top of page

Forum Posts

Nick Cutroneo
May 15, 2024
In TPA Forum Annoucements
This has been a long time coming. Back in January I wanted to start sending out a monthly newsletter to let y’all know what has happened over the past month, and what to look forward to for the upcoming month. Well it’s now MAY, and here’s our 1st Recap Post and I’ll be posting this in my community areas (discord server and TPA Forum).  Future recaps will also be newsletters, posted on my blog and posted on my membership page (more info later) These monthly posts will be public for any/all in my communities to read as I want to keep everyone in the loop on what’s going on and what to expect. Before continuing further, just know - this IS a long post! So make sure you’ve got time to sit down and read it. This does not skim well. I promise the following months will be shorter. We’ve got a lot to cover - so let's get to it! Jan-April: The Recap The Finger Incident Back at the end of 2023, you might be aware that I had an injury to my left index finger. Right before Xmas I cut my finger on something sharp in one of our drawers in the kitchen and needed 2 stitches. Well, this meant taking almost a full 2 weeks off from playing the guitar, and spending most of January being relatively careful making sure it heals completely, but also spending time getting reacquainted with playing the guitar. It was a humbling experience to play the guitar after almost 2 weeks off to see how much was forgotten and that my endurance in playing dramatically fell. Now I know what new students’ left hands feel like when they are starting to play. Needless to say my advice of “don’t practice too much” when students are just starting is even more meaningful for me now! By February the finger had completely healed and we were back to practicing at our full intensity level. If you’ve been a viewer of my livestreams on Twitch, you’ll have seen the progress that I made towards this point throughout January. I want to take a quick moment to thank Heather Mogielnicki, the hand therapist for helping through this time and her amazing advice. I’ve worked on/off with Heather for the past 4-5 years. Her advice has been invaluable and she’s helped a great deal with issues in both of my hands over that time. I still use her advice to this day. Performance Recap This March I had once again a busy schedule of performances throughout New England and the Tri-State area. Here’s a quick recap: • March 2nd: Rivers Music School - Guitar Fest. I was asked to give my presentation “SMARTer Practice” to attendees of the festival. Later in the afternoon I performed a 20 minute solo set of music at the faculty concert for the festival. Finally, in the later part of the afternoon I conducted a masterclass for the students attending the festival. Thank you to Catherine O’Kelly for inviting me and congrats to her on an amazing festival. • March 5th: Faculty Recital at Central Connecticut State University. I played my 45 minute version of my “Latin and Modern Masterworks” Program. I haven’t played a faculty recital at CCSU since 2018 - it’s great to give a faculty recital again there! • March 18th-23rd: Mean Girls: The Musical. I did a week-long stint in the pit of Mean Girls The Musical at a local high school in Connecticut. It was super fun, but unfortunately we did not wear pink on Wednesday (we had to wear concert black 😟) • April 5th: I played a Groupmuse down in Philly. It was a wonderfully attended event and the audience really enjoyed my concert program “Latin and Modern Masterworks” program. • April 11th: I collaborated with guitarist and educator Keith Calmes (composer of The Halloween Trilogy). He wrote a piece for me where I perform as the soloist and am accompanied by a guitar ensemble (or string ensemble). We had the opportunity to play it with the strings at his school as well as his guitar students. It was great to work with these young musicians. • April 17th: BayPath University - Duende Disco Show. BayPath is the other university I teach at. And every year they do a choir show at the end of the year. This year’s theme was Disco - and the show was super fun. But very stressful for my right arm…all that fast strumming made my arm super tired! • April 21st: Andrea Clearfield’s SZalon. I ended the month participating with 10 other acts on Andrea’s April SZalon. I played Choros No. 1 and Danza Caracteristica. Andrea hosts monthly salon-style concerts and I was honored to participate in this one. Upcoming Performances While the month of May is relatively quite, June through August will be pretty busy. • May 18th: Playing with the Connecticut Guitar Guild guitar ensemble. • June - WHOLE MONTH IS BDAY MONTH! • June 2nd: NCGS Student Recital (I might see if I can get a few TPA remote students to participate 🤔) • June 9th: I’m premiering 3 Preludes and 3 Fugues by Max Kennedy • June 12thdid a: Private Performance • June 30th: Livestream Concert for the Texas Guitar Society • July and August: I’ll be playing in the pit for Prom at Playhouse on Park in Connecticut. I am actively booking concerts for 2024-2025 so if you are interested in having me do a concert in you area, reach out via email and lets try and set something up! Content Rundown With y’alls support lots of content got released. Here’s a quickie rundown of some of the top moments. • December 9th GOTHICA: Click to Listen! • Feb/March Content • 1 year anniversary of the release of my Carcassi Moderato in A minor single, youtube videos (lesson and tutorial vids), and it’s accompanying workbook. As of May 7th this single has been streamed over 47,000 times on spotify! 