I don’t know.” So, in an effort to discover the “softest” instrument to play, I had to spend a year playing guitar.
For years, I worked as a guitar teacher in the Bay Area and traveled a lot. My school district had a piano teaching program in the Bay Area. I played on some of their courses, but not in my teaching duties. What I learned through this experience was that playing Cello does feel more like playing piano than it does like playing the guitar.
The hardest part about learning the instrument is finding the right combination of practice and preparation at the time you are starting.
As an example, I have been teaching classical guitar for around five years. One of the first guitar teachers I’ve taught was a young man who got his first lesson on guitar from me. (That is, he learned through me, not by watching me play.) This young man had only recently started playing guitar. However, he showed significant improvement upon his first few lessons.
The lesson was very simple. He would sit in the middle of the practice room and practice slowly by sliding his hands off the strings. At the end, he would be asked by me, “So, what is your key signature?”
It was not difficult for him to answer, “I’m very interested in the sound that occurs when the notes of a scale make contact with the strings.” So in addition to playing the scale, the young man had to learn how to play one of the key signature patterns: a descending G, a descending C, and many more. These were very easy lessons to accomplish, and the young man never learned them wrong.
However, as soon as he started playing, the way he held the guitar became awkward and it started getting difficult to play.
His left hand was not getting the right amount of pressure on the strings. The right hand had been using all the fingers on the right hand, but no matter which hand he used, it never got the feel he needed in order for him to play smoothly. The left hand has a huge amount of nerve endings! It’s like trying to use your finger tips to play guitar.
He went through several iterations of playing the G and C patterns in his left hand, each time getting better and better at each time. He finally told me, “Coach, I’ve developed a pattern for my left hand that makes it easy to play these two.”
He was ecstatic that he had made it easier for
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