Book – The Beginner Classical Guitar Method: Master Classical Guitar Technique, Repertoire and Musicality
Author – Ross Trotier
As described by the author, The Beginner Classical Guitar Method is a clear, concise guide to perfecting classical guitar technique. Included are helpful warm-up exercises, including melodies and arpeggio work-outs.
After working on technique, readers are guided through a series of etudes, examples illustrating specific techniques and over 30 complete pieces to play.
What I liked about the book?
The book is structured nicely and contains lots of really interesting classical pieces. The problem with many classical study books I have found is that the repertoire is either full of boring pieces that really don`t do a lot for me (usually it`s the super simple pieces) and/or they are totally unrecognisable pieces.
Now, this book isn`t full of totally recognisable pieces but the choices are great. They are generally interesting to listen to which is key.
I like how the book builds as it goes along too. The early chapters start off with basic technique and arpeggios before later building up to more challenging pieces using techniques such as grace notes, parallel intervals and tremolo picking.
Is there an audio cd and is it any good?
There is a 74 track downloadable mp3 collection which sounds great and is well recorded. Some of the early pieces are very short and could possibly do with some repeats and slower versions to play along with.
What I don`t like about the book?
The biggest problem with this book is that it is all about repertoire and there is hardly anything on technique. Good technique is absolutely paramount to fingerpicking and classical guitar.
For example, tremolo is a very difficult skill to learn and do well. If your technique is not precise from the off, then, when you try to increase speed you will struggle, and as you go faster you will probably learn bad habits.
This is a major flaw with the book and it seems to be something the author has neglected.
Although the repertoire side of the book and the progressive nature of it is excellent, the lack of technical details means it loses marks.
If you already have great classical technique, are learning from a good quality online resource or have a great classical teacher, this book will aid you, but if not, beware of learning the materials without learning proper fingerpicking technique.