This is something that's quite common, but it can be fixed by what is known as a stage-routine, for most people anyway. This doesn't mean a specific ritual, but that being on stage needs to start 'being' a routine. It sounds silly, but doing it on a regular basis will generally get you used to it. I see this quite often in one of my jobs, which is dance-accompaniment. Most of these groups follow a class where they'll practice a certain choreography for the period of a working year. At the end, there's usually several shows. Some participate in all of them, some in one, half of them usually don't show up at all. I accompany these with guitar, because a guitarist is easier to shout at, repeat, slow down or speed up, than having to rewind a CD-player every three seconds of music.
Very often there is a specific pattern that happens here. The first show has the most participants, and it goes the most poorly. It isn't a problem, because it's usually a small venue, meant for live-practice. People forget a part of their routine, they focus on the steps rather than the show, and so on. The second show tends to go a little better, and is usually within a week of the first one. It's commonly the biggest venue, and there are clearly still nerves in the dancers, but they've accepted them for the most part. By the time the third show rolls around, they're used to being on stage with a large number of people staring at them. This is generally the one where they'll actually get into it and have some fun, despite mistakes or forgetfulness. You'd think that, the veterans do better than the groups who have just started their first year. But the truth is, they don't. Because for most, it's been a year, sometimes half, since they've been on stage.
In my experience, this is true for most stage-shows. Whether it be a musical, a band, dance, or just speaking in public. It doesn't get easier having done it, but it does get easier having done it recently. Practicing at home helps, but unless you're mentally in the same mindset on stage as you were at home, you will experience the extra dimension that you get that is the dozens, or hundreds of people staring at you. Do it three times a year, and you'll feel no better, do it three times in quick succession, and I can almost promise you that you'll barely be bothered about it by the time the third show of the week rolls around. Just like you won't feel different during your second practice session at home or with the band.
You have a supportive band, with music and people that you enjoy. Don't shy away from the hard part, being on stage is a whole thing in itself that must also be practiced. If you don't practice being on stage, you won't get used to it. If you won't practice it regularly, you won't learn it. Anyway, that's true for most folks I meet, I hope you can find your way in it. It is a lot of fun once you're used to it.
I would like to make music everyday but until that i have alot to learn. So in thinking of a regular job + doing music in same time. When i will feel able to make it professional i will want to do make music full time.
Abou chords i know Major, minor, 7th and diminished.
About scales i know some major, minor and harmonic and i start learning then all along the neck + pentatonics.
I feel the most comfortable in Em and Am
I think that some of your issues are from clashing interests, like described in your first paragraph there.
For one, there is nothing holding you back from making music everyday, I can't remember a day in my life where I didn't make music in one form or another. If you can go to school, or your job, and play a little bit before and after, or sing along with songs you're learning to play while working, you can achieve both just fine. If you want to make music professionally, and full-time even, that needn't be necessarily dependent on how good you are. There are countless bands and musicians that are not the most technically proficient players, yet still manage to make a living (modest as it may be) from it. You just need to know what you need to be able to do, and what you're willing to do.
However, what you seem to be describing, is the idea that your professional career is dependent on what you know and what you can play, and I'm afraid to say that these two are very often not even remotely important to a professional career. Your current problem, as it seems to me, is that you have a goal that is not clearly defined and that is causing the frustration you're currently experiencing.
You can make a living playing music, by playing the latest top-40 songs at parties and make a fairly good living. Get a good agent, who has the contacts and is willing to sell your product, and you're making a living off of music by doing a show or two each day. If you want to make a living doing the music you would like to make personally, which seems to be what you're describing, it would help a lot if you actually could define for yourself what that music sounds like. If you do know the sound, as perhaps you've heard from another band or musician, then learn their music, or take lessons from them. And even being a good singer/guitarist isn't sometimes necessary. I could right now name you several 'modern' folk-singers who couldn't sing a decent note to save their lives, yet they're selling actual albums and playing live simply because there is a niche for their certain style.
But again, a professional career in music has not half as much to do with knowing your theory, or being a sweeping-shredding-god, as you might think. You just need to define your goals and your boundaries, and be willing to make sacrifices in other fields to achieve them. If you want a musical career, work to be a capable enough musician for a product that people are willing to pay for. If you dislike playing pop-songs, or being in a wedding-band playing four gigs a week, and want to make your own music to sell that, then start working on what that actually sounds like and write a show's worth of material while finding/creating a market for it. If you music is too niche a genre for it to be widely marketable, then learn to live with less.
I know it sounds stupidly simple, but that's because it is. Making a living in the western world is not the most difficult thing, but you need to know the way your chosen field works and what you're willing to let go, and what you need to do, to achieve success in it.
Those songs aren't really telling of your full range, they tend to stick to a specific part of your voice and don't approach the lower part of it, though much of it sounds like its voiced in a strained manner, like you're pushing to get to the note which makes it difficult to determine what part of your voice would be your actual comfort zone. But given that you're hitting high notes I can't even begin to approach - though I am more in the bass/baritone area - I find it unlikely you are a true baritone.
If your voice is still developing, which depends on your age for the most part, it's not really much use since it's going to change anyway. If you really want to know go see a vocal coach, first they'll tell you it's not all that important, and second they'll tell you there's a lot more to a voice than just range.
I have at several parts in my life been at the stage of having gotten to practice that many hours a day for varying reasons. All the concerns the others have posted are true and you will likely run into them. About physical injury - When I was young, I played that much because I wanted to, it was what I was good at and what I enjoyed doing. That and I was (and still am) rather obsessive about what I want to achieve. At that stage, it brought me a lot where it comes to skills, but it did come at a price. Every few years I'd get an injury, something akin to RSI according to the physical therapists, and I'd have to take a break to overcome it. Those were the worst weeks to endure at the time, because it felt like lost time. And it was down, simply to not having the ideal body for the instrument (if that even exists) - me being a bit too tall - and not proper technique for my physicality. And while I do have the technique I should have now, it takes a long time to really recognize what this is, as it may not be the same for everyone. Proper technique takes time to grow, and I was not about to give it that time. About burning out - When I was a bit older, and decided to make a living off of music, I went to the conservatory. This meant I had to play many, many hours a day. You get up in the morning, you play, study, then play, only take breaks for eating and travel, and go to bed late at night, and maintain that for 4/5 years. And not in the way I used to, which was just playing and trying to figure out a song or solo by ear, but having the notes in front of me and getting every part just right. Instead of just playing, I consciously had to think about what I was doing, why I was doing it and how to make it work. Try playing one piece, and one alone, for a month, now give yourself two to play for three months, and maybe four for half a year, it's horrible. Because it's dull, and never good enough. Oddly enough, playing had become secondary to having to think about 'what' I was actually playing, and I did not enjoy it at all. And I did get burned out, and the worst of it all was, I couldn't afford to take a break. Because there were still three more years of it to go.
Now, my technique is there, and I know I could play for that many hours a day, and I sometimes do. But there is a price for everything and I - being obsessive about my goals - really had to learn that by making the mistakes. I had to go through breaks because of injuries that threatened my ability to play at all, and I had to know what it was to force myself through being burned out. These days, there are so many different things I play, that it's difficult to actually maintain the technique for all of them, so I somewhat schedule my time/year throughout to accommodate what I need to be able to do. And everything the others said will happen if you force yourself to overdo it. If you go into it, do it with the proper support and variation. Because more than 5 hours a day is starting to turn into Olympic levels, and with that territory comes an incredible amount of knowing your physical and mental limits. Physical therapy and rest are essential and cannot be understated when it comes to staying healthy.
A last point, if you are still growing, doing too much of one thing will throw your body out, if you do not do it properly. This is why children are commonly discouraged from working out, not necessarily because it's unhealthy, but simply because they tend to do it wrong. I have at least one colleague that had the doctors tell him that he would have to severely change his technique or start varying constantly, because his (10+ hours/day) of playing - he was a child at this time - was starting to stunt his growth.
