Are you tired of being almost able to play classical guitar?
Do you want to transform a frustrating page of music into sounds that fly effortlessly from your fingers?
You may be working hard and practicing a lot. But if too many of your practice scores still look something like the above, chances are high that you’re practicing wrong.
As a teacher, one of my main jobs is to help all kinds of students navigate the technical hurdles that are holding them back. Everyone has their own unique musical vision. We all have different styles of music we’d like to learn, different reasons for wanting to play well, and different kinds of performance goals. And we’re certainly not all at the same level of technical mastery. But the basic technical issues that we all have to deal with are always the same.
If you really want to get your music off the ground and into flight, you have to get the basics right.
In my experience insufficiently mastered technical basics account for 9 out of 10 of the mistakes most classical guitar students make.
Improving your mastery of the basics is the only way to truly, fully and completely fix these.
And what’s more, knowing how to practice and hone the basics–and making this a habit—is an absolute prerequisite for solving the more advanced technical challenges, which depend on basic technical mastery to even have a chance at flying.
Insufficient mastery of the Basics is especially likely if:
-you’re getting “forever” stuck playing repertoire at one specific level of difficulty
-there are one or more frustrating technical issues that never seem to improve for you
-you’ve played for many years but practice sporadically and without much direction
-you’re mostly self-taught,
-you had a teacher or two, but they never had time to show you everything you need to know.
-you’re NOT John Williams
So what do you do?
There’s so much great classical guitar music out there to play and enjoy. But classical guitar technique is complicated. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when frustrating technical issues keep you from playing as well as you know you want to. Most of us don’t have that time or money to go to music school, practice all day, read through arcane guitar manuals endlessly in an effort to learn everything “right.” And even if you have a great private teacher, there are still things they don’t have time to show you—often there’s barely enough time in a lesson just to go over the music and get the fingerings right.
Fortunately, I’ve done the work of pulling the essentials together into a video course that you can digest at your own pace:
The Basic Classical Guitar Mastery Video Series integrates the essentials of what I’ve learned in 35+ years of playing, practicing, performing, recording and teaching classical guitar, as well as my years of graduate study at the Cincinnati Conservatory and the Juilliard School, into a set of principles and instructions that are as simple, elegant and effective as I can make them.
“It’s like having your own personal teacher at anytime of the day or night. . I would definitely recommend this product to any guitarist. Whether they are a beginner or even advanced.
Terry Delport, Student, Guitarist
With Jay’s advice… I feel like I’ve gone from 1 and 1/2 pistons to a V8. And I’m not talking about tomato juice. ”
Mai Mollman, Student, Guitarist, Writer
Guitar Instruction Close Up and from Every Angle
Imitating good technique is the most powerful way you can acquire your own technique. But most guitar instruction videos show the action from just one or two never-changing angles, making it hard or even impossible to see the most important details. With no less than three, and often four well-chosen camera views in each video, I make it easy to see exactly what you need to see in order to learn how it’s done
Integrates key principles from the top technical schools into one place
If you check into more than one method or manual, or have had more than one teacher, you’ll probably get confused when you notice various disagreements. This course gives you the tools to understand the differences and make your own judgement——based on your own musical goals, anatomy, and simply on what feels best to you.
Embodied Approach to Technique
Classical guitar instruction often comes in the form of a bunch of shoulds and shouldn’ts—they sound like commands from on high, making it hard for you trust your own instincts and experience. While there are a set of basic principles that need to honored due to the difficulty of classical guitar playing, these principles work best when applied in different ways based on individual differences. I show you how to access and trust your own internal sensations and trust the information your body and mind are constantly providing you with. This gives you the power to discover for yourself the best technique for your own hands, nails, body type, guitar, and musical vision.
Watch it on Any Device
While I recommend spending some time watching these on a large screen, such as a desktop, laptop or Ipad—-you can watch these
videos easily on any device, even a smartphone. My videos are hosted on Vimeo, known for its high quality and cross-platform compatibility. And the Art of Guitar website is “responsive”, meaning the pages and their content adjust to the size and shape of any device you own. You can pop your phone or tablet on the music stand, read the content, press play, and practice away.
