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Grade 3 Lesson: Ejercicio No. 2 by Ferrer

This is Classical Guitar - Tue, 12/24/2019 - 11:09

This lesson comes from my new book Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 3 – Seven pieces at the grade three level with dedicated lessons preparing you for each piece.

Ejercicio No. 2 from Colección 12a de Ejercicios, Op. 42 by José Ferrer (1835-1916) – YouTube Video Lesson Link – For the final piece we will study an active work that will challenge your playing skills. This piece has no barres, hinges, or different tunings, but it will be a thicker texture and will require greater finger independence and dexterity. The lesson elements here are: playing in thirds, ornaments (grace notes), and harmonics.

Ornaments (Grace Notes) – We will, for now, avoid a lengthy discussion on appoggiaturas and acciaccaturas which are types of grace notes. The main point is that these smaller notes are ornaments that decorate the primary melody note. The word acciaccatura comes from the Italian verb acciaccare, “to crush” which nicely describes how these grace notes combine with the primary melodic note on the beat. There are plenty of discussions about which notes should be played on the beat or just before the beat during different eras but for this introduction we will consider all the grace notes to be played on the beat. This will keep our rhythm and beat structure secure. The video lesson should help you imitate the sound.

Categories: Guitar News

Grade 3 Lesson: Lección No. 86 by Sagreras

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 12/22/2019 - 11:05

This lesson comes from my new book Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 3 – Seven pieces at the grade three level with dedicated lessons preparing you for each piece.

Lección No. 86 by Julio Sagreras (1879–1942) – YouTube Video Lesson Link – In some ways this piece is more difficult than grade 3 but if approached with care and patience it can be an excellent barre study and left hand skill builder. Without clear position changes and knowledge of the shapes, it will be difficult to navigate the chords while making the melody sing. Therefore, we will study the piece in three ways to become familiar with everything you need to know. Don’t get frustrated, instead, take it slow, stay organized, and give it time to settle into the hands. I’ve taught this piece many times and the first few weeks give students trouble, but if they take it slow it comes together and much is learned. The next grade will include pieces such as Lagrima by Tarrega so this is a good position and barre preparation for the future.

Practice in three ways – Although when you play the actual piece you will place the notes as they occur, it is helpful to organize your movements in various ways to solidify the pros and cons of each method and to learn different types of muscle memory.

  1. Play the melody on its own.
  2. Play the block chords (all the notes within a quarter note beat). This step will teach your left hand the overall chord shapes in the piece.
  3. Play the melody + bass followed by the accompaniment chord – This step will teach you to play legato from one beat to the next without disruption between each chord. It might seem redundant to write out the whole piece as I have below, but I have found that many students have difficulty with score reductions while practicing. This is similar to the last chord exercise but puts an emphasis on connecting the melody in a legato fashion. Do not place the entire chord all at once. Place your fingers on the notes as they appear on eighth notes beats: melody and bass note first, followed by the accompaniment. The measures with barres will be the exception when the first melody note is part of the barre. When you play the actual piece you should place your fingers one sixteenth note beat at a time.
Categories: Guitar News

Payssanos (Greensleeves) by Murcia – Free PDF

This is Classical Guitar - Fri, 12/20/2019 - 15:33

Payssanos (Greensleeves Theme) by Santiago de Murcia (1682-1739) – Originally for Baroque guitar. Sheet Music arranged for Classical Guitar with Notation-Only or Notation & TAB. Left hand fingering. PDF Download. The level is Intermediate (Approximately Grade 6).

Free Sheet Music Edition (Fingered)

Free Unfingered Edition

Tab Edition (PDF)

Santiago de Murcia (1673–1739) was a Spanish guitarist and composer. This work comes from Codice Saldivar no. 4. The tuning for the Spanish Baroque guitar has octave pairs of strings on the 5th and 4th courses. This presents many editorial choices in terms of which octave or voice a note belongs. I’ve marked possible octave additions with smaller note heads. These are optional and editorial and I’ve left out any octaves that might distract from the primary musical line. Omitting these might be more close to the original style of playing. Video Lesson Link.

Video Lesson & Performance

I discuss arranging music from the Baroque guitar and octave choices. I also talk about ornamentation (trills, and mordents).


