A big read with many stimulating ideas

Eric Hill, guitarist.

In December 2008 Eric Hill, Classical and Jazz Guitarist, Performer and Educator, kindly provided this feedback on Guitar Playing and How it Works, 3rd edn.

EH: "I found your tutor a big read with many stimulating ideas many of which I can empathise with. Here are the parts of it that I most liked:

No Tablature. great!

PI: Yes - that's part of my "one man war on Tab". I think I am losing the battles and the campaign ...

Eric Hill, guitarist.

EH: The kineasthetic and proprioceptive senses are not usually mentioned in tutors. Highlighting these was great.

PI: Thanks. In section 5.2.2 I tried to create map for teaches of the things they probably should address with a student. The student is meant to keep the book on their stand, behind or next to their repertoire, and open at whatever page/concept the tutor is currently drawing attention to. I should probably spell this out better on the website.

EH: I have always used repetition and loops (8.6.1) and I like your mantra "The demands of rhythm and timing must direct the fingers" (technique comes out of the musical instinct). This was always Julian Bream's way.

PI: He he - well there's two top notch endorsements of that approach! Thank you. I have gone through many of available tutors and I notice that these key concepts are often not mentioned.

EH: The section on "Focus" (page 19) was apt and I also appreciated the book list on page 22.

Most tutors don't address performance anxiety and many performers do Alexander technique. Sharing that fact is great. My first record company actually paid for me to have a course because they thought I could do with it!

PI: That is indeed a rare breed of record company!

EH: I've never seen any link between "music and movement" in any guitar tutor (page 32-34).

PI: Nor have I. My accidental discovery of Dalcroze 'Eurhythmics' in the 1980s and, also, of one of the few people in the country qualified to teach it, stopped me from giving up music altogether. It opened the door to what I regard as the key to all great musical composition and performance - that it springs organically from movement.

Eric Hill, guitarist.

EH: I have taken to using p-m-p-m for fast scales in solo jazz improvising as I find that it swings better (ref. page 48 RH techniques summary).

PI: Good one, I've pencilled that into my copy. I use the thumb an awful lot - it gives a natural downbeat!

EH: Julian Bream always called apoyando technique "top strokes". I now realise that he probably meant &q towards the top" (page 77).

PI: That sure makes sense (To the reader: A stroke which displaces the string towards the top of theguitar produces more "tone".

EH: Scales on one string are excellent: glad that you are stressing that. (Wish the exam boards would)

As you can see I, a professional player, enjoyed the comprehensive nature of your tutor. It is useful as a prop for my own teaching.

On a personal level it was great to see Ike Isaacs in there. I knew him extremely well as we shared the guitar teaching in the 1980's at John Dankworths annual residential music school.

I enjoy your web site and would like you to know about www.erichillguitardownloads.co.uk

PI: Go to www.erichillguitardownloads.co.uk for FREE downloads of Eric's classic guitar albums. Eric's early classical guitar album inspired me greatly.

Guitar Playing and how it Works by Peter Inglis
Guitar Playing and how it Works