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GUITAR

MASTER
CLASS
Technical Exercises
by Famous Guitarists
and Teachers
Andres Segovia George Sakellariou Michael Lorimer
Liona B o y d Carlos Barbosa-Lima Miguel A b l o n i z
Louis Gehring Philip Rosheger John Duarte
A l i c e A r t z t Vincenzo Macaluso Christopher Parkening
Charles Postlewate Lee Ryan Clare Callahan
David Grimes Peter Segal Ronald Pureed
Christopher Berg Christopher Amelotte Ronald Sherrod

Compiled and Edited by


Ronald J. Sherrod

PREFACE
Every musician aspires to know and study with a great master. This book, in a small way, allows
students of the guitar to become acquainted with twenty-one of the world's famous guitarists and
teachers, and gives them the opportunity to practice the same exercises that these masters practice.
It will be noted that many of the exercises concentrate on only one detail of guitar performance.
The concept of breaking problems into small, isolated units is an important "secret" to the control of
the instrument. Also, because of this concentration on a particular problem, many of the exercises
appear simple. This is a deception, however. Every exercise in this book, if it is played accurately and
cleanly, requires a tremendous amount of skill and dexterity.
This book does not discuss basic guitar technique or terminology (sitting position, hand positions,
rest stroke, free stroke, etc.). It is assumed that the person using this volume has access to other
sources which thoroughly deal with these aspects of guitar playing.
I extend my sincere thanks to the guitarists who contributed to this volume. Their cooperation is
in the highest spirit of professionalism and of concern for students of the instrument.
Ronald J. Sherrod

To Chris and Lonna

Library of Congress Catalogue Card No. 80 53407

C o p y r i g h t 1 980 by Belwin-Mills Publishing Corp


International Copyright Secured

Made m U S A

Melville. N Y 11 747
All Rights Reserved

CONTENTS
Page
Introduction

Andrs Segovia

George Sakellariou

Michael Lorimer
Liona Boyd
Carlos Barbosa-Lima

^4

Miguel Ablniz
Louis Gehring

''

Philip Rosheger

John Duarte

2 1

Alice Artzt

2 3

Vincenzo Macaluso

2 3

Christopher Parkening

Charles Postlewate

3 0

Lee Ryan

3 3

Clare Callahan

3 6

David Grimes

3 2

Peter Segal

4 0

Ronald Purcell

4 1

Christopher Berg

4 3

Christopher Amelotte
Ronald Sherrod

->
4 7

INTRODUCTION
Technical exercises should never be viewed without a purpose or without constantly placing emphasis on
musical quality. It is, in fact, difficult to separate musical expression from technique since "technique" is simply
the control of those elements which bring about musical results. This, then, does not only mean the ability to play
the correct notes at the correct time for the correct duration, or those obvious technical elements such as vibrato,
apoyando, tirando, ligados, pizzicato, tambora, tremolo, etc., but includes the realms of music such as timbre,
dynamics, separating a melody from a bass line, emphasizing the top note of a chord, emphasizing the bottom note
or an inside note of a chord, etc. Even something as subtle as the use and control of rubato can be considered a
technique to be isolated and worked on as a technical exercise.
Technical emphasis is especially valuable in the formative years of guitar study. By progressing through a daily
routine of technical exercises the hands are adequately warmed-up and stretched. The physical aspects of guitar
playing - strength, endurance, control, flexibility, and security - are systematically approached.(Read the related
comments by Alice Artzt and Peter Segal, pp. 23 and 40.) Likewise the mental attributes of good guitar playing
and musicianship are developed. These include confidence, patience, and freedom freedom to concentrate on
musical results rather than technical; and freedom to choose pieces based on musical quality rather than on their
degree of technical difficulty.
This text can be extremely useful to advanced students as well as students with a limited background. A n
exercise can be made simple by playing it very slowly or by playing only part of the exercise. Likewise, there is no
limit to the difficulty of the exercises. Simply increase the tempo, or as in the case of some of the exercises, extend
the range or reach required of the exercise.
The following outline of activities is suggested as a daily procedure. It is not intended that all of the exercises
be played in their entirety each day, but at least one exercise from each group should be selected. Also, it should be
stated that the catagorization of these exercises is by the editor. Other possibilities exist.
I.

II

S C A L E S A N D ARPEGGIOS
Liona Boyd
John Duarte (part 1)
David Grimes
Charles Postlewate (exercises 2, 3 & 6)
Peter Segal
Andres Segovia
Ronald Sherrod

FINGER PLACEMENT
Alice Artzt
Christopher Berg
Liona Boyd
Clare Callahan
John Duarte (part 2)
George Sakellariou
Ronald Sherrod

III. C O O R D I N A T I O N O F H A N D S , S T R E T C H ,
ENDURANCE
Alice Artzt
Christopher Berg
Clare Callahan
Vincenzo Macaluso

III C O O R D I N A T I O N O F H A N D S , S T R E T C H ,
E N D U R A N C E (Cont'd)
Philip Rosheger
Lee Ryan
George Sakellariou
Andrs Segovia
IV L I G A D O E X E R C I S E S
Miguel Abldniz
Vincenzo Macaluso (procedures a & c)
Christopher Parkening
Charles Postlewate (exercises 4 & 5)
V. ARTICULATION. DYNAMICS, TIMBRE,
PERFORMANCE PRACTICE
Christopher Amelotte
Carlos Barbosa-Lima
John Duarte (part 3)
Louis Gehring
David Grimes
Michael Lorimer
Charles Postlewate (exercise 1)
Ronald Pureed
Lee Ryan
Peter Segal
Andrs Segovia

ANDRES
SEGOVIA
The most renowned guitarist of the century. The standard by
which ail guitar technique and performance is evaluated.

Recommended by Andrs Segovia is an exercise originated by the Spanish guitarist Francisco Trrega
(1852-1909). Based on the diminished-seventh chord, it is an excellent study for both the left and right hands.
The left hand fingers work independently as they move up and down the fingerboard. The right hand wrist must
remain high, and must smoothly fall or rise in order that the fingers maintain a consistent angle with the strings
as they cross. Maestro Segovia suggests that this exercise be practiced both apoyando (rest stroke) and tirando
(free stroke).
Work very slowly with this exercise at first. It is a challenging one to play well.

@ - 4 i

2 tti=r

y ^^

S 3

IP

f r

r--r

As this exercise is refined, a large amount of expression can be added. After working in legato style, try the
exercise staccato:

Then, combine legato and staccato:

The entire exercise should be practiced with all the dynamic levels between PP and ff. Also, the control
of crescendo and decrescendo is extremely important. As Segovia plays this exercise, his right hand moves toward
the bridge as the volume increases and away from the bridge as the volume decreases. This change in timbre compliments and reinforces the change in dynamics.

ft

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GEORGE
SAKELLARIOU
Graduate of the Hellenikon Conservatory, Athens, Greece. Has
performed extensively throughout Europe, South America, the
United States and Canada. Currently on music faculty at the San
Francisco Conservatory of Music and the University of California,
Berkeley.

George Sakellariou states that one of the most difficult aspects of guitar technique is legato playing. It
requires perfect coordination between the left and right hands. Mr. Sakellariou offers two exercises to develop
this coordination.

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IE k

The first exercise consists of movement down and up the fingerboard as octaves are played.

ITI

The second exercise consists of the rapid alternation between notes. The speed at which this exercise is practiced
depends on the individual, but Mr. Sakellariou states that the notes should be "very quick and without fingernail
clicks." Furthermore, he suggests that each finger combination be measured by means of a clock. For example,
practice each combination two or three minutes without stopping.