Categories: Guitar News

Concerto for Guitar and Strings by B. Vidal

This is Classical Guitar - Wed, 12/18/2019 - 10:56

This is great piece and of super interest in terms of early chamber music and concertos with guitar. Above is Runar Kjeldsberg playing Concerto for Guitar and Strings by B. Vidal (d. 1800). This comes via his great YouTube channel. As he says on YouTube ” The earliest guitar concerto. Published in Paris in 1793. Possibly written earlier, but publication might have been delayed due to the french revolution. This is the first movement of two.” Runar Kjeldsberg is playing on an original Gennaro Fabricatore 1830 guitar and is joined by Stefan Lindvall (violin), Laima Olsson (violin) Anna Gärtner (viola), and Gunnar Hauge (cello).

Sheet Music: B. Vidal Concerto for Guitar and Strings. This is Stanley Yates’ edition of the concerto via Amazon.  Yates has been doing some great editions of lesser-known works these days so bonus points to him. His promo text: “Written by Spanish guitarist B. Vidal and originally published in Paris in ca. 1793, this two-movement work is typical of the galant cosmopolitan concertos of 1770s and 1780s Paris. May be performed with string orchestra or as a chamber concerto (with string quartet).”

B. Vidal – Spanish Guitarist and Composer (via Yates)

“B. Vidal (d. 1800) — we do not know his first name beyond the initial — was a Spanish guitarist active in Paris during the last three decades of the eighteenth century.3 The scant biographical details we know of him come almost entirely from brief entries found in the nineteenth-century dictionary of François-Joseph Fétis and the account of Parisian publishing activity complied by Anik Devriès and François Lesure… Vidal’s guitar concerto, a two-movement work in D-major, was advertised for sale in 1793, some
ten years before the next known guitar concerto, a work by Antoine Lhoyer published in Hamburg in 1802. The Vidal concerto is, therefore, the only surviving example of the genre from the eighteenth century, and the earliest known concerto for the guitar.”

From this article by Stanley Yates via his Classical Guitar Study library page: “Three Early Guitar Concertos (the Earliest-Known Guitar Concerto and Two Others) from Late Eighteenth/Early Nineteenth-Century Paris: Vidal, Doisy and Doisy-Viotti,” Soundboard: Journal of the Guitar Foundation of America (Vol. XXXVI, No. 3, 2010, pp. 6-11). READ IT HERE

Categories: Guitar News

Grade 3 Lesson: Study in C by Tarrega

This is Classical Guitar - Wed, 12/18/2019 - 09:57

This lesson comes from my new book Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 3 – Seven pieces at the grade three level with dedicated lessons preparing you for each piece.

Study in C by Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909) – YouTube Video Lesson Link – This work has a clear melody, some chord shapes to navigate, and includes a new technique for the left hand: pivots in and out of barre chords.

Play the bass and melody notes – On the first lesson page I’ve written the piece with the accompaniment removed leaving only the bass and melody voice. Notice the oddity fingering in bar 3 where the 2nd finger plays F natural. This is to allow the 3rd and 1st fingers to grab the C chord in the following bar (when you play the actual piece).

Pivots and pivot barres – Sometimes the requirements of the left hand interrupt the legato sound and we have to find inventive ways to keep the notes sustaining and smoothly connected. Pivots transition you into and out of barres while sustaining particular notes so the legato sound can continue. In Bar 10 and 14 the pivot barre allows the C on the 2nd string to sustain while the upper F and E come and go from the melody. Keep the C, E, and C sustaining while you pivot (piv.) into the BI2 and then out of it.

Another lesson on Hinge Barres and Pivots


Categories: Guitar News

Grade 3 Lesson: Andantino, Op.44, No.3 by Sor

This is Classical Guitar - Mon, 12/16/2019 - 13:10

This lesson comes from my new book Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 3 – Seven pieces at the grade three level with dedicated lessons preparing you for each piece.

Andantino, Op.44, No.3 by Fernando Sor (1778-1839) – YouTube Video Lesson Link – This etude or study should be fairly straight forward but does have some increased activity along with an elegant musical feel. It also has two distinct and independant musical voices (counterpoint) but the texture sounds classical era due to the legato phrasing, prominent melody, and slow harmonic movement (rate of chord changes).

Play the melody and bass voice separately to hear them as legato and independent musical lines.

