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

tocaguitar

i toca Guitarra

Cees Hartog

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The fantastic thing about this book is how Spanish the music sounds even when the pieces are quite easy and do not have many notes!

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate

The fantastic thing about this book is how Spanish the music sounds even when the pieces are quite easy and do not have many notes!

Hartog has managed to capture the essence of Spain in his melodies and harmonies and the strumming and arpeggio passages reflect the flamenco flavour without being complicated and difficult to read.

There are 11 pieces in "I Toca" ranging from grade 2 to 4 although the pieces are quite chordal which may make them seem more difficult for some students.

The contrasts within the Spanish style are big offering plenty of variety for students from the mysterious "far eastern" melody of Danza Oriental to the traditional Malaguena and the fast thumb melody in La Monteria.

Danza Espanola has a melodic first section followed by a contrasting second half that uses alternating "p" "i" arpeggios to great dramatic effect and gives tremolo alternatives for the adventurous to build up speed!

I particularly like El Papamoscas, which has a fast flowing melody that requires rhythmic drive and shape and so teaches understanding of phrases and breathing.

All the pieces in the book will particularly help students with chord shapes - recognizing them quickly from the music, fingering and smooth changes.

Selina.

59

Impromptus for Guitar - Bennett

Richard Rodney Bennett

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This is a fantastic little set of pieces, very modern but with an incredibly expressive and often romantic feel. They form one of the many works that Julian Bream commissioned for the guitar from mainstream, twentieth century composers, so expanding the repertoire and giving us fantastic opportunities as guitarists to widen out musical knowledge and technical skill. Impromptus 1 to 5 for guitar, Universal Edition.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

This is a fantastic little set of pieces, very modern but with an incredibly expressive and often romantic feel. They form one of the many works that Julian Bream commissioned for the guitar from mainstream, twentieth century composers, so expanding the repertoire and giving us fantastic opportunities as guitarists to widen out musical knowledge and technical skill.

These pieces are small in stature and huge in content, requiring the guitarist to go beyond the ‘norm’, and possibly also beyond their comfort zone and range of experience, but in a ‘friendly’ way, exploring different sounds and colours, shaping intervals and long melodic lines, and experimenting with dissonant harmonies and subtle mood changes.

The use of the guitar is just brilliant, treating it like a ‘micro’ orchestra and the player like a true conductor.

There are big contrasts between the movements with very different moods created through the use of phrasing, articulation harmony and beautiful melodic intervals that really make you think and listen in new ways.

Number two is marked ‘agitato’ and has an angry, driving opening with rhythm and dissonance being the key to the emotion. The pulse is a very strong 3 in a bar with occasional upset and uncertainty caused by a rhythm of 4 against this. In contrast the middle section has a soaring and passionate melodic line which has a much freer feel to it before the opening section returns using very fast repeated semiquavers to enhance and drive the music further. The agitation culminates with a sforzando B harmonic to finish – nothing held back!

Number three is full of the most exquisite harmonies enhanced by the 6th string tuning to E flat. Shifting rhythms and wide dynamics create a dark atmosphere with melodies rising and falling, building tension from within the brooding bass resonance. There is so much space and texture in this movement requiring excellent control of RH technique for tone, colour and articulation.

The contrast as you move into number four is sudden and stark with hurried, urgent and agitated passages of pizzicato notes punctuated by strident, rhythmical and dissonant chords creating a fantastic build up of tension and sound. Again the contrast within the movement is provided by two forceful and passionate melodies, very wide in range of pitch and finishing with a fantastically strong sff dissonant chord. The agitated pizzicato then returns building to a huge fff climax. The movement is marked Con fuoco and really gives the player to let rip and experience the raw emotion of the music.

