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Who is Abel Carlevaro? Top European immigrants at the turn of the 19th Century gave Montevideo and Uruguay in general, a character that is simply non-existent in neighboring Argentina or Brazil. The illiteracy level in Uruguay is almost zero. That says a lot, especially when it is often generalized that all of South America was considered sparsely literate at best.

When Segovia started to teach Carlevaro, the Uruguayan guitarist was already an outstanding guitar player. While people and artists in general were suffering the consequences of a war tormented Europe, South America was offering the ideal surroundings for growth and expansion and prosperity. Consequently, Segovia joined in and spent 10 very prolific years in Uruguay.

Only the River Plate flirtation with military dictatorships could reverse this golden era. The region is still paying dearly for this sin. Besides the fertile South American guitar scene in which Carlevaro was growing as a musician, the other key factor that contributed to his future greatness was his unique reaction to the general stagnation of guitar techniques and construction that had been prevalent for many years.

The guitar was meant to be played as Segovia did. Segovia had a lot to do with this. One that dominated the guitar scene for almost a century. There were many questions left unanswered though, and voices that had been shut for many decades were finally beginning to be heard. That explains why many guitarists chose to go to Montevideo and work with Carlevaro They were practical people.

They knew what they were talking about. I started playing up and down the fingerboard and the sound on this instrument was simply beautiful and different I was hooked. Top scientists at these scientific centers have proven that the same cells of the brain are stimulated when we see movement, when we think of the movement and when we emulate the movement. His whole school is based on allowing the mind to process every movement on the fretboard in the brain before the actual movement is executed.

Carlevaro did not leave anything to chance. If he could think of something, it was just a matter of time before he found a way to achieve it. One of the greatest days in guitar history is the day Carlevaro found the way to eliminate left hand squeaking on the guitar caused by the left hand fingers on the fret board; a phenomenon that too often is ignored by guitarists, with little care for the anti aesthetic and disturbing reaction it can produce to the listener.

When other instrumentalists hear us, they usually wonder how can we stand ourselves with all that "noise" that, certainly, could not possibly be part of the music. The reason is simple: many guitar players simply ignore string noise. Their brain learns to not hear them There is no other explanation. Because you do "them" so nicely that I suppose you must have practiced "them" for hours!

He made me look into my left hand movements in slow motion and then would ask: "What would you have to do in order to eliminate that squeak? I would look again at my left hand in slow motion He would then proceed to guide me through the rest.

Think, think and think again. The outcome was obvious: you would be making your own technique one musical passage after the other. Regarding pieces, he emphasized that you learn technique through the repertory and not the other way around.

Technique is a creative process. Every single technical difficulty was thought over and over and, from the brain, the answers would come and translate into movements on the fret board. One would be terribly disappointed to think that Carlevaro had answers to technical problems or that he would get into technical jargon. He actually had questions and more questions to pose and, in the process, the answer simply stood out.

I translated simultaneously for Carlevaro in several occasions during conferences he dictated in Latin America and the only time I was not completely clear on his thoughts and ides, was when he started philosophizing about music, and the role of the guitar in world events When examining players wasting so much energy compensating for the anatomically wrong postures, Carlevaro used to simply say:- "They would play much better and for longer, with better, more natural postures.

His technique is among the few that has gone that far, and, he passed his knowledge to his students. Talent can make up for a lot of defects, but I have known quite a few guitarists who had to abandon their careers due to serious injuries that originated in a faulty sitting position.

Europeans, South Americans and Asian players flocked Montevideo and literally followed Carlevaro from one masterclass to the next. I recommend you do the same: Think, think, think. The continuation of this class is in the members area, become a member today.


Carlevaro, Abel 'Masterclass' - Vol (Bach, Chaconne)



Abel Carlevaro


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