Problem to Solve - Rules Governing Dolce

Dear Selina

I would be hugely grateful if you could outline for me the rules governing Dolce in music.

I understand dolce, which is normally given to mean Sweetly, to indicate a change of right hand position to over the highest frets, which does indeed produce a very sweet tone quality. But when to revert to the normal right hand position?

As a rule of thumb I have assumed the Dolce instruction to last until the next dynamic instruction, but I have no idea if this is accurate.


Dear Petula

To answer you Ask Selina question, dolce does mean sweetly but we should not consider that as purely a physical position on the guitar. In fact playing where you describe would be more appropriate for the instruction Tasto.

The description sweetness is for the musical feel of that phrase or section and it is up to the guitarist to interprete. We can achieve good variety of tone or colour, while hardly moving along the string, by changing the angle or strength of our attack. The length of a dolce instruction will not be determined by another instruction but more likely by the phrases in the music.

Using a tasto sound is certainly an option but often that can be too extreme for what is required.

Good luck!