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Classical Guitar Players (Folk)

GUEST,Tony 03 Feb 07 - 11:20 AM
NormanD 03 Feb 07 - 11:26 AM
Deckman 03 Feb 07 - 11:26 AM
John MacKenzie 03 Feb 07 - 11:57 AM
Tim theTwangler 03 Feb 07 - 12:17 PM
kendall 03 Feb 07 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 03 Feb 07 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin 03 Feb 07 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Jeff 03 Feb 07 - 02:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Feb 07 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 03 Feb 07 - 04:53 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 03 Feb 07 - 05:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Feb 07 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,Guest. 03 Feb 07 - 06:19 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 03 Feb 07 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,Tony 04 Feb 07 - 06:05 AM
Don Firth 04 Feb 07 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,Captain Colin 04 Feb 07 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Johnmc 04 Feb 07 - 03:49 PM
bubblyrat 04 Feb 07 - 06:22 PM
Grab 05 Feb 07 - 12:14 PM
Strollin' Johnny 05 Feb 07 - 12:16 PM
Beer 05 Feb 07 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Roger 08 Feb 07 - 01:34 PM
Don Firth 08 Feb 07 - 01:58 PM
Mark Ross 08 Feb 07 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,Mike Miller 08 Feb 07 - 11:10 PM
GUEST,chris 09 Feb 07 - 04:24 AM
Mark Ross 09 Feb 07 - 11:46 AM
DADGBE 09 Feb 07 - 06:19 PM
Lanfranc 09 Feb 07 - 07:09 PM
Don Firth 09 Feb 07 - 09:06 PM
GUEST,Mike Miller 09 Feb 07 - 10:26 PM
Folk Form # 1 10 Feb 07 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Dave of Mawkin 11 Feb 07 - 05:17 AM
Duke 11 Feb 07 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,gerry 10 Nov 07 - 12:27 PM
Brendy 10 Nov 07 - 12:32 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Nov 07 - 01:13 PM
C. Ham 10 Nov 07 - 01:20 PM
redsnapper 10 Nov 07 - 02:12 PM
eddie1 11 Nov 07 - 12:42 PM
redsnapper 11 Nov 07 - 01:03 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Nov 07 - 03:10 PM
redsnapper 11 Nov 07 - 03:24 PM
PoppaGator 12 Nov 07 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,sparticus 12 Nov 07 - 03:11 PM
DeeRod 12 Nov 07 - 04:57 PM
GUEST 29 Jun 08 - 09:05 PM
Valmai Goodyear 30 Jun 08 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 30 Jun 08 - 02:02 PM
Don Firth 30 Jun 08 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 30 Jun 08 - 03:53 PM
PoppaGator 30 Jun 08 - 04:04 PM
M.Ted 30 Jun 08 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 30 Jun 08 - 04:52 PM
PoppaGator 30 Jun 08 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 30 Jun 08 - 05:18 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Jun 08 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 30 Jun 08 - 06:40 PM
Don Firth 30 Jun 08 - 07:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Jun 08 - 07:19 PM
PoppaGator 01 Jul 08 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 01 Jul 08 - 12:51 PM
Don Firth 01 Jul 08 - 04:49 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Jul 08 - 06:35 PM
PoppaGator 02 Jul 08 - 04:40 PM
Don Firth 02 Jul 08 - 08:29 PM
Piers Plowman 03 Jul 08 - 02:57 AM
Don Firth 03 Jul 08 - 04:31 PM
bankley 03 Jul 08 - 04:57 PM
Piers Plowman 04 Jul 08 - 02:41 AM
Don Firth 04 Jul 08 - 01:13 PM
Stringsinger 05 Jul 08 - 01:13 PM
Uncle Phil 05 Jul 08 - 05:10 PM
Piers Plowman 06 Jul 08 - 02:12 PM
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Subject: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 11:20 AM

Are there any professional guitarists out there who use a Classical style instrument?


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: NormanD
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 11:26 AM

Yes, but I wouldn't call myself a professional.

what are you looking for?


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Deckman
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 11:26 AM

Yes, I do. Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 11:57 AM

Dave Goulder is an very good classical guitarist and song writer.
G ¦¬]


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 12:17 PM

Mick Peirce told me he was quite a good guitar player.
LOL


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: kendall
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 12:41 PM

Gordon Bok
Paul Stookey


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 12:54 PM

Graham Pratt


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Captain Colin
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 12:55 PM

Duck Baker uses a flamenco guitar.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Jeff
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 02:07 PM

Michael Johnson


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 02:09 PM

I was goin to say Dave Goulder too. And for his day job he mends stone walls and shows people how it's done. Then he writes songs about it.

That's what I call a well balanced way of life.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 04:53 PM

Doesn't Leon Rosselson use a classical guitar? And didn't Cyril Tawney use one, too?


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 05:21 PM

Steve Tilston uses one sometimes too, and Davey Graham was playing one the last time I saw him (some years ago).

