This is Classical Guitar
Q&A Lesson: Performance Anxiety in Music & Classical Guitar – I took a ton of questions from my various subscribers on Patreon, Youtube, and the site comments and made three comprehensive questions and answers. If you love these Q&A Lessons feel free to visit the support page.
Three Main Questions & Answers for Performance Anxiety
- 1:28 Psychological: When I perform in front of people it’s not a good as at home practicing, what can I do? Topics include creating a performance persona, replacing tempo with other musicality, accepting success and failures, supporting yourself.
- 7:55 – Practicing & Technique: How can I practice and work on technique to specifically help me perform and reduce anxiety? Topics include performing your pieces multiple times, three tempos to practice and prepare, memory and starting at various points, relaxing and resetting after each phrase, planting in the right and left hand.
- 23:50 – Performance Day: What can I do on the day and at the time to perform better and reduce performance anxiety? Topics include: Have a good warmup routine and don’t run the piece just before going on stage, tune and setup before, minimal setup on stage.
- 28:55 – Concluding comments.
Other Videos & Lessons MentionedQ&A Lesson: Performance Anxiety in Music & Guitar first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Canadian guitarists Adam Cicchillitti and Steve Cowan perform Sonatine by Maurice Ravel (1875–1937). This comes via Cicchillitti’s YouTube channel. You can also hear this on their album Intimate Impressions which I posted about here. Great playing all around and beautiful tone and recording by Drew Henderson. Here’s the YouTube blurb:
I arranged the Ravel Sonatine first movement in 2017 because it had long been a piece that I was dying to play. When Steve Cowan and myself decided to record a full-length album of music by composers that spent their careers in Paris, I knew we had to arrange the rest of the piece and present it in its entirety. Ravel never wrote for the guitar in his lifetime, but I think if he had heard the potential of the instrument and its intimate nature he would have been compelled to explore it more. Nevertheless, Steve and I are thrilled to present this complete arrangement of his Sonatine for piano.
If you are interested in purchasing the score, the complete duo arrangement is available at: https://productionsdoz.com/product/89…
From the program notes of the album: “In 1903, the Anglo-French magazine Weekly Critical Review launched a composition competition for the first movement of a piano sonata. Ravel began to compose what would becomevthe first movement, “Modéré,” of his Sonatine. After the magazine folded, Ravel added two more movements to his competition piece to complete his Sonatine. The work is taut, bright and transparent, with a light texture that makes it ideal for transcription for two guitars. The first movement – “Modéré-doux et espressif” – has a well-structured sonata form, albeit utilizing Ravel’s very personal harmonic colouring. The second movement – “Mouvement de menuet” – is an uncomplicated minuet that blossoms beautifully at its conclusion. The work closes with an undulating virtuosic movement marked “Animé.”The post Cicchillitti & Cowan Perform Sonatine by Ravel first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Left Hand Interval Studies (Left Hand Exercises) by Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829). Includes both a Notation-Only Edition and a TAB Edition. The level depends on your tempo and determination (Approximately Grade 4-9). See lesson video for more info on the level and intentions. Left Hand Fingering. 84 pages. This is a PDF download.
Buy or See Samples (PDF)
- Left Hand Studies at Werner Guitar Editions – My Dedicated Sheet Music Store
This work is from Giuliani’s Studio per la Chitarra, Op.1, Part 2. These studies lean more toward a technique exercise experience but there are a number of nice musical moments making them enjoyable while offering numerous benefits for musical and technical development as well as reading skills and interval recognition of the guitar.
I have used Giuliani’s fingerings for the majority of this edition (around 95%). However, his smaller guitar, use of the left hand thumb, and some irregularities have led to small changes and modernization of fingerings for this edition. Giuliani’s fingerings are not ideal in terms of legato phrasing and smooth technical movements. His fingerings emphasize position playing and the physical workout involved in jumping from shape to shape in close proximity. There are benefits to learning to “cover up” or “hide” non-legato fingerings by making our movements as quick and sustained as possible. Here’s the YouTube Lesson Link if you want to watch it there.
German guitarist Judith Bunk performs Gavotte 1 & 2 from Suite BWV 995 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) on a 2015 Solveig Kirschner classical guitar. This comes via Siccas Guitars and their great YouTube channel. You can also follow Bunk’s YouTube channel as well. Excellent rhythmic yet smooth performance by Bunk. I’ve seen lots of great videos by Bunk but surprisingly haven’t featured her until now. A refined and engaging performance on Gavotte 1 followed by a virtuosic Gavotte 2.
