Carcassi Opus 60 No. 7 – Guitar Tutorial

EliteGuitarist Carcassi No. 7 Performance Preview

Carcassi’s study Opus 60 No. 7 is a standard in the classical guitar repertoire. Far from being a mere exercise in dexterity, this piece offers ample opportunities for phrasing development, chord formation, tremolo practice, as well as dynamic and tonal variations. Dr. Ines Thome insightfully deals with each of these performance aspects and enlarges the EliteGuitarist library of resources with a another great tutorial.

Thanks to our friends at Guitar Salon International for loaning us this 2018 German Vazquez Rubio guitar.


Congratulations Dr. Ines Thome!

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We would like to publicly congratulate Dr. Ines Thome for successfully passing her comprehensive examinations for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Southern California. Ines is a rare combination of a great performer and a superb pedagog of the classical guitar and we are so happy to have her as one of our instructors. Ines is preparing for her final recital in November 2018 and we are cheering her on as she showcases the amazing guitarist she has become over these many arduous years of practice.

Ines is available for private lessons both in-person and on Skype. Check out her website for more details and to inquire about private lessons.

Upcoming Projects

These are busy days for us as we are working on several new projects. Over the next several weeks we will release tutorials of Barrios’ Waltz No. 3 in D Minor, Granados Spanish Dance #5 (Andaluza), Farewell by Sergio Assad and others.

We are also working on adding several amazing tutorials to the jazz track. Grammy award guitarist, Larry Koonse, has arranged several jazz standards for solo guitar that are some of the best we have heard. These tutorials are detailed and packed with all the necessary information to perform these pieces like the professionals do.

TANGO EN SKAI – Guitar Tutorial

New Tutorial – Tango En Skai by Roland Dyens

EliteGuitarist Classical Guitar Tutorial Tango En Skai

Over the past year we have received so many requests for a tutorial of Tango En Skai by Roland Dyens. I finally got around to record this wonderful piece and can’t wait to see how you, our students, will take this iconic piece to the next performance level.

Roland Dyens’ ‘Tango En Skai‘ is a favorite of audiences worldwide. This flamboyant piece, with its engaging rhythms and ostentatious runs, invites the guitarist to use virtually every technique and sound the classical guitar can produce. Get ready for a technical and musical hike. After slow and careful practice, once you get to the proverbial top of the mountain the view is pretty awesome and the musical rewards are great.

Guitar: 2010 Jose Luis Gil, courtesy of Guitar Salon International

Missing Roland Dyens

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I often wonder why the passing of significant artists, especially guitarists, has such a deep impact on me. In the case of Roland Dyens, his guitar artistry has been an important formative force in my development as a guitarist and his compositions/arrangements have left an indelible mark on the way I analyze and enjoy music. I suppose it is normal to feel a deep sense of loss when such an artist dies even thou the relational connection may be at the level of acquaintances. Over the years I have internalized his music to such an extent that in a very real sense I feel a deep level of connection with him, even though we only met once.

Several years ago, as Roland Dyens was touring throughout Southern California, Guitar Salon International organized a master class with the maestro. I have always wanted to take a lesson from Roland and this was the perfect opportunity. I am so glad I did and got a chance to interact with Roland shortly before his passing. I was so musically enriched by Roland and these are some things that stand out to me as I recall that special time.

Roland had a contagious enjoyment of music and enjoyed trying to get in the composer’s mind. Unlike most classical musicians, he was incredibly relaxed with the score and made statements of the sort: “the composition is not completed until you, the guitarist, perform it.” He was warm and kind and there was no air of superiority or egotism in his instruction. He focused fully on his students and instructed with generosity of heart and winsomeness. As I recorded this tutorial, I am again reminded of how much I miss Roland. Let’s keep his memory alive by enjoying and playing the vast amount of music he left for us.


Guitar Nails: Shape, Repair, Tone

Guitar Nails: a riddle wrapped in an enigma. One size does not fit all but here is Tavi Jinariu’s approach to filing and repairing nails for optimum tonal quality.

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Many of you have been requesting a tutorial on how to properly file your nails and achieve great tone. Playing with great tone is a combination of careful nail filing/polishing and plucking technique.

These may be the strangest videos you have seen on to date. If you can deal with the weirdness of watching a dude file his nails for 10 minutes straight, you will likely derive some benefit from these general nail-filing principles. In the end, if we cannot make it in this world as concert guitarists, surely we stand a chance to open some of the best nail salons in town.


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The second aspect to achieving great tone, beyond your nails shape and polish, is your plucking technique. Check out these two videos on tone production for proper plucking technique and general tone production principles.

