SCHERTLER from Switzerland with Passion

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bl
Luthiery
Achille De Lorenzi
Technique
SCHERTLER
from
Switzerland
with Passion
AGM SARZANA
The Meeting and
the Artists
AGM SARZANA
Instruments Show
Lasse Johansson
Eric Lugosch
Bruskers
LUCA PEDRONI
Out of Sign
1
TEST: Schertler Classic CP - Schertler David
Deluxe
CD 280 SCE Nat - DPA 4099 GTR - Samson Studio GT
chitarra
acustica-3Fender
twothousandandeleven
ct
contents
A Six Strings Jail
I was invited to play last Friday
at the District Prison of Varese.
Thanks to the passion and enthusiasm of Michele Erpoli, some
of the prisoners were already doing an acoustic guitar course. At
the end of this course, Michele
expressed his desire to organise
a concert/workshop to get them
even more engrossed and spur
them on in a passion that would
offer them certain support and
help in their current circumstances.
As normally happens in such
cases, I received an e-mail from
Michele asking for my help. Even
though he didn’t know me at all, he
had placed his trust in Fingerpicking.net with the hope of having
positive feedback. I accepted as
soon as I received the message,
sure that this was an interesting
project. Moreover, I was eager to
live such an intense experience.
The show was planned to last two
and a half hours as this was the
amount of time that the prisoners were conceded. So, in order
to avoid palming the poor unfortunates off with a ‘lethal’ dose
of fingerpicking, I asked Giorgio
Cordini to come along with me.
My idea was that he could give a
talk about his experience with De
André and prepare a second act
to the show dedicated to singing
accompanied by the guitar.
The concert was planned to
start at two o’clock but at half
past one we were both in a café
trying to agree on the programme
for the show. Both Giorgio and I
were more than a little anxious,
not knowing exactly what we
could expect or what was going to be the response to such a
‘difficult’ kind of music. We were
cheered up by the fact that the
course had only been attended by seven people and so we
thought we could expect something that was quite informal and
intimate, for the ‘experts’ or ‘passionate fans’ in the field.
After going through the various
security checks, we entered the
room where the amps had already been set up and our public
awaited us. There were fifty prisoners, several guards and some
social workers all sitting in their
seats ready for us. The idea of
an intimate gathering vanished
and we found ourselves before a
crowded audience. I was meant
to go first and explain to them
what fingerpicking guitar was…
I will only tell you the ending
– a huge chorus singing “Il Gorilla” (brave intuition by Giorgio)
and “Bocca di Rosa”. Everyone
applauded and demanded an
encore but the time was what it
was and we couldn’t transgress.
When the guards asked everyone
to leave the room, neither Giorgio
nor I could forget the long queue
that formed as each and every
one of them wanted to shake us
by the hand and thank us personally before leaving – the image is
printed on our eyes and hearts.
I’d like to end with just a couple
of thoughts. The first is that for
Giorgio and me it was certainly
one of the most moving concerts
with the most attentive, curious
and appreciative public. They
were silent but ready to burst into
rounds of applause at the end of
every piece. The second is that
perhaps work of this kind should
be a sort of obligation in certain
situations. Music still manages
to create enthusiasm and bring
the very best out of every human
being. Who knows, maybe next
month our magazine will have
fifty new readers.
Editorial
Sarzana, The Lake of Orta, Ferentino, Franciacorta... by Andrea Carpi Reno Brandoni
pag. 3
News
Un paese a sei corde 2011
pag. 6
Ferentino Acustica 2011 pag. 8
Blog
The Evolution of Internet by Mario Giovannini
pag. 10
The Guitar and the Web by Daniele Bazzaini
pag. 11
Guitar and the Internet? by Beppe Gambettapag. 12
Places of Music by Luca Franciosopag. 13
Didactics for Dummies? - 2 by Giovanni Pelosi
pag. 14
Arranging and Revisiting a Song - 2 by Bruskers pag. 17
My Videos by Franco Morone
pag. 18
How is a luthier ‘born’ by Aldo Illottapag. 19
Reviewspag. 20
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editorial
Sarzana, The Lake of Orta,
Ferentino, Franciacorta…
It seems only yesterday
that we were on our way
back from the great binge of
guitar music at the Acoustic
Guitar Meeting in Sarzana,
which we’ve dedicated two
full articles to in this issue.
