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

muscoste25etuden

25 Etuden OP38

Napoleon Coste

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Napoleon Coste was a gifted guitarist who established himself as a teacher while still a teenager. He moved to Paris, where his brilliant technique placed him among the great guitarists of his generation. His Twenty-five Etudes are one of the guitar repertory's finest set of concert studies, notable for their attractive melodies and brilliant cadenzas.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

I know this set of studies well due to them holding a very important place in my technical development – I will come to that later!

In general, however I think that they are less well known and played than some of the other study repertoire from this period. This is a great shame because there are some great little pieces here with excellent technical development material.

The pieces are quite challenging, going from about grade 5 standard up to advanced.

For me, the things that stand out in this collection are fingerboard knowledge and musicianship. I am always talking about knowledge of the notes leading to greater fluency and musical direction, although it can be something that is difficult to achieve if it has not been there from the beginning. These pieces make no compromise in movement around the fingerboard, chord changing and general left hand freedom. They pretty much cover every single note up to the 12th fret, on every string – in one case probably all in one piece!

This may be frustrating at first but really focuses the mind and encourages you to learn in order to achieve the desired results.

The musical content is varied and engaging with some very interesting harmonies, rhythms, textures and colours. The studies particularly highlight harmonic sequences encouraging you to listen to voices to shape the music.

Technically all the basics are covered and developed including arpeggio and scale patterns, slurs, right hand patterns and speed of articulation, movement in thirds, sixths and octaves, alberti accompaniment figures and fully accompanied melodies.

All of the technical movement around the guitar seems to have musical purpose so that you find yourself really developing the link between sound and movement and so ‘feeling’ the momentum and shape under your fingers. I found this particularly satisfying and a big help when I was struggling with some of the technique!

I have not got the space to talk about every piece but will mention some of my highlights.

No.1 gives a taste of what is to come with its simple chord sequence and variation that gives you the chance to listen to, and feel the harmonic movement without having too many notes to think about. No.4 has a lovely, simple melody with chords on almost every beat and no compromise in movement around the fingerboard i.e. some tricky jumps. It is an excellent exercise in playing melodically (that is horizontally) in more than one voice. No.6 has a long line of melody over a lovely triplet accompaniment, using rests in the accompaniment to great effect. No.7 (Associated Board grade 7) has a strong and compelling character highlighting the guitar’s contrapuntal abilities and challenging the player to hear all of the voices.

I love the lower line melody in No.10 (Associated Board grade 8). This piece has great character and requires real control of lines and rhythm and finishes with a contrasting, smoother major section. No.12 (TrinityGuildhall grade 7) creates drama through lots of movement in semiquaver chords, big interval jumps and full harmonies while No.13 is altogether lighter with arpeggio thirds in higher registers using sliding shapes to produce long sequences. No. 15 has a brilliant ‘quirky’ triplet melody built around the chords giving the piece a very individual character. The 3/8 time and repeated semiquaver pedal give No.19 real flow and momentum carrying the melody in thirds through the piece. No. 21 is very difficult because of its constantly moving quaver chords, maintaining three voices for much of the time, and highlighting some unusual harmonies.

My absolute favorite has to be the piece that was a turning point in my studies, opening my eyes to a technique and resulting musicianship that I am still enjoying and developing today! Before playing study No.22 I don’t think that I had ever thought about controlling and stopping bass notes, however this study has a repeating bass rhythm that is as much about rests as it is about notes. Defining this bass line brings a whole different light to the music and is one of the most valuable techniques that I have learnt as well as being enormous fun to play!

I think that this is one set of studies that every dedicated guitarist should own and learn. They teach us as many lessons in musicianship as technique, are very enjoyable to play and highlight the musical abilities of the guitar. Brilliant.

Selina.

104

24 Studies Op. 48

Mauro Giuliani

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Guitar Solo. By Mauro Giuliani. Arranged by Hans Ritter. This edition: GA32. Covers 27 pages and is published by Schott Music.

Skill Level
Advanced
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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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
musmilanofantasie9

14 Fantasie per Chitarra

Francesco Da Milano

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Guitar Solo. By Francesco Canova Da Milano. Arranged by Miklos Mosoczi. 18 pages. Published by Editio Musica Budapest.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
musponce12preludes

12 Preludes

Manuel M Ponce

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This is what I would describe as ‘classic’ repertoire, from a composer who did an awful lot towards exploring new possibilities in composing for the guitar and widening the repertoire during a vital period in the guitars history and development. This is rewarding and essential repertoire that I hope many people will find and enjoy. Arranged by Andres Segovia, edition covers 16 pages. Published by Schott Music.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

This is what I would describe as ‘classic’ repertoire, from a composer who did an awful lot towards exploring new possibilities in composing for the guitar and widening the repertoire during a vital period in the guitars history and development.

