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 121 - 144 of 289

Sheet Music Database

musweiss

Weiss for guitar

Silvius Leopold Weiss

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It is great to see these two collections being published, as the music is often difficult to find and choose when students reach the technical level required.

Skill Level
Advanced

It is great to see these two collections being published,as the music is often difficult to find and choose when students reach the technical level required.

I was especially impressed with the Weiss collection where the 10 movements chosen (from a huge repertoire of suites) work very well as stand alone pieces and transfer beautifully onto our 6 string classical guitar, without the player having to perform too many acrobatics and without losing the musical flow.

It is very important to introduce the repertoire of these two composers to guitarists as soon as possible. Weiss because he was a contemporary of Bach and wrote pieces of high quality and, arguably more suited to the guitar, and Scarlatti whose harpsichord music helps to develop a feel for the Spanish Baroque style where the guitar can recreate the textures of the harpsichord very well.

The editions are clearly set out and printed with excellent historical notes at the beginning of each volume. These notes are very informative and useful for the technical and musical interpretation of the pieces.

For the Scarlatti there is some background for individual pieces, as well as musical ideas and explanation of ornaments.

For the Weiss there is a more general history of how he wrote for the Baroque Lute developing the instrument to include 13 courses, and of his main format for composition, namely the suites of dance movements.

I particularly found useful the explanation of the Prelude or Fantasia, a form represented in the first piece in this book.

The Scarlatti pieces all fit the guitar well although the last two are technically complicated. My favourites are 3, 5, 6 and 7 from which I felt I could really get a lot of musicality, texture and rhythmic drive.

All of the Weiss movements are lovely with a lot of contrast to be found between pieces. The player can get a real feel for the dance styles and sophisticated harmonies that Weiss used. My highlights are the Rondeau and Sarabande (5 and 6), Paysanne (8) and Courante (9).

The only thing that I would like to have seen less of in these editions is fingering, especially for the left hand. The music is complicated and it is nice to have fingering advice but I found that it hindered my initial reading of the pieces and so it ended up taking me longer to become fluent!!

It is good for students and teachers to work out the best fingering for themselves through trial and error - in my experience you learn more thoroughly and have a better understanding of reading and technique this way.

Overall, this is excellent source material for any guitarist, not only to be used for exams but as essential repertoire. It is also beautiful and detailed music that all will be able to enjoy learning and mastering.

Selina.

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220

Theory of Music Workbook Grade 6

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 paper.

Skill Level
Intermediate
95

Five Pictures of Sark

Vincent Lindsey-Clark

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These five delightful pieces by Vincent Lindsey-Clark reflect the Channel Island of Sark. Maseline Harbour, Hvre Gosselin, Cycles in the Avenue, La Moinerie and Descent from La Coupee are expertly composed for solo guitar by this highly talented musician.

Skill Level
Intermediate

As with the "Simply" series, these pieces encourage experimentation, exploration and musicianship for all levels of ability.

Clarke somehow manages to make the guitar sound more expansive in scope than it is with the various ways that he writes melodies and, particularly, accompaniments. He achieves many different textures and moods, which are evocative and convincing, drawing real pictures of the scenery and life of Sark.

The music requires dynamic and tonal control and contrast, while the structure and harmony in the pieces introduces the player to a modern and "impressionistic" style.

We often talk about finding pictures to accompany your music and help you to communicate ideas - this music really helps and encourages you to do just that!

In Maseline Harbour the contrast in textures is fantastic, from the flowing arpeggios of the first section to a repeated chord accompaniment over a bass melody; this melody then expands into octaves bringing out wonderful dissonances and producing a big sound picture. The final section highlights a syncopated melody within the semiquavers that is a great exercise for the brain and finger independence. This creates an uneasy atmosphere before melting back into the opening arpeggios.

Havre Gosselin uses a simpler musical texture, mainly two voices, employing repeated notes in the melody to create long undulating phrases. This is a haunting piece; the dramatic centre section uses big jumps between first and seventh position to hold and release the tension in the music.

