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.

Sheet Music Database

musabcguitar

ABC Guitar

Stephen Kenyon

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This book is all about enjoying playing your guitar with a feel for the style of the music you are playing. This means playing in a way that may have sounded right to people from the time it was written.

Skill Level
Beginner
mustrinitytheoryg3

Theory of Music Workbook Grade 3

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
Beginner
musbowers5preludes

Five Preludes for guitar

Timothy Bowers

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These Five Preludes are wide ranging in musical and technical content with expressive outer and middle movements and rapid fhythmical 2nd and 4th movements. Bowers Five Preludes were awarded First Prize in the Domecq International Guitar Festival - Search for new music competition in 1983.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
musburdengpduet1

The Guitarists Progress Duets and Ensemble Series Book 1

David Burden

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Although book 1 of the series this book takes you from the first steps of duet playing through to pieces with a more content and scope for enjoyment. The variety and flexibility of the arrangements makes it ideal for individual or group tuition.

Skill Level
Beginner
Ensemble
musponcesonclasica

Sonata Clasica

Manuel M Ponce

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He was famous for being a musical prodigy; according to his biographers, he was barely four years of age when, after having listened to the piano classes received by his sister, Josefina, he sat in front of the instrument and interpreted one of the pieces that he had heard. Immediately, his parents had him receive classes in piano and musical notation. Ponce's guitar music is a core part of the guitar's repertory.

Skill Level
Intermediate
brindle-etruscan-preludes

Etruscan Preludes

Reginald Smith Brindle

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Four Preludes beautifully written and printed with clear instructions on how to perform each piece. The variety of rhythm mixed with interesting right hand technique makes for a performance challenge that will allow you to not only enjoy performing, it will also help you to develop artistically.

Skill Level
Advanced

This is a good edition of a lovely piece originally written for the piano although it is probably better known as a classical guitar piece. It does ask for the guitar to be retuned with string 5 tuned down to G and string 6 down to D.

Do not be put off by this!

There are very few fingered notes on these two strings to have to adjust, and the tuning gives the piece a beautiful warm and open sound helping to create the atmosphere. Also most guitars sing beautifully with this tuning!

Unfortunately there is a rather big misprint in the first 4 bars. The bass note of each of the chords is written as a low E, normally open string 6. It is fingered with a 0 and is supposed to be a G – in this case open string 5.

Watch out for this and don’t try to find an E!

There are a lot of notes in higher positions and the fingering is detailed and helpful although do try to learn the actual notes as well, it will really improve your higher position reading. The arranger also makes good use of harmonics which are marked with position and string.

This really is a lovely piece with a simple melody that repeats and builds, with an accompaniment of Bass G crotchet followed by the highest D crotchet repeating to great effect (reminding me in some ways of Ravel’s Bolero accompaniment). There is a beautiful rubato, minor middle section that loses the regular accompaniment and moves into three voices diverging and interweaving, before returning to the uplifting main theme.

Great fun.

Selina.

musabguide1

The AB Guide to Music Theory, Part I

ABRSM

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Provides an introduction to the basic elements in harmony and musical structure covering the basics of rhythm and tempo. An introduction to pitch, intervals and transposition, articulation, ornaments, and reiterations. This Guide is not only an excellent support to a good syllabus but also a fine reference work in its own right.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
musoneplusvol23

One + One Volume 2 (Pupils Part)

Chanterelle

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The three volumes of One + One contain arrangements of music from the renaissance, baroque, classical and romantic periods as well as folk-song settings and new compositions written specially for the EGTA Series. New compositions, even though they don’t apply to the exam list repertoire, are included, in order to maximise the books’ general value to the player and to show how this approach can work for all types of music.

Skill Level
Beginner

These volumes of duets were conceived and put together through the efforts of EGTA, the European Guitar Teachers Association, and are designed to help students develop their musicianship, co ordination, tone and articulation without the excessive physical demands that the chordal and contrapuntal repertoire can impose, particularly on the left hand.

The pieces were the first duets to be used in the ABRSM guitar syllabus, a change in approach that has been invaluable for encouraging students and introducing them to repertoire that would have previously been inaccessible until much later. Of course, it also promotes ensemble playing and all the rhythmical, musical and “communication” benefits that this brings, as well as being so much fun!

There is a comprehensive preface to each volume, which is important to read as it outlines the ideals in general as well as the technical demands and thoughts about fingering, positions and musical indications. It is great that fingering has been kept to a minimum and the preface makes it clear that the fingerings that have been added are just suggestions based on achieving the best musical result.

There is a wide variety of repertoire represented from the Renaissance to the present day, including arrangements of music by Dowland, Purcell, Haydn, Schubert, Mozart, Grieg and Tchaikovsky, as well as original, contemporary guitar pieces. I was a little disappointed not to find any arrangements from the guitar solo repertoire, since there is so much to choose from that would provide an insight into the world of the classical guitar – in other words all the exciting things to come!

