Wednesday, September 26, 2012


just testing....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Joe Pass - jazz guitar player

One thing I admire is a good jazz guitar playing. Watch Joe Pass (1929 - 1994), performing All the Things You Are. Take this video as a true guitar lesson.

Did you notice the change of groove when he switched from finger style to flat picking (plucking the strings with a guitar pick)? Amazing improvisations! It's also clear the great knowledge of jazz harmony here applied to jazz guitar.

In case you wonder that's a Gibson guitar. More precisely, an Epiphone - a sub-brand of the Gibson guitars.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Prelude for guitar

> Download the score (pdf, 2 pages)

This piece is basically an arpeggio study with the main theme presented in the bass.

The video bellow presents a previous version of this guitar study. Soon I'll upload a video with the newer version.

Bellow is a copy of some correspondence between me and an Internet friend regarding some details of the piece:

by Eric - May 31, 2007 2:31 PM


I like your prelude; it's fun to play and it's certainly a good technical study of what I guess I'd call 'campanella' playing. But why do you drop this style briefly in the second half of bars 25 and 33?

OK if you particularly want to vary the sound at those places, but in bar 25 you could shift down 2 positions to play the C with finger 3 on string 3 and the D with finger 2 on string 2 - you've got to shift back up to play the next bar, but for anyone with the technical ability to sustain campanella fingering it's not going to be difficult.

In bar 33 the slide makes it slightly easier to get in position for the next bar, but I would do the same fingering as in bar 25.

my reply - May 31, 2007 3:07 PM

Hello Eric!

Thank you for trying my piece!

Bars 25 and 33 are bridges (or passages) that bring you to the opening motif of the B section (a tempo). They create an impulse towards that motif - like an upbeat bar (the eight bar of the sentence).

The harmonic structure of the first two sentences in this B section is a very basic one: 2 bars in the sub-dominant, 2 bars in the tonic, 2 in the dominant and 2 bars in the tonic of which the second contains the already mentioned bridge that leads to the beginning of the following sentence.

Those bars are still in campanella style but do not have the apoggiatura-like pattern that I used throughout the first 2 sentences of section B.

Now, tell me something: wasn't it enough clear that in bar 25 the C note is on the 3rd string stopped by 1st finger, A on the 4th stopped by 3rd finger, and B on the 2nd open string creating thus the campanella effect? I didn't write the fingering for those notes because I thought that the fingering in the previous bar would be enough to suggest the hand to stay in position.

Maybe the adjacent sequence of the notes suggests a scale-like playing instead of campanella? If it is so then I should immediately add fingering marks to bars 25 and 33.

About making the same fingering for both bars; no way! Each fingering is fine the way it is. They depend on the events of the previous and following bars. My chosen fingerings create a better fluency. I can guess what your argument is - making a similar fingering for similar parts.

Bars 25 and 33 are bridges to two differently structured sentences and don't come from exactly two same sentences although they share the same harmonic structure (first two sections of section B). They don't exactly mean the same.

You see, music justs develops like a story. Each moment is a new moment - that is many times presented exclusively through interpretation and many other times through composition.

I visited your website and I only have one word to describe it: EXCELLENT!!!!! It's very informative, unpretentious and... just excellent!


Eric's reply - June 1, 2007 3:49 PM

Hi Pedro,

I think I see what you're saying. Now you point it out I can see that the slide in bar 33 acts as a bridge to the next passage (it makes me want to pause on the open E), but I can't quite see it in bar 25 where the next two bars are a repeat of bars 18 and 19.

However the fingering is clear - the first half of bar 25 is campanella, it's just that the 1-3 slur stops the campanella in the second half of the bar (even more than a 1-4 slur would), but I guess that's what you want.

Thanks for your kind comments about my website which, by the way, is at; I haven't put anything new up on it recently, but I am currently working on several pieces that should eventually appear there.

