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 25 - 48 of 289

Sheet Music Database

193

Ricercari and Fantasien

Franscesco Da Milano

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The pieces here are beautiful and peaceful; we have to learn new sounds and the techniques of playing contrapuntal lines but at the same time the music encourages freedom and invention. Learning this music is not really about technical virtuosity, for example how fast or loud we can play, but about control, understanding and listening - nurturing the musician in us.

Skill Level
Advanced

There is a short introduction at the beginning of this edition describing the sources used and introducing the musical style. Particularly interesting is the explanation of the titles that are so different to what we are used to!

Ricercari is an Italian verb meaning to seek/ quest. It was originally used in music to denote ‘trying out an instrument” or “prelude” so referring to an improvised introductory piece. In the 16th century ‘Ricercari’ and ‘Fantasia’ came to be applied to instrumental compositions that were mostly imitative with no clear distinction between the two.

The introduction makes an important point in explaining that the music of the Renaissance has a tonality and harmony all of its own, and that players need to spend time getting the feel of it. This is why it is so important to have the music in the exam repertoire, introducing it to a much wider audience and really expanding the guitarists’ repertoire and musical knowledge.

The edition uses F♯ tuning of the G string and recommends the use of a capo on the 3rd fret to bring the guitar closer to the pitch of the renaissance lute. A capo is not essential but it does make the voices much cleaner and the harmonies easier to hear.

The use of this tuning however is very important. It brings the intervals between the guitar strings in line with that of the lute, which means that the tablature can be followed more closely in the transcription and the chords flow more smoothly.

This, of course brings a new challenge to most guitarists, with notes in different places and chord shapes altered! For me it really emphasizes the importance of reading music and knowing the names of the notes on the page and on the guitar – you may be surprised that this can be a problem!

I love this music for its purity, depth and tranquility.

There are long melodic lines, interweaving and creating beautiful and complex harmonies. From a technical point of view it is all about tonal and dynamic control of melodies and harmonies. From a musical point of view the guitarist needs to recognize voices, motifs and imitation to understand the structure of the music. The thematic entries need to be brought out clearly and the dynamic control needs to be subtle so as not to interrupt the pretty constant flow of the music.

The edition helps by marking entries and imitations with capitol letters but this is an excellent opportunity for players to practice and improve their listening and interpretive skills and experimentation should be foremost!

The edition is not over fingered, which is great giving players more flexibility and choice. It is inevitable that some sacrifices in voicing, for example sustaining notes, have to be made but we should always be looking out for the importance of the interweaving lines and the dissonances and resolutions created – scrumptious!!

The pieces here are beautiful and peaceful; we have to learn new sounds and the techniques of playing contrapuntal lines but at the same time the music encourages freedom and invention.

Learning this music is not really about technical virtuosity, for example how fast or loud we can play, but about control, understanding and listening - nurturing the musician in us.

Selina.

mustakemitsutwilight

All In Twilight

Toru Takemitsu

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These Four pieces for guitar were commissioned by Julian Bream and dedicated to him. The first performance was given by Bream on October 9th 1988 in New York. The duration of this work is 11 minutes.

Skill Level
Advanced
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
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
120

The Guitarists Hour Book 1

Schott

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An Hour with the Guitar presents a careful selection of the most beautiful pieces of guitar literature. All the names familiar to every professional and amateur guitarist - Aguado, Carulli, Carcassi, Coste, Giuliani, Sor, and many more - are represented in this collection and ensure much stimulating variety. These pieces, with grades of difficulty progressing from very easy to moderately difficult, will give not only the beginner but also the advanced guitarist some valuable material for teaching, entertainment and performance.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
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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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.

musoneplusvol16

One + One Volume 1 (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.

    musbarriosvol3

    Guitar Works Vol. III

    Agustin Barrios Mangore

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    Edited by Richard D. Stover. Guitar solo songbook for solo guitar. With introductory text and fingerings. Classical Period and 20th Century. 21 pieces, including: Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios (Gran Tremolo) * Julia Florida - Barcarola * Vals, Op. 8, No. 4 * Choro da Sauda de.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Advanced
    musrealguitarvol2

    The Real Guitar Book Vol 2

    Lee Sollory and Nick Powlesland

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    A range of fabulous educational and concert guitar music by the UK's top guitar composers, educators and performers. All of the music in the Real Guitar Book is suitable for both classical and plectrum style techniques

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    Intermediate

    The Real Guitar books evolved after a frustrating and largely unsuccessful attempt to find exciting and challenging music for a new generation of solo guitarists.

