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Great Guitar Tips, Issue #052
August 24, 2008

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Great Guitar Tips - The World's Most Useable Guitar E-Zine ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A free, monthly E-Zine dedicated to providing you with useful information and tips for your guitar playing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 2008 Issue #052 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you like this E-Zine, please do a friend a big favor and pass it on. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting...


Table Of Contents

1. News

2. New pages/videos

3. Study Point - Modulation

4. Recommended Resource - Concise History of the Classical Guitar

5. Great Players of the Past ~ Ida Presti

6. This Month's Fr/ee Music


1. News

Hi to all new and old subscribers!

Welcome to the August 2008 issue. Firstly, I'd like to say sorry there wasn't a July issue of this e-zine. It's rare I miss one but this was unavoidable, so again sorry.

Looking forward now to this issue there's a new lesson page on Carcassi's Andantino in A Major. There's a lot of study points in there to improve your playing.

Talk about study point, I've got a section to describe in simple terms what it means for music to modulate into a new key. It's a good basic guide and one that should be a starting point for you to explore further.

There's a great recommended resource and of course the music!

O.K. Let's get on with it!

2. New Pages

The new page this month is a lesson on Carcassi’s Andantino in A Major (Opus 60 No.3). There are many study points included on the page including: arpeggio finger patterns of the piece; using the “a” finger to bring out or accentuate a melody; the use of binary form in musical structure; and modulation to other keys within the piece. There is both a “performance” video and a slow motion, close-up version on the page. Read more on the Andantino in A Major by Carcassi here...

Look for the red colored "NEW" next to the actual new piece. To help you more it's actually lesson number 5 in the "Intermediate and Beyond" section of that page.

3. Study Point - Modulation

Speaking on modulation, here’s a little pointer to help you understand just how a piece modulates to another key. Anna Butterworth writing in Harmony in Practice said...

"A piece of music that remained in the same key throughout would soon lose interest. Almost all pieces composed in the tonal period (basically Bach to Stravinsky) change key, or modulate, at some point. Modulation is in fact one of the most important “incidents” in tonal music, providing contrast, variety, colour and drama in the music."

Great insight and quite interesting. So just how does modulation work in a piece of music?

Well that would take several pages to answer so here’s the shortened version. A modulation is basically a change of key away from the tonal center of the music but close enough to be “related” (in simple modulations). This is achieved via logical harmonic progressions i.e. chord cadences. The chords used have several similar notes.

For instance, a common way of modulating from key to key is by way of what is known as a “pivot chord”. Usually in a pivot chord, two or more notes belong to both keys, which, in a simple form is the tonal key of the piece and its dominant (5th). So, if you were in C major then you could modulate to the dominant key of G major because the notes of each chord are similar.

The dominant key usually has one more sharp or flat in its key signature than the “home” key. Similarly, we can tell if a piece of music has modulated by the presence of one or more accidentals.

We all listen to so much music these days and although we mightn’t be able to say why academically, most people can hear when the music modulates. It is so much more interesting and adds color to what we hear and thus, how we respond mentally and emotionally.

4. Recommended Resource - Concise History of the Classical Guitar

This month’s recommended resource is the Concise History of the Classical Guitar by Graham Wade. It gives the student of guitar the background knowledge of just how the instrument developed and in what ways.

Specifically, Wade tracks the history of the instrument from the 16th century until now. In it he helps us to understand the development of the vihuela, the four-string, five-string and six-string guitar in the 19th century.

In addition to that we also learn about tablature, leading composers, performers and luthiers of the 20th century. It also details the influence of people like Segovia, Llobet, Pujol, Presti, Bream and Williams.

One great thing is that it’s an inexpensive book, great value and well worth the price. I think it’s less than $15 at this point in time. You can get your own copy now by clicking on this link...

5. Great Players of the Past ~ Ida Presti

Ida Presti was born in France in 1924 and died in the U.S.A. in 1967. Her parents were well educated and sophisticated people. Indeed, her father was a musician himself, playing piano and was, in fact Ida’s very first music teacher as she had piano lessons from him at the tender age of five.

It was only a year later when she switched to the guitar, studying with the famous Mario Maccaferri. By the time she was eight years old she was ready for her first public performance – a remarkable feat by any standards.

Over the period of her youth and young adulthood she continued to study at the Paris Conservatoire and developed her technique and musicality to ever deeper levels. Around the age of 28 she met the man who was to become both her artistic partner but also her life partner - Alexandre Lagoya.

Unfortunately, she died of a brain haemorrhage at the comparatively young age of 43 whilst preparing for a concert with her husband in New York. This affected him so deeply that he was unable to play for many years afterward but eventually turned once again to his beloved instrument.

He played successfully for many more years until his death in 1999. They became over time, one of the most successful and talented classical guitar duos performing all over the world to great acclaim. Indeed, their total concert performances numbered over 2000. That is a lot of pleasure and happiness for many, many people.

6. This Month's Fr/ee Music

And now for the music! This month's music is an ecossaise by Mauro Giuliani. You can get a copy of the music here...

I hope you enjoy the music!

And for the video of the piece go here...

And that's all for this issue. See you later in the month:))

P.S. If anyone else wants to send a testimonial that would be great. Just hit the "reply" button on your email and send me one. It'll be hugely appreciated.

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