🤯 It’s my most streamed song on the platform and regularly gets hundreds of streams a day. Not much by big artists’ standards, but quite the feat nonetheless. I’m so glad many are enjoying this release. • The month of February was insane content-wise for me where we posted 25 out of the 29 days of the month. With many of those days being double video days on TikTok. • 21 Classico Videos on TikTok (171-192) • 7 Shorts from “The Vault” • Fandanguillo • Canticum • Gigue - 2nd lute suite • Allegro - Sonata Giocosa • Kinkachoo I Love You • God of the Nornthern Forest • Allegro Moderato - Sonata Giocosa • Twitch Performance Clips • Chant • Stagger Breathing • Performance Videos • “Do You Know This Piece” • Nothing Else Matters • Gnossienne No 1 • Top 5 Valentine’s Days Songs according to Google • Sor/Segovia No 5 • Waiting for Dawn • 3 Classical Guitar Pieces that Shred • Most importantly we had an amazing 5 Year Celebration on Twitch. Thank you to everyone (a late but HUGE Thanks) who subbed, gifted, donated and cheered bits. Plus those who subbed on TikTok as well! Y’all are awesome - and the love and support is much appreciated. • March Content was a bit slower, but still pretty intense • 9 Classico Videos (193-202) • With Day 200 making an appearance on Instagram, and then Instagram wanting me to bring the series there as well (which we’ve continued) • Performance Videos • Pi Day repost on TikTok • St Patty’s Day Vids • Si Bheag Si Mhor repost on TikTok • Clare My Heart, My Home • This Single Video Changed EVERYTHING… (the birth of Classico!) • Bach’s B-Day → Bourree in E Minor repost (TT and IG) • This was the anniversary of the Classico excitement on social media…it’s been down hill every since 🤣 (kidding y’all - honestly it’s been life changing) • X-Men Theme → 300k+ views on IG • but suppressed on TikTok 😢 • April Content was not huge mainly because I was on the road constantly. Pretty much every weekend from the last weekend of March into the end of April I was somewhere else. This made it really hard to produce content. But we still got… • 3 Classico Videos (Day 203-205) • Several “On This Day” Reposts on TikTok • Left Hand Technique • Talkbox video featuring my friend Dan • Arm Sock Collection • Looking back on this list, I didn’t realize the grind that I was on. February was great because it was planned out, I lost track of that planning as the months went on and April just blew by. On My Music Stand As you may know, I’ve been grinding hard prepping for the GFA in 2025. This grind has started all the way back in mid July 2023. One of the things that I realized is that I need to maintain my current concert program actively as I’m working on GFA rep. Otherwise I’ll keep flip flopping between different things. And the beginning of this year as all about finding that balance and routine. I think we now have something that is sustainable and more importantly getting some great results! Practice Accomplishments this past month are: • Relearning Etude 12 by Villa Lobos • Learning Prelude 1 and Fugue 1 by Max Kennedy (for the premier of his pieces in June). The biggest help has been the Anki Excerpt Cards that I’ve been doing. Back in March I made a significant change, by collecting excerpts from my current concert program and putting them through the Spaced Repetition system. I’m noticing major improvements in keeping up my older pieces that I don’t regularly practice. I’m excited to see how this goes on a longer term basis. Goals for May The main objective for May is to set myself up for a non-disruptive July/August. Releases The priority here is real simple - GET GOTHICA PERFORMANCE VIDEO RELEASED! But after that, I’m looking to set myself to get back into monthly music releases. And ultimately build up to this release schedule: • Performance Videos • 1 Classical Guitar Pieces → either from my current concert repertoire or song list • 1 Fingerstyle Cover tune → VGM/Film or TV Score/Pop or Rock Song • TPA Student Repertoire Series • 1 piece per month. This piece will get a digital distribution and download, as well as a youtube performance video and tutorial video. • Monthly YouTube Long Form Topic Video • The first video that I plan on release will be on Goal Setting. Social Media From a social media content perspective, I want to get on a 6 day a week posting schedule. I’m continuing to make my talking head content better, but am going to start incorporating other types of content in my posts as well. It’s about experimenting and trying new things. So lets see how it goes! I’m currently working this month on planning content for June/July/August this includes: • Social Media content plan • Restarting recording for releases • Preparing an all new Program for The Practice Academy • Because I’ll be so busy this summer with the musical I’m playing in - I need to have my content all mapped out for the next few months. However once September hits, it’ll be monthly work. May’s Practice Goals My practice goals for May are pretty straight forward. The primary focus will be on the set of Preludes and Fugues that I’ll be premiering in June. The secondary focus being prepping for the video round for the Southern Guitar Festival. Luckily the two don’t overlap. So I’m focused on learning the remaining Preludes and Fugues by Max Kennedy as well as relearning the 1st mvnt of the Sonata Giocosa. Twitch Plus Program Push Unfortunately we didn’t make our Plus Program metrics for Feb/March/April. With that said, we are still on the grind. I’m aiming for the 60/40 sub split. And while it might not seem like a lot - currently any little bit of financial help to work towards my content creation goals is appreciated. At this point it’s to help have systems in place. I do want to take a quick