TtT - I did use a classical guitar for folk music for most of my younger life, but these days I tend to use it only for classical music - I've used the Lowden for folk music for a long time now.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 05:29 PM

There Willie Nelson of course. Even if it has a hole worn through the soundboard.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Guest.
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 06:19 PM

Jake Thackrey never used anything else. Buster Jones uses a classical, also, sometimes, Jerry Reid


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 03 Feb 07 - 09:15 PM

Earl Klugh and Guy VanDuser play nylon pretty much exclusively. Chet Atkins played both steel-string and nylon.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 06:05 AM

Thanks to all who've responded so far. The reason I started this thread is that I've come across a Spanish inventor who's used computer technology to redesign the strutting and bracing of the classical guitar. The instrument he's come up with has absolutely amazing projection and tonal balance. And it's incredibly LOUD! I'd like a better player than me to have a look at this instrument and assess it from a performers point of view.

Is there anyone out there who'd be willing to test it out for me? I'm considering acting as the importer/sales agent for these instruments, but I'd like some independant feedback first. I'm in the East Midlands, England, but would be prepared to travel anywhere in the UK.

Please note that I'm NOT trying to sell! I really just want some opinions on the guitar.

Tony


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 12:40 PM

I've been using classic guitars since 1955 when I first started studying classic guitar (I had already been singing folks songs since 1952), and I guess you could say I am (or at least, was) a professional because I made my living almost entirely from performing, with a little guitar teaching on the side, for over twelve years.

I would be interested in hearing more about this guitar. Can you indicate any web sites that have information about it?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Captain Colin
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 01:05 PM

Interesting, but I'd approach it with some scepticism Tony- people are always claiming to have discovered the "magic formula" (especially by computer)- but everything's been tried and truth is, there isn't one- there is an optimum after which what you gain in one area you lose in another, generally speaking. This may interest you http://www.stenzel-guitars.de/english/articles/trad.vs.modern.pdf


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Johnmc
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 03:49 PM

Can one include Leonard Cohen?


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: bubblyrat
Date: 04 Feb 07 - 06:22 PM

The Corries

The MacCalmans

John Tams

Ronnie Drew (Dubliners )

Julie Felix ???

Alex Campbell ( sometimes)


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Grab
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 12:14 PM

Tony, how's about talking to professional classical guitarists? If you're in the Midlands, there's the Stafford Classic Guitar Centre which is pretty good. Chuck one in their direction and see what comes back in the way of feedback.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 12:16 PM

The Scottish guy whose name escapes me but he writes songs about whisky and also (I think) wrote 'When She Wears Black Clothes'. Oh, and he's good.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Beer
Date: 05 Feb 07 - 03:54 PM

Andre Thibault from the group "Jou Tou" out of Vancouver.
Beer (Adrien)


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 01:34 PM

I was recomended to have a look at this site. Very good but as my interest is more towards the classical can anyone point me in the direction of a classical version of Mudcat please.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 01:58 PM

These sites look promising:

http://www.e-borneo.com/ab/cgforum.html

http://www.classicalguitar.nl/

I'm not all that familiar with them myself, but I'm going to check them out.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 03:57 PM

Glenn Ohrlin plays a nylon string, in fact when I met him 30 years ago he was using a flamenco guitar with friction pegs!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Mike Miller
Date: 08 Feb 07 - 11:10 PM

Back in the day (my day), many, if not most, folksingers played classical guitars. Burl Ives and his accompanist, Millard Thomas, played classical, So did Theo Bikel, Fred Hellerman (of The Weavers), John Stauber, Harry Belafonte (before Millard Thomas started playing for him), Richard Dyer-Bennet, Will Holt, Will Geer, Oscar Brand, Ed McCurdy, Cynthia Gooding, Martha Schlamme, Win Strake and Sam Hinton. Back then, the only ones who played steel strings were the blues singers and the Country and Western singers. Even the 12 string players were blues based (Leadbelly, Gary Davis).
I didn't own a flat top steel until 1960. We were, mostly, into Spanish and Mexican because we couldn't afford the really good German made instruments. American classicals were not as highly regarded. Martin and Gibson seemed to dominate the sttel string market but, except for the occasional well made Gibson C-1 (I still have mine), Americal didn't really get competative until Guild came out with their Mark series. This is not to say that there were not fine, inexpensive American Nylons. Harmony made the 910 and the 173 models that were cheap, durable and easy to play, easily worth every penny they cost. But, for performance, everyone wanted a C-1 or a Mark III. They say that Burl Ives played a Hauser but he was rich and, beside, I think it was just a legend.

                        Mike


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 04:24 AM

Hi
I have played the guitar Tony is talking about and felt that its 'projection' would be useful in an acoustic club for someone who prefered to play a classical style guitar but still wanted decent volume. The tone wasn't too bad either
chris


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 11:46 AM

I got to play Burl Ives's Hauser a couple of years ago. It was left to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. I was there doing research and spotted a gutiar case sitting in a corner
off to the side and got permission to check it out. Nice axe, don't know who gets to play it much, but at least it hasn't ended up on the vintage instrument market.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: DADGBE
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 06:19 PM

Like Mike Miller, my first guitar was classical. So was my first guitar training. While I drove my teachers to fury by my love of folk music, the lessons of classical technique have served me well ever since.

In those days, as now, there was a persistant bias among classical players against any other style of music. However, the technical issues addressed by classical training can improve any player's abilities. Just don't believe that twaddle about 'the only correct technique'.

