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How To Practice Guitar: The Magic of Quality over Quantity

How To Practice Guitar: The Magic of Quality over Quantity

At the core of learning to play the guitar well is the quality of time you spend with it. A lot has been said about quantity–about the 10,000 hours of practice you need in order to reach mastery. And about how to organise each of those 10,000 hours. These are both important. But the quality of that time is more important. 

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The Learning Zone

The Learning Zone

The book “Talent is Overrated” makes the claim that a specific manner of practicing, called “deliberate practice” is what separates the W.A. Mozarts or Tiger Woods of the world from everyone else is something he calls “deliberate practice.”
Here are the elements of Deliberate Practice:
1. It’s designed specifically to improve performance—designed very specifically, for exactly what needs improvement at the specific stage of development.

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The Classical Guitarist With No Bad Habits

The Classical Guitarist With No Bad Habits

Have you heard the legend of the guitarist with no bad habits?

It goes like this: “there was this guy, who my friend used to go to school with, a monster guitarist, who’d been taught so well as a child that he never developed any bad habits!”

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Music Theory? Why Should I Care?

Music Theory? Why Should I Care?

I still mumble and stumble a bit with music theory terminology, but that’s because my inclination has always been towards the feeling side of things. I think in the language of feelings, not jargon. I always ask myself, in a very visceral sense, what does this bit of theory mean, in terms of how the music sounds, in terms of how it feels? So why should you care about music theory? What does it do for you? And what does it not do for you?

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Learning Music Theory on the Guitar is Just Crazy

Learning Music Theory on the Guitar is Just Crazy

When you panic at the complexity of the fingerboard, you may think that what you have to memorize are a bunch of individual notes and chords, so you can jump to the right one at the right time. That’s true, but on a deeper level, what you really need to learn is the deeper musical shapes those notes follow. And these shapes have a lot more humanity to them, they are what we respond to emotionally, and thus they tend to be easier to learn. They have their full power because of the musical scale from which they spring.

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Breaking Through The Technical Obsession Barrier

Breaking Through The Technical Obsession Barrier

10th Year Anniversary Edition:I'm revisiting some of my best old posts on playing guitar. Enjoy! Playing classical guitar is technically demanding. There are a lot of hurdles even if you want to play a relatively simple piece well enough for it to be satisfying.  The...

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Archipelago for Solo Guitar

Archipelago is an adventure told mostly through music. There’s light narration in between movements while I retune the guitar for the unique musical ecosystem of each new island. As an experiment, I’m creating a series of drawings and paintings to illustrate the progress of our hero on his guitar-powered boat. It’s a work in progress. Stay tuned for further documentation of this journey! For more music, go here.

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik for Solo Guitar

I have arranged all four movements of  Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik for guitar. To hear more movements, and to get all of the scores and tabs, click here.

Purchase Classical Guitar Arrangements and Compositions

Click here for the full Catalogue of Scores

  Title Price Further Info
  Five Preludes $6.50
Instant Download of 7-page Pdf Score
  Archipelago For Solo Guitar coming soon
  Island One: Milonga $2.75
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(Archipelago, Movement 1)
Instant Download of 3-page Pdf
  Title Price Further Info
  Johann Sebastian Bach
  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Full) 21
Zip File Containing all 4 Movements:
1. Allegro (2015 Revision),
2. Romanze,
3. Menuetto
4. Rondo.
3 fully fingered Pdf versions of each movement:  Score (13 Pages)
TAB only (20 Pages)
Score + TAB. (37 Pages)
(Bonus Folder: 2013 Version of the Allegro with TAB)
           Allegro $7
Revised 2015
Zip File with 3 Pdfs:
4-Page Fully Fingered Score
10-Page Fully Fingered Score with TAB
6-Page Fully Fingered TAB
(Plus Bonus 2013 Version Score and TAB)
          Romanze $7
Zip File with 3 Pdfs:
4-Page Fully Fingered Score
12-Page Fully Fingered Score with TAB
6-Page Fully Fingered TAB
         Menuetto $2
Zip File with 3 Pdfs:
1-Page Fully Fingered Score
3-Page Fully Fingered Score with TAB
2-Page Fully Fingered TAB
          Rondo $7
Zip File with 3 Pdfs:
4-Page Fully Fingered Score
12-Page Fully Fingered Score with TAB
6-Page Fully Fingered TAB
  Gioachino Rossini
  William Tell Overture (Finale) $7
Zip file with 3 pdfs (5 pages each):
1. Urtext Score
2. Fully Fingered Score
3. TAB Only Version

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Purchase Prints and Artworks

I am diving back into painting and illustrating after a long hiatus. Getting these new pieces finished has been slow going because of all the other stuff I’m doing, but I’m working at it!

 Click here for a sampling of my drawings and paintings. You can click on any picture to see a more detailed version. If it’s for sale as a print, there will be a link to the print store where you can see the purchase options.

Or you can click here to go directly to the print store, 

Jay Kauffman

Classical Guitarist

Composer
Teacher
Illustrator

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