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Andrey Nosov's Guitar School

Self-study for the classical guitar, sheet music for the guitar of all styles, genres, and types.


GUITAR LESSONS

Page 1 > Lessons 1-40

If you have reached this page searching for a self-teaching guide, I would like to advise you to first read the information on the main page to learn about the essence of Andrey Nosov's Guitar School and specifically what to expect from the training.

Contents of the Lessons

Contents of the Lessons consists of 21 A4 pages, PDF/3.55МB

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Lesson no.1

#Types of guitars. #How to choose a guitar in a store. #Parts of the classical guitar. #Setting up the guitar. #Strings. #Putting in the strings. #Guitar care. #Tuning the guitar. #Sitting position. #Position of the right hand (from this point, hand names are defined in accordance with the standard sitting position with the neck to the left of the performer). #Ways of extracting sounds: without nails ("Tirando"), with nails ("Apoyando"). #Initial plucking with the index and middle fingers of the right hand. #Checking the position of the right hand. #Things you should never do while extracting the sound in the classic method.

Lesson 1 consists of 68 A4 PDF pages/3.55МB
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.2

#Steady pulse of beats. #Exercise 1: Alternation of the index and middle fingers of the right hand (continuation of the training that starts in Lesson 1). #Procedure for playing exercises aimed at improving mobility of the fingers. #Music tempo (introduction). #Exercise 2: Alternation of the middle and ring fingers of the right hand. #Staff, extra lines, notes, octaves.  

Lesson 2 consists of 16 A4 PDF pages/1.34МB
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.3

#Thumb technique to extract the sound. #Exercise 1: Initial plucking with the thumb of the right hand. #Things you should never do while extracting the sound with the thumb. #Exercise 2: Alternation of the middle and ring fingers of the right hand (continuation of the training that starts in Lesson 2). #Exercise 3: Alternation of the index and middle fingers of the right hand (end of the training that starts in Lessons 1 and 2). #Note value. #Beamed notes. #Pauses and their duration.     

Lesson 3 consists of 35 A4 PDF pages/1.90МB
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.4

#Exercise 1: Improving the thumb's technique (continuation of the training that starts in Lesson 3). #Right-hand fingering. #How to play notes of different values.

Lesson 4 consists of 35 A4 PDF pages/1.76МB
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.5

#Exercise 1: Alternation of the p-i-m fingers of the right hand (from this point, names of the right-hand fingers are defined by Latin letters in accordance with standard and generally accepted designations (see the topic "Right-hand fingering" in Lesson 4)). #Clef, bar, bar line. #Meter signature of the musical composition. #Duration of note values. #How to play by sheet music. #Things you should never do while playing by sheet music. #Combined meter. #Changing meter. #Exercise 2: Playing exercises from Lesson 5 by sheet music.

Lesson 5 consists of 52 A4 PDF pages/3.02МB
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.6

#Left-hand fingering. #Position of the left hand: frets, fret numbers, fret boundaries; configuration and position of the thumb; position of fingers 1, 2, 3 and 4 (from this point, names of the left-hand fingers are defined by Arabic numerals in accordance with the standard and generally accepted designations (see the topic "Left-hand fingering" in this lesson)). #Exercise 1: Exercises for the left hand. #Exercise 2: A) Correcting the position of the right hand in relation to the strings; B) Alternation of the p-m-i fingers of the right hand. #Guitar tuning (continuation).    

Lesson 6 consists of 27 A4 PDF pages/2.46МB. Links for viewing/downloading videos are included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.7

#Exercise 1: Synchronizing both hands (by playing eight notes on each fret starting from fret VII). #C(Do)-major chord. #Exercise 2: Alternation of the i-m fingers of the right hand while playing the C(Do)-major chord. #Tone, semitone.  

Lesson 7 consists of 20 A4 PDF pages/1.25 МB. Link for viewing/downloading the video is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.8

#Checking guitar tuning. #Exercise 1: Synchronizing both hands (by playing eight notes on each fret starting from fret VI). #G(Sol)-major 7 chord. #Exercise 2: Alternation of the p-i-m fingers of the right hand while playing the G(Sol)-major 7 chord. #Signs of alternation.    