Cycles in the Avenue is the most cheerful of the pieces -the musical instruction is "scherzando"! The piece uses the whole fretboard and encourages a freedom of movement in the player. This is not easy as there is some challenging high position reading and quick moves. The contrasting middle section uses long slow chords with a "scrunchy" harmonic progression and voicing that requires one part to be staccato and the other legato.

La Moinerie is a beautiful, slow, expressive piece that requires good finger control to bring out the separate voices and fantastic harmonies. The phrases are long and flowing, excellent practice for the developing guitarist and the flow of the music is irresistible. A small phrase using artificial harmonics with other voices is a big challenge (a difficult technique) that is wonderful when mastered, and the way that the ending evaporates has a real "tingle" factor!

The final piece, Descent from La Coupee (304 steps) is the most dramatic, dissonant and exciting. The dissonances may take some time to get used to when you are learning the piece, but the effect they add to the driving rhythms conjures up many pictures including, for me, a thunderstorm, crashing seas and fright in the repeated chord section! The use of strumming and punctuated rhythm in the coda results in a big, dramatic ending.

This set of pieces would stand quite happily alongside more complicated and difficult works in performance and I think that any player would have fun (and benefit from) exploring them - I know that I do!

Selina.

76

Solo Now Volume 1

Chanterelle

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Volume One of the Solo Now! series contains twenty-five original progressive guitar solos for the beginning classical guitarist. Part of the EGTA Series, Solo Now! focuses on development of a stable yet relaxed right hand position while nurturing correct technique for the left hand.

Skill Level
Beginner

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.

musoneplusvol1

One + One Volume 1 (Teachers 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.

muswynbergfirstrep

First Repertoire for Solo Guitar Book 1

Simon Wynberg

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The contents of book 1 cover a wide stylistic range with music of interest to adults and children alike. All compositions originally written for the guitar with some works being published here for the first time. Helpful notes are given on performance the selected pieces are designed to be varied and musically for the player.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
musoneplusvol28

One + One Volume 2 (Teachers 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.

mustorrobapiecescaracteristique

Pieces Caracteristiques

Federico Moreno Torroba

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This music is romantic and colourful, evocative not only of Spain and its scenery and music, but also of the traditions of the classical guitar and the music that I grew up listening to and striving to play. Andres Segovia Edition Volume 2 GA 134 includes the pieces entitled, Los Mayos, Albada and Panorama.

Skill Level
Advanced

This music is romantic and colourful, evocative not only of Spain and its scenery and music, but also of the traditions of the classical guitar and the music that I grew up listening to and striving to play. As such it is a part of the repertoire that is often overlooked as our musical tastes change but that can teach us a lot about what our instrument can achieve.

There are three pieces offering contrast in character but strong links in melody that means they work beautifully together. The music is full of strong treble and bass melodies, driving rhythms, exciting harmonies and lots of opportunity for contrasts in articulation and tone. Techniques include fast articulation, control of long slurred passages and fluid movement around the fingerboard.

Los Mayos is strong and bright with an uplifting theme that is used throughout, driving the music forward, lots of chord movement, and some lovely ‘clashy’ harmonies. It is marked Allegro no tanto – quick and cheerful but not too much!

Albada has a great, quirky and quite angular returning theme that contrasts with some lovely tenor melodies on the 4th and 5th strings and a gorgeous tune in the relative minor with a warm syncopated accompaniment. Again the Allegro marking is tempered, this time with gracioso, highlighting character as apposed to straight speed.

The final piece is Panorma, an expansive piece with a Lento Introduction, a central Allegro which develops into a fugal section using the main theme, and a return to the theme of Los Mayos to finish. The Lento consists of beautiful, big chords producing full and rich ‘open’ harmonies which rise and crescendo before falling in triplets with a diminuendo that leads into the Allegro. Now the music moves more quickly alternating between a melody in triads and flowing semiquavers, building into the relative major and towards a brief introduction of the Los Mayos theme before falling towards the fugal section.

