What is the Etudes Project? What exactly is an “Eh-tude”?
In classical music, an “Etude” is a piece written for students to practice a particular musical or instrumental technique; it’s just French for “Study”. But Etudes are also meant to be “real” music, to be performed on a stage and not just a practice room.
I wrote this set of five solo guitar pieces over the first few months of 2020 partly in the course of further developing my own picking technique. I had resumed practicing classical guitar regularly for the first time since I was a graduate student almost 30 years ago, and was (and still am) deeply engaged in resolving longtime challenges in my picking hand.
Each piece has its own character, but what they all have in common is that each uses coordinated thumb-finger patterns to bring out melody across different strings. In other words, a single figure might contain both melody and accompaniment, so the musical challenge is to be able to make that easily clear to the listener.
The Etudes Project
These Etudes are not for beginners, and intermediate players will find that there’s a lot to dig into. But they do stay mostly in the open position, and the illustrated sheet music book also includes tab.
What about the “Project” part, you ask?
I’m looking to select a handful of players and students to coach through these pieces, and in return asking for performances on video both to gauge progress and ultimately to share when the performance is ready. You don’t have to commit to all five. I’m writing this on January 28, 2021, and will be accepting inquires through the month of February 2021. I will provide a pdf of the music and a signed copy of the illustrated music/tab book to all selected participants. Email me if you’d like to participate!