And yet here we are again
with new and exciting dates.
Artists
Luca Pedroni by Mario Giovannini
pag. 26
Acoustic Night 11 by Germano Dantone pag. 30
AGM Sarzana 2011 An Italian Miracle by Andrea Carpipag. 32
Instruments
AGM Sarzana 2011: the Exposition by Mario Giovanninipag. 38
Acoustic Guitar Schertler Classic CP by Mario Giovanninipag. 42
Amplifier for Acoustic Guitar Schertler David Deluxe by Mario Giovanninipag. 44
Acoustic Guitar Fender CD 280 SCE NAT by Mario Giovanninipag. 46
Achille De Lorenzi by Alberto Ziliotto
pag. 48
Condenser Microphone DPA 4099 GTR by Daniele Bazzani pag. 50
Samson Studio GT by Daniele Bazzanipag. 52
IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3.5 by Mario Giovanninipag. 54
Gas Addictionpag. 56
Technique
A Spanish Tinge in New Orleans by Lasse Johanssonpag. 58
St. Thomas by Erich Lugoshpag. 63
Fingerstyle Rock by Stefano Barbati
pag. 66
Exercises for the right hand by Eugenio Polacchinipag. 74
www.chitarra-acustica.net
Editor
Andrea Carpi
[email protected]
Layout
Outline s.a.s. di Matteo Dittadi & C.
Multimedia Coordination
Mario Giovannini
Publisher
Fingerpicking.net
Via Prati, 1/10
40057 Granarolo dell’Emilia (BO)
[email protected]
www.fingerpicking.net
Chitarra Acustica è una pubblicazione mensile
Registrazione del Tribunale di Bologna
n. 8151 del 07.12.2010
Management and Organization
Reno Brandoni
[email protected]
Manoscritti e foto originali, anche se non pubblicati, non si restituiscono. È vietata la riproduzione anche parziale di testi, documenti, disegni e fotografie.
Advertising
Tel. +39 349 0931913
[email protected]
The ‘Un Paese a Sei
Corde’ Festival is about to
start and a quick glance at
the programme is enough to be left wide-mouthed at the
extremely high level of musicians invited. Ferentino Acustica will be happening soon too, where amongst other
things we’ll have the opportunity of listening again to the
phenomenon Francesco Buzzurro. He has already caused
a stir when he performed at the AGM on the Palco della
Torre of the Firmafede Fortress, where Fingerpicking.net
organised its ‘open mic’ sessions. The new competition
organised by Acoustic Franciacorta has also finally been
announced. This year’s theme is ‘A Song by Fabrizio De
André for Acoustic Guitar’. Last year, we were highly satisfied with the outcome inspired by Beatles songs. Having
had the opportunity to appreciate arrangements by numerous participants, we now have reason to have high hopes
Two characteristic views of Ferentino (above) and
for equally positive proposals and invite you to send your
Lake D’Orta ... Man doesn’t live on guitars alone
MP3s to [email protected] in order to take part in the
selections.
We would also like to highlight in particular the magazine’s section dedicated to news and instruments testing.
We wanted to reserve this month’s cover-story to a couple
of instruments by the Swiss brand Schertler, the Classic
CP guitar and the new David Deluxe amplifier, with two
articles inside that look into them in depth, backed up by
demonstration videos with Dario Fornara and filmed by
Reno Brandoni. As always, our demonstration videos can
be seen in the section ‘Instruments’ at the address http://
fingerpicking.net/category/strumenti/.
Also in the instrument section of the magazine, there is
an interesting test of the small condenser microphone DPA
4099 GTR, carried out by Daniele Bazzani, and new items
out on the market that go with the new Cort acoustic guitars.
