John Williams, Classical Guitarist, Interview

Aspiring musicians often have many questions that are answered, but the answers are soon forgotten due to the cognitive load of learning new skills that are in need of becoming part of procedural memory. John Williams, classical guitarist, discusses his early years of studying guitar. The “thirty-minute practice time” resonates with me and my early years of learning an instrument. It is crucial to learn to practice in a manner that allows an aspiring musician to move forward.

Any discussion of guitar seems a bit empty without discussing its role in popular music. Much else is discussed in this part of the interview, but what catches my attention is listening to John Williams discern how classical guitar, its European tradition to be more specific, differs from guitar traditions in other parts of the world.

Dance is critical to understand how to play music from many countries and different time periods. In a future post, I will cite some sources for people interested in the fascinating connections between dance and music. For now, I hope that John Williams discussing the connections will pique your interest in the subject enough to consider learning some new dances!

Helping aspiring guitarists to learn to practice at a microscopically slow pace while watching their movements in order to become comfortable before playing fast is something that needs to be emphasized over and over or else progress becomes much slower as pieces of music become more difficult. John Williams also discusses the metronome, which some aspiring guitarists view as an enemy. It really isn’t!