Sometimes, people are worried that they don’t have much time to go through a big course. But with this course, you can refine your techniques by watching just a few videos. it’s straight to the point (no B.S.). It has well-designed exercises that minimize your practice time and concise videos for each lesson. I love the exercises that help me improve my left and right hand techniques without spending too much time playing random stuff. Just follow Jay, and you will see your skills improved dramatically.
Champ Supachai, guitar student
“Jay’s pedagogy is clear and accessible. He takes into account all levels of students, so the beginner doesn’t run away discouraged or the advanced turn off because they’re not challenged.”
Mark Scott, Guitarist, guitar student
The Basic Classical Guitar Mastery Video Series is a complete, in-depth and state-of-the-art instructional series, centered around over 40 multi-camera view video tutorials. It covers all of basics and many of the more refined secrets of classical guitar technique in a way that is clear to beginners but useful even to quite advanced students. It also offers a grounded, confidence-building approach to getting in touch with and developing your natural ability to evolve both technically and musically.
More Details on what you’ll get:
- Lifetime Access—Learn it all right now, or dip into these videos whenever you need a refresher course Many sites charge a monthly fee for accessing their material. But if you purchase this course now, its content and its membership area ALWAYS available to you. This is essential, because the principles here are the timeless basics of classical guitar technique, that need to be first learned and then refined as you get better and tackle more and more challenging repertoire
- A LOT of Content–but it’s never boring There are over 40 high quality videos (2+ hours of content) with great sound (so you can hear the guitar exquisitely well). But I make it interesting. Classical guitar manuals are notoriously stodgy and arcane, but here the concepts are as clear and memorable as I can possibly make them, so you can really learn deeply and retain them. I provide every visual and textual clue necessary for you to learn each concept thoroughly, from moving arrows, text boxes, to inspiring or humorous images and overlays when necessary. As one student remarks: “It is never, ever boring.”
- Practice the exercises straight from the video screen, or download them and print them out It’s frustrating when someone’s showing you an exercise that you can’t quite figure out, and you have to keep going back to the video when you want to try it again. The technical exercises that I demonstrate share the screen with my hands, in both notation and TAB, so you can try them out along with me. But you can also download them as pdf files, print them out and practice them on your own.
Here’s more of what you’ll get in this course:
Technical Basics are the ground floor of your technique. Everything you do depends on their solidity. But don’t forget the ground itself! That’s what the first module is about: building your technical basics on solid ground.
—How to Hold the Guitar So many technical problems and even injuries can result from holding the guitar awkwardly or in an unbalanced way. Even slight adjustments can lead to big improvements in your playing. Revisiting this question step-by-step—with multi-cam videos —will help you discover and fix any blind spots you have in this area.
You don’t just play guitar with your hands, you play it with your entire body. Feeling into how your posture and breathing affect your playing can bring a whole new realm of information to both your technique and your musicality, allowing you to enjoy your practice more and communicate more effectively with others.
—Balancing Awareness and Analysis Over-analyzing, or focusing too strongly on one side of things is a sure way to get stuck. Knowing how to balance “opposites” and letting them inform each other is an important key to mastery that many people struggle with. This course constantly reminds you to do this and shows you how, so your technique can continually grow.
—Balancing Stability and Flexibility If the guitar is not stable in your grasp, you lose grasp of notes, tone, shifts, and more. But if you don’t allow it to move with your body and with the music, your playing gets stiff and careful. Balancing the two extremes is the key to getting both to work well together. This course shows you how to do that.
—4 Points of Contact
—-Finer Points of Holding the Guitar Finding your ideal points of contact, and making all the finer sitting adjustments gives you the freedom to get down to perfecting your technique
—Using the Left Hand to your Advantage Understanding the secrets of how ideal left hand contact with the guitar will keep it from slipping or shaking and give your hand more power for difficult bars and other extended techniques.
—Using Other Guitar Supports This is a demo of alternate guitar supports that can save your back and even improve your expressiveness.
