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Classical Cognoscenti

A place to trade ideas about the art and science of all things classical and guitar; in a civil manner, to the advancement of all who log in here.

Members: 133
Latest Activity: Feb 21

Discussion Forum

Arm Rests 4 Replies

Started by Michael S. Jackson. Last reply by Michael S. Jackson Oct 18, 2013.

Andre's Segovia In Portrait

Started by Michael S. Jackson Oct 12, 2013.

A Tale of Two Classicals from Goodwill... 1 Reply

Started by FloridaGull. Last reply by FloridaGull Sep 17, 2013.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Robin June Nakkula on February 5, 2012 at 7:59pm

Jeremy Sparks's "Irish Medley" for 4 guitars:

Here's a video of a quartet doing it at breakneck speed:

And here's the link to the link of my own Columbus Guitar Society Ensemble doing in March of 2007 (scroll down that far on the page):  

Comment by FloridaGull on February 5, 2012 at 5:57pm
Oh, to be busy with music...enjoy!
Comment by Pascal Proust on February 4, 2012 at 10:28am

Hi Dave and welcome aboard!

As Michael, I've rarely heard celtic reels on classical guitar. And even if cetlic music fits with steel-string guitar very well, nylon strings and classical guitar sound add another feeling which I find great. Very good performance on your video.

By the way, besides my comment to Dave, I'd like to tell the group that I've been quite silent here or elsewhere on AG website because I've been pretty busy with music these days. But no worries, I keep looking here and there, and I'll be right back when I get a little more free time!

Comment by Michael S. Jackson on February 4, 2012 at 9:53am

Dave - I've heard a lot of reels and celtic music done on a steel string but not on a truly classical guitar. I expected shades of Ken Perlman, but was very pleasantly surprised with your playing! Very well done. We don't normaly use this many hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides, in classical guitar music but I imagine you get a lot of practice at doing those with this style of music. You do them very well - I especially like your pull-offs... clean clean and clear.

Tnaks; I'm glad I listened. Good job at presenting the adaptiblity and range of the classicl guitar!


Comment by Dave Flynn on February 3, 2012 at 4:11pm


I'm a guitarist from Ireland. I've just joined the forum.

I hope some of you might enjoy listening to my music.

Here's a clip of me playing an Irish reel live in Dublin

I'm both a classically trained guitarist and trained in the oral folk tradition of Ireland. I combine both traditions in my playing. I use a nylon string guitar and tune it in what I call fiddle tuning DGDGAE to get authentic Irish string techniques.

see for more info.

CD available here

itunes here

Interested to know what you classical guitar congoscenti make of my style.


Dave Flynn

Comment by FloridaGull on January 3, 2012 at 9:19am

How often does one see a 1951 Martin 00-28G Classical for sale?  Probably not often - so here she is:

Only $4,000!  Any after Christmas GAS, anyone?

Here's the link:

And another pic:

Someone took care of this one...



Comment by Michael S. Jackson on December 4, 2011 at 12:53pm

Interesting stuff. So, what do you think are the advantages of tab over standard notation? Vice versa? Disadvantages of each?

I think standard notation encourages you to hear the music and the notes in your head before you play them and this leads to a better musician. I find that tab tends to be too mechanical by showing the fret to press, which finger to use, on what string, etc. whereas standard notation requires one to "hear" the desired note, know what is written on the staff, and to learn the fingerboard to make that sound. It's more complete, musically speaking.

When I was learning banjo via tab, I also found it very difficult to execute the correct timing. Of course, it doesnt' help that there are so many variations of tab out there.

Then there is learning by doing and by someone showing you how to play something. And there is also playing by ear (sound) which leads to great improvisational skill.

I believe learning is best done by all three methods (sight, show, and sound) wherein each method varies in percentage based upon individual learners. Sight can be via tab or standard notation but standard notation has most of the nuances you need to really play.

Perhaps the most neglected practice is to listen to a LOT of music so you can have it in your head when you begin learning a piece. Once it's in your head, you can use these methods to learn the piece and memorize it completely so you can then modify it, add to it, keep to the original, or however you choose to enjoy and present it.

I have never understood people who can play only with a piece of written music in front of them. I don't need to listen to that sort of person play because I have a stereo system - if you know what I mean.

Just my view from over the upper bout...

Comment by Pascal Proust on December 4, 2011 at 7:43am

Here is some lines (that I've translated for you) from a French book I have about music theory (Guide de La théorie de la musique, by Claude Abromont and Eugène de Montalembert) regarding tablature (ch. VII, La notation musicale; Différents systèmes de notation; Les systèmes de tablature, p. 251-252) :

Tabalature systems

A tablature stands for music graphically by representing the positions of notes on an instrument.

It may be the oldest type of notation. Indeed, circa 2000 BC, a notation using tablature was used by Babylonians and Hourrites [maybe Hurrits in English?] in Mesopotamia (today's Irak) in order to indicate notes by describing the positions of fingers on strings.

Also used during the 6th century for Chinese zither, qin, tablature notation eventually became very popular in lute music during Renaissance. In these tablatures, the frets of the lute are indicated by a figure or a letter.

[Illustration showing a lute tablature]

A lot of tablatures for organ had also been created since the 15th century. This system would even be used by J.S. Bach occasionally. Then each key of the keyboard is given a number. When an altered note didn't have any proper number, this note was then indicated by a star symbol.

I'd also add an anecdote about tablature revival in France (circa 1970s). In the 70s, French fingerstyle virtuoso Marcel Dadi started writing a series of methods for fingerstyle guitar. This series was aimed to all beginners, about folk/country fingerstyle, but also featuring solid theory basics. In order to make it easier to understand for the largest number of people, he manage to created a system mixing standard notation staff with tablature staff on music scores of him. At first, Dadi thought he invented this tablature system, which is today largely spread (I recall there was no internet at that time, and Anglo-saxon music books were rare and cost alot). However, he wondered if he really was the inventor, because this system looked natural and obvious to him. Then he carried out some researches and found out about tablatures for lute in Renaisance! Of course, he didn't cheat, and mentioned that in his method, and in many interviews as well. Dadi was a great guitarist and teacher, and he was the one who brought music and guitar to a large number of people here in France, an entire generation. Even today, young guns talk about him or even use one of his methods.

Comment by Jonathan Gates on December 1, 2011 at 11:28pm

this looks like fun. no sml coincidence the BPO's conductor is a Julliard guitar major. This fellow is heading up the Curtis Inst's guitar program . Impressive.

Comment by Michael S. Jackson on November 30, 2011 at 9:43am

It takes a while to sight read and for those of us who didn't begin until late in life, it is nice to have a little help once in a while. But I enjoy finding the correct fingerings and planning economy of motion so I limit myself to standard notation only.

If that makes me one of the elite, war-mongering, bomb-building world destroyers, I guess that's just the way it is.


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