Classical Guitar Requires Warm Temperatures

Having an outdoor event on a crisp fall day is an attractive idea. Sunshine with fall foliage can be gorgeous and romantic. That time of year cooler temperatures may keep away mosquitoes and other small party pests. So why would a classical or flamenco guitarist find fault with this?

Classical and flamenco guitar require many fine motor skills. Maximum flexibility is needed in the fingers, arms, and shoulders in order to execute complicated passages. You’re often playing the melody, chords, and bass notes all at once. As the temperature goes down, these skills are rapidly degraded.

A few years ago, I played at a wedding and reception in a lovely forest setting. The attendees were very friendly, a tent for the reception was tastefully decorated, and great food was in abundance. The ceremony and reception were both held in this setting, and for the ceremony I played Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring as the recessional piece, which came off without a hitch.

The reception followed. The attendees became well-lubricated and were having a splendid time as the sun set, but as it became cooler, I began to lose technique. I realized that I would have to toss out my original plan, so I substituted some pieces for easier ones. Fortunately, I know a lot of tunes, and everything still went well. Thankfully, the change was gradual from warm to cold, so the evening was still a success, with plenty of positive feedback from the guests, bride, and groom. And this was in late August!

So if you are planning to schedule an outdoor event during the time from around September 1 though late spring, you may want to avoid hiring a classical or flamenco guitarist. I’m happy to play during that time period, but indoors!