Guitar Ensemble School

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Derek's Ten Commandments of Guitar Ensemble

A survival guide for the Guitar Ensemble Novice


People much greater than I have gone into print on how to best survive in life.
There's much of this teaching that we can apply to Ensemble playing too.


  1. Thou shalt worship no other
    Ensembles are co-operative. Praise each other, but don't worship yourself - leave your ego at home...
     
  2. Thou shalt make no false images
    Do not photocopy music - such royalties as go to Ensemble composers are small enough already...
     
  3. Thou shalt not blaspheme
    Don't swear during your playing. Certain words - particularly those beginning with SH - carry rather well!
     
  4. Thou shalt labour for six days and rest on the seventh
    Hard work at home will ensure that your practice together will be restful, enjoyable and rewarding - a real joy...
     
  5. Thou shalt respect those who have given you life in this Ensemble
    Respect those that brought you into the Ensemble, for they have given you their love and their trust. Don't screw up...
     
  6. Thou shalt not kill
    Do not pick a piece which is too hard or you will murder it...
     
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
    I think you will find that sleeping illicitly with one Ensemble player will seriously upset the others....
     
  8. Thou shalt not steal
    If someone else in the Ensemble has a good idea, let them take the credit for it!
     
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness
    If you make a mistake, do not glare at the player on your left so that everyone else thinks that person made the error...
     
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's ox, ass or Ensemble part
    You can't all have the tune. Be proud of the part that is yours. Cherish and nurture it...