Sheet Music

Sheet Music Database

Our Sheet Music database is very searchable using any or all of the following - Composer name, Title, Musical standard, Exam board and Grade of piece both that of the exam boards and also our own Stafford Guitar grading.

Our aim is to not only bring you the up to date exam syllabus but also a selection of music we have enjoyed over our years of playing. The Stafford Guitar grading is to help you when selecting new pieces to learn.

In addition you will find Selina’s review of a piece or book helpful and again these reviews are carried out to help with your choice.

We are also happy to obtain music that we currently do not stock so if there is a book or piece you would like call and we will attempt to find it for you.

Results 73 - 96 of 289

Sheet Music Database

muslerichsixpreludes

Six Preludes

Pierre Lerich

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These six preludes are a must for any aspiring player. I remember studying themin my earlier years and now having re visited them, I have to say they are still just as good. Musically expressive, and each with their own technical intricacies; but most of all great fun, offering a sense of achievement upon completion.

Skill Level
Intermediate
musponcevalse

Valse

Manuel M Ponce

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Ponce was in fact born in Mexico City but by 1904 was living in Europe where he studied music in Bologna and Berlin. In 1925, after a spell back in Mexico, he was inspired to make the move to the French capital. It was a stay that was to last seven years and was arguably his most creative period. It was when he met Andres Segovia in 1923 that he began to compose music for guitar.

Skill Level
Advanced

This is a new to piece to me and I enjoyed playing through so much I have decided to learn it properly!

It is so full of life making full use of the powerful resonance of a guitar with dropped ‘D’ tuning.

The strong and bright main theme has an almost ‘rustic’ feel accompanied by full strummed chords and moves at a lively one in a bar pace.

The articulation and musical directions are detailed and need good control, the articulation particularly bringing loads of texture and shaping to the music.

The main theme has a lot of contrast in register and dynamic and is repeated throughout the piece giving it its structure with great, unexpected harmonies and twists in direction in between.

The centre section changes key to B?. It has more chromatic movement and emphasis on melodic lines in the treble and bass with fewer chords in the accompaniment texture.

I love the falling bass line building up to the return to D major. In contrast to the full and energetic theme the ending is ‘grazioso’ and understated – a lovely surprise!

This little Valse has fantastic movement and swing throughout, making full use of the tone colours in the guitars voice, and leaving you with a definite ‘feel good’ feeling – an excellent little repertoire filler.

Selina.

124

Suite in D Minor

Robert De Visee

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Robert de Visée's origin is unknown, although of Portuguese origin he was likely to have studied with Francesco Corbetta. About 1680 he became a chamber musician to Louis XIV, in which capacity he often performed at court. Visée wrote two books of guitar music which contained twelve suites between them: Livre de guitare dédié au roy (Paris, 1682) and Livre de piéces pour la guitare (Paris 1686). Suite in D minor is his most popular suite.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

This really is a hidden gem in my opinion, but because of the explosion in music being written for students over the last few years in modern styles it is repertoire that is, all too often, overlooked.

It is a fantastic introduction to the Baroque style and period and offers an accessible step on the ladder to the complex lute music of Weiss and Bach.

The short introduction by the editor is very informative, talking about the manuscript source and the considerations needed in transcribing to the modern classical guitar, for example dealing with the double octave strings A and D on the Baroque guitar.

What is particularly good for guitar students is that you have the opportunity here to play a whole suite, which together is quite an extended piece of music and teaches a lot about contrasting movements and musical continuity.

You can also choose to play single movements and learn how smaller groups work together as they would have been played in the Baroque, for example the two Menuets with a da capo repeat. All the movements are very accessible and represent all of the popular dance forms that you will find in other music of the period, with voicing and part writing that fit very well under the fingers.

There are loads of opportunities to develop musical and technical skills, particularly in the long musical lines, phrasing and counterpoint.