Lesson 8 consists of 15 A4 PDF pages/1.45 МB. Link for viewing/downloading the video is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.9

#Exercise 1: Synchronizing both hands (by playing four notes on each fret starting from fret V). #Technique for changing the C(Do)-major and G(Sol)-major 7 chords. #Exercise 2: Changing the C(Do)-major and G(Sol)-major 7 chords. #General rules for changing chords. #Position of the right-hand fingers while playing on adjacent strings. #Exercise 3: Alternation of the i-m fingers of the right hand on adjacent strings. #Notes on the first string up to and including fret V.     

Lesson 9 consists of 10 A4 PDF pages/1.11 МB. Link for viewing/downloading the video is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.10

#Exercise 1: Synchronizing both hands (by playing four notes on each fret starting from fret IV). #Exercise 2: Changing the C(Do)-major and G(Sol)-major 7 chords while alternating the i-m fingers of the right hand on adjacent strings. Groups of notes. #Playing groups of notes with the "p" and "i" fingers of the right hand. #Exercise 3: Playing groups of notes with the "p" and "i" fingers of the right hand. #Notes on the second string up to and including fret V.   

Lesson 10 consists of 18 A4 PDF pages/1.35 МB. Link for viewing/downloading the video is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.11

#Exercise 1: Synchronizing both hands (by playing two notes on each fret starting from fret III). #А(La)-minor chord. #Е(Mi)-major chord. #Technique for changing А(La)-minor and Е(Mi)-major chords. #Exercise 2: Changing А(La)-minor and Е(Mi)-major chords. #Exercise 3: Playing the chords with the "p", "i" and "m" fingers of the right hand. #Notes on the third string up to and including fret V.   

Lesson 11 consists of 16 A4 PDF pages/1.18 МB. Link for viewing/downloading the video is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.12

#Exercise 1: Synchronizing both hands (by playing two notes on each fret starting from fret II). #Exercise 2: Changing А(La)-minor and Е(Mi)-major chords while alternating the m-i fingers of the right hand on adjacent strings. #Exercise 3: Playing the chords with the "p", "i", "m" and "a" fingers of the right hand. #Notes on the fourth string up to and including fret V.

Lesson 12 consists of 16 A4 PDF pages/1.27 МB. Link for viewing/downloading the video is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.13

#Checking guitar tuning. #Exercise 1: Synchronizing both hands (by playing one half note on each fret starting from fret I). #Exercise 2: Alternation of the p-i-m-a fingers of the right hand. #Exercise 3: Chord succession – Am, C, Am, G7, C, E, C. #G(Sol)-major chord. #"VO SADU LI, V OGORODE" (English translation: "In the Grove or in the Garden"), (Russian folk song), bars 1 – 4.     

Lesson 13 consists of 37 A4 PDF pages/1.77МB. Link for viewing/downloading the video and audio file are included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.14

#Exercise 1: Synchronizing both hands (by playing one quarter note on each fret starting from fret I). #Exercise 2: Alternation of the p-a-m-i fingers of the right hand. #Exercise 3: Chord succession – Am, C, G7, G, C, G, C. #Е(Mi)-minor chord. #"VO SADU LI, V OGORODE" (English translation: "In the Grove or in the Garden"), (Russian folk song), bars 5 – 8.   

Lesson 14 consists of 23 A4 PDF pages/1.15МB. Link for viewing/downloading the video and audio file are included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.15

#Positions. #Exercise 1: Synchronizing both hands (by playing one eighth note on each fret starting from fret I). #Exercise 2: Alternation of the right hand fingers according to the "i-m-a-m" pattern. #Exercise 3: Chord succession – Em, E, Am, Em, Am, G, C. #А(La)-major chord. #"EKHAL KAZAK ZA DUNAI" (English translation: "The Cossack Rode Beyond the Danube") (Ukrainian folk song), bars 1 – 8. #Notes on the fifth string up to and including fret V.  

Lesson 15 consists of 27 A4 pages, PDF/1.52МB    
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.16

#Key of the musical composition. #Exercise 1: Synchronizing both hands (by playing one sixteenth note on each fret starting from fret I). #Exercise 2: Alternation of the right hand fingers according to the "i-m-a-m" pattern with the involvement of the "p" finger. #Exercise 3: Chord succession – A, Am, Em, Am, Em, A, Em. #B(Si)-major 7 chord. #"EKHAL KAZAK ZA DUNAI" (English translation: "The Cossack Rode Beyond the Danube") (Ukrainian folk song), bars 9 – 17. #Notes on the sixth string up to and including fret V. #Extra composition: "PEREPYOLOCHKA" (English translation: "Little Quail") (Belarusian folk song). Arr. for guitar by A.Nosov.

