Milos Karadaglic favourite CG pieces

ClassicFM recently interviewed Mios Karadaglic and asked him to speak about his five all-time favourite guitar pieces. They are Astorias, Concerto de Aranjuez, Koyunbaba, Lute Suite No 2 in C min, and Blackbird (not realy a classical guitar piece).

Three of the five are very well known, but Koyunbaba by Domeniconi and Blackbird by the Beatles may be less familiar to many.  Here they are played by Milos himself.

VLOG

 

A Vlog is a fairly recent use of youtube and other video platforms. The word ‘vlog’ is an abbreviation of ‘video blog’ and it is really just the visual equivalent of a normal blog post.

Matthew McAllister  has been vlogging for a while now as part of his youtube channel .

The other day I came across a new classical guitar vlog by Merce Font  that looks promising – have a look and see if its helpful.

 

Spot Practice: A lesson by Dave Belcher on Classical Guitar Corner

Some time ago, I came across this article on Classical Guitar Corner on Spot Practice that I found very helpful. Dave describes Spot Practice as:

‘Spot practice is a lot like slow practice, but with one important difference: while slow practice reduces the tempo to give your fingers more time to make the movements they need to make and to identify problems you couldn’t notice when playing at faster tempos, spot practice removes tempo as a factor altogether.

Here’s how spot practice works: when you get to a tricky spot in a passage (something slow practice should have helped you identify as a trouble passage!) we want to STOP. Completely pause right at, say, that difficult left-hand shift. Then take it step by step, without the tempo: (1) Determine exactly the movements your fingers need to make to get from where they are to where they need to go; (2) Begin to prepare your fingers over the strings they are going to go; (3) Shift positions and carefully and in a relaxed manner place your fingers to land the shift; (4) Repeat. That’s it! The point here is to give your fingers the time they need to make that shift accurately’.

To read the full article on Spot Practice and view the video, just click HERE

Xuefei Yang

Xuefei Yang plays Xodó da Baiana by Dilermando Reis. The video was made for the Starface TV documentary show on Phoenix TV, for the episode featuring Xuefei. She is playing a Greg Smallman guitar.

Xuefei is an extraordinarily talented classical guitarist. Watching her video performances, I am always taken by her dexterity and apparently effortless fluidity, even in the fastest of movements.

According to her official biography, ‘Xuefei was the first-ever guitarist in China to enter a music school, & became the first internationally recognised Chinese guitarist on the world stage. Her first public appearance was at the age of ten and received such acclaim that the Spanish Ambassador in China presented her with a concert guitar. Her debut in Madrid at the age of 14 was attended by the composer Joaquín Rodrigo and, when John Williams heard her play, he gave two of his own instruments to Beijing’s Central Conservatoire especially for her and other advanced students.’

Here she plays Cavatina at the BBC Proms In The Park 2018 on Titanic Slipways , Belfast, accompanied by the Ulster Orchestra.

Allan Mathews and Matthew McAllister on Barre Technique

Allan writes; ‘Bar chords are strenuous.  They take strength and endurance.  They are hard to get right and easy to get wrong. But there are ways to make them more likely to work.  If we use our bodies well, bar chords can be, if not comfortable, at least doable’.

It’s hard to execute Barre technique correctly and I have found them very difficult in certain positions. So, any help with this appreciated… Thanks, Allan and Matthew

 

Alex Tsiboulski plays Vals No 4 Op 8 by Barrios

 

I found this stimulating performance on The GSI site. Alex was born in the Ukranian, but he now lives in Australia. It’s not just his face and body that is expressive because this extends to the way he phrases and performs the music. A truly accomplished classical guitarist.

You can find many of his performances HERE

Some current classical guitar compositions

 

Some time ago, I exchanged emails with Jim Giddings of Denton, Texas. Jim composes music for classical guitar, much of it with a decidedly Latin American flavour. The difficulty level of his pieces is mainly Intermediate with a few more suitable for the advanced beginner.

All his music is available free of charge and HIS SITE  is worth visiting to browse through his collections. To get an idea of what his compositions sound like, go HERE.

Silent Night, Holy Night

 

Played by Rafael Scarfullery

Here is one version of the story of the birth of this famous Christmas carol, taken from allaboutromance.com

‘On Christmas Eve of 1818 the young priest of St. Nicholas parish church in Obendorf faced disaster. The organ had been incapacitated by mice. The chance of fixing the instrument before the evening service was nil. Father Joseph Mohr was not a man to just give up however. He pulled out a poem he had written several years before called “Stille Nacht”. Mohr took his poem to the schoolmaster and organist of a nearby town, Franz Xaver Gruber. He asked that Gruber write a melody to accompany the poem on guitar. In several hours, Gruber had the music done and the carol was played for the first time that night at the Christmas Eve service.

The song was not translated into English for another 50 years. Episcopalian bishop John Freeman Young published the English translation that is most frequently sung today in 1859. The writing of the song is unique enough but one other interesting factoid makes this carol special. In 1914, during the Christmas truce, the song was sung in French, English and German simultaneously. It was apparently the one song that all the soldiers on both sides knew’.

And HERE is Douglas Niedt’s arrangement and rendition of this historic piece of music. Douglas has also made other Christmas music available free on his site www.douglasniedt.com.

Be blessed this Christmas season

Soli Deo Gloria

 

Free Classical Guitar Music Scores – Update

In March 2018 I gave a short list of six sites that I have used to access music for the classical guitar. Here are a further two sites plus an additional Delcamp page.

Mutopia Project

393 free to download, modify, print, copy, distribute, perform, and record – all in the Public Domain or under Creative Commons licenses, in PDF, MIDI, and editable LilyPond file formats.

delcamp.net

Another page in the delcamp offering of free CG music in .pdf format. It also has an extensive list of works arranged in alphabetical order by composer.

Museopen.org

596 pieces of music, collections, primers, and books. By clicking on one of the five column headings you can sort by either Title, Composer, Form, Period, or Rating.

For those who missed the first list and want everything in one place, here I the sites previously provided:

www.classclef.com

This site lists over 4,600 pieces in .pdf format. There is no real difficulty grading system but it does list 1,173 pieces as ‘easy’. Some of the pieces have a difficulty indicator when you click on the actual selection; for instance, Tarrega’s Lagrima is marked ‘Grade 4 Late Intermediate’.

www.thisisclassicalguitar.com

Bradford Werner has provided a nice, but by no means comprehensive, selection of graded pieces. The added value of this site is that he provides video lessons for most of the pieces listed.

www.imslp.org

The Petrucci Music Library contains a huge database of public domain music for all instruments. It is not easy to browse this collection, but the search facilities are adequate if you are looking for a composer or a particular piece. For instance, a search for ‘Tarrega’ yields 51 pieces and a search for ‘Largrima’ yields no less than 7 available transcriptions. Unfortunately, there are no indications of playing difficulty. However, you could use www.guitarburst.com in conjunction with this site for most free guitar scores.

www.8notes.com

This site has over 600 scores, with basic difficulty level indicators, and an online synthesised audio/visual playback facility. However, it only allows a few views/downloads per every 24 hours unless you take out a paid subscription to the site

www.classical-guitar-school.com

A reasonably good range of free music scores as well as methods and collections, but this is the site of the Guitar School of Iceland and so the commercial sections contain a lot more material for which you will have to pay if you want to download them.

www.delcamp.net

This site is more than just a forum and contains sections of graded classical guitar music. The drawback is that you have to become an active member of the forum in order to access most of these collections. In addition, the choice of music tends more towards the Baroque than anything else.