Continue this exercise with all possible combinations:


1- 2 - 3 - 2
2- 3 - 4 - 3
1-2-4-2
1-3-4-3
1-3-2-4
1-4-2-4
1- 4 - 3 - 4
2- 4 - 3 - 4
1-4-3-4-2-4
etc.

The above exercise should also be practiced on strings @


creates a different "feel" to which the guitarist must adjust.

The difference in string thickness

Similarly, move the exercise up the fingerboard. The guitarist must become accustomed to the change in
string tension as the move is made to the higher positions.
E L 2722

MICHAEL
LORIMER
Internationally famous virtuoso. Mr. Lorimer is known throughout
the world for his artistic performance on the traditional Spanish
guitar, his accurate and idiomatic transcriptions as well as for his
premieres of new works. His playing of a second instrument, the
Baroque guitar, has spearheaded the revival of the historic instrument.
Currently Michael Lorimer is on the faculty of the San Francisco
Conservatory of Music.

One engaging feature of Michael Lorimer's playing is his expansive use of tone colors. He contributes the
following comments about producing timbres with the thumb:

There are eight basic combinations in which the thumb (p) may play with the index (i)t middle (m), and
ring (a) fingers. The following chart illustrates the combinations:

/, m, or a plays:

p plays:

free
stroke

free
stroke

rest
stroke

rest
stroke

free
stroke

free
stroke

rest
stroke

rest
stroke

free
stroke
with
nail

free
stroke
with
flesh

free
stroke
with
nail

free
stroke
with
flesh

rest
stroke
with
nail

rest
stroke
with
flesh

rest
stroke
with
nail

rest
stroke
with
flesh

Each combination produces different tone colors. Each one also requires a different balance or position of the
hand. Often guitarists use few of the combinations because they have learned only several of the possibilities.
Learning all the combinations will greatly develop the potential range of color in your playing and increase the
fluency of your right-hand technique. Y o u can learn the first six combinations by practicing this series of
chromatic octaves:
a m i
/
m
a
m
i
a
a
i
m
t a r n
m i
m i
a
m
a
a
i
a

m
i

m i
a m
a t

\ 1

1
t
-

IF
p

rr*1

"*
P

AV l i
ti 4 1 1 t

el

m0

Pi

etc.

lrf*1

*: 3
p

#7

0f

-9 \-

i
-0 ^

-0

11

Play this exercise fortissimo, very rhythmically and at a moderate tempo. Practice very slowly until you can
play each octave with a beautiful tone (fortissimo), in perfect rhythm with a relaxed hand. Adjust your position
and stroke until you get a technique that works. Be guided by the feeling of your right-hand, arm and shoulder, not
by guitar playing theory - it may be helpful to forget any ideas of "correct right-hand position" you have.
You can use the same approach with other etudes using the thumb such as those found in Volume II, pp. 77-85
and Volume III, pp. 61-69 of Emilio Pujol's Escuela Razonada (published by Ricordi, distributed by Belwin-Mills,
16 W. 61st St., New York, N . Y . 10023); pp. 3-35 in Abel Carlevaro's Serie Didctica, Book 2 (published by
Roberto Barry. Buenos Aires, Argentina, distributed by Boosey & Hawkes, 30 W. 57th St., New York, N . Y .
10019); the 120 studies for the right hand by Mauro Giuliani (Celesta, 409 E. 50th St., New York, N . Y . 10022);
or some of the etudes (2, 4, 5, 12, 16-19) in Segovia's edition of 20 Sor Studies (Edward B. Marks Music Corp.,
136 W. 52nd St., New York. N . Y . 10019). Tremolo studies also provide opportunities to practice different
right-hand combinations using the method I've outlined.

It is best to practice the last two combinations (simultaneous rest strokes with thumb and fingers) only on
passages where there are broken chords and the thumb plays by itself. The following excerpt from Mateo Carcassi's
Opus 60, No. 3 is an example.
Andantino

r
A

LIONA BOYD
Born in England, but a resident of Canada, Liona Boyd's credits
include tours of North, Central, and South America, Europe, and
New Zealand; appearances on several television shows including
Mike Douglas and the prestigious "Today Show;" and five record
albums. The Canadian Music Industry awarded her a Juno Award
as "Best Instrumentalist of the Year;" several international composers have dedicated works to her; and she has been invited to play
for such distinguished persons as the Prime Minister of Canada,
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Prime Minister of England and
the Chancellor of Germany.

Liona Boyd gives two valuable exercises. Although she identifies one as a left hand and one as a right hand
exercise, each is an excellent exercise for the coordination of the two hands.
FOR THE LEFT HAND
Here is a finger pattern I use. It is written on the first string but should be used on all the strings. It is a good
idea to practice it very slowly at first making sure the left hand fingers are all correctly placed. Many different right
hand patterns may be used once the left has learned the exercise.

Ascending Pattern

Descending Pattern
h i

ft

FOR THE RIGHT HAND


Most guitarists find they have problems with their right hand nails wearing down after practicing an hour or
two of scales and technical exercises. Many right hand patterns can be practiced using only the three upper
strings, thus saving the nails from the wound strings that wear them down. Here is a partial scale that I use
for many right hand exercises.

Partial Scale

.
1

EL 2722

1 3

1 ^ 3

l
2

i
2

1 ' i

; U t ? t ( i i i

>

The preceding scale may be broken into rhythm patterns using various combinations o f the right hand fingers.
Rhythm Pattern A
i

MP
93

Rhythm Pattern B
-

fj

i
m

m a

m
w

Right Hand Combinations (practice rest stroke and free stroke)


i-m-a-m
m-i-m-a
a-m-i-m
i-m-i-a
m-a-m-i
a-i-m-i
i-a-i-m
m-i-a-i
a-i-a-m
i-a-m-a
m-a-i-a
a-m-a-i
For rhythm pattern A above, combinations with the thumb may be employed.
p-i-m-a
p-i-a-m
p-m-i-a
p-m-a-i
p-a-m-i
p-a-i-m
The scale may be divided into triplets using the given right hand combinations.
Rhythm Pattern C
3_

i
fj

0
n

m
0

a
:
0

i
9

rt i

P
K

m
0

i
m.

i-m-a
i-a-m
m-i-a
m-a-i
a-m-i
a-i-m
Combinations with the thumb may be used with rhythm pattern C above.
p-i-m
p-m-i
p-a-m
p-m-a
E L 2722

m
W

etc.

Rhythm Pattern D
3
\m

m
H

m
w

a
m
PfC

CARLOS
BARBOSA-LIMA
Internationally famous guitarist and recording artist. A native of
Sao Paulo, Brazil, Carlos Barbosa-Lima gave his concert debut when
he was twelve. Since his first U.S. tour in 1967 he has been catapulted to international attention; throughout the world his concerts
continually receive the highest critical acclaim. He was praised by
Andrs Segovia as "gifted by the goddess of music. " Lately, in
addition to his recitals, he has been guest soloist with major
American orchestras and has performed in prestigious music festivals in the Americas and Europe.