Lesson 16 consists of 51 A4 PDF pages/2.57МB. Audio files are included in the lesson.  
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.17

#Dotted note. #Exercise 1: E(MI)-MAJOR scale (learning fingering). #Arpeggio. #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 1, 2. #Exercise 3: Chord succession – Em, B7, Em, A, Em, B7, G. #D(Re)-minor chord. #"ETUDE" (J.Sagreras), bars 1 – 4.        

Lesson 17 consists of 49 A4 PDF pages/2.24МB. Audio file is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.18

#How to remember notes and their positions on the neck (string number, fret number) without using cheat sheets. #Exercise 1: E(MI)-MAJOR scale (1 х 8). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 3, 4. #Exercise 3: Chord succession – Am, A, Dm, Am, Dm, G7, C. #D(Re)-major chord. #"ETUDE" (J.Sagreras), bars 5 – 9. #Extra composition: "TY POYDI, MOYA KOROVUSHKA, DOMOI" (English translation: "Go on Home, My Little Cow") (Russian folk song). Arr. for guitar by A.Nosov.  

Lesson 18 consists of 34 A4 PDF pages/1.71МB. Audio files are included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.19

#Dynamics. Table of dynamic markings. #Exercise 1: E(MI)-MAJOR scale (1 х 4). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 5, 6. #Exercise 3: Chord succession – A, D, A, E, A, D, E. #"ETUDE" (F.Sor), bars 1 – 4.  

Lesson 19 consists of 21 A4 PDF pages/1.16МB
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.20

#Exercise 1: E(MI)-MAJOR scale (1 х 2). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 7, 8. #Barre: designation and general rules. #Exercise 3: "Small bar chord" – 3 strings. #"ETUDE" (F.Sor), bars 5 – 8.

Lesson 20 consists of 22 A4 PDF pages/1.53 МB. Link for viewing/downloading the video is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.21

#Exercise 1: E(MI)-MAJOR scale (1 х 1). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 9, 10. #Exercise 3: "Half bar chord" – 4 strings. #"ETUDE" (F.Sor), bars 9 – 12.   

Lesson 21 consists of 22 A4 PDF pages/957КB
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.22

#Music tempo. Table of tempos. #Exercise 1: E(MI)-MAJOR scale (1 х 1). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 11, 12. #Exercise 3: "Great bar chord" – 5 strings. #"ETUDE" (F.Sor), bars 13 – 16. #Extra composition: "KHODILA MLADYOSHENKA" (English translation: "A Young Lady Walked About") (Russian folk song). Arr. for guitar by A.Nosov.  

Lesson 22 consists of 62 A4 PDF pages/2.20МB. Audio files are included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.23

#Exercise 1: E(MI)-MAJOR scale variation. #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 13, 14. #Exercise 3: "Great bar chord" – 6 strings. #"V LESU RODILAS YOLOCHKA" (English translation: "A Fir Tree Was Born in the Forest") (L.Bekman), bars 1 – 4.   

Lesson 23 consists of 29 A4 PDF pages/1.12МB    
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.24

#Exercise 1: E(MI)-MINOR melodic scale (learning fingering). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 15, 16. #"Barre" chords.     #Exercise 3: A) Changing the Е(Mi)-minor and А(La)-minor chords; B) Imitation of the Е(Mi)-major chord. #"V LESU RODILAS YOLOCHKA" (English translation: "A Fir Tree Was Born in the Forest") (L.Bekman), bars 5 – 9. #Extra composition: "PRELUDE" (A.Ivanov-Kramskoi).   

Lesson 24 consists of 53 A4 PDF pages/1.70МB. Audio files are included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.25

#Exercise 1: E(MI)-MINOR melodic scale (1 х 8). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 17, 18. #Exercise 3: A) Changing the Е(Mi)-major and А(La)-major chords; B) Imitation of the G(Sol)-major 7 chord. #"HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU" (P.Hill-M.Hill), bars 1 – 4.     