Here the main theme from this movement is developed with many entries and echoes in other voices, moving through keys and creating full textures and harmonies, starting low and rising to 2 octaves higher than the first statement before falling back again and finally merging into the final strong statement of the Los Mayos theme. It is all very exciting and finishes with a great ‘big dipper’ run of semiquavers and then 2 lovely, soft, staccato chords – real drama!

This is perfect music for the Classical Guitar – warm and Spanish in character, exciting and dramatic, using all the instrument has to offer and a reflection of a golden age for the guitar.

Selina.

134

Triptico

Antonio Lauro

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Lauro's Tríptico consists of three pieces in E minor. The first of these, Armida, is a contemplative canción named after the composer's sister. Madrugada ("before dawn") is an appoggiatura study inspired by one of Sojo's few original works for guitar. La Negra was the nickname of Lauro's niece Armida, the daughter of his sister of the same name.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

I have played various pieces by Antonio Lauro over the years but never really tried Triptico. In reviewing this I discovered how much more there is in the piece than I had previously found in simply playing through. It is in three movements with loads of variety in rhythm, feel, melody and harmony and is quite accessible to players of grade 6 and above.

In many ways the music is actually quite complex, for example in the way that rhythms are combined, counterpoint between voices, and melodies with a lot of chord movement underneath.

The first movement ‘Armida” acts as a sort of prelude and has a fantastic shifting and swirling rhythm created by one beat of triplet quavers and one beat of normal quavers. Interestingly this rhythm is the same in every bar but the music does not feel at all repetitive. This is because the melody moves between voices sometimes as a single line, sometimes in octaves or thirds giving a lot of variety in colour and texture. By separating the lines you can get an excellent feel for the direction of the music straightaway and start to recognize the detail that is so important. There is a lot of movement around the fingerboard that needs to be smooth and free flowing.

The second movement ‘Madrugada’ is subtitled Cancion Venezolano, a very important clue! Cancion means song but as you look at the page all you see is chords, some of which are quite tricky with some big jumps. Playing the melody helps to build up the shape and feeling of the music while you are learning your fingering. You can also work on the chords separately to give you more opportunity to listen to the lovely scrunchy harmonies. As you look into the detail you will discover that, as in the first and third movements, the melody changes voices, a detail that you need to highlight to bring out the best in the music. The rhythm here is very simple accentuating the long flowing melody that does not want to be interrupted by, but enhanced by the chords.

The third movement ‘La Negra’ is subtitled Vals Venezolano and is a lovely flowing, syncopated and lively waltz, with voices bringing out different rhythms and the pulse shifting between 2 and 3 in a bar, typical of this style of music. Here I would go as far as saying that you cannot play this properly without separating out and playing the individual voices (musical lines).

As you learn the music the overall effect in your left hand is of chord shapes but the music is not chordal in sound. The harmonies are built up and created by the contrapuntal voices, that is the musical lines moving independently. This is a difficult effect to achieve on the guitar and needs a lot of attention for the best results. Working like this also helps you to bring out the individual rhythms and develop more interest and excitement through your rhythm.

Selina.

102

Hommage a Tarrega

Turina

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This piece is from the repertoire that brought a lot of people of my generation to the guitar, and still does due to its rich, evocative musical language. It is part of the huge contribution that Andres Segovia made to our repertoire by inspiring and encouraging new composers to write guitar music, without which I am sure we would not be where we are today. The edition covers 7 pages. Published by Schott Music.

Skill Level
Advanced

This piece is from the repertoire that brought a lot of people of my generation to the guitar, and still does due to its rich, evocative musical language.

It is part of the huge contribution that Andres Segovia made to our repertoire by inspiring and encouraging new composers to write guitar music, without which I am sure we would not be where we are today.

The key is the way that Turina uses the characteristics of the guitar to create the emotion, depth and colour in the music. The piece is very much written for the guitar with a fantastic and varied texture created using ponticello, tasto, rasgueado, subito dynamics and loads of musical instruction on the score.