This bombardment of sound and tension is very suddenly released in number five. Marked Arioso this is a beautiful and simply melody accompanied by an ostinato figure and gently rising and falling. The overall emotion is melancholy, becoming fuller and more emotional as the melody rises and then returning to its beginnings. The final crescendo leads up to some forte chords but, unlike the previous movements these are rich and sonorous, leaving behind the fire, unrest and passion. The music falls from this point with a wonderful, rich and rhythmical melody of dotted notes, triplets and semiquavers into the lowest register and then pauses, suspended on a low B flat before a return of the first theme from number one, molto tranquillo and dying away to nothing.

This work is really made up of miniatures but hopefully you can see from this review that they are packed full of interest, technically of course but more importantly musically.

I love a chance to create an orchestra of sound and texture on my guitar and to see how sound creates emotion. With this piece you can really experiment. Yes there are some difficult techniques although the writing always makes the most of the guitar’s natural abilities. Once you have the control the world is your oyster.

Selina.

musintermediate

Intermediate Music for Guitar

John Whitworth

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Sixteen pieces for the student repertoire, in a scholarly but highly accessible edition. Includes music by Sanz, Carulli, Sor, Paganini, Mertz and Van der Staaz.

Skill Level
Beginner
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musyorkkinderlight

Kinderlight

Andrew York

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York's first big break came in 1986 during study in Spain. In a concert at the end of the course, he played one of his original compositions, "Sunburst." Guitarist John Williams, who happened to be in the audience, was impressed with the piece. He asked York to transcribe it and send it to him in England. Williams's interest in the piece was not a momentary thing: not only did Williams add it to his performances, but he also recorded it. Since then York has published many works including Kinderlight a book of 7 pieces. If you are a fan of his music, as I am, Kinderlight will be a great addition.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
muswanderslaguitarraespanola9

La Guitarra Espanola

Jeop Wanders

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This is definitely a book I wish I’d been introduced to earlier! These simple Spanish pieces are beautifully printed making for easy reading by the student. 15 pieces, including Rumba, Pasodoblillo, Bolero and Malaquena, are an enjoyable introduction to familiar guitar styles.

Skill Level
Beginner

This is definitely a book I wish I’d been introduced to earlier!

Joep Wanders has written music in a variety of styles for beginners; the theme of this book as revealed by the title is Spanish music. In addition to writing music that conforms to the Spanish style, Wanders incorporates flamenco techniques into the pieces – you will find a number of examples of golpe and tambora. In my mind this makes the music infinitely more interesting to learn as you immerse yourself in unfamiliar percussive techniques.

On the contents page Wanders has included a helpful glossary to describe any unfamiliar words to the reader.

The book contains 15 pieces that become progressively more challenging, however the music is engaging from the off. Entrada Libre begins the book with a catchy melodic line that is easy to bring out and contains a couple of ad libs for those who want to expand even more on the music. El Testamento de Amelia is more lyrical with an interesting syncopated bassline. Flores de Primavera and La Fiesta Espanola highlight the right hand technical issue of adding strummed chords to a piece, and La Guitar Espanola consists of variations on a simple upbeat tune to shake the music up a bit. Wanders has also written in a variety of Spanish dance styles that feature syncopated rhythms (Tango, Bolero, Rumba) and keep your eyes peeled for a familiar tune - but I will leave that one with you.

Despite this being a beginners book there are plenty of examples of musical variety and interweaving musical lines, encouraging us to pay close attention to which “voice” is singing and concentrate on how we can bring them out. The result is 15 pieces of music that will continue to engage both listeners and players, even as the player advances through more difficult music. One to add to the collection.

Jess.

276

Latin America

Gerald Schwertberger

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This is simply a great little book full of sunshine and life! Schwertberger manages to capture the spirit of the dances without making the notes too complicated. What more can I say?

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate

This is simply a great little book full of sunshine and life! Schwertberger manages to capture the spirit of the dances without making the notes too complicated.

Interestingly, in the Preface the composer says “The point of this edition is to introduce guitarists to these dances, with all their appealing banality and stereotype turns of phrase.” In this he has been successful and although (or perhaps because) the music is not deep and meaningful, I was immediately drawn to its life and character and thoroughly enjoyed playing through the pieces.