Obviously, you shouldn’t gloss over either the section
dedicated to instrumental technique with new scores by
Lasse Johansson and Eric Lugosch, as well as the new
columns by Stefano Barbati and the Bruskers.
Happy Reading!
Andrea Carpi
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Un Paese a Sei Corde 2011
Guitars by the Lake of Orta and that’s not all…
The cultural association ‘La Finestra sul Lago’ is
pleased to present the sixth edition of ‘Un Paese
a Sei Corde’. What seemed to be a risky gamble
until a few years ago is today a reality. Guitar music
has returned to offer high-quality moments over the
summer of 2011.
‘Un Paese a Sei Corde’ offers 19 free concerts
in 15 boroughs across Novara and Verbano Cusio
Ossola Provinces including some of the greatest
world performers of acoustic guitar and young buds
of great talent. The festival also offers the opportunity to visit some of the most evocative places in the
Novarese valley and Val d’Ossola highlands where
you can discover extraordinarily enchanting villages
and sites with breath-taking views.
From Lake Orta to Lake Maggiore, from the plains
to the mountains, 33 musicians offer the best of their
creation. Despite the difficulty of such an unfavourable moment, we feel able to affirm that a line-up of
the highest quality has been put together that we
can’t but be proud of. Over these six years, the contents of ‘Un Paese a Sei Corde’ have grown constantly and this festival has earned its place alongside the best European festivals. We look forward to
sharing unforgettable evenings of great music with
you.
Dario Fornara and Francesco Biraghi
can. A true spectacle.
– Saturday 2nd July, Briga Novarese, St. Thomas’s Church at 9 pm, free entrance: Pietro Nobile.
One of the leading teachers of Italian acoustic guitar, he is capable of creating a delicate and rare
atmosphere. The guitarist from Milan has just released a new Cd in which he has proved himself to
be at ease with modern techniques too.
– Saturday 9th July, Cressa, Cortile del Municipio (Town Hall’s courtyard) at 9 pm, free entrance: Rolando Biscuola. Winner of the 2008
New Sounds Of Acoustic Music in Sarzana – the
most prestigious acoustic guitar competition in Italy
– he’s one of the most interesting new talents with
stunning technique.
– Saturday 16th July, Gozzano, Cortile del Municipio (Town Hall’s courtyard) at 9 pm, free entrance:
Peppino D’Agostino. He is rightly one of those belonging to the small, restricted group of artists that
has made history for acoustic guitar over recent
years. He is a musician who you can’t do without
when studying this instrument thanks to his innovation and sensibility as well as his command of modern techniques. Luciano Pizzolante will open the
concert.
– Saturday 23rd July, Gravellona Toce, Public
Gardens at 9pm, free entrance: Paolo Giordano.
Freddie House, Master of Ceremonies for the 2002
Convention of the Association of Fingerstyle Guitarists, after having heard him play asked, shocked
and incredulous: «Is it legal to play like this in the
States?»
– Saturday 30th July, Casale Corte Cerro, Cortile
delle Scuole at 9 pm, free entrance: Paolo Bonfanti
& Martino Coppo. One of the few, true bluesmen
in Italy. He will be accompanied for the occasion by
the mandolin player from Red Wine. A human and
artistic brotherhood that has created great surprises
and offered unforgettable evenings over the years.
– Saturday 6th August, Stresa, Palazzina Liberty at 9 pm, free entrance: Peter Finger. Besides
being one of the greatest masters of the six-string
in Europe, Peter Finger has certainly been one of
the advocates of the rebirth of acoustic guitar over
the last few years thanks to his work of artistic production and distribution. Val Bonetti will open the
PROGRAMME
– Saturday 18th June, San Maurizio d’Opaglio,
Lagna Gardens at 9 pm, free entrance: Dario Fornara and Francesco Biraghi. This strange couple
made up of a classical guitarist and an acoustic guitarist have depopulated the web with their video that
has thousands of visitors. Here, they are going to
present a unique evening of its kind full of fusions
and mixes of styles. The programme foresees old
and new pieces, some evergreen and some standard, not to mention their forays into the classics
(Vivaldi) or the blues. It’s a musical flight through
360 degrees, twelve strings and four hands to show
that the confines between different ‘guitars’ are often only fragile labels.
