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

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.

giuliani-variations-op45

Variations Op.45 sur les Folies d'Espagne

Mauro Giuliani

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Like most Renaissance court dances, the Follia was originally a country dance. Shaking off its merry but coarse peasant character, the Follia rapidly entered the repertoire of art music as a simple harmonic scheme upon which to improvise or compose variations. Consisting of Theme and six variations this edition by Fabio Rizza is clearly printed making for ease of study and performance.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
332

Variations on a theme by Handel Op. 107

Mauro Giuliani

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Also known under the title "The Harmonious Blacksmith" this edition by Fabio Rizza is clearly printed with space between lines enabling the reader to easily read and also to add study markings without cluttering the page. A fun piece to play.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced
musponcevalse

Valse

Manuel M Ponce

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Ponce was in fact born in Mexico City but by 1904 was living in Europe where he studied music in Bologna and Berlin. In 1925, after a spell back in Mexico, he was inspired to make the move to the French capital. It was a stay that was to last seven years and was arguably his most creative period. It was when he met Andres Segovia in 1923 that he began to compose music for guitar.

Skill Level
Advanced

This is a new to piece to me and I enjoyed playing through so much I have decided to learn it properly!

It is so full of life making full use of the powerful resonance of a guitar with dropped ‘D’ tuning.

The strong and bright main theme has an almost ‘rustic’ feel accompanied by full strummed chords and moves at a lively one in a bar pace.

The articulation and musical directions are detailed and need good control, the articulation particularly bringing loads of texture and shaping to the music.

The main theme has a lot of contrast in register and dynamic and is repeated throughout the piece giving it its structure with great, unexpected harmonies and twists in direction in between.

The centre section changes key to B?. It has more chromatic movement and emphasis on melodic lines in the treble and bass with fewer chords in the accompaniment texture.

I love the falling bass line building up to the return to D major. In contrast to the full and energetic theme the ending is ‘grazioso’ and understated – a lovely surprise!

This little Valse has fantastic movement and swing throughout, making full use of the tone colours in the guitars voice, and leaving you with a definite ‘feel good’ feeling – an excellent little repertoire filler.

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
mustwelve

Twelve Inventions

Peter Nuttall

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Covering a wide range of musical styles,these twelve pieces are characterised by strong melodies, idiomatic harmonies and an inventive use of the fingerboard. They have become one of the most popular guitar publications at this level.

Skill Level
Beginner
muszeatriptico6

Triptico Venezolano

Luis Zea

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Described by Leo Brouwer as the ideal soloist Luis Zea has spent a life time Performing, composing and as a teacher. The three pieces contained in this edition were written between 1973 and 1986 and are a must for a player who wishes to develop an emotional to their playing.

Skill Level
Intermediate
317

Trinity Guitar from 2016 Scales Initial - Grade 5

Trinity College London

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Scales Arpeggios & Studies from 2016, containing all the scales, arpeggios and studies required for Trinity College London’s Guitar and Plectrum Guitar exams for Grades Initial–5, valid from 2016. Newly commissioned studies are also included which may be used as an alternative to scales and arpeggios.

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate
314

Trinity Guitar 2016-2019 - Guitar Grade 8

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
Advanced
311

Trinity Guitar 2016-2019 - Guitar Grade 5

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
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
309

Trinity Guitar 2016-2019 - Guitar Grade 3

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
Beginner
308

Trinity Guitar 2016-2019 - Guitar Grade 2

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
Beginner
109

Tombeau sur La Mort de Mr. Comte d'Logy

Silvius Leopold Weiss

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Weiss was the most important and the most prolific composer of lute music in history and one of the best-known and most technically accomplished lutenists of his day. Anyone who knows how difficult it is to play harmonic modulations and good counterpoint on the lute will be surprised and full of disbelief to hear from eyewitnesses that Weiss, the great lutenist, challenged J. S. Bach, the great harpsichordist and organist, at playing fantasies and fugues.

Skill Level
Advanced

This is an absolutely beautiful piece of music, so majestic and full of tension and emotion.

I learnt it from this edition when I was younger but have not considered it for a while due to more modern editions.

Coming back to it I have found that, even though the key is further from the original than other editions, it gives a better rendition of the piece as the low D tuning allows ‘bigger’ chords and helps to create the depth and atmosphere needed. The Baroque lute had many more strings than the classical guitar and the piece has some wonderful bass lines that are impossible to recreate. However this tuning goes a long way to helping us hear the full, intense and compelling harmonic language of the original.

There is a facsimile of the original tablature source at the back, which is a great bonus and if you really enjoy the music it is well worth researching how to read this as you learn the piece.

