Next Steps in the Classical Guitar | David Hartley | Skillshare

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Next Steps in the Classical Guitar

teacher avatar David Hartley, I'm a musician based in London, UK.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Holding the Guitar

    • 3. A Few More Thoughts Before We Play

    • 4. Using the Left Hand

    • 5. Using the Right Hand

    • 6. The First Line

    • 7. The Second Line

    • 8. The Last Three Lines

    • 9. Musicality

    • 10. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

This is a class for beginners that will cover some more basic techniques on the classical guitar. You are welcome to begin with this class, but I do have an 'Introduction to the Classical Guitar' class that you may also enjoy.

By the end of this class, you will be able to play the piece 'Adagio'.

Included in this class -

  • Holding the guitar correctly
  • Left hand technique
  • RIght hand technique
  • Musicality on the classical guitar

Check out my other Skillshare Classes.

An Introduction to the Classical Guitar

How to play 'Spanish Romance' on the Classical Guitar (TAB and Notation)

Grade 1 Music Theory

How to Arrange an Easy Melody for Fingerstyle Guitar

Check out my website.

More great Skillshare Music Classes!

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David Hartley

I'm a musician based in London, UK.


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1. Introduction: Hi everyone, and welcome to this class. Next steps and the classical guitar. By the end of this class, you are going to be able to perform a short piece of classical music. The notes for this piece of attached to the class description. Although I will be also placing something that's on the screen as we go along. You will, however, find it very useful to have your own copy alongside the video. This is a class for beginners that will cover all the techniques you need in order to play your first piece On the classical guitar. Your project for this class is to perform the piece or Dao Xia. Let's now listen to a performance of that piece. 2. Holding the Guitar: In this class, I'm going to talk a little bit more in depth about all the aspects of guitar playing. And we're going to begin at the very beginning with just holding the guitar. Now there's two ways we can hope that guitar, the first is on our left leg with our foot on a footstool And the net pointing up towards the sky. And the second way is on our right leg, like this. And the guitar is horizontal. Now it doesn't really matter which way you hold the guitar. What matters is how relaxed you are. So for example, from holding the guitar like this, the guitar to be nice and balanced in the middle of my body. I'm not having to hold it up or press it down. I'm using my elbow just to keep it in place. And you can see I can take my hands away from the instrument. It's the same. If I hold the guitar like this, my hands can come away from the instrument. What that means is that we can just bring our house to the guitar and then nice and relaxed and not having to hold the guitar in place and there's no tension. It means that we'll be able to move smoothly and quickly. So just spend a couple of minutes trying to get the guitar nice and balanced in the middle of your body. And just notice how you can take your hands away and then bring them towards the strings. C, which is more comfortable either on your left leg, right leg. It really doesn't matter which way. Just make sure that you're nice and relaxed, especially in your hands and fingers. 3. A Few More Thoughts Before We Play: So we've just spoken about holding the guitar. And I thought it might be worth spending just a couple of minutes just to talk about a few other things to look out for before we begin playing. The first is again, how we're holding the guitar. You want to make sure that your feet are firmly on the floor, nice and flat. And if you find it's slipping away, you might want to use a piece of grip just like this. You place it on your leg, between your leg and the guitar. And it just adds a bit more support so it doesn't slip away. In terms of footstool. You can use anything that's the appropriate heights. This is a footstool that you can place your photon. And it just means that you can lift, lift your leg up and becomes almost parallel with the ground. So feet firmly on the flow. You might want to use a footstool if he wants to lift your left leg up slightly. And you can use a bit of grip just to stop the guitar from sliding away. Now, you may be wondering at this point, what's the difference in how we hold the guitar? Why do some people hold the guitar like this and others like this while ready? So what about accessing the strings easily? At this kind of angle, we can bring our hands the guitar, and it gives us plenty of space to move around. If I have the guitar like this, still perfectly possible, but it's just little bit more restricted. And you may find after a while, it becomes easier to access the strings like this. Try to make sure that your body is nice and balanced. You want to be nice and relaxed. Also feel as if you're firmly in place. You don't want to be hanging off the edge of your seat or not being able to reach the floor. Just a nice comfortable sitting position so that the guitar can balance in your body. Ok, so now let's look at the left-hand and the right-hand. And let's begin playing some music. 