Flamenco Lesson. Soleares – Compas

Flamenco. Soleares - CompasOne of the most important elements of the flamenco style is rhythm, so this time we’re looking at a particular pattern of accented beats known as the compas. Although there are no excessively difficult chords or progressions in this piece, the rasgueado and golpe techniques together with the importance of keeping accurate rhythm mean it will require a fair amount of time and practice to master. Rhythm and the rhythmic compas are at the very heart of flamenco. There are many different types of compas: Malaguena, Alegrias, Bulerias and Soleares to name but a few. Each compas has its own individual rhythm and pattern of accents and a thorough understanding of these is of utmost importance to anyone seriously interested in the study of flamenco. (more…)

Flamenco Music. Malaguena

Flamenco Malaguena Sheet music TabIf you were to ask people what they know about flamenco music, their answers would probably mention Spain, brightly dressed dancing gypsies and, of course, the guitar. The main problem in this piece, apart from the rasgueados, is the eventual speed. This should not be rushed but built up gradually over a period of time. Flamenco is the general term for a particular style of song and dance that comes from southern Spain, particularly the region of Andalusia. Invariably associated with gypsies and inseparable from the guitar, which provides the accompaniment for the singers and dancers as well as acting as a solo instrument, flamenco is an incredibly passionate and emotional music that has an unmistakable sound. (more…)

Renaissance Music – Greensleeves (Full)

Greensleeves sheet music and tabThe Renaissance period (circa 1430 -1700) saw a dramatic rise in the popularity of the lute. As an introduction to lute music from this fascinating historical period, here’s one of the most famous pieces associated with the instrument – Greensleeves. This is a very simple piece that shouldn’t prove difficult to learn. There are a couple of slightly awkward stretches, but these will come with practice. From the late 15th century through to its decline in the first half of the 18th century, the lute played a very important role in musical life. It was by far the most popular domestic instrument and, although very quiet compared to the modern guitar, fulfilled many diverse roles. (more…)

Francisco Tarrega – Adelita

Francisco Tarrega Adelita Sheet musicA thorough understanding of the higher positions of the guitar is essential for playing more advanced repertoire. Unfortunately, this is often one of the last things guitarists work at improving… The main difficulties to be encountered in this piece are the many chords in unfamiliar positions. 7th-, 8th- and 9th-position barres occur frequently, especially in the major section, and will take time to master. (more…)

F, T
12 Dec 2012

Thomas Robinson – Grisse His Delight

Thomas Robinson Grisse His DelightThomas Robinson – lutenist, composer and teacher to the Royal family – was one of the most prominent musicians of his time. In 1603 he published his lute method ‘The School of Musicke’, one of the greatest works of its kind, which helped advance lute technique in England during the Renaissance period. I’m not sure what the title Grisse His Delight means, but it may have been a dedication to a patron or possibly something personal. Whatever its meaning it is a lute fantasy: more specifically, a two-part canon. (more…)

R, T
20 Nov 2012

Matteo Carcassi – Opus One (Op. 60 No. 1)

Matteo Carcassi Opus One (Op. 60 No. 1)The practice of scales is considered to be exceedingly dull. Here’s how to make it more interesting and rewarding. This study does have a few tricky corners and should be played at a slow tempo to begin with. The arpeggio section will probably need extra practice to reach the same tempo as the rest of the piece. The Italian guitarist/composer Matteo Carcassi was one of the great virtuosi of the 19th century. Famed during his lifetime for his concert tours of Europe, including annual trips to London and Paris, he is now chiefly remembered for his 25 melodious and progressive studies, Opus 60. (more…)

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