The music also uses the natural tone colours of the guitar, for example the full and mellow sound high up on the inner strings, and accuracy in right hand articulation is important.

The two movements are based on flamenco dance forms, which are distinguished by, among other things, their rhythmic patterns.

Garrotin has an exciting opening and driving rhythm. There is a lot of variety with melodic motifs tying the movement together, lots of slurring, rasgueado and golpe.

The singing melodies contrast with driving repeated notes, rhythmical chords and flowing scales. Soleares is more flamenco in style in its distinctive rhythm, rolling arpeggio patterns, sequences of scales and triplets. Slurring is very important for free movement as well as texture and rhythm, and much of the fingering is for colour.

Overall this piece reflects the flamenco tradition while remaining classical in style. It is a true guitar piece using the guitars attributes to the full and it is very exciting piece – an important part of the repertoire.

Selina.

sakura-variations

Sakura Theme and Variations

Yuquijiro Yocoh

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Theme and variations on the Japanese folk song Sakura is Yuquijiro Yocoh's most famous work and has been played and recorded by countless guitarists.

Skill Level
Advanced
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76

Solo Now Volume 2

Chanterelle

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Volume Two of the Solo Now! series contains twenty-five original progressive guitar solos for the beginning classical guitarist. Part of the EGTA Series, Solo Now! focuses on development of a stable yet relaxed right hand position while nurturing correct technique for the left hand.

Skill Level
Beginner
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.

muscoste25etuden

Coste 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.

70

Solo Now - Preparatory Book

Chanterelle

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Specially commisioned easy and accessible guitar solos with minimal demands on the left-hand so that the student can concentrate on a stable relaxed right tirando technique. Other techniques such as appoyando, tremolo, simple chords, tambora and rasgueado are also covered.

Skill Level
Beginner

This is a great new addition at the beginning of the EGTA guitar series. It introduces the idea of modern music at an early stage and gives invaluable experience in interpretation since the pieces need the performers input with articulation, dynamics and shaping to give them their character.

Over the years I have found that, given the chance, young people love to play dissonances and big contrasting dynamics, making the music more theatrical and telling a story that they can relate to.

Titles like "My Dog has Fleas", "Beasties" and "Square Pegs, Round Holes" make you smile and give you ideas of how the music should sound before playing a note! Other pieces like "The Lost Abbey", "The Forbidden City" and "Sad Song" need a lot of atmosphere, and "Japanese Garden" and "High Life" introduce different cultures and musical languages.

Several of the pieces reflect blues and reggae styles with simple, but very effective, syncopation. My favourites are "High Life" for its sheer happiness; "Rumba Flamenca" which makes excellent use of an 8/8 time signature; "Japanese Garden" for its beautiful delicacy and "Regular Reggae" which is just great fun!

I will definitely be introducing this book into my teaching repertoire.

Grade 1

  • A Little Russian Tale: a simple melody accompanied by open bass strings with a title and shape that really encourages character.
  • My Dog Has Fleas: this uses nice, open string arpeggio figures with some more jumpy, crotchet and quaver “itchy” rhythms.
  • Pas De Deux: introduces effective 2 part contrapuntal writing with a strong bass line.

Grade 2

  • Sad Song: asks for long, legato phrases using echoes and "question and answer" shape.
  • Gimme Five: with echoes of the famous Gimme Five, a strong syncopated rhythm.

Selina.

71

33 Czech Folksongs - (Teachers 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
musfirstbookguitarsolos

A First Book of Guitar Solos

John Gavall

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30 short and easy pieces, including original works by Carcassi, Carulli, and Sor, and arrangements of folk tunes

Skill Level
Beginner
94

Cavatina

Alexandre Tansman

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Tansman met Andres Segovia in Paris in the 1920s, a meeting that inspired him to write a number of important works for guitar. In 1952 ‘Cavatina’ was a prize winner at the International Music Competition in Sienna, Italy. Cavatina is a suite of 4 movements written in a style that is ‘contemporary’ (in its time) but also lyrical and, I think, romantic, using rich harmonies and driving pulsing rhythms.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

The last time that I played part of this suite was when I was doing exams myself too many years ago to mention! It is brilliant to revisit and realize how much there is in the music in colour, texture and expression. In fact since I have started reviewing I am going to be learning and relearning a lot of different and exciting pieces!

