Your approach to practicing largely determines how you play guitar. Firstly, keeping a practice journal is a must. It is a simple means tracking what and how much you have been practicing. It is also a mirror to reflect your practice habits. It is an opportunity to be honest with yourself.
Secondly, you should be mindful of how you divide your practice time. Your practice should be divided into a few important categories. They are:
Thirdly, HOW you practice these categories is equally important.
•Practice SLOW or slow enough to not make mistakes. If you practice mistakes, you will play mistakes. It also affords you the time to work on detail both technically and musically. You should use a metronome for slow practice and/or a tempo you can play without making any mistakes. If you make mistakes at any given tempo, you must slow down to a tempo where you do not....
Douglas Seth's composition Prelude for the Victorious is featured in the Fall 2019 issue of Classical Guitar Magazine! Attached is a photo of the first page of the hard copy. Here a link to the digital version of the article on their websiteas well.
The first lessons are the most important. This cannot be overstated enough. For children and adults alike, the first lessons will leave a lasting impression for years to come. It is a misconception to believe a beginner can get by with 'beginner teacher'. A beginner will just accumulate years of bad habits from taking lessons with a teacher who is not competent enough to teach good technique. The following questions are some criteria in judging the competence of a teacher in order of importance.
1. Do they have a proven track record of successful students? Can they give you referrals to these successful students?
2. Have they worked in other areas of education? Have they completed education classes in the college level? Have they worked in the school system or university system? Simply because a potential teacher attended music school does not necessarily mean they understand how to teach. Most university music programs (not including a music education program) do not require a degree...
Come listen to the Guitar Academy's Douglas Seth perform a concert of original compositions with Christopher Braddock in the Mosaic String Duo. The concert is at Kent County Public Library in Dover on Wednesday, October 10th at 6pm . Here is an interview promoting the concert in the Dover Post!
Occasionally, I will see an advertisement or internet post for guitar lessons promoting the well known benefits of taking music lessons on any instrument (language development, mathmatics, increased IQ, spatial-temporal skill, etc...). However, many of these benefits can only be gained if music reading and interpretation are a large part of the lessons. While shopping for guitar lessons the buyer should beware. Guitarists are notoriously bad music readers and many times don't incorporate music reading into their students lessons at all. Many guitar instructors teach by rote, 'tabs', and 'chord charts'. This results in students taking lessons for many years not understanding anything about the nuts and bolts of music. It is true that many guitar styles do not require music reading. However, these styles are, in general, very simplistic and only consist of a handful of the same chords and simple melodies (most pop/rock songs you hear fall into this category). Music reading is not used t...
At the end of each academic year, the Guitar Academy's most ambitious students have the opportunity to participate and achieve a graded certificate based on the guidelines set forth in the GEM curriculum. An expert adjudicator is a guest teacher to offer a non-biased opinion and grade. The great virtuoso, Matt Palmer, was the guest teacher. These are the photos from the students who participated in this year's GEM exams receiving their award. Congratulations to everyone who participated! Pictured are Jack Chen, Tommy Chen, Dr. Dan Chen, and teacher/student Victoria Tarbutton. Not pictured Dorothy McCormick.
Fingerstyle guitar arrangements are a very fulfilling way to play a song because they include both the melody and the accompaniment. Without the melody, when we just play the chords many songs are barely recognizable. This is because the same handful of chords are used in most popular songs. Since the melody is being sung, most people identify with the lyrics and the melody being used with lyrics. This arrangement of the iconic song, Don't Stop Believin', is an advanced arrangement. Arrangements can be far more simple than this one and equally as rewarding. Download this PDF from a workshop I taught about arranging. It outlines the arranging process or at least one way of arranging for solo guitar. Arranging for solo guitar is one of my favorite things to do and I would love to help you learn to do it as well!
'AMI' scale playing utilizes the 'three note per string' scale playing concept. It is an advanced technique which synchronizes playing three notes on a string in the left hand with the fluid finger combination of 'AMI' in the right hand. Students should first proficiently learn basic two finger alternations and the tremolo technique before actively working on 'AMI' scales. This advanced scale technique is very effective for extremely rapid scales on fingerstyle acoustic guitar. A great way to learn this scale method, besides simply playing 'three note per string' scales ascending and descending, is to learn 'licks' from neoclassical electric guitar playing. This video is a commentary concluding series of videos I made on my YouTube channel comprised of 'licks' in progressive difficulty. I believe the style scale playing is the future of fast scale playing for fingerstyle guitar. It would be my pleasure to help you take your scale playing to the next level!