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Minuet by Henry Purcell

"A minuet is a dance of French origin usually in 3/4 time..."

Henry Purcell was an English Baroque composer. He has often been called England's finest native composer. Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements but devised a peculiarly English style of Baroque music. Although he was a Baroque composer (who wrote for the lute) there are several, quite useful and varied, lessons for the classical guitar player contained within this piece. For instance the Use of the closed "b" on the third string, fourth fret, is useful for developing the use of the little (often weaker) finger.

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It also allows for the re-enforcement of fret note knowledge. Also, when using the thumb on the bass notes you need to make sure the note is plucked sufficiently hard enough to last a dotted half-note, or entire bar in other words. You need to be aware that you're not cutting a note off too soon, which affects the quality of the piece in terms of "voicing" and harmony.

Another very good lesson for the beginner to intermediate player is the quick transition to and from a barre chord in bars 19 and 27. Not having to hold the barre down for an extended period of time means your fingers won't get too fatigued or sore but you'll be able to play a barre chord in context.

Additionally, you might want to play a chord roll in bars 20 and/or 28 if you deem it appropriate (just for fun and practice of it). Be careful though as too many chord rolls, especially in baroque music, can tend to sound too amateurish.

There are also small shifts of position as in bars 17 and 25. If you think about it, as you're approaching the shift, your playing will become a lot smoother and more legato in sound.

If you practice this little piece slowly and carefully, it won't take long to work up a pleasing performance for your friends, family or guitar group. It's quite an easy, yet satisfying piece to play.

Here is a video of the piece by Henry Purcell...

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Welcome to LCG! I'm Trevor Maurice, owner of this site. I hope you find inspiration in these pages to help you with  your journey of learning to play the classical guitar. You can read more of my story here...

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Classical Guitar
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