Lesson 25 consists of 9 A4 PDF pages/605КB    
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.26

#Exercise 1: E(MI)-MINOR melodic scale (1 х 4). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 19, 20. #Exercise 3: A) Changing the G(Sol)-major and C(Do)-major 7 chords; B) Imitation of the А(La)-minor chord. #"HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU" (P.Hill-M.Hill), bars 5 – 8.  

Lesson 26 consists of 8 A4 PDF pages/606КB. Audio file is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.27

#Exercise 1: E(MI)-MINOR melodic scale (1 х 2). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 21, 22. #Exercise 3: A) Changing the А(La)-minor and D(Re)-minor chords; B) Imitation of the А(La)-major chord.  "ANDANTE" (F.Sor), bars 1 – 8.    

Lesson 27 consists of 10 A4 PDF pages/622КB
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.28

#Exercise 1: E(MI)-MINOR melodic scale (1 х 1). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 23, 24. #Exercise 3: A) Changing the А(La)-major and D(Re)-major chords; B) Imitation of the C(Do)-major chord. #"ANDANTE" (F.Sor), bars 9 – 16.   

Lesson 28 consists of 9 A4 PDF pages/654КB
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.29

#Exercise 1: E(MI)-MINOR melodic scale (1 х 1). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 25, 26. #Exercise 3: A) Changing the C(Do)-major and F(Fa)-major chords; B) Imitation of the D(Re)-minor chord. #"ANDANTE" (F.Sor), bars 17 – 32.   
 
Lesson 29 consists of 9 A4 PDF pages/745КB. Audio file is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.
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Lesson no.30

#Exercise 1: E(MI)-MINOR melodic scale variation. #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 27, 28. #Exercise 3: A) Changing the D(Re)-minor and G(Sol)-minor chords; B) Imitation of the D(Re)-major chord. #"POLKA" (M.Ivanov), bars 1 – 8.     

Lesson 30 consists of 11 A4 PDF pages/732КB
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.31

#Exercise 1: G(SOL)-MAJOR scale (learning fingering). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 29, 30. #Exercise 3: A) Changing the D(Re)-major and G(Sol)-major chords; B) Imitation of the D(Re)-major chord (repetition). #"POLKA" (M.Ivanov), bars 9 – 16.      

Lesson 31 consists of 10 A4 PDF pages/613КB. Audio file is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.32

#Exercise 1: G(SOL)-MAJOR scale (1 х 8). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 31, 32. #Exercise 3: Chord succession – Am, Dm, Am, E7, Am, E7, Am. #"ALLEGRO" (M.Giuliani), bars 1, 2.    

Lesson 32 consists of 8 A4 PDF pages/535КB
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.33

#Exercise 1: G(SOL)-MAJOR scale (1 х 4). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 33, 34. #Exercise 3: Chord succession – A, D, A, E7, A, E7, A. #"ALLEGRO" (M.Giuliani), bars 3, 4.    

Lesson 33 consists of 7 A4 PDF pages/480КB
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.34

#Exercise 1: G(SOL)-MAJOR scale (1 х 2). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 35, 36. #Exercise 3: Chord succession – Dm, Gm, Dm, A, Dm, Gm, Dm. #"ALLEGRO" (M.Giuliani), bars 5 – 12.    

Lesson 34 consists of 9 A4 PDF pages/647КB. Audio file is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.35

#Exercise 1: G(SOL)-MAJOR scale (1 х 1). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 37, 38. #Exercise 3: Chord succession – D, G, D, A, D, G, D. #"SOBACHIY VALS" (English translation: "Flea Waltz"; Author unknown). Arr. for guitar by A.Nosov. #Notes on the first string from fret V up to and including fret XII.

Lesson 35 consists of 11 A4 PDF pages/685КB. Audio file is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.36

#Exercise 1: G(SOL)-MAJOR scale – universal. #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 39, 40. #Exercise 3: Chord succession – G, Gm, F, Gm, F, G, F. #"GRUSTNY NAPEV" (English translation: "Sad Melody") (A.Ivanov-Kramskoi), bars 1– 8.  #Notes on the second string from fret V up to and including fret XII.

Lesson 36 consists of 13 A4 PDF pages/651КB    
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.37

#Exercise 1: G(SOL)-MAJOR scale – universal, with changing dynamics. #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 41, 42. #Legato: Hammer-On. #Exercise 3: Hammer-On (10 exercises). #"GRUSTNY NAPEV" (English translation: "Sad Melody") (A.Ivanov-Kramskoi), bars 9 – 16. #Notes on the third string from fret V up to and including fret XII.

