The Shearer Method - Learning How to Learn

Hey everyone, Ashley here!


When I was an undergraduate music major I developed some hand and arm pain that prevented me from playing. By the time my sophomore recital was due, I hadn’t practiced in 2 years and only had months to learn and memorize 30 minutes of brand new music. I had to learn FAST!


This is where Aaron Shearer comes into play: my teacher at the time, composer and guitarist Matthew Dunne, was a student of Shearer’s and experienced teacher of his method. He had me learning simple Shearer/Hurst studies through solfegge and visualization without the guitar in hand, just as Shearer would have taught me himself. Through these exercises I learned “how to learn” and I was able to pick up new music quickly enough to play a successful sophomore recital including works by Brouwer, Torroba, Sor, myself, and Bach!


In this stream we’ll take an in-depth look at Aaron Shearer’s method books “Learning the Classic Guitar” volumes 1 and 2 to better understand the great benefits of true concentration and focus through extremely simple steps. These skills are meant to aid you in learning music more efficiently, the evasion of confusion and error which cause the development of bad habits, faster memorization skills, better performance skills, get rid of memory slips, and building a healthy technique in both your hands.


I swear my career as a classical guitarist on this method, so won’t you come learn how to learn? 

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  • This looks really interesting. My only formal lessons were for three years (1988-91) and my teacher used all the Shearer books. Below is a picture of what I remember the books looking like. Sadly, I don't even have the books anymore, and can't remember what happened to them. Are those related to this method you will be presenting?

    I won't be able to attend live, but I definitely want to watch it later.

    • Eric Phillips Yes, these are the first method books Shearer came out with! I will be talking about his subsequent publications as pictured in the livestream thumbnail :)

  • For the Op. 60 Carcassi challenge a got the Alfred edition and the intro has a long section describing the "shearer perspective" on every etude and why he uses certain fingerings.  I liked this edition because of the detailed fingering (LH and RH).  Being a relative newbie to the guitar world this is the first I'd heard of Mr. Shearer but I'm definitely interested to learn more!

    • Brett Gilbert Very interesting! I have never seen that edition but would love to take a look. 

  • It would be interesting if you could explain what type of injury you had. Two years seemed like an awful long time for healing. I am also puzzled by the fact that you could stars practicing full blast for an exam on such short notice. Maybe that’s what the method is about.

    • Gunnar Thanks for asking! It was actually not an injury but a muscle imbalance causing referred pain caused by weakness/inflammation and trigger points. So it wasn't the healing that took 2 years, it was figuring out what the cause was that took so long! But yes, this method is exceptionally good at resetting baselines in your playing and mentality and providing the tools to stay focused and learn/practice/perform well. Can't wait to share it!

      • Gunnar
      • Gunnar
      • 2 mths ago
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      Ashley (Ash) Lucero Yes, that’s make a lot of sense. These issues are very common in sports activities as well. I look forward to your talk.

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  • Is this available to watch? I don't see the link.

  • Ash, Sorry I missed the live show.   It's great watching it afterwards.   During your 'recovery', did you go through the book without skipping or did you select specific sections to help you.   Is this something you work with a teacher or can be used as a self-help guide?   Thank you.  Vincent

  • Hi all, I don't know where my last post went so here it is again. Here are my notes. 

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