About This Book
What I’ve tried to do with this book is simple; write the book that I wanted when I was starting out playing the classical guitar. This not a graded book, however, the 25 pieces are in a deliberate order. Each piece should, for the most part, prepare the student for later pieces, and ideally other repertoire outside of this book. I’ve included most of the heavyweights for you to sample including Sor, Carcassi, Aguado, Tarrega, Bach, Sagreras, and Carulli. In this author’s opinion, these are the founding fathers of guitar music and worthy of your time and study. I’ve also taken great care to select pieces which I think are simply, beautiful. I’ve also included a few etudes of my own, including a tremolo piece and an arpeggio study. I’ve added my own compositions because I felt I could fill in a few gaps covering certain techniques that I was unable to find in the classic works that exist in the repertoire. I’ve taken the liberty of adding some fun and informative history about the composers and music within. I hope you’ll indulge me in this endeavor, as it was a ton of fun doing the research! I encourage you to expand your study beyond this book. If J.S. Bach really inspires you, I hope that you will seek out more of his vast repertoire. Chances are, you’ll find some gems out there on the internet or in other publications.
The Book Layout
This book is split into four sections. The first section, ‘The Classical Guitar Primer’, was written specifically for beginning guitarists and even those advanced players who are new to classical guitar music, terminology, and techniques. The second section is a detailed warm-up practice routine that can be done daily. The third section contains the 25 brief lessons and accompanying etudes. The 25 etudes include beginner, intermediate, and advanced pieces. I could probably find a myriad of various opinions that all of the pieces could be considered either beginner or advanced. I’ll leave that for you to decide. In my own studies, I’ve found some beginner pieces difficult and some advanced pieces easier due to my own technical strengths or limitations. I know that I’m not alone. In the last Appendix section, I’ve included the ‘120 Right Hand Studies’ by Mauro Guiliani which you can add or integrate into your practice routine.
Each lesson that precedes the etudes follow a general guideline:
-A short composer bio and history.
-My thoughts on the piece.
-Any special chords, scales, arpeggios, or techniques needed to play the etude.
-Key Signatures, time, tempo, and other notes.
-Explanation of new musical terms or notation markings as they arise.