Other persistant myths about classical guitars such as they're easier to play and quieter than steel stringed instruments are easily debunked by my Jose Ramirez A-1 which is both louder and more difficult to play than my Martin D-28.

Good luck,
Ray Frank


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Lanfranc
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 07:09 PM

I have a rather good 1968 Yairi classical, but don't play it very often and usually to accompany Leonard Cohen or Peter, Paul and Mary songs.

Al Stewart used to play classical in the old Bunjies days and I've often wondered if he played any of the lead classical breaks on the "Year of the Cat" album.

As has been said, numerous technical efforts have been made to improve the volume of the nylon-strung guitar over the years, but I personally reckon it has more to do with the technique of the player than the technicalities of the instrument. I once saw John Williams fill the Albert Hall with the sound of his classical guitar with no apparent amplification.

Alan


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 09:06 PM

"In those days, as now, there was a persistant bias among classical players against any other style of music."

I got that a lot when I was at the University of Washington School of Music. A couple of my profs knew what I was all about and backed me all the way, but from some profs and students both, I got a lot of "When are you going to stop messing around with that cowboy music and get serious?" I just smiled sweetly and went my own way.

But I was pretty lucky with my first classic guitar teacher, a fellow with the oddly rural name of Joe Farmer. Joe played both classic and jazz, and did a little recording studio work as well. He didn't do folk music himself, but he was familiar with Richard Dyer-Bennet, he had heard a lot of Pete Seeger, and it seems that in the very early 50s, Ed McCurdy had passed through Seattle, and he and Joe spent quite a bit of time together. So Joe kept me plugging away on classic technique, but he knew what I was all about. Good teacher.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Mike Miller
Date: 09 Feb 07 - 10:26 PM

Of course, I should have included Ray Frank among the good folkies who strummed nylon. (By the way, Ray, I lost your number. E-mail me at musicmic@peoplepc.com).
Gordon Bok is anothet old friend who plays nylon. What the hell ever happened to him?


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 10 Feb 07 - 01:38 PM

I don't know about the type of guitar he plays, but after Pentangle broke up, John Renbourne studied Classical Guitar at University.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Dave of Mawkin
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 05:17 AM

Has anyone mentioned
Tim Edey? he plays a classical..


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Duke
Date: 11 Feb 07 - 11:12 AM

I've owned a couple of classical guitars over the years. They come in handy for certain song arrangements. I don't have one at the moment and must say I miss not having one.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,gerry
Date: 10 Nov 07 - 12:27 PM

Well well well...its all about the kind of guitar you play, in fact if I ve well understood ! Hauser, Yamaha, Yairi...the strings....the stool on which to seat down....the kind of trousers guitar players should wear to sound good, maybe? what about chatting about music???he?? Scarlatti,Bach, Sor, Segovia,Scriabin...how interpretation should be?? Sorry guys..Im not a guitar collector! Music is about something else...im not on the right forum...Gerry


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Brendy
Date: 10 Nov 07 - 12:32 PM

I use a Cort Classical for a good few songs during my set, in various tunings and I put Composites on it.
If you fancy getting one of those guitars as far as Denmark, I'll certainly give it a couple of road tests....

B.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Nov 07 - 01:13 PM

Gastove


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: C. Ham
Date: 10 Nov 07 - 01:20 PM

In the Montreal folk scene when I was young, Tex Konig and Jesse Winchester played classical-style nylon-string guitars.

Tex played his classical Martin until he died and when I saw Jesse less than a year ago he was still playing nylon strings. And very beautifully too.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: redsnapper
Date: 10 Nov 07 - 02:12 PM

I mostly use a steel string for gigs and mostly use a classical for playing for myself.

RS


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: eddie1
Date: 11 Nov 07 - 12:42 PM

Strollin Johnny!
"The Scottish guy whose name escapes me but he writes songs about whisky " was Robin Laing and he is an excellent guitarist.

Someone did mention The McCalmans above - I don't think they ever used nylon strung guitars.

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: redsnapper
Date: 11 Nov 07 - 01:03 PM

There was a television programme on BBC Scotland this week hosted by Phil Cunningham and the McCalmans were featured. It clearly showed both of them playing nylon strung guitars, so they clearly did... at least in their earlier days.

RS


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Nov 07 - 03:10 PM

Didn't Davy Graham play on for a while at least?


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: redsnapper
Date: 11 Nov 07 - 03:24 PM

Sorry... on reflection that was The Corries so maybe you're right Eddie (senior moment on my part!)

RS


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 12 Nov 07 - 02:12 PM

McGrath mentioned Willie Nelson. I might add that Willie plays his beat-up old nylon-string guitar with a FLATPICK, resulting in a very recognizable, characteristic sound.

Use of a pick of any kind is, of course, completely outside the boundaries of "correct," conventional classical technique. But of course, Willie is not interested in that, only in playing his own music on his chosen instrument ~ and who can deny him that right?


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,sparticus
Date: 12 Nov 07 - 03:11 PM

Tim Edey. Absolutely stunning. He's definately done a deal at the crossroads!