– Friday 24th June, Orta San Giulio, Palazzo
Ubertini at 10.30 pm, free entrance: Gabor Lesko.
Guitarist, composer, arranger and much sought after sideman, this artist from Bergamo has been saving the best of his creativity for acoustic guitar for
many years now. His new album will be out in 2011.
– Saturday 25th June, Crevoladossola, ENEL
Green Power Centre at 6.30 pm, free entrance: Guitar Republic – made up of Pino Forastiere, Sergio Altamura and Stefano Barone. These three
original musical personalities are united in a very
striking project. The ‘Guitar Republic’ of Altamura,
Barone and Forastiere is based on experimentation and the need to go beyond the built-up limits of
acoustic guitar.
– Sunday 26th June, Pella, Piazza Motta at 9
pm, free entrance: Clive Carroll. John Renbourn
has wanted him on tour with him for years because
the British artist is a true force of nature on stage
that never ceases to enthral and enchant as few
concert.
– Wednesday 10th August, location still to be
confirmed at 9 pm, free entrance: Beppe Gambetta
& Tony McManus. It’s difficult to write only a few
lines about two talents of this calibre who are capable of giving a performance that’s unbeatable for
its energy and thrill. They form a team that’s lasted
for years and that’s given excellent fruits.
– Saturday 20th August, Madonna del Sasso,
Piazza dello Scalpellino at 9 pm, free entrance:
Volare in alto is an evening dedicated to young
promising talents who are coming out on the Italian
guitar scene. The performers are: Lorenzo Favero,
Nick Mantoan and Alberto Ziliotto.
– Saturday 27th August, Soriso, St. Marta’s
Church at 9 pm, free entrance: Chitarra Femminile
Singolare with Sara Collodel. A young, emerging
talent for classical guitar, she has been performing
in concerts for years as a soloist and in chamber
groups. In particular, she has dedicated herself to
the duo of voice and guitar with a repertoire of popular music and folk songs. Teresa Tringali will open
the concert.
– Sunday 28th August, Orta San Giulio, Fraz.
Corconio at 9 pm, free entrance: Luca Pedroni.
With two albums as a soloist and various work with
groups behind him, this guitarist from Milan is the
author of the signature tune from the talk show
L’ultima parola broadcast on Rai Due as well as
various musical pieces on the same channel.
– Friday 2nd September, Galliate, Cortile del
Castello at 9 pm, in co-production with the Galliate Master Guitar: Antonio Forcione. They called
him the ‘Jimi Hendrix’ of acoustic guitar not only because of his weakness for burning guitars… while
continuing to play them. He is considered to be one
of the most creative musicians as well as one of the
best performers on the European scene.
– Saturday 10th September, Nonio, Fraz. Brolo
at 9 pm, free entrance: Maurizio Geri Trio. Over
the twenty years of his career, Maurizio has come
a long way. Starting off with popular music from his
homeland Tuscany, he has travelled down barely
beaten tracks to end up at Manouche Jazz that he
performs with talent and passion.
– Sunday 11th September, Pogno, St. Catherine’s Church at 9 pm, free entrance: Edoardo Bignozzi & Sándor Szabó. Bignozzi is a guitarist with
Anabel Montesinos
a sober and elegant style as well as being a pianist
and composer who grew up in the jazz circuit of the
capital. In his home country, Szabó is considered
to be an authentic sacred monster who is the true
driving force behind the movement tied to acoustic
guitar that has continued growing over recent years.
They are an exceptional duo that creates intuitive
ways ahead by using 7, 8 and 16 stringed instruments as well as baritones and steel-strings without
keys.
