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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

Summer's sweet scent of alternative guitar-playing

- And how the virtuoso too can become virtuous -

Now that we are closer to September than July (how did that happen so quickly?!) this may be a good time to start putting all the summer larking-about behind us and think ahead about what we wish to make happen in the next year or so. Although the new calendar year is some way off, I think the real renewal begins in September when schools and colleges start up and our summer holidays gently slip away into the fond recesses of our memory. The pleasure of dedicating our time to a fulfilling activity such as playing the guitar, whether professionally or for fun, is that we choose what we wish to make happen, from a long list of possible musical accomplishments. To become a better guitarist, spread your bets and work at becoming an all-round musician, for in the world of music a jack-of-all-trades has frequently the advantage over a master of one!

But first let me recap the summer’s activities. You may have spent agreeable hours on some or all of the following:
1. arranging
2. composing
3. sight-reading
4. knowledge of harmony and chords
5. playing chamber music
6. Improvising

This is what I call the Alternative Development Plan. Why? Because it makes no reference to the aspects of playing which more often than not obsess players: learning pieces and developing technique. Instead it focuses on other aspects of musicality, to which I earnestly hope you have attended during the summer period. If you have done so, congratulations. If you haven’t, well it’s never too late to get started. In previous articles I have described in some detail the how, what and why of the Alternative Development Plan (ADP). These are the articles: The Virtuous Guitarist 1: An Alternative Development plan that does not include virtuosity, 2: More About The Development Plan, 3: Getting started on the Alternative Development Plan, and 4: How the Alternative Development Plan is important for all classical guitar players.

You may wish to create a development plan that does include learning pieces and developing technique since there is where your main interests lie. I encourage you to do this too now in September and so create a complete development plan. This I call the Player's Development Plan (PDP) and it looks like this:

The Player's Development Plan:
1. learning pieces
2. developing technique
3. arranging
4. composing
5 sight-reading
6. knowledge of harmony and chord
7. playing chamber music
8. Improvising

I described this fully in the 4th chapter How the Alternative development Plan is important for all classical guitarists.

So why not enjoy the last two weeks of August exploring the ADP, informally, curiously, even casually, mindful that when September comes you will unleash the full PDP off its lead and be pulled along with a smile on your face towards new heights of playing pleasure and satisfaction. If you are a student or a young professional, get cracking on all of them. By this time next year you could be a more all-rounded musician, and consequently be looking forward to a diverse and increasingly profitable engagement with music.

London, 18th August 2012

Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=1530 .
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