Dark Side of the Moon fingerstyle tribute.  I play it through maybe 4-5 times a week, so more than an hour. I added an extra 4 bars into the solo in "Time"; the middle parts have very high notes, you can't hold onto a low F# and play much above an A on the top string, so I improvised a creative few measures in keeping with the feel that actually segued nicely to the solo outtro. Previously it was a bit rushed through the middle, feels better now.
  • I'm on a foray into playing standing up. I have proven to myself a while back that tied off at the headstock is awful, I had installed a pin in my steel string acoustic neck heel years ago but I don't like the position I put it. Thus I'm not in a rush to drill holes into my nice Esteve without being really sure. Over the years I have looked into it, various classical players have various concepts. So to hone in on what will work, I've ordered in a bunch of suction cups (some people use Velcro stick on). The suction cups are heavy duty, I'm going to put them in various spots and see what I can do. I'm taking most of my advice from one guy who talked about how he rests his right arm heavy on  the top, and how that causes the bottom to pop out, and how he attached a second strap to his belt to stabilise it.

    Why am I trying this? Years ago as a teenager I abandoned the classical stance because "it doesn't look cool". I learnt to play on the right leg, with the neck only slightly up. But I twist my wrist to compensate, because the reality is you want that angle for fingerstyle. Luckily I haven't done any damage to myself with a bad wrist angle. Also, when I've played in gigs, it would give me greater freedom to stand up, I do move around a bit given the chance (I have been walking around the house of late standing up with my arm squeezing the guitar, not easy, limiting, but I'm starting to re-like standing up). Standing up on stage for gigs also is a better look. But more importantly, I have found that standing up leads me to use a higher neck angle reducing the wrist twist, with less of the guitar-out-on-the-right style, and I believe it will help me get back to a more natural classical positioning.  I've been cross at myself with my inaccurate right hand fingering recently (shows up while playing DSOTM) yeah sure it's perfectionism and I'm against perfectionism, but, ARGH! So a push back to better posture albeit standing up - I'm going to experiment with it.

    ...and rather than teaching my students with guitar slung across my right leg while they sit in a correct posture classical stance :-)

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