I want to learn how to play classical guitar, where should I start from?

I already play electric guitar, and I’m familiar with some techniques. I also want to start and learn the classical guitar. I know it’s an instrument that requires a teacher, most of the time, but I really can’t get one. I have courses that will help me improve my reading music skills, and music theory, but I really don’t know how should I go for the classical guitar. Is it really impossible to do on a professional level without a teacher?

Chosen Answer:

With classical guitar, you start with just a few open chords, and it’s right-hand finger patterns from there.
Christopher Parkening has some very good instructional books out. You should pick up one of them.

There are definitely benefits to having a teacher.
Right off the bat, you have to decide what to learn that will help you to progress. You probably learn a lot of little bs stuff that doesn’t take you to where you want to be. In the meantime, you’re acquiring a bit of knowledge, but still, educating yourself to the point where you’re able to make informed decisions on such matters is going to take a bit of time. The teacher already knows all that stuff, and you’re not going to have that wasted time.
A good teacher knows what you need to learn next in order to progress, and will continue to challenge you– to a point. In the meantime, you receive instruction on repertoire. You don’t have long periods when you’re not learning any new material.
Those are the biggest reasons why someone with a teacher will progress faster– at first– on an instrument. But it is in the nature of human relationships that all must terminate at some point.
That’s not to say that people with a teacher are better guitarists. A teacher can’t make someone good. A teacher is really just demonstrating a skill. Acquiring the skill requires activity on the part of the student.
And here, I just want to say that playing slow is better than playing sloppy. If you come across something that you can’t pick up right away, slow it down until you can– but don’t play it sloppy. That’s bad. It’s one of those invasive habits.

Bottom line: There will come a time when you require a teacher. With classical guitar, I can say this for a definite fact. When that time is depends on you. There’s a lot that you can learn on your own, but then it will be more difficult to find someone that can teach you.
by: N
on: 23rd October 10

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6 Responses to I want to learn how to play classical guitar, where should I start from?

  1. Mikey, just Mikey says:

    >> Is it really impossible to do on a professional level without a teacher?<< Yes, I think so. There's just too much technique that's unique to classical guitar that you need to shown how to do. If you're serious about learning classical you're going to need to get lessons.

  2. N says:

    With classical guitar, you start with just a few open chords, and it’s right-hand finger patterns from there.
    Christopher Parkening has some very good instructional books out. You should pick up one of them.

    There are definitely benefits to having a teacher.
    Right off the bat, you have to decide what to learn that will help you to progress. You probably learn a lot of little bs stuff that doesn’t take you to where you want to be. In the meantime, you’re acquiring a bit of knowledge, but still, educating yourself to the point where you’re able to make informed decisions on such matters is going to take a bit of time. The teacher already knows all that stuff, and you’re not going to have that wasted time.
    A good teacher knows what you need to learn next in order to progress, and will continue to challenge you– to a point. In the meantime, you receive instruction on repertoire. You don’t have long periods when you’re not learning any new material.
    Those are the biggest reasons why someone with a teacher will progress faster– at first– on an instrument. But it is in the nature of human relationships that all must terminate at some point.
    That’s not to say that people with a teacher are better guitarists. A teacher can’t make someone good. A teacher is really just demonstrating a skill. Acquiring the skill requires activity on the part of the student.
    And here, I just want to say that playing slow is better than playing sloppy. If you come across something that you can’t pick up right away, slow it down until you can– but don’t play it sloppy. That’s bad. It’s one of those invasive habits.

    Bottom line: There will come a time when you require a teacher. With classical guitar, I can say this for a definite fact. When that time is depends on you. There’s a lot that you can learn on your own, but then it will be more difficult to find someone that can teach you.

  3. Kab says:

    The odds of making it to a professional level are not good even with a teacher. Without a teacher your odds are much much worse.
    You can fool around using some of the books used by teachers, for long enough to see if it is what you want to do (3 months) after that get a teacher or give up on the pro part.

  4. Brian says:

    A good way to start learning the classical guitar can be to get an online teacher. There are some resources online that offer free lessons to check out their courses. This is a very helpfull way to start off.
    To get to a professional level, in my opinion a “real” teacher would be necessary, because one can actually see your technique and identify bad habits.

  5. Tinpanallycat says:

    You WILL need a teacher because you WILL have to UNLEARN all the sloppy playing and bad habits you have gotten by playing electric guitar.

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