About mental injury - As a real last note, I'm going to post a few links here regarding focal dystonia, to get you to know what can happen if you really go too far. Because most of the injuries we're familiar with, are physical, and they're not half as frightening as the mental injuries. Not enough people know about it. Basically what happens, because of overtraining, part of your brain gets thrown out of balance, and your fingers will not listen to you properly anymore. Remember that playing is mostly a mental thing, not physical, and your brain is not something you want to injure.
I am no doctor, so take this for what you will. I have met a lot of people that said it was unwise to lift weights, or do calisthenics, they gave no specific reasons but the general belief seemed to be that you would get stiff from doing any kind of strenuous exercise. Mind you, these were all professional musicians or physical therapists, some of rather lofty heights that most of us (including me) will never achieve. They were also unhealthy by my standards, overweight, or underweight, and (so far) very much wrong.
If you are concerned, speak with a neurologist, because from what they've told me, it is very difficult to seriously impact your playing abilities by anything else but the mental part of it. Having callouses on your hands, or more muscle on your arms/shoulders/hands, makes no difference as I understand it. Of course, if you go about doing excessive exercises that shorten your muscles, but you don't do the appropriate stretching or yoga, and learn to maintain proper posture to counteract those changes, that's a whole other level. But that is neglecting part of the training that should come with fitness/bodybuilding, not the fault of your workout, just you neglecting part of your training and thus throwing your body out of balance.
When I was sixteen I gave up martial arts, because I wasn't allowed in with nails, which my playing requires. A few years later I decided to dedicate my life to the instrument and make a living off of it, and gave up extreme sports, because of the increased risk of injury such as breaking a wrist. These - to me - are all logical decisions. They cut out a significant risk of severe injury, which often results never being able to play again.
Playing guitar is very much a mental thing, all those movements are governed by the brain, and when you're practicing you're basically training your brain to be able to influence your nerves in such detail that your fingers can move more independently. There is very little actual finger-improvement in the general sense, I've seen guitarists with big hands, small hands, fat hands, or skinny-long hands. So long as they put in the work and they actually have fingers, it makes no difference. Just don't do any stupid stuff, and you should be fine, that's my experience with it anyway.
Regarding pinch harmonics, I remember typing out quite a post a few years ago regarding some tricks and misconceptions that surround it, which I'll quote down here. It doesn't need to be difficult, but you do need to know how it works. The short of it is that it is not a 'feel' or 'sweet spot', or even gain-related issue, I can do pinch harmonics on any string with any instrument, because I know how it works. In the post below, the first half is regarding natural harmonics, you can skip to the 2nd half below the -------
(As a side-note, there may be some translation issues which you'll have to forgive, given that english is in fact not my first language.)
While I won't take away from the message above, I shall add this to it. It is intended to be an explanation of how these pinch harmonics work, and how you can get it to work. Whether you'll be able to apply them properly, or even with good taste is another matter . But as said above, true musicianship takes time. I won't however keep valuable information from someone motivated, and if you do not use it now, you can always use it later.
A pinch harmonic is in essence little more than the latter of the word, the harmonic, created by a technique, the pinching. It can seem like quite a magic trick, and to apply it proper is a wholly different matter than following a guide, but it isn't truly all that difficult to understand.
What you must first know (and probably already do) is that we can produce a higher note by shortening the string, commonly known as fretting a note. This is one of several ways to produce a note, and the first step would be to learn natural harmonics.
Natural harmonics, you should understand, are always there. Granted, pickups don't always let them through, but when you play an A on the 7th fret on the D string, then immediately mute it, you'll still be able to hear that A. This is a harmonic-common, the A string (but in fact, every note you play) has several harmonics hidden in it, and when some overlap, they'll start vibrating with the common and continue doing so, even if the other one is muted. You can hear the same when you push down any note on a piano (but soft enough that it doesn't make a sound), followed by playing that same note an octave higher or lower, then muting it. The common harmonic from one note to the other will vibrate in sync and continue doing so while you hold down that note, even if you stop the first.
Harmonics are there in great number, some are simply more difficult to pull off than other due to how close together they eventually are. If you wish to play one, instead of fretting a note, just rest the finger above the fret (don't push down) rather than fretting it and actually shortening the string. Since where a fretted note shortens the string, a harmonic divides the string, letting both sides (in front and behind the finger) vibrate. So remember to immediately lift that finger, or you'll be dampening the string, making for a very short and fading harmonic. You'd be able to see this 'dividing-in-parts' with a camera fit for slow-motion capture and I've no doubt there have been a dozen programs dedicated to showing something like it in slow-motion.
For a normal harmonic to work, try the following positions. They generally work on every string, but the high-e and b-string can be a bit tricky, so I'd advise starting on the lower one.
The coloured numbers are quite easy to play, simply rest your finger (remember, no pushing down) exactly above the fret, pick the note and lift your fretting finger from the string. A neat trick as well, is to rest your finger on the string as you'd play a normal harmonic (such as above the 12th fret), and slide down the while picking constant notes. You'll be able to hear your finger passing a great number and variant of harmonics on the way down to the 1st fret.
If you'd do this, you'll realize that there are more than just the three I named above. Aside from the 12th fret (which divides the string in 2 vibrating parts), the 7th fret (3 vibrating parts) and the 5th (4 vibrating parts) you'll find there is one just before the 9th fret, the same one just before the 4th fret, just past the 3rd fret, and two more between the 2nd and 3rd fret. As you can see, they're getting closer and closer together, thus making them more difficult to play.
Before we can apply this principle to fretted notes, a slight detour just to be sure we're both on the same page. Our western music, and with it most music systems in the world as well, revolve around a 12, 24 or at times even 36-note system. They do however also apply the principle of the octave. Which means that an unfretted A-string is called an A, but the 12th fretted note on that A-string is also an A. It's just an octave higher. So long as we're not getting involved in Bohlen-Pierce tonal systems (dreadful sound, but give it a listen, it's good for you), you'll find this octave trick keeps coming back.
What it affects on your guitar, is that all those harmonics between the 1st and the 12th fret, repeat themselves almost entirely an octave further up. There are a few exceptions, but try playing those same harmonics an octave higher. Especially the 12th fret octave 12 frets further (so the 24th fret). It's there as well, even if you don't have a 24th fret. Which is the great thing about harmonics, they're not reliant on your number of frets. So long as there is a string, there will be a number of harmonics on it since they're in every note you play, whether you hear them or not. If you single them out by dividing the string, playing natural harmonics, they won't be pushed into the background by the rest of the sound you produce.
Now, so far we've played natural harmonics with your fretting hand, and picked them with your picking hand. But on a pinched harmonic, what you're essentially doing is playing both the picking part and the fretting part, with your picking hand. To be specific, the thumb. This is where the so-called pinching comes in play.
This still works on every string in principle, but some lend themselves better to it than others. On electric guitars, particularly the g-string has a great harmonic presence, so I advise starting there.
As you've already learned, easy natural harmonics are present in the 5th, 7th and 12th fret. And repeat themselves in the same manner 12 frets further, in the 17th, 19th and 24th fret. And this repetition - keeps - going. It doesn't stop. That's how strings work, and that's what is leading to what is most important about pinched-harmonics and what is often forgotten or not realized at all. Pinched harmonics don't have an absolute sweet-spot. They are in essence simply natural harmonics, created by using the picking hand instead, and depending on where you fret the note this 'sweet-spot' moves along with it!
It is relative to the note you're playing, not absolute, and it means that if you're playing a pinch harmonic, 2 octaves above the fretted note (so 24 frets), you will need to strike the note exactly 24 frets further up the next, while the right hand to create a natural harmonic at the same time. It means that if you are fretting at the 7th fret, your (24 fretted) pinched harmonic will need to be struck at (where on your guitar) the 31st fret would be. If you'd prefer a different harmonic, strike elsewhere accordingly to the sum.
