Archive for the 'Classical' Category

Moleskine ‘Note’ Book

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

Moleskine Music Note Book

My new Moleskine

I have for a number of years been a fan of Moleskine notebooks (not Moleskin), I use them for lyrics, song ideas, passwords and other data I really can’t afford to lose. I got a Moleskine Music notebook for my birthday and am very pleased that I did.

Great little Note Book

For a music notebook it is a little small, but what it lacks in size is more than justified by it’s useful pocket-friendly size. My guitar lessons have paved the way for me to use this little beauty. Before, I would have used tab to etch out my music, but now I am a (s l o w) music reader and writer. I will be making good use of this portable note machine, alongside other celebrated Moleskine users like Van Gogh, Chatwin and even Pete Doherty.

Restring in a classical way

Saturday, July 1st, 2006

After the air on my g string (and Gabriela style strumming) resulted in a snap. I decided to put some new strings on my guitar. I put some nice new Augustine strings; “The Superior Concert String” on my Admira 1000E. Segovia played them too so I suppose they must be superior, but I am not superior enough to know if they really are.

The whole process is quite straightforward, and if you like me are more used to stringing steel stringers, this tutorial is a good place to start.

Rodrigo y Gabriela, La Scala, London

Monday, June 5th, 2006

I managed to get one ticket for Rodrigo y Gabriela at La Scala. I tried to buy two, but it would seem I got the last ticket! Seems that I have been blessed, I managed to get right at the front of the gig too, which was great so I could check out their chops. I was really impressed by their performance. I was standing right in front of the bass bins, and the dynamics that these two Mexican guitarists produce, reminded me a little of the Young brothers. Angus and Malcolm even with electrics would be hard pressed to out gun these two nylon axe monsters.

Rodrigo was more than keen to point out that what they do is not flamenco. They have a very unique sound, mixing up metal, classical, jazz, pop and dare I say it flamenco, but this was no Paco de Lucia gig. They did a great version of the Floyd’s Wish you were here – and Rodrigo used a beer bottle as a slide. Gabriela’s rythmn playing is awesome, very passionate and extremely fast, I will keep practicing and maybe one day I might get near to what she does, but alas I reckon I might be wasting my time. If you ever get a chance to see these two play – do it. They really are something else!

Rodrigo y Gabriela Pics

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Guitar Player TV

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

Guitar Player TV looks like becoming a nice site for us axe slingers. Good use of video for free online lessons, if you can handle the bandwidth.

Rodrigo y Gabriela Tutorial on my iPod

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

This is the tutorial that comes with the limited edition DVD which is included with Rodrigo y Gabriela’s self-titled album. I have downloaded the iPod version for my erm, iPod.

Life is Good – hey, why don’t you download it onto your iPod and play along at home?

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela

I have just discovered Rodrigo y Gabriela, if you already know their music, you are probably nodding in silent acknowledgement and with a knowing grin. These Mexican born artists now reside in Ireland and blend classical, flamenco, jazz and heavy metal all using nylon strung acoustic guitars.

Acoustic = Freedom

Gabriela, the flamenco/percussion half of the duo says “Acoustic equals freedom”. I was coming to the same conclusions myself. I have seen my guitar setup shrink from Marshall stacks to just a classical guitar. Which makes it nice and easy to carry round, doesn’t need any AC or DC to make it work and will not get me evicted from my flat.

Rodrigo y Gabriela – The Album

If you like guitars – buy the Rodrigo y Gabriela album, and if you play guitars – buy this album immediately! It comes with a Limited Edition DVD which includes interviews, live footage and more importantly for guitar players – a tutorial Gabriela and Rodrigo show us how to play Tamacun. I am trying to master the flamenco/percussion side of things and Gabriela’s tricks and technique are brilliant and truly inspiring. Highly recommended.

Rodrigo and Gabriela are guitar heroes for the twenty first century. Fans of Page and Metallica, they have made it cool to play Stairway to Heaven again – guitar shops beware!

Andante in C

Friday, April 28th, 2006

This is a wonderful piece of classical music for guitar by Mauro Giuliani.

Downloads: Andante in C pdf, Andante in C Midi File

Andante means “A relaxed, walking tempo”.

Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Monday, March 27th, 2006

Classical Guitar Anatomy

The classical guitar aka Spanish guitar is usually a six stringed acoustic, musical instrument with 19 frets.

Nylon Strings

Classical guitars use nylon strings, as opposed to steel strung electric or acoustic guitars. The lower three ‘bass’ strings are typically wound with silver or nickel. Traditionally classical guitars used catgut strings, which despite the name were made from sheep or goat intestines. Nowadays nylon is the preferred medium, and the strings have a lot lower tension than a steel strung guitar. These are easier on the fingers and produce a rich, full tone.

Neck, Fingerboard and Sound box

The fingerboard on a classical guitar is a lot wider than a typical acoustic or electric guitar too. The lower string tension allows for necks to be made entirely from wood. An electric or steel-strung acoustic would have a metal truss rod to help keep the neck true.

This lower string tension allows for a less rigid sound board, again helping to produce a rich tone. The vibration of the string is amplified and projected from the guitar’s body (sound box) through the sound hole.


The machine heads are used to tune the guitar; by varying the tension of the strings, in order to acheive the desired pitch. The guitar is usually tuned E, A, D, G, B , E (from low to high / thick to thin).

Spanish Lessons

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

Spanish Guitar
I have been playing the guitar for over 20 years. Find out what happens when I enroll on a classical guitar course. Laugh at my sight reading attempts, snigger as I tune my guitar and have pity for my teacher, Ian Topping as I test his patience and fortitude as we explore the world of the nylon strung guitar.

Welcome to iFingers

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

iFingers Guitar
Welcome to the iFingers Guitar Experience. A journey into the domain of the guitar, exploring guitars, amps and even those four string axes called basses. I have been playing the guitar for about 20 years, my music is testamount to my lack of discipline and practice, yet for whatever technique I do lack, I am very passionate about the guitar, guitarists, bassists and the music they create with their stringed instruments.