I am disappointed in myself for not having learnt to play these preludes sooner! They are lovely little miniatures with loads of musical detail and technical challenge packed in to pieces that individually last for 2 to 3 minutes but are still very rewarding to play and to listen to.

Very importantly they represent excellent opportunities for improving music reading and knowledge of the guitar fingerboard through exploration of key signatures and freedom of movement between positions. The keys range from C major to A flat and F sharp major, in other words up to 4 flats and 6 sharps. This is very good for guitarists, taking us out of our comfort zone and forcing us to use different and varied positions and to learn the geography of the fingerboard. As you play the Preludes you quickly discover that there are patterns in every key and if you name your notes and work out the patterns the, at first, seemingly uphill task of reading some of the music becomes fun and in fact very rewarding.

This variety of key signatures and the range of pitch used throughout means that the fingerboard is used in a very fluid way without blocks of notes in positions but constantly changing and also using all 6 strings in the higher positions rather than only the high notes.

For me this is a vital skill for a guitarist, one that gives you freedom of technique as well as musicianship. When learning pieces like these properly it does not take long to learn your fingerboard and become comfortable and at ease moving around.

There are a wide variety of tempos and emotions across the 12 pieces. Some have a more contemporary feel although I think that the majority are very melodic and full of character and storytelling.

Despite being small the Preludes have detailed musical requirements on the score with very clear rhythm and articulation, for example in the use of rests and rhythms crossing bar lines as well as important distinctions in voicing and counterpoint.

There is also a great deal of contrast from the tranquil and flowing lines of no.1 to the lively and bright fast movement of no.2. No.6, probably one of the best known, has a really beautiful, soulful and expressive melody set within a pulsing strummed chord really exploiting the tenor richness of the guitars inner strings, whereas no.8 has a continuous and fluid musical line in a lilting 9/8 time signature with the added challenge of 4 flats!

Particular highlights for me are no.9 which has a wonderful lightness and uplifting feeling with warm and almost ‘oriental’ harmonies forming from the semiquaver intervals, and no.10, a beautifully delicate and intricate sounding piece which is relatively simple to play.

The key to the enjoyment of these pieces is the combination of technical and reading challenges with the storytelling and freedom of expression required.

For me this is rewarding and essential repertoire that I hope many people will find and enjoy. I certainly intend to learn and record them so watch this space!

Selina.

musdodgson12intros

12 Introductory Studies for Guitar

Stephen Dodgson and Hector Quine

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These introductory studies are intended to introduce the player to a wide range of technical and musical challenges. A good sense of rhythm and counting are called for to help develop right hand articulation and left hand independence. Many of the rhythmic patterns need to be mastered if one is to advance to the higher grades in classical guitar exam syllabus.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
295

100 Graded Classical Guitar Studies

Frederick Noad

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One hundred studies from the works of three outstanding composers, Sor, Giuliani & Carcassi. All of these studies are invaluable to the guitarist, as well as developing right and left hand technique they are a pleasure to play and listen too. With each study Noad has added a brief note which assists and encourages. This edition is great for both student and teacher.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced

This is a fantastic resource for guitarists of all ages and standards. If you are a beginner it is a great investment for the future, and if you have been playing for a few years it presents lovely pieces through which you can develop your technique and your musicianship. The Classical in the title not only refers to our instrument but to the period from which the music originates. The 19th century guitar repertoire is often under rated but is, in my opinion indispensible.

This edition represents great value for money, including all of Carcassi’s Op.60 as well as many of the well known Sor studies, for example the B minor arpeggio study, op.31 no.6 the detached quaver chords and op.6 no.6 the moving thirds in A major. The Giuliani studies tend to be less well known as there are so many that have not really been collected into dedicated edition for students.

There are some lovely examples here that really help you to work on specific aspects of technique such as arpeggios, moving intervals and chord movement while giving you lots of drama and excitement musically. Giuliani’s Opus 1 is well represented, giving a tantalizing taster to a group of studies and exercises that no guitarist should be without.

The book is very well laid out and clearly printed with a short paragraph of musical and technical notes for each of the 100 studies, and most importantly sensible levels of fingering!

This gives you great confidence as a player particularly if you don’t have a teacher to help you.

There is also a fairly brief but comprehensive introduction covering the editors ideas in the selection and grading of pieces as well as historical notes on each composer, Fernando Sor, Mauro Giuliani and Matteo Carcassi.

Frederick Noad produced some great collections for students really opening out the guitar repertoire for everyone to enjoy. There are too many favourites here for me to mention, a real treasure trove!

Selina.

muslemayprogressivevol5

Repertoire Progressif Volume 3

Les Productions dOZ

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This album moves up to around Grade 4, (although a couple of pieces of Grade 3 have sneaked in) and there are more 'unknown' pieces than in the previous two books, the collection being the better for it; Claude Gagnon emerges yet again, this time with four pieces and there are two fingerstyle compositions by Jacques Chandonnet... ...these albums are presented to a high standard.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate