I love the look of well made classical guitars. Here are three beautiful guitars worth show-casing.
‘Black Diamond’ by Rafał Turkowiak
Design features include: • Acoustic Tubes – special ‘holes’ placed in the neck that increase resonance and reduce neck mass. • WAVE type resonator – increases vibration through the soundboard; reduced bridge mass.
Top – Western Red Cedar
Back and Sides – Black and White Ebony
Neck – Flame Maple
Fretboard – Ebony
Head – Crafted with natural black diamonds and authentic Mother of Pearl
Bridge – Black and White Ebony with Mother of Pearl
Armrest – Bevelled
Tuners – Ebony, Aluminium, White Mother of Pearl with an 18:1 ratio
Fret markers – Mother of Pearl
Varnish – French polish
‘No. 22’ by Zebulon Turrentine
Top – Western Red Cedar
Back and Sides – African Mahogany
Fretboard – West African Ebony
Bridge – African Padauk
Bracing – Asymmetric lattice
French polish with shellac
Scale length – 650mm
Jumbo Gold EVO frets
Der Jung tuners
Grand Concert by Robert & Orville Milburn
Materials: Rare African blackwood sides and back, close straight grain European spruce soundboard with extensive cross grain silk, rare snakewood bindings, African Blackwood head veneers, black/white/black hairline purling, mammoth ivory saddle and bridge tie block decoration, perfectly executed side grain mosaic rosette, Rodgers tuning machine heads, impeccable French polish of finish.
Adelita is one of Tarrega’s most well-known compositions and is played by amateurs and professionals alike. Apparently, Tárrega named the piece Adelita because he dedicated the piece to the illegitimate daughter King Alfonso XII, Adela Aimerich.
Here Per-OLov Kindgren plays the piece, which I have graded as Level 6 (Higher exit).
This is a Level/Grade 5 (Intermediate) piece composed by Vivaldi for the violin and transposed for the guitar. Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was an Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher and cleric. Born in Venice, he was as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe.
The piece is played by Steven Law, a member of a new breed of musical star who connect with fans directly through the Internet. His hundreds of guitar videos often feature tunes from modern pop songs and anime, and have been freely shared millions of times by grateful fans all over the world.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.