moment to thank everyone who has subbed during the time and continues to do so. You have not gone unnoticed and I wish I had a larger way of showing my gratitude. Please know that your support means the world and I’m very fortunate to be able to do what I love (make music - and now content creation/streaming) for a living. Also, those who have upgraded their subs during this time period - THANK YOU! I’m grateful for your help - which again hasn’t gone unnoticed! YouTube Monetization Push Back in October 2022, I lost monetization on youtube due to lack of views and consistent posting. This took the wind out of my sails for the platform. But now that I can stream vertical on YouTube, we are on our way back to monetization on YT. • Back when I started to stream on YouTube (2/17) we were sitting around 300 watch hours for the past 365 days. • We need 3000 watch hours for the 1st level of monetization and now as of May 8th we are over 600 watch hours. Doubling our watch time in a little over 2 months! I know we can hit 3k by February 17th of 2025! • The 1st level unlocks paid memberships, the ability to donate using YouTube’s Super function, and to get the fourthwall shoping connection for merch! • The 2nd level is the most important - because AD Revenue! And for the 2nd level we need 4000 watch hours. Which might be doable within a year! • Plus I can put external links in video cards and end screens (which helps with directing people to products, etc…) • AND I get actual email and chat support from youtube…who knows how good it is though 🤣 Fourthwall Store Update I have some unfortunate news.  If you stopped by the discord yesterday, you might have caught a few of my short rant posts.  Apparently the socks that chose for the arm socks (black sublimated socks) are no longer available 🙁.   While there’s alternatives, they need to be pre-ordered in batches of 150! So I’m going to shut down the Fourthwall store as well as the memberships.  Currently I’m looking for alternatives and info will come out soon! Welp, this Recap has been long enough - so I’m going to sign off now.  I just wanted to thank y’all again.  It’s great to have this community and the support that y’all have continued to give allows me to keep going and create awesome content.   Thanks and Happy Practicing! Nick (Shreda)
0
0
1
Nick Cutroneo
May 29, 2022
In TPA Early Access
While this was done almost 2 years ago - I'm putting this in the Early Access section of the Forum. Back in late Summer 2020 - I did a series of Live Workshops on my twitch channel specifically about how to develop sight reading skills on the guitar. I'm going to post this here with the 3 videos that came of this, as well as the screen grabs of the whiteboard I used during the streams. The plans is that over the next few months to take this content, work it out for YouTube videos as well as an eBook. So definitely stay tuned! Video 1: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/697330309?collection=aQg1Rv5QJxZuKg Video 2: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/741786887?collection=aQg1Rv5QJxZuKg Video 3: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/761344084?collection=aQg1Rv5QJxZuKg Here's the PDF sides for the section I did on Intervals. To me this is a great visualization on the fretboard to see where notes are available to you within a given position (based off your 1st or 4th finger of the left hand). Seeing these shapes on the guitar to me is the missing link to taking what you see on sheet music and finding it on the fretboard. PDF: https://dl.orangedox.com/rkrfum Again - the plan will be to take this content, script and record it as well as produce an accompanying eBook (which might come first actually). Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions with what I've posted. I'm more than happy to continue the discussion!
1
0
10
Nick Cutroneo
Apr 29, 2022
In TPA Early Access
Hey y'all! So while I haven't made a video lesson on this, I quickly put together this string crossing PDF. This is nothing "official" with any fancy formatting or anything like that, but I put this together for my own practice, and figured I'd share it with y'all here! Those who've taken 1-on-1 lessons with me or have talked to me about developing technique know that I'm a big believer in sequencing the experience. So this exercise is just open string bursts where the rests in between every 5 notes are as long as you need to physically and mentally reset for the next note grouping. Also, while it's only presented as open strings - you can take the idea and add some kind of left hand fingering to it. This is just a skeleton to provide a visual of how to practice. As with everything I suggest using all possible combinations of right hand fingerings of I M and A. (IM/MI; IA/AI; MA/AM; IMA/AMI). This is great for balancing the RH, making sure that all fingers are being worked on equality. Additionally, using both rest and free stroke is a must! (If you are one of my students who doesn't play classical guitar, and/or uses a pick - this can easily be an alternate picking exercise). Finally, you can choose either strict alternation where the starting finger will be different with each burst OR start each burst with the same finger. Personally, I find that I get more out of this exercise by keeping strict alternation and then practicing with the different finger combos listed, it gives more of a realistic scale experience that way. You can download the file here ⬇️ I'm looking forward to share more with y'all, both official releases as well as these very unofficial things! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to comment below. Enjoy and Happy Practicing!