The technique itself most often involves using the side of the thumb holding the pick creating the actual harmonic, and actually dividing the string. For it, you'll generally wind up holding the larger part of the pick and only striking the string with a very small part of it, hence the 'pinching'.
What should also be noted, is that while it is essentially the same note, a lot ought be said for technique. Common in classical guitar is to play a fretted harmonic with a free finger of the picking hand. This is also possible, but it does not sound the same. In the same manner that different techniques for vibrato don't sound the same. They can all be explained, but they do all involve different techniques to create different sounds.
Good luck, if you do not or cannot use it now, I hope you'll be able to use it later, as well anyone else who might gain some insights from the above.
Something to keep in mind, that is not necessarily to do with how it affects the sound, is how raising the bridge excessively is whether it is actually physically possible. You see, when you raise it (it being this white thing here below just for clarification) the force from the string that is pulling it down and forwards is also dramatically increased because you're increasing the angle at which the strings come at the bridge.
So you're increasing the forces that are trying to pull it out of place, which will be directed at whatever mass is around it to keep it there.
And the only thing that is keeping the bridge from being pulled in that direction, is its own resistance against this force, and whatever mass is around it to keep it in place. As you can see below, for this guitar that is plenty.
But for this one, it's quite a bit less wood to balance out.
Now, when it comes to nylon strings there's quite a bit of difference where it comes to tension, so a classical guitar as in this example you can afford to not have a lot of mass to keep the bridge in place. It's also why steel-stringed guitars tend to have more mass around it, or have it made of different material. But the possibility does exist, to greater or lesser degree depending on which luthier you speak with, that the wood around it will tear, and that is a whole other mess that is much more difficult to clean up, assuming the instrument actually survives the incident.
So, long story short, take it to a luthier if you don't know how an instrument is affected by what you're trying to do to it.
No offense meant, take it for what you will. Personally, I tune by using my ears only, and they tend to steer me just a little over 440 hz. I also find that I tend to use the most prevalent intervals from the root of a song or piece for orientation when it comes to tuning, since the guitar is tonally not a perfect instrument. Likely not as practical in a band setting, but given that I tend to do mainly solo or duo things with a vocalist, it works fine for me.
I'll agree with what the others have said as it is sound advice, but I'll also give my own experience regarding this. Chance has it that I've actually spoken about this very subject with a lawyer little over a week ago, and it is very, very difficult to do without being in a whole lot of trouble legally speaking should the owner of the copyright, usually the author or their heirs (So if you make arrangements of miles davis works, their heirs can quite well sue for it) discover it and decide to make a problem. To put it shortly, I wanted to look into publishing arrangements of popular songs, since I do a lot of that on a weekly basis and I thought about putting them up for sale.
Turns out I'd have to contact the authors, or whoever has the rights to the music, to ask whether I was allowed to make arrangements. And, here comes the good part, they'd take about 70% of the cut. This means the actual product, in my case it was digitally written sheet-music and tabs, but I expect a video will fall in the same category more or less. So no go there for me, there's no money in it as far as I can see (without jumping a whole lot of whoops) and what money there is, is (legally at least) not for you for the most part. If you do it without contacting the authors/owners, there is a lot of risk involved with quite often parties that are a whole lot bigger and wealthier than most of us - as I've been told at least - and with YouTube I expect the artist in question is actually allowed to claim the video, and if not them then definitely the record labels.
As a disclaimer, this is just my experience and I am not a lawyer or legal advisor of any kind. If you want actual advice, just phone a lawyer that specializes in this sort of thing, those phone-calls generally don't cost you anything. And while you can't actually get any rights or assurances from it (which they will and should tell you), they will often give you a good idea of what you'll run into.
I've had a few students that played with, shall we say, unusual digits, but I've not personally had to deal with how to actively work against pain other than the obvious. In short, playing guitar actually tends to hurt at first, the strings - especially when dealing with steel strings - dig into the fingertips. Over time we tend to develop callouses, but if her digits are that damaged it may be wise to look at alternative ways of playing. I'm not sure what she has in mind to play, but if you can, I would encourage playing with a pick, and playing left-handed. That way, she won't have to deal with the - if I understand you correctly - constant pain of having to press thin steel strings into her still damaged fingers. And using a pick in her damaged hand may well be a lot more pleasant than having to press down on the strings constantly. And even if she is intent on fingerpicking, I still reckon occasional plucking may be a better option than the constant pressure the fretting hand has to deal with.
If it's any consolation, what you describe has happened before and it is possible to play with. Regardless of whether you can appreciate the music, it's happened and dealt with in various genres. The most obvious being Toni Iommi, while it is not an exact how-to on what to do, it is an interesting read. He basically did what you wrote, and made plastic fingertip-extenders for himself. https://patient-innovation.com/post/1662
Another that comes to mind is Django Reinhard, who just about entirely lost the use of two of his fingers on his fretting hand in a fire-accident, re-invented his technique and became basically the grandfather of 1930's hot-jazz.
And the latest being the pianist, Michel Petrucciani, who according to his own words was in constant pain while playing, due to a disease that caused brittle-bones among many other issues.
I hope the above gives some insight, and I truly hope you will be able of helping her achieve her goals. The pictures are not meant in bad-taste, but I am trying to stress that it would very likely help if you looked at technique as well, since that can very much overcome a lot of problems a musician can face. If it means she's to play left-handed, definitively go for that route as it'll help a lot both when starting, and further down the line. She sounds like she has a lot of determination, which is a definitive must-have for playing guitar, because it is an exceptionally honest instrument. If you don't do it right, it won't do anything, and if you don't mean what you play, it won't sound like anything. She'll get there if she can maintain that determination, regardless of anything that'll get laid in her way. And you're a fantastic parent for wanting to support her in this, rather than trying to discourage it. Good luck.
While Alhambra is the commonly accepted brand where it comes to that price-range, I've always found them to be a bit 'dull'. They have their quality-control down though, so it is a safe bet. I've played a few cordoba guitars (I'm fairly certain one of which was the GK-studio, as I looked into it years ago, but can't be certain) and while I've been told their quality-control is much better than it used to be, I actually felt they were rather bad in comparison. They sounded plasticky to me. As far as Yamaha's go, their electrics are great for the price, but I've never been impressed by any of their acoustics.
Another few brands you may want to look into are Esteve, which I've played and were quite pleasant. I own a Cashimira which is rather good, and seem to be alright in general, several friends and colleagues have one and they are consistently pleasant. Not fantastic, but good all the same. Another brand that comes to mind, which I'm not sure still exists since I can't find it on the internet is Azahar, I have an Artesanas model from when I started playing and it still holds up.
A third option you may wish to look into, is what I found for that exact price-range. This is a long-shot, and may require some patience, but if you're confident in your ability to judge an instrument's quality, may be well worth it. There are several hobbyist luthiers, some of which are quite good, that tend to build for that price-range. I have a hand-made cedar/mahogany guitar which blows all other guitars in its price-range out of the water. It was a lucky find, it is not perfect, but the instrument really has a personality of its own that I've not found in any other factory-made instrument at around that range. And after more than a decade, it's still in good condition.
What you also may wish to look into, before diving into the internet, is to find out whether you're a cedar or a spruce person. These two are the most commonly used top-woods, and their response and tone they produce is vastly different. People tend to lean towards one or the other, and since the alhambra's you posted are cedar, but the cordoba's are spruce they'll likely be miles apart. So it's good to know where you fall on the divide so that you know a bit more of what to look for. Of course, this doesn't mean your tastes can't change over time, but it helps to know.