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: DeeRod
Date: 12 Nov 07 - 04:57 PM

Just a mention that my baby, 1964 Martin 0016C, played usually with thumpick, has been faithful and true all these years. She's still bright and loud enough for anything I do (which has included accompanying an Irish accordian player-- kathump, kathump!). It's also gotten around, having been played at a party by Theodore Bikel and in a pub by Liam Clancy.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 09:05 PM

Yes. Actually, I just started my lessons weeks ago. Fender's Blues Junior is the best guitar amps. Find out why. http://fenderbluesjunioramps.com


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 06:56 AM

Well, we've got an all-day workshop on Scottish music for guitar with Frank McLaughlin at the Lewes Arms on Saturday 19th. July. In the evening Frank performs at the Lewes Arms Folk Club with the excellent singer Mick West.

(Frank's workshop will actually be held at the Royal Oak in Lewes as Mick is doing a simultaneous workshop on Scottish song at the Lewes Arms during the day.)

Lewes Arms Workshop No 96
FRANK McLAUGHLIN
SCOTTISH GUITAR WORKSHOP
Places £25
Saturday 19th. July 2008
10.45 a.m.- 4.45 p.m.
The Royal Oak, Station Street, Lewes,
East Sussex BN7 2DA
        
        A first class guitarist & piper, Frank (www.myspace.com/frankmclaughlin) has worked with many top musicians on the Scottish scene. He is regularly in demand as a session player and is an experienced tutor. He works with virtuoso fiddle player Stewart Hardy, is a member of the Mick West Band and performs as duo with singer Gillian MacDonald.
The workshop will cover a range of techniques used in the playing & accompanying of both traditional tunes & songs; exploring ideas of using rhythm & chord voicing to create interesting parts; finger picking in standard & alternative tunings; flat picking; an approach to accompanying songs. Music & guitar tab available for all pieces.
                
IN THE EVENING MICK WEST & FRANK McLAUGHLIN
PERFORM AT THE LEWES ARMS FOLK CLUB
(£6; advance tickets available
from address at end of this form)
**************************************

FRANK McLAUGHLIN
SCOTTISH GUITAR WORKSHOP

Saturday 19th. July 2008
Provisional Timetable

10.45   Registration & coffee; order lunch (refreshments not included)

11.00   Flat-picking; exploring rhythms (jigs & reels) & chord voicing to build a dynamic guitar part

12.30         Lunch

13.30        Creating a part for song accompaniment (dropped D). finger picking & rhythmic examples using songs from the Scottish tradition.


15.15        Tea/coffee break

15.30        Uses of alternative tunings (DADGAD and C add 2) , accompanying & playing the melody.

16.45        Finish

N.B. Booking is recommended as numbers are limited. Music will be sent in advance
& maps & accommodation lists on request.

Lewes Arms Folk Club
c/o 20, St. John's Terrace, LEWES,
East Sussex BN7 2DL
Tel. (01273) 476757
e-mail: valmaigoodyear@aol.com
Website: www.lewesarmsfolkclub.org   

**************************************************

FRANK McLAUGHLIN
SCOTTISH GUITAR WORKSHOP
Saturday 19th. July 2008

BOOKING FORM
I enclose a cheque for £25.00 for workshop fees (refreshments not included).

Name:

Address:





No. of tickets for evening performance
(£6 each, include SAE for these):

Telephone:

E-mail address:

Tick for map:      Tick for accommodation list:

Please make cheques payable to Lewes Arms Folk Club and send with this booking form to: Valmai Goodyear, 20, St. John's Terrace,
LEWES, East Sussex BN7 2DL

Tel. (01273) 476757
e-mail: valmaigoodyear@aol.com
Website: www.lewesarmsfolkclub.org


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 02:02 PM

In the early sixties, one of the hottest acts around was the dynamic duo of Bud & Travis. Bud Dashiell and Travis Edmonson both played classical guitars. I have heard that Travis played a Goya, but have not confirmed it. They were active in the thick of the folk craze of the time, but were very versatile and not always "folk."

Their repertoire ranged from folk to show tunes to ballads (many composed by Travis). Their greatest legacy may be the introduction of the music of northern Mexico, such as the "bolero" form (Rayito de Luna and others) to American audiences. Their Latin Album, the last they made together, is a celebration of Latin American music, with beautiful guitar work and elegant harmonies. When you heard them, you would not believe it was two "gringos" performing. They were that good.

Travis is still with us, in Phoenix, Arizona, though he is unable to play due to physical disabilities. Bud died of a brain tumor some years ago, in Los Angeles, where he taught guitar. Their albums have been re-released by Travis on CD. The collection includes much previously unreleased material. I'm not selling for him - I just bought several to replace old vinyl LP's that were going south.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 02:10 PM

I've noticed that when I google "classic guitar" or "classical guitar," in addition to what I'm looking for, I get a number of hits having to do with such things as "the 'classic' Fender Stratocaster" and such. This is a very broad usage of the word "classic," and it seems that a few people, including "GUEST" just above, have made this assumption about what constitutes a "classic" guitar.

A classic guitar, in the way the word "classic" is usually meant in this context, is an acoustic flat-top guitar with a flat fingerboard 2 inches wide at the nut, a slotted headstock, and which is strung with nylon strings. Like almost any musical instrument, one can play all kinds of music on a classic guitar, but its primary usage is for playing classical music (works of such composers as Bach, Tarrega, Sor, Carulli, lute transcriptions, etc.). It is an excellent instrument for song accompaniment, and as indicated in this thread, many singers of folk songs prefer to use a classic guitar.

