FAQs for Annalisa Ewald of Connecticut
On the Billboard Classical Chart
Listen to the #8 Album
Q: What type of music do you play?
A: I perform many types of classical guitar music by European and Latin American composers from the 16th century up to the present (including some Flamenco).
Q: What is a classical guitar?
A: A classical guitar has 6 strings, either all-nylon or nylon filament wrapped in metal thread. It is also called a Spanish guitar. Before nylon, animal gut was used. Don't ask.
Q: What is the difference between a classical guitar and an acoustic guitar
A: Both kinds are acoustic guitars because they make sound without being amplified, but usually an acoustic guitar refers to an instrument that has ALL metal strings and is usually played with a pck (plectrum) of some kind. A classical guitar has three nylon monofilament strings (like fishing line) and three strings with a nylon thread core wrapped in metal. The classical guitar is plucked with the fingers (usually no pick) and has internal bracing that is carefully designed to project bright warm sounds.
Q:Is the music played on a classical guitar different from music for a steel string guitar?
A: Yes, classical guitar music was written specifically for the nylon-stringed guitar and takes advantage of its warm and intimate characteristics. Classical guitarists often play interwoven melodies (polyphony), while steel-stringed guitarists often play chords and runs (scales) and riffs (motifs.) The classical guitar has hundreds of years of music written for it though contemporary music can be played on it as well.
Q: Why do many guitarists consider the classical guitar to be a superior instrument?
A: This is mostly snob-appeal, but it is true that with a solid foundation of classical guitar skills, playing electric and steel string guitar is less challenging, or so my students say.
Q: Why is classical guitar so highly sought after for weddings and prestigious social events?
A: People have an emotional response to live music, much greater than to digital and there is an immediate positive impact to it. The music played on classical guitar is curated from a huge repertoire spanning over 600 years and a dozens of countries. It is a refreshing change from the orchestral instruments heard at events and a welcome contrast to the sound of the more usual electric and acoustic guitar. Besides, it takes a considerable amount of training and talent to play the classical guitar properly, so a live performance by a classical guitarist asssures quality and a memorable event.
Q: Is a classical guitar loud enough to perform in a large room?
A: Classical guitars are designed to project sound and with state-of-the-art sound systems (I have several), amplification can be very subtle: all you and your guests hear is a guitar loud enough to make its presence felt over conversation, or in an open-air ceremony or concert situation. A good amplification system does NOT change the sonic quality of the guitar. I even have a portable battery operated system that has provided amazing sound quality in some of the most beautiful and remote locations.
Q: Can classical guitars perform contemporary songs?
A: Absolutely, many current songs make great classical guitar compositions (just ask, I can give a specific answer for each song.)
Q: My child wants to learn to play guitar. Why study classical guitar?
A: The way a classical guitar student is taught to use his/her hands and fingers makes sure that any other kind of guitar music is within reach, and far easier with a classical background.
Q: Do you teach adults?
A: Most definitely, I teach beginners, intermediates and advanced student and we have a great time doing it.
Q: Do students need to learn to read music, or can they just pick pieces up by ear?
A: The ear is a great thing, but reading music means you are able to communicate with musicians across many centuries and countries. Written music is a universal language. And it is highly beneficial work for brains of all ages.
Q: It sounds great but can I afford it?
Q: My rates are competitive. Give me a call and I will do my best to create a great experience that fits your budget.
Q: What kind of performances do you do?
A: I play music for everything from concerts, music festivals, corporate events, wine tasting parties, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, barmitzvahs, batmitzvahs, house concerts, from sophisticated gatherings to backyard barbeques, wherever the music I've curated from the vast world of classical guitar can add another welcome dimension. .
Q: Do you sing?
A: Well, I'm currently in a choir, but do not sing professionally --yet!