To elaborate a little, I'll make a few notes that are not my opinion but the collected knowledge of luthiers that make classical guitars, several of which I know on a personal level, which I'll state just to be transparent with you here. Take the information for what you will. You do not have to believe me when I write that it is common knowledge and practice among luthiers, but at the very least believe me when I write that I have no intention of giving false information or trying to put someone on the wrong foot outright. If the information is wrong, by all means prove it and we'll all be better for it, as I'm sure we're all here to learn, but there is no need for animosity.
In the following you'll find why a guitar works the way it does, and it is why one would not want to attach too much mass to a guitar's top, be it classical, western or otherwise. I've posted a few excerpts of it below.
The body serves to transmit the vibration of the bridge into vibration of the air around it. For this it needs a relatively large surface area so that it can push a reasonable amount of air backwards and forwards. The top plate is made so that it can vibrate up and down relatively easily. It is usually made of spruce or another light, springy wood, about 2.5 mm thick. On the inside of the plate is a series of braces. These strengthen the plate. An important function is to keep the plate flat, despite the action of the strings which tends to make the saddle rotate. The braces also affect the way in which the top plate vibrates. For more information about vibrations in the top plate and in the body, see the links below. The back plate is much less important acoustically for most frequencies, partly because it is held against the player's body. The sides of the guitar do not vibrate much in the direction perpendicular to their surface, and so do not radiate much sound.
'Coupling' simply refers to an interaction between two or more vibrating elements. First of all, on a guitar, the string is excited (plucked or picked) by your fingers, vibrating the bridge, which then goes on to vibrate the soundboard and the internal air cavity, then the back and sides and so on. If these these elements interact well, the whole system is said to be strongly coupled.
The higher frequency (pitch) sounds are produced by string interaction with the bridge and then the sound board, whereas the lower frequencies are essentially driven by the internal air cavity/sound hole and ribs/back coupling effects:
Below you can see how a classical top is made, and just how tedious and precise a process it is, and perhaps imagine what a difference attaching an extra layer of plastic can make, given that a golpeador is a quarter the thickness of a classical guitar top and why some of us are so apprehensive about it.
Now, these are of course but a few sources, that is not a scientifically sound number, but you can test things for yourself. Try strumming a chord, then press down with your flat hand on the top, just behind the bridge. You will most likely hear a definite decrease in sound, because you're effectively muting what is amplifying the sound. This is also why classical musicians and luthiers can get so iffy when it comes to building guitars and technique. Like Alexandre Lagoya, one of whose students was my teacher, and she often told me how he insisted that the instrument would touch the musicians body as little as possible so you wouldn't mute the vibrations and thus the sound of the instrument. In the same way, it is often preferred not to put too heavy a pickguard on a top, which is what I was trying to get across.
I have met people who felt a 3mm thick pickguard wouldn't be much harm, and they regretted it, which is why I tried to make that clear as well. I still believe one is better off with a golpeador, or at least some form of protection, than it is scratching through the guitar. I didn't immediately hear a difference, but that's just my ears and I don't doubt there are others who can detect it, or that a more intrusive method of protection will have more intrusive results. Which is why I stated that. I personally have a tendency to not go for just one voice of approval, which is why I felt it oughtn't be so bad to re-state what came before in a post I may or may not have not noticed a certain keyword of. And even if it's already been said, there needn't be that much animosity for something like that.
A traditional pickguard? No, that is not okay. The top is what makes most of the sound, and ramming screws through it will not make it better, and instead ruin some of the tensions in there. Even if you intend to glue it on there, a top is intended to be as thin as possible, to project as much as sound as it gets from the strings. Gluing a traditional pickguard on there will put on too much mass and make the sound worse for it. However, there are solutions and those are what flamenco players use.
On a flamenco guitar, it is not a pickguard that is used, but a 'golpeador'. The difference is that one is several mm's thick fat sound-absorbing piece of plastic, and the latter is less than a mm thick pre-glued plastic sheet. A golpeador is generally only against the golpe's, the tapping with the nail on the top, and they're actually sold individually, but you can make do with cutting your own out of thin pre-glued plastic. I have put one on a hand-made classical guitar and not noticed a difference, but there are limits so be careful how you do it. If you are not sure, have a luthier do it for you. See below how to do it, and notice how it is barely as thick as a nail.
toine Hearing that, I think I understand what you'll be going for. And I think it could work, depending on the actual piece you'll follow it up with. The other side of me however thinks that - when you've already displayed a certain technique - why do it again? But still, an 8-finger tapping thing could work after that, and quite possibly it can be something contemporary, I agree. However, it'd have to be perfect as a musical composition. Because if it's not, it's just going to sound like a cheap, poppy interpretation of something Leo Brouwer has composed to a far better degree and that'd be what they'll throw at you.
If I may ask, in my experience there's usually a main focus or subject on the research for your masters. What is yours?
Arthur_Frain They are. And the few pieces I'd personally thought at one point would be fine, I know for a fact are not. Unless you know your teachers extremely well and their opinions on the pieces you intend to play, or if you don't give a damn (which I'd find admirable in this circumstance), I haven't high hopes you'll get away with it. If you do wish to slip in a contemporary piece, I'd suggest you make an arrangement that is within the classical composition methods, or approach a composer that can do it for you.
While I don't get the impression that your master's are entirely similar to the ones we have here, I don't believe that the culture and actual demands on musicality is all that different from here. Which means you'll not only be judged on your technique, but also on the way your setlist flows, whether it covers the right musical eras, whether you approach the various eras correctly regarding musical execution, and so on. But one of the factors that also tends to count is if the pieces are appropriate. And while I find both pieces above quite pleasant, Tommy's version will simply sound wrong and too simple when put next to a piece by Bach, and Gomm's version is riddled with effects - something that rarely goes over well.
If it is your masters, you're free to do what you want. You're not going to get dropped for one piece, and I strongly doubt anyone will ever deny you a job or a gig because of a piece you played now, but it is possible that - even when you play something impressive - it simply won't be understood. And if my experience in this scene counts for anything, the last thing you want to do is show a classically trained musician, your teachers, something they don't understand. It rarely goes over well, because it steps on their pride and shows them how silly some preconceptions regarding musical tastes are. Have you played the piece for one of your teachers at least?
As a matter of fact, at the conservatory I studied, one of the students a year higher than me did just this. He did his masters in 'Modern Music', and had a composer write a piece for his graduation, which was on electric guitar. The rest of his graduation was on classical guitar, naturally it was still modern music (as in 20th century classical music, not radio-friendly guitar music), but it did work as a coherent total.
I've done the same thing at a presentation - combining a late-renaissance piece, a spanish duo-piece with flute, and Satriani's Satch Boogie - to show what is possible on what is essentially the same instrument, people liked it plenty. Didn't need backtrack for that either, just conviction. You'll be fine, but make sure you've got your stuff down.
I don't think it was that long ago, maybe a month, that we had someone here posting their troubles with Kiesel's quality control and return policy. It may be worth looking into those factors of a company as well, if you're going to be making a large investment in an instrument like this.
Since you're looking into a 'What I'd spend it on' though, I'll give an off-the-shelf answer. I've always been an Ibanez-man, something about those instruments just rings with me. Probably a 7-string because I like the extra resonance of the 7th string So I'd probably get one of the newer j.custom models, make some room for the middle single-coil, and spend the rest on a whole load of pickups until I've found the exact set I want.
Captaincranky I'm going to play devil's advocate here and state that in my experience it's actually not that bad an idea to introduce new players to as many various techniques as early as possible. Since generally, the longer you wait, the more difficult new techniques seem and the more frustrating they feel to pick up in comparison to trying to solve a technical difficulty that we've grown fully accustomed to. It's true that the foundation needs to be there, but if you only teach someone how to mold clay, they'll be at odds with constructing the roof and still get wet when it rains.
It is in a way a different view on things, but I agree with Dreadnought that I'd prefer to give someone a few handles to grab onto, engage their intuition and let them solve problems in their own way at their own pace, rather than forcing someone into a certain shape. Since we're not all made the same shape, but that's just mine and a few of my colleagues experience. I am the type of person that learns from mistakes though, and I'll fully admit that there are people who'd rather get simple and clear instructions on what to do where, that's just not me and my pupils know that.