There is a lot of fingering but if you are open to experiment with this it really helps you to define melodies and bass lines and demonstrates the importance of getting the correct fingering to allow the music to sing as intended.

Rhythm is of course very important with the different dances and is in general quite challenging here, ideal I think for the average guitarist who does not like to count!

For example in the Allemande the melodic lines are long, interweaving and often the rhythm can seem syncopated with less importance on the first beat of the bar. There is a similar effect in the Courante together with the combination of 3/2 and 6/8 in the time signature and the need for constant movement. Add to this the slow, stately line of the Sarabande, the bright spirit of the Gavotte, the poise of the Menuets, a simple lively Bouree and the light and lilting final Gigue and you have a wealth of music to explore and enjoy.

This Suite will help you with musical expression in finding tone colours and trying to bring out the differing dance characters, as well as coping with the counterpoint, phrasing and challenging rhythms.

Most importantly in approaching this more complex style of music it offers plenty of variety and enjoyable playing.

Selina.

117

Renaissance Dances

Karl Scheit

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The musician or musical amateur of earlier times used to have a book in which were collected pieces that suited their musical tastes and technical abilities. This edition contains the following dances Allemand, Balletto, Galliard, Pavane and Villanella.

Skill Level
Intermediate
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315

Elogio de la danza

Leo Brouwer

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A much loved and often performed piece that will test your technical and interpretive abilities yet give a great sense of achievement when mastered. The two movements Lento & Obstinato have been clearly printed making for easy reading and page turns are well catered for.

Skill Level
Advanced
233

Circles End

Steve Marsh

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Eleven works altogether, eight of which were originally written as teaching pieces and three as concert items. Titles are: Mystery Waltz; The Rainbow; Song for a Gentle Maiden; Rush Hour; The Seagull; Carnival Time; Mountain Stream; When the Cats Waltz at Midnight; The Empty Attic; The Haunted Carousel; Circles End. Circle's End written in memory of the singer/songwriter, Harry Chapin and chosen by one critic as his 'Pick of the Year' piece in Classical Guitar magazine after it was included in their music supplement.

Skill Level
Intermediate

This is a lovely collection of pieces that bring out and highlight the very best that the guitar has to offer encouraging the musician within!

Steve Marsh is a guitarist and a teacher writing music on many different levels for guitarists from about a grade 3 standard, say 2 to 3 years playing experience. By this I mean that his pieces help us to develop our technique on the instrument as well as introducing new sounds and encouraging our communication skills and imagination.

In this collection the pieces are so interesting and full of character with lots of material for us to work with including simple melody and accompaniment, various arpeggio patterns with melody above, below or within, movement around the guitar, shifting rhythms, texture, movement and, most importantly, feel.

The Rainbow is simple in 2 and 3 voices with straightforward rhythm but is very uplifting. The harmonic movement and interest in this really carries the player along and this is true of all the pieces from the gentle rise and fall of flight in The Seagull to the bubbling arpeggio texture of the Mountain Stream and the macabre, spinning twists and turns of The Haunted Carousel.

A great sense of humour comes across in When the Cats Waltz at Midnight and the rhythm of Rush Hour reflects the title brilliantly.

The title piece Circles end is simply beautiful with lovely breadth and depth to the sound creating a big and emotional sound picture.

The key thing with this music is that it introduces an idea through the title that you can grasp quickly as you start to learn through the way the piece is written, and then allows you to let your imagination run free and encourages feeling and enjoyment.

Just what we need!

Selina.

musmarshderbyshire9

Derbyshire Suite

Steve Marsh

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A musical excursion into the beautiful countryside of the county of Derbyshire which is set in the heart of England known as the 'Peak District'. Lathkill Dale, Bleaklow, Kinder Downfall, Arbor Low, Litton, Millers Dale and Peak Cavern are the names of each of the seven movements which make up this suite which lasts approximately 30 minutes. The music tries to capture the mood of each of these contrasting areas: from the tranquillity and beauty of Lathkill Dale and Miller's Dale and the mysterious and dramatic Arbor Low and Bleaklow, through to the humorous Litton and the awe and power of Kinder Downfall and Peak Cavern. The album contains a brief description of each area

Skill Level
Intermediate

This suite consists of 7 movements with lots of contrast in character, mood and atmosphere, and with plenty of musical and technical challenges.