The pieces are mostly in first position and generally based around chord shapes from which the melodies develop. There is, as you would expect a lot of syncopation, written in such a way that it is not difficult to work out and hear, although you will of course need to count! The greatest challenge is in the tempos; some of the suggested metronome marks are pretty quick and do give excellent results. However the music is still very effective at slower speeds and so provides very good technical development work. He achieves some great effects with rhythm and right hand patterns and each piece has a distinct character.

Highlights for me include Bossa Nova Breeze, which is ‘cool’ and relaxed with good use of chords and emerging melody lines. Nostalgia has a lovely bass melody topped by a syncopated accompaniment that uses some nice scrunchy harmonies. Bamba Samba is simply great fun and Nightwinds has an evocative atmosphere with its combination of rasgueado chords over the melody line.

The final Bossa Nova is a more challenging piece, with a straightforward right hand pattern that goes fast and some interesting harmonies to find.

Overall a book of sunshine that will bring a smile to your face and please and impress your audience.

Selina.

muswanderslatinduetsvol1

Latin Duets Volume 1

Jeop Wanders

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Book 1 is a great place to start for those interested in duet playing. Clear and easy to read this first book in the 2 book series offers each player music in two part harmony with a variety of rhythms that introduce the Latin feel and best of all the music is fun. Joep Wanders style of writing suits the guitar beautifully and you will gain a huge amount of confidence from playing these pieces. A play along CD is also included.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
Ensemble
muswanderslatinduetsvol23

Latin Duets Volume 2

Jeop Wanders

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Book 2 of Latin Duets is a very cleanly printed work consisting of an exciting variety of Latin styles. Joep Wanders style of writing suits the guitar beautifully and you will gain a huge amount of confidence and fun playing these pieces. A play along CD is also included.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
Ensemble
74

Le Petit Livre de Guitar Vol. 2

Claude Gagnon

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A collection of 25 pieces from the Renaissance & Baroque eras arranged for solo guitar by Claude Gangon. Featuring composers such as Milan, Tourdion, Galileo, de Visee & Bach. This is an excellent book for the aspiring student.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate

I must admit to particularly liking this little book as it highlights the music that I really love!

This music is tuneful and rhythmical and in my experience students really enjoy playing the pieces while learning a lot both musically and technically.

The printing and layout is very clear and fingering seems to have been kept to a minimum contributing to the uncluttered look and "readability".

The choice of music is excellent introducing the stylistic features of the period, for example the "divisions" that shaped the music of the Renaissance, in good arrangements and transcriptions.

In particular this music introduces students to ‘counterpoint’ – two or more melodies played at the same time – starting with melody and simple bass and working up to more complex music by Milan, Dowland, de Visee and Bach.

The progression of difficulty is clear through the book with the D minor Prelude by Bach an important and satisfying goal to aim for at the end. This is one of my highlights; others include Pavane by Milan and the Saltarello by Galileo which has been a favourite piece of mine since first playing it as a child.

I would put the music here at a grade 3 to 6 standard, and I think it is invaluable repertoire for aspiring guitarists, definitely encouraging further exploration into these styles.

Selina.

114

Libra Sonatine

Roland Dyens

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A piece of three movements consisting of A - India, B - Largo, C - Fuoco. Definately a tour de force, this piece will request much from the player yet will deliver something special to both the player and the audience. 11 pages of music Published by Editions Henry Lemoine

Skill Level
Advanced
musmagicguitareasypieces

Magic Guitar Easy Pieces

Claude Gagnon

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Easy Pieces Book One contains twenty-one graded easy pieces, selected and edited by Claude Gagnon. The Magic Guitar series presents a collection of pieces suitable for the first years of classical guitar study, designed to be used along with a method. The main purpose of The Magic Guitar is to give beginning guitarists the opportunity to express themselves musically at various stages of their technical development.