Classical guitarists often focus heavily on developing one hand and leave other to fend for itself. This leads to many untold levels of technical woe. Usually it’s the left hand that gets all the attention, which leaves your tone and articulation to chance. But although the hands are responsible for different tasks, they have more in common than you’d ever assume. Understanding the anatomical principles and musical goals that both hands must abide by equally is a vital way to fix this common blind spot.
—Mixed Musical Roles of the Right Hand and Left Hand Clarifying the basic differences while listing all of the commonalities will give you more control over the sounds that come from your guitar and enrich your expressive options greatly.
—How to get the Most Out of Anatomical Principles
—How to Use Your Wrists Improper use of the wrists in both hands can cause both injury and severe technical limitations. This video shows you the basics of diagnosing and fixing your own wrist issues and getting them working for you rather than against you.
—How to Use Your Knuckles and Your Joints. The hand is incredibly complex, but getting the right balance between how you use your knuckles and your smaller , finger-joints is the key to getting technical power and musical versatility in both hands.
Poise vs. PosingIf you’re just imitating what others are doing, you’ll never be able to trust your hands to do their tasks. This course shows you how to get from the first stage—posing—to the “poise” stage, where both of your hands naturally do what they need to do.
Video 1: How to develop a powerful AND expressive right hand position
Video 2: How to master the essential secrets of right hand position and finger movement: the do’s and don’ts, right angles and wrong angles
Video 3: Understanding all the options for using your fingernails, regardless of how strong or brittle, ideally shaped or poorly shaped they are.
Video 4: A detailed rundown of exactly how to shape and use your fingernails for optimal sound and ease of playing Video 5: How to shape and use your thumbnail
Video 6: A Step-by-step demonstration of shaping a fingernail
Video 7: How to continually refine your nail use as you get more proficient
Video 8: Why a powerful free stroke is so important if you want be able to play any and all classical guitar music like a pro
Video 9: Free Stroke Essentials: How to get ALL the details of free stroke position and finger movement just right
Video 10: Rest Stroke Essentials: How to get the ideal rest stroke sound from your guitar
Video 11: Three Steps to developing control and confidence in your free stroke
Video 12: How do further hone your basic free and rest stroke technique
Video 1: How to get the essential strength and leverage you need to meet your left hand’s many difficult challenges Video 2: How to master the secrets of left hand position and finger movement: the do’s and don’ts, right angles and wrong angles Video 3: How to get the best results from practicing scales, even if it’s just a few minutes a day Video 4: How master shifting up and down the fingerboard by learning to focus on two key things Video 5: How to practice difficult shifts so you can play them by feel without even looking : Shifting Exercises Video 6: How to develop perfect pull-offs with all of your fingers Video 7: What Bruce Lee has to teach you about developing a powerful hammer-on technique Video 8: How to get great hammer-on technique from all of your fingers Video 9: How to master the most frustrating aspect of slur technique–playing slurs while your left hand is holding down chords
Video 1: Why controlling the space between the notes is the most important skill you can develop for clean, expressive playing Video 2: How to use your right hand to ensure perfect, clean shifts and musical transitions Video 3: How to use right hand articulation to get every shift to sound amazingVideo 4: How to further train your hands to articulate perfect shifts Video 5: How to use left hand articulation to further control and shape your musical choices Video 6: How to move seamlessly between chords, without musical glitches and unwanted noises? Video 7: How to coordinate your hands to get great-sounding arpeggios and more complex musical patterns
Full Refund Guarantee:
If find for any reason you are not satisfied with this set of videos, even if it’s just that you can’t stand the color of the carpet that shows up in some of the camera views or dislike my haircut, I’ll refund you in full, no questions asked.
If you use the material here in a consistent and dedicated way, your playing will improve tremendously. Jay Kauffman, December 23, 2013, New York City
“Jay’s approach to teaching is distracting me TO the music and away from the usual din in my head which disconnects me from both my hands and the guitar. So instead of listening to the whirlwind of chopped up thoughts I’m usually having while practicing, which are mostly negative (did that wrong, strings ALWAYS buzz, my hands must be misshapen, shouldn’t be even trying to do this, etc.), I am listening to the guitar — to the strings. The second thing is coming naturally from the first: I am feeling a direct connect between my mind, hands and back and shoulders and what sounds are happening. So I feel in control. “