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Roberto Capocchi, guitarist: Blog

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Guitar Students Make

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Guitar Students Make By Jamie Andreas
1 - Practicing Too Fast
Virtually all guitar students practice everything at a speed that makes it impossible for their muscles to work in a relaxed fashion. Unknown to students, their muscles are in a state of chronic tension during the whole time they are practicing.
This tension stays in the muscles due to the power of "muscle memory". Because of this, the student will be placing a severe limit on their guitar abilities. Everything will feel difficult because the hands, arms, and body have a level of tension during movements that simply does not allow for smooth action.
The real secret is a super slow type of practicing that I call "No Tempo Practice". It has the power to unlock the professional level ability in any player.
2 - Not Paying Attention to the Body During Practice
We play the guitar with the body. That is the central fact that cannot be ignored. Students who have [...]
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This is a wonderful framework that works for me, and that I've learned to teach - and then coach - my students.  In a nutshell, here's what I do, in small "bites:"
1) Study the score
2) Read it on the guitar
3) Run through it in my head
4) Drill it a little, playing from memory
5) Incorporate the new bit
Then, I move on to the next bit.
Try it!
This is not a comprehensive practice method.  It just gets new music into your head, so you can do all sorts of other practice methods more freely. 
The steps can be fluid - often, I'll alternate studying the score and reading on the guitar to make fingering decisions.  Or alternate reading on the guitar with visualizing to create a stronger, clearer mental picture.  Alternating visualization and playing from memory allows me to study my fingers in detail, and compare what I see with the "ideal" technique in my head.  At this point, I avoid drilling too much.
Make the process you own:
1) How big are the bites?  [...]
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Notes by Aaron Grad
Stringed instruments to be plucked or strummed developed in the world’s earliest civilizations, and variants of those primitive lutes and lyres spread throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. The Greeks called one such instrument the kithara, a name that came to describe certain offshoots of the lute family from the time of the Renaissance. But it was not until the mid-19th century that this instrument reached its maturity, when the guitar maker Antonio Torres perfected what we now call the classical guitar. This ancient instrument of the people finally had the power and range to fill a concert hall, and a rich solo repertoire and recital tradition soon followed.
It is no coincidence that the defining instrument builder and the leading composers and performers in this new Romantic guitar style were all from Spain. Conquered by the Romans, invaded by Germanic Visigoths, occupied for more than 700 years by Muslim forces from Northern Africa, and finally [...]
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It arrived yesterday and it's fabulous.  I showed it to my friend luthier Keith Vizcarra, who happened to have a wonderful 1955 Fleta in his shop - quite a comparison for a brand new instrument - and we had a great time passing them back and forth.  
This is my first cedar top guitar since the Sugiyama I used before college.  It is very responsive and easily loud, but has a familiar sound quality, and a very rich tone.  Robert set it up to my specs - I seem to handle playing loud with low action well, as long as the frets are in good shape.  Ruck's fretwork is first class, and it's a joy to play.  The elevated fingerboard is beautiful - the neck continues in one piece over the body - no seam - and I like the sound-ports. It has Madagascar rosewood back and sides and a beautiful rosete. The French-polish on the top is incredibly well done.  
I'll be posting my impressions for a while, while I prepare new music for the upcoming season, rehearse and play [...]
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