Skill Level
Beginner

These two volumes offer a wide range and variety of music for guitarists in their first years of playing.

At first the emphasis is on developing melodic playing combined with simple bass lines but even here the student is challenged with detailed phrasing, tied notes and right hand techniques like the arpeggio pattern in "Etude" by Carcassi.

Contemporary, Classical and Traditional styles are all mixed together helping to maintain interest and offering something for everyone, for example the popular "Greensleeves" (it is always particularly satisfying to be able to play a piece that everyone recognizes!).

As the books progress the music becomes more detailed.

The first book works up to the use of thirds in the melodic lines, more complicated bass lines requiring sustained fingered notes and up to three fingered notes together – notably in no.16 "Theme et Variation".

In "Chanson Populaire" the melody to bring out is in the bass and "Souvenir d’Espagne" introduces rasgueado chords and flamenco triplets.

The second volume includes more detailed counterpoint and requires greater musical understanding.

Higher positions are explored here, for example in "Etude"” by Coste and there is a nice mix of arpeggio style and purely melodic pieces.

I particularly enjoyed the collection of classical pieces, "Marlborough" which is an effective arrangement of this traditional melody, and the final "Valse" which is simply great fun to play and listen to!

Selina.

musmagicguitarveryeasypieces

Magic Guitar Very Easy Pieces (la Guitare Enchantee)

Paul Gerrits

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Book One of The Magic Guitar series, containing twenty-seven graded very easy pieces, selected and edited by Paul Gerrits. The Magic Guitar series presents a collection of pieces suitable for the first years of classical guitar study, designed to be used along with a method. The main purpose of The Magic Guitar is to give beginning guitarists the opportunity to express themselves musically at various stages of their technical development.

Skill Level
Beginner

These two volumes offer a wide range and variety of music for guitarists in their first years of playing.

At first the emphasis is on developing melodic playing combined with simple bass lines but even here the student is challenged with detailed phrasing, tied notes and right hand techniques like the arpeggio pattern in "Etude" by Carcassi.

Contemporary, Classical and Traditional styles are all mixed together helping to maintain interest and offering something for everyone, for example the popular "Greensleeves" (it is always particularly satisfying to be able to play a piece that everyone recognizes!).

As the books progress the music becomes more detailed.

The first book works up to the use of thirds in the melodic lines, more complicated bass lines requiring sustained fingered notes and up to three fingered notes together – notably in no.16 "Theme et Variation".

In "Chanson Populaire" the melody to bring out is in the bass and "Souvenir d’Espagne" introduces rasgueado chords and flamenco triplets.

The second volume includes more detailed counterpoint and requires greater musical understanding.

Higher positions are explored here, for example in "Etude"” by Coste and there is a nice mix of arpeggio style and purely melodic pieces.

I particularly enjoyed the collection of classical pieces, "Marlborough" which is an effective arrangement of this traditional melody, and the final "Valse" which is simply great fun to play and listen to!

Selina.

musdowlandmelancholy

Melancholy Galliard and Allemande

John Dowland

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

Skill Level
Intermediate
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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muscarlevaroms1

Microstudios 1 to 5 Vol 1

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
Beginner
Intermediate
Out Of Stock Enquire
muscarlevaroms3

Microstudios 11 to 15 Vol 3

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
88

Modern Times (Full Edition)

Chanterelle

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60 Original Graded Contemporary Works for Guitar. Edited by Robert Brightmore. First published in five separate volumes, each original book is progressive and presents carefully selected pieces, graded in accordance with the various grading standards worldwide. The originality and imagination of the composers presented here speaks for itself and we hope that Modern Times will be a source of pleasure to players and teachers alike.

Skill Level
Intermediate

I was uncertain about this volume at first as I have experienced a lot of contemporary repertoire that has been uninspiring and unhelpful for younger/inexperienced players.