The following articulation exercise by Carlos Barbosa-Lima requires a great amount of technical and psychological control. If practiced conscientiously, it is tremendously helpful in providing the tools for an infinite
number of articulation nuances that the guitarist may explore.
Mr. Barbosa-Lima suggests that the rhythm of the exercise be counted first without a guitar. He states,
"Begin very slowly, subdividing each beat as the measures are analyzed. The subtleties of rhythm and articulation must first become a mental 'attitude'." (He also states that solo pieces should begin with the same procedure,
thus preventing many errors that later would have to be corrected.)
When the exercise is finally played on the guitar, Mr. Barbosa-Lima suggests that both hands become aware
of the articulation and work in combination to produce it.
1. Play the following melodies using the string and fingering indicated:

-4-1 Af-H
3f

E L 2722

fi 1 i .

b)

s1

')

a)

? Pi

2. Repeat the above melodies using different strings and positions. For example:

J-^r

3. A d d chords to the above melodies. For example:

-J

n
y

MIGUEL
ABLONIZ
World renowned guitarist, teacher, and music scholar. Maestro
Abldniz has published in excess of 350 guitar works, which include
more than 80 original compositions in the classical, romantic, and
modern idioms, as well as many articles and books relating to
guitar technique and performance.

From his text "Essential Exercises For The Left Hand," Miguel Abloniz offers the following exercise and
comments for the practice of ascending and descending ligados.* Maestro Abloniz states:
This exercise, written here to be played only on the 1st string, should be practiced on every string. The left
hand fingering remains unchanged regardless of the string used. As to its key, it is in:
A minor when played on the 1st string
G minor when played on the 4th string
E minor when played on the 2nd string
D minor when played on the 5th string
C minor when played on the 3rd string
A minor when played on the 6 th string
The right hand plays apoyando on strings

CD

alternating all the time two fingers.

The left hand, when practicing on strings @ @ performs all of the descending ligados apoyando
(see comments that follow exercise). In measures 4-8 never lift completely the index finger, but let it slide on
the string without depressing it until reaching the new fret (excluding, obviously, the last note of measure 8,
which is produced with an open string). Additionally, depress simultaneously the group of underlined notes.

As we exercise the right hand fingers to play apoyando (rest stroke) and non-apoyando (free stroke), I
advise to learn to perform the descending ligados on the same string by applying also to the left hand, at will,
either of the two systems.
The "apoyando" principle used for either hand remains unaltered; only that due to the particular positions
of the hands the right hand fingers, after plucking, lean on the adjacent lower-in-sound string whereas the left
hand fingers, after playing a descending ligado, lean on the adjacent higher-in-sound string. After all, a descending
ligado is produced by temporarily substituting a left hand finger for a right hand one.
One of the many advantages of being able to produce the descending ligado on the same string by means of the
apoyando principle, a technical process I have thought of using also for the left hand (and I would like to point out
that I have never seen it suggested in any of the many "guitar methods" I had occasion to read) is the fact that
they thus become as loud as the ascending ligados. . . something which would practically be impossible to achieve
if one avoids touching the neighboring higher-in-sound string.
Generally, the fingers play apoyando when the string on which they lean is not musically needed. But
certainly it is not always necessary or possible for them to do so: for this reason, the manner of playing apoyando
(with either hand) will always be left to the discretion of the guitarist.
'Reprinted with the kind permission of Miguel Abldniz and the Berben Publishing Co.

LOUIS GEHRING
Guitar studies at Loyola University and Southern Methodist
University, and at the Estudio de Arte Guitarristico in Mexico City
under the tutelage of Manuel Lpez Ramos. Mr. Gehring is currently Instructor of Guitar at the University of North Carolina
at Greensboro. As a full-time member of the artist faculty he has
performed extensively in the southern and southeastern United
States in solo, chamber, and concerto concerts, as well as numerous
television appearances.

Louis Gehring submits a detailed and valuable method for learning pieces. He states, "Each piece will, of
course, present its own peculiar problems. However, a method such as described below is a learning structure
which can encompass the myriad of variables in classic guitar playing. It is a method which requires discipline on
the part of the player, but the result of being able to learn a work with great accuracy (and a minimum of unlearning mistakes, and re-learning corrections) in a surprisingly short amount of time will far outweigh the
regimentation needed."
Step 1: A N A L Y S I S
Divide the piece first into main sections, and then subdivide these sections into phrases. The phrase is the
basic musical and expressive unit of any piece, and therefore should also be used as the basic learning unit.
Step 2: F I N G E R I N G
Mark all of the fingerings for both hands. Since left hand fingering is included in most editions (but should,
nonetheless, be carefully examined for possible improvements), this will entail more work on right hand fingering.
Careful consideration should be given to finding the easiest possible fingering with the best musical effect. It is
important to practice a given passage with the same fingering each time in order to learn more quickly and to
produce an accurate, consistent performance.
Step 3: P R A C T I C E
Begin practice, starting with the first phrase only, carefully avoiding any mistakes. Study should begin by
using the metronome set at approximately one half the future performance tempo (this initial speed will depend
greatly on the difficulty of the composition). When playing at this speed is mastered with appropriate dynamics,
articulations, and timbre, the metronome should be moved up one notch. After this speed is mastered, then one
more notch, etc. . When the player has achieved three fourths of the performance tempo, he should go on to
the next phrase in the same manner, and so on. After a section has been learned with this method, the whole
section should be practiced with three metronome speeds: slow, medium, and fast (the performance tempo).
This is the way the section will be studied from now on in order to maintain and perfect it.
Step 4: M E M O R I Z A T I O N
Using the above method, memorization can quickly take place, again using this phrase by phrase approach.
Step 5: P R A C T I C E P H R A S E S O U T O F C O N T E X T
After the entire work has been learned thoroughly and memorized, phrases should be practiced out of the
context of the piece (this is especially useful for compositions that do not lend themselves to easy division into
phrases, e.g., fugal writing). Practice the last phrase of the piece (or of a major section) by memory, then the
next to the last, and so on, moving from the end forward. Practice similar phrases together so that there will
be no confusion under the pressure of public performance.
Step 6: A D D I T I O N A L TECHNIQUES
Practice without looking at the fingerboard.
Study away from the instrument by mentally recalling all movements of the hands (left hand positions,
bar chords, fingerings; and right hand strokes, fingerings, string changes).
E L 2722

PHILIP ROSHEGER
First American to win the prestigious First Prize in the international
guitar competition held annually in Santiago De Compostela, Spain.
Mr. Rosheger has toured throughout Spain, Canada, and the United
States and has made appearances on American and Canadian radio
and television networks (CBS and CBC). He is currently a member
of the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Philip Rosheger has an incredible eight-fret reach (the ability to hold, simultaneously, the first fret of the
sixth string and the eighth fret of the first string).
To develop spread and strength of the left hand fingers, he suggests a basic exercise of changing the notes
of a chord one finger at a time.

If a right hand pattern is added, the above exercise could be played as follows:

f'!frPrjn r rrtrr

3ZM

*5

.09
zr.

is

zn

ato*

m^
titp~

'M, .

>

i ,

[
mm
'ji \^i^s\^ m
mm
mm r i r i ^ " l V
mm
m

i u ,

4P-

i it

rt

r L r r inc r*f

The same exercise should be practiced utilizing strings

4-0

O
bu

(SXJXTXD

i O3 - 3i bo
}>ti
b o
bu
b"

,b&
b
rb-ofri o
Li i\

\>T3

An expansion of the above exercises eventually demands a reach of seven frets.

ft
E L 2722

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^

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mwm

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| ^ J ^

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xv

*-

4 cJt'r Crj i.