A typical classic guitar.

I realize, of course, that I am fighting a losing battle against the tendency to fuzz out the commonly agreed upon (dictionary) definitions of various words to make them mean anything one wants them to mean.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 03:53 PM

When those of us of a certain age hear "Classical" or "Concert Classical" guitars, we expect the discussion to be about instruments such as Don Firth describes, above, better than I could. The work of master luthiers creates the very best of these, evoking thoughts of violin makers like Stradivarius.   

Whether the discussion is about classic instruments or classic cars, however, I suppose the usage is now in the hands of those younger folks who see my old 1970 Chevy as "Vintage Classic." Anything may be of a certain vintage and, owing to model changes, etc., no longer available new. That doesn't make it a classic, any more than merely being older makes an item somehow better; i.e., collectible. If that were the case, some of us would be "going platinum" by now. The very word "classic" is so overused and misused that it is not surprising that a fairly recent issue of a Fender or Gibson electric makes someone's "classic" list.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 04:04 PM

I generally think of the nylon-string 12-fret wide-fingerboard guitar as "classical" as opposed to "classic," which often means nothing more than "historically notable."

(Just as the music of Bach et al is called "classical music," not "classic music.")

Of course, not everyone else makes the same fine distinctions that I do, so confusion is inevitable.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: M.Ted
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 04:50 PM

In case you numbskulls didn't get it--Don's point about the misconstruction of terms is really played out in this thread--

The title is an oxymoron: Classical guitar player (Folk), because it is an article of faith here that classical music and folk music are as antithetical as music forms can be--

And the question is preciously close to a tautology, since the answer to:"Are there any professional guitarists out there who use a Classical style instrument?"
is that all professional classical guitarists, by definition, play classical -style instruments-

I am not being nitpicky, because, bottom line, anyone who decides to import and classical guitars and doesn't know that classical guitarists play classical guitars, and folk music is not classical music is likely to lose his shirt, and most of the rest of his clothing--not to worry, though guest,Tony, the unsold guitars can be used to good effect in the manner of fig leaves--


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 04:52 PM

PoppaGator:

As someone who loves language and often cringes at its misuse by people who should know better, I second your comments. In truth, both words, classic and classical, are too frequently misapplied and overused.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 05:06 PM

How 'bout this as a more correct thread title

"Folk-Musician Players of Classical Guitars"

?

Even though there has been a lot of discussion about correct and incorrect usage, and possible confusion, I think that just about everyone ~ except the GUEST who refreshed this old thread for us by talking about his Fender amplifier ~ has understood what we're trying to discuss.

My own first guitar, purchased in 1963 when I was under the spell of the "Folk Scare," was a nylon-string classical-type instrument. And I was hardly alone; plenty of folkies, new and old, have always played these instruments.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 05:18 PM

Surely, one can play any style of music on a classical guitar. There is at least one well-known Irish player who plays terrific celtic rhythm guitar using a classical guitar. The violin was surely developed to play classical music and, had other types of violins been subsequentialy been developed, might very well have been referred to as "classical violin". The classical guitar is, of course, used to play a lot of ethnic Latin-American music, and a number of modern flamenco guitarists use classical guitars in preference to flamenco guitars(which have a different construction).


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 06:09 PM

Not really - if you use you thumb on your fretting hand, its quite diffiult on a classical model. I play a nylon strung guitar sometimes. i got the one that Katie Melua uses. Forgotten the name of it, it was about £250
I'm not sure if it counts as classical, as it has a cutaway and an electro pickup system.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 06:40 PM

When I say "any kind of music", I mean that the classical guitar - which in the UK was/is also called the Spanish guitar - can be used to play a wide range of music; just like "the piano" which was designed to play classical music.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 07:17 PM

Exactly so, tunesmith. A quick survey of the field shows the classical guitar being used for all kinds of music in addition to classical. It's as versatile as the piano.

When I first started playing the "classic" guitar (circa 1955), people with more that just a passing acquaintance with guitars knew what you meant by "classic guitar." Technique books for the instrument (e.g., Classic Guitar Technique Vol. I, Vol. II, etc., by Aaron Shearer, and numerous others with such titles as How to Play the Classic Guitar) used that designation. Despite this widespread usage, I believe PoppaGator's post of 30 Jun 08 - 04:04 p.m. speaks to the point if on wishes to avoid confusion. "Classic" does seem to be a fairly broad term in its application. This is why, within recent years, I have taken to using the term "classical" when referring to the acoustic, wide-necked, nylon-strung guitar. But that still doesn't always solve the problem.

As to the matter of the wide neck making fretting strings with the left thumb difficult, this is a whole different discussion, and it doesn't remove the classic(al) guitar from being perfectly usable as a folk instrument.

Use of the left thumb to fret bass strings is not an ordained part of what might be called "folk technique." There are all kinds of "folk techniques." I have been playing folk song accompaniments on a classical guitar since the aforementioned 1955 and I've never had an occasion when I needed to use my left thumb to fret a string. But since I use the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers of my right hand, I rarely play full 6-string chords. In the meantime, my left-hand fingers have room to operate without tripping over each other.

