One thing I talk a lot about is the importance of good technique when you play guitar.
Classical guitarists often have far better “core fundamental technique” than non-classical guitarists.
Yet learning classical guitar can be very “heavy” or a little stuffy and serious for the casual student who wants to learn folk, pop, rock, blues, and popular songs.
Personally, I love to play some classical music on my guitar but that style had to grow on me.
…However, when I was introduced to classical technique, it made a big difference to my playing, my technique, and that of my students.
One thing I like students to do is use the “Classical with a strap” position.
It’s a simple sitting position where the guitar is placed in between your legs so the headstock is pointing upwards.
Just a few of the benefits of this position are that it can take the strain off the wrist, allow freedom of the fretboard, and improve your fretting hand transitions.
A lot of guitar teachers in the non-classical world shun the idea of using classical posture.
I’ve heard two very popular YouTube teachers both say disparaging things about classical posture, saying things along the lines of “it’s not very cool”.
Well, that is foolish in my opinion.
The classical position can be really beneficial.
The problem can be if you’ve played in the non-classical and more casual position for a long time and then you try to switch to the classical position, it can be tough.
That can be a huge change that would be like the equivalent of swapping your skis for a snowboard, but it’s still certainly doable.
It’s not just about the position that I love and have been inspired by in the classical world though.
It’s the focus on technique, precision, the details, and the realisation that it is each tree that makes the forest.
For instance, when struggling with chord changes, a non-classical tutor often pipes out this tired old advice:
“Stick with your chord changes, they will get better”.
How often have we all heard that?
That’s not real advice.
It’s just a pep talk.
A good classical tutor will usually look at your core technique, posture, how your fingers touch the strings, and more…
Then they will get you to work fixing these basics and give you advice on how to improve specific changes.
The difference this precision can make to your playing is huge.
Yes, classical tuition can be hard work, and the repertoire for students who don’t really enjoy classical music isn’t always the most exciting, but there are so many pearls of wisdom from this style of guitar that can only make you a better player.
So that’s my little love letter to the world of classical guitar.
I’m sure I’ll continue to talk more about the benefits of this style in the future.
For now, if you’re keen on learning to play with better technique and improve your playing, you may want to check out this bundle which is on sale for the next few days.
Enjoy your practice!
P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.