Anyway, to bring it back on topic. To OP, there is no reason to limit yourself, but you need to know your goals. What do you want to achieve? Is it your own sound you're looking for and do you know what it is? Then you can know how to find it on your own, with however many fingers you like. If there are certain songs of pieces you wish to be able to play, you may want to start looking into how they're played by their composers and learn that. Some just care about making a sound, or specifically their sound. Some want ALL the techniques that exist, most of us are a little bit in the middle. There are - to me - only two rules. It needs to sound good, and it shouldn't hurt (neither on the short, nor the long run.) Good technique is necessary, but that doesn't mean your good technique is the same as mine. We're different people after all.
...OTOH, classical guitar is a very formal style, and does use the thumb, index, middle & ring fingers. The thumb covers the E-6, A-5, & D-4 strings, with one finger for each of the G-3, B-2 & e-1...
Not a criticism, but this is not correct so I'll elaborate a little. Indeed those fingers are used, but they're by no means limited to certain strings depending on what era the music you're playing comes from. Many picado runs involve the ringfinger, melody lines are often played with a finger and thumb, particularly when it comes to lute-music from the renaissance period.
Well, the good news is that your fretting hand is precise, quick and strong enough to perform a hammer-on, so it'll be good enough to perform when you're picking the notes. The bad news is that your picking hand has some catching up to do to be able of keeping up, as well as getting it synchronized with the other one. If I'm understanding your writing correctly, you're fretting way before you pick the note, and you need those two movements to get closer together so as to not sound like they're two different movements.
Usually, when my pupils come across synchronization issues, it's quite often because they're afraid to miss a note so they're over-preparing their fretting-hand positioning. I tend to solve it by making them hammer - then pick the note in a rhythmical fashion. For example, hammer/pick = half-note/half-note. Which becomes quarter-note/three-quarter, becomes 8th/seven-8th, and so on. Decrease the timing between the two until you can get them to an unnoticeable timing difference. If you're afraid to miss a note with your fretting hand, look to where you're going, but never look at your hand. There comes a point where you can't trace your movements, so eventually that will only hold you back.
The best way to learn is to just sit down with a record and learn the chords and solo's, then using that material try to play some of your own. However, I get the impression that you - and most people asking this question - aren't asking about the why of what they're doing, but want to know the what/how of what you like about it. And the what/how can indeed be answered with music theory, it can try to elaborate and explain to you the underlying train of thought and steps taken to get there.
All that won't help you a damned thing if you can't play it though, and even more-so if you can't hear it. For example, when it comes to classical guitar, there are a lot of little intricacies that people tend to not notice once they're done well. But I can tell if someone plays something and they're not used to - for example - hear every melody line in their fugue at the same time internally, while playing, or when they can't feel the rhythm while slowing down or speeding up, it'll all just sound unnatural. Because it is. If you can't hear it, feel it, you can't play it. So I stand by your ears being the best teacher, because you'll subconsciously understand the notes better somehow. And this goes doubly so for jazz.
So take some time, sit down with what music you like, and just figure it out. In your own way, there are no wrong paths. Because you'll be playing what your ears tell you is right, while training them, and that's experience you'll actually be able to employ in every similar situation afterwards. These days, you can slow a song down as much as you like, so there really is nothing holding you back. And should you learn music theory? Definitively, but learn your solfege (ear-training) at the same time. These are things that go hand in hand, but "what am I hearing" is a two-sided question and it's always come as very strange to me that people wanting to learn music-theory just accept a set of chord-names, scales and intervals, without actually being able to listen to a piece of music and seeing that what they deduced on their own was correct.
This is what irks me mostly when I see questions about music-theory, it's that people very often use it as 'the easy way', that if they just learn a specific set of knowledge they don't have to put in the work. And I'm not saying you are, but I am very fervently trying to push to you that a note that can be named has no function if you can't hear it. There is a very big difference between theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge, and it would be a shame if you focused so much on the theoretical and found out you couldn't actually use it because 'in the moment' you couldn't take the time to think which you could at your desk. So definitively learn music theory, but at the same time, train your ears and use your new-found knowledge to try and explain what it is you've been hearing.
Cordoba is a known name for it indeed, though in my experience they felt quite cheap. There are also some nylon-stringed semi-electric guitars that are very similar to electrics in shape and neck-profile/shape. Yamaha has some as well. I remember also playing a nylon-model Taylor at some point, but that didn't work at all. So it certainly does exist, I don't doubt every major manufacturer has something in this range for you, however I strongly advise against it.
You see, classical guitars aren't made to the same goals that many steel-strings are. Nylon guitars used to be a lot smaller than they are now, and they actually sound better for it. Having a large-bodied western-esque model tends not to bring out the best of nylon strings. Many major steel-string manufacturers tend to just 'put out' a nylon model because they feel they could make some money from that part of the market. This may sound harsh, but I play nylon strings for a living. Whenever I pick up a brand that's originally a western-model manufacturer, it's outright painful. That Taylor I've played was four times the price of most reasonable beginner-classicals and it was simply terrible in comparison. It felt and sounded like plastic, not because they're a bad manufacturer, but simply because they had no idea what to do with nylon. It is not more difficult, just an entirely different approach to woodwork and construction and in most cases the manufacturer just tries to carry over what they know from working with steel-strings.
So, Cordoba is decent, and they're focused on nylons so you can somewhat trust them to know what they're doing. However, I felt their instruments to be a bit cheap and they've a history (up to several years ago anyway) of poor quality control, perhaps that has been fixed now. Purchase whatever you feel is right, and perhaps I had a stinker the few times I tried them [western-model nylons], but I stand by Dreadnought's comment that you're better off learning to play both. It was possible for me, as it was for many others, I'm sure you'll be fine it just takes some effort.
A short answer would be 'no', they don't. They don't go low enough to completely fill out the dynamic range they fill in a band, and even then you'd be sorely lacking in a low-end. It'll just sound like a low guitar, like someone with a tenor-voice trying to sing a bass-part of a choir. Sometimes they can reach, but it just sounds empty or even uncomfortable. When I discovered 7-string guitars, I liked them a lot because all my other strings felt fatter-sounding, I don't particularly care for those few extra notes, everything else just had more breathing room. And a bass has that, where just playing the lowest string on your guitar will still feel lacking.
The instrument aside, many guitarists don't understand how to 'bass'. Playing bass is an entirely different role in music, and a guitarist playing bass tends to be very telling, they have a different vision on music that is rarely compatible with the role a bassist fills. If I had the choice between a true, solid bassplayer, but without the technical bravado a guitarist might have, or a monster-guitarist who will just try to be a guitarist in a lower range, I'd go for the bassist every day of the week.
A somewhat longer answer to why they're not in there, is down to an answer I got from a luthier I know well and trust wholly - a couple of years ago when I asked about cut-aways and built-in microphones. Though I cannot guarantee it'll have the same effect on western guitars, where this concerned a classical instrument, I reckon many of the same rules still apply.
So, apparently the shape and internal construction and tensions of a guitar are a very precious thing. The thickness of the top and the way its sanded down in its various areas all contribute incredibly much. Their support construction underneath is in many cases slightly different and custom-made to the particulars of the piece of top-wood. So for everything to vibrate in a natural manner, the instrument is aided a lot by a construction that doesn't have to wring and wrestle to support an uneven design, much less make it sound balanced. This applies to the general design of the instrument as well, if you were to put a cut-away in an instrument, you have to do some serious witch-craft on the support underneath the top, as well as the sides, so as to not lose a lot of the tonal qualities the instrument might otherwise have.