Others' mileage may vary.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Jun 08 - 07:19 PM

The term "Spanish guitar" is a bit confusing here, since it is also used to refer to flamenco guitars, which have a different construction and sound from "classical" guitars.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 12:10 PM

Anyone who has made a serious study of classical guitar technique is likely to have become adept enough at barre-chording not to use that good old "hooking the thumb over" left-hand technique.

You get the strongest left-finger pressure and the longest reach by keeping your thumb positioned pretty much at the center of the neck. This is not particularly intuitive, but if you study and practice and drill as a classical guitar student/player, this left-hand positioning should become second nature, and you'd never want to grab the neck with your fist is such a way that your thumb would ever get anywhere near a place where it could fret a sring.

There are a few riffs in a few pieces in the folk/blues/ragtime repertoire that require the use of the left thumb on the fingerboard if you're trying to play exactly like the originator, e.g., Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Blake, etc. But of course, not everyone desires to play those songs, or at least not in precisely that style. A skilled practitioner of classical technique can play a whole lot of very tricky stuff, and could probably come up with an alternative way to play most of Blake's and Davis's most difficult passages, or at least closely approximate them.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 12:51 PM

When playing the "A" section(the main theme) of Davy Graham's "Angi", I don't use the left hand thumb to play the 6th string 1st fret - as would Davy(I think) or Bert Jansch. This is undoutedly because I use a classical guitar with a widish neck. However, using this technique does open up moves that a "thumb over" player might not get in to.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 04:49 PM

Actually, there isn't a great deal of difference between classical and flamenco guitars. Over the years I've had—ye gods!—a total of seven classic guitars and three flamenco guitars. And three travel guitars.

[It isn't that I'm hard on guitars;   part of it is that I kept "trading up." Another part is that I usually kept two guitars at any given time:   one "party guitar" to use when I didn't know how safe it might be (possibility of theft, someone tripping and spilling a beer through the soundhole, etc.) and a very good guitar to use for concerts and such.]

A flamenco guitar is basically a classic guitar with a few small differences. Both use a fan-bracing system under the soundboard, but on a flamenco guitar, the bracing may be a bit lighter. And the back and sides are made of cypress rather that rosewood or other dark, hard woods. The nut and bridge are set up so the strings are a bit closer to the fingerboard. A slight "fret-buzz" is characteristic of the flamenco sound, and this also facilitates fast scale work. Other that that, the details of construction are identical.

Initially, the flamenco guitar was a classic guitar that was inexpensive enough for a gypsy guitarist to afford, and Spanish cypress is a lot cheaper than rosewood. Also, boring six holes in the headstock and sticking straight pegs into them was a lot cheaper than geared tuning machines. It turned out that cypress, compared to rosewood, produced a punchier sound, capable of cutting through the sounds of the singers and dancers somewhat better than the fuller, richer sound reflected by hard woods like rosewood, and this became a characteristic of the flamenco sound.

As I said, I've had three flamenco guiters. The first one was a Domingo Esteso (Sobrino de Domingo Esteso) sold to me in 1957 by a classmate at the University of Washington School of Music who had just returned from Madrid, had another flamenco guitar, and felt he didn't need two guitars. Sold it to me for $100 – Hosanna!! It had an incredible sound, but it was awfully bass-heavy. It also had push-pegs.

I've heard people say that a flamenco guitar has to have push-pegs to be a "real" flamenco guitar. Some maintain that the metal in geared tuning machines changes the sound. Well, two things about that:   I've played flamenco guitars with both tuning systems and I can detect no difference in the quality and characteristics of the sound. And—anyone who has had to wrestle with those bloody push-pegs in an effort to get the guitar in tune, and prefers them to tuning machines, has got to have a screw loose in addition to being a raving masochist!

In 1961, with the aid of a friend who made regular yearly trips to Spain, I acquired an Arcangel Fernandez flamenco guitar—with geared tuning machines—and this guitar is the flagship of my fleet of guitars. In addition to being an outrageous instrument, it has appreciated over the years to where it has been appraised as being worth some 150 times what I paid for it. Mine looks like this:   CLICKY #1.   Except that mine has a clear plastic tape-plate (golpeador) rather than the white plastic. Also, the one in the picture is #153 (note the label inside the sound hole). Mine is #135.

Shortly thereafter, as a second guitar, I got a "Casa Fernandez" flamenco guitar, made by one of Arcangel Fernandez' apprentices and approved by him for sale under his "Casa" label. It, too, was a fine sounding and playing instrument, although not the equal of the Arcangel. Here is a photo of my actual Casa Fernandez:    CLICKY #2.

[Regarding this photo:    While googling for information on the Seattle World's Fair in 1962, particularly the Sunday afternoon folk concerts at the U. N. Pavilion during the fair, I stumbled into that photo in the U. of W. Library's photo archives. There were photographers all over the place, and we just got to ignoring them, so I was unaware that this was being taken while we were tuning up and getting ready to go on. That's me, seated, showing my recently acquired Casa Fernandez to Judy Flenniken, a young lady with a very big singing voice, who was looking for a better guitar and wanted to know where she could get one like mine (she and I did several concerts together the following year). I don't recognize the banjo player, but the young woman in the background warming up her fingers is Nancy Quensé, still very active around here these days.]