– Saturday 17th September, Soriso, St. James’
Church at 9 pm, free entrance: Chitarra Femminile
Singolare with Anabel Montesinos. The winner of
the most recent edition of ‘Pittaluga’ in Alessandria,
she has been a great concert performer since the
age of twelve. Anabel Montesinos is one of the most
acclaimed female classical guitarists on the European scene. Silvia Faggion will open the concert.
– Sunday 18th September, Pella, St. Albino’s
Church at 9 pm, free entrance: Pierre Bensusan.
True artists such as this Parisian guitarist are able
to make the soul’s deepest chords vibrate. This
must be why he is one of the few around who is able
to make fans of every kind of music get along from
Europeans and Americans to traditionalists and experimenters.
Info: http://www.unpaeseaseicorde.it
Pierre Bensusan
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Ferentino Acustica 2011
A Brief Presentation of the Artists
Dear Friends, we’ve come to the 9th edition of the
festival.
Every year, I generally try to put new artists forward for the event but I also feel the extreme need
for a kind of continuity. This is because I have always interpreted Ferentino Acoustic as a Fingerpicking.net festival and this means ‘people’ and not
just an abstract idea.
Therefore, I’m particularly happy to announce
that concerts by Fulvio Montauti, with his ‘acoustic Telecaster’ and his jazz, and Roberto De Luca,
with his fantastic creativity are in the programme
just as I promised. Both of them animated the first
edition of the festival back in far away 2003 when
we didn’t dare to imagine that it would become a
fixed date with growing prestige in the international
agenda.
Alex Di Reto, Reno Brandoni and I are a bit like
the parents of Fingerpicking.net, and Giorgio Cordini is a kind of prestigious uncle.
As I’ve said, new faces won’t be lacking. A soft
innovation will be brought by the performance ‘in
quartet’ by Micki Piperno.
For the first time at Ferentino there will be:
– Sergio Altamura, with his extremely original
‘acoustic-electrics’. He is from the prestigious CandyRat Records stables just like Pino Forastiere and
Stefano Baroni.
– The ‘plague’ Andrea Valeri: it was only a very
ACOUSTIC FRANCIACORTA
& FINGERPICKING.NET
A Song by Fabrizio De André
for Acoustic Guitar
Once again this year during Acoustic Franciacorta there will be a competition for guitarists
that’s open to everyone. Whoever wishes to participate should send in an arrangement that has
not been publically performed before of a piece
from Fabrizio De André’s repertoire, played solely on one guitar and entirely instrumental. Just
as in previous years, the arrangement, performance and interpretation will be evaluated. The
selections will take place in the same way as before, by sending a recording in MP3 by e-mail to
the address: [email protected] by 15th August 2011.
One of the three finalist pieces will be
selected by the public who visit the site Fingerpicking.net. The other two pieces will be selected
by a jury made up of six musicians. The players
of the chosen pieces will be invited to perform
them live on stage at Acoustic Franciacorta on
the afternoon of Sunday 11th September. The
best performance as voted by the jury will win an
SR Technology JAM 150 amplifier. The jury is
made up of: Reno Brandoni, Alberto Caltanella,
Andrea Carpi, Giorgio Cordini, Franco Morone
and Giovanni Pelosi.
Veronica Sbergia
Clive Carroll
small step for him from being a shy boy capable of
astonishing everybody to an international performer
of great importance.
– Max De Bernardi & Veronica Sbergia: whoever has seen their videos on Fingerpicking.net won’t
want to miss the chance of listening to them live!
Whether they are Dobro, Ukulele or whatever you
like, they are lovely and wonderful.
– Clive Carroll: he’s not just John Renbourn’s
heir. This boy is a patrimony for humanity. One of
the greatest in the world, he’s a globetrotter who’s
loved everywhere.
– Gina Trio: ‘our’ Daniele Bazzani, ‘Gina Fabiani
(who’s at least a little bit ours), with counter bass
player Lorenzo Feliciati. Their album Segreto (secret) won them the Premio Ciampi 2008 for the best
album to be released. They will be with us with a set
that has been announced as unforgettable.