4. Using the Left Hand: Let's now look at using the left hands. Now, as we've already said, we want the guitar to be nice and balanced in this resting position so that we can bring our hands to the guitar. We don't want to start like this. And from below around, we want to be able to just bring our hand up and you can practice doing that. Let it relax biocides and just bring it up to the strings. You should notice that we have this natural shape that I'll hand goes into when we just clench your fingers together. And this is essentially what we want to be doing. We don't really want any fingers to be bending out or, or stretching too much. We just want this to be relaxed biocides. And then we can bring it up to the guitar in this nice natural shape. So in terms of placing the fingers on the string, let's begin by just placing our thumb and finger together like this. Nice and gently. You don't need to press to harder tool. Just notice how the very tip of the finger comes towards the sun. And it's that tip of the finger that we're gonna be using to play on notes. So again, from this position, I can now bring the hand up. How would the very tip of the finger just place it on the string? Just behind the fret. If it's too far back, that care, you're gonna get a buzzing sounds like that. If it's just behind the fret, you get a lovely clean sounds. Say, bring our hands up and gently place the tip of the finger and the string. If you look at my thumb, I'm really using the pad of the thumb, but what's more important is this natural position. My hand should look very comfortable and very relaxed. So this is the first finger, which we've just done. Now let's look at the second finger. We can do exactly the same thing. Just behind the fret on the tip of the finger. Let's practice going between the first finger and the second finger. You don't have to play at this stage if it, if it doesn't feel right, you can focus on just placing the first finger and the second finger. Okay, and now we're gonna go into the third finger on the third fret. Again, I'm just behind the fret, not too far back, not in the middle. Just behinds. And then fourth finger, third finger, second finger, first. So I'm going between all four fingers. Nice and relaxed, just on the tip of the finger. Okay, let's try it on another string. This string here is the first string. Now let's try it on the second string. Using all four fingers. Tronic it just behind the France. If you feel like playing, if that's comfortable, you can have a go. Should have that nice, clean sound. Now what I normally encouraged as part of a warm up every time you play is to practice this on all six strings. Going across one-by-one. And again, notice how easily it just morphs from being relaxed by my sites are just coming up to the guitar. So that's going to be the left hand for now. Now let's talk about the right-hand. 5. Using the Right Hand: I'd like to speak now about the right head. And in many ways the right-hand is the most important held. It gives us our rhythm, our energy, our sound is really important that we pay attention to every detail in what we're doing. So we're beginning with our elbow and the top of the cutoff just here. And I'll help you be able to just hang down like this. It should be perfectly relaxed. And then, which is going to bring it to the strings. We don't need to attach it to the strings or anything else. We just let it hang down and then we bring it to the strings. Same if you're playing on this leg, your arm to just hang down and you can just bring it around to the students. You should find that your hand naturally ends up somewhere over the sound hole and that's the ideal place to play. If you're back here. Again, a kind of bright clicky sounds. And over here, you get a nice sound, but it gets a bit in the way suggest over the sound hole is perfect. In many ways, the principles of the right-hand are very similar to that of the left-hand. You may remember this natural arm movement that we did in the left-hand, how the fingers naturally come together. And we want to do the same in this right-hand. If you notice how I play, the hand naturally comes together and it's very relaxed. So let's stop playing some notes. Are fun, is going to be playing these three strings here, the three based strings. Those are all going to be played with. I'd like to rest my fingers on the strings. You can do the same, but you didn't have to. Just try and make sure that you're nice and relaxed. Okay, and then we're gonna have three fingers, one for each string. So this finger on the third string, second finger on the second string, third finger on the third string. And for now, you want to begin by placing the finger on the string. And then almost at a 45-degree angle. Just coming across a string, be very careful not to take the string up. What's a play too hard? Just move your finger over it. So we have three base notes. Okay, so that's one technique that we can use. So now let's look at another technique we can use, and this is more commonly used when we're playing melodies. So for this, I'm going to take two fingers. I'm going to play on the same string. So I'm going to place my first finger. On the first string. And I'm just going to place and move across again, not picking up place and move. Now going to use my my middle finger. And just alternate between two focus. Okay, now let's try on the second string exactly the same place and move place and may've. Okay, now let's try on the third string. Again, place and move, place and