All the student parts are single line melodies across the two volumes.

Volume 1 stays in first position, with pieces tending to use the bass or treble voices so working on the separate articulation of fingers and thumb. The arrangements are very well done with a lot of emphasis on ensemble skills i.e. counting and listening, and a good mix of popular and unknown melodies.

In volume 2 fingers and thumb are combined within pieces and left hand positions range from first to fourth. In both books there are some challenging rhythms and time signatures with the articulation and musical indications getting more detailed in volume 2.

There are also some quite unusual and tricky accompaniments in these arrangements, which is worth noting for teachers!

I have to admit to finding some of the modern melodies a little “dry” and more difficult to follow (for young ears) especially when being played without accompaniment. However, overall, there are plenty of lovely tunes, lots of invaluable ensemble experience and counting practice and a strong emphasis on the importance of melody and phrasing.

Grade 1 (volume 1)

  • Riggadoon: a lively, straightforward melody using the treble strings.
  • German Dance: another energetic piece in ¾ time using a dotted crotchet rhythm and some accents.
  • Theme from Rosamunde: this is a flowing, Andante melody, with some longer quaver passages.

Grade 2 (volume 2)

  • Minuet: this piece is in F major, has some detailed phrasing indications and uses 2nd and 3rd positions.
  • A Fairy Tale: the phrasing is detailed again here with a strong, rhythmical, flowing melody and quite a lot of accidentals!
  • Slavonic Waltz: this piece is marked con moto and has a clear character with a contrasting second section and change of key signature.
  • Grade 3 (volume 2)

    • Musette en Rondeau: this is a lovely dance in ¾ with long quaver passages in treble and bass voices.
    • Sweet Reveries: marked Andante, this piece requires long legato phrasing with detailed dynamic control. A dotted quaver rhythm is used throughout and the left hand plays up to the 7th fret.

    Selina.

    71

    33 Czech Folksongs - (Pupils Part)

    Peter Eben

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    Learning to phrase melodies is the goal in this well chosen selection of folk songs by leading Czech composer Peter Eben with teacher's accompaniments.

    Skill Level
    Beginner

    These beautiful, melodic, yet simple pieces have been arranged for 2 guitars from Petr Eben’s setting of 100 Czech folk tunes for solo piano – an achievement that he described thus:

    Reach into the jewel box, take a handful of precious stones and set them into children’s rings!

    The pieces are ideal for early learning as they emphasize the playing of melodies in low and high registers, shaping phrases and bringing out articulation. The pupil part always has the original melody with the teacher as purely accompaniment.

    There are suggestions for right and left hand fingering which the preface advises teachers to follow, as they have been included for essentially musical reasons.

    This is very enjoyable and charming music that also teaches style and interpretation and, most importantly for guitarists, how to follow a melody. Beginners are learning primarily how to sing a melody through the guitar, a vital first step in musical development.

    Grade 1

    • The pipes were playing at Pobuba: emphasizes smooth phrasing across strings with lots of dynamic contrast, using i, m and a.
    • Oh love, oh love: this is a very simple, slower melody with echoing phrases in octaves, and concentration on phrase shape, hairpin dynamics and expression.

    Grade 2

    • Andulichko, hello: a lively melody in 3/4 time, G major; question and answer phrases with repeat down an octave and fingering in third position.
    • When I took geese to the pasture: very strong quaver rhythm in 2/4 time, D major, that really brings out the character of the geese!

    Grade 3

    • Whose are these geese? : quite a melancholy melody requiring long phrasing and detailed dynamic control. The first melody is repeated down and octave and then again in thirds.

    Selina.

    79

    Moving On

    Peter Nuttall

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    For students of all ages who enjoy melodic pieces in popular styles. The technical demands remain modest, and the idiomatic nature of the compositions makes them rewarding to both player and listener.

    Skill Level
    Beginner

    I really like this little collection of pieces as they highlight development of musicality and emotion in your playing.

    Realistically the level here is grades (or years playing) 2 to 3. Although the pieces are not complicated there are more notes to read on the page, more ‘involved’ rhythms and much more musical input required. Several of the pieces use a bass melody, fantastic for improving reading of these often neglected but very important notes!

    In The Wheatfields the accompanying 3 note chords look difficult but are all using i m a for mostly open strings or with one fingered note. This provides a very full accompaniment for the beautiful bass melody with lots of musical instruction to keep you on your toes.

    In contrast On The Prairie has a treble single line melody with arpeggio filling, with the evocative title clear ideas on how to interpret the bright and flowing music.

