I will help
you take your playing to the level where you feel secure and all your doubts
are dissipated. You will polish your sound and repertoire and understand
how a perfect technique is achieved. Guitar playing will finally become
easy. You will feel as though your eyes are finally open....
Intensive guitar course with Renato in Paraguay |
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My studio: the place where I spend most
of my days. The place where I "polish" my God given talent. If I grow as
a musician 1 millimeter a day, I know I am on the right path. Life is a
ladder that we either climb up or down. You simply cannot stay in one place.
Staying still is dying.
I teach mostly in Asunción
and San Bernardino (Paraguay). I often receive the visit of players/students
who come from different parts of the world. Affordable daily international
flights from both the US, Europe and connecting flights to Asia plus very
comfortable and beautiful accommodations, are simply ideal "accessories"
for those willing to study with me in person.
Renato Bellucci playing in his Asuncion studio
Paraguay is a beautiful country.
It is like nothing you have seen before. People are gentle and very welcoming
to foreigners. Time seems to pass at a different speed down here. "Tranquilo
no más" (Take it easy) is like a philosophy. Paraguay is the homeland
of Agustín Barrios Mangoré, one of the greatest guitar players
and composers ever. The British Australian guitarist John Williams is responsible
for putting Mangoré back on the "Universal Music" map.
It is very cheap to live in Paraguay,
probably one of the cheapest countries on Earth.
Facts if you plan to come study with
me for a week or two: Excellent accommodations are available at 60
US$ a day. Decent ones, no luxuries, as low as 15 US$. Lunch and
dinner at a first class restaurant in Asuncion is 18 dollars per person.
Unless you intend to buy a guitar from me, bring your guitar. Students
that buy a Bellucci guitar while they are here, get a tour of the workshop,
and receive a 12% discount. I can then ship the guitar to you if you do
not like to travel with a guitar.
You take 1 class a day with me.
I give sound advise to my students regarding how to pursue a career in
music. Lots of time to practice and rest and know the surroundings. I
will help you take your playing to the level where you feel secure and
all your doubts are dissipated. You will polish your sound and repertoire
and understand how a perfect technique is achieved. Guitar playing will
finally become easy. Guaranteed!
Medical attention is first class
and so are communications in general. You can be a total beginner or a
long time pro.
Democratic life started in Paraguay
in 1989, after a coup d' etat that ended a 33 years long and harsh military
dictatorship. Paraguay is slightly larger than Italy but with a 5 million
There are several beautiful places
you can visit once you made the long pilgrimage to Paraguay. The
Falls are most definitely a landmark, and they are only 300 Kilometers
from Asuncion and so are the Jesuit reductions scattered throughout the
south. I think that the biggest mistake the "standard" tourist makes when
coming to South America is to go to monster cities like Sao Paulo, Buenos
Aires, Caracas. Besides being crime wise extremely dangerous places, they
are the typical cities: hostile, dangerous and all the same. Paraguay,
a beautiful, friendly and subtropical warmly country, with an average yearly
temperature of 21 to 23 degrees Celsius, is famous for Agustin Barrios,
harp-music, and the Iguaçu-Falls. Asuncion, the capital,
is a modern green city with many parks and Coffee shops.
My home in Lake San Bernardino
Paraguay is a tax-paradise and is
named Switzerland of South America. Actually, the country lives in decades
of political and economical stability.
Since more than hundred years, Paraguay
is a classic immigration country with unlimited possibilities, which stands
with Australia at fore world-wide position today. Today the country exerts
an almost magnetic attraction on the Europeans of most different occupation
- and religions.
Scientists (Moises Bertoni), doctors
(Dr. Emil Hassler), authors, tradesmen, ranchers, farmers (Mennonits),
musicians (Barrios Mangoré) as well as pensioners and nature-lovers,
seeks and find the fulfillment of their dreams here.
The cultural offer is in accordance
with: Spanish, French, German and US-American cultural institution.
American, French and German schools,
from the Kindergarten up to the high school diploma, and first class American, Italian and
French's hospitals. Paraguay is an ideal county for meat-lovers; on the
other hand the variety at vegetables and biologically aromatic fruit types makes life for vegetarian especially easily. The monthly expenses for foods
amount to approximately 150 US$ per person.