Keep up the good work everyone! We have several tutorials in the editing stages and I am excited to release those in the coming couple of weeks (Tango En Skai, Valse 3 by Barrios, Farewell by John Doan, Carcassi Etude)


NEW JAZZ TUTORIAL – I’m Old Fashioned

I’m Old Fashioned has to be one of my favorite pieces by Jerome Kern so masterfully taught by Larry Koonse. As I play various gigs around town, there are times when clients request more jazzy selections. These arrangements are a perfect way to accommodate those requests. They are arranged for fingerstyle guitarists and are fully written out as music so that even as a classical guitarist I can read and play them as I would any other classical piece. Here are some of the of the other arrangements by Larry Koonse.

* Body and Soul

* All The Things You Are

i'm old fashioned elite guitarist jazz guitar lessons

LARRY KOONSE – Biographical Sketch

Larry Koonse is a household name around the world’s greatest jazz cats. As a twice Grammy-nominated artist, we are fortunate to have him teach our Jazz Guitar Track. Here is a brief biographical sketch in which Larry talks about his beginnings with the guitar and passion for jazz.

Watch Larry Koonse, Biographical Sketch


Ines Thomé, Classical Guitarist & Educator



Ines Thome EliteGuitarist Classical Guitar Lessons

German-born guitarist Ines Thomé is a multifac
eted musician who performs internationally as a solo and chamber musician. A multi-instrumentalist in many different styles, Ines plays electric guitar, lute, theorbo, baroque guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Since a young age Ines won first prizes as a solo and chamber musician in national competitions. Later she received awards from numerous international competitions in Germany, Italy, and the USA, including First Prizes at the International Guitar Competition in Walnut Creek, and the Guitar competition of the American Guitar Society in 2015. Her passion for Early Music was honored with a special prize for the best interpretation of a work by Johann Sebastian Bach at the International Guitar Competition in Erwitte.

Ines studied classical guitar in Frankfurt and Stuttgart and completed her Master’s degree summa cum laude at Stuttgart State University of Music and Performing Arts where she studied with Professor Johannes Monno. In August 2013 she began post-graduate work at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and is continuing as a doctoral student and teaching assistant in the studio of Prof. William Kanengiser (LAGQ) since August 2014. In Fall 2017 Ines will start teaching classical guitar at Riverside City College.

Teaching Philosophy

My passion for teaching comes from my passion for music: the aesthetic and emotional values inherent in music still motivate my own learning. Sharing this passion –with my students as a teacher, and with my colleagues and audiences as an active musician –makes music become real and meaningful.  I want to help my students to discover what they are passionate about and improve their skills to reach the goal they have. As an active musician, I like to be engaged in the various processes of music making. As a teacher, I want my students to be engaged in those processes through performing, listening, composing, and analysis. Focusing on the “whole person” and educating my students through different musics is my goal as a teacher.

Creating a safe environment for my students is very important to me. I believe that creativity and critical thought can only be developed when the classroom is a safe space where students are allowed (and encouraged) to make mistakes and learn through them. As an example for student-based education, I encourage my students to bring pieces or songs into their class or lesson which they are interested in. From my own learning experience, I know how important the initial excitement for music is for our motivation to learn. In addition, it makes the students accountable for their own progress.

Playing the guitar requires the training of difficult skills. To express freely and musically, we need to master our craft so that technical issues don’t get in our way. In this way, physical health is as important as mental health. Playing the appropriate music which is challenging but still realistic to accomplish is crucial. I see myself as a consultant who helps my students reach their goals. This includes helping my students set a goal and finding the best path to achieve it.

Teaching Experience

  • University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music, Classical Guitar Department – Teaching Assistant
  • Elemental Music, Santa Monica – Instructor
  • Musikschule Frankfurt, Germany
  • Musikschule Unteres Remstal, Germany
  • Musikschule Bad Nauheim, Germany
  • Private teaching studio: since 2003
  • since 2017

Taso Comanescu, Classical Guitarist

 “Taso Comanescu is an exciting, young guitarist. His enthusiasm for the music and talent for performing shows in the way his audiences have received him. I wish him all the best in his career”

                                                              Christopher Parkening, America’s preeminent guitar virtuoso


Elite Guitarist Taso ComanescuAmerican guitarist Taso Comanescu has recently emerged on the classical music scene as a colorful performer full of subtle nuance and strong musicianship. His interesting programs present a variety of repertoire highlighted by a deep commitment to engage his audiences in a meaningful way. Comanescu’s debut recording “Epitaphios” (2011) features music from all over the world including a world premier recording by the young American composer Kyle Peter Rotolo (Le Crane A La Cigarette Qui Fume).


More recently he released his follow up recording entitled “Renaissance | Baroque” (2015) featuring popular and lesser known transcriptions of works originally for lute, vihuela, theorbo and baroque guitar. The recording was described as “infused with a sense of artistry that is rarely found nowadays”. (Tavi Jinariu, guitar virtuoso)

Taso has been a member of the music faulty at Pepperdine University since 2011. Mr. Comanescu received his degrees from Pepperdine University studying with Christopher Parkening and the University of Southern California under Scott Tennant.  Taso plays on a 1973 Jose Ramirez guitar.