Sheet Music by Bach on the Site
- J.S. Bach (1685-1750) – Baroque, Germany
- Suite in E Minor BWV 996 by Bach (Complete), Advanced, Free Unfingered, Sheet Music or Tab
- Bouree from BWV 996 by Bach, Grade 6, Free Sheet Music or Tab
- Air ‘On the G String’ BWV 1068 by Bach, Grade 4, Sheet Music or Tab
- Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring BWV 147 by Bach, Grade 4, Sheet Music or Tab
- Minuet in G, Anh.114 by Bach/Petzold, Grade 4, Notation or Tab
- Prelude in D minor, BWV 999 by Bach, Grade 7, Sheet Music or Tab
- Prelude, Cello Suite BWV 1007 by Bach, Grade 7, Free Unfingered, Sheet Music or Tab
- Cello Suite No. 1 BWV 1007 by Bach, Free non-editorial edition
- Prelude in E Major, Lute Suite BWV1006a – Advanced, Free Unfingered, Sheet Music or Tab
- Sinfonia (Arioso) from Cantata BWV 156 by Bach, Grade 5, Sheet Music or Tab
Scottish guitarist Finlay Hay performs Wainscot Pond from In the Woods by Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996). This comes via Finlay Hay’s YouTube Channel. Below Hay performs Etude No.1 by Giulio Regondi (1823–1872) via Matthew McAllister’s YouTube.
Finlay Hay is studying in his first year undergraduate degree with Matthew McAllister and Allan Neave at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He previously was studying at the Menuhin School under prof. Richard Wright. Amazing playing by Hay with a mature musicality, phrasing, and relaxed technique. The diversity in his playing is well beyond his years with a real change in playing style from the Takemitsu to Regondi. His fluid technique is a joy to watch in such a young player. Go subscribe to his YouTube, he’s an artist you’ll want to follow.
Some Extra Info on In the Woods via Graham Wade via Naxos
In the Woods (composed in hospital, November 1995, Takemitsu’s last composition before his death in February 1996), consists of three independent pieces for solo guitar, Wainscot Pond, after a painting of Cornelia Foss, dedicated to John Williams, Rosedale, dedicated to Kiyoshi Shomura, and Muir Woods, dedicated to Julian Bream. The première of Wainscot Pond, performed by Norio Sato, took place on the occasion of the funeral service for Toru Takemitsu in Tokyo on 29 February 1996. Julian Bream gave the first performance of Muir Woods in London on 4 October 1996. The work in its entirety, as well as the second piece, Rosedale, was first played by Kiyoshi Shomura in Tokyo on 15 October 1996.
As Takemitsu has commented, each title is taken from a place where there is a beautiful forest. Rosedale Woods are in Toronto, Canada, in a quiet residential area of the city where the trees are especially beautiful in the sunlight of early autumn. Muir Woods are in a suburb of San Francisco where giant sequoia trees ‘extend towards heaven in the deep forest’, which reminded the composer of the frailty of humanity in the face of nature. Takemitsu wrote Wainscot Pond after receiving a postcard from a friend showing a picturesque landscape, but confessed that he did not know where it was situated in the United States. In fact, Wainscot Pond is a lake in the Hamptons, Suffolk County, in the state of New York, some 160 kilometres from Manhattan.
Julian Bream has described Muir Woods in terms that could well apply to all three pieces: ‘The music has an undeniable valedictory quality. It is highly distilled and the texture characteristically refined. It is also music of extraordinary stillness, music that dissolves gently into silence. ’The post Finlay Hay Performs Takemitsu & Regondi first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Check out the second interview on Matthew McAllister‘s excellent Gallery of Guitar YouTube channel Curator Series. Go subscribe now because he’ll be interviewing and featuring more players and community members in his series! Here he interviews the wonderful Uros Baric who is one of my favourite people of the online community. Also check out Baric’s record label Baros Records, or his work on the Virtual Guitar Orchestra projects. If you remember, I did the previous interview with Matthew which you can watch here. Below is the piece Uros performed for the channel.The post Matthew McAllister Interviews Uros Baric first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Goran Krivokapić performs a 47 minute concert (repertoire below). This comes via Siccas Guitars and their great YouTube channel. Krivokapić’s playing is very balanced and refined making him one of my favourite players. Beautiful phrasing, articulations, and special melodic attention throughout. You can also follow his personal YouTube channel.