massive. Ok, let us how my rest of my awl hasn't really changed throughout the whole time. Whether we're using the thumb, fingers or off-site fingers stays very still and that's because it's relaxed, not because it's tight. Okay, we're gonna do one more exercise now. This is going to be a combination of the two that we've just done. We're going to begin by playing one note with our thumb. And then we're going to put lights but another string, thumb, alternate sites. Now change during flight. And again change train. That's going back. So to recap, the bottom three strings, we're gonna use our thumb. Can save everything, place and move twice. And then we're going to use three fingers here for three different strings, place and move. And then we can see alternating fingers on same string place and move. And then we can add in a bass note between those alternating fingers. So you may want to spend a bit of time just working through those exercises. 6. The First Line: Let's now look at how we might play through the first line of this piece of music. Now you may be wondering about how to read the notes are, where the notes are. I don't want to spend too much time explaining how to read music. You may already be familiar with it. If not, I think it will take a bit too much time and have you data just to get onto playing the guitar. So what I'll do instead is I'll just run through everything as we need it and try and listen along to what you can hear. And hopefully you'll pick up all the notes that we need through that. Before we begin, I'm just going to play through the first line so you can hear what it sounds like. So that's what the first line sounds like. So we need some base loads. There's two in this line, there's a and as a. E is our lowest base note. At a is the second lowest. The start of the line begins with an a in the base. And the C. Now C is played on the second string without first finger on the first fret. Should sound like that. And we're going to play that together with the a in the base Trial, Make sure that they sound exactly at the same time. And again, nice sound from both of them. See then repeats. And then we have D, which is also on the second string, but we're gonna use our third finger on the frets. And then back to C. So we have a base and then we have seen, okay, now let's look at the second two bars of that line. We have an a in the base, which is the lowest string. We have a D, and a. B is an open second string, the same one that we used for C and D. But we're not gonna use any fingers because it's open. So b, k. Now let me play through those first four bars altogether. Now let's look at the last two bars of that line. Again, we have an a in the base, and we have D On the second string again. But this time we're going to use our first finger on the third fret, which is on the fifth fret of the second string with our third finger. Notice how when I change between positions, i just slide my hand along nice and relaxed. There's no need to stretch for anything. Just move your hand when you need it. So once again, I'm going to play through that first line. So a few things just to consider. We're going to use our thumb for all of the bass notes, which are either E or a. The top melody notes are all on the second string so far. And for that we're not nice or thumb. We're gonna use fingers and the right-hand, the alternating fingers that we did in the warm-up exercise. 7. The Second Line: Let's now look at the second line of music. And again, I'm going to start by playing through the entire line so you can have it first. Ok. So it begins the same as the first line, a in the base. And see on the second string. Now so far everything we've done with the melody has been on the second strain or the load on the second string. Now, everything for the rest of this line is going to be on the first string. The open first string is an a. So we have a in the base. And then a, which is the open first string. Now we have to move our hand in position so we can use our third finger to play an a on the first string as well as an a in the base. And we're going to slide that down to a j. Ok, so let me do those four bars on their own. Now. Let's look at the final three bars of this line. We now have a, d and the base we haven't played at the, in the base set, we've played an e, we played at a. Now we're going to play a D in the base, still with our thumb. And we're going to play F, which is on the first fret of the fifth string. Everything other than the C in this line is going to be on the first string. So t in the base, and F on the first string, and we have three of them. And the D and F again. And then be finished the line with E in the bass and a on the first string. That is how my right arm and right hand, a perfectly still and relaxed as I play. That's what allows me to do both bass notes who have lived thumb and melody notes with my fingers at the same time as it get that nice clean sand. Let me play through the second line one small. Just notice how still Maya Harlem is. 8. The Last Three Lines: So let's continue now with the third line. We're starting off with an E in the bass. And at the same time, at the, on the second string. I'm going to use my third finger for this dates. Very important and you'll see why in a moment. Because afterwards we have C. And by using our first finger that allows us to reach back without any jolting movements. And then b, then a in the base and a in liberty as well. Okay, so notice the