Christopher Parkening is a well-known classical guitarist and considered by many to be the heir of Segovia’s legacy having been taught under Segovia. His work in a variety of classical guitar styles and eras has shown him to be a versatile, precise, and talented guitarist. Who wouldn’t want to learn under such a guitarist?
Unfortunately, while most of us will never get the chance to learn directly under Parkening, we do have the fruits of his guitar method provided for us in his two volume guitar method books published by Hal Leonard. The first volume is perfect for introducing someone to the classical guitar and even guitar in general.
The first volume starts quite basic teaching the rudiments of reading music, notes on the guitar, and basic guitar technique. But if the student works slowly and carefully, they will come out on the other side of this book with a solid handle on the classical guitar and many beautiful pieces they can play as well.
The challenge with many introductory method books is the drudgery of playing boring scales and boring etudes. Parkening mostly avoids this issue by providing fun and solid exercises to not only challenge the student, but also to reward them. The student who finishes this book will have a solid foundation for future advances studies and will have something to show for their labors.
Parkening’s method is rigorous but also fairly approachable if the student is willing to work at the guitar (a necessary attribute of a student who will make any progress). I have benefited much from this book myself and I use with my students and recommend it to others as a great way to improve one’s skills with the classical guitar.