I play guitar without nails. I rely on my flesh to produce tone. I have some kind of blisters on the index and middle-finger of my plucking hand. ****** tone. And an exam in a few days.
I have put my guitar into its case and I won't touch it before Tuesday (the exam being Friday). I'm getting tired of all those complicated things. Guitar is such an annoying instrument.
Moreover, I need a shorter scale guitar (closer to XIXth/early XXth century) and nylgut/gut/whatever strings so that I don't hurt my fingertips playing it.
My current guitar is too much "tensed", very different from the Lacote I once tried which gave the feeling of being a very light, very supple instrument.
Moreover the sound I perceive as a played is way more richer than the sound perceived in the front of the instrument and I don't like it. At all. It should at least be the other way.
I don't know what to think of my guitar studies. I'm under the impression I could be a way better musician if I was studying it 2 or 3 hours a day but without pressure, without silly exams way above my level (whatever my teacher says). I began quite late, as a teenager, and have never really took the time to build things properly. I need to stop and to start again, because what I've been doing until now was right until a certain point but I'm hitting a ceiling, I'm under the impression I tried to build a castle on a foundation of sand. I could be happy with that and continue this way, but it'd just make me a mediocre musician - not bad, but not really good or interesting.
I just like the tone of flesh - I know, that's a problem. I want to play XXth and XXIth century music and play with flesh.
But to be honest I don't plan on trying to be a virtuoso guitarist winning contests and touring and... I just don't have the right profile. What I want to do as a guitarist is attaining a good level of proficiency (ie. being able to master Sor's op6 and op29 and HVL's 12 Etudes, which is quite a lot but still possible), teach and perform how I want alongside.
But anyway I don't really imagine myself playing with nails.
There's a tone that I want, I have it in my head, and it's a tone you can only get with bare flesh (if you don't have blisters haha). I tried growing nails many times (about 7 times of three years I think), but every time I have cut them because at some point I was feeling I wasn't doing what I truly wanted, even if it was the correct academic way and certainly the most efficient technically speaking.
This tone induces reeducating myself to play the guitar in a way better way (I'm working on that with my physiotherapist), forgetting those old habits underlying since I began guitar and particularly classical guitar as an autodidact, and playing with flesh.
You study composing, are you a pianist ? How much do you practice guitar btw ?
Last edited by Praeludium; May-13-2012 at 23:46.
^You are a very unusual guitarist. I have always liked the tone of flesh but only when played on gut strings. Maybe you could become a HIP guitarist specialising in 19th century repertoire but still occasionally playing the 20th century stuff like Villa-Lobos (which in my opinion sounds a lot better when played with nails rather than flesh).
I don't formally study composition but I have done one and a half years of piano (another fingernail problem there!) and the last pieces I learnt on piano were Mozart sonata K283 and Chopin étude op. 25,2. I usually practise guitar between two and two and a half hours a day.
I don't like playing with my flesh most of the time
Yeah this tone of flesh+gut is very different from what we hear usually on the guitar, it's another world, strange and mysterious. That's a part of why I like it so much haha. That said some guitarists manage to sound "meh" with flesh and gut.
I could not mainly play XIXth century repertoire, because I find 99% of it to be bland music and I don't like this at all hehe.
I agree about HVL sounding better with nails. However I just want to study them for myself, not to play them in public.
The piece I'd love to play in a concert someday that certainly sound better with nails is Murail's Tellur. Tant pis (:
I shipped my guitar from Philadelphia to Portland and forgot to insure it and it hasn't arrived yet. I REALLY hope it arrives today.
This afternoon I discovered I could improvise two voice fugues on the piano.
Tonight I'm off to the opera to see the world première of Midnight Son by Aussie composer Gordon Kerry.
Damn movies and alcohol for bringing up painful memories.
L'enfer, c'est les autres.
A two voice fugue, but what is the tempo ? q:
I finally got the highest mark with the congratulations of the jury at my exam haha