- 00:00 Assagio in G minor by Johan Helmich Roman Allegro Arr. Carlo Marchione
- 03:11 Assagio in G minor by Johan Helmich Roman Andante Arr. Carlo Marchione
- 08:35 Assagio in G minor by Johan Helmich Roman Vif Arr. Carlo Marchione
- 09:39 Rossiniana No. 1 Op. 119 by Mauro Giuliani
- 25:24 Prelude 1 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
- 30:04 Prelude 2 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
- 33:09 Prelude 3 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
- 36:25 Prelude 4 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
- 39:57 Prelude 5 by Heitor Villa-Lobos
- 43:22 Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega on a 1969 Hermann
Se inclinassi a prender moglie by Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) arranged by Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) in No.8 from 12 Contradanze. Includes both a Notation-Only Edition and a TAB Edition. The level is Early-Intermediate (Approximately Grade 4). Left Hand Fingering. This is a PDF download.
Free PDF sheet music or tab until April 30th, 2021
This work is from Giuliani’s lesser known 12 Contradanze (1825). No.8 is inspired by the duet “Se inclinassi a prender moglie” from Rossini’s opera L’italiana in Algeri (1813). I use the word inspired as I would call it a loose arrangement but there is a charm to it and the level is very reasonable. Here’s the YouTube Lesson Link if you want to watch it there.
ImagesRossini – Giuliani: Se inclinassi a prender moglie (Lesson, PDF) first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Greek guitarist Antigoni Goni plays Maxixe by Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1885–1944). This comes via William Jenks’ YouTube channel. Fantastic and extroverted playing of this dance work. Goni is a legendary performer and artist and I’m so glad that this video appeared as I haven’t had a chance to feature her until now. Goni is a British council, Royal Academy and Juilliard School scholar. Notably, she studied with Julian Bream, Sharon Isbin, Oscar Ghiglia, John Mills, and Evangelos Assimakopoulos. She’s a huge prize winner and recording artist, read more about her via her bio page.
This concert excerpt is taken from the fourth concert of the U.S. International Guitar Series Season 2021 featuring Greek guitarist Antigoni Goni which took place in Sint-Truiden, Belgium on April 18, 2021.
You can find the sheet music in Stover’s Complete Guitar Works of BarriosThe post Antigoni Goni Performs Maxixe by Barrios first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Canadian guitarist Tim Beattie performs Divertimento No.2 from Quatre Divertissements Op. 13 – Extraits Des Oeuvres De J. Haydn by François de Fossa (1775–1849). Movements: I. Largo Cantabile and II. Rondo Allegro. This comes via his Youtube Channel and played on N.G. Ries replica guitar by Miodrag Zerdoner. Filmed at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where Beattie studies with Matthew McAllister.
Great to see such a quality performance from Beattie who I last featured way back in 2016. Filled with some nice and sweet phrasing throughout with some zippy contrasts in the rondo. I wish people played more de Fossa who has a large amount of good works ranging from solos, duos, quartets and chamber music. You might also know him as the copyist of Luigi Boccherini’s well-known quintets.The post Tim Beattie Performs Divertimento No.2 by de Fossa first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Big thanks to Eric Charles Mokotoff for the great interview which he’s posted on his great Facebook Group (go join) and his Youtube (go subscribe). It’s a great discussion about my background but also method books and learning experiences that were influential along the way.The post Bradford Werner Interview with Eric Charles Mokotoff first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Canadian guitarist Emma Rush plays Waltz No.1 from Six Waltzes by Delores de Goñi (1813-1892). This comes via her excellent YouTube Channel. Played on a 19th Century Stuaffer replica guitar by Miodrag Žerdoner. Great playing by Rush, her phrasing and pacing add nicely to the light charm of the work. You can hear her play all six waltzes on her album Wake the Sigh which I featured here. The album focuses on rarely heard guitar music from the 19th century including composers: Emilia Guglielmi-Giuliani, Angiolina Panormo Huerta, Catharina Pratten, Susan Dommet, Julie Fondard, Julia Piston, and Delores de Goñi. Most of the works have never been recorded.The post Emma Rush Performs Waltz No. 1 by Delores de Goñi first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Q&A Lesson: Nails, Tone, & Sound on Classical Guitar. Thanks to all my Patreon supporters that submitted questions. Feel free to visit my Support Page. Most of the questions here are related to nails and tone except for one on string noise. Thanks to Stanley, Barbara, Karen, Ben, and Hayes.
