We asked veteran songwriter, recording artist, and guitar maestro, Matthieu Brandt to offer up the skinny on how you can start writing better songs now. Songs Start in Silence Writers are observers. The result of that creative reflection is their song. Find a spot in your life — a location, a day or time during the week — where there is silence.
How to Write for Classical Guitar Saturday, 12 May Preface Introduction The guitar often finds itself on the periphery of the modern classical music scene, and the repertoire for the instrument often reflects this. It is possible that, in general, most composers tend to shy away from writing for guitar as they are unfamiliar with the limitations of the instrument, and the rewards of writing an opera or a string quartet are much greater.
For this project I wanted to outline the possibilities for guitar writing and explain the mechanics of guitar music in such a way as someone who was completely unfamiliar with the guitar would be able to understand. To do this, I commissioned two composers at Trinity Laban Conservatiore of Music and Dance, Mike MacLennan and Declan Kolakowski, who had not written for guitar before, in a hope that their pieces would allow me to look through their eyes, and see my instrument as if I had never seen it before.
It was important to me that they had not written for guitar before not only as I needed to see how someone with no knowledge of how to write a classical song on guitar guitar would approach writing for it, but also because historically the most unique and interesting music for the guitar was written by people who were unfamiliar with the instrument.
This is possibly because they were not allowing worries about playability limit the flow of their musical imagination, as Britten has said about the writing process for Nocturnal. This I think is unfortunately common, and in some modern guitar music, you can almost guess which pieces the composer was listen to while conceiving their own piece.
It is my hope that this manual, and the music created in its cause, will inspire other composers to write for the guitar, as the guitar will only be able to rise in stature in the classical music scene if it has a repertoire comparable to other solo instruments.
Julian Bream wrote a similar article inand it is safe to say that no one in the late twentieth century inspired more great composers to write for the instrument than he did.
My goal was that they would give a flavour of what the kind of guitar music I enjoy sounds like, but I was quick to stress that I was looking to avoid the kind of writing where these pieces would form a kind of scaffold on which the composers could place their ideas.
I wanted them both to feel free to write whatever they liked as I wanted pieces that were personal to them and in their own style, and it would be my job to assess the workability of those ideas, rather than they play it safe. Nonetheless, I was careful to pick pieces that I not only liked, but thought were well written for the instrument.
That list was as follows: Leo Brouwer is arguably one the best living classical guitar composers and possibly the only one to find the right balance of perfectly written music in a technical sense, while still being able to maintain a sense of interest and innovation.
This is because he is both a trained guitarist and a trained composer, a relative rarity. The sheer range of advanced techniques utilised in the music meant that I felt it would be a good idea to make its presence known to show some of the guitars other capabilities.
In particular, the Bach lute works which are excellent representations of the possibilities for counterpoint on the guitar, and the Villa-Lobos Etudes, which are probably the most exhaustive collection of studies written for the guitar, as they cover almost all possible techniques and ideas for the instrument.
About the Britten he mainly had questions about notation, such as the pieces unusual stave layout, and some of the more guitar specific notations for frets and right hand finger indications.
I told him he need not worry about these too much, as I would work them out in my own time. The main reason for playing the Brouwer was to show some of the tonal and percussive techniques on the guitar which if felt he may not be too familiar with. The first draft Declan sent me, Dances of A Very Cemetery Cockroach, was envisaged as a parody of nineteenth century dance suites, and contained a few issues with range and slides, but was generally playable.
Eventually this idea was scrapped as Declan felt that he would be unable to properly do it justice in the short time of the piece. The second draft, Marsyas Lies, was altogether a more complete work, and was inspired by the Greek myth of Marsyas, a flute player who loses his flute and is condemned to the underworld after losing a bet with Apollo.
Thus uncertainty forms a key component of the pieces harmony and structure. Declan also told me that he tried to write some sections of the pieces as if he was writing for a flute, to keep the connection.
Technically, asides for two problematic bars at fifty-five and fifty-six, there was very little that I had to make changes to, and even then those were quite minor and will be gone into in detail later. In those problematic bars, the ascending thirds where to fast to cleanly articulate, so I substituted them with a tremolando slide, to give a similar effect of approaching climax.
I will elaborate on the exact nature of the technical issues and my solutions for them in detail later on. Most of the guitar music that he had heard was littered with audible slides in many places, and he wondered was this something that was inherent and unavoidable in guitar playing.
I explained to him that, in most cases, sliding is actively avoided on the guitar as it can be noisy, and if it is a specific effect that he desires it should be notated in the score.
Unfortunately the pressures of time meant that I was unable to play for him, but I gave him the same list of pieces that I gave to Declan, and I outlined some of his concerns and issues that had come up, such as the number of workable voices in harmonic playing and issues with range and spanning.
I also had to explain to Mike about the notation of guitar music, as he had expected it to be across two staves. He commented to me that the look of guitar music on one stave is to him very crowded.
In this vain he wondered also if repeated chords are notated literally, as in a series of clumps of notes. I explained that this is usually the case, however some composers may use a type of shorthand, such as rhythm patterns with the chord just notated once, if they so wish.
The first draft that Mike sent to me was generally quite playable; however there were some problems with the playability of the harmonic chords Ex.
This produces a similar effect, while also allowing me to add vibrato to the note. For the final chord, Mike thought it best to play the whole chord up the octave, and use harmonics for the A and G while using a closed note for the E-flat in the same way.
This piece proved to be difficult musically as there were no dynamics marked in the score. I made a decision early on to let the notes ring across one another as much as possible, while still recognising the rests.
This had the effect of thickening the texture, while also making the harmony clearer. The slur from an A to an E in bar forty-six stretched the limits of my hand, but slurs of this size can have an interesting character so I decided to leave it in and endeavour to play it correctly.
Structurally, Mike told me that the piece came about when he noticed that most modern atonal music also had rather abstract and disjointed rhythms. Thus the rhythms from bars one to twenty-five are identical to those found in bars twenty-six to fifty.Aug 02, · How to Play Classical Guitar.
Three Parts: Learning Simple Chords and Scales Learning Guitar Anatomy Positioning Your Body Community Q&A Classical guitar is a very rigid artform.
There are many stipulations and agreements within the guitar community about how to play the instrument in 92%(24). This easy-to-use guide will show you how to write a song, from finding a great title to writing your melody.
Hands-on songwriting exercises will jump start your creativity, . I am starting to learn about music theory and today it hit me how do classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven are able to write music for instruments they don't play, such as (for example purpose) timpani or trumpet.
back to classical guitar tablature page. The Guide To Tab Notation below, HOW TO READ AND WRITE TAB Written by Howard Wright [email protected] Last update: 18th April CONTENTS TAB or tablature is a method of writing down music played on guitar or bass.
Instead of using symbols like in standard musical notation, it uses. Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Debussy, Mahler, Ravel, Stravinsky all of the great composers could read, write, and think in music notation. There are many resources for learning to read music out there, and a quick google search should point you in the right direction.
With so much amazing classical guitar music to choose from, how do you decide which pieces are absolutely essential to learn to play? Here, we’ll share our top picks for classical guitar students to study and play. To study the classical guitar is a great and noble pursuit. Bringing back music.