A bit of guitar geekness this month boys & girls . . .
One of my favorite guitarists, Charlie Hunter (see https://roymusicusa.com/2014/08/22/bing-bing-bing-bing-the-awesome-guitar-of-charlie-hunter/) said that the left hand of the guitarist is the “conception” hand but the right was the “execution” hand. As someone who started out playing guitar primarily with a pick, I spent most of my beginner years concentrating on what my left hand was doing. As I became interested in acoustic blues and folk via artists like Jorma Kaukonen (https://roymusicusa.com/2019/11/29/embryonic-journey-three-guitar-instrumentals-by-jorma-kaukonen/), I began to get into fingerpicking guitar styles and gradually developed some facility with my right hand. The music I’ve been working on lately will feature fingerstyle guitar prominently so I’ve been working on my right hand technique. That brings me to the videos below.
Mauro Giuliani (July 27, 1781 – May 8, 1829) was an Italian guitarist, cellist, singer, and composer and was a leading guitar virtuoso of the early 19th century. He hung out with the likes of Rossini and Beethoven and in his heyday in Vienna, his performances made him the darling of that city. His concert tours took him all over Europe where he was acclaimed for his virtuosity. He was a musical celebrity, right up there with the best of the many musicians who were active in the Austrian capital city at the beginning of the 19th century. His guitar pieces were published by the top Viennese music publishers to wide acclaimed. He also published works that were meant as study pieces, among them: 120 Right Hand Studies.
The studies are deceptively simple, a series of two measure “loops” that alternate between a C major chord and a G7, a simple I-V progression. But they quickly get your right hand fingers to move in patterns that will be unfamiliar and though they are simple, they are always musical. As I have worked through them, I have found myself entering an almost meditative state of mind as I play the two chord passages over and over, focusing my attention on the little details of my right hand technique. An added bonus of the videos below is that they have the studies in guitar tablature alongside the standard musical notation. Guitarist are notorious at being terrible at reading music (if being able to read music at all) so the tablature should make these studies available to guitarists of all skills.
Guitar Method:120 Right Hand Studies (Mauro Giuliani)
I consider myself an eternal student of music in general and the guitar in particular. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one too so I think you can see like I do the total coolness of something like this: it’s easy to grasp yet opens up a multitude of ways to become better at our craft.