Additional Material Mentioned in the Video
- Sitting Position for Classical Guitar
- Right Hand Position for Classical Guitar
- Fingernail Lesson for Classical Guitar
- My Classical Guitar Technique Book
Here’s the YouTube link if you want to watch the lesson there.The post Q&A Lesson: Nails, Tone, & Sound first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Gigue (Giga) from Suite in E Minor, BWV 996 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Performance, Lesson, Sheet Music.
Here’s the gigue lesson for my edition of the Suite in E Minor, BWV 996. I perform the piece, and then discuss an overview of practicing the piece and do a walk through. Here’s the Youtube Lesson Link if you want to watch it there.
Suite in E Minor, BWV 996 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) – PDF sheet music for classical guitar. Comes with both a notation-only edition and a tab edition. Left hand fingering. PDF Download. The overall level is advanced but certain movements are easier than others. Movements: Praeludio-Presto, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Bourrée, Gigue. Popularly known as a Lute Suite but possibly written for the lute-harpsichord (lautenwerk), an uncommon Baroque keyboard instrument. In terms of the manuscript, performance difficulty, key signature, and suitability, this is more similar to a keyboard composition. However, the overall lighter texture compared to his keyboard works hints at the texture capable by a lute. Nevertheless, modern guitar players have embraced the work and have found various arranging solutions for successful performance. Read more info in my Preface to this edition in both the free and fingered editions below.The post Gigue, BWV 996 by Bach (Lesson, PDF) first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Fantastic! Canadian guitarist Michael Kolk performs the first movement, Allegro moderato from Sonate in a für Guitarre by Ferdinand Rebay (1880-1953). Audio and video by Henderson. Beautiful playing as usual from Kolk. I love how directional his phrasing is, he always has a clear destination for the listener. Nice contrasts of mood and articulation as well. This comes via his excellent YouTube channel where he mentions:
Here is the first movement from Ferdinand Rebay’s guitar sonata in A minor, composed in 1944. Rebay was an Austrian composer whose style was primarily neo-Romantic. His music was neglected for years and is only recently being discovered.
The complete sonata can be heard on his fantastic album 20th Century Guitar Sonatas, available through his website or on streaming platforms. I did a review of it back in 2020 if you want to learn more. He previously recorded the Jose Sonata which I featured and he’ll also be recording the Guastavino sonata from the album so you can look forward to that.The post Michael Kolk Performs Rebay first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
ABOVE – Dave Belcher performs the Sarabande from Cello Suite No. 2, BWV 1008 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). This comes via his Youtube channel (go subscribe). Great playing by Belcher with a rhythmic, yet flowing, delivery of the musical lines and ornamentation. I’ve been enjoying his work at Classical Guitar Corner (see below) for his positive and professional lessons.
BELOW – Dave Belcher performs Comme des Etudes by Thierry Tisserand. This comes via our friends over at Classical Guitar Corner and their YouTube. CGC is great, I always like to send people over to them for dedicated help at their academy. Nice sensitive performance by Belcher with some beautiful arched phrasing and excellent pacing. Below is their YouTube blurb:
This piece is part of a larger masterclass on the guitar music of French composer and guitarist Thierry Tisserand taught by our Community Manager, Dave Belcher. Each of Tisserand’s “Comme des Etudes” serve different technical and musical purposes and are great for the intermediate guitarist (we’ve placed this piece in Grade 4). No. 3 focuses on slurs and is a great study for working on slurs while holding on to notes with other fingers. It’s a delicate piece with a nice flowing character.The post Dave Belcher Performs Bach & Tisserand first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Fantastic. Antonio Rugolo and Angelo Gillo play Duo Concertant Op.31, No.3 by Antoine de Lhoyer (1768-1852) on 1820 Panormo replica guitars made by luthier Luigi Locatto. This comes vis Rugolo’s Youtube channel. Lhoyer was was a French virtuoso guitarist and an eminent early romantic composer of mainly chamber music featuring the classical guitar. The duos are of particular interest as they are numerous and pretty high quality compared to his guitar composer contemporaries. Amazing performance filled with some beautiful phrasing but also shocking tempos and articulations. They are relentless.
