Garden steps by Andrew York played by Brian Farrell


In my scheme of things, this is a Level/Grade 4 (Lower exit) piece.

Andrew York ‘is one of today’s best loved composers for classical guitar and a performer of international stature. His compositions blend the styles of ancient eras with modern musical directions, creating music that is at once vital, multi-levelled and accessible.’ Taken from www.andrewyork.net

Brian Farrell is largely self-taught, however he initially took lessons with the late Barry Lawlor who was  one of Ireland’s finest guitar teachers and Barry’s teaching had a profound impact on Brian’s career.

Un dia de Novembre by Leo Brouwer

I have placed this haunting little piece at Grade 4 (Lower Exit) in my system, and Guitaburst have assigned it to Level 8 . It is an advanced beginner or entrance intermediate piece. Here it is played by Tatyana Ryzhkova

Lagrima by Tarrega

I usually post virtuosa performances of professional concert level pieces to provide us all with inspiration, pleasure and something to aspire to.  However, for the next few posts, I want to deviate from this and post performances, and lessons where available, of beautiful pieces that the average amateur guitarist can manage.

I have already featured a professional performance of the Tarrega’s lovely tune ‘Lagrima’ in the intermediate section of this site, but I neglected to include an actual lesson. So here is Simon Powis giving an excellent lesson on how to play this haunting little piece. I have also now included this in the Intermediate Music section.

The score I use is transcribed by Bradford Werner and you can find it HERE.

Lagrima is graded either as Advanced Beginner or Intermediate yet it is often performed by top-class players as part of their extended repertoire.

J.S.Bach Air on a G string played by Per-Olov KIndgren

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.

Graded music for classical guitar

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

Graded music for classical guitar

Tárrega: Gran Vals – Anika Hutschreuther

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.

Smooth Shifts

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.

 

Four handcrafted classical guitars available

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:

Modern lattice

Yulong Gou

J. S. Bach: Cello Suite Nr. 1 BWV 1007, arr. Smaro Gregoriadou

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.