In fact I think the most important factor in Steve’s music is the musicianship, challenging the player to explore the written notes and find the movement and emotion within the piece.

The titles of the individual movements in this suite are very evocative and the way the music is written reflects this beautifully. For example the syncopated melody within the arpeggios and the dissonant harmonies definitely create a mysterious feel in Bleaklow and the fast, tumbling arpeggios give you a real sense of a dramatic waterfall in Kinder Downfall.

Millers Dale is a beautiful, gentle piece with a dramatic centre section that includes one of my favourite ‘buildups’! I visited Millers Dale a few years ago and was amazed at how well this piece reflects the landscape and feel of the place.

The 5th movement, Litton, is written in sections with instructions as to the order and repeats. It has a festive and dance like feel that put me in mind of a village fete or celebration before I looked it up and found that Litton is a village!

The final movement, Peak Cavern, is very dramatic with running semiquavers that change from flowing and swirling patterns to rhythmical and energetic passages and back again.

This really is a lovely set of pieces that will enhance your repertoire and expand your musical ideas. I think that it is music written from the heart, about places that the composer knows and cares about. With the wonders of the internet you can look up the landscape as you learn the music, although the way that the music is written really does create a picture and feeling for you to develop. Some of the sounds are definitely challenging but they go towards creating a sound picture that is compelling and inspiring.

Great fun!

Selina.

mustwelve

Twelve Inventions

Peter Nuttall

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Covering a wide range of musical styles,these twelve pieces are characterised by strong melodies, idiomatic harmonies and an inventive use of the fingerboard. They have become one of the most popular guitar publications at this level.

Skill Level
Beginner
mustimescapes

Timescapes

John Whitworth

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Nine compositions aiming to broaden the repertoire of the intermediate guitarist. The most fun I have had in ages, if you are searching for music to challenge the player and give pleasure to the audience this is definately for you.

Skill Level
Intermediate

I first started to play these pieces a week ago and I am already completely hooked!

They are beautifully simple in concept and very aptly named. John seems to have a knack of putting across expressive ideas in relatively few notes, and not asking the guitarist to perform acrobatics, ensuring that you can enjoy the music!

I was immediately attracted to the high levels of interpretation and musicianship being asked for. All the pieces work at many levels; if you are working up to this technical level the pieces will sound good without too much control of sound and dynamics, but if you are more advanced you can still get loads of enjoyment from the music by challenging yourself on matters of colour and shape.

The amount of instruction in the book is excellent. Each piece has a description that varies from the origin of, or inspiration for the piece, to technical instruction and musical goals.

The introduction on the title page briefly explains the history of the pieces and ideas for performance; for example as a continuous suite, individually or in smaller suites created by grouping three or four pieces together.

These are great ideas for students embarking on their first performances, and for more experienced players developing their musicianship.

The phrasing, dynamic and articulation markings are very detailed throughout giving you plenty to work with that will help you to bring out the shape and character of each piece.

The first section of First Light is made up of long legato chords asking for lots of dynamic control and it finishes with a simple but beautiful quaver melody.

Road to the Hills and The Traveller are more lively and rhythmical while Edge of Storm uses low dissonances and a throbbing bass line for dramatic effect.

Serenade pays homage to Erik Satie's famous Gymnopedie No 1 for piano and Walton's 2nd Bagatelle for guitar asking for a legato melody line with accompaniment very much in the background.

The rhythm in Milonga is easy to highlight and great fun to play.