Good Morning to All - arranged for guitar

Download files:

> "Good Morning to All" in C
> "Good Morning to All" in D

Explanatory notes

These are 2 different guitar arrangements of "Good Morning to All" which is the title of the original tune of "Happy Birthday to You". One is written in C major, and the other one in D major.

Each one of this arrangements presents a particular technical issue. Here follows some notes about them:

 "Good Morning to All" for classical guitar in C

In this version the guitar student learns how to play in the first position of the fingerboard with a violin-like left hand posture. A good premeditate exercise is to play the diatonic natural scale in the 1st position of the fretboard - all the available notes that are not affected by a flat or a sharp signal.

When playing this scale the third finger should stop the notes G, C and F on the third fret of the sixth, fifth and fourth strings respectively. The fourth finger should stop the notes D and G on the third fret of the second and first strings.

I guess some of you (the beginners) still don't know where to locate all the notes of the diatonic natural scale in the first position of the fingerboard.

Here's a little help:

E - 6th open string
F - 6th string; 1st fret
G - 6th string; 3rd fret

A - 5th open string
B - 5th string; 2nd fret
C - 5th string; 3rd fret

D - 4th open string
E - 4th string; 2nd fret
F - 4th string; 3rd fret

G - 3rd open string
A - 3rd string; 2nd fret

B - 2nd open string
C - 2nd string; 1st fret
D - 2nd string; 3rd fret

E - 1st open string
F - 1st string; 1st fret
G - 1st string; 3rd fret

First finger should stop the notes located in the first fret. The second finger will, logically, stop those notes located in the second fret. To what concerns the third finger, read above.

By practicing this scale with the indicated fingering the guitar beginner will develop a basic hand posture that is used in a huge part of the guitar literature. This guitar version in C major is written with the purpose (in fact just one of several purposes) of learning that left hand posture.

The fingering for the right hand is a very simple and comprehensive one. The p finger plays the basses - of course! The upper voice is played with the fingers m and i which alternate constantly. Finger a is used only once in a quite logical situation in guitar playing.

For those guitar beginners who are not acquainted with the fingering terminology here it goes:

p = thumb of the right hand
i = index of the right hand
m = middle finger of the right hand
a = ring finger of the right hand
e = little finger of the right hand

1 = index of the left hand
2 = middle finger of the left hand
3 = ring finger of the left hand
4 = little finger of the left hand

"Good Morning to All" for classical guitar in D

This version frees the left hand fingers from stopping the bass notes. They're all on open strings. The contrast here is that the guitar beginner will use a left hand posture parallel to the fingerboard located in the second position. By this I mean that all the fingers of the left hand will be distributed within an interval of four frets.

Each of the fingers should be well positioned above each fret. In this case (2nd position) the first finger should stop all eventual notes located in the second fret. Second finger will take care of all the notes located in the third fret and so on.

Watch for the palm of the left hand, it should stay parallel to the fingerboard - hence the term. This is very important because of the fourth finger. It must be well located above its corresponding fret so that it can function well.

Final words

It can be a great lesson for the guitar beginner to learn these 2 guitar arrangements. Presented are the 2 basic left hand postures - the violin-like and the parallel. On the other hand he will get acquainted with the concept of key transposing - a very useful tool for guitarists and musicians overall.

And lastly, but not less, it should be a great pleasure to be able to entertain your family and friends during a birthday party.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Jingle Bells arranged for guitar

> Download link (pdf, 1 page)

Explanatory notes

It is hardly needed to present this melody for everyone knows it, I guess. Jingle Bells, although sung mainly by the Christmas time, is not a religious song. It was written by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893). I don't know exactly the date it was created but it is recorded that in the year 1857 J. L. Pierpont published it under the title "One Horse Open Sleigh".

Throughout the time the song has departed from its original form and today the chorus melody doesn't sound exactly as the original. This is what one can call the evolution of a song, which is most of the time inevitable and unpredictable.

But what it matters is that people sing it, play it, and enjoy it. And my contribution to it is this guitar arrangement.