– Pietro Nobile: I don’t need to say more. He’s
one of the few people at the origins of the acoustic
guitar’s diffusion in Italy and he’s one of the very
few artists of his kind to have signed a contract with
a major record label. He’s a song-writer, a teacher
and a concert performer and he does everything excellently.
– Francesco Buzzurro. I am ashamed of myself.
I hadn’t heard of him until only a few months ago.
For anybody guilty of the same, he’s a phenomenon
of humanity, art and technique. It’s no coincidence
that he’s been selected by Antonella Ruggiero to
accompany her in several concerts. For many he
will be an authentic revelation. Just take a look for
curiosity on Youtube to get an idea… He is nothing
less than a most prestigious debut in the acoustic
festival circuit. He will perform pieces from his Cd L’
esploratore (The Explorer) as well as other pieces
from his immense repertoire.
– Gabin Dabiré. He will take us to Burkina Faso
with his voice and guitar and the most noble world
music that it’s possible to listen to. Writer and sponsor of the project “Felicità in Azione” (Happiness
in Action) he will reproduce it in an exhilarating set
dense with music and humanity.
– Jacqueline ‘Jackie’ Perkins: this singer-songwriter and guitarist from New York, who is wellloved for her performances in all the major acoustic
guitar festivals, will perform pieces from her most
recent CD, The Still Awakening. Delicate but full of
energy, it represents American singer songwriters
at their very best.
– Friday 24th June, Palazzo Consolare, Piazza
Mazzini, at 5 pm: “How to look after acoustic sound”
workshop led by Daniele Lupi; Piazza Mazzini, at 9
pm: Reno Brandoni, Andrea Valeri, Max De Bernardi & Veronica Sbergia and Clive Carroll.
– Saturday 25th June, Cortile del Palazzo RoffiSabelli, via Consolare, at 5 pm: “Open Mic” by Fingerpicking.net;
Piazza Mazzini, at 9 pm: Giorgio Cordini, Gina
Trio, Pietro Nobile and Francesco Buzzurro.
– Sunday 26th June, Palazzo Consolare, Piazza
Mazzini, at 10am: Master Class by Francesco Buzzurro (bookings on tel. + 39 348 6521194); Cortile
del Palazzo Roffi-Sabelli, at 5 pm: “Open Mic” di
Fingerpicking.net; Piazza Mazzini, at 9 pm: Alex
Di Reto, Roberto De Luca, Gabin Dabiré and
Jackie Perkins
– Saturday 9th July, Grottone di Fumone, at 9.30
pm, extra evening with Micki Piperno Delta Blues
Quartet.
Programme
– Thursday 23rd June, Palazzo Consolare, Piazza Mazzini, at 5 pm: “Basic Guitar Techniques”
workshop led by Micki Piperno; Piazza Mazzini,
at 9 pm: Fulvio Montauti, Giovanni Pelosi, Micki
Piperno Delta Blues Quartet and Sergio Altamura.
Giovanni Pelosi
Info: http://www.ferentinoacustica.it
Pietro Nobile
Sergio Altamura
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The Evolution of Internet
Fingerpicking.net 2.0
The Guitar and the Web
When a Link Can Change Your Life
The conquest of the Internet took off in our country
in the late 1990s with the iconic enthusiasm and
proverbial passion of the Italians. The main thing
was being there, planting the little flag bearing www.
myname.it and becoming the proud owner of that
sought-after e-mail address. Given the technological
limitations of the era and the lack of familiarity with
the medium, enthusiasm for the Internet waned
just as fast as the financial bubble had burst on
world stock markets, leaving the Web dotted with
countless little islands devoid of content and entirely
unconnected with anything around them. In the
musical field, and perhaps to an even greater extent
with regard to acoustic guitar, very few managed to
exploit the Internet’s huge potential as a medium
and point of contact, above and beyond its power
simply as a way to circulate information.