Tansman met Andres Segovia in Paris in the 1920s, a meeting that inspired him to write a number of important works for guitar. In 1952 ‘Cavatina’ was a prize winner at the International Music Competition in Sienna, Italy.

Cavatina is a suite of 4 movements written in a style that is ‘contemporary’ (in its time) but also lyrical and, I think, romantic, using rich harmonies and driving pulsing rhythms.

The opening ‘Preludio’ (grade 8) is marked Allegro con moto and has a bright and rhythmical opening section using motifs and patterns that help the ear to learn the style, along with more chromatic writing. The central section is slower with a lovely singing melody line.

The Lento ‘Sarabande’ (grade 7) has a tranquil melody built around a wistful triplet figure with contrapuntal voices and lovely harmonies created from suspended notes and gentle dissonances. I particularly like the long, singing, mellow bass lines – great for shaping and developing tone.

You then have to turn to the final page of the edition for the 3rd movement, ‘Scherzino’ (grade 8). This has a tremolo opening with a subtle build up of tension leading into the Piu vivo that echoes rhythm patterns from the 1st movement. There are lots of left hand patterns, falling sequences and rhythms that cross the bar lines. There is a great, ‘bouncing’ central melody with a fanfare type ending building chords across repeated bass ‘E’s, again echoing the beginning of the suite.

Turning back a page the final ‘Barcarole’ (grade 7) has a 6/8 rhythm, starting ‘dark’ and opening into warmth and light with a lovely lilting movement over the full range of the guitar.

This movement was one of my first experiences of more contemporary music, and a very good one since I have continued to enjoy exploring new music over the years.

It is great that this music is back in the syllabus and I hope that many more guitarists will be adventurous in exploring this classic and important repertoire.

Selina.

musUhl10pieces

Ten Pieces for Guitar

Alfred Uhl

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Do not be misled by the title, there are only 5 pieces within this edition. Having said that, the music is fun and well written allowing the player freedom to move around the fingerboard. If you are looking for intermediate pieces with which to challenge your sight reading skills and encourage fingerboard speed, look no further.

Skill Level
Intermediate

Playing these pieces really took me back since I played the Aria for my grade 5, what seems like an age ago!

There are three pieces offering contrast in character but strong links in melody that means they work beautifully together. The music is full of strong treble and bass melodies, driving rhythms, exciting harmonies and lots of opportunity for contrasts in articulation and tone. Techniques include fast articulation, control of long slurred passages and fluid movement around the fingerboard.

There are 6 pieces in this volume and I think they are a great set, introducing players to a contemporary style, possibly their first time, while remaining lyrical and fun to play. There is plenty to think about with quite detailed dynamics and articulation, plenty of melodies to follow, clear musical shape and some quirky harmonies.

The Bagatelle is unusual but in a way to get you interested with a strong rhythm and lyrical melody. I love the Aria with its lilting, melancholic melody ebbing and flowing throughout the piece, and the Capriccio is lively quick and rhythmical.

The printing is nicely spaced with quite a lot of fingering, most of which is necessary to convey the movement around the fingerboard.

In fact this is one of the main challenges in the music, very good for reading and fingerboard knowledge while also giving the player plenty to look for in telling the stories of the pieces and experimenting with tone and colour.

Definitely recommended.

Selina.

muslauro2venzwaltz

Two Venezuelan Waltzes

Antonio Lauro

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Two very well know works entitled El negrito. the black haired one, which refers to Lauro's son, Luis and La gatica, the female cat. The pairing of these pieces is as Lauro intends it. Nicely printed, easy to read with no page turns within pieces. A buy must for all guitarists.