Right hand fingering – The right hand fingering is not difficult but it is specific so make sure you dedicate some practice time to figuring it out. When pieces have two distinct voices (melody and bass here), I try to keep the thumb (p) on the lower voice and i-m-a on the upper voice. This helps to keep the sound consistent. Notice how I try to use i-m for most of the melodic material but when an arpeggio or jump across the strings occur I start including the a finger. In the final bar however, the Alberti bass accompaniment (the arpeggiated C chord in the lower voice) is best played with the i finger. The fingering in parenthesis is an optional alternative.


Categories: Guitar News

Grade 3 Lesson: Allegro, Op.50, No.10 by Giuliani

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 18:32

This lesson comes from my new book Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 3 – Seven pieces at the grade three level with dedicated lessons preparing you for each piece.

Allegro, Op.50, No.10 by Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) – YouTube Video Lesson Link – This is a Classical Era work for classical guitar. It’s an excellent study for slurs (hammer-ons and pull-offs), as well as muting the bass notes on rests.

Slurs – In previous grades the slurs have been infrequent but this etude will give you a true slur workout. Keep your left hand / knuckles aligned with the strings and all movements small and precise. Below are the various slurs from the piece written with the top voice only. Use i-m fingering in the right hand.

Muting the bass – Mute the previous bass note on every quarter note rest. Mute the string by placing the right hand thumb back on the string at the same time you play the upper voice. Alternate i-m for the upper voice.

Categories: Guitar News

Theorbo Development in the 17th Century

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 12/15/2019 - 10:52

Lutenist Elizabeth Kenny explains how and why the theorbo was developed in the 17th century, what it was used for, and what it’s like to carry it around on the train. “People complain a lot about the space that I take up”. This comes from the fantastic Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s YouTube channel. Such an informative and well-presented video by Kenny.

Recently Featured Theorbo Videos

Italian guitarist and lutenist Lorenzo Micheli plays Toccata seconda arpeggiata (Venice, 1604) by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger (1580–1651) on theorbo. Filmed in Palazzo Pignano, Italy by Drew Henderson. This comes via Micheli’s great YouTube channel. Kapsperger was a German-Italian performer and composer of the early Baroque who wrote a number of lute and theorbo (chitarrone) works. Love the sound of the theorbo for this toccata that, despite the intensity of the arpeggios, comes off as pleasant and flowing. Always love hearing Micheli who you probably know from his work in SoloDuo, but such a fantastic soloist as well.

Flauguissimo Duo with Yu-Wei Hu (Baroque flute) & Johan Löfving (Theorbo) play Flute Sonata in G Major Op.2 No.1, Adagio – Presto by Michel Blavet (1700–1768). Blavet was a French composer and flutist from the Baroque era. This comes via the duo’s great YouTube channel. Beautiful playing by both performers and I love the combo of the smooth Baroque flute with the plucking theorbo. Pure charm. Recorded by TallWall Media at Asylum Church London, May 2018.  Also see my post about their fantastic album A Salon Opera by Flauguissimo Duo.

Swedish guitarist and lutenist Johan Löfving performs Canario by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger (1580–1651) on theorbo. This comes via his fantastic Youtube channel. Charming little piece with some spicy strumming and golpe or tapping in the inner section. I love Löfving’s contrasts between a bouncy light dance and extroverted excitement. I’ve featured Löfving a number of times and he always goes the extra mile.


Categories: Guitar News

Grade 3 Lesson: Tanz by Fuhrmann

This is Classical Guitar - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:37

This lesson comes from my new book Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 3 – Seven pieces at the grade three level with dedicated lessons preparing you for each piece.

TanzSupplement from Testudo Gallo Germanica by Georg Leopold Fuhrmann (1578-1616) – YouTube Video Lesson Link. This is a Renaissance lute work played in drop D tuning. One more piece with a different tuning (last one). This should be fairly easy to play besides considering a new tuning. The lowered sixth string tuning, also called Drop D Tuning, is fairly common at upper levels.

Tune the 6th string down to D – Three turns of the tuning peg should be close. You can match the pitch by ear to the 4th string which is a D one octave higher, or use a tuner, or my lesson video. This expands the range of the guitar and allows for a drone or pedal point in this work. You will not need to read music in Drop D yet as this piece only uses the open string. This is only an introduction, higher grades will use this tuning to greater extents.