The music is very slow, which is difficult, with a lot to listen to in the voicing and the harmony. A feel for pulse is very important with the slow speed as well as a good sense of rhythm, definitely one to count and not guess!

Tension and resolution is a big feature and wonderful to play – dissonant ‘scrunchy’ chords resolving and creating wonderful movement. The sequences are fantastic and help you with playing long phrases and bringing out individual notes and voices.

There is too much fingering for me and so it is good to try to adapt this for your needs.

The chords and melodies in this piece are heavily charged with emotion with long and beautiful phrasing making this is such a rewarding piece of music to play.

It is definitely one of my all time favourites.

Selina.

mustimepieces2

Time Pieces for Guitar Vol 2

Peter Batchelor and Richard Wright

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These are excellent books and I find myself asking, Why wasn't this sort of syllabus available years ago. Preparing an exam syllabus is much more difficult than it may seem, and a thankless job, but with these books they have got it just right.

Skill Level
Intermediate

These are excellent books and I find myself asking, "Why wasn't this sort of syllabus available years ago". Preparing an exam syllabus is much more difficult than it may seem, and a thankless job, but with these books they have got it just right.

They are beautifully laid out with clear printing and just a little fingering that is by no means intrusive and allows the students to really learn about the guitar fingerboard. The best thing however is the way that they introduce the history of music to guitarists, from the thirteenth to the twenty first century, with very sympathetic arrangements throughout that allow you to forget that the pieces were not originally written for the guitar!

As guitarists, we have a wonderful repertoire of music but it is great to have the opportunity to experience the music of Mozart, Handel and Beethoven in a first hand and positive way. This is especially important for young people to develop understanding and enjoyment of classical music (and for GCSE and A level exams!) For this reason, I will happily use these books for all of my students in future whether taking exams or not.

There is a good mix of music throughout including traditional, classical, jazz influenced, popular and song arrangements, in solo and duo formats. Many of the pieces have explanatory notes of, for example, the history of the piece, translation of the title, and original format as in accompanied song or original instrument.

All of the early dance forms are explained and given context so that the student is learning far more than just (!) how to play the guitar. There are 36 pieces in the first volume and 32 in the second so you are getting an awful lot of music for your money! Each piece also states clearly the year in which it was written so, as the books quote, "you can map your journey through time."

The books clearly cover all the technical requirements of the first years of learning including legato melodies, shaping phrases, articulation and ensemble playing to name but a few.

To summarise the choice of music, quality and suitability of arrangements, and accompanying notes are all excellent. There are many recognisable tunes "throughout the ages" and contrast in styles from Personent Hodie (1360) to Bach (1736), and from our own Aguado (1843) to Granados (1902) and Lennon/McCartney (1966)!

The editions are easy to read with a level of fingering that is not overpowering and I can truly say that all the pieces are enjoyable to play (from personal experience!)

Highly recommended.

Grade 1 pieces

  • Ductia: a gentle flowing melody in 6/8 time using the open D string as accompaniment.
  • Branle d’Ecosse: a lot of running quavers in this dance using the open A string as accompaniment.
  • Gavotte: this lively dance by Handel has been arranged as a duet. The student’s part is a single line melody on the treble strings with a steady crotchet and quaver rhythm.
  • Douce dame jolie: this is a "virelais" which is an old French musical form related to dancing. It has an interesting syncopated rhythm and open A as accompaniment.
  • Leccion: a simple single line melody "Alla marcia"! in 2/4 time
  • Valse: a flowing waltz using an arpeggio style in the first half and then separating into 2 voices.
  • El Noy de la Mare: this is a duet arrangement of a beautiful traditional Catalan melody in F major using a dotted crotchet rhythm.
  • Poor Wayfaring Stranger: an arrangement of a traditional spiritual with an interesting syncopated rhythm.
  • One Hand, One Heart: a lovely arrangement of this song from Westside Story, with simple melody using long sustained notes in G major.
  • The Dangers of Poking Holes in Ice: as the title suggests this is great fun with staccato and accent articulation and dynamics that are vital to bring out the character.

Grade 2 pieces

  • Pavane: a short stately dance using 2 and 3 note chords.
  • Can she excuse my wrongs: a duet arrangement of this beautiful Dowland song. The student plays the vocal line including some syncopated rhythms and changes of pulse.
  • Farewell Manchester: this is a lively little piece, mostly in 2 voices with more challenging left hand changes.
  • Aria detta la Frescobalda: a duet arrangement; the student plays a single line melody which uses long tied notes, mostly in 2nd and 5th positions. In the key of E minor.
  • Ode to Joy: an excellent arrangement of this popular melody using 2 voices.
  • Menuet: a duet arrangement of this famous Haydn Menuet with longer quaver passages in the melody and detailed left hand fingering using positions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  • The Sixpence: a traditional Irish melody with a lot of quaver passages and dotted rhythms and some fingered bass notes; in G major.
  • Here, There and Everywhere: a very effective duet arrangement of this Lennon/ McCartney song. The melody is syncopated requiring a good feel for the pulse and style.
  • Ballroom Blues: this little waltz is an original guitar piece written in a blues/ reggae style with simple 3 note chords and a bass melody. Great fun!