Introduction and Tango is very cleverly written with two simple voices that fit together and bring out the spirit of the dance perfectly.

Late Night contrasts a slow, broody introduction (great melody), with a lively swing rhythm and the collection is brought to a close by the haunting Beneath the Stars where the bass melody is backed by a fast but gentle open string arpeggio, finishing with the melody from First Light in harmonics, dying away.

The most important aspect of this collection for me, and, for that matter, of being a guitarist, is summed up by John at the end of his introduction;

"I hope you enjoy playing these pieces and bringing them to life…"

Selina.

mustrinitytheoryg5

Theory of Music Workbook Grade 5

Trinity Guildhall

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Designed for use during lessons or at home these workbooks contain all the requirements for Trinity Guildhall examinations. Each book also contains sample exam papers.

Skill Level
Intermediate
85

The Young Guitarists Progress Part 2 GM7

David Burden

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This collection of guitar pieces takes the beginning guitar student from reading music to playing pieces of approximately Grade Two standard. It leaves the teaching of technique, hand positions, and other fundamentals to the teacher but provides material for all aspects of the very early stages of learning the guitar.

Skill Level
Beginner
mussor20minuets

20 Selected Minuets GA15

Fernando Sor

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How should one perform Sor's music? I believe the answer is with considerably more freedom, expression and passion than has, for the most part, been done in the recent past. These 20 Minuets are a must have for the aspiring student wishing to develop the emotional side of their playing.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
68

The Young Guitarists Progress Part 1 GM39

David Burden

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Designed for young beginners learning individually or in groups. The New Things Sections introduce new notes, rhythms and techniques in a structured and entertaining way. Solos, duets and ensembles, including: The Batman TV Theme, Colours Of Day, The James Bond Theme and many more.

Skill Level
Beginner

The layout and printing in this book is excellent with notes slightly larger than normal, and space and pictures between pieces.

There are lots of well-known tunes in good arrangements, and I especially like the amount of solo pieces written in 2 voices using simple open basses. These provide invaluable experience for beginners at reading and playing two note chords, when books often move onto more difficult, fingered chords very quickly.

This book is clearly linked to The Young Guitarists Progress, Part 1 and its sections called "New Things 1-7, 8 and 9, 10" etc. However, it works perfectly well on its own since each "New Things" is fully explained. For example, "New Things 10 – playing with the thumb and fingers together, the bass 5th and 6th open strings and dotted crotchets."

Technically the book includes dotted rhythms, music with 2 voices and 3 note chords, tied notes and melody within simple arpeggios. There is even some simple syncopation in an excellent and very accessible arrangement of Eleanor Rigby.

The final section of the book, on ear development includes some copycat exercises, pentatonic and blues scales, and simple ideas on improvisation. This is all very valuable and something that we should introduce to pupils as early as possible.

Grade 1

  • Les Bouffons: a straightforward melodic arrangement of a well-known French traditional piece using the open D string as accompaniment. Cheerful and rhythmical!
  • Waltz in G: a flowing piece based on very simple arpeggios and chords, using up to 2 left hand fingers on strings 1, 2 and 3.

Grade 2

  • A La Mode de France: this is in D major and mostly fingered in second position. Question and answer phrases using the same rhythms including dotted crotchets.

Selina.

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107

Guerau Five Pieces

Francisco Guerau

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Five dances selected from Guerau's Poema Harmonico. If the themes have a familiar ring it is because they were in general use and were often built on traditional groungs rather like as this century has made use of the 12-bar blues sequence. Guerau treats his themes with much greater freedom and resource than Sanz.