    These original pieces certainly fit this billing of exciting and challenging!

    They were written to suit both classical and plectrum players and really push the boundaries in rhythm and harmony, encompassing styles such as rock, blues, folk and classical, and giving players music that really comes alive when played properly.

    The rhythms can be quite difficult to read which is good as it develops reading and encourages a natural feel for the pulse and syncopation.

    The pieces use the whole fretboard, with detailed articulation and dynamics, and strumming, bending and muting techniques that may be unfamiliar to classical players but really do help to strengthen and improve technique.

    The particular highlights for me are Chillout, Swing Thing, Rockroach and Moonshine probably because they are so successful at emulating their respective styles and make me feel good!

    This helps particularly younger players persevere with the classical guitar since it proves that their hard work has also resulted in music that everyone immediately recognizes and enjoys.

    Players are no less challenged by this music especially in reading complicated rhythm and learning the fretboard.

    All in all an excellent technical and musical experience with pieces that are great fun to learn and play.

    Selina.

    328

    36 Caprices Op. 20

    Luigi Legnani

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    In the varied world of the 19th century guitar Legnani was an inspired and prolific composer. Initially trained as a violinist he became famous as a guitarist and was held in great esteem by Paganini. The Caprices were first published in 1822 with each having a defined character and some are outstanding examples of pure virtuosity yet with emotion and spontaneity.

    Skill Level
    Advanced
    giuliani-le-avventure-di-amore

    Giuliani Le Avventure di Amore OP.116

    Mauro Giuliani

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    CH 52 - Written for 2 guitars. 10 Waltzes, publication consists of Score and Parts, clearly written making for ease of reading. Great music that allows you enjoy with a partner.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Ensemble
    • Containing
    • L'Invito al ballo
    • L'Affetto
    • La Dichiarazione
    • Il Rifiuto
    • Il Dispiacere
    • La Disperazione
    • La Partenza
    • Il Pentimento
    • Il Ritorno
    • La Pace
    310

    Trinity Guitar 2016-2019 - Guitar Grade 4

    Trinity College London

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    Containing pieces required for the Trinity Guitar exam. Three pieces to be performed from those listed in this book, at least one from each group, or from the duets or alternative pieces listed for this grade, to form a balanced program. This is an excellent book even if you have no intention of taking the exams.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    294

    Sonatina Meridional

    Manuel M Ponce

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    Adapted by Andres Segovia and printed by Schott. Three pieces form the sonatina and here Schott receive top marks for the quality, clarity and layout of the printing which really does make the studying that much easier. The three pieces work well together and the quantity of dynamics helps tremendously with ones understanding of the music.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Advanced

    A definate for anyone who likes variety of expression, tone and technique. In this day and age of downloading I still prefer and enjoy a printed book and here the Schott edition is quality paper and quality printing bringing a nice feeling to ones practice time.

    The sonatina starts with Campo, with an indication of Allegretto, this, I feel, allows you the emotional freedom to enjoy and interpret the music where if the marking was Allegro the extra speed indication would tend to make the music too fast for the ear to enjoy. Campo offers the player scope to work with tonal colour and to enjoy flashes of technique for both hands. If this is the first time you are stepping up to this level of musical challenge do be careful with the occasional left hand stretch, time spent in practice and attention to detail are worth the effort and will ensure you understand and enjoy the music.

    Copla the second movement is to be played Andante. Copla, "A unit of verse consisting of two successive lines, usually rhyming and having the same meter often forming a complete thought". Looking at the music one finds plenty of demi semi quavers, don't be put off, keep the speed down and feel the movement carrying you forward. Personally I like to keep strict time using expression and dynamic to give the music its feeling of movement. Keeping alive the idea of two lines working together really does pay dividends.

    Fiesta, now if you started too fast in the Campo and forgot to pull everything back with the Copla then here in the Fiesta you are going to wish you had used more control. The Fiesta has a dynamic marking of Allegro con brio and yes the con brio is a definite must not only for the music but also for your enjoyment. Gone are the demi semi quavers, now we have broken chords, rasgueado sections, dynamic indications of "Violento" "Destacado con humor" "Ironica", in fact reading just the dynamic indications tells you so much about the music and really brings the work to life.