0
0
19
Nick Cutroneo
Sep 28, 2021
In New Members' Introductions
Welcome new members of the Practice Academy! It is our sincere hope that your experience here is a positive one as we encourage all of our new members to actively contribute in our great community. Your Introductory Post's Title Your introductory post is an important one. This allows the members of this community to get to know you. This starts with the title. We suggest using a title like "Hello/Hi/Greetings from <insert city>. As our community is international, knowing where you are forum, we feel that it is useful to let us know where you live in the title of the thread. This allows members of the community to easily find your post, welcome you and help with language issues if English is not your first language. If you are uncomfortable with providing your location, you can leave it more broad and list what state or country you are from. Finally, if you have met Nick or found out about the Practice Academy through communities on Twitch, YouTube, Reddit, or Nick's Discord -- feel free to share your user name in the title so we can make that association with you here. What should I post about? This is completely up to you! We do have some suggestions to help the members learn more about you. Do you play the guitar? If so, how long? Don't play but are a passionate fan of guitar music? How long have you played? What's your experience? (IE - starting age, started last month, starting now, etc...) Are you an amateur, pre-professional, aspiring professional and professional? Do you teach guitar? What other musical experiences do you have? Is guitar your first instrument? What genres are you most interested in? What are you currently working on? And more! Share with us anything you wish and we all look forward to your participation here! Your Username Because this forum is part of the Practice Academy subscription service, you may wish to share your name with other members. Some may wish to remain anonymous and others may wish to continue using their usernames from other platforms where they've interacted with Nick and other members of this community. You may even choose to use an anonymous username but sign your posts with your real name. All of these options are fine, what is most important is that you feel comfortable. Please feel free to let us know how to address you. You can even do this in your Introductory Post! Emojis and GIFs and Memes...OH MY!!! Those who know Nick outside of this forum are well aware of his affinity for a good GIF, Meme or a well placed Emoji. Built into the text editor you have the ability to use emojis and GIFs. Memes are also welcome, however be sure to use them wisely as to not be misunderstood or insult someone unintentionally. Emojis are especially a great way to add personality to your posts, especially if there's the potential to be misunderstood. Posting your first message Now with all of that out of the way, it's time to write your first post! Start here and click on blue button that says "Create a New Post". Be sure to give a title to your post. Then start writing your introduction. It's that simple! After you've finished, be sure to read it over as there's no preview function. Once you are read to post, click the blue "Publish" button at the bottom right hand corner of the page. If you need to go back and edit after publishing, you can do so by going to your post, clicking on the vertical 3 notes in the upper right hand corner of your post and selecting "Edit Post". Similarly, you can choose other options like Follow Post, Share, etc... Thanks for joining our community and we look forward to reading your introductory post and getting to you know. We hope you enjoy the forum and find it beneficial. Remember this is a place for us to share our ideas, experiences, knowledge; a place to ask questions and seek advice; a place to provide advice to others; and most importantly a place of like minded guitarists who seek to better one's self. Enjoy! Thanks from Nick and the Moderator Team!
0
0
13
Nick Cutroneo
Aug 26, 2021
In Welcome to the PA Forum
Hello everyone! And welcome to our little place on the internet. The Practice Academy has been a work in progress for a few years now. And I'm so glad to have launched it! Since streaming on Twitch, I've come to find an amazing community of people who appreciate and enjoy the guitar, specifically the classical guitar, and are very passionate about their development. This is where TPA comes in. It is my sincere hope that we can cultivate a community to provide a non-threatening and encouraging educational environment centered around learning the guitar. As time passes, we'll be expanding offerings with a library of sheet music available, evergreen instructional content and even full length courses to supplement your experience while working with me. Thank you for coming on their journey with me, and I hope you all enjoy! Over the next few weeks we'll be sprucing up the forum, adding areas and topics for discussion. Feel free to engage, post, as questions, start topics, etc... -Nick
0
0
7

Nick Cutroneo

Admin
More actions
bottom of page