Skill Level
Advanced
musyorkkinderlight

Kinderlight

Andrew York

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York's first big break came in 1986 during study in Spain. In a concert at the end of the course, he played one of his original compositions, "Sunburst." Guitarist John Williams, who happened to be in the audience, was impressed with the piece. He asked York to transcribe it and send it to him in England. Williams's interest in the piece was not a momentary thing: not only did Williams add it to his performances, but he also recorded it. Since then York has published many works including Kinderlight a book of 7 pieces. If you are a fan of his music, as I am, Kinderlight will be a great addition.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
108

Eight Sonatas

Domenico Scarlatti

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Of the more than 500 sonatas (originally termed esercizi) written for harpsichord by Domenico Scarlatti, Raymond Burley has chosen to arrange eight for guitar. These include K. 480, K. 379, K. 208, K. 232, K. 491, K. 94, as well as K. 376 and K. 377, which Scarlatti's cataloger, Ralph Kirkpatrick, suggests should be performed together. Burley has done a terrific job of fitting these pieces to the fretboard.

Skill Level
Advanced
musscarlatti4sonatasUE29179

Four Sonatas UE 29179

Domenico Scarlatti

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Sonata K83 is one of the minority with more than one movement. The forst contains some startling dissonances, produced by adventurous contrapuntal activity, typical of Scarlatti's impish disregard for the established rules; the second is a minuet. Sonatas K80 and K94 are both minuets. Scarlatti is often difficult but he springs too many surprises ever to become boring.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

Scarlatti’s music is very effective on the classical guitar having originally been written for the harpsichord, which, even though it has a keyboard, is a plucked string instrument.

The music is clearly printed with plenty of space in the layout, and even though there is too much fingering advice in my opinion, the page does not look overcrowded or cluttered with numbers giving the player a feeling of choice!

There is a short but comprehensive forward well worth the read as it gives a concise summary of the harmony and style of the pieces, enough to help you to start to understand the pieces. For example he mentions “startling dissonances” and “adventurous counterpoint” – definitely attracting my interest before even starting to play.

There is also a paragraph explaining the notation and fingering at the end of the book.

Duarte uses the interesting (and wonderful) tuning of 6th sting to D and 5th string to G for the first two pieces. Don’t let this put you off! It does not take long to get used to and really helps the music to sit naturally on the guitar.

I particularly like the lilt of the triplet semiquavers in the second piece with the tuning creating a lovely open bass.

Watch out for the misprint at the end of the second piece – the bass note should be a G! The third Sonata maintains a steady crotchet pulse with shifting rhythms above and continuously moving chords with fascinating harmonic changes, while the final piece challenges you with the counterpoint of two very separate voices and lots of drama in the music.

These are all interesting, and less obvious, choices giving us a clear insight into the Baroque style of Scarlatti with its distinctly Spanish feel.

As Duarte says “ Scarlatti is often difficult but he springs too many surprises ever to become boring!

Selina.

guitaracademy1

Guitar Academy Book 1

Richard Corr

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This is a very well presented tutor covering many areas that others miss and providing clear explanations.

Skill Level
Beginner

This excellent tutor has now been divided into smaller volumes that are more manageable for the student. They still contain a lot of music and information, especially as the difficulty increases, but they are very well presented, cover many areas that others miss, and provide clear explanations without being too "wordy".

The books as a whole are accessible to all ages and would be suitable for adults to work through without a teacher (although this is never ideal!). The pictures illustrating technique are first class and there are constant references to maintaining good technique throughout each book including revision pages and tests. Each book follows a similar format beginning with a quick reference page and introduction, followed by a classical section, ensemble section and final chord section.

The structure and layout helps the student feel that they are learning something new and exciting on every page, even if it is only a game based on what they have already learned. This is very important for maintaining interest and momentum, especially for younger children. The many ideas for improvisation, ear training and theory are fantastic and so helpful for me, as a teacher who struggled to produce my own material while teaching such short lessons in too many schools! By bringing all of these elements together in such an easy way Richard Corr has produced a fun tutor that is helping to develop musicians, not just guitarists! It is a tutor that I highly recommend and will use - a breath of fresh air!