If anything, the complete availability of access
to information and promotional capacities on the
Internet can go hand in hand with the exact opposite
and the lack of appropriate means to deal with
this. Time and again, it has been demonstrated
that over-stimulation can stultify our curiosity and
our ability to deal with such stimuli. As one might
easily have expected, Homo telematicus reacted
exactly as humans did in the era of drumbeats and
smoke signals: by creating points of aggregation
and establishing rules, electing someone to make
sure that they’re respected. Communities have
multiplied exponentially in recent years and are the
real winners of the Web 2.0 challenge: MySpace,
Facebook and Youtube have been emerged as the
true conquerors in this phase of the evolution of the
Internet.
While pundits ponder ‘the next thing’, the next step
in the evolution of telematics, for Fingerpicking.net
the time has come to exploit everything that Web
It’s easy to write about things we know well, if it’s
our personal experience. At the end of the 90’s I
bought my first PC, and discovered the Web. Surfing, I find this website dedicated to the acoustic guitar, it’s italian, run by this fellow, Reno Brandoni. I
write, he writes back, he asks me an arrangement of
a tune to be published on the website, I tab my version of the italian song “Azzurro”, and that’s it (the
Web, what a great thing). A few months later, walking in the Sheraton hotel in Nashville – during the
Chet Atkins festival – I run into an italian couple, we
all wear nametags with names and country, to make
things easier and avoid poor figures remembering
names. I see him looking at me, at my tag, and telling me: ”you’re the one who arranged Azzurro!”. In
that moment it was clear to me that many things, for
many people like me all over the world, would never
be the same.
technology currently has to offer. We’ll do this with
the passion and human warmth that have long
been the hallmark of this site and, above all, the
forum that has always been the true heart of our
community. But we’ll also do it with the competence
and professionalism that have always distinguished
the site’s various “mutations” over the years. This
venture represents an enormous leap in both the
quality and quantity of our proposals and new
collaborators, who will work alongside our historic
staff and the countless enthusiasts who have
participated in the forum. One thing won’t change,
however, and that’s the underlying spirit of this
community, the passion that unites and ‘torments’
us.
What’s the next thing? Who knows! But it’s likely to
have a rosewood body and a spruce soundboard!
Mario Giovannini
life like this, and when I say friends I mean people
that I have dinner with, travel for vacation, go to gigs
or share hotel rooms. I see their children grow or
make a phone call when I just want to say hello.
It takes years, the net is fast but real world has its
times, ten years are gone since many of us met, but
if you believe in something, you fight for it.
The Web is great, possibilities are almost infinite,
someone abuse it writing any given day to so-calledfriends just to show up, but that’s life.
I was no one (like now, more or less) but someone knew who I was, and I was on the other side of
the world (I’m italian, usually). That couple, Alberto
and Luciana, are my friends today, and I know that
I would never met them if not for the web. And Alberto made me understand how big guitarists like
Guy Van Duser and Jerry Reed are.
The Web changed everything. I wonder how musicians like me did before. It’s like living in the same
neighborhood, you meet immediately, or never, but
we are all potentially close. I sell cds and books in
Rome like in Hong Kong, in Australia or Usa, in Cagliari or Dortmund. I play more abroad than in Italy
and, like everyone, if I look for something on the
internet, in a few clicks I discover new music, new
friends, or just waste time.
Sometimes it’s confusing, a webpage doesn’t say
much, we’re all the same at a first look, and we’re
all there, so it’s easier and harder, but quality makes
the difference. A good player is a good player, as
good music is. Just search. And a website like fingerpicking.net is so important to make contacts,
give us a chance, make selection, publish records,
make people – that would never meet – work together.
Years ago we used to go to record stores looking on the shelves, or waiting for our favorite guitar
magazine, to discover that it was out of print. Today
we open the browser and it’s all there, maybe it’s
not a case if, here in Italy and all over the world, guitar festivals are growing in number and magazines
give us more space.
