This course is all about developing great left hand technique on the guitar. The video lectures take you from the basics of sitting and hand position to more advanced concepts and techniques.
The course uses simple, easy-to-follow directions and terms, so there is no complicated jargon that you need to worry about. It is assumed that you have basic guitar literacy, so if your an absolute beginner (you're holding a guitar for the first time), then the course isn't for you for right now.
The course is designed for anyone who wants to improve their technique, whether you've been playing for a short time or your more advanced and play pieces from the classical guitar repertoire. Although I had a classical guitar audience in mind, you can benefit from the lessons in this course no matter what style of music you play.
The course comes with 53 video lectures (51 lesson videos, plus an introduction and conclusion), as well as PDF files of the musical examples written in both standard musical notation and guitar tablature (no note-reading is required). There are PDF files in each lecture, starting at lecture 7, and in the Introduction lecture there are 3 larger documents with all of the musical examples for each of the 3 large sections all in one place. The lectures are organized into 3 large sections, there are 20 lessons in the Basics section, 15 lectures in the Intermediate section, and 16 lectures in the Advanced section. I recommend following the lectures in order, and then you can go back and re-visit as many lectures as many times as you'd like.
This course will answer questions like, where do you place fingers on the fret? How do you play more accurately? How should you position your left hand? How do you do a barre chord without straining your left hand? What is the meaning of life? (Ok, maybe not that last one).
All you'll need is a computer, tablet, or mobile device and your guitar, and you'll be good to go. Some people find it helpful to print out the musical examples and keep it nearby, so find what works best for you. You'll find this course is a good fit for you if already play guitar at least a little bit and you want to increase the accuracy, control, and coordination of your left hand and become a better guitar player.
In this lecture you'll learn about some basic principles of left hand technique and formation. This is important because if you are playing with bad positioning or formation, it will be hard to develop really good left hand technique. Even if you've been playing a while it would be good to take a look at this video on left hand position.
This lecture is going to start with the opposite of playing clearly (it's very zen). A good thing to start with is to put your finger on the string and very gradually add pressure until you have a clear note. Once you have a clear sounding note, make sure to stop adding pressure with the left hand finger. A lot of left hand problems can be traced back to pressing too hard. At the time that I'm writing this, I just played an hour-long recital a couple of days, and my left hand didn't feel fatigued at all because one thing that I've worked on is making sure that I'm not pressing too hard with the left-hand fingers while I'm playing.
Where you position your left-hand fingers on the frets is really important because you'll get a clearer sound with less effort if you place your left hand fingers in the right place. This lecture will help you take a lot of struggle and frustration out of your guitar playing by putting your left hand fingers in the best specific place.
After thinking it about, I purposefully decided not to include a PDF file with this lecture because I don't want you to follow along and try to just get the notes, the point isn't the notes so much as it is to develop the technique. Don't worry too much about playing in the specific order, if you focus on the technique, you'll be getting the most out of the course.
This lecture will focus on changing strings, going towards the ceiling. The way the guitar is set up has the strings that sound lowest closest to the ceiling, so "going down" means that you will actually need to reach against gravity and go towards the ceiling. (or the sky if you're practicing outside, something you have a small window of time to do in Chicago).
In this lecture you'll learn to play a short one-octave scale starting on the 3rd string (G) and going to the high E string on the 3rd fret. You'll be putting the skills from the last couple of lectures to use, so make sure to go nice and slow and easy at first. The goal is to have each finger only move in the direction it needs to go.
- You'll just need a guitar and way to watch the video lectures. A guitar foot-rest is recommended but not required, in the beginning of the course you'll learn about classical guitar sitting position.