I've been reading about Lucas Debargue, a 24-year-old French pianist who came last in a Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow a few weeks ago, igniting a storm of controversy and commentary among jury members and the general public. His technique was, to say the least, highly unconventional. He plays scales with only the thumb and index finger, for example! Perhaps this is owing to the fact that he taught himself piano, receiving no formal instruction until well into his teens. Aside from the intrinsic interest of such a story, I find myself, as a self-taught guitarist, inspired by it. If Debargue can go so far playing with his thumbs, perhaps I'll do all right on the guitar also, despite unorthodox fingering and sometimes-cumbersome self-taught technique. Wish me luck!

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