Lesson 37 consists of 11 A4 PDF pages/0.98МB. Link for viewing/downloading the video is included in the lesson.
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Lesson no.38

#Exercise 1: G(SOL)-MAJOR scale variation. #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 43, 44. #Exercise 3: А) Hammer-On (8 exercises); B) Hammer-On with "Barre" Chords (1 exercise). #"GRUSTNY NAPEV" (English translation: "Sad Melody") (A.Ivanov-Kramskoi), bars 17 – 28. #Notes on the fourth string from fret V up to and including fret XII.

Lesson 38 consists of 18 A4 PDF pages/1.16МB. Audio file is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.39

#Exercise 1: G(SOL)-MAJOR scale variation – universal, with changing dynamics. #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 45, 46. #Exercise 3: А) Hammer-On (8 exercises); B) Hammer-On with "Barre" Chords (1 exercise). #"MOY KOSTYOR" (English translation: "My Campfire") (Russian folk song), bars 1 – 10. #Notes on the fifth string from fret V up to and including fret XII.

Lesson 39 consists of 15 A4 PDF pages/975КB    
The content of the document is in Russian.

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Lesson no.40

#Exercise 1: G(SOL)-MINOR melodic scale (learning fingering). #Exercise 2: Arpeggio, type 47, 48. #Exercise 3: А) Hammer-On (8 exercises); B) Hammer-On with "Barre" Chords (1 exercise). #"MOY KOSTYOR" (English translation: "My Campfire") (Russian folk song), bars 11 – 26. #Notes on the sixth string from fret V up to and including fret XII.

Lesson 40 consists of 15 A4 PDF pages/1.01МB. Audio file is included in the lesson.
The content of the document is in Russian.

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My thoughts on...

About the Guitar School. The guitar lessons you are learning (or planning to learn) are part of my (Andrey Nosov's) guitar school. I'm sure you are well aware of what a SCHOOL is? School is a place where you are given basic theoretical and practical knowledge and answers to all your questions, and from where you finally graduate as a prepared performer. My teaching system is like that, which is why it can easily be called a guitar school. But how video resources that teach based on the principle "look and repeat" can call themselves SCHOOLS, if they don't even explain a thing and just show a few chords with the simplest strumming patterns (out of thousands of others), is totally beyond me. In this manner, a kid who has just learned a few chords and decided to share them with his friends might just as well call his playing skills a school. But this would never occur to him...    

Of course, the name is not what matters here. They are free to call themselves whatever they want. The problem is that such video resources seriously cripple a large number of guitarists. You think I am exaggerating? Hardly. If you use resources that don't provide you with information on the proper sitting position or position of hands, or technical conditions of the instrument, you are doomed to failure. Some people drop out at once because they were not able to do the most elementary and hold down the strings. This often occurs because either the space between the strings and the neck is too large, or the strings are too taut. But they don't even know about this and consider themselves incapable of playing the guitar. Some people feel this false sense of inability to play the guitar later on, when they grow out of chord accompaniment and try to play guitar solo. Here, the negative result occurs due to the lack of knowledge about sitting position and position of hands – the very basics which no one told them about when they first took up the guitar.  This is how most guitarists say goodbye to their dreams to be good performers. Even if you've never dreamed of becoming a great performer and just wanted to learn a few chords to sing a song, don't be so quick to put it aside. There will come a time when the guitar will call to you with an irresistible power, as it has to many others who have touched the guitar at least once in their life. Just think about it and choose an academic training program, regardless of where it's offered: at a musical school or on my website.  On my website, you'll find everything necessary: chords most favored by beginners, compositions for guitar solo, and many other things related to "guitar playing." Only in this way will you be able to correctly apply your hands, improve your technical skills, and grow as an artist.

About Choosing a Guitar. Choosing a guitar is an issue of the utmost importance. Do you know how unexperienced people often choose a guitar in a store? They just ask the seller: "Could you strum the strings on this guitar? Now this one. Yeah, this one sounds better (fuller). I'll take it." Well, that's a good approach, but...it's not enough. You also have to make sure that the guitar is suitable for playing; otherwise, you'll have a hard time playing it.  