If you were to to put in a microphone, or something or other, and cut into the sides, you are taking away a lot of the tension and support on one side of the instrument. And you'd need to either work something in so the instrument doesn't sound worse for it constructionwise. Of course, on an instrument of a couple-hundred bucks this isn't so much a problem, but on a 3k-leviathan? Not a chance. For that price - which captures the higher-end study guitars up to lesser concert guitars, where nylons are concerned - I expect a serious instrument that at the very least has a balanced tone, a nice projection and reasonable playability (this isn't as often a concern on classicals, one is expected to 'git gud'). So some minor gimmick that can tune worse than I can, at the cost of a lesser instrument? Not a chance. (One does not need perfect pitch to tune btw, presuming your audience isn't comprised of PPers a good relative pitch tuning ought more than suffice.)
Another reason why people aren't always taught a song 'correctly' is because they're at that point in time not capable of actually playing what is required, and their teacher opts for a 'somewhereaboutsthis'-version of what to play. More often than not, newcomers don't care about playing exactly what it is, they want to make a recognizable sound, so that's what they're given.
Being a musician as an actual (and only) source of income myself, I think quite a few people seem to believe it's a lifestyle that is more than a dream. But there's a lot of things people don't consider, and really - most people don't want to be a musician, they want to have a day off. You somewhat have it covered with 'If I won the lottery', but that's precisely the point. I have throughout my life given up things because I wanted to be a musician. And it's far more than just not having a big car. It's there in everyday life and that is rarely realized. This is why people say they 'are' a musician, rather than they 'play an instrument'.
I've given up certain sports that I cannot do, because I cannot risk my hands or nails. That means no ball-sports involving your hands, and no combat sports. It means doing certain things right- or left handed, like cutting vegetables for example. Because if I cut into a nail it makes my working life that much harder. It means I've had to live and at a point worked from a room no larger than 8 by 15 feet for several years. It means I had to live without a car for over a decade. It means I practice everyday - no exceptions - to retain the skills I need for the job. It means that if I don't get up and create work for me, I don't get paid. It means that every audition, ever paycheck, I need to prove before the job that I deserve it more than all the other people there. It means that if I get sick, I don't get paid. I don't have vacations, or weekends. I just have days I don't get paid. It means that if I do something wrong and work myself into an injury, or if I don't have a piece prepared in time, it can cost me several jobs down the line. It means that I'm juggling several different jobs as well as taxes, coordinating other musicians, recording, while advertising and keeping up administration on a monthly basis. It means having children is a conscious decision depending on whether you can afford them not just time- and financially, but whether you actually have room for it.
And it is fantastic. But it has a vast, VAST impact on the entire shape of your life.
I would not trade it for anything, and I am far more successful than I ever thought - or have been told - I would be. I can live in a normal house now, support a family, something I consciously decided to cut from my life and accept as unattainable when I first started out. But it really should be realized, it is an existence without a safety-net, where you have to be conscious of your every decision on a daily basis. And it's one only reserved for people that are extremely determined, driven and disciplined. You need to have a clear vision, a clear goal that you want to achieve and how you know you could achieve it. And you need to know exactly what you would want to do once you've achieved that goal. Many people aren't, most people don't know what to do with their time once they've been given free reign over it. Could you do your day-job for a year, or more even, without your boss telling you to do so? Could you maintain quality and structure, while supporting a family, creating and advertising new assignments? Because that's the main thing it takes. Hard work. There are no days off, just wasted time.
Sure making music is fun. But most people are so used to being told what to do and when to do it, from birth on out, that they don't know how to cope once there's no-one instructing them. That's why pensioners start to look for more work once they stop their main job. So, don't feel too much down when things aren't going well, or when you've got a day, or a week, or month where the job is just rotten. When you've got colleagues you don't get along with. When your boss is sadistic. Because they are that safety net. And when one job/employer doesn't work out, there are others. And you just need one to get right where I need to get it right every single time, and immediately start looking for and creating new jobs for myself. Those steady jobs, they are those clear lines concerning what to do, which can be a life-saver mentally. Because you can relax, even when you send a wrong product to a customer, or get cut on your pay. Because when you get home, after those 8-10 hours, you can leave it all behind. I can't.
I know that most people here are fine with their day-jobs and playing on the side, and I'm not trying to discourage or put anyone down. I do this because I wouldn't be right for a 'normal' day-job. And if you truly want to be a musician, go for it. But be prepared for all of the above and more.
MaggaraMarine True, I might've given a better example, but that was rather the point of it. The fact that things can get confusing and that not always the same method is used. I've seen the one you described several times, but also a few other variations on the theme, and in my experience it's often a bit of a mess. Readable to an experienced musician, but like I said - to hell with consistency. Sigh...
That D natural is not a leading note without the right context, so I think you've your definitions a bit mixed up there, in this case it'd be called the subtonic. However, to not run the risk of derailing this conversation to a whole other subject which I don't think you meant it to be, we'll stick with the mode and natural note part.
It's a b7 for the same reason why it is a b3, which is in your instance also a G natural, but not a G-flat despite there being a flat-sign in your series of notes. This is where actual note names and functional definitions can seem a bit confusing and get mixed up. An that's what happened here, but they're not all that difficult. Simply put, Aeolian (not E-Aeolian, just Aeolian) is R, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7, R. This states the distances between the actual notes, but does not in any way actually bother with what those notes are called. It defines function, not name. So a b7 in E is indeed D natural, in the key of F however that b7 becomes an Eb, in the key of Eb it'd become Db, but when we're playing in the key of Db it becomes a B natural. If you know your notes, you'd see that these notes I named are always a whole note (two/ten frets) removed from the current root.
Where it gets confusing, is once we start thinking the flat sign, the b(number here) actually has anything to say about the note. But it doesn't. So if you're writing down a scale like you have, either name the notes or ignore the notes altogether and stick with the numbers. I understand you wouldn't write b6 because the note here is a C natural there, but you didn't write #2 either, which is still an f-sharp.
The problem is that musical definitions, like a sharp and a flat, get thrown in with whole steps, half steps and so on. And it only seems appropriate to use an actual # and b sign for them. But a sharp and a flat sign define a note, not a function of a note, which is what a mode is basically doing. If you mix the two up, confusion. This is in why jazz very often (but not always, because to hell with consistency) it's written as for example a 'somethingchord -9 (yes, that's a minus there)' instead of '...b9', because the latter not clear at first sight to which the sign applies, which it often needs to be since we're possibly sight-reading and playing a piece for the first time. Usually we'll know we need to play (for example) the chord F with an added flat 9, instead of an 'Fb with an added 9th', but this is why flats and sharps are often used for actual notes, rather than notes that are added functions. And it applies to modes as well. So, in short. Flats and sharps for notes, + and - for other things and added fluff.
I think the two of you should really look into couple's therapy or marriage counseling of some sort. And that sentence is something quite a few people posting here may need to look into. Not to be patronizing, but if you and your significant other cannot come to terms on something to the point where it's a continuous source of agony and spite, there really is reason to look into it and work it out instead of avoiding the subject, because it'll only get worse down the line.
As far as my personal situation regarding this, my wife has known me for long since before we were together to be a musician. It's what I do, and - while I'm not a selfish or harsh man - I have always been very definitive about that part of me. Noone's perfect, we don't need to be. But the least we can expect from one another is that we know what we're about, so that our significant other knows what they're in for. If they didn't know beforehand, well perhaps try spending a bit more time getting to know each other before tying the knot. If you - for whatever possible reason - you've never had the chance before you got together to really get to know one another, there's no reason to not do so now.
Be honest, be rude, be exactly who you are in all you imperfections. People try too hard to be whoever they seem to think the other person would want them to be, rather than who they are. And all they're doing is setting themselves, their relationship and spouse, as well as any possible children up for disappointment. Why would you try to play pretend now for a few years, just so it won't work out later? Why would you try to keep something that clearly has flaws, without trying to work them out, out of fear that you'll get into a fight? Do you really believe the fight won't be that much worse years down the road, when it actually does happen? Do you not feel it to be tremendously irresponsible towards your children, that you may drag into a non-working, dishonest and spiteful relationship? What do you expect them to be growing up in such an environment?