Book One

There is a comprehensive intro, addressed in turn to the student, the parent/guardian, the teacher and those teaching themselves. The writing here really draws you in emphasizing the excitement to the student, explaining the teaching method and practice to the parent, outlining the thoughts behind the teaching ideas to the teacher and adding encouragement to the self taught. This is followed by descriptions of different types of guitar, fitting strings, technique and sitting positions, tuning, reading music and a note reference picture. As each note is introduced, you can see it being played as well as having a written explanation.

Of course, all good teachers use demonstration, but it is invaluable to have the pictures to refer to between lessons. There are plenty of tunes to practice on as the notes are learnt which is so important, as repetition is vital to learning and variety maintains interest during this initial period. By the end of the classical section, the notes in first position have been covered, along with open basses, simple two-part music, rests and quavers. The ensemble section introduces the pentatonic scale and improvisation within an ensemble piece, which works brilliantly! A final ear training section explains intervals and describes ways to recognize them.

Book Two

This volume starts with a quick reference of notes, chords and accidentals followed by an introduction that takes the same format as in book one. It previews what there is to look forward to in book two, focussing particularly on free stroke and the importance of the improvisation and chord exercises in a students overall musical development.

There is an excellent introduction to free stroke describing where and why it is used, and the differences with rest stroke. There are pictures and written explanations on preparation for free stroke and correct and incorrect finger movements.

While many guitar teachers still disagree over the use of free and rest strokes in the early stages of learning (I start my pupils with free stroke) this book provides more information than is usual and so gives the pupil and teacher more choice. This introduction to free stroke is followed up by several exercises using chords in thirds and arpeggios helping the student to become familiar with the finger movements. The book then goes on to cover accidentals and key signatures, scales including the blues scale, ties, swing rhythm, dotted rhythms and 6/8 time signature.

Each new subject has clear written explanations, loads of pictures both amusing and technical, and plenty of exercises for practice. The section on playing fingers with thumb includes some very good open string exercises and even though it does move on to more difficult stretches, these are introduced in a way that makes them not seem so hard! The pieces at the end of the classical section are longer and more involved giving the student a real sense of progress and achievement. The chord supplement uses more involved strumming patterns, and introduces tablature.

Book Three

The introduction to this volume explains that you are now moving on to more advanced repertoire and techniques, and what this entails e.g. regular practice and care in matters relating to technique and most importantly, commitment and performance!

The revision page is followed by a brief history of the guitar with photographs of instruments through the ages, and mention of important composers, players and makers right through tp the birth and rise of the electric guitar. I think that this is a great idea as it takes the learning process beyond just learning to play a few notes or chords on a guitar.

The subjects covered in book three include left hand positions up to seventh, articulation, more complicated rhythms and key signatures including minor keys, damping with the thumb and slurs. Most importantly the book includes a lot of music to play! There are excellent original pieces by Richard Corr along with classical repertoire, easy arrangements of more difficult works and popular tunes from all styles of guitar playing. The chord supplement introduces different chord styles and theory, something that a lot of students learning to play chords simply miss out on altogether.

285

Travelling in Style Stage Four GM17

David Burden

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All the books in this series are versatile enough to be used as general repertoire alongside any teaching material. They were conceived to complement the Guitarists Progress and the Young Guitarists Progress teaching series. All the pieces are grouped together in collections with over 30 different pieces to choose from.

Skill Level
Intermediate

This series of books provides a wide variety of music for adventurous students wishing to get a taste of other musical styles and cultures, and in so doing, developing their technical and musical skills.

The Travelling in Style series was conceived alongside The Guitarists Progress teaching series but also works perfectly well as a stand-alone repertoire book, in this case for intermediate to advanced players.

As in the other books in the series it is divided into sections, in some cases continuing previous themes like the ‘Celtic Collection’, with new ideas in the ‘British Folk Song Suite’ and ‘Appalachian Album no.1’.