I remember once being among some company and was asked to play the guitar, as usual. The guitar was given to me, but it had a large space between the strings and the neck, exceeding all reasonable limits, so I refused to play it because the guitar wasn't suitable for playing.  "Why not?" the host asked, and played a chord on the first three frets. "Why won't you play in the middle of the neck?" I asked him with a great deal of interest. "No one plays in that part," he responded. That's not true, my dear colleagues. Experienced guitarists play not only in the middle part, but also on the frets with higher numerals. Thus, choosing a guitar is an issue of the utmost importance. Information on how to tune the guitar to the required parameters with your own hands, if your guitar is in far from perfect condition, can be found in Lesson 1. There, you might as well learn all parts of the guitar – the terminology which is widely used among guitarists.

About Sitting Position and Position of Hands. Sitting position and position of hands is another issue of great importance. "Aren't there too many issues of importance?" you might ask. I say no because it couldn't be otherwise at the beginning of training.  My lessons are provided with detailed information on sitting positions with consideration for various guitar sizes and size of performers (including those who are bigger), so there is no need to repeat it here. Except to say that your playing capabilities directly depend on your sitting position.  Inappropriate sitting position might lead to the incorrect position of hands, which will further decrease your performing capabilities. And this is not to mention the pain that is "no big deal," which you will feel in different parts of the body, preventing you from playing as long as required or as you would like.  I am telling you, all these issues are of great importance!

About String Tension and Guitar Tuning. What else besides sitting position can affect the position of hands and your performance success? – String tension. Early on in your training, string tension shall be according to the physical capabilities of your left hand, which is responsible for holding down the strings on the neck (if you are a lefty, be glad and don't even think about turning the guitar neck to the right because in guitar practice, the main burden is borne by the left hand, which in your case is the strongest). Otherwise, you won't be able to handle the string tension because your hand, first of all, will be under constant tension. Secondly, you will have to apply an inappropriate position of hands to be able to hold down the strings. And... you should also remember that guitar playing is a combination of playing techniques involving a variety of finger movements and constant shifting of your left hand along the neck. How will you make this happen under such tremendous, but unnecessary tension, which you yourself have caused, and with an inappropriate hand position in relation to the neck? My advice is to tune the guitar to the parameters which allow you to comfortably hold down the strings (but not too loose that the strings lose their sound). These parameters are individually adjusted according to your own abilities. Once you get accustomed to these parameters, tighten the strings until you are able to play under standard tuning parameters (detailed information is specified in the lessons).

This advice seems rational. But there is always someone who will object. They usually refer to the following arguments: "It can spoil our ear for music." "We need to train our fingers." This makes no sense to me... how can you spoil your ear if sound intervals between open strings and sound intervals of the compositions to be performed do not change? The only thing that changes is key, which has no effect on the recognition of the composition and certainly doesn't spoil an ear for music (detailed information on key is specified in the lessons).

What is totally incomprehensible to me is struggling with high string tension just to train your fingers.  This will bring nothing but intense pain and improper positioning of your left hand responsible for holding down the strings on the neck (especially if the space between the strings and the neck is larger than recommended). This has been proven by several generations of beginner guitarists. I wonder how these guitarists who "love to train" would behave if they found themselves at the gym. Would they immediately try to lift a weight that exceeds their physical capabilities, or would they try something a little more within their abilities? This is a rhetorical question... any one of them would certainly start from a weight which is more or less light to them and then try to lift something heavier if necessary (in sport, this method is called weight progression training). There is no better way to develop your muscles. As we know, muscles are involved in guitar playing, too. See the connection? To get accustomed to the standard string tension, you have to train your muscles using the same principle mentioned above: adjust the tension according to your abilities and then gradually tighten the strings. Just follow my advice and you'll acquire the correct left-hand position, which is necessary for further progress; preserve your left-hand fingers from intense pain, which is inevitable in the early stage of training; and achieve success much earlier than those who don't want to follow my advice.

About Choosing Strings. Which strings are better to use: metal or synthetic? In the early stage of training, synthetic strings are definitely the best choice because they are softer and more comfortable for the fingers, and allow you to learn the playing techniques related to the extraction of sound with the left hand alone without any difficulties (with little or no involvement of the right hand). Synthetic strings on your guitar sound worse, you say? And why do you need such bright sound in the early stage of learning basic techniques? Technical skills should be at the forefront at this point. You'll always have a chance to decide what suits you better after learning some skills. Detailed information is specified in the lessons...   