V'

" H

'L_M

> 0 i.u

i^ab^-a

* r

t ^ b 7 <

*1

Another variant of the previous exercise is to begin with the fingers placed at intervals of perfect fifths.
As above, employ the principle of moving one finger at a time.

jg ,&o a^ yjtg
Jtg:
Jte
o
t Oj-il o
2-0
o
i

E L 2722

02,
^o

bo
9-0

bo
p-e

t o
bo
p-e-

t| bo
o
- i

JOHN DUARTE
World renowned composer for and teacher of the guitar, music
scholar and critic. Highly respected and in constant demand for
lectures and workshops throughout the world, John Duarte works
untiringly for the betterment of music and the guitar. Articles by
Mr. Duarte have appeared in most guitar periodicals of acclaim,
and his compositions continue to be performed and recorded by
major concert guitarists.

A program of work for developing and disciplining the hands is given in the book "The Guitarist's Hands"
(Duarte & Zea, Universal Edition 26926). As supplementary exercises in placing the left-hand fingers Mr. Duarte
suggests the following to be played daily:

I. Play scales and/or arpeggios, touching the strings with the left-hand fingers but not depressing them (to
give a muffled sound). This fosters placement with accuracy combined with minimal pressure.

2. Play the following exercise slowly at first, then accelerating as security is achieved. (Accuracy is more
important than speed.) Do not look at the left hand. The object is to establish the ability to move up
and down the fingerboard with sureness. The exercise may be carried out in the usual way or in that
described in 1 above.

E L 2722

e) Repeat the above using strings

Kl)

3. The following will help to develop legato playing when a shift of left hand position is involved.
Two given notes are to be played in different positions with the same finger. As illustrated in example 3a,
play the first note thinking of its duration as being an eighth-note (the first half of a quarter-note beat)
and, without snatching or anticipating, move to the next note during the eighth-rest of the same beat.
When this is smooth and true to the durations shown, repeat the notes treating the first note as a dotted
eighth-note and moving (more quickly) during the sixteenth-note rest (example 3b). From this, progress
to treating the first note as a double-dotted eighth-note and the rest as that of a thirty-second as in
example 3c.
This exercise will prepare for the making of shifts as rapidly as possible, without cutting short the first
note. It should be repeated using different fingers, strings and positions; there should be no portamento
caused by failure to lift the finger(s) clear of the strings before shifting position.

a)

cl

b)

l 2

fe-

yp"

yp*

yP'

t h r

/ P "

yp"

The above may also be applied to chords as illustrated in examples 3d-f.


ci I

e)

f)

ALICE ARTZT
Internationally acclaimed virtuoso. Ms. Artzt's concert tours have
taken her not only throughout Europe and the Americas many times,
but also to Africa, the Near East, much of Asia, Australia, Japan and
the Far East. Her solo programs include a wide range of styles from
early lute music which she studies from the original tablatures, to
nineteenth century music for which she has used first edition sources
and which she has performed and recorded on an 1858 Torres guitar,
to contemporary compositions several of which have been dedicated
to her. She has made five LP recordings to date, and teaches in the
New York area when not on tour.

Alice Artzt has recently completed a book entitled The Art of Practicing.* From this comprehensive text she
contributes a bit of practicing psychology and one of her favorite exercises.
Since how one approaches the art of practicing, and what one thinks about while doing it, are a great deal more
important than simply how fast and in which ways one moves one's fingers about, the aim of any technical
teaching I do has been to emphasize the need for efficiency and precision. One must concentrate from the very
beginning on getting every detail prefect when practicing, so that any technical considerations become automatic,
as only in this way is one freed to think only of the musical expression when one is performing. This can be
accomplished by reducing any problems one has to their simplest possible form, by analyzing the workings of one's
own particular set of fingers and figuring out exactly why a given finger is reluctant to perform a certain task, or
does so too slowly. Then one must either revise one's position in some way i f this is the cause of the problem, or
one must devise numerous personalized exercises to zero in on the particular action of the particular finger in
question.
One basic problem common to almost everyone is simply that of teaching the fingers of the left hand exactly
where on the fingerboard each string and fret is located and how each finger may reach them all with the least
expenditure of time and effort. One particular group o f patterns which I find particularly effective in
accomplishing this starts with the following exercise. The pattern 1 3 could be played as in examples A or B below.
24
Example A Q _
CD-

m >J jij
T

Example B

CD-

5
f *7
:

d>

T T

I.lJ

Xi $ i f *r

Ai I'lji $
r

'Published by Musical New Semces Ltd.. 20 Denmark St.. London WC2 8NE, and available in the U.S.A. from the BoldStntmmer. 156 Fifth Ave., Rm
733, New York 10010.

E L 2722

This may then be done with all combinations of fingers:


13 24 31 42 41 14 32 23 12 34 21 43
24, 13,42,31,32, 23,41, 14, 34, 12,43,21
14 41 32 23 12 21 43 34 13 31 42 24
32, 23, 14,41,43,34, 12,21,42,24, 13,31
and may be expanded to cover stretches over several strings as in examples C, D, E , and F .

Example C

^
ij

^
L 3j

0
Example D

(D

Example E

Example F

Do not move the arm and wrist any more than absolutely necessary, and keep the fingers as close to the
fingerboard as possible, for this will make it easier for the fingers to be both more accurate and more efficient in
playing any difficult passages one may encounter. (This idea is itself derived from other exercise ideas, can be
expanded almost infinitely along the lines outlined in the book, and can itself give birth to other ideas. The only
limitations are the player's ability to perceive his own technical problems and his own imagination.) But above all,
these or any other exercises should be done only with a very clear goal in mind at all times, and should be done
very slowly, very precisely, and very perfectly. If no improvement is sensed after two or, at most, three days of
doing an exercise, then either one is not concentrating properly on doing it exactly enough, or one hasn't correctly
analyzed the cause of the problem and should try to find another angle from which to approach it.
EL 2722

VINCENZO

MACALUSO

Classical guitar virtuoso and recording artist. Artist-In-Residence at


Whittier College in California, Mr. Macaluso is America's leading solo
concert, orchestra, and recording artist exploring the versatility and
greater dynamic range afforded by the 10-string guitar.

Some
Tarrega.*
sight the
they will

of the most demanding, yet rewarding, technical exercises are those by the famous guitarist Francisco
Vincenzo Macaluso especially recommends the following Tarrega exercises. He states that on first
exercises may seem to be overly easy, but i f each is played continuously for two or three minutes
be of tremendous value in building strength and endurance.

Additionally, all exercises should be played:


a. with only the left hand (the right hand is not used)
b. using both hands
c. striking the first note of each combination and slurring the remaining notes

a* *
*

4 tiuu

fctc. through
all positions-

*3

E L 2722

CHRISTOPHER

PARKENING

Internationally famous virtuoso. Christopher Parkening's achievements include six best-selling albums for Angel Records, engagements by every major recital series, and performances as guest
soloist with every major symphony orchestra in the United States.
Mr. Parkening is head of the guitar department at Montana State
University.

Christopher Parkening contributes two very demanding ligado exercises. The exercises, to be practiced on all
strings, are for left hand alone. The right hand does not play.
Simile (slurs continue)
ey ft

;Z
x
U

n?

14

>

1
Il4f

I. lit*

-411

r r r rbr r r i p^r *r r Pr r r i Y77TT^rT


3

1^-4

1^^

^1

Simile (slurs continue)


.

L*2

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3h

r - -f-tH^
NT

i
it..