I. Allegro agitato
II. Romance – Andante Sostenuto
III. Rondo – Poco vivace
Intimate Impressions by Canadian guitarists Adam Cicchillitti and Steve Cowan feature beautiful performances of 20th century works written in Paris. From refined phrasing, high virtuosity, as well as gorgeous tone and recording quality, Intimate Impressions is one of the finest albums of 2021. Listeners can enjoy some fantastic arrangements of 20th century master composers such as Debussy and Ravel as well as André Jolivet’s Sérénade, originally written for two guitars. The album also features the music of Germaine Tailleferre and Federico Mompou and a solo work for each performer to showcase their individual playing style. I found the Jolivet Sérénade to be the most interesting work in terms of combining compositional style with the full spectrum of articulations and colours capable in guitar orchestration. Many of the musical textures and effects work exceptionally well along with the musical motifs and Cicchillitti and Cowan pull it off beautifully. The Sérénade offers more authentic opportunities to vary the colour and texture compared to the arrangements that are better served by a more pianistic style on guitar. That said, the blending of the two on the Ravel Sonatine is superb, making the music feel right at home on two guitars. Musical playing and virtuosic flourishes make this a must-listen album for general listeners and guitarists alike. Highly recommended.
Album Description (read more of the booklet here).
This recording is composed of music originally written for piano, harp, or two guitars by leading 20th century composers who spent the bulk of their careers working in Paris. The arrangements, the majority of which are by the Cicchillitti/Cowan duo, eloquently illustrate that the tone colours, intimacy, and pure lyricism of the composers’ styles are ideally suited to the guitar, and that the harmonic language translates beautifully to a guitar duo.
The recording also bears witness to the striking contrasts in compositional styles of the period and of the individual composers. So-called impressionist, neoclassical, neoromantic, or surreal tendencies all had their adherents, as this recording reveals. Compare the sensorial lyricism of Claude Debussy to the very personal neoclassical style of Maurice Ravel or the improvisatory and intimate miniatures of Federico Mompou to the biting wit and deliciously spicy character of Germaine Tailleferre’s music. It is also a wonderful opportunity to savour the dissonance and polytonality of André Jolivet’s Sérénade, the only original work for two guitars included in this highly attractive recording.
Listen to some of the album, I recommend the Jolivet’s Sérénade but also the wonderful blending on the Ravel Sonatine.
Here’s a solo performance of repertoire from the album via Cicchillitti’s YouTube.The post Intimate Impressions by Adam Cicchillitti & Steve Cowan first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.
Times & Questions
- 1:07 – Maintaining Left Hand Thumb and Posture Positions (Donna/Patti)
- 5:03 – Right Hand Finger Independence (Laurina)
- 8:23 – Tight Left Hand Fingerings (Winifried)
- 10:50 – Switching to Various Guitars (Steven)
- 13:38 – String Damping (Junko/David)
- 19:34 – Favourite Exercises for the LH (John)
- 24:44 – Right Hand Pinky (c) (Phillipe)
- 27:06 – LH Strain in First Position (Ben)
Additional Material Mentioned in the Video
- Lesson Page for More on Each Topic
- My Technique Book with Exercises for Every Level
- Giuliani Damping Etude
- Triadic Arpeggios
Vals, No.2 from Capullos de Abril, Op.40 for Guitar by José Viñas (1823-1888). Includes both a Notation-Only Edition and a TAB Edition. The level is Early-Intermediate (Approximately Grade 4). Left Hand Fingering. This is a PDF download.
Buy the Sheet Music or Tab
- USA, EU, AUS, Canada: Buy the PDF from Werner Guitar Editions
- UK, India, Asia, 30+ Countries: Buy the PDF from my Etsy Store
I love finding early intermediate works that have some length and contrasting sections but aren’t too difficult. This work fits perfectly as an excellent performance piece for students around the grade 3 to 4 level. The original has a time signature of 3/8 with shared accompaniment and bass voices but the clean look of 3/4 and the clear separation of voices is preferable. The fingering and slurs are editorial as I think these work much better than the original for legato phrasing and modern guitar technique. YouTube Video Lesson LinkSamples (Click to Enlarge)Vals, No.2, Op.40 by Vinas (Lesson, PDF) first appeared on This is Classical Guitar.