My online technique course, Basic Classical Guitar Mastery, is going to be discounted for the rest of September. I’m bringing it down from
$95 to $55. Over the next week I’ll be sharing a short series of these videos from the course with you for free.
Video Number Five is on the dreaded topic of fingernails, the most vexing issue many guitarists (those 99-percent without miraculously hardy, ideally-shaped and quick-growing nails) have to deal with. This is a series of excerpts from a longer video in which I give further pointers about using and shaping the nails. It’s a difficult topic to be definitive about, since there are so many varieties of nail, hand shape, playing style, and there are a number of adamant, yet conflicting viewpoints on this topic floating around as well. In my videos I talk more about what the parameters are, the elements that you need to know about so you can play and experiment with your own nails.
The course is over 40 videos long, It’s designed to rebuild and refine your basic technique from the ground up. If you’re a beginner, then much of the material will serve to set you up on the right track. It clearly demonstrates and explains the all of the concepts most important to playing well. The more advanced videos and concepts will continue to help you over time as you get better and better.
For more intermediate players, this course could still be helpful. Many fairly good players have certain blind spots with hold them back. In my experience insufficiently mastered technical basics account for so many of the mistakes classical guitar students make. Improving your mastery of the basics, and knowing how to practice and hone the them—and identifying when you need to do this–are prerequisites for solving more advanced technical challenges. This course walks you through this in detail.
How and why did I make this series?
I originally started making these videos as supplementary material for a rather ambitious book project, Conquering Technical Hurdles. That book grew a bit out of hand and I plan on finishing when the circumstances are right. Much of the research into both classical guitar technique and the science of learning and mastery got poured into the principles I emphasize in these videos. So the videos are meant to supplement the book’s more complete goal, which is to provide my detailed blueprint for how to move all of your playing from survival to mastery, whether it’s one specific technique or your overall technique, one piece of repertoire, or your overall ability to learn repertoire.
The book and the video course are also the result of a process I was going through, in which I had to revisit my own technique out of necessity,and learn a more holistic and embodied approach to playing. This was due to a some health challenges that interrupted my career, all of them connected to my having type 1 diabetes for nearly 4 decades: These were a serious back injury after a seizure, and a series of hand operations for trigger finger, which is a frequent complication among long-time diabetics.
These never completely stopped me from playing but they hampered my ability to play advanced repertoire, and put my career as a performer on hiatus.
Now I’m playing better than ever and this is in many ways the direct result of my using some of the hard-discovered principles which I share in these videos.