The climate and the soft water are
especially perfect for rheumatism - and gout, the symptoms mostly fully
The Paraguayans are very friendly;
almost each native family has roots in Europe. The inhabitants of Paraguay
are mestizos, white and about 60.000 Indians.
Paraguay is situated in the middle
of South America and has a surface of 406.752 km2 - 50.139 km2 bigger than
Germany and is with 6 millions inhabitants. Paraguay is thinly populated. Neighboring
countries are Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia.
Summer starts on December 21st with
a prodigal bloom splendor of the trees and shrubs. The odor of coconut
lies in this Christmas time over the whole country, announces the near
of Christmas celebration.
Paraguay offers a variety of discovery
also in the interior: in numerous caves can be found the rune signs of
the Viking still today.
Also the contrasts of the landscapes
are impressive: mild hills changes with volcanic elevations and hilly regions.
Big and small waterfalls, rivers, brooks and lakes in idyllic surroundings
invite to the eventful swimming. The waters are rich of fish and a paradise
for fishermen. More than 500 types of fishes can be found in the waters,
only a few are namely known. Wildlife is a treasure for each animal lover.
Renato Bellucci Residence
The hydroelectric power station of
Itaipú is the biggest on earth. Agricultural export products are
meat, soya, cotton, sugarcane, rice, grain, tobacco, sesame, peanuts.
As I started growing as a guitarist
and I felt like the place I lived in at the time (Paraguay), had reached
it's plateau regarding what it had to offer to a 22 years old guitarist.
I started looking at Spain where
the big names of classical guitar lived, or so I thought. All it took was
a dear teacher of mine words of support: "Renato, go to Spain, Segovia
lives there... he might help you grow from now on...". Plus, he added these
words which made a deep impact on me : "The man is almost in his 90s...if
you could at least get a picture next to his coffin, you will never regret
Well, I made it to Spain, and got
more than a funeral picture with the Spanish maestro. I had a hobby
that I still cherish, photography. I took my camera along with the guitar
After one year in Spain, where I
collected, more than anything, lots of pictures with the great names of
classical guitar and many, many words of encouragement.
I was stalled once again. By then
I was playing lots of concerts simply for having had those "names" somewhere
in my curriculum. Sporadic lessons with these masters did not make me feel
any more secure than I was before, (technique wise). Yes, they made me
believe more in what I did, but that was simply not enough.
Providence had it's plans for me
and, after knocking on so many doors, my prayers were finally
heard. Jose Tomas told me "Listen, you come all the way from South America
looking for a teacher...haven't you considered going to Montevideo (Uruguay)? Abel
Carlevaro lives there...." . I had never heard the name, but I trusted
Tomas because he was a good, sincere human being. I told myself: "Alicante
is nice, Tomas is cool, but Montevideo is only 1000 miles from home..."...I'll
go to Asuncion for Christmas and on the way I will stop in Montevideo to
meet this Uruguayan master (Remember this was early 1980s and Abel
Carlevaro's name was beginning to sound in small circles outside Uruguay,
mainly due to the fact that his students were winning all the most prestigious
guitar competitions)...what have I got to lose?"
Well, was I totally astonished or
what?! The master told me: "Play something for me...", I did, I played
Bach Prelude BWV 999. As I finished he said: "You feel quite insecure with
the right hand don't you?"...."Your back must hurt after a few minutes
playing..."... "Don't you wish your playing could be natural and all those
ugly strings' squeaks disappear?...etc. After Christmas, I moved to Montevideo
where for the first time I felt like "the sky's the limit!". The man taught
me to THINK guitar and opened a series of unsuspected musical horizons.
He was the first teacher I ever had who asked me "What do you dream
you could play?" ... when I said "Bach Chaconne", he said "ok..." (I said
it with the same tone you would say "I want to reach the stars and be back
in 5 minutes). That same day I had the music in front of me and I was touching
my dream for the first time in 23 years.
