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Coming Into Classical Guitar Cold

classical guitar lesson

If you’re thinking of broadening the styles of music that you play, and you’re coming to the Artistworks Classical Guitar School from another style of music, we’d like to welcome you. Today we’re going to briefly discuss some reasons for learning the classical guitar, and what you can expect in terms of progress and challenges in the coming weeks and months.

Bluegrass, Rock and Other Musical Backgrounds

Here at ArtistWorks, we believe that you can excel at classical guitar regardless of your musical background. Whether you have previous experience on another instrument, a different style of guitar, or if this is the beginning of your journey on a musical instrument, our online database of lessons start from square one and provide an effective and thorough method for advancing quickly while covering all of the bases to help you succeed.

With the classical guitar curriculum here, lessons are designed so that each time you learn a new technique, you will also acquire a new skill in reading music.

classical guitar lesson

Tablature Versus Standard Notation

In classical terminology, standard notation refers to the music that is written on the bass and treble clefs, the grand staff (as in piano music, with the bass and treble clefs read simultaneously), or other slightly less common clefs, such as the tenor clef. Tablature (or tabs, for short) refers to the numbers used to represent where to place the fingers on the fingerboard of fretted instruments.

While tabs are useful for beginning guitarists, they can become a crutch by discouraging the use of one’s own ear and musical sensibility to determine whether a piece of music is played well. This can also happen with standard notation, however, there are a few key differences between tablature and standard notation that need to be considered before taking up classical guitar.

Let’s take a look at how tablature falls short in terms of providing players with important information about the music, and how standard notation can fill this gap.

Limits of Tablature

The main shortcoming of tablature is that it only gives us a very limited amount of musical information. While tabs provide information about where to place the fingers of the fretting hand, they do not provide other absolutely critical information, such as the rhythmic value of notes, how the picking hand should sound each note or passage to produce the desired tone color, or how to know if a given note is part of a bass, treble, or inner voice.

This information is, again, absolutely critical, given that the classical guitarist is nearly always controlling multiple voices simultaneously, and sometimes as many as four at once!

classical guitar lesson

Goals for Going Forward with Guitar

Whether it’s your first time learning an instrument, or if you’re simply coming from another school or method, ArtistWorks believes that it essential that you learn to read music in order to participate fully in the joy that is the classical guitar. Reading standard notation is not, as many inexperienced players wrongly believe, some sort of useless and painful accessory to playing classical guitar.

On the contrary, reading music is just as enriching and necessary as playing the music itself. Let’s not forget, in addition to all of the vitally important information that standard notation provides about dynamics, tempo, tone, and texture, much of this delightful and enchanting music would have been lost forever if we didn’t have people who knew how to read it, and more importantly, to bring it to life.

With that, we invite you to join us here at ArtistWorks and step into a new world of musical adventures and insights. You never know how far you'll take your playing until you try. 

Ready to try classical guitar? Click here for free sample lessons! 

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