    The Old Lute is a simple piece in two voices reflecting a Renaissance style with a modern twist and To Mexico has a mixture of arpeggio chords and melody, syncopated rhythm, D and A chord shapes and loads of character!

    There are three good blues pieces written in 12/8 time to give the swing feel with some very effective syncopated rhythms, teaching a lot about chords and about feeling the pulse and movement in the music. The final Danza has quite a medieval feel to the harmony, with the melody swapping between treble and bass registers and a lovely gentle flow throughout.

    All in all a very enjoyable set of pieces with lots of potential for technical ad musical development as well performance opportunity!

    Selina.

    97

    Microestudios 6 to 10 Vol 2

    Abel Carlevaro

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    An exceptional virtuoso, composer and teacher Carlevaro is not only one of the most important guitarists of our time but the creator of a new school of instrumental technique. Microestudios, three books containing 15 studies, are a must for the aspiring guitarist.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
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    musdowlandmelancholy

    Melancholy Galliard and Allemande

    John Dowland

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    Dowland's 'Melancholy Galliard' and 'Allemande' transcribed from the lute tablature and arranged and fingered for guitar by Karl Scheit

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    musdowlandair

    Air and Galliard

    John Dowland

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    Transcribed from the lute tablature and arranged for guitar by Karl Scheit.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    mussmithsonatano4

    Sonata No 4 La Breve

    Reginald Smith Brindle

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    Smith Brindle began learning the piano at the age of six, and later took up the clarinet, saxophone and guitar (and won a Melody Maker prize for his guitar-playing). Although he wrote for many instruments, Smith Brindle was perhaps best known for his solo guitar music.

    Skill Level
    Advanced

    This is contemporary music and as such is often difficult for students to attempt, as they are not used to the dissonances and unusual melodic and harmonic shapes, that is, there is not necessarily a ‘tune’ to sing!

    I have not played any Smith Brindle for years for this very reason and so came to this review with some trepidation.

    It is definitely music that you have to keep playing to start to get an idea of what there is to communicate.

    Here the music is very well laid out with plenty of space between staves, helpful fingering and lots of musical clues, i.e. espressivo and echo.

    In the first movement there are contrasting fast and slow sections with repetitions that help you to navigate your way through the music as well as rhythmic and melodic motifs to latch on to.

    The rhythm is very important but not too complicated to count and learn. Once you have this, the shape of the piece can emerge.

    The slow middle movement uses the resonance around clashing and harmonic chords to good effect and forces you to really listen to what happens to the sound after you have played the strings. In fact this is an important point about contemporary music – the melody or flow of the music is not always obvious and so you have to listen more and you cannot only concentrate on fingers!

    I liked the last movement the best. The rhythms are great with lovely dissonances that together are exciting.

    If you can be open to new sounds this music is great for developing reading and fingerboard knowledge. It helps you to find and develop moods and means of expression on your guitar and is very open to your interpretation, but with plenty of ideas toget you started.

    Selina.

    musgw4

    The Guitarists Way Book 4

    Peter Nuttall and John Whitworth

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    In Book 4 we introduce new and interesting rhythms, continue to develop left and right hand technique, and explore a wider range of keys and musical styles. There is also opportunity for more expressive playing in some of the higher positions. The range of musical styles can be extended further in the follow-up books Diversions and Twelve Inventions.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    musgw3

    The Guitarists Way Book 3

    Peter Nuttall and John Whitworth

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    An important feature of this book is the development of a secure free stroke technique therough the playing of arpeggios and chords. Second and seventh positions are explored and left hand technique is developed by the introduction of slurs. As in books one and two there is plenty of opportunity for duet and trio playing, and there are many attractive solo pieces.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    musgw2

    The Guitarists Way Book 2

    Peter Nuttall and John Whitworth

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    Book 2 reinforces the skills learned in book 1. We discover quavers, dotted rhythms and two-note chords, as well as sharps, flats and naturals. The remaining bass notes are introduced through a series of carefully graded melodies.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    guitaristway1

    The Guitarists Way Book 1

    Peter Nuttall and John Whitworth

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    Book one leads to the playing of simple melodies on the top 3 strings, whilst developing a secure technique in both hands. A few bass note are then introduced, followed by pieces which combine a melody with a simple bass accompaniment.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    musmoodsblues

    Moods n Blues

    Peter Nuttall

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    A colourful collection of appealing pieces for the early student. Written in a variety of attractive styles - blues, simple flamenco, classical etc. These pieces serve as a very playable and enjoyable introduction to many common guitar techniques and idioms.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    musgoingplaces

    Going Places

    Peter Nuttall

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    An attractive travelog of styles from around the world. Ideal simple recital pieces for early years students - melodic, varied and effective.

    Skill Level
    Beginner