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching guitar, or anything for that matter, is an art that requires cultivation, patience and time to develop. I have been privileged to teach guitar privately for over 10 years and at Pepperdine University for the past 6 years. It has grown into a essential part of my life as a professional musician and an endless well from which I draw inspiration and encouragement. I have learned a great deal from my own teachers over the years and perhaps even more from my students.

Elite Guitarist Taso Comanescu LessonsMy philosophy at it’s core is about helping a student achieve their own personal goals on the instrument. Not everyone is called to be a concert guitarist, be it classical or contemporary, and not everyone has the same amount of time to practice. I have learned that it is vitally important to establish goals on a semi consistent basis so that students have clear reasons to practice and also track their progress. Consistency is key. The rewards will come.

I would also stress that the teacher-student dynamic is a two way street. Teachers should adapt their style to fit the individual student. In essence, one can’t teach every student the same exact way and expect uniform results. Students also need to be receptive to their teacher and be willing to try out their ideas. If a student resists, then what is the point? Ultimately learning can happen on so many levels and the guitar has much to offer to anyone who is patient enough to try.

I’m excited to be a part of EliteGuitarist and look forward to learning with all of you!



New year guitar resolutions? Well, about that…

As we welcome a New Year I thought I would write  a few lines and share some thoughts on the notoriously fickle New Year’s resolution we are all so prone to make. There seems to be no shortness of enthusiasm for the coming year and no boundaries as to what we think we will accomplish. Yes, we are all intending to exercise more, we are all going to read more, work less and spend more time doing what really matters. If you can diligently keep your resolutions, more power to you! I find that a couple of weeks into the new year my enthusiasm turns into a laborious grind  and I often find myself reverting to the old habits.

When it comes to guitar playing let’s nevertheless set goals for ourselves. Zig Ziglar famously said that “if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Boy, is this is ever true when it comes to the guitar? You may fall short of your lofty goals, but you wll nevertheless make significant progress. Set goals for yourselves and chase hard after those targets!

1. Have fun! This is my daughter’s favorite rule. Whenever we go to the Zoo or to the park we review the rules of “engagement” and our #1 rule is to have fun! Embrace the difficulty of guitar technique, enjoy the sound of your instrument, enjoy the feeling of strings under your right hand fingernails, enjoy the woody smell of your guitars, listen to a lot of difeliteguitarist-classical-guitar-lessonsferent guitarists that can stretch your interpretive palettes. Have fun folks; the purpose of music is to ennoble not just others but ourselves first of all.

2. Schedule in your practice time! Carve out time on your calendar and guard your practice time. The enjoyable routine of playing the guitar every day will add a sense of balance to your life and will be one of the most important factors that contribute to your overall growth.

3. Track your progress! Set small goals that you want to accomplish before each practice session and write them down. Meet your goals and check them off once you accomplish them. Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourselves; it is very unlikely that you will be able to read Bach’s Chaconne in the 27 minutes you have available to practice that day. In terms of musical progress, you will become the sum of our small decisions. You may not see the way you grow but, when looking in the rearview mirror, you will be encouraged by the progress you have made over time.

4. Log into your Elite Guitarist account and learn how to play repertoire pieces. What differentiates Elite Guitarist students from others is rather important fact that they can play actual repertoire pieces. Thank you to all who have sent me recordings of you playing these pieces; keep them coming folks! Over the coming months I will be adding these performances to a Elite Guitarist playlist on our Youtube channel entitled Student Performances.

I wanted to thank you all for embarking with us on this project that is Elite Guitarist. It has been a wonderful six months and I want to thank you for being regular users and contributors to what Elite Guitarist is and is becoming. If you are benefitting from these lessons and repertoire tutorials, pass the word around. We have several recording sessions scheduled for January and we will add a couple of Fernando Sor studies at the beginning of the year. We are also in the production stages of a flamenco track, which is very exciting to me. Thanks to all of you who have given us tutorial suggestions; meeting your repertoire suggestion will be my priority in the first 6 months of the year.

Happy New Year to all of you!

And, just to share with you my personal musical goals for 2017, here they are.

  • Learn 3 movements of Torroba’s Castles of Spain
  • Select & Prepare the repertoire for a Baroque album to be recorded in the next 1-2 years. (3 Scarlatti sonatas; Bach’s Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in Eb major; Suite in F by Weiss; La Frescobalda, etc…)
  • Record an album of Spanish music.
  • Upload 20 new tutorials for EliteGuitarist (classical track)

Online Classical Guitar Lessons & Repertoire Video Tutorials