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Classical Confidence with Evan Taucher

JamPlay LIVE Concert Recap

Last week we hosted the first JamPlay LIVE Concert of 2021: Classical Guitar Confidence with Evan Taucher. Evan is an award-winning classical guitarist and a JamPlay instructor. During the event, Evan played several pieces of music for us and shared his journey as a classical guitarist — starting a little later than his peers, studying in Spain, finding the right instrument, and learning the stories behind his favorite classical guitar pieces. Watch the whole video here and see our recap below for details and links to everything mentioned.

Performance #1

In the first segment, Evan performed for us: Pavana Capricho, OP.12 by Isaac Albeniz. The piece was originally written for piano, but this version was arranged by Wolfgang Lendle for a 6-stringed guitar.

The performance was pre-recorded in Santa Monica at the Guitar Salon International showroom. Evan was playing a vintage 1952 Hermann Hauser I SP/SCAR in this clip.

Evan’s Gear

Evan Taucher’s current guitar is a 2019 Steven Walters (an American luthier).

Evan is a D’Addario artist and typically uses D’Addario Pro-Arté Carbon Strings, Normal Tension.

He also uses an armrest that easily attaches to his guitar: Andreas Abel Armrest.

Evan spoke about the difference between playing the vintage Hauser vs his personal guitar which has more modern features like the elevated fingerboard which allows for easy playability. With the vintage Hauser you have to work a little more to get volume out of it, but it’s so responsive and provides such a variety of color with even the smallest movements — something really rare to get out of a newer guitar.

Evan’s Journey to Classical Guitar

Evan started playing electric guitar in high school and didn’t discover his love for classical guitar until his 2nd year of his undergraduate degree. When he realized that many of his peers had been playing classical since they were in middle school (some even younger) he knew there would be a lot of catching up to do. But he loved it so much that he was up for the challenge.

“I was surrounded by all these people who were playing at a really high level. So it was actually a great experience starting late because I happened to be in the right place at the right time with a ton of amazing guitar players.”

Evan attended the Florida State University College of Music for his undergrad, studying under Bruce Holzman. He also holds two masters degrees: one from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with Rene Izquierdo, and the other from the University of Alicante in Spain.

Performance #2

Next, Evan played two Catalan folk songs, both arranged for guitar by Miguel Llobet:

El testament d’Amèlia
Cançó del lladre

Evan explains that folk songs in the classical repertoire are very evocative. Classical guitarists have to do a lot to convey the same level of emotion someone can when they’re singing the words to a song.

Performance #3

Evan also performed a piece he wrote to explore the feeling of having a sense of smell that comes and goes. Evan has spent most of his life without a sense of smell, but it does return occasionally, and in those days he relishes every scent. When it inevitably leaves again, there is sadness. This song is called Three Scents.

In this performance, Evan is playing a guitar by Carlos Juan Busquiel (2019).

Audience Q&A

Q: What’s your process for memorizing longer pieces of music?

A: First, it’s important to study and fully understand the piece — the harmonic context and what notes you’re actually playing (versus just memorizing positions). Usually you have time to work on a piece over months. So split it up into chunks and set timelines to memorize those chunks. But it all works better if you do the initial work of truly understanding the piece.

Q: What do you recommend for those who are starting out with classic guitar and only own a steel-stringed instrument? Do they need to buy a new guitar?

A: You definitely can start with a steel stringed instrument. Evan actually started on a steel string guitar learning Mauro Giuliani 120 Right Hand Studies (Classical Guitar Study Series). But if you want to get a classical guitar, you can find affordable used ones (look for Yamaha or Cordoba) for as little as $100. A true classical guitar will be better suited for the music. The strings are spaced farther apart and the tone of the instrument works better for polyphonics. A classical guitar is really good at allowing the lows and highs to happen simultaneously.

Performance #4

The final performance of the evening included a 1-minute lullaby that Evan wrote for his 7-month old niece, titled Everly, followed by Preludio #2 by Juoquin Rodrigo. Listen to hear a bit of flamenco/fandango and Rasgueado strumming.


JamPlay Giveaway Winners

Throughout the event we announced prizes and winners were selected:

Evan Taucher’s Sheet Music (2)
Jack F.
Grace E.

JamPlay T-Shirts (2)
Marcel M.
Daniel K.

Roadie 2 Guitar Tuner (1)
Michael Y.

JamPlay Pro Membership (2)
Linda L.
Jim G.

Be sure to check out Evan’s JamPlay course:
Classical Guitar for the Modern Guitarist

Evan is on Spotify and Apple Music.

You can follow him here:
Evan’s Instagram
Evan’s YouTube

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