New Music: Solace and Lyric Tune

by Alan Hirsh


Solace is an arpeggio study written in 5/8 that features a melody and accompaniment.   It should counted in 2 beats (1 compound +1 simple beat) as 1&a, 2& (not 1,2,3,4,5).  To begin, view the arpeggio on open strings and practice counting aloud:

Next, study and practice the organization of the arpeggio as a combination of the sympathetic and opposed motions (for information on these terms, see The Shearer Method, Book I, Classic Guitar Foundations, pp.63 & 98):

To create the melody and accompanimental texture, use both rest and free strokes.  The stems-up melody may be played rest stroke either with a or m, while the stems-down accompanying parts should be played free stroke p,i, and m.  You can practice this technique on open strings in the following exercise:

When pre-reading Solace, notice the upper-position chord (m. 26) which requires fingers on the frets V  and VII.   4 plays B on (1) at VII and 1 plays C on (3) at V.  This may be confusing to read because C on (3) sounds higher than open string (2):


by Category

Visualize on the finerboard:

Later at m. 77 another upper-position chord needs clarifying.   Here 4 plays D on (1) and 3 plays C on (4) both at fret X.  Like the example above,  C on (4) sounds higher than open strings (3) and (2).

Visualize on the fingerboard

To find out more about combined rest stroke and free stoke apreggios, see The Shearer Method Book II, Classic Guitar Developments, p.106.  Other studies that apply this technique may be found in Sheet Music section of the Shearer Studio and in the Online Supplement.

Solace was composed in response to the recent tradegy in Charlottesville on 8-12-17.


  1. Matt Cosgrove

    Beautiful stuff. Very reminiscent of Estudio 6 by Sor. It may be neat to combine them into a medley of sorts.

  2. alntom

    Many thanks Matt….I can see that working too!

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