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Classical Guitar Music: Aire de Milonga by Jose Luis Merlin

Classical Guitar Music: Aire de Milonga by Jose Luis Merlin

If you want to be tunely, practice afternoonly. I have to admit something. I haven't been practicing as much as I would like. I haven't been practicing afternoonly. In fact, I haven't been practicing regularly at all lately. I love practicing, and I love playing. It's...

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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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Classical Guitar Music: A Rondo by Matteo Carcassi

Classical Guitar Music: A Rondo by Matteo Carcassi

Matteo Carcassi wrote a lot of charming little short pieces, and here is one that I've not heard many people play. It's so short that it's not even really a Rondo---the main theme only comes back one time. Its form is basically A-B-A. I found it in an obscure...

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Classical Guitar Music: Aire de Milonga by Jose Luis Merlin

Classical Guitar Music: Aire de Milonga by Jose Luis Merlin

If you want to be tunely, practice afternoonly. I have to admit something. I haven't been practicing as much as I would like. I haven't been practicing afternoonly. In fact, I haven't been practicing regularly at all lately. I love practicing, and I love playing. It's...

read more
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. 

read more
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.

read more

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I’m Jay Kauffman, a guitarist, teacher, composer, and illustrator. My training is in classical guitar, and I studied performance at the Cincinnati Conservatory and the Juilliard School of Music. I recently moved to Tucson, Arizona, and am seeking to fill my teaching studio both locally and online. I love teaching guitar, all ages and levels. I teach all popular guitar styles (not jazz.) I also teach children and teens.

My highest goal in teaching is to create and hold a space of inspiration, support and challenge in service of your ongoing improvement.

All Images and Artwork ©Jay Kauffman

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