Scales are essential building blocks of music. The Preface of Aaron Shearer’s Scale Pattern Studies for the Guitar (1965) begins with
Fingerings provide clues to organize both right-and left-hand movements when learning a piece of music. Music may include a sprinkling of fingerings
Темрява—Temryava (pronounced “tem-ye-vah,” meaning “darkness” in Ukrainian) is an intermediate level piece that features one-hand harmonics.
This is an arrangment of two traditional Scottish Tunes—Bottom of the Punch Bowl and My Nanie O (or When Bidden to the Wake) merged into one.
This Invention in E major is in open position and features slurring, rhythmic syncopation, pizzicato, glissandi, ponticello, and p golpe (tapping on the soundboard).
Prayer is an intermediate-level piece that features sections of flexible rhythm, meter, and tempo in a playing style called rubato, a piacere, or ad libitum
When Jesus Wept was originally composed as a canon (musical round) in 1770 by American composer William Billings. The setting here is two-voice/imitative and was arranged in response to the George Floyd death on May 25, 2020.
In the Silence is an intermediate piece that features a rest-stroke upper melody with free-stroke arpeggiated accompaniment.
The skill of playing loudly is a vital one for our instrument based on the comparative overall dynamic range of the classical guitar.
Suo-Gân is a traditional Welsh tune, first appearing around 1800 with lyrics set by the Welsh folklorist Robert Bryan.
Kingsfold is an Irish tune, dating as far back as the Middle Ages. In structure, the melody resembles other popular Irish tunes such as Star of the County Down.
Slurring is the technique of playing multiple notes with only one stroke. When played well, it brings a beautiful connected “legato” to the musical line.
For most beginners, the fingerboard with its 19 frets and 120+ notes is daunting. After mastering the open position, when and how should one begin learning the fingerboard?
Remembrance is a p,i,a,i,a,i arpeggio study. Before playing, make sure you’ve mastered free-stroke alternation on two strings. This requires two important techniques: the sympathetic and opposed finger motions.
The p,i,m,a,m,i arpeggio works most efficiently when organized as two sympathetic motions: i,m,a followed by m-i, with an opposed a,m in between.
Free-stroke position is the foundational position for the right hand. On average, guitarists use free stroke about 80% of the time when playing solo.
Scale practice develops two essential right-hand skills: finger alternation on a single string and finger alternation involving string crossings.
An excellent way to begin developing the alternation of a, is with the p,i,m-a,i arpeggio. It’s organized exactly the same as p,i,m,i, only a is coupled with m.
We often forget that our hands are connected to our minds and the rest of our physical body. In other words, our hands are affected by what we eat, how tired we are, how in shape we are, and how we treat ourselves.
Daybreak is an p,i,m arpeggio etude originally composed for the GFA magazine, Prodigies. The article demonstrates how the technique of sympathetic motion as well as approaches of pre-reading and visualization are applied. An informative video accompanies the article.