Just open your yap for a change, make sure you know who the two of you are and decide whether you can live with that. And if you don't trust the two of you to do so without getting physical, get help. But never - ever lie to yourself, your children or the person who is supposed to be your other half. And denying them the knowledge of who you are or wish to be is lying. While I feel you are fully responsible for the consequences and deserve every problem you've created for yourself - your significant other, your direct family members, your children and so on, do not. Don't be 'that person', who ruined other people's lives because they couldn't get their stuff together. Talk, get help, and either fix the bridge or burn it. Don't let it rot.
For your first question. Generally wood sounds better than glue, and solid wood thus tends to sound better than laminated. However, the sides has a different purpose than the top of the guitar. Where we want a light top to get as much vibration and sound as possible, we want the back and sides to be rather stiff as to not absorb the vibrations but reflect them towards the top. And laminated woods (can possibly) do that a lot better than solid-woods. Mind you though, this is regarding the things that luthiers do with laminated woods, I can rather assure you that the laminated woods that are used in factory's, even supposedly prestigious ones like Taylor and Martin, are not that. So, there's a reason guitars using laminated woods are cheaper, but they're not the devil's spawn and in some cases it can actually be a good thing. As always, play the instrument.
As for your second question. I'll say the one thing that I always say, which is especially true when it comes to acoustics. One tree will not sound the same as another, no one guitar will sound the same as another. It is often said that certain woods sound a certain way, but these results can still vary wildly from construction to construction, and even between guitars of the same build and type. I have an instrument (luthier-)made from cedar (top) and mahogany (back & sides), and the combination and construction has resulted in a thick, smooth instrument and almost lazy response. I have another made from cedar (top) and rosewood (back & sides), and it is far brighter than the mahogany variant. I also have a (luthier-made) spruce (top) and mahogany (back & sides) instrument, and here the sound has resulted in a clear, yet relative rounded-off and punchy sound. I have played another (luthier-made) instrument that used the exact same woods, but instead of being punchy it was as thick and fat as the cedar/mahogany guitar. I have also played two (luthier-made) cedar (top) and cypress (back & sides) and where one was bright as the sun (it could cut through with more edge than a shaving razor) the other was neatly rounded off yet punchy.
Now, these are instruments that were from different companies and luthiers, but I really wanted to emphasize that wood says far less about an (acoustic) instrument than you might think. The materials used have an almost minute effect on the tone, in comparison to the construction. If you want to really be able to anticipate on what an instrument might sound like based on the woods, you'd have to take into account the way the strings affect the sound combined with the wood, the way your tone and technique will change depending on the instrument, and so on. My father has an uncle who is a professional luthier, I've been in his workshop and he is rather consistent in his production. The quality is great, but he builds guitars generally in sets of 3 or 4. And these guitars are always very different from one another. Is he good? Definitively, he has several professional guitarists that own them applauding his instruments. Can he predict the way a guitar sounds? Certainly, a fair bit. And he does it by tapping the wood with his nail, all the time, throughout its construction. But there are an infinite amount of variables, and the only way to know their result is to listen to it.
Depending on the instrument, although you might not realize it, you will play differently. Because subconsciously you're trying to make a certain sound, and because of that your technique will actually change depending on the way the instrument is responding to you. So you'll always get a bit of a middle-ground-sound, depending on the strings, the construction, the materials, and the sound in your head and the way all those variables react to one another. And we've not even taken into account the way an instrument's sound might change depending on its age and what way its been broken in, or the fact that your own sound will change with time.
So, as always. Play the instrument. It's fun to look at things, but the more I play, the more I find that when it comes to acoustics, it tells you far less than you might think.
TinTin8 I'm going to presume you mean La Cathedral by Augustin Barrios Mangore, it's 3rd movement is somewhat challenging, that is true. But it's not top of the line, the same goes for Asturias by the way, they're both very focused on a certain sound/technique, neither are truly 'fingerpicking' either.
While I'm not too familiar with true 'fingerpicking' pieces I suppose Harry Sacksioni's 'Elixir' is up there, took me a week's work to get that one down, before I knew what fingerpicking was and later found out I wasn't supposed to use my pinky-finger. Good times, at least the finger didn't fall off. In general though, classical music (especially for the classical guitar which is such an unforgiving instrument) can be incredibly difficult and you won't realize it until you actually try.
Actually challenging classical pieces often named are several of the 5 Bagatelles (mainly the 1st and the last) by William Walton,
Heitor Villa-Lobos 2nd Study,
or Bach's Allegro from BWV 998 Prelude, Fugue and Allegro.
As a teacher, I have a lot of problems with the fundamentals of sheet music and tablature both, which I don't think will be solved in my generation or the next. So while I try to use more didactic methods to get people to understand both, they're in the long way meant to get people to understand and feel what they're reading.
Most problems with tablature come from the principles of sheet music, the way musical lines are cut up and forced into a mathematically structured frame. I find that many students don't think that way and trying to teach/explain them music through such a visually jarring guideline is generally obstructive. So I often get rid of bars altogether, use familiar fingerpatterns and so on, to get them used to a certain sound for a certain movement and get them set on a pulse rather than a number they need to count to. Bars, the non-intuitive way notes are divided or put together and key-signatures which have very little use when one isn't using open strings, all of that I try to work around for as long as possible because I've it's generally nothing more than an outright nuisance.
The guitar is a strange instrument, but logical in its own way. If you can get a student to understand the logic behind what they're hearing and what they're doing, then you're teaching them how to 'play' that instrument. They'll learn how music works through the instrument. It's the same problem with how kids learn to read these days, first they're supposed to memorize the entire alphabet, then they're going to learn small words and meanwhile the teacher is wondering why their students have no interest in reading. I learned reading through a story. "This is Bill, Bill is big. This is Bob, Bob is small." There's some very good didactic tricks in there, use them. They teach someone how something works, instead of making them memorize things that haven't got something to do with their immediate (internal/personal) function in music, and speak to what one is hearing.
And always remember, before you start teaching anyone music. You didn't learn to read before you could speak. There's no reason to do it when learning any instrument. Learn to speak first, then read.
MaggaraMarine True, though a lot of the music from that period came about from a conscious effort to distance ourselves from the emotional aspect that ruled music in the period before that. From emotion came world wars, and so on. Regarding this, there's a fair few that try to argue whether that result (a lot of 'mathematical' music after our 2 world wars) is to be considered music at all, since it doesn't stem from an expression of humanity, but it being a 'trick'. For the same reason quite a few 'traditional artists' disliked MC Escher's works. Of course, a lot of music produced in the renaissance and baroque periods is quite a bit of that as well, just using different rules.
Personally, I much prefer to just make music and turn off everything else. All other things, to me, have a place in my teaching. Since different people need different methods for understanding the same musical idea. Philosophy and a such things are simply tools to me to convey an idea if I want someone to be able of understanding/expressing a certain bit of music, and they're not getting it just by listening.
As for the OP, just keep at it. It's not whether you're right or wrong, so long as it works for you. Just know that for every idea you'll have and post, there'll be a lot of people disagreeing. And they're not wrong either. They're just not you.
As for the actual question, I'm honestly a bit torn. Because what I read in your message are two conflicting arguments. One being that you're bored and dissatisfied with the progress in your lessons, which are some definite alarm-bells which your teacher should at all times do their best to avoid. On the other side, you seem to be telling us that you're having a hard time with some of the 'beginner'-pieces we've got on the site here. This - to me - can mean a few things. Obviously I'll miss a few, but bear with me.