Bellucci Guiars Studio
I am telling this story because I
know that many colleagues must feel like their playing is stalled or that
they are making no progress. In a profession such as guitar playing, your
teacher MUST be someone who inspires you constantly and you
must be willing to take the necessary steps to unlock your
playing. I can affirm a few facts but the following one, is certainly one
of the few: If your teacher makes you believe in you , you will be a
great player no matter what "name tag" the teacher carries.
I had a long list of teachers, mostly
due to my parents profession who were UN diplomats and we were constantly
on the move from one country to the next, and I certainly believe
that that puts me in a category which is different from the one that would
define a player who had the same teacher for many years. I never stayed
with the same teacher for more that 4 years. The one thing I did, once
I was old enough to decide on my own, and my parents made sure I did before
I could decide on my own, was that the teacher I had was the best available,
and I often took extreme steps to make the teacher available. I
would simply show up at the teacher doorstep with my guitar and ask him
to allow me to play for him a piece and tell him I wanted to study with
him. When you are willing to go that far, you are sending a much more powerful
message than you think. Good teachers will see more than your playing abilities
but your drive and motivation without which a musical career is simply
I have been playing classical guitar for about 10 years and began with
huge enthusiasm. I studied in the Uk and Ireland but unfortunately ran
into a teacher in Ireland obsessed with 'traditional' ways of learning
the guitar. He made me play scales, arpeggios and Sor studies ALL THE TIME.
My music reading and technique did develop but I lost the desire to play...
Then earlier this year I decided to go to Paraguay and study with Renato
on an impulse. What a difference! He immediately made playing the guitar
fun again and reminded me that technique is at the service of music, not
the other way around. No technical studies, real pieces and little bits
of techniques to solve real problems. I also bought the love of my
life whilst in paraguay, a Mangore concert guitar. Worth every penny and
now I must play 2 hours a day minimum. A great teacher, great site and
I can vouch for Renato, his family, Asuncion and Paraguay as a great place
to visit. Subscribe, buy a guitar and go there - it's worth it. John Burton,
I was first drawn to Renato's website because of the logical way that he
analyses the music, in particular, I found that most of the fingering immediately
felt right and made sense.
2 weeks with Renato in Paraguay I have, first hand, experienced his superior
teaching skills and willingness to share his vast knowledge of guitar playing
at the virtuoso level. He helps one learn to teach oneself, rather than
imposing a particular structure that one has to follow. Ulf Osterberg,
I have just arrived to Seattle where I gave a concert yesterday. The lessons
were of a high value for me and I thank you for shedding light to my knowledge
and technique with your wise advice. It was an unforgettable week. A big
hug for you, Belén and the children. Your friends, Alfredo and Rosemarie
After seven years of classical guitar, my practice was becoming mundane
and tedious. I decided to visit Renato in the hope that he could
rekindle my passion for this beautiful instrument. The first five
minutes of our first lesson convinced me that I made the right decision.
Renato did not treat me as an ignorant
student, but as a fellow musician with whom he wanted to share all the
things that he has learned. His enthusiasm was contagious and made
each session a lot of fun!
One of my concerns was that I was
not making good progress, in spite of long hours of practice every day.
There was some kind of barrier that prevented me from going forward.
After carefully observing my playing, Renato gave me some very specific
suggestions for overcoming my problem.
He explained how to reduce stress
in the left hand and how to increase the range of motion by pivoting
at the wrist. He also talked about the critical role that the right
hand has in preventing errors in playing. And he showed me a right
hand fingering technique that is deliberately ignored by most Western teachers.
Renato gave me practical advice which will no doubt vastly improve the
way I play.
My visit also gave me the opportunity
to see and play many of Renato’s excellent guitars. He is very
meticulous about maintaining the highest standards of craftsmanship, and
is not afraid to take advantage of new developments such as double tops,
lattice bracing, and acoustic ports.
It was also very helpful to experience
playing different scale lengths. The standard 650 mm scale is no
longer the only choice. Renato’s guitars have a beautiful rich tone
coming straight off the bench. I can only imagine how great they
will sound when they open up.
Thanks again for your help.
If any of your students are considering a trip to Paraguay, I’ll be happy
to exchange e-mails with them.