Thursday, May 10, 2007

Guitars and Cadillacs, Hillbilly Music

Well, I haven't ever owned a Cadillac. But I did like this tune from Dwight Yoakam. Some of you know that I mess around at playing guitar.

I've been working on several different pieces for the past few years. I can do a reasonable job on Isaac Albeniz' Asturias (Leyenda) and the prelude to Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 (BWV 1007). Both of these are very calming. I can play the whole of this Bach Suite, but I like the Prelude the best. There are a few of Luis Milan's Pavanes that I enjoy playing. Francisco Tarrega's Caprichio Arabe is wonderful. Though I can't really do the third part very well yet. I know a few pieces by Gaspar Sanz and have the first part of Sonata K. 1 by Domenico Scarlatti pretty well in hand.

But at this time I enjoy learning Baroque pieces. Bach, of course, is the master: Sleepers Awake, Jesu Joy, the Prelude and Bouree to Lute Suite No. 1 (BWV 996), and Sheep May Safely Graze.

I have some suggestions for books for beginning and intermediate classical guitarists.

Masterworks for Guitar, compiled and edited by John Hill, Hal Leonard Co. 2002. I just love this volume.

Hal Leonard's performance license is a bit restrictive. So, after finding out how a piece is put together, I find another transcription that has looser copyright protection and learn that, or do my own.

50 Baroque Solos for Classical Guitar, arranged by Mark Phillips, Cherry Lane Music Co, 2004. This is designed for the beginner and does a nice job building skills through the body of the work.

Chopin for the Guitar, arranged by Leon Block, Hal Leonard Co. 1960.
This doesn't appear to be available anymore. But there is one by Richard Yates that looks good for the beginner/intermediate guitarist.

Mel Bay Presents 30 Sonatas for Guitar by Domenico Scarlatti, Mel Bay Pub. Inc. 1997. Scarlatti is, well, wonderful.

Happy playing.