Scott Tennant. Pumping Nylon second edition. Published by Alfred
There cannot be many serious teachers without a well thumbed copy of the first edition of Scott Tennant’s “Pumping Nylon.” With its clearly articulated thoughts on nail shape, planting, problem solving, synchronisation and so on, it provided in one book one of the most thorough explorations of the guitarist’s technique ever written. It has proved itself a valuable resource for teachers and students. The wisdom contained therein is in common circulation these days, helped by the advances in teaching and playing that the guitar has seen over the past 20 years. Every serious player will be familiar with the technical challenges Scott writes about and some may be using his explanations to pass on skills to their pupils; if not, for that reason alone I would recommend this second edition. His logical and meticulous approach offers the teacher and student a clear path to a better technique.
The second edition is larger. Giuliani’s Left Hand Etudes Opus 1 are reproduced, and there is some newly written music by Evan Hirschelman designed to develop slurring and arpeggios. The font size has changed too. Guiliani’s 120 Right Hand studies can now be read by normally sighted people. Previously, the note heads were very small. With its instructional DVD and access to Alfred on-line MP3s of some the pieces, this book continues to be an authoritative exploration of the classical guitarist’s arsenal.
There are only a few minor annoyances. Some of the page number references are inaccurate because of the expanded size. There doesn’t seem to be any explanation of what the on-line resources refer to, either on-line or in the book…you have to figure that out yourself, and it was a bit of a faff accessing them too.
For those unfamiliar with Pumping Nylon, it is worth repeating Scott’s Preface comments: “Please don’t confuse this book with a method book. …It is more of a reference book or technique manual.”
If you have never owned a copy, the second edition will be a timely spur to encourage you to buy one.