    What I really like about this music is that it sounds exciting and is very rewarding to learn irrespective of your current level of playing. If you can get your fingers around the notes, go for it and don't worry if someone else on YouTube plays it faster than you.

    Adrian.

    musgiulianimetodo

    Metodo Per Chitarra op.1

    Mauro Giuliani

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    These studies are a result of my labours ascertained by experience and practice; I dare present them to the public in an intimate persuasion that whoever wishes seriously to try them, will be able to play expressively all that was composed in a more correct style for this instrument. M. Giuliani

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Advanced

    You may be initially put off when looking at the first few pages of this book with it’s pages of seemingly monotonous exercises, however if you have the patience, and hopefully help, to delve deeper the book is a fantastic resource for technique, reading skills, knowledge of the fingerboard and musicianship. There is a short biography at the beginning followed by the ‘Author’s preface to the first edition of the method”. This is brilliant, revealing Giuliani as simply a passionate guitarist!

    “My favourite occupation was always the study of the guitar, and I aspired with all my powers to attain the highest perfection in the knowledge of this instrument.”

    The book is in four parts and each can be used on many different levels; use of all the right hand fingers and combinations, balance, strength, speed, relaxation and movement to give a few examples.

    These are basics of technique that are essential for strengthening technique and enjoying your playing.

    PART ONE contains 120 arpeggio exercises with varying combinations that work on all aspects of your right hand from simple “p i m” to combinations of fingers with thumb, chords and more involved patterns. The key here is focus when you are practicing and recognizing what you would like to achieve rather than just bashing through the lot while watching telly as fast as possible! Depending on your level of skill they can be used in different ways and they divide nicely into groups making the prospect less daunting. At the moment I use them for prepare and play, balance and independence. As you become more familiar with the exercises you quickly begin to see their relevance to the repertoire and importance to your technique.

    PART TWO is for the left hand with studies in 3rds, 6ths, octaves and tenths in the keys of C, G, D and A major. As you can imagine this covers a lot of fingerboard and is fantastic for preparation, anticipation, fluid movement and relaxation. The intervals used are an integral part of the way the guitar works and the way composers write for it so, again, invaluable technical development. The studies also improve your reading and fingerboard knowledge enormously! People often ask me how to improve their sight reading, particularly in higher positions – this is a good way! These studies do require patience and focus. There is plenty of musical shape related to harmonic movement but this can be difficult to find at first depending on how well you know your fingerboard already. Take it slowly and break the piece up – 2 or 4 bars at a time is usually a good bet – until you start to relax and move more easily. The effort is certainly worth it improving movement, stretch, touch and feel, and working all of your fingers.

    PART THREE is made up of little studies working on different aspects of music related to musical effect, for example sustained notes, stopping strings for rests, ornaments, staccato and slurs or ‘legato’. These are lovely little pieces and particularly good for slurs and ornaments since we do not get much focussed practice on these techniques. PART FOUR consists of 12 progressive lessons, obviously showing how all the technical work that you have been working on is relevant and important for giving you the necessary skills to play fluently and enjoy your music.

    Using this book is not necessarily easy. You have to have the correct focus and concentration as you are practicing and have a goal in mind. However the benefits are great and even if you only manage a few minutes of ‘study’ at a time you will eventually see the benefits and begin to enjoy yourself!

    Selina.

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    musnoadbaroque

    The Baroque Guitar

    Frederick Noad

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    The music for this collection was composed during the years from 1650 to 1750, the middle part of the period known as the Baroque. As well as the variety of wonderful music there are bite sized piece of information, that can be easily digested, which will help you to draw the best from the music.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    Intermediate
    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.

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    212

    The Real Guitar Book Vol 3

    Lee Sollory and Nick Powlesland

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    The Real Guitar Book project evolved after a frustrating and largely unsuccessful attempt to find exciting, challenging music for a new generation of solo guitarosts who were not interested in the classical approach. The result is this compilation of original repertoire that sets out to inspire while also developing technique and musicianship. The aim has been to create a progressive selection of pieces that is accessible to relative beginners as well as more experienced players.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    194

    En La Playa

    Isaac Albeniz

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    Garden Music edition - Arranged for guitar by David Burden. En La Playa (on the beach) is the seventh and last piece from Recuerdos de Viaje (Souvenirs of Travel) Op71 written in 1887. This is one of Albeniz's most beautifully lyrical pieces and, like so much of his music, is guitaristic in its character and invention.

