13. Synthesizing what we've learnt so far 
by Daniel Nistico

Hello <<First Name>> and welcome to my email list, glad to have you onboard! You're currently taking part in a series called Mastering the Fundamentals of Classical Guitar Playing. Emails are sent every Wednesday and Sunday. If you've just subscribed, you can catch up on older material here.
I instinctively feel like it would be good to synthesize and review some of the things that have been covered so far and will continue with the Rule of the Octave next time. 

First, I want to start by asking you some questions - 

Do you want to learn your pieces faster and more effectively, while also improving your confidence in playing or performing?

Like me, do you want to improve at a skill that guitarists are notoriously a bit crummy at - sightreading? 

Do you want to develop a vocabulary for describing 18th and 19th century music - including music by Bach, Sor, Giuliani, Aguado, Mertz, Legnani, etc.?

How about improving your theory and analysis, and in the process gaining new tools and skills for composing and improvising? 

These are the kinds of things that my email list, books, and other resources currently aim to provide some answers to. 

The first few emails focused on the fundamentals: tone, rhythm and dynamics. The last few emails have focussed on the content found in Fundamental Harmony. Now I would like to synthesise these two things and also attach some materials that you might have missed.

The content found in Fundamental Harmony, when combined with other materials, provides you with a lifetime's worth of exercises for practicing tone, rhythm and dynamics. 

Remember that your intention is the first and foremost thing to focus on and project into your sound. Fundamental Harmony gives you 'intentions' (descriptive quotes) for each key, which can lead to you creating sounds that stir the spirit and also make the guitar a palette of emotions and orchestral colours, rather than six strings attached to a wooden box. You can get your sample of Fundamental Harmony here if you haven't already. 

Remember that rhythm is the poetic heartbeat of music. It can be linked to speech by strong and weak accent patterns. Download the rhythm chart (redone), which gives the 19th century interpretation of each time signature's accent pattern.

We often think we are playing dynamically, but in reality it doesn't happen. The solution? Write in your dynamic intentions into the score using colour and then record yourself! 

Also, make sure to practice the three basic types of dynamic shapes. You can do this simply on an open string, or use the content from Fundamental Harmony to give you a whole array of materials to work with. 
Technical Work
If you want some ways to help give some variety to the chords in Fundamental Harmony, I put together a 20 page booklet of arpeggio patterns from various 19th century guitar method books, including Pratten, Kirkman, Mertz, Carulli, Carcassi and Giuliani. Download it here.

Finally, don't forget the practice system that ensures you work on these fundamentals each time you practice:

45 minutes - use a timer
NO distractions (checking emails, facebook, etc.)
15 Minutes of fundamentals
30 Minutes of pieces
STOP when the timer stops
Reward yourself and take at least 5 minutes break
If you want to purchase Fundamental Harmony in full, please click on the image. I would love to know if/how any of the material has helped you in your playing and practice, so please email me - I read and respond to every email! 
You are free to copy this to others unchanged, but please reference Daniel Nistico as the author.
Questions/comments: danielnisticoguitarist@gmail.com   
More resources at www.danielnistico.weebly.com

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Daniel Nistico · 1/644 Main Rd, Eltham · Melbourne, VIC 3095 · Australia

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