bringing music home



Music Notation

Do I need to learn how to read music?

Learning guitar seems daunting enough for the beginner without the added challenge of reading music notation.  The truth is reading music can help players be independent learners and also help to understand the sounds that we produce on our instrument.
At Leyenda Guitar the student is presented with music notation and also guitar tablature.  As well students are encouraged to practice and play by ear!  All processes are valuable in helping you become a better player.  The guitar is a very physical instrument and because of this beginners focus on technique and the mechanical aspects of playing.  Looking at music notation is like reading a map. It is not necessary to look at it always, but as a reference to learn where to go. 

Choosing an Instrument

What type of guitar is best for beginners?

Younger players require a smaller body instrument, 1/2 or 3/4 size body, preferably a classical nylon string guitar.  The nylon strings allow for gentle pressure on the finger tips which many beginners are sensitive to.  I also recommend nylon classical guitars to adult beginners for this same reason.  Students need to develop their ear and recognize good tone production on their instrument.  Nylon string guitars allow students to develop this important awareness.  As well, the size of the guitar must fit the student to allow for proper posture and technical development. Some players definitely like the steel string sound and it is possible to learn on, but progress can sometimes be hindered by difficult to play steel string instruments which often have action that is too high. Buzzing and other issues can also be a problem when an entry level inexpensive guitar is bought. Electric and acoustic steel string guitars are best for students who have some experience playing and practicing.

Practice Plan

What do I need to bring to my lesson?

The biggest challenge for most students is creating a practice routine they can stick with. I encourage students to create a 20 minute daily routine. When coming to the studio for our private lesson all you need bring is your guitar and a notebook/journal which I will write in during the lesson.  This will give you a plan and notes to refer to during your practice week.  Lessons are 30 minutes weekly. As well bring a folder for music handouts.  Your collection of music/song material will add up very quickly so it is good to be organized from the start. I will provide tuners, footstools, music stands and music.  I am also a big fan of technology and so encourage students to bring their gadgets to the lesson.  Tablets and phones provide many apps that are helpful including tuners, recorders and video applications.