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Great Guitar Tips, Issue #058 - Exciting News & A Favor
April 05, 2009

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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 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 2009 Issue #058 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 - Exciting announcement for you!

2. New pages/videos - New slur study on lesson page

3. Study Point - The Minor Scale

4. Recommended Resource - Julian Bream: My Life in Music

5. Youtube Treat - Rare Classical Guitar Video: John Williams - Como llora una Estrella

6. This Month's Fr/ee Music

1. News

Hi to all new and old subscribers!

Welcome to the March 2009 issue. Exciting news!!!

I am really close to wrapping up the long-awaited Classical Guitar Study Course. I'll be releasing it later in the month but before I do I need to ask you a couple of questions. Could you help me out?

You can answer the questions here (and get some more detail on the Classical Guitar Study Course) at this link...

I hope you can help me out with the super-short survey because in the end it will help you even more. :))

If you don't have the time but really want to get updates and ADVANCED NOTICE of the course you'll need to go to this page and enter your name and email details...

I don't want to be sending a lot of emails via this Great Guitar Tips newsletter. I will only send a few emails within the next few weeks to notify the new subscribers to this newsletter who may not have gotten the notification.

In other words, the MAJORITY of the information and updates about the course will be via this page...

In the rest of this issue there's a new lesson page on playing slurs in an etude/study by Joseph Anton Kuffner. It's not too hard, is pleasurable to play and helps with your slur technique.

The other piece of fr/ee sheet music is a Prelude in E Major by Matteo Carcassi that, like my own study last month, helps with the development of your arpeggio technique.

The study point is on the Minor scale, and there's another recommended resource suggestion and a youtube treat!

So, let's get on with it!

2. New Pages

The new lesson page this month is an Etude by Joseph Anton Kuffner. The Kuffner Etude is great for practicing slurs, a.k.a. hammer-ons and pull-offs. You also get to use the little finger of the left hand occasionally throughout the piece. A lot of students I've had in the past try to avoid using the little finger because it is obviously a "weaker" finger, but I maintain the more you use it the stronger it will become.

Indeed, Joseph Kuffner wrote many of these little study pieces purposely to strengthen the fingers and secure guitar technique. Read more on the Etude by Kuffner 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 "Beginner to Intermediate" section of that page.

3. Study Point - The Minor Scale

The Minor scale is different from the Major scale in the arrangement of the tones and semi-tones. In relation to a guitar a semi-tone is one fret in distance and a tone is worth two. On a piano a semi-tone is from the white key to the black key and a tone is from white key to white key, or black key to black key.

In a Major scale the arrangement is: Tone; Tone; Semi-Tone; Tone; Tone; Tone; Semi-Tone.

Although there are several types of Minor scale, a simple example of a Minor scale is: Tone; Semi-Tone; Tone; Tone; Semi-Tone; Tone & a Half; Semitone.

The "tone & a half" is known as the "raised leading note" i.e. the 7th note of the scale, being the leading note, or note before the last note of the scale, is raised an extra semi-tone.

This arrangement gives the scale its particular "color" and even "feel". I'm not a big fan of the saying but the Minor scale is often described as sounding "sad" whereas the Major scale is often described as sounding "happy". It's too simplistic a label but may be helpful for children particularly to obtain more understanding of the effects of each scale.

If you want some "homework" you can pore over these scales that I prepared for another page on this site to see examples of some Major and Minor scales...

Improve your classical guitar skills now with...

Look inside this title
Pumping Nylon (Book and DVD) - sheet music at
Pumping Nylon (Book and DVD) (The Classical Guitarist's Technique Handbook) Edited by Nathaniel Gunod, written by Scott Tennant. Instructional book and instructional video: DVD for classical guitar. Series: National Guitar Workshop. 95 pages. Published by Alfred Publishing. (AP.20417)
See more info...

4. Recommended Resource - My Life in Music

Another Julian Bream magic DVD this month!

"Considered by many as the greatest classic guitarist of the 20th century, this tells the remarkable story of his life in music. Over three hours of material, illustrated with over one hour of complete musical performances, includes contributions from John Williams, Peter Pears, Igor Stravinsky, William Walton, George Malcolm, Richard Rodney Bennett and Ali Akbar Khan.

Julian's influence has resulted in a repertoire rich in contributions from Britten, Walton, Henze, Takemitsu, Tippett, Rawsthorne, Lennox Berkeley and countless others. He enthusiastically communicates his musical passions which are celebrated in this generously documented DVD.

Highlights include Julian's coming out of retirement for a performance of Britten's Nocturnal, written for the guitarist, and an emotional return to the composer's home in Aldeburgh, and an exclusive BBC Radio 3 recording of Richard Rodney Bennett's Sonata for Solo Guitar."

You can get your own copy here...

5. Youtube Treat - John Williams

Last month I found for your pleasure a youtube video of John Williams & Julian Bream playing Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune. I hope you watched it because it was really great.

Continuing in that spirit this month I found a "rare classical guitar video" of John Williams playing Como llora una Estrella. There's some really nice camera work and you get to see the absolutely thorough technique of Williams in "full flight", as it were. You can see it here...

I hope you really enjoy it!

6. This Month's Fr/ee Music

This month's music is a Prelude in E Major composed by Matteo Carcassi. It's a simple piece in arpeggio form but the harmony is particularly "fresh" & "modern". It's a really lovely piece to play and practice.

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. I'll see you later in 2009 with another brand new edition including music, videos and fun!!! :))

And please don't forget the short-survey above. it'll really help you and everyone that comes to this site in the future! :))

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