Selina.

musscarlatti3sonatas29158

Three Sonatas UE 29158

Domenico Scarlatti

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Scarlatti sonatas were first collated and catalogued by Alessandro Longo. Much later the harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick re-ordered the sonatas in what he deduced to be their chronological order. Kirkpatrick deduced that Scarlatti intended a large portion of the sonatas to be played in pairs. Of the sonatas in this book the first two form a pair and should be played together. The third K.208 has been added as it is the most beautiful of Scarlatti's sonatas.

Skill Level
Intermediate
Advanced

Scarlatti’s music is very effective on the classical guitar having originally been written for the harpsichord, which, even though it has a keyboard, is a plucked string instrument. The choice of pieces here is great.

he first two pieces are less well known whereas the third is probably one of the most popular of Scarlatti’s pieces on the classical guitar.

The music has lots of space around it on the page which I love as it allows room for fingering and notes without becoming cluttered.

There is a short but excellent forward giving you a great insight into how Scarlatti’s works have been catalogued and ideas for performance. Reading this only takes a couple of minutes but is very important as it gives a little insight into how to play this style of music and opens the door for further investigations, something that we really should do when learning any new piece. There is also an explanation of notation and fingering used in the edition.

I particularly like the first piece, with lovely counterpoint between the two voices, interesting and offbeat rhythms in the opening Cantabile and a contrasting light and bright ‘Allegrissimo’ in 3/8, and great feel of movement and development throughout.

The second piece is given a steadier feel by underlying crotchet pulse using repeated basses beneath a rhythmically flowing and often complicated upper voice with some wonderful dissonances.

The third piece is one of his most beautiful, fitting perfectly on the guitar with its strong steady bass and lovely rise and fall in the long sustained phrases.

Playing this music is great for guitarists teaching us a lot about shaping melodies by listening to the effect of intervals and tension created and resolved.

Selina.

muswanders3ofakind

three of a kind

Jeop Wanders

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The book has three sections: 10 rhythmic studies, each focusing on a particular rhythm which is introduced in each piece by a 2-bar phrase. 10 arpeggio studies, each based on a right-hand pattern. 10 legato studies, descending and ascending slurs and a mix of both. These studies are a valuable contribution to the beginner's technical development. Difficulty level grade 2/4

Skill Level
Beginner
Intermediate

These short studies offer a wide variety of techniques, and are generally universally helpful in improving your playing.

Grades 2/4 on the site, but looking in some of the grade books I think some grade 1 players would benefit from the easier ones?

The first ten studies are rhythmic, and Wanders gives an ‘example rhythm’ below the title to let us know exactly what it is we are meant to be practicing. As with most books they start off simple and move to more complicated rhythms with dotted notes and semiquavers. This is great for learning to recognise rhythms and improving sight reading; there is also fingering in some of the pieces, reminding us to alternate and to be aware of the finger we are using with any given note. Wanders also reminds us that even though these are studies, they are not necessarily ‘un-musical’. He writes performance directions which encourage us to and add colour to the notes making the music more exciting.

My favourite studies in this book are the arpeggio studies, they are great right and left hand exercises suitable for any standard of player; I will be incorporating these into my practice regime as warm ups! No.12 – Basso Chromatica is particularly good as it offers variations on the original [p i m a] quaver pattern. We are encouraged to be musical with No.14 – Prelude on the B-String in order to bring out the melody that is closely interwoven with the accompaniment. There are a nice variety of styles in this book.

Last in the book are the legato studies. These are excellent for building up strength and balance in the left hand as they require 2 and 3 note slurs that need to be even. They are musically engaging and you will definitely find yourself singing them hours after practice. This book would be perfect as a prelude to starting the Sor or Carcassi studies.

Jess.

85

The Young Guitarists Progress Part 2 GM7

David Burden

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This collection of guitar pieces takes the beginning guitar student from reading music to playing pieces of approximately Grade Two standard. It leaves the teaching of technique, hand positions, and other fundamentals to the teacher but provides material for all aspects of the very early stages of learning the guitar.

Skill Level
Beginner
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
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.

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