1
I

mk

_<3M

XT

CHARLES POSTLEWA TE
Has performed solo concerts and taught master classes
throughout the Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada region and has
been soloist with many orchestras including the Detroit, Windsor,
Wayne State University, and University of
Michigan-Flint
Symphonies. Mr. Postlewate is presently an Assistant Professor of
Guitar at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Charles Postlewate states that daily exercises should be used for two reasons: 1) to keep the hands in shape for
doing anything required, and 2) to prepare oneself mentally and physically for actual concert repertoire. He
continues, " A s much as possible, I try to draw my daily exercises from new pieces which are in preparation or from
older, familiar pieces which must be kept in good playing condition. It should always be remembered that each
exercise is performed to benefit something in present or future repertoire and not just something with which to
begin daily practice sessions."
"The following set of six daily exercises is designed to specifically help in the mastering and maintenance of
Etude No. 1 by Heitor Villa-Lobos* Also, the three right hand and three left hand exercises will become good
coordination and conditioning exercises for other pieces."
EXERCISE I
The first problem in this piece is the fluid movement from chord to chord in the left hand. The chords should
be practiced in block form (Example A ) until they are connected smoothly from beginning to end. Replace the left
hand Iigados (measures 24-25 in the original) and harmonics (measures 32-33) with the E minor chord of the first
measure to complete this chord study without interruption.
Example A
-e
_QU

-n~U"

(I o
-rr

7=

XT

7 =

=
XT

XT

D i>
o o

HE

&

EXERCISES 2 & 3
The right hand arpeggio can be divided into two parts and conquered more efficiently in the following manner.
Example B shows that the second and third beats (on the first four strings) form a tricky right hand arpeggio
problem which will slow down the overall pattern until it becomes perfectly coordinated. Example C shows how to
practice this pattern over all six strings of the chords learned in exercise 1.
The first and fourth beats of each measure present the problem of moving the right hand up and down the
strings with accuracy. A good exercise to sharpen this movement is presented as exercise 3 (Example D) and again
should be practiced through the chords of the entire piece from exercise 1. Two sets of fingerings are shown since
many guitarists prefer p-m-p-i on the first beat instead of the originally printed p-i-p-i.
Example B

p
p
(p

EL 2722

i
m

p
p

a m a

_J

t)

'Copyright 953. Reproduced by arrangement with Editions Max Eschig, copyright owner.

31

EXERCISES 4 & 5
The most feared part of this etude is the ligados of measures 24-25. Example E shows these two measures. (As
done by most guitarists, the G on the fourth beat has been altered an octave from the original.) The ligados can be
made into an exercise by practicing the bracketed E minor triad both descending and ascending as in example F. By
lowering this exercise a half step at a time to B minor or raising it a half step at a time to B minor, exercise 4 will
cover the full length of the fingerboard and keep the ears from becoming mentally fatigued with the same pitches
in E minor. It also gives the fingers good ligado training over the entire scope of the fingerboard. The two other left
hand fingerings of 2-3 and 3-4 should also be practiced on this exercise to make the standard 1-2 Fingering even
more comfortable.

Exercise 5 (Example G) is a variation to strengthen exercise 4 and develop both ascending and descending
ligados. Again, practice with 1-2, 2-3, and 3-4. The more that exercises 4 & 5 are practiced and the easier they
become, the more confident you will become of that once dreaded ligado passage.
Example G
12

12

3L

EXERCISE 6
The harmonics of measures 32-33 (Example H) require a quick switch from the original to a new right hand
arpeggio pattern. To make this switch musical, and with no hesitation, exercise this new pattern as illustrated in
Example I. Use the entire chord progression of the etude (Exercise 1) until it becomes as smooth as the original
arpeggio.

p
p
p
p
CONCLUSION
These exercises should be practiced very slowly with a metronome. Gradually increase the tempo, always
placing concentration upon evenness of tone between Fingers, and evenness of rhythm between tones. Metronome
speeds should be raised to a new speed when the old one feels comfortable. Raising and lowering exercise speeds
will give the player a chance to relax, becoming more coordinated at lower speeds, and pushing him/herself at the
higher speeds. For a standard, most concert guitarists perform this etude between J = 144 and J = 176. A good
student should start the above exercises at half of these speeds or slower.
As these exercises become easier, the amount of daily time spent on them will become progressively less. Y o u
can then look to other pieces in your repertoire and develop similar exercises. Your practice time will be more
meaningful and efFicient, and you will be on the path to becoming your own teacher.
E L 2722

LEE RYAN
Soloist, teacher, writer. Holds an M.A. in guitar performance
from San Diego State University. Studied in master classes in Spain
and the United States. Lee Ryan is currently on the music faculty at
San Diego State University where he initiated the guitar program at
that school.

Lee Ryan gives some valuable information and exercises for relaxing the hands and playing without tension. He
uses what he terms the "Play-Relax" approach and explains as follows:
Most guitarists have their attention fixed on the playing of the notes, but pay little or no attention to what
happens between the notes. Obviously the notes are important, but the spaces between them - however big or small
- are equally important. Such spaces occur between the notes of a scale or melody and between chords as well as
during rests. The great value of these spaces is that the hands and fingers have a chance to relax, if the player lets
them. Even if the music is very fast or very legato, there are still tiny spaces between the notes (which no one
should notice) which the player can use to release tension.
Fine guitarists constantly take advantage of those spaces - more or less consciously - to give mini- or
micro-relaxations to the fingers. Less developed players often keep an excess amount of tension on the fingers, even
on the fingers that are not playing. Thus, their fingers become easily fatigued. A more developed player quickly
releases the tension on the hands and fingers whenever he has even a tiny space; and, at any given moment, he is
completely relaxing those fingers which are not in use. He uses exactly the energy needed to play well - no more,
no less. He does more with less. For him the music flows effortlessly.
PLAY-RELAX
A good way to develop your ability to release tension in the spaces between the notes is the "play-relax"
approach. The essence of this approach is that the player carefully practices making very distinct alternations of
playing and then relaxing very quickly - like the fast on-off operation of a computer. The faster and deeper the
relaxation the better because the player gets more rest and remains less fatigued. The play-relax approach can be
used for both hands, in all aspects of playing. This includes playing simple exercises, parts of pieces, or entire
complex pieces.
PLAY-RELAX FOR THE RIGHT HAND
The following simple exercise will develop right hand relaxation when using rest or free strokes:

luZr
VT7
~

m
V ? ^ - *

Z^-l

r w -

-FTT:

This exercise should be played very slowly and consciously with the metronome at first ca. J = 72. The key
idea is to feel a quick, deep relaxation of the hand and fingers immediately after each stroke. The quarter rest gives
E L 2722

you time to become aware of the chance to really relax. The finger that is to play next is placed on the string in a
relaxed manner immediately after the previous finger has finished. It is good to cut off the sound completely and
feel the silence between the notes.

When you can relax very quickly and thoroughly in the above exercise increase the tempo, but don't play the
exercise so fast that you can no longer feel the relaxation. When you can do the exercise quickly, drop the quarter
rest and do it as follows, maintaining the relaxation:

G)

Gradually increase the speed until it becomes comfortable to play the above exercise very quickly. As it makes
you aware of how to relax your right hand, carry this awareness into the practice of your pieces. A i m for those
quick relaxations after every stroke. The exercise will lead to a good legato in the right hand if you gradually
lengthen the note values f r o m ^ - t o ^ y t o J

If you want to increase the speed of your right hand for fast scales (rest or free stroke), practice the above
exercise and then the following:

m
m i m i m

m
m i m i m
<

-J

ZEE:

CD

Do the exercise with the metronome as fast as you can with comfort and relax completely during the rests.
When you can do the above at high speed with ease, add on another set of sixteenths:
m i m i m tm
fe

tm

J J J J J J S^

m i m i m tm
3

tm

mm

Continue to add on more sets of sixteenths as above until you have as many as you need for whatever scale you
want to play. Always remember to have at least a quarter rest after each string of sixteenths and relax deeply
during the rest.