1. Your teacher is, as the others have stated, an idiot. They've got one set method with which they teach and they don't veer away from it, this is a very narrow-minded approach and tends to lean to demotivated students because they're not working towards what 'they' want to achieve. 2. You're not practicing [enough]. Now, this is a VERY broad assumption to make, so I doubt it'd be entirely this, if at all. It can happen because of reason one, but laziness does exist and practicing-standards differ. It's possible you believe that 5 minutes a day is enough, or 40 minutes a week. I have students like that. 3. You're physically or mentally incapable or unable to learn. Now - this I am stating just because you may believe it yourself and just so that I can assure you this is not possible. Anyone can learn an instrument, so long as they've the love and dedication for it, generally one arises from the other. If you find your progress lacking, it's usually not due to the instrument, it's due to you having to do something with it you don't care for. I like spicy food, I don't like spicy pancakes. They're both food, not all music is the same. People learn in different ways, make sure you know how you learn, because using the wrong path can make it that much longer a process.
Now, usually it's a combination of several reasons, [and in a weird way] even the third. A person's learning comes from two parts, outside influence and internal output. This means that you'll learn what your teacher [in whatever form they exist, a person, CDs, youtube] may provide, because that's what comes on your path. However, if the way the information presented to you, does not jive with the way you learn and comprehend, the information is useless. This is something your teacher should know, and from what you describe they're not really caring for it. Generally, this tends to turn into a student unwilling to do anything more than going through the movements, if at all. For now though, I don't have the impression that your teacher has any way to save his or her relationship with you. So there's that to consider going forward, it tends to taint further interaction which doesn't help the lessons. They're not necessarily bad, we've far too little information to really say that, but they may simply not be the right teacher for you. There is nothing wrong with that.
If you're able of playing what they tell you, you should after more than a year be able of playing the beginner pieces. If you can't, you're either not putting in the effort or the information they provide is not the right or enough [for you] to do what you want to achieve, which may mean you ought to look elsewhere for someone who will. However, ALWAYS tell them that you're not satisfied. Teachers can't read minds, and you'd be surprised how much you can change and get out of a person if you simply talk with them. They've no reason to change if they don't know anything is wrong. And I couldn't begin to tell you the number of students I've had that simply didn't know what they want. And it was always a struggle to figure it out. Do you know what you want? Have you gone to a class and told them "Teach me this."? This is entirely viable, you're paying, they either send you away in which case they're not worth your time, or they'll give you a good bit of truth, give you what you ask for and in turn you'll find out if you're actually willing to put in the work. Either way is fine, but always be clear about what you want and whether you're getting it. Noone gains anything here by wasting the other's time.
Having started out as an electric player, and eventually crossing over to Flamenco to then study classical guitar at the conservatory, I'd say you're asking to learn two genres that are on entirely opposite sides of the spectrum. The above post has put some good pointers in that regard, so I won't waste too much time repeating them. Suffice it to say that the instrument looks the same, leading to the mistake that many people have certain beliefs about what flamenco is, and they're usually wrong.
As for actual DVDs, there are a lot. There are a fair number of things on youtube, but these only work if you know what you're looking for an what you're supposed to learn from them. For both I'd recommend a teacher, but I do know a fair number of digital works regarding flamenco that can be useful. David Leiva has made some very good works on accompaniment of dance and voice, look them up. They do however not elaborate as much as to the why and how, which Gerhard Graf-Martinez methods do. Juan Martinez' books are well-known, but also very poorly produced, paced and explained, avoid them. Juan Serrano's books tend to be a bit better, but are more focused towards entire pieces. They won't teach you what you're doing, just what to play. Then there are the usual names that have books/DVDs to their name, Tomatito, Moraito, Paco de Lucia, Paco Peña, Vicente Amigo, Gerardo Nunez. All fantastic guitarists, but not all have what one would call a 'method'-book.
Anyway, good luck. And I advise taking a side as to which you'll want to learn. You can certainly cross-over, but that is (speaking from experience) a long and very difficult process because both styles demand utter dedication and the exact opposite musically, for you to succeed.
Generally, solid-tops make a tremendous difference when it comes to nylon, but given the tension difference with steel-strings I can't entirely say I notice as much of a difference. Solid-tops are still a preferred choice, but the rest of the body makes a far lesser difference in this regard, though it is definitively there. Luthiers nowadays have actually taken to make their own laminate woods for back- and sides of a guitar's body, with very good results. What people generally want in an instrument is a light top to create as much sound as possible, and stiff back- and sides for the body. Laminate can be made to do a far better job at that. Keywords being, 'can be made to', I've a fairly certain assumption that this is 'just laminate', but that doesn't mean it can't achieve this goal better. Your only way to find out is to try. Rule n.1 - Never purchase an instrument you've not played. (This goes double for acoustics!)
Usually, it's also well worth it looking into what a brand first came onto the market for. Brands (like the Fender example) quite often branch out into other parts of the market, like acoustics, nylons, hollow-bodies, etc. In my experience these decisions are made to make money. Brands like Taylor and Martin are (to me) absolutely dreadful when it comes to nylon strings, not because they're a bad company, but simply because they don't know what to do with it. The same goes for Fender, both companies have their origins/main focus somewhere else, and these things are just there for the money. They're not worth yours, in such a case.
So my advice in these things, if you seek a certain guitar, go to a brand that specializes in it. Their low price-range instruments tend to be better than another brand's (that focuses on electrics, for example) best and top-premium instruments. In this case? I'd honestly say neither, though I too will vouch for Yamaha's consistency and quality.
Given that musical skills are not the same as educational skills, I'd say session work and cover bands. Generally, being a good musician can attract plenty of students - so long as you've some decent exposure - but bad musicians attract them just the same. Session work and cover bands can be a regular and steady source of income, whereas 'shooting for the stars' is really not down to those musical skills but mostly many other things, luck, marketing, looks, and so on.
This is not really the place to ask about your physical well-being. See a doctor, is what we're supposed to tell you, along with the fact that none of us are. Now that you've been warned, for the actually useful part of my answer. Usually, pain comes from poor technique. A sore shoulder can come from a near infinite amount of possibilities. And with no picture or video of your playing, there's only so much we can guess at. Short fingers aren't really a problem with it comes to the guitar, since it's not as difficult to control your strength and keeping your fingers nice and bent. People with long fingers tend to let their fingers bend the wrong way at the last joints of the fingers. So everyone has their own problems. Long fingers encourage poor technique because they can reach more easily, short fingers demand that you do it the right way or you can't do it at all. Anyway...
1. In my teaching there is one thing I see quite often, people raise their shoulder and twist their wrist back top around the neck for certain chords, while they should be doing the opposite. This tends to result in them tensing up even more in an attempt to use strength to achieve something that requires dexterity and relaxation instead. Usually, they can't drop their shoulders, because they're sitting overly slumped, and leaning their fretting arm on the leg below it. So that arm has no room to drop down to, sit up a bit more so your arm and wrist have room to move. This problem won't cause inflamed muscles/tendons as easily as the other two problems down below, but it will cut off some of the blood supply and thus oxygen. 2. Not all of us are made for the instrument, or rather not every guitar is made for your body. Me? I have long arms. Often, this results in - if you don't realize how to sit up right - in a twisted back while playing, or an overly pulled-back shoulder blade. That'll hurt after a while, and is usually the beginning of an inflamed muscle. 3. What happens quite often as well, is not so much a leaning arm, or raised shoulder, but a raised elbow. Some tend to lift the elbow sideways for certain chords, or worse, all the time. Like as you were trying to dance the tweets and never got to the down-part. It'll put a lot of unnecessary weight on the muscles going from the top of the shoulder to the neck.
Anyway, pictures/video-recordings would help. Good luck.
donender Definitively, a musical sound is a musical contribution, regardless of whether it was intentional or not. I've heard some Opeth things where I felt it was fitting, I've heard pop-songs where it was more than aggravating. 'Mistakes' have their place, and in some cases it's actually pleasant because it makes the listener (me at least) feel a connection with another imperfect human.