Our dear friend and Classical Guitarist/Teacher extraordinaire Hector Garcia has contributed a set of intermediate to advanced lessons that are now available in one package. The pieces cover a wide range of styles from different eras.
Greensleeves is a traditional English Folk song. The piece was probably composed before the year 1580 since a ballad by this name was registered in that year. Nobody knows who the composer of Greensleeves is, although there is a persistent belief that the piece was composed by Henry VIII. Greenleeves is also mentioned in some of Shakespeare's works. Through the centuries, Greenleaves has been a beloved piece. There are many instrumental and song type versions. The guitar arrangement that is used for this lesson includes a main theme in traditional stile plus two variations. The first variation uses a set of arpeggios that follow the classical style from the 1800s. The 2nd variation is stylistically closer to the original theme. It has some counterpoint and ornaments that are found in renaissance music.
Lagrima is one of the simple preludes for guitar composed by the great Spanish guitarist Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909). The piece is very popular among classical guitar students. There are several recorded versions of Lagrima, including the ones done by Andres Segovia and Julian Bream. Consistent with other Tarrega compositions, Lagrima is an intimate piece that requires a careful observation of the instrument's palette of sounds.
3) A Time For Us
Written by Nino Rota, the romantic theme from the movie Romeo And Juliet, also known as A Time For Us is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful movie themes. There have been several different versions of the song including the famous instrumental version by Henry Mancini and the ones by Luciano Pavarotti and Josh Groban. This guitar arrangement is based on a piano version. The A minor key chosen for the arrangement makes it possible to have a version that fits the instrument well and uses most of its range while allowing the player to use expressive elements that are essentially guitaristic (vibratos, slides, etc.). This makes the piece sound as if it were composed originally for guitar.
4) Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From "The Godfather")
Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From "The Godfather") is a song written for the first film in the Godfather trilogy in 1972. While its instrumental version is simply known as The Godfather Theme, Speak Softly Love is the vocal version. The words are by Larry Kusik with music by Nino Rota. Originally sung by Andy Williams, other artists, such as Bobby Vinton, have also recorded the song. Slash of Velvet Revolver (formerly of Guns N' Roses) had also performed it in a hard rock style. Slash's version contains backing chords from Izzy Stradlin, bass from Duff McKagan, piano from Axl Rose and has a solo in the beginning. Many versions recorded all over the world are also popular. There are multiple arrangements of the theme for large and small orchestras, bands, and even ethnic instrument groups. Also, there are solo versions arranged for the most popular instruments. Good guitar arrangements are among the best, since the music allows guitar players to use the rich expressive features that the instrument offers.
5) The Canon In D
The Canon In D by Johann Pachelbel is one of the most popular and widely recognized compositions from the last 500 years. Pachelbel was a German musician who predated J.S. Bach by a generation in the mid-late Baroque period. A canon is one of the most strict and complex forms of composition that exists, requiring the composer to construct a melody that can be played in multiple voices and blend with each other where each voice is following each other, playing the exact same melody. It is a bit like an endless round. Pachelbel's Canon In D was originally written for three violins to carry the melody over a basso continuo part, which outlined the harmony. This part could be played on a harpsichord, cello, or even a lute. It follows a simple chord progression that can be broken down into 8 equal units with regular changes. In the key of D Major, the chord progression is D - A - Bm - F#m - G - D - G - A. The original score started with the bass introducing the progression, then Violin I starting the melody, followed by Violin II and Violin III each one series behind. Due to the nature of the original composition, an accurate and complete solo guitar arrangement is impossible. Many pieces of the original melody lend themselves very well to a guitar transcription, and keeping the harmony with chords and bass notes is manageable. However, the three voices played in counterpoint on a six-string guitar with only two hands has led to many guitarists of varying levels creating their own arrangements with a huge range of accuracy and difficulty. Hector Garcia's arrangement is done in Dropped D Tuning (DADGBE) and features the opening chord progression and a dozen or so variations on the melody, ranging from Level 4 to Level 8. We encourage guitar students to tackle this masterpiece in small chunks, the equivalent of 4-measure sections in this arrangement.