PLAY-RELAX FOR THE LEFT HAND


When the play-relax response is well-developed in right hand finger alternation, play left and right hands
together using the same approach. For example, you can play a two octave C scale as follows:

ca.J=72
(No opcir
strings)

It is crucial that the left and right hand fingers relax completely between the notes. The pressure on the left
hand fingers should be released immediately after playing, but should be left sitting lightly on the strings. Make
shifts light and quick and relax during them. Speed up the exercise when you can feel clear, quick relaxations
between the notes. Later, leave out the quarter rest and play a ^ on each beat. Lengthen the note values for more
legato. Gradually you will be able to relax quickly after each note even at a fast tempo. Still later you can play the
scale in fast sixteenth groups as you did with the right hand alone.

Start with J 3 3 3 J * i

and add on additional groups until you have the whole scale.

If you practice the above staccato exercise carefully and apply it to your pieces you will notice a great increase
in ease of playing with the left hand as well as an increase in coordination of the two hands.

Another way of using the play-relax approach is in left hand slurs. Many guitarists practice too many slurs
consecutively without relaxing the hand. Practice slurs with rests between repetitions as in the following example:
rest

rest
i

Of

"Etc:

This method produces great relaxation and can be used to practice all types of slur passages. After such
play-relax practice the continuous playing of slurs is much easier. (Try it on Villa-Lobos Etude No. 10.)

A further way of applying the play-relax method is in the performance of block chord sequences such as in
Study No. 9 in Segovia's edition of Twenty Studies by Fernando Sor (Marks Music). Sor has written a rest between
each chord. Take advantage of those rests by relaxing the left hand as completely as possible during that time.
You can practice any piece, or part of a piece, that has block chords in the same manner as in the Sor study
above. Even if the piece is ultimately supposed to be very legato, cut the note values short and put at least a small
rest between the chords to release left-hand tension. This prepares you for legato playing where you need to have
unnoticeable micro-relaxations between the chords in order to save energy.

The above ideas are just a few ways of applying the play-relax approach. Try using the approach in other ways,
such as in arpeggios and tremolo. It will make you aware of a new world of "better playing with less energy."
Additionally, I would state that the above is just one of many techniques and concepts for teaching the guitar
that I have derived from my study of yoga and meditation.

CLARE
CALLAHAN
Chairman of Classical Guitar Studies at the College-Conservatory
of Music, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio. A student of
Papas and Segovia, she is a graduate of Georgetown and Ohio State
Universities (National Defense Fellow in Musicology) and the author
of Jacques Gallot's Pieces de Luth (1674). A teacher Iperformer on
lute and guitar, she has given workshops and recitals in the United
States and England and performed on NET and NPR. She is
currently serving a second term on the Executive Board of the
American String Teachers Association Guitar Division.

Clare Callahan contributes three exercises to develop fluency in moving from contracted to natural positions.
Each exercise deals respectively with moving from these positions while 1) changing strings. 2) using the same
strings, and 3) playing a five-note scale in a given position.
C H A N G I N G STRINGS
v b

Hi
4

_ *P

The familiar D Major chord is voiced first with the third on top, then the root. Physically this means the
left hand fingers expand from a contracted position with the first and second fingers on the second fret to a
natural position with the first finger only on the second fret and the other fingers on successive frets.
The first finger of the left hand stays touching " a * " while "giving" elastically to allow the other fingers to
shape the new position and put it on the fingerboard. A slight rotation occurs in the left wrist and forearm to
allow the movement to be made with a graceful economy of motion.
The right hand fingers dampen the strings of the new position before striking so that the articulation between
chords is clear.
S A M E STRINGS

'm

n*-

a\>I

S P

TE

A seventh chord descends to another seventh chord with an unresolved 4-3 suspension. Physically the fourth
finger stays touching " e 3 " while "giving" elastically to allow the other fingers to expand the same seventh chord
shape from three frets to four and put it on the fingerboard. The left wrist and forearm are essentially still during
this motion (but not frozen). They move sympathetically if asked to do so.
Again the right hand fingers dampen the strings of the new position before striking so that the articulation
between chords is clear.
SINGLE FINGER

A five-note scale moves through an A Major chord. Physically the first and third fingers of the left hand
remain fixed as pedals. The fourth finger of the left hand moves in and out of a contracted position through
scalar motion. The left hand remains essentially still during this exercise allowing the second and fourth fingers
to find their positions.
The scale passage may also be played with slurs.

DAVID GRIMES
Extensive performances throughout the United States and
Mexico. A highly respected teacher and coach, Mr. Grimes has either
taught or been asked to teach at virtually every major college and
university in Southern California. He now concentrates his
educational efforts at the California State University at Fullerton,
which has become one of the leading centers of guitar instruction in
the nation.

David Grimes submits that one of the most effective devices for increasing facility and precision in scale
passages is to practice the scales in a wide variety of rhythmic patterns. "This promotes closer attention and builds
coordination between the mind and the hands, as well as between the two hands. Scales with reiterated tones are
included here, since they are especially useful in developing mental agility." His comments and instructions
continue as follows:
Several of the following patterns will be confusing at first, and will tend to transpose into more familiar forms.
Pattern No. 9, for example, will show a tendency to degenerate into No. 5. This must be avoided by insisting upon
a distinct stress on the first note of each group.
When a pattern does not end with the tonic on a strong beat, the scale should be continued until it does finish
evenly. The repetition(s) will have the metric stress shifted to different scale degrees, which further enhances the
value in promoting flexibility.
The rhythmic formulas with unequal notes must always be played crisply: the benefits increase as the rhythms
are sharpened as:
,
J. 4 becomes J.. 4 and as J 44 becomes J. 44

rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr^

5 s a
E L 2722

^ 34

35

37

18

36

(9

42

44

45

J j j J j J J J .

fa^^
0

41

IT*

jy

"4

40

"1

49

4 jjraJ^ca

\\m^

i j ? ^ ^
50

51

a z ji

These patterns are clearly not exhaustive of all possibilities. They can be extended to include combinations of
forms listed here, as well as groupings containing more than four notes.
The principles embodied here are of great value in solving a large number of technical problems. R h y t t a i c
alterations are extremely useful when applied to other exercises (arpeggios, ligados) or to passages from the eer.en:
repertoire.
E L 2722

PETER SEGAL
Has performed extensively, developing the guitar as a solo
instrument and as a chamber instrument through partnerships that
have included string quartet, harpsichord, marimba, actor, and flute.
When not performing, Mr. Segal teaches at Temple University in
Philadelphia and at the Philadelphia College For The Performing
Arts.