The music is printed very clearly with a refreshing lack of fingering, really sticking to specific fingering related to how the composer/ arranger wants the music to sound.

Each set of pieces has approximate gradings and extensive technical notes and directions. These talk about specific techniques such as pizzicato, tambora, slurs, glissandi and barres, as well as musical and stylistic suggestions.

The ‘Jazz Bar Set no.2’ some great rhythms and harmonies that classical guitarists may not have experienced before in their playing. I particularly love the arrangement of ‘She Moved through the Fair’ with a delicate texture created used harmonic and a gentle improvisatory feel through the changing time signatures. Burden talks a lot about the importance of sustaining melody and the balance between melody and accompaniment, evident in ‘Steal Away’, ‘The Unquiet Grave’ and a lovely arrangement of ‘Simple Gifts’. Development of a greater sense of rhythm and pulse is also a highlight; examples include a lively jig in ‘Gentle Fair Jenny’, exciting repeated chords in ‘The Gospel Train’ and great syncopation in ‘So What!’.

I particularly like the predominance of slower pieces that concentrate on feeling emotion through the music. A beautiful example is ‘I Wonder as I Wander’ where the relative technical simplicity allows the player to listen to the music, sing and really create the long slow phrases.

Some lovely music to add to your growing repertoire.

Selina.

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musscarlatt_4sonatasUE29149

Four Sonatas UE 29149

Domenico Scarlatti

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Skill Level
Intermediate
guitaracademy2

Guitar Academy Book 2

Richard Corr

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This is a very well presented tutor covering many areas that others miss and providing clear explanations. Book 2 follows on nicely from book 1.

Skill Level
Beginner

This volume starts with a quick reference of notes, chords and accidentals followed by an introduction that takes the same format as in book one. It previews what there is to look forward to in book two, focussing particularly on free stroke and the importance of the improvisation and chord exercises in a students overall musical development.

There is an excellent introduction to free stroke describing where and why it is used, and the differences with rest stroke. There are pictures and written explanations on preparation for free stroke and correct and incorrect finger movements.

While many guitar teachers still disagree over the use of free and rest strokes in the early stages of learning (I start my pupils with free stroke) this book provides more information than is usual and so gives the pupil and teacher more choice. This introduction to free stroke is followed up by several exercises using chords in thirds and arpeggios helping the student to become familiar with the finger movements. The book then goes on to cover accidentals and key signatures, scales including the blues scale, ties, swing rhythm, dotted rhythms and 6/8 time signature.

Each new subject has clear written explanations, loads of pictures both amusing and technical, and plenty of exercises for practice. The section on playing fingers with thumb includes some very good open string exercises and even though it does move on to more difficult stretches, these are introduced in a way that makes them not seem so hard! The pieces at the end of the classical section are longer and more involved giving the student a real sense of progress and achievement. The chord supplement uses more involved strumming patterns, and introduces tablature.

119

Guitar Music for Beginners Vol 2

Musica Budapest

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Skill Level
Intermediate
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mustimepieces2

Time Pieces for Guitar Vol 2

Peter Batchelor and Richard Wright

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These are excellent books and I find myself asking, Why wasn't this sort of syllabus available years ago. Preparing an exam syllabus is much more difficult than it may seem, and a thankless job, but with these books they have got it just right.

Skill Level
Intermediate

These are excellent books and I find myself asking, "Why wasn't this sort of syllabus available years ago". Preparing an exam syllabus is much more difficult than it may seem, and a thankless job, but with these books they have got it just right.

They are beautifully laid out with clear printing and just a little fingering that is by no means intrusive and allows the students to really learn about the guitar fingerboard. The best thing however is the way that they introduce the history of music to guitarists, from the thirteenth to the twenty first century, with very sympathetic arrangements throughout that allow you to forget that the pieces were not originally written for the guitar!