    Skill Level
    Advanced
    mussimplyguitar1

    Simply Guitar Book 1

    Vincent Lindsey-Clark

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    Book 1 offers a structured programme of easy repertoire for the beginner. The selection of pieces is designed to develop guitar technique, improve reading skills and most of all encourage the ability to perform with musical feeling.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    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
    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.

    121

    Solo Now Volume 3

    Chanterelle

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    The aim of the three Solo Now! books is to provide the elementary guitarist with a progressive and stimulating collection of pieces that specifically develop one of the most fundamental guitar techniques-that in which the right hand-thumb and fingers combine to play mainly broken chord configurations using the triando stroke. Volumes 1 and 2 take great care to try to minimize the demands made on the left hand so that the student can focus on the formations of a stable right hand technique.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate

    The aim of the three Solo Now! books is to provide the elementary guitarist with a progressive and stimulating collection of pieces that specifically develop one of the most fundamental guitar techniques – that in which the right hand thumb and fingers combine to play mainly broken chord configurations using the tirando stroke.

    The main principles behind the EGTA series of didactic music are establishing a good, balanced technique while not putting excessive demands on the hands of young players. Much of the 19th century teaching repertoire is focussed on developing the right hand but in doing so does make life difficult for the left hand! In these Solo Now books, the brief for composers was to concentrate on the right hand while keeping the left hand relatively simple.

    Volume 1 concentrates on establishing the sense of “placement” of pima over a set of strings and maintaining a relaxed hand shape while playing across the strings. The left hand is mostly limited to placing one finger at a time, and keeps to 1st position.

    In volume 2 the right hand is developed to include playing consecutive notes on a single string as well as more difficult arpeggio figurations. The left hand now has more double stopping and extensive use of 2nd and 3rd positions.

    Volume 3 has a lot more left hand work including barre and slurring techniques, and movement over the first 5 positions. The right hand has more varied combinations of fingers, as you would find in most pieces, the culmination of the balanced and relaxed hand technique developed in the previous volumes.

    When the aims of the books are laid out like this, it sounds like the pieces are going to be very dreary and technical but that is certainly not the case here. Nor are they very contemporary and difficult to interpret! In addition to the technical ideals, musicianship is the key.

    There are lots of stories, feelings and pictures in the music with inspiring titles like “Chatterbox”, “Cowboy in the Saddle” and “Aquarium”. In fact, in looking through these books I have come to realise how important a title can be in giving us ideas and feelings to communicate in our playing.

    There is extensive use of phrase lines throughout the series, wide ranging dynamics, articulation and musical indications that get progressively more detailed. There are excellent melodies, especially in the bass, and interesting rhythms that are contemporary but easily accessible through the titles.

    In volume 1 “Toy Soldiers” starts the series with an excellent marching bass line maintained throughout; the “Stone Circle” requires thought and a picture to capture the majesty and “Three Ghosts” is marked “dark distant and cold”- a real challenge for the player! “Going for a Spin” at the beginning of volume 2 has a lovely, lilting quaver movement with the melody singing from the arpeggios; in “Ducks and Swans” you can really hear the difference between the graceful swans and quacking ducks – great fun! If you close your eyes at the beginning of “Circles in the Water” you can see the widening ripples and “Whirligig” makes you want to dance with a strong pulse and uplifting melody.

    The pieces in volume 3 are a lot busier and more challenging but still continuing the original right hand arpeggio ideas within pieces with 2 and sometimes 3 voices. “Wishing Well” has a beautiful, relaxed melody with some scrunchy harmonies and in “Aquarium” you can follow the fish swimming over the arpeggio accompaniment! “Carillon” is a great finale to the series with a joyful stream of semiquavers forming arpeggios and melodies, syncopated bass notes and exciting harmonies.

    These are just a few examples from a wide range of pieces in this series that are written with very important technical considerations in mind but also manage to inspire listening and musical invention, and are great fun to play! Ideal early repertoire.

    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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