However, in order to write a "proper" review I have played through the book several times and I have found many of the pieces to be very enjoyable, exploring technical and musical possibilities on the guitar in a way that inspires and encourages the player rather than putting them off!

In the introduction the editor explains the priorities behind this collection of pieces, the overriding consideration being -"musical expression dictating the required technique should be foremost in the mind, thus initiating a more creative approach to music making."

The pieces were originally published in five volumes, each one progressive and graded in line with various grading standards. Published from 1987 to 1993 with this revised edition arriving on the shelves in 2007.

Here lies my only problem with this collection.

Grading standards in 1987 were very different than those of today, especially the very latest syllabi, but there is no mention of this in the introduction or effort to adapt the grading ideas to today’s thinking.

My immediate reaction was that the pieces are 1 or 2 grades more difficult than stated, by today’s standards.

It is important to point this out for less experienced teachers or those teaching themselves. However I think that this is a very valuable collection of pieces and one that should be used.

There are many different styles from around the world ranging from popular, to descriptive to dissonant and challenging, all with musical and technical goals to achieve.

There are some beautiful melodies that encourage the player to sing through the guitar. My particular favorite, "Chanson Du Marin Disparu" has one of the best and most poignant bass melodies I have ever played!

The pieces are all very well written for the guitar, exploring various musical techniques with a wide variety of rhythms, melodies and rich harmonies. Some require control of long, slow melodic phrases and others, like "Sea Picture" find melody out of flowing arpeggios that are very evocative of the title.

Other highlights for me include "Chinese Blossom" with its slow and expressive arpeggios; "Motivo de Danza" – a joyful piece; "Arpege" with wonderful harmony and so much room for expression, and "Cancion de Cuna" where the player can really learn expression and shape through scrunchy harmonies!

I have only just noticed that many of the pieces are slow and use descriptive instructions like tranquillo, misterioso, nostalgie, calmo and molto espessivo – all allowing the guitar to sing.

Ihighly recommend this book as it will introduce a wide and new range of music to students, primarily encourage musicianship and expression, and be very enjoyable for the player and the listener.

Selina.

musmoodsblues

Moods n Blues

Peter Nuttall

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

Skill Level
Beginner
306

More Carols

John Whitworth

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This collection of carol arrangements is aimed at the guitarist who has moved beyond the early stages of playing and who is ready to explore keys such as D, A and E major. The aim throughout the book has been to provide rich resonant settings of the carols, whilst avoiding undue technical difficulties.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Beginner

Following on from First Carols this book presents a lovely selection of nine carols varying from single line and simple two part settings to more sophisticated harmonization using chord shapes in the left hand, arpeggio accompaniment and fuller harmony.

The music helps the player to become more familiar with the key signatures of D, A and E major and makes more use of the fingerboard moving to second, fourth and seventh positions.

At the beginning there is some background to the carols’ origins as well as some technical and performance notes.

John uses harmonics and tambura techniques to great effect in I saw Three Ships and The Huron Carol and there is a lovely ensemble arrangement of Silent Night (one of my favourites).

I love the setting of O Come all ye Faithful where he uses single lines then two part voicing and then three part harmony to capture the feel of the carol building, taking me back to my school carol service with the congregation and choir solos and descants!

There is great contrast and feeling created in I saw Three Ships by simply changing register and moving between one and two voices. I also love the two arrangements of Away in a Manger, firstly with simple, open basses and then, in the second, a D tuning of string 6 and gorgeous harmony in thirds and sixths.

The highlights for me are that second arrangement of Away in a Manger and the Huron Carol which is really atmospheric and evocative, very satisfying, and not too difficult, to learn and play.

At the beginning John states that his aim was “…to provide rich and resonant settings of the carols, whilst avoiding undue technical difficulties…”

He has definitely achieved this with a very worthwhile and enjoyable collection that also manages to teach you lots!

Selina.

79

Moving On

Peter Nuttall

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

Skill Level
Beginner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selina.

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