Skill Level
Intermediate
musrealguitar1

The Real Guitar Book Vol 1

Lee Sollory and Nick Powlesland

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A compilation of original plectrum guitar 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 to more experienced players, the diversity of styles providing something for every musical taste, whether it be blues, rock, classical, folk, reggae, pop or metal.

Skill Level
Beginner

This is a compilation of original plectrum guitar pieces by Nick Powlesland and Lee Sollory designed to inspire players while developing technique and musicianship.

The book uses music notation throughout which is excellent for the young plectrum guitarist, and means that the pieces are just as suitable for classical guitarists providing an excellent variety and contrast in style from the standard repertoire.

The music is challenging in details of articulation, dynamics and phrasing right from the start with the simplest pieces and each piece has a definite character and mood to get into! This is particularly evident in the musical directions which include "aggressively", "punchy", "easily, into the night" and "in a hurry", really encouraging feeling in young players.

The exciting counting and early development of strumming, bends and slides are all important for becoming a "rounded" guitarist and there are some great harmonies, notably in Tomorrow Will Be Better and Tuesday Bluesday.

Selina.

guitaracademy3

Guitar Academy Book 3

Richard Corr

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Book 3 maintains the thorough and wide-ranging approach established in volumes one and two. Classical guitar techniques and repertoire are developed and supplemented by styles and techniques from various popular styles. Musicianship is encouraged through ensemble, ear training and improvisation.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

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!

 

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.

Selina.

 

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.

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
292

Easy Pieces from Shakespeares Time Vol.2

Karl Scheit

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A characteristic of the musical practices of the time was the freedom with regards to the choice of instrument. Here the editor has brought this same freedom this guitar edition. The volume contains well known and enjoyable pieces such as Toy, Packington's Pond, Kemp's Jig. In total there are 15 pieces to experience and enjoy. These two volumes are full of pieces that have stood the test of time and are a must for anyone learning the classical guitar.

Skill Level
Intermediate

I am so enjoying reviewing our music because I am being reintroduced to a lot of the music that has been part of my life with the guitar and realizing how much great stuff there is to choose from whatever your level and expertise.

These books probably represent my first introduction to music of the Renaissance, music that is still my favourite.

We are so lucky as guitarists to have repertoire that spans so many centuries to choose from and the pieces here are simply great for developing musical skills like counterpoint, highlighting voices, repeated chords and exciting rhythm.

These books have been around for a long time, a fact that reflects their value on technical, musical and enjoyment levels. The printing is clear and the edition is good with fingering suggestions rather than the blanket fingering that is common among modern editions. The books include a wide range of music, from simple dances to slower more gentle pieces and on to quite difficult rhythms, voicing and counterpoint. Many of the pieces use compound time like the delightful A Toy and Wilson’s Wilde in volume 1, so good for improving your counting skills and developing a real feel for pulse which is so vital for flowing and musical performance.

What if a Day (vol.1) is excellent chord voicing, listening to harmony and keeping a smooth melody over the top. More detailed counterpoint is evident in Grisse his delight, An Almaigne and Alman (vol.1) with melodic lines being introduced in up to three lines as well as supporting harmony. This is such valuable experience for the developing guitarist as we are so used to thinking vertically. Here we can learn to find, sing and highlight the different melodies and the resulting phrasing, dissonances and musical drive are fantastic.

Volume 2 also includes a range of pieces reaching to a higher level than the first volume. I particularly love the Volt and Currant, musically simple with great drive and technically tricky with a fast melody over a repeated arpeggio in the bass – learning what it is like to be more than one musician on one guitar! Go From my Window and Fortune introduce the idea of F# tuning which allows the fingering to follow how it would have been played on the lute.

There is a lot of detail in this music but also loads of spirit, movement and fun. From an early stage it particularly teaches us to listen and on a technical level is especially good for the left hand developing independence and flexibility across the strings. I will certainly be bringing these into my teaching. The music may be very old but it is some of the best and accessible from an early stage. It may not seem trendy but that doesn’t matter because it is great fun to play!

Selina.

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