There is something awesome about fingerstyle guitar. For me, the power and beauty of this style lies in the fact that it is largely a solo-guitar genre. Many fingerstyle pieces are designed to be played by one guitarist only.
Although it is often referred to as ‘Classical Guitar’, I think this name sells it short and connotes a style that is old and boring. In reality, classical guitar is simply about playing pieces of music, by yourself, using your fingers. There’s nothing boring about that!
Why Fingerstyle Guitar Is Underrated
There is something that is just cool about being able to pick up the guitar and play a piece of music from start to finish, regardless of it’s difficulty. As guitarists, we often learn many things that aren’t designed to be played in this way. When we learn scales, riffs, lead-guitar solos and chord progressions, we’re usually learning something that was designed to be played in the context of a band, or as the accompaniment for a singer etc. There’s nothing wrong with this. These things are often very interesting, fun and sound great even when played by themselves. But there is something rewarding and satisfying about playing a piece of music that exists perfectly as it is, without the need for any other instruments or supporting parts.
The Thing About Classical Music
I mentioned that referring to ‘fingerstyle guitar’ as ‘classical guitar’ can sell it short, because of the old connotations it evokes, but label aside, the tradition of classical guitar is actually worth looking into.
For hundreds of years, guitar was a very simple instrument. Not simple to play, but simple in style. There weren’t effects pedals, distortion, shredding, tapping and all the other variations and styles that are around today. A lot of solo-guitar music was written, because that’s what guitar was for. What this means is that there are literally hundreds of years of music that already exists for solo guitar. How cool is that?
A Book Of 15 Fingerstyle Guitar Pieces
In this post, we’re going to have a look at two fingerstyle pieces, written for solo-guitar. Both pieces are from the book ‘Fingerstyle Guitar – 15 Pieces’. The book contains seven famous pieces and eight originals. The pieces are aimed at beginners, but they’re not super easy. If you’ve been playing guitar for a while, you will most likely come across a few challenges, especially towards the end of the book. If you’re completely new to fingerstyle guitar, or are just starting out, you might find the pieces a bit too challenging. I would recommend starting with the Giuliani exercises.
The music in the book is written in both tablature and standard notation and comes with recordings for each song. We’re going to look at two of the pieces from the book. One is an original called ‘Safe And Sound’. The other is a piece by Dionisio Aguado called Aguado’s Study In A Minor.