Categories: Guitar News

Grade 3 Lesson: Bella Gioiosa by Fabritio Caroso

This is Classical Guitar - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:30

This lesson comes from my new book Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 3 – Seven pieces at the grade three level with dedicated lessons preparing you for each piece.

Bella Gioiosa from Il Ballarion (Venice, 1581) by Fabritio Caroso (c.1526-1605) – YouTube Video Lesson Link. This is a Renaissance lute work played in relative lute tuning. This charming little piece should present no difficulties other than reading with a new tuning. It might seem annoying to tune a string down and rethink the notes and fingerings but it opens up a huge world of lute music and often makes the music easier to play.

Tune the 3rd string down to F sharp – This is just a small turn of the tuning peg. You can match the pitch to the F sharp on the 4th string at the 4th fret. This brings the guitar into relative lute tuning so you can play the piece in the same way that the original lute tablature indicates. There is a huge amount of Renaissance music that uses this tuning so this can open up a new world of repertoire to you. This music was composed with this tuning in mind so often ends up being much easier to play. Adding a capo on the 3rd fret can bring you very close to the original tuning as well. You can also watch the video I mention: Relative Lute Tuning Video.

Categories: Guitar News

Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 3

This is Classical Guitar - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:20

Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 3 – Lessons and pieces in notation only with fingering. A TAB supplement at the end includes the pieces (not the lessons). Before each performance edition there is one or two pages of lesson material to teach you concepts and prepare you to play the piece. Watch the free video lessons for even more insight. This item is a PDF Download. 41 Pages. 2019 Edition.

Buy or learn more at my sheet music store

Hardcopies – The hardcopy will be combined with grade 4 at a future date.

This book teaches classical guitar repertoire at approximately the grade three level. This level is appropriate for students who have completed my two Method Books and the Grade One  and Grade Two Repertoire Lesson books. This book introduces some common tunings for classical guitar repertoire and further develops technique skills, fingering choices, and musical ideas. The image samples on your left show examples. That said, students should continue to play the melody and chord shapes using the knowledge they gained in grade 1.

Contents and Lesson Topics – Each piece has one or two pages of lessons followed by a proper performance edition of the piece.

  • Bella Gioiosa by Fabritio Caroso – Renaissance Lute Work, Relative Lute Tuning
  • Tanz (Supplement) by Georg Leopold Fuhrmann – Renaissance Lute Work, Drop D Tuning
  • Allegro, Op.50, No.10 by Mauro Giuliani – Classical Era, Slurs, Muting
  • Andantino Op.44, No.3 by Fernando Sor – Classical Era, Two Voices, Right Hand Fingering
  • Study in C Major by Francisco Tárrega – Romantic Era, Barre, Pivots
  • Lección No. 86 by Julio Sagreras – Romantic Era, Barre, Left Hand Navigation
  • Ejercicio No. 2 by José Ferrer – Romantic Era, Thirds, Grace Notes, Harmonics
Video Lessons for this Book (YouTube)

All videos coming soon (Dec 2019)


Categories: Guitar News

2020 Student Scholarship

Guitar Foundation News - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 14:18

Student Scholarship - Submission Deadline: March 1, 2020

Calling all college and university students! The GFA is pleased to offer scholarship opportunities for undergraduate students interested in attending the GFA Convention in Indianapolis this summer from June 22-27. This scholarship covers a convention registration pass for the week and up to six nights of campus housing accommodations. Applicants may not be competitors in any 2020 GFA competition and are responsible for paying their own travel costs. We want to help make your participation possible. Don?t miss this opportunity to experience a week of concerts, lectures, workshops, networking, the Vendor Expo, and more! The GFA Board of Trustees will select 10 students to receive this convention scholarship.

Categories: Guitar News

Mari Mäntylä plays Finnish Rhapsody by Koshkin

This is Classical Guitar - Sat, 12/07/2019 - 09:54

I hit publish but then noticed she’s disabled embedding so view this video on Youtube (sorry for the redirect).

Finnish guitarist Mari Mäntylä plays Finnish Rhapsody by Russian composer Nikita Koshkin (b.1956) on a 10-string guitar (decacorde). This comes via her great YouTube channel. I can’t find anything about this piece but I’m going to guess it was written for Mäntylä (I’ll try to find out). She is awesome with this 10-string, impressive and musical playing, just think of the repertoire she could pull off (Weiss etc).

