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Stories, culture, friends and community

April 11, 2011

John Dearman – FingerTips Overview

Hi Everybody!

This is John Dearman from the LA Guitar Quartet. In between tours with the boys, I’ll be taking on a new role as Teacher/Adviser at GuitarSalon.com and I’d like to tell you about some of the things we’re planning. The GSI website will be sporting a new look in the coming months as we begin introducing new features to inform, stimulate discussion and occasionally entertain guitar players of all levels who visit the GSI website. I’ll be checking in on a regular basis, with my weekly column FingerTips, and also act as your HRE (Humble Resident Expert) on all things guitar related in the GSI Guitar Forum.

FingerTips will be a series of columns where I’ll offer advice on a wide variety of guitar related topics including: technique, repertoire, interpretation, performance, reading, practicing, memorization, guitar maintenance, and most importantly, how to sneak your guitar on board airplanes!

For example, here are a few specific topics I’ll be getting to in the near future:

  • Deep Focus: More efficient ways to practice, improve concentration, and solve problems.
  • Using Tone Color to Enhance Dynamics: Where you play on the string effects more than just color. And when you do want to use tone colors, there’s more to it than just tasto and ponticello.
  • Scaling Down Scales: How to get more out of your time spent in this most dreaded of activities. (And how to stop dreading it!)
  • Vibrato: How, When, and How Much. In the context of style. A cool exercise from Angel Romero.
  • Exercises Without Your Guitar OR Things to Do While Standing in Line at Burger King: Pepe’s bycicle exercise, what to do with old newspapers, stretches.
  • Rasgueado Toolkit: Basics for the Post-Segovia Era.
  • Left Hand Fingering from a Quartet Players Perspective: Thinking like a string player for a more musical effect.
  • Ligados – Key to left Hand Mastery: Practicing ligados correctly can improve left hand strength, independence, relaxation and smoothness.
  • Stupid Metronome Tricks: I’ll think of something, but I just want to use this title.

Your suggestions for topics are also welcome, and the perfect place to do that is in the Guitar Forum. Guitar Forum can serve as a place for asking questions or offering your own opinions about ideas presented in the columns, or for suggesting ideas for new FingerTips columns. Guitar Forum is also a great resource for finding or submitting announcements of special events in your area, or telling others about interesting experiences you may have had in master classes, concerts or festivals.

With the help of the GSI staff, I’ll also be coming up with a selection of relevant articles in addition to interviews with artists and luthiers and concert reviews. Future plans include a comprehensive database of guitar concerts, festivals and events, and a listing of repair shops nationwide.

So be sure to tune in next week for the first installment of FingerTips. In the meantime, log on to the GSI Forum and let us know what’s on your mind and start the discussion rolling.

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