fingers that I'm using, you'll see how easy it is, just a change between all the different fingers. And then we have a in the base and be in the melody. And at this point, we've reached some kind of cadence, some kind of conclusion. Let me just play the last few bars into that and you should hear that we come to the end of the phrase. And at that point, we've reached a little pause. And it means we're going to continue with a new phrase and that you phrase is exactly the same as the opening. So the notes, we have a and C. And you should see is a continuation of the opening line, forthright, and this is still the same fifth line. Now at this point, the ending of the second phrase is different from the end of the day. So you can think of this piece as being in two hubs. The first phrase and then the second phrase, which is almost like repeats of the fast, but with a different ending. And let's go through that ending now. So we have Octave is in the bass and a, and the melody as well. Three of them in one box. And then we have a, now we have an F sharp, which is on the second fret of the first string. And we're gonna use our first finger. And then reach over fruit G sharp, which is on the fourth fret. And then we have an a, which we've played already with an a in the base. And I'm going to pray through that once more. And I just want you to notice how my hand moves between the positions. I don't need to do any big stretches or any jumping movements. I can simply slide between positions. Let me show you that last line once more. It's very important that we use each finger individually when we need it, rather than using successive fingers for the different notes, should be able to get a nice smooth movement. So there we go. We've play through the entire piece. We've looked at all the nodes. What we going to do now in the next lesson is talk about some things we can do to make it a bit more musical. And also some things we can look out for in alcohol technique. 9. Musicality: I did say that I don't want to spend too much time talking about reading music. But there are a few ideas I would like to talk about, just so we can make the piece sound is musical as possible, rather than just a collection of nodes. Firstly, let's look at our voices. Now, voices are different parts of the music that happening simultaneously. In this piece, there are two voices. There is the base and the melody. Now it can be very useful to look each of those voices individually, as well as playing them together. So first of all, let's look at just the base. From the beginning, we have an, a, a, a. Now you may be wondering, why do we need to look at that is just a couple of simple nodes. But in fact, we need to make sure that there's a nice phrasing. And between all of the loads, we don't want to just play the note and then it just stops. And we don't want one to be louder. We want to make sure we have a nice consistency. Just in those bass notes. Keep your ringing on. And as you play the next one, try and damp or stop the sound for the previous ones who I'm playing the a. And after I played, I stopped a. So we just get that one. Pure sound. And you can do that with all the bass notes in this pace. Now let's look at the melody. And like all melodies, we want them to be as legato or as smooth as possible. We want notes to be joined up as if we're singing them in a single breath. This is the, the sound. And notice how I use different fingers to join up the notes in the melody. That is how there is no gap between the nodes. Let me show you a bad example with a gap between the loads. Okay, here that gap, we want it to be as smooth as possible. With the guitar, we have a responsibility to look after all of the voices that were playing. So we need to make sure that we're aware of the base and the melody, make them as smooth as possible. Now let's talk about dynamics. We started his piece with a piano or a p, that means to play softly. So we just want to solve Jensen Weaver with our fingers. Pianist who a bit louder, not too much. Forte, ala crescendos are getting a bit louder. So for example, there's one more thing we need to talk about that's very important. That's the idea of position. We know Tape position using Roman numerals. You can see that there's a one at the beginning. There's also a Two and Three throughout the piece. And that just means that we have our four fingers formation. This is in first position, second position, and third position. So for example, when it says we're playing in third position, you can see that my first finger is on the third fret. And then if I were to slide back, I'd be in second position. This make sure that we have independence between all of the fingers. And we're not going to jump around. And none of them are weaker than the others. It gives us a nice fluid movement between all of the fingers. So I hope that gives you some ideas and how to make this piece a bit more musical. 10. Final Thoughts: Thank you very much for taking this class. I hope you've learned a few new things about the classical guitar. And I look forward to hearing your projects. As you're thinking about all the things that we've spoken about, try and keep things as simple as possible. You can focus on just one thing at a time and always try and make a nice sound and listen to what the guitar is doing so that you can make a nice piece of music. There's a lot more you can do than just playing relates. Thank you very much for watching and I'll see you again soon.