Out of interest, here is some of her Bach from Lute Suite in E minor, BWV 996, Prelude – Presto.


Categories: Guitar News

Hanna Link plays Ivanov-Kramskoi

This is Classical Guitar - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 12:28

Hanna Link plays ПОРЬІВ (Pariv) by Aleksandr Ivanov-Kramskoi, in Russian: Александр Михайлович Иванов-Крамской (1912–1973). This comes via Link’s great YouTube channel. Great performance by Link with unrelenting determination in the A section and some very musical phrasing for the inner section. Ivanov-Kramskoi was a Russian classical guitarist, conductor, and more. I’d be curious to know where we can track down more of his music. My best bet would be Orphee’s 10 volume Russian Collection. Also, check out Link’s great album (see below). Here’s what she posted about the work on YouTube.

“Here is a very stirring piece by the nearly unknown composer Aleksandr Ivanov-Kramskoi (1912-1973). He was a Soviet guitarist who studied in Moscow with the former student of Andrés Segovia, Piotr Agafoshin. Later he also studied composition and conducting. He wrote copious amounts of works for the guitar, even a guitar concerto, and his compositions include many folkloristic elements. The title ПОРЬІВ (Pariv) can be translated as breakthrough, wind gust or (inner) impulse. Ivanov-Kramskoi articulated this vividly. In the middle section there is a short calm before the wind picks up again. You can find this piece on my solo CD „Serenade“, which you can by on my homepage, Amazon and iTunes.”

Categories: Guitar News

Bach’s Prelude in D minor, BWV 999 (Free PDF)

This is Classical Guitar - Mon, 12/02/2019 - 13:36

Prelude in D minor BWV 999 (orig. in C minor) by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) – Edited for guitar in D minor. The level is mid to late intermediate (Grade 7). Here is a free sheet music edition of Bach’s Prelude in D minor BWV999. Originally for lute in C minor it adapts nicely to guitar. I’ve added fingering throughout to help students. I’ve also made a tablature (tab) version for purchase. It was likely written on lute- harpsichord (lautenwerk), an uncommon instrument, and so it became popularly known as a Lute Suite.  The first appearance of the work was found in a collection of keyboard works collected by Johann Peter Kellner (1705-1772). That said, the Prelude aspect of the work is certainly in a style common to lutes works of the era. Join the Email Newsletter to get updates on free sheet music and more. Please consider supporting the site to keep the free sheet music coming.

Free Sheet Music Edition (Fingered)

Free Unfingered Edition

TAB Edition (PDF)

Video Performances and Lessons

Videos from My YouTube and Uros Baric

Categories: Guitar News

Kjeldsberg-Cordover Play Folies Duet by Bevilacqua

This is Classical Guitar - Sun, 12/01/2019 - 16:11

Nova Vita Duo with Runar Kjeldsberg and Jacob Cordover play Variations pour deux guitares sur les Folies d´Espagne Op.48 by Matteo Bevilacqua (1772 – 1849). This comes via Kjeldsberg’s YouTube channel. Kjeldsberg is playing a Gennaro Fabricatore from 1830 and Cordover a Vinaccia from 1914. As they mention, “The Fabricatore and the Vinaccia family where some of the most important makers of fine Italian guitars. Even though the two guitars are constructed nearly 100 years apart, they share some common sound aesthetics. To us it was a fantastic experience to let these two guitars meet, so they could sound in the same music.”

I had never heard of Matteo Bevilacqua so this was a very interesting find for me. It’s a great duet and I’ll have to track it down and make an edition. They mention more about it on YouTube: “This variation on the famous “La Folia” theme is rarely performed. Matteo Bevilacqua was (according to Fetis) a flutist and a guitar virtuoso. Born in Italy in 1772, and lived in Vienna for several years. (I wonder if he made friends with Beethoven, Giuliani or even Schubert). He died 22. jan 1849 (same year as François de Fossa – 1775-1849, just because the history of music is always regarded in context of F. de Fossa. Search: Runar Kjeldsberg + de Fossa in your music streaming service, and you will know why)…”

Categories: Guitar News