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

guitaristway1

The Guitarists Way Book 1

Peter Nuttall and John Whitworth

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Book one leads to the playing of simple melodies on the top 3 strings, whilst developing a secure technique in both hands. A few bass note are then introduced, followed by pieces which combine a melody with a simple bass accompaniment.

Skill Level
Beginner
musgw2

The Guitarists Way Book 2

Peter Nuttall and John Whitworth

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Book 2 reinforces the skills learned in book 1. We discover quavers, dotted rhythms and two-note chords, as well as sharps, flats and naturals. The remaining bass notes are introduced through a series of carefully graded melodies.

Skill Level
Beginner
musgw3

The Guitarists Way Book 3

Peter Nuttall and John Whitworth

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An important feature of this book is the development of a secure free stroke technique therough the playing of arpeggios and chords. Second and seventh positions are explored and left hand technique is developed by the introduction of slurs. As in books one and two there is plenty of opportunity for duet and trio playing, and there are many attractive solo pieces.

Skill Level
Beginner
musgw4

The Guitarists Way Book 4

Peter Nuttall and John Whitworth

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In Book 4 we introduce new and interesting rhythms, continue to develop left and right hand technique, and explore a wider range of keys and musical styles. There is also opportunity for more expressive playing in some of the higher positions. The range of musical styles can be extended further in the follow-up books Diversions and Twelve Inventions.

Skill Level
Beginner
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mussmithsonatano4

Sonata No 4 La Breve

Reginald Smith Brindle

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Smith Brindle began learning the piano at the age of six, and later took up the clarinet, saxophone and guitar (and won a Melody Maker prize for his guitar-playing). Although he wrote for many instruments, Smith Brindle was perhaps best known for his solo guitar music.

Skill Level
Advanced

This is contemporary music and as such is often difficult for students to attempt, as they are not used to the dissonances and unusual melodic and harmonic shapes, that is, there is not necessarily a ‘tune’ to sing!

I have not played any Smith Brindle for years for this very reason and so came to this review with some trepidation.

It is definitely music that you have to keep playing to start to get an idea of what there is to communicate.

Here the music is very well laid out with plenty of space between staves, helpful fingering and lots of musical clues, i.e. espressivo and echo.

In the first movement there are contrasting fast and slow sections with repetitions that help you to navigate your way through the music as well as rhythmic and melodic motifs to latch on to.

The rhythm is very important but not too complicated to count and learn. Once you have this, the shape of the piece can emerge.

The slow middle movement uses the resonance around clashing and harmonic chords to good effect and forces you to really listen to what happens to the sound after you have played the strings. In fact this is an important point about contemporary music – the melody or flow of the music is not always obvious and so you have to listen more and you cannot only concentrate on fingers!

I liked the last movement the best. The rhythms are great with lovely dissonances that together are exciting.

If you can be open to new sounds this music is great for developing reading and fingerboard knowledge. It helps you to find and develop moods and means of expression on your guitar and is very open to your interpretation, but with plenty of ideas toget you started.

Selina.

musdowlandair

Air and Galliard

John Dowland

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Transcribed from the lute tablature and arranged for guitar by Karl Scheit.

Skill Level
Intermediate
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
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.

71

33 Czech Folksongs - (Pupils 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

These beautiful, melodic, yet simple pieces have been arranged for 2 guitars from Petr Eben’s setting of 100 Czech folk tunes for solo piano – an achievement that he described thus:

Reach into the jewel box, take a handful of precious stones and set them into children’s rings!

The pieces are ideal for early learning as they emphasize the playing of melodies in low and high registers, shaping phrases and bringing out articulation. The pupil part always has the original melody with the teacher as purely accompaniment.

There are suggestions for right and left hand fingering which the preface advises teachers to follow, as they have been included for essentially musical reasons.

This is very enjoyable and charming music that also teaches style and interpretation and, most importantly for guitarists, how to follow a melody. Beginners are learning primarily how to sing a melody through the guitar, a vital first step in musical development.