We’re all in the same, huge store, webpages like
shelves, clicks like steps inside the store, finding
good music and crappy stuff, we’ll never have time
to listen to everything, but videos help and we came
out of our small niche feeling like kings. We’re under
the eyes of the world, even if probably no one is
watching us.
But we have to deserve that space, every day,
working hard to let people know that we’re not playing on our own because no one want to play with us.
Daniele Bazzani
Today many of my friends in music came into my
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Guitar and the Internet?
Places of Music
For an “old” guitarist like me the Internet is unquestionably a controversial subject. In any event,
it represents a completely different world from the
one in which I nourished my dreams, passions and
hopes. It feels funny for me to start out by saying “in
the old days”, but the fact is that, back then, things
were completely different. Artistic development and
maturation came about by travelling, meeting other
musicians, and trying to understand the different
mechanisms through direct encounters with the
artist, event or musical scene. There was plenty of
room for dreams and imagination, and especially for
developing the part that was inaccessible and that
often turned out to hold the creative side.
Everything I discovered during my first trip to the
United States, travelling with different means of
transport in the hills around Atlanta to the festival
in Dahlonega, Georgia, so I could finally meet and
see Doc Watson in person, and shake his hand (I
didn’t wash mine for a month …), and everything I
managed to learn in that month on the road – flying
from ex-Yugoslavia because the plane ticket was
a lot cheaper and then being jostled around on a
southbound Greyhound bus – can now be found
in just minutes by clicking on You Tube and Google. The Internet is a goldmine that should not
be underestimated. Of course, you can’t smell the
campground burgers (!) when you’re sitting in front
of a computer, but the movement of Doc Watson’s
right hand can clearly be seen.
This is a technology that, when studying acoustic
guitar, allows people to take marvellous steps and
it has forged an international community that was
once inconceivable.
I’m an incurable dreamer and the part I like most
about this world is unquestionably that it puts us in
contact with history. The idea of being able to see
Django Reinhardt – a cigarette in his mouth – as he
plays with Stéphan Grappelli and the whole quintet
is astonishing, as are the duet of Eddie Lang and
Joe Venuti, the gem of Pasquale Taraffo playing
“Stefania” with his fourteen-string guitar, filmed in
New York in 1929, the swaying of Jimmy Rogers
as he sings and plays, and the master classes of
Andrés Segovia, who chastised even the best students (and what’s so the unpardonable is that these
videos don’t have at least several million views).
Through the Internet I have already exchanged
important recordings, discovered previously unpublished material, planned trips, and contacted artists
and promoters. With my mailing list, several times a
year I manage to get in touch with those who love
my music around the world, promoting concerts and
Stadiums, sport arenas, theatres, auditoriums,
cultural clubs, venues of small societies and pubs
are all places where we are used to playing and listening to live music. But are they really the mostsuited places for musical language? Are they really
the ideal technical solutions that allow the music to
be brought to its fulfilment? It’s true that the bottom
line is music can live anywhere and each opportunity to spread it and listen to it is an amazing gift, but
analysing the list of places above, only theatres and
auditoriums (even if not all of them) can actually be
said to be places created for music and where music belongs. It seems to me that, as far as the rest
of these places are concerned, music is no more
than lent out, like an invalid in a hospital ward or
displaced people in gyms. Each one of these locations, in fact, was designed and built with a specific
object in mind that certainly wasn’t music, taking into
consideration its logistics or acoustics. Stadiums
were built to meet the technical needs of sporting
events, as were sports arenas. Venues for societies
and cultural clubs are often spaces similar to small
offices or large houses with unmanageable acoustics. Pubs are places for gatherings where most of
the time (not to say always!) the musician is a kind
of human radio, forced to wriggle his/her way in between the careless chatter of customers and a general, uncomforting indifference.
I believe that what matters is not that despite everything music manages to beat the technical defi-
various projects. Using the Internet, for the past ten
years we have organized the Acoustic Night at the
Teatro della Corte in Genoa, an international night