Flamenco guitars, as noted, come equipped with golpeador, or tap-plates to protect the soundboard from the percussive tapping (golpé) that flamenco guitarists do. Also, flamenco guitarists almost always use a çejilla (say-HEE-ya), same function as a capo, generally somewhere between the second and seventh frets. This is not necessarily to change keys, it is to change the tone of the guitar and to move the action up to where the frets are closer together to facilitate rapid scalework in the falsettas (scale runs, general improvisation). Within recent years, some flamenco guitarists prefer the somewhat deeper, richer sound produced by darker woods like rosewood. These guitars are referred to as "flamenco negro" as opposed to "flamenco blanca" (like the ones I have owned). Other than the lower action and the tap-plates, I don't see that there is any difference between a "flamenco negro" guitar and a classic guitar.

I had a chance to take about five months' lessons from a genuine flamenco guitarist in 1962 (Antonio Zori, who accompanied the dance troupe at the Spanish Village at the Seattle World's Fair), and got to the point where I could add a few flamenco solos along with the classic guitar solos I would sometimes insert into a coffeehouse set. I got pretty good at it, but of course something like this was far, far beyond me!   CLICKY #3.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 06:35 PM

yeh I love flamenco - well to be honest all Spanish music is pretty good. all that stuff from the basque country as well.

the guitars are shit hot over there . made from cypess wood - which is incredibly light - almost as though they were built out of balsa wood, and the sound literally explodes underneath you hands when you roll your fingers over the strings.

a mate of mine is a jazz guitarist. he has a girlfriend in Barcelona and he was saying all Spanish people have a real rspect for the guitar. After all its Spain's gift to the world. they feel they have an investment in every halfway decent guitarist that ever lived.

I don't know if he's right, but I got an incredible reception just doing simple Rambling Jack Elliot type fingerpicking when I played a folk club in majorca one time.

I don't agree with you guys about the thumb. Over the years its become part of what I do. Still no need to get verbissen.

best wishes to all

big al


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:40 PM

Hey, I play with my left thumb wrapped around the neck all the time; "works for me," as they say.

I was just pointing out that, for someone toroughly educated on the classical guitar, the left thumb simply never gets anywhere near that position, but stays down at or near the center, or thickest part, of the neck.

I believe I misspoke (mis-typed?) yesterday when I observed that "You get the strongest left-finger pressure and the longest reach by keeping your thumb positioned pretty much at the center of the neck." The classical left-hand-position does allow for maximum fingerboard coverage (i.e., allows for the greatest "stretches"), but it makes holding down the strings with sufficient pressure more difficult, not easier, than the ham-fisted folk/pop/amateur/self-taught grip.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:29 PM

PoppaGator, one of the little tricks of getting sufficient pressure in full barre chords is to use a touch of "leverage." Instead of keeping the thumb and first finger directly opposite each other, if you have the thumb more opposite the second finger, it tends to roll the first finger slightly onto its side and gives you a sort of "scissors" effect. Give it a try; see if it works for you.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 02:57 AM

I play a classical guitar for everything because that's the only guitar I have available at present. I own a solid-body electric guitar, which I don't have where I'm currently living and I originally learned on a steel-string.

A classical guitar just isn't that loud and I wouldn't make any special efforts to play loud if amplification isn't available. My inclination would be to use a guitar that's suited for the room. It's great if people have extraordinary skills, like filling a large concert hall with the sound of a classical guitar with no amplification, but I don't think I would try to practice this --- even if I had any idea how it was possible.

I sometimes play my guitar with a flat pick, just because I like the technique and I hope I may be able to buy other instruments in the future. I tried picking on my electric guitar using fingerpicks, but I found that the strings were uncomfortably close together for this purpose, and the sound was too muddy (it's a solid-body).

I've been thinking of buying fingerpicks and especially a thumb pick. I'm very used to picking with my fingers and thumb, but I'd like to practice for the case that I buy a steel-string (which I'd like to do) and I also think it might be more comfortable to pick with the thumb using a thumb pick. I don't know, I just want to test this.

I never fret strings with my thumb, even on the narrower neck of an electric guitar. I have medium-size hands, so it's not very practical on a classical guitar. I just don't like it and don't find it to be a useful technique for me. I only have done it when music specifically requires it. However, in the one case I recall (Dave van Ronk's piece in Happy Traum's _Fingerpicking Styles for Guitar_), I found it wasn't necessary and I could finger that passage or those passages another way.

I really like the increased room to manouever for the right hand, and one soon gets used to the slightly increased difficulty of fretting. Like all instruments, a classical guitar has its limitations. If I could only have one guitar to play (the situation at present), it would be a classical guitar. I play classical (in the wider sense) music, folk music, jazz and various kinds of popular music on mine.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 04:31 PM

The matter of volume may depend on the particular classic guitar. A halfway decent classic may not sound as loud as, say, a Martin D-model up close, but believe it or not, a classic has more carrying power than a steel string guitar. I've heard Segovia, Christopher Parkening, Pepe Romero, and others play in fairly sizeable theaters with no amplification whatsoever, and their guitars could be heard loud and clear everywhere in the theater.