About Learning with the Self-Teaching Guide. Is it possible to learn to play the guitar with the self-teaching guide? Yes, if the guide is very informative and you are motivated to learn. Sometimes greater results come while self-studying than while learning with a teacher. After all, you have to attentively read every single line to get to the bottom of everything. As a result, you learn much more quickly.  

Another plus of using self-teaching guides like mine is that they usually contain more information in each lesson than any one teacher will ever be able to give you in one lesson. It's not that he doesn't know this information. He just physically won't be able to give you all this information within one lesson. So, read, learn, and don't worry about missed opportunities to take lessons with private teachers or at a musical institution. A well-organized self-teaching guide will be no less effective. You also have to remember that the learning process usually involves two participants – a teacher and a student, so be critical of not only the authors of training materials, but yourselves, as well.

About Notation. It's amazing what websites providing services for learning the guitar do to draw in potential students: "Come to our website and we'll teach you to play the guitar without notation!" Do they think that you don't need notation – the system of representing music through symbols? Or do they think that you are incapable of understanding it? Or can they not explain how to read sheet music? Or maybe they can't read it themselves?  

There are a lot of questions, but there is only one we need to answer: "What would happen to you if you weren't be able to read? I'll tell you what. There would be an information blockade – if not full, then definitely substantial. You would not be able to read neither a text message, nor the menu of your gadget, nor a required book (which literate people could read aloud for you, but do not want to for some reason). Do you see? The same blockade comes upon a performer who is not familiar with notation. But...he doesn't even know it and, therefore, looks happy. The biggest problem is that this "happy" performer has a hard time learning new compositions and enriching his repertoire. It's not difficult to guess why. In order to learn a new composition, he needs to see and listen to the way it's played.  If there are no examples – there is nothing new to learn. Notation is another matter. Here, you will find everything necessary to learn a composition, including rhythm, information on playing techniques, and fingering. So, viva notation! And don't believe those who stick to the opinion that notation is hard to learn. Reading sheet music is no more difficult than reading an ordinary text. You can read, can't you?  Detailed information is specified in the lessons...  

About Ways of Extracting Sounds. What is better to start training with: "apoyando" or "tirando"? Beginners often ask this question when they start their training from "tirando" and then discover that "apoyando" provides a louder and more beautiful sound.  Don't take the wrong road, my friends! It's true that "apoyando" produces a fuller and brighter sound. But...due to the fact that the finger has to rest on the adjacent string at the end of the finger's movement, this technique is RARELY used in classical guitar. Or, more precisely, "apoyando" is used only for monophonic melodies and passages (including the rapid ones). This technique is not used for anything else because the finger resting on the adjacent string (for the thumb – thinner strings, for other fingers – thicker strings):  a) mutes the string and therefore deprives us of polyphony, which is characteristic of guitar solo; b) makes it significantly difficult to extract the sound, especially using the widespread "arpeggio" technique (string picking). The "tirando," on the contrary, is free of these disadvantages and can be used for everything, including monophonic melodies and virtuosic passages.

If you think that I speak in favor of "tirando" only because I have a personal preference for this technique, you are completely wrong. Each guitar technique is good in its own context. And guitar training is a separate field which requires rational thinking.  Rational thinking would say it is not worth starting with something that will might never be used. Your teachers, including me, will surely teach the "apoyando" technique (Lesson 70 in my manual) and many other techniques later. But let's first cultivate the skills to extract sound with the technique that is used more frequently.

Detailed information on ways of extracting the sound can be found in my (Andrey Nosov's) guitar lessons, especially in Lesson 1, which is free for viewing.

About Performing the First Composition. The first composition of my (Andrey Nosov's) guitar school is not difficult to perform. Or, more precisely, it shouldn't seem difficult after thorough training undergone in Lessons 1-12. But it's a composition that will give you insight into what guitar is all about. The composition is played by one guitarist in two sound flows (melody accompanied with bass). Then the third flow – middle note – is added, after which it will be exceedingly clear why our instrument is called a little orchestra.

I wish you success in getting to know this wonderful world of GUITAR!  

Andrey Nosov