Classical Guitar Method – Volume 1 by Bradford Werner – Free PDF Download (102 pages) – Beginner classical or fingerstyle guitar. This book teaches classical and fingerstyle guitar skills with a focus on the rich pedagogical tradition of classical guitar. Most learning objectives are covered through pieces and duets allowing students to perform full pieces from the first lesson. A qualified teacher and the lesson videos should provide students with a healthy start. This is the 2019/2020 edition. Also see Volume Two to continue learning. If you like the book you can support the site here.
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Free Video Lessons for this Method
Video lessons and articles are an essential part of using my method. Follow the lessons in the order below. Also see the list of additional tips and lessons at the bottom. You can start the technique routines and chords anytime.
- Orientation & Welcome Video – A quick welcome and word about using the method.
- What Guitar, Gear, and Accessories Will You Need?
- Sitting Position, Right Hand Technique
- Posture and Sitting Position Lesson
- Right Hand Position Lesson
- Reading Music for the First Time
- Introduction to Reading Music Notation for Absolute Beginners
- First Pages & Songs
- First Notes (E, B, G), Rhythms, Etude No. 1 & 2 (Page 12-15)
- Nocturne – Duet Play-Along and Performance (p. 16)
- Introduction to the Left Hand
- Left Hand Position Lesson
- Using the 4th finger in first position for D and G
- Treble Strings, Exercises, Repertoire
- First Left Hand Note (A), Sight Reading, Moderato & A Fairy Tale (p. 17-20)
- A Fairy Tale – Duet Play-Along and Performance (p. 20)
- B, C, D, E, F, G, Sight Reading and Review (p. 21-23)
- Tip: How to Play Legato on Classical Guitar
- Five Melodies and Ode to Joy Lesson (p. 24)
- Ode to Joy – Duet Play-Along and Performance (p. 26)
- Etude No. 3 – Dynamics, Arpeggios w/ left hand notes (p.28)
- Twinkle Twinkle, Etude No. 4, Au clair de la lune, Oh Susanna (p.30-34)
- Jazz Cat – Duet Play-Along and Performance (p.32)
- Staccato articulation for beginners (Prep for Waltz by Czerny)
- Duet Performances: Waltz by Czerny, Minuet by Wilton, Morning by Diabelli
- Waltz by Czerny – Duet Play-Along and Performance (p.35)
- Minuet by Wilton – Duet Play-Along and Performance (p.36)
- Morning by Diabelli – Duet Play-Along and Performance (p.37)
- Bass Notes and More
- Melody with Bass Accompaniment: Etudes No. 5, 6, 7, 8 (p.38-44)
- C Major Scale, Eighth Notes, Angeline the Baker, Etude No. 9, Vsi so venci Vejli (p.45-51)
- Duet: Minuet by Hook – Duet Play-Along and Performance (p.49)
- Duet: Flow Gently Sweet Afton – Duet Play-Along and Performance
- Etude No. 10, 11, and Little Birch Tree in the Field
- The Skye Boat Song
- Note Review, and Sight Reading: The Imitation Game (p.63-64)
- Leyenda Theme by Albeniz, Chromatic Scale, & Greensleeves
- Malagueñas Lesson
- Duet: Minuet in G by Petzold – Duet Play-Along and Performance
- Siciliano by Carcassi and Farewell
- Chord Accompaniment Section
- Introduction to the Chord Accompaniment Section
- First Easy Chord Songs for Beginners (p. 73-78)
- First Full Chord Shape Songs (p. 79-82)
- Fingerstyle Accompaniment Section (p. 83-87) – Coming Soon
- Technique Routines
- Technique Routines for the Right and Left Hands
- Additional Helpful Tips While Using the Book
- 10 Classical Guitar Lessons for Beginners
- How to Practice Music and Organize Your Practice Session
- Should Beginners Use Rest or Free Stroke?
- Avoiding Tension when playing – Comprehensive, 5 Video lessons
- How to Play Legato on Classical Guitar
- Alternating Right Hand Fingers for Beginners (Q&A)
If you enjoyed the book you can support the site here.
What’s new in the 2020 edition? It’s the same pieces and page numbers as the 2019 edition. I’ve added some extra tips and explanations to help students understand the directions more clearly and updated a bunch of the video lessons.
What books should I use along with your method? My method should have everything you need for now but if you want additional materials here’s a few options. For theory knowledge I recommend the Berklee Theory Book 1 which is pretty good and has an answer key at the end and audio samples to download for listening and musicianship. However, here’s my list of Music Theory Books. Having theory knowledge is really going to help, a lot. But it’s not completely necessary until my Volume 2 book. First, you just want to get playing. For extra reading practice try Sight Reading for the Classical Guitar by Robert Benedict.
What is a good daily routine for a beginner? I recommend a technique warmup (included in the back of the book), some review of previous easier material, some sight reading, and then dedicated work on the few pieces that you are currently working on. 15-20 minutes of solid uninterrupted practice everyday is a good goal for a beginner. Anything beyond that is a bonus. As you become more advanced you can increase the practice time. You might also want to watch some lesson videos before you begin to remind you of a few things you might have forgotten or just to pick up tips for the future. Even watching videos that are more advanced than where you are at or something you are not working can still help you learn. You can find tons of lesson at the lesson page. Watching so pros play daily would be good too, absorb the culture and technique just by observing. See my dedicated lesson: How to Practice Music and Organize Your Practice Session
Should I memorize the pieces and should I keep them in my repertoire? Although I’m not strict about memorization with my students, I do believe that we play better when the piece is memorized. Also, our brains seem to get used to it as a habit and memorizes more efficiently if we do it regularly. So, I highly recommend you memorize your pieces but don’t be too hard on yourself, just do a little bit of memory work everyday and see how it goes.
When should I move onto the next piece? Aim for a confident playing of the piece. As a basic check you might put a metronome on and be able to play through it as that is a common issue. Aim for an even rhythm, nice tone, arched phrases, and a prominent melody. I encourage students to stick with pieces for awhile to see how they ‘settle’ into the piece in terms of relaxation. It’s important to dive deeper into musicality after you have accomplished the basic physical movements. A large part of what teachers do is to just raise the musical bar and get students to strive for higher levels of musicality so you’ll want to push yourself in that regard to ensure you are not just settling for a past standard (up your personal level every piece). In the end it’s up to you but try to feel confident and happy with your performance.
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