As guitarists, we have a wonderful repertoire of music but it is great to have the opportunity to experience the music of Mozart, Handel and Beethoven in a first hand and positive way. This is especially important for young people to develop understanding and enjoyment of classical music (and for GCSE and A level exams!) For this reason, I will happily use these books for all of my students in future whether taking exams or not.

There is a good mix of music throughout including traditional, classical, jazz influenced, popular and song arrangements, in solo and duo formats. Many of the pieces have explanatory notes of, for example, the history of the piece, translation of the title, and original format as in accompanied song or original instrument.

All of the early dance forms are explained and given context so that the student is learning far more than just (!) how to play the guitar. There are 36 pieces in the first volume and 32 in the second so you are getting an awful lot of music for your money! Each piece also states clearly the year in which it was written so, as the books quote, "you can map your journey through time."

The books clearly cover all the technical requirements of the first years of learning including legato melodies, shaping phrases, articulation and ensemble playing to name but a few.

To summarise the choice of music, quality and suitability of arrangements, and accompanying notes are all excellent. There are many recognisable tunes "throughout the ages" and contrast in styles from Personent Hodie (1360) to Bach (1736), and from our own Aguado (1843) to Granados (1902) and Lennon/McCartney (1966)!

The editions are easy to read with a level of fingering that is not overpowering and I can truly say that all the pieces are enjoyable to play (from personal experience!)

Highly recommended.

Grade 1 pieces

  • Ductia: a gentle flowing melody in 6/8 time using the open D string as accompaniment.
  • Branle d’Ecosse: a lot of running quavers in this dance using the open A string as accompaniment.
  • Gavotte: this lively dance by Handel has been arranged as a duet. The student’s part is a single line melody on the treble strings with a steady crotchet and quaver rhythm.
  • Douce dame jolie: this is a "virelais" which is an old French musical form related to dancing. It has an interesting syncopated rhythm and open A as accompaniment.
  • Leccion: a simple single line melody "Alla marcia"! in 2/4 time
  • Valse: a flowing waltz using an arpeggio style in the first half and then separating into 2 voices.
  • El Noy de la Mare: this is a duet arrangement of a beautiful traditional Catalan melody in F major using a dotted crotchet rhythm.
  • Poor Wayfaring Stranger: an arrangement of a traditional spiritual with an interesting syncopated rhythm.
  • One Hand, One Heart: a lovely arrangement of this song from Westside Story, with simple melody using long sustained notes in G major.
  • The Dangers of Poking Holes in Ice: as the title suggests this is great fun with staccato and accent articulation and dynamics that are vital to bring out the character.

Grade 2 pieces

  • Pavane: a short stately dance using 2 and 3 note chords.
  • Can she excuse my wrongs: a duet arrangement of this beautiful Dowland song. The student plays the vocal line including some syncopated rhythms and changes of pulse.
  • Farewell Manchester: this is a lively little piece, mostly in 2 voices with more challenging left hand changes.
  • Aria detta la Frescobalda: a duet arrangement; the student plays a single line melody which uses long tied notes, mostly in 2nd and 5th positions. In the key of E minor.
  • Ode to Joy: an excellent arrangement of this popular melody using 2 voices.
  • Menuet: a duet arrangement of this famous Haydn Menuet with longer quaver passages in the melody and detailed left hand fingering using positions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  • The Sixpence: a traditional Irish melody with a lot of quaver passages and dotted rhythms and some fingered bass notes; in G major.
  • Here, There and Everywhere: a very effective duet arrangement of this Lennon/ McCartney song. The melody is syncopated requiring a good feel for the pulse and style.
  • Ballroom Blues: this little waltz is an original guitar piece written in a blues/ reggae style with simple 3 note chords and a bass melody. Great fun!

Selina.

98

24 Preludes Book 1

Gilbert Biberian

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Often intricate and complex, these Preludes are intended for a fairly advanced player, although there are no fearsome technical obstacles. They are composed skillfully and effectively for the guitar.

Skill Level
Advanced
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