Peter Segal contributes the following: No amount of exercise practicing is helpful unless the guitarist works
alertly. If he or she continues practicing the same exercises for a period of months or years, a kind of aural
fatigue becomes a likely affliction. It is quite easy to practice exercises from a physical standpoint, i.e., how the
fingers should move, what they should feel, etc. Though this is important, the greatest benefit comes from
practicing with the ears. Learn to listen 1) objectively (Am I hearing only what I want to hear, or what I'm
really playing?); 2) attentively (Are my ears on the periphery of consciousness or am I truly absorbing what I
hear?); and 3) critically (Am I listening passively or am I evaluating what I hear?).
Simplified, I suggest we should continally find fresh exercises and variations of exercises to avoid aural
lethargy. One example I find particularly useful follows. It is a scale exercise which differs from the popular
Segovia scales in that it is short and is meant to focus on lightness. The guitarist should practice rhythmically,
listening for the final note as though the entire scales were an ornament to the final note. After achieving this,
try to extend the lightness and feeling of direction over a longer period. Again, the extended scale should be played
as one unit, with one climax that final note.
(D_@
1 1
T?

^:irrrrtri^ir^ciriLjLr^iJ.^i
As a variant to the above, play the following.

-Etr

Rhythmic accentuation is ever-important. Practice subtle differences in pulse, such as the following:

Also, use the above patterns on scales using strings


both free and rest strokes.

anc

@ As a l w a Y s > practice with

RONALD

PURCELL

Professor of Music at California State University, Northridge. Ron


Pureed is acting president of the American Guitar Society and has
been president of the Guitar Foundation of America since it was
founded in 1973. He is a frequent lecturer, participant, performer,
and organizer of national and international workshops, conventions,
and meetings concerning the classic guitar, and has received several
outstanding achievement awards.

Ronald Purcell states, "With the vast wealth of technical exercises available to us it is sometimes very difficult to
isolate those which teachers, students, and professional guitarists need. The careful selection of technical exercises
and pieces form the basis upon which the guitarist develops criteria as to consistency, variety, endurance,
flexibility, stability, security and most of all concentration to attain a goal - the goal of producing music."
Professor Purcell contributes 1) an outline describing those basic areas which are the foundation of developing
technique, 2) a five-step procedure for learning new repertoire, and 3) a comment on maintaining old repertoire. He
concludes with instructions on the use of this information.

FUNDAMENTAL TECHNICAL STUDIES


1. Scales diatonic major and minor, chromatic and diminished.
a. scales in 3rds, 6ths, 8ves and lOths.
Examples: Opus 1 by Mauro Giuliani.
Volumes 2 and 3 of Escuela Razonada De La Guitarra by Emilio Pujol.
b. ligado (slur) studies - ascending and descending.
Examples: Segovia Slur Studies.
The Dionisio Aguado Guitar Method.
Volumes 2 and 3 of Escuela Razonada De La Guitarra by Emilio Pujol.
c. performance of the above with rhythmic variations.
2. Arpeggios - basic and complicated patterns performed in both fixed and moving positions of the left hand
(include full and half barrs).
Examples: Op. 1, Opus 83, and Opus 46 by Mauro Giuliani.
3. Exercises which challenge the fingers of both hands.
Example: Volumes 3 and 4 of Escuela Razonada De La Guitarra by Emilio Pujol.

L E A R N I N G NEW R E P E R T O I R E
I. Read through the music slowly without the guitar.
a. Conduct and sing, hum or handclap rhythm (sometimes referred to as eurythmics).
b. Analyze form and content.
c. Carefully check all fingering.

42

2. Read through the music slowly on the guitar.


a. Review fingering again.
b. Isolate difficulties and practice.
3. Again, read through slowly. Check dynamics.
4. Memorize. Review form.
5. Perform at tempo from memory.
a. Review dynamics and style of work.
b. Finalize fingering.

MAINTAINING LEARNED REPERTOIRE


Maintaining learned repertoire is essentially the same as learning new repertoire (above), but less time is required
except in those areas where changes have been made. It is important to continually read through the music slowly
since unconscious changes do occur over a period of time.
There are numerous ways to use the above information. For example, any of the old or new repertoire can
overlap into "Fundamental Technical Studies" by extracting and making a study of sections which need attention.
In some instances a whole piece could be used as a study, as in the case of a Villa-Lobos etude. In "Learning New
Repertoire," the instructions to read the music without the guitar is an important concept. Eurythmics gives a
musically secure foundation upon which to learn the composition. Also, a great deal of time is saved by the
rehearsal of difficult rhythms, the discovery of poor fingering, etc.. The early recognition and reconciliation of
these difficult or awkward areas by this method will speed up the learning process, and will eliminate the later
"undoing" of wrongly learned material.
In "Maintaining Learned Material" I am assuming the pieces were learned correctly. If there are less than ten
peices in the repertoire each piece can be covered sufficiently in a week's time using the described procedure. If
there are more than ten pieces, the student must pace himself carefully during that period, giving the greatest
attention to the less secure portions of each piece. Repertoire is an investment in time (potentially, money in the
bank), and will yield a return in artistic recognition, musical satisfaction and eventually support for the profession
when the time for performance arrives.
Additionally, I advise my students to spend at least 1 0 - 2 0 minutes each day reading new material. Remember,
your reading level should be somewhat near your technical ability.
For the teacher who is preparing a student for a new study or piece and uses this outline or a variation of it,
ask yourself the following questions:
1. Does this work logically follow what the student has learned?
2. Is the student ready for this study or piece?
3. Why am I giving the student this study or piece?
The degree to which the teacher is prepared to answer these questions demonstrates the degree of responsibility to
his/her students. That is the ultimate basis of any teacher's reputation.

CHRISTOPHER
BERG
Graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Guitar studies
with Aaron Shearer. First guitarist to receive the Master of Music
degree from Peabody. First guitarist to win the MTNA National
Guitar Competition (1977). Concerts and concerto appearances
throughout the United States. Currently is Assistant Professor of
Music at the University of South Carolina.

Christopher Berg states that although many guitarists are aware of the necessity of moving smoothly and
accurately from one string to another, rafely has string crossing been the sole focus of a technical exercise. He
points out that a common symptom of faulty string crossing is the inability to play scales which cross the strings
as rapidly as one can play notes on a single string. To help deal with this problem. Mr. Berg contributes the
following comments and exercises:
Assuming one has a comfortable right hand position on any given string, try to keep this same position for
each string. This is accomplished by the basic technique of moving the forearm from the elbow. Strive to maintain
the same wrist and fingerjoint relationship as when playing on a single string. The exercises below should be
studied with both free stroke and rest stroke.
PRELIMINARY EXERCISES
On a single string practice the right hand patterns of i-m. m-a, i-m-a, a-m-i, i-m-a-m, i-a-m-a, and a-i-m-i.
The cultivation of these patterns cover every possible string crossing situation. (Although other right hand patterns
can be devised, practicing them would be superfluous. For example, the finger movements for m-a-i are the same
as for i-m-a. The difference is simply starting the pattern with a different finger.)
*
4

= 4 =
f

t
a
m
m

a
i

a
i

a
m
a

m
m
m

t
m
t

a
a
m
m

m
a
m
m
m
a

i
m
a
i
i
i

m
a
i

m
m
m

m
m

a
a

i
m
a

Use rhythm patterns of triplets and sixteenth notes. This will require Dlaying the triplets with the right hand
patterns that use an even number of strokes (i-m, m-a, i-m-a-m, i-a-m-a, and a-i-m-i), and will require playing the
sixteenth notes with right hand patterns that use an odd number of strokes (i-m-a and a-m-i). Note that the
accent should shift from finger to finger.

| :m *m *m
i
m i
m i
m i
m
ma
m a
ma
ma
i
ma
mi
ma
m
i
a m a i a m a
a i m i a i m i a

t
m i
m
m a
ma
i
m a m
i
a
m a
l m i

CROSSING STRINGS
Now practice crossing all six strings ascending and descending with the patterns studied above. It may be
helpful to begin practice with i-m and then proceed with the more difficult patterns. Think of crossing as you
play the last note on a string. Remember to make a definite movement from the elbow.
EL 2722

3333
I
m
m a
i
m
i
a
a i
a m
m
i

a m
m a
m i
t
a

m
a
t
t
m
t
t
a

ma
m
m
m
a
m
a

a
m
m

Descend & Repeat-

m
a
i

To relieve the tedium of open strings and to practice left hand endurance, finge r chords employing the full
bar and ascend by position.
BI

^
XT

Ascend to IX

O-

TRANSVERSE SCALES
When the above can be done as a matter of habit, practice transverse scales (scales that move across the strings)
in groups of three and four notes with the above right hand patterns. It is preferable to begin with scales that leave
the left hand in one position, (as in example below) but longer scales may be utilized if desired. Make certain
that the groups of 3 or 4 are clearly discernible.

