Air on a G String is an arrangement for the violin from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major. Bach originally wrote the suite for Prince Leopold of Anhalt in the early 18th century. It only became known as Air on a G String in 1871 when the German violinist August Wilhelmj made a violin and piano arrangement of the second movement of this orchestral suite. By changing the key into C major and transposing the melody down an octave, Wilhelmj was able to play the piece entirely on the G string of his violin.
Finding music that you can actually play is always a challenge. There are countless videos and music scores freely available on the internet, but the question is always “can I play that?”
What we need is a way of assessing both our current level of play and the difficulty level of the most well-known classical guitar pieces out there. But help is at hand!
Here is an article I have just written on how you can come quite far to solving this problem.
I do hope you find it helpful
Here, German classical guitarist Anika Hutschreuther plays Gran Vals by the great Francisco Tárrega; my favourite waltz for guitar.
Anika studied at the Stuttgart Academy of Music and the Hamburg conservatory. She plays classical guitar and baroque guitar at the highest level and performs as a soloist and chamber musician in Germany and abroad.
Moving from one position to another, especially up the keyboard, is problematic for most average guitarists. In these three videos, Allan Mathews covers the most tricky aspects of shifting position on the classical guitar.
You can fin the full article at Classical Guitar Corner.
Earlier in the year, I imported four fine classical guitars from Aiersi Guitars in China, hoping to set up a small speciality online retail outlet in South Africa. Unfortunately, CITES has now severely restricted the import of all Rosewood products and so I have had to abandon the resale venture.
I am now making the four guitars available at cost, which provides a great value opportunity for any musician or investor. Just click on www.guitarsa.co.za/guitars for full details, pictures and Rand values.
Here are the two high-end guitars in action:
And now for something completely different!
The guitar featured in this performance was made by Greek luthier Yorgos Kertsopoulos. He describes the instrument as “designed and constructed by me in 1996 and it is a multi-timbre rectangular guitar with movable back pedal. As the guitarist plays, by pressing slightly the guitar’s back to her/his chest, pedal effects on the sound are produced”
You can access the luthier’s site HERE.
Here is John Feeley playing the same piece on a conventional classical guitar.
A video and article by Simon Powis on common mistakes that beginner classical guitarists often make.
Classical Guitar Corner is one of the sites I have used most extensively in sourcing lessons and articles.
I have taken this video from my favourite classical guitar teaching site, Bradford Werner’s Thisisclassicalguitar.
This what Bradford writes concerning this performance:
Lorenzo Bernardi Plays Confesiòn by Paraguayan guitarist and composer, Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1885–1944). This comes via Bernardi’s Youtube Channel. Guitar made by Philip Woodfield. Some nice musical playing by this young Italian guitarist. “Also known as Confesión de Amor (Confession of Love), Confesión is an example of the genre known as romanza, a slow, melodic piece in duple metre expressive of romantic feeling. Barrios wrote this work in 1923 and recorded it on 21st June, 1928. Here he places the melody in the bass register with the harmonic accompaniment in the upper voices. A profound knowledge of the instrument is necessary to achieve this type of textural writing, and Confesión, together with his Romanza en Imitación al Violoncello, is a masterful display of virtuosity and skill.
I have posted Barrios’ Confesion before but I particularly like this interpretation.
Matthew McAllister plays with his usual competence and style – you can view his website HERE. The piece, Bardenklänge, Op. 13, No. 1, is by J.K.Mertz, a 19th century virtuoso and composer. He was married to a concert pianist and his compositions reflect her influence on his music.
Joaquin Rodrigo was born in Sagunto, Valencia, and lost his sight at the age of three. Despite this, he began to study piano and violin at the age of eight. Many credit him with raising the Spanish guitar to dignity as a universal concert instrument and he is best known for his guitar music. However, he never mastered the instrument himself.
Drew Henderson is a virtuoso classical guitarist often cited as one Canada’s best young classical guitarists. Here he plays the final movement of Tres Piezas Españolas by Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999)