Sunday, August 13, 2017

My Book on Guitar Technique

I never google myself as it seems, well, narcissistic. But I just switched my default search engine from Google to DuckDuckGo (for reasons you might well guess!) and tried it out by searching my name. Apparently I have namesakes who are state senators, dermatologists and arrested for something or other. But if you narrow it down by searching for Bryan Townsend, guitar, you get me, basically. So I discovered that a technique book I wrote a number of years ago is still available through Amazon and it has a rather nice review:
The book is thorough, informative, and civilized. It is a somewhat toned-down and non-shrill alternative to Tennant's "Pumping Nylon" which appeals to the same market with its gimmicky title and locker room odor. One cannot dismiss Tennant's book, which successfully covers much of the same material, but it's not the only game in town, and I always found the concept of "pumping nylon" to be marginally offensive although obviously a successful sale tactic. I really prefer Townsend's book and recommend it.
So, if you need a book on guitar technique, I guess you need not hesitate!

Here is my recording of Recuerdos de la Alhambra that you can listen to while you shop:



Anonymous said...

Beautiful playing!

Off Google? Is that out of basic caution or because of a specific incident? I don't like what Google does with our data; on the other hand, is it caution or paranoia to bail? I feel the same way about GMOs. I have zero trust in GMO suppliers. But how much am I willing to make myself miserable to avoid it at all costs?

Bryan Townsend said...


I switched over because of the news this week re Google. But I have been uneasy for quite a while about the way they bias searches. I suspect the fears about GMOs are probably exaggerated.

Marc Puckett said...

I've tried to begin moving away from Google but it's difficult. Email, no problem. On the other hand, Blogger is Google, and commenting at Blogger is much easier with Gmail. Ahem. And while I'm looking for a paid blogging platform, eh, am not going to spend twenty bucks a month for one, and the cheaper alternatives, well, the last time I checked out WordPress I couldn't figure out how to make things work. And then there's YouTube, which is also Google. Vimeo is fine but it doesn't have a large number of people posting classical music videos. But DuckDuckGo works just fine for my purposes.

Bryan Townsend said...

This was a spur of the moment decision and I need to think it through. I'm rather committed to using Blogger and Gmail, not to mention YouTube! But perhaps switching away from the Google search engine will have some tiny effect. I know a lot of people are doing that and isn't that where their revenue comes from? Anyone have any thoughts on this?

./MiS said...

Congratulations on the move from google. I have been using DuckDuckGo for years now and more recently ixquick/startpage. On DDG you can type any query followed by !g to search on google anonymously (conversely !gi for images, !gv for videos). Very handy. I usually cross-check my searches. Yes, this way searching takes 2-3x more time but at least you get more or less expected (even surprising!) results and often non-biased (or at lest little biased). Also, one good move is to use private browsing feature for searching, which provides a little less biased results (and provides less targeted advertisement or information as it is more or less out of your normal browsing context, save perhaps for the IP address).
Getting away from google services is difficult. I love gmail (for the client implementation, I have actually been agglomerating several email accounts into gmail for years) but recently I have been using protonmail for some personal and more sensitive communication.
And then, there is another theory to help you survive google: data obfuscation. There is an extension for Firefox and Chrome called TrackMeNot which does random searches in the background every few minutes (you can specify which search engines and frequency).
As for blogging.... there are other possibilities. You could easily move blogging to a more controlled environment. FYI, Brave (another web browser) tells me that loading musicsalon slows me down by 3 seconds and it blocks 4 trackers or ads. Most of free hosting costs you or your readers some advertisement but there are solutions like static pages that you could host for free on github or gitlab wth some automatic generators... but it will probably require a little more work from you and perhaps learning some new tech. It all depends on how far you're willing to go.
BTW, to remain on the topic of the post, I still use the exercises from your book when I practice (not often enough) or for warm-ups.... on an electric guitar... And I definitely recommend "The Guitarist's Complete Technique Kit".

Bryan Townsend said...

Good to hear from you! And glad you are getting some use from the book. That is some great information about search engines and blogging. I will have to look into it!