The Etudes Project continues with a new set of melodic studies.
“Songs Without Words” is a set of 12 original solo guitar pieces at an advanced beginner level written for both enjoyment and skill development.
You can learn something from pretty much any song or piece of music, but there’s a lot to gain from working on material that was written with playability in mind. Music meant to challenge the player but also to be both attainable and enjoyable to play.
There’s a long tradition of this sort of thing in classical music. Bach’s “Notebook for Anna Magdalena” is a standard for piano students. I guarantee that the “Minuet in G” is familiar even if you’ve never taken piano lessons. The Hungarian composer Bela Bartok wrote six sets of “Mikrokosmos”, children’s piano collections that are not at all childish in sound or character.
In the classical guitar world, many of the major composers wrote Etudes or “studies”.
Many of these pieces are now standards of the repertoire. I have played some of this music for nearly 40 years as I write this, and I still find it both enjoyable and challenging. My favorites include the music of the 19th century Spanish composer/virtuoso (and follower of Napoleon) Fernando Sor, the Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos, who liked to write with the TV on and the kids running around the house, and the contemporary Cuban guitarist/composer Leo Brouwer. It’s wonderful music and fun to play, and much of it is highly challenging.
With these 12 Preludes, I strove to write music that’s engaging to both the fingers and the ears. Accessible to the strummer wanting to learn fingerstyle or the electric player exploring acoustic, and musical enough to be enjoyable for anyone to listen to. In this way they bring another dimension to practicing: not a finger exercise and not a familiar song, but with elements of both.
Available at Amazon or any book retailer. All 12 solos are are available for purchase and download individually or as a collection at MusicNotes.com via this link.
Watch all 12 in a YouTube playlist!