I've never had any problems that way with my classics, even when I've used one of my "second" guitars. And I just use my fingernails. If you're not getting much volume, you might want to check your right hand position. And use rest-strokes whenever you can.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: bankley
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 04:57 PM

nothing too exotic, but I have a 70's Fender nylon string and also a Washburn...which has more bottom end.... Paid $150 for each at different times... also have an old Harmony which came with steel strings and a warped neck.. the label inside says "Do Not Use Steel Strings"...now it makes a great slide...it cost $10.. aim a Royers Ribbon mic at any of them and they're great in studio...

Roger Miller played nylon string...


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 02:41 AM

Don Firth wrote:
"[...] I've heard Segovia, Christopher Parkening, Pepe Romero, and others play in fairly sizeable theaters with no amplification whatsoever, and their guitars could be heard loud and clear everywhere in the theater."

I think it probably has a lot to do with the rooms. In a theater or auditorium with good acoustics, it's remarkable how what is spoken, sung or played on stage can be heard in the furthest corners. A lot of places now have more-or-less discrete amplification, too.

Don Firth wrote:
"I've never had any problems that way with my classics, even when I've used one of my "second" guitars. And I just use my fingernails. If you're not getting much volume, you might want to check your right hand position. And use rest-strokes whenever you can."

I didn't quite follow the discussion about whether it should be "classic" or "classical". I prefer the term "classical", with no wish to offend anyone. The word "classic" has become so overused, from "classic Coke" to "classic rock", etc., ad nauseum, that I try to avoid it. I will still say "classic cars", though.

I don't have any trouble with my volume, but then I only play for myself. With amplification, it wouldn't be a problem. My guitar isn't that great, and I've wanted a better one for a long time, but it doesn't seem to be quieter than average. Thank you for the suggestions, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 01:13 PM

Yeah, I agree about "classic" and "classical." I had always used the term "classic guitar" because that's what I had always heard it referred to, and, as I mention above, the way the technique manuals for the instrument referred to it. But the word "classic" has become so widely and indiscriminately used that it seems to have lost its meaning. So "classical" guitar. . . .

Hmm. I wonder how long that will last.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 01:13 PM

The interaction between folk music and so-called classical music is not distant but is often perceived as such. Many composers of so-called "classical" music derived their inspiration from folk themes. Even Segovia's method of "classical guitar" evolved from techniques used in Spanish guitar playing based on folk learning. Flamenco being an example.

There are certain forms of Hispanic folk music which call for the style of so-called classical guitar playing on nylon or formerly gut-strung instruments.

It has become out of fashion for folkies to use classical guitar today since the elements of African-American blues and rock call for the stretching of strings or out door playing using finger picks. Also, the influence of jazz guitar has had an effect on contemporary steel-strung styles.

Here are some fairly well-known folk-type players that use nylon Classical guitar.

Theodore Bikel,
Richard Dyer-Bennet
Will Holt
John Stauber
More later.


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 05:10 PM

Bankley, Roger Miller did play a classical, a Gibson when I saw him. Glenn Yarbrough played a classical with the Limeliters alongside Alex Hassilev's 5 string banjo.

You can play a classical quietly, but I don't think of them as quiet instruments. I used an unamplified classical for years for a regular gig playing for folk mass at 8:00 and regular mass at 11:00, fingers only a 8:00 and with a flatpick if the organ was being played at 11:00. Never had a problem with volume. Some of it probably had to do with the acoustics of the room, but it sure seemed like the classical had a lot of carrying power on its own. Just seemed to fill up the whole space.
- Phil


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Subject: RE: Classical Guitar Players (Folk)
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 02:12 PM

Don Firth wrote:
"Yeah, I agree about "classic" and "classical." I had always used the term "classic guitar" because that's what I had always heard it referred to, and, as I mention above, the way the technique manuals for the instrument referred to it. But the word "classic" has become so widely and indiscriminately used that it seems to have lost its meaning. So "classical" guitar. . . ."

That's odd; I've never heard the term "classic guitar" used in that sense, however I might just not have been paying attention. I do sometimes play "classical" music on the guitar, although, with some exceptions, I tend to prefer music from other eras to music from the classical period in the strict sense, i.e., approx. Haydn to Beethoven. I have quite a bit of music, rather heavy on the Renaissance and Baroque eras, but have bought very little instructional material for classical guitar. I have one volume of the Schaller-Scheit series, which explains about playing from a figured bass, which is _very_ interesting.

Stringsinger wrote:
"The interaction between folk music and so-called classical music is not distant but is often perceived as such. Many composers of so-called "classical" music derived their inspiration from folk themes."

Yes, that was quite popular at one time, or actually, at a couple of times, and some of this music is among my favorite music. I love the folksong arrangements of Benjamin Britten. I also like Kathleen Ferrier very much. I think it's a shame that this way of singing folksongs seems to have gone completely out of fashion. I was very pleased to see all the postings about Richard Dyer-Bennet. My parents have a record of his, and I listened to it occasionally. I would be very interested in hearing him again. Not that their way of singing folksongs was the same, but there were certain similarities.

I'm not knocking anyone's way of singing folksongs, but it seems to me that on the one hand there's a great deal of sameness in the way folk music is performed and on the other hand a great lack of knowledge among the listening public about what folk music really is --- not that anyone can really give a definitive answer to this question. As for some of the music that's being marketed as "World Music" --- don't get me started.


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