Remember! Practice slowly and carefully to allow the various techniques involved to consolidate. How these
exercises are studied is of more importance than what is being studied.

CHRISTOPHER
AMELOTTE
Guitar soloist, teacher, and co-author of the Christopher Parkening
Guitar Method. A graduate of the prestigious University Of Southern
California, Mr. Amelotte holds the first degree in classical guitar
performance awarded in that school's history. He has traveled
extensively throughout the United States as soloist and as
representative for the guitar importer Antigua Casa Sherry-Brener of
Chicago. Currently Mr. Amelotte resides in San Diego, California
where he is active as owner of the International Guitar Shoppe.

Christopher Amelotte s close association with many famous guitarists has given him keen insights into numerous
aspects of guitar performance. For this text he contributes some valuable thoughts on the problem of nervousness.
This section should not be studied only as performance-time draws near, but should become a part of regular
practice habit and attitude. Mr. Amelotte states:

There is a common visitor in the life of most guitarists shortly before performance time. This visitor is hardly
welcome one, as it seems his one goal is their distinction. I speak, of course, of nervousness. My advice is this: BE
P R E P A R E D F O R HIS A R R I V A L ! Unfortunately, merely hoping for the absence of nervousness does not provide
an adequate defense. Also, some guitarists feel that being nervous is a flaw in their character and are therefore
reluctant to recognize their condition. If you are a victim of nervousness (and most guitarists are) then deal with i t
The following suggestions have been very helpful to me and my students:

LONG TERM PREPARATION


L PRACTICE SECURELY
A . Eliminate excessive motion. Maintain close proximity of both hands to the strings.
B. Work out every detail of the music. Leave nothing to the imagination.
C. If you are making mistakes in practice expect to make them when performing. Don't be surprised.

II. L E A R N TO DROP T H E RIGHT H A N D


Nerves tend to contract the hand, giving one the illusion that the strings have been relocated about
mA
further than where they are supposed to be. If you are used to carefully lowering the fingers to the u . u p i
could be disastrous. However, if you let the weight of the right hand "drop" the fingers to the 1 1 i Jftr
location of the strings will be more sure.

III. INDUCE P R E S S U R E
A. Simulate the physical conditions of performing. What do you feel like when you are nervous? D o
shoulders tighten? Then tighten your shoulders. Does your breathing become shallow? Simulate that
Do your fingers become stiff? Make your hands tense. Now, what do you do to overcome these
Relax your shoulders. Breathe deeply. Etc., etc.
E L 2722

B. Simulate environmental performance conditions as much as possible. This includes walking on and off stage,
acknowledgement of the audience, quiet surroundings, even a desk lamp in a dark room if you are going to be
performing in a spotlight.
C. Record your simulated performances. This will both increase pressure as well as provide you with an
indication as to how you sound to the ears of the listeners.
D. Test your performance on friends and relatives. The shock of performance pressure can be cushioned or
eliminated by conditioning yourself through pressure-induced practice performances.

IV. PIECE SELECTION


A. Bo a realist. Do not attempt to perform pieces that are above your performance ability. (Understand the
difference between technical ability - what you can play in the practice room and performance ability
what you can play under pressure.)
B. If you are playing several works, begin with a secure piece, particularly with regards to the right hand. Be
cautious about beginning the program with a new piece. Most performers open their programs with a piece
that they have played for some length of time.

SHORT TERM PREPARATION


I. R E L A X
Place yourself in a relaxed state of mind. Naturally tranquilize yourself to the point of yawning. Caution: Avoid
stimulants, as they increase nervousness, and depressants, as they tend to dull the senses.

II. E S T A B L I S H R E F E R E N C E
A. Have the grooves of the left-hand fingers established before beginning.
B. Get the feel of the right hand on the strings. Drop the right hand; do not lower it. Put the weight of the hand
into the strings.

III. M A I N T A I N C O N C E N T R A T I O N
A . Avoid mental excursions. Confine all mental activity to the music you are playing.
B. Don't let mistakes derail your performance. Worrying or getting angry about an error can only cause more to
happen.
The above mentioned, by itself, is not a panacea. It must be accompanied with practical application in the form
of exposure. Play as often as possible. There is a direct correlation between frequency of exposure and performance
comfort.
Nervousness is real but it can be encountered and conquered. Preparation, security and experience breeds
confidence. And it is through confidence that nervousness is dispelled, allowing us to represent our true ability on
the guitar.

RONALD
SHERROD
Guitar soloist, teacher, and author. Music degrees from UCLA
and California State University, San Diego. Also, guitar studies at the
San Francisco Conservatory of Music and in Europe. Doctoral studies
at the University Of Arizona, Tucson. Currently on the faculty of
Grossmont College, San Diego, California.

I offer two groups of exercises to develop fundamental technique. The first is primarily for the left hand,
the second primarily for the right, but both are valuable for legato playing and coordination between the hands.
FOR THE LEFT HAND
Many guitarists have difficulty in placing the left hand fingers exactly on the tips. This causes problems if
adjacent strings are intended to sound simultaneously. The following exercises emphasize basic hand position and
secure finger placement, and insure that only the tip of each finger is used.
Strings

& (2)
A

m
Strings

o|

-1 -A

0
0
1 i

oil

oF"o
m

nl

'i 3

mm
v-

-= ai- m

10

(|)&(3)

11 p g 7p t JT IT

T 7 T

'[it r

1
2

40
1 -444
1

e-

0
#

02

RH R i4 4 = r JLJLi ='
ol

-.a

a 1UJF

oj

-n

Strings (|)

&

1 1 , .

fe A f l
Strings

&

"I

HP

oj

nj

3r

o o]
7
IF

oIF

3r

oT

3-

k=i
0

3F-3

r ? ?

r
0

&

o&

3T

1 sL 1

o4

p->

^f^^P

A rhythmic variant of the above exercises is as follows:

^^
IF

Strings

"H

-mmm

1 J; si:

; r J r J:
oL

Q|

of

-1

FOR THE RIGHT HAND


Playing the E scale in thirds, using only the third and fourth strings, allows many right hand formulas to
be practiced while striving to move smoothly along the fingerboard.
First, practice the following: (Notice that the fingering is different when the scale is descending.)

4'A til: J i U

-3

3-

T
3

=8

Then, add the open second and open sixth strings. (The left hand always plays the scale as practiced above.)

m.

Now apply some right hand formulas.


vr

p
h

r=t-.

-0

IL

33

* *A

2U

J-

^4

R M

4 r m
E L 2722

Continue this left hand pattern with other right hand combinations.