I met Rynier Prins when he bought an imported guitar from me for one of his students. When he was trying out the instrument he also had a look at the best of the four guitars I had brought into the country – a beautiful Yulong Guo Handmade A-Echoes Double Top Classic Guitar. A while later he returned to put it through its paces and I could see right away that he and the guitar were well suited. After serious and protracted deliberations Rynier decided to buy it and I said goodbye to both of them.
A short while ago Rynier recorded Fernando Sor’s Andante from Sor’s Mes Ennuis – the 5th of 6 Bagatelles op.43 in his home studio, performing on the Yulog Gou. I already knew that he was an excellent musician, but it was only when I heard this performance that I realised that he is more than excellent and that the guitar is just right for him.
So, it gives me pleasure to feature this rendition of the Sor piece here on Classical Guitar SA. Bravo Reynier.
In August 2017 I wrote an article titled ‘Humidity and your classical guitar’, and ever since then, I have been recording local humidity levels. In a previous article, I explained the system and mix I use for in-case humidity control. In this article, I want to give some feedback on the readings I have taken.
I did not record humidity levels every day, but only when there was a meaningful movement from the norm. I live in the Johannesburg area of South Africa and the general average humidity here is 60%. The average highs are 70% for 3 months of the year, and the average lows are 45% for another 3 months. However, from time to time the conditions change dramatically to averages of more than 70% or less than 25% for a week or so at a time.
During the last 2 years, I have recorded 241 humidity readings and these reveal the following:
61 readings were 65% or more of which the highest was 81%. 48 readings were 25% or less and the lowest of these was 10%. However, and this is an important ‘however’, the highest in-case reading was 62% and the lowest was 41%. So, although the average in-case humidity of my guitars was 51% compared to an external average of 47%, my instruments were protected from protracted levels of over 65% or under 25%. When the external humidity was 81%, the in-case humidity was 62%, a 19% difference. When the external level was 10%, the in-case level was 41%, a massive 31% difference.
Another major benefit of in-case humidity control has been that the levels the guitars have to deal with change very slowly compared to sudden and drastic external changes. A sudden drop to 10% can cause a hand-made guitar to crack and a sustained level of 80% plus can loosen the seams and frets, change the fret-board inclination, and make the instrument sound soggy and buzzy.
So, there you have it. Even in a moderate climate such as Johannesburg, in-case humidification is definitely needed.
This is a lovely little piece for classical guitar graded at Level 3 – Transitional. The guitarist in the video is Sandrine Luigi and the score was originally downloaded from ‘Dirk´s Guitar Page’ although I obtained it from Scribd.
I can’t find any information on this composer except that he was born in 1941 in France and came first in a prestigious classical guitar competition at the age of 21. One reference lists him as having died in 2011 but this may not be the case.
Every week I search the internet for material that could instruct, inform or inspire intermediate level classical guitarist like myself.
It is getting harder and harder to find material that I haven’t already included in my site content at some time or another. My main sources have dried up considerably of late, but I guess that folk like Simon Powis and Bradford Werner are so well known that most amateur players subscribe directly to their sites and don’t need me to curate their material.
In my search this week I rediscovered classicalsuitar.org and although it appears to have been dormant since 2018, its content remains useful. In 2009 Christopher Davis wrote a post entitled 21 Tips for Better Guitar Playing. Most, if not all 21 ideas are covered, often in more detail, by other bloggers and teachers, but it is handy to have them all together in one concise form. So, it’s worth reading through his list at https://www.classicalguitar.org/2009/11/21-tips-for-better-guitar-playing/ and then spending some time viewing his other offerings. Thank you Chris.
ClassicFM recently interviewed Mios Karadaglic and asked him to speak about his five all-time favourite guitar pieces. They are Astorias, Concerto de Aranjuez, Koyunbaba, Lute Suite No 2 in C min, and Blackbird (not realy a classical guitar piece).
Three of the five are very well known, but Koyunbaba by Domeniconi and Blackbird by the Beatles may be less familiar to many. Here they are played by Milos himself.
Allan writes; ‘Bar chords are strenuous. They take strength and endurance. They are hard to get right and easy to get wrong. But there are ways to make them more likely to work. If we use our bodies well, bar chords can be, if not comfortable, at least doable’.
It’s hard to execute Barre technique correctly and I have found them very difficult in certain positions. So, any help with this appreciated… Thanks, Allan and Matthew
I found this stimulating performance on The GSI site. Alex was born in the Ukranian, but he now lives in Australia. It’s not just his face and body that is expressive because this extends to the way he phrases and performs the music. A truly accomplished classical guitarist.
Some time ago, I exchanged emails with Jim Giddings of Denton, Texas. Jim composes music for classical guitar, much of it with a decidedly Latin American flavour. The difficulty level of his pieces is mainly Intermediate with a few more suitable for the advanced beginner.
All his music is available free of charge and HIS SITE is worth visiting to browse through his collections. To get an idea of what his compositions sound like, go HERE.