Grade 1

  • The pipes were playing at Pobuba: emphasizes smooth phrasing across strings with lots of dynamic contrast, using i, m and a.
  • Oh love, oh love: this is a very simple, slower melody with echoing phrases in octaves, and concentration on phrase shape, hairpin dynamics and expression.

Grade 2

  • Andulichko, hello: a lively melody in 3/4 time, G major; question and answer phrases with repeat down an octave and fingering in third position.
  • When I took geese to the pasture: very strong quaver rhythm in 2/4 time, D major, that really brings out the character of the geese!

Grade 3

  • Whose are these geese? : quite a melancholy melody requiring long phrasing and detailed dynamic control. The first melody is repeated down and octave and then again in thirds.

Selina.

musoneplusvol23

One + One Volume 2 (Pupils Part)

Chanterelle

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The three volumes of One + One contain arrangements of music from the renaissance, baroque, classical and romantic periods as well as folk-song settings and new compositions written specially for the EGTA Series. New compositions, even though they don’t apply to the exam list repertoire, are included, in order to maximise the books’ general value to the player and to show how this approach can work for all types of music.

Skill Level
Beginner

These volumes of duets were conceived and put together through the efforts of EGTA, the European Guitar Teachers Association, and are designed to help students develop their musicianship, co ordination, tone and articulation without the excessive physical demands that the chordal and contrapuntal repertoire can impose, particularly on the left hand.

The pieces were the first duets to be used in the ABRSM guitar syllabus, a change in approach that has been invaluable for encouraging students and introducing them to repertoire that would have previously been inaccessible until much later. Of course, it also promotes ensemble playing and all the rhythmical, musical and “communication” benefits that this brings, as well as being so much fun!

There is a comprehensive preface to each volume, which is important to read as it outlines the ideals in general as well as the technical demands and thoughts about fingering, positions and musical indications. It is great that fingering has been kept to a minimum and the preface makes it clear that the fingerings that have been added are just suggestions based on achieving the best musical result.

There is a wide variety of repertoire represented from the Renaissance to the present day, including arrangements of music by Dowland, Purcell, Haydn, Schubert, Mozart, Grieg and Tchaikovsky, as well as original, contemporary guitar pieces. I was a little disappointed not to find any arrangements from the guitar solo repertoire, since there is so much to choose from that would provide an insight into the world of the classical guitar – in other words all the exciting things to come!

All the student parts are single line melodies across the two volumes.

Volume 1 stays in first position, with pieces tending to use the bass or treble voices so working on the separate articulation of fingers and thumb. The arrangements are very well done with a lot of emphasis on ensemble skills i.e. counting and listening, and a good mix of popular and unknown melodies.

In volume 2 fingers and thumb are combined within pieces and left hand positions range from first to fourth. In both books there are some challenging rhythms and time signatures with the articulation and musical indications getting more detailed in volume 2.

There are also some quite unusual and tricky accompaniments in these arrangements, which is worth noting for teachers!

I have to admit to finding some of the modern melodies a little “dry” and more difficult to follow (for young ears) especially when being played without accompaniment. However, overall, there are plenty of lovely tunes, lots of invaluable ensemble experience and counting practice and a strong emphasis on the importance of melody and phrasing.

Grade 1 (volume 1)

  • Riggadoon: a lively, straightforward melody using the treble strings.
  • German Dance: another energetic piece in ¾ time using a dotted crotchet rhythm and some accents.
  • Theme from Rosamunde: this is a flowing, Andante melody, with some longer quaver passages.

Grade 2 (volume 2)

  • Minuet: this piece is in F major, has some detailed phrasing indications and uses 2nd and 3rd positions.
  • A Fairy Tale: the phrasing is detailed again here with a strong, rhythmical, flowing melody and quite a lot of accidentals!
  • Slavonic Waltz: this piece is marked con moto and has a clear character with a contrasting second section and change of key signature.
  • Grade 3 (volume 2)

    • Musette en Rondeau: this is a lovely dance in ¾ with long quaver passages in treble and bass voices.
    • Sweet Reveries: marked Andante, this piece requires long legato phrasing with detailed dynamic control. A dotted quaver rhythm is used throughout and the left hand plays up to the 7th fret.

    Selina.

    musabguide1

    The AB Guide to Music Theory, Part I

    ABRSM

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    Provides an introduction to the basic elements in harmony and musical structure covering the basics of rhythm and tempo. An introduction to pitch, intervals and transposition, articulation, ornaments, and reiterations. This Guide is not only an excellent support to a good syllabus but also a fine reference work in its own right.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    Intermediate
    musponcesonclasica

    Sonata Clasica

    Manuel M Ponce

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    He was famous for being a musical prodigy; according to his biographers, he was barely four years of age when, after having listened to the piano classes received by his sister, Josefina, he sat in front of the instrument and interpreted one of the pieces that he had heard. Immediately, his parents had him receive classes in piano and musical notation. Ponce's guitar music is a core part of the guitar's repertory.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    musburdengpduet1

    The Guitarists Progress Duets and Ensemble Series Book 1

    David Burden

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    Although book 1 of the series this book takes you from the first steps of duet playing through to pieces with a more content and scope for enjoyment. The variety and flexibility of the arrangements makes it ideal for individual or group tuition.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    Ensemble
    musbowers5preludes

    Five Preludes for guitar

    Timothy Bowers

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    These Five Preludes are wide ranging in musical and technical content with expressive outer and middle movements and rapid fhythmical 2nd and 4th movements. Bowers Five Preludes were awarded First Prize in the Domecq International Guitar Festival - Search for new music competition in 1983.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Advanced
    musabcguitar

    ABC Guitar

    Stephen Kenyon

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    This book is all about enjoying playing your guitar with a feel for the style of the music you are playing. This means playing in a way that may have sounded right to people from the time it was written.

    Skill Level
    Beginner
    musabscales2

    Guitar Scales and Arpeggios, Grades 6 to 8

    ABRSM

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    This new edition contains all the scales and arpeggios required for the Grades 6–8 ABRSM guitar exams. All scales and arpeggios for the revised syllabus from 2009. Suggested fingering provided, helpful introduction including advice on exam preparation, user-friendly format and clear page-layout.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Advanced
    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
    musicbrouwer2

    Un Dia de Noviembre

    Leo Brouwer

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    An extremely enjoyable piece for those looking for music to please an audience who may be new to classical guitar. Clearly printed and easy to read the music spans two pages ensuring no page turns.

    Skill Level
    Intermediate
    Advanced

    This piece has a beautiful melody, wistful and contemplative at first, with plenty of contrasts in emotion and atmosphere to captivate the listener and the player.

    The piece really shows Brouwers complete understanding of the guitar and how to get the best from the instrument and the player.

    He uses patterns of fingering in both hands and although some of the moves are tricky, with one difficult stretch, the piece feels very natural overall, falling under the fingers and allowing more time for interpretation.

    The music employs good, basic guitar techniques, most importantly keeping the melody and phrasing flowing over the accompaniment while also recognizing the bass line. It is also good for listening to harmonies and progressions, and how these influence musical direction.

    The piece has three main sections; A introduces the main melody and returns after B and C. B maintains the melancholic feel but moves into a higher register, moving back and forth between 2 motifs and giving a more restless feel. C is in a major key with a brighter feel and stronger rhythms in contrast to the gentle, arpeggio accompaniment of the first two sections.

    I found that the more I play this piece the more I find within it. It is very enjoyable to play and an excellent ‘audience’ piece. A must for any Players/Performers repertoire.

    Selina.

    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.

    301

    Due Ragtimes

    Scott Joplin

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    Champagne Rag & The Entertainer written by Joplin and arranged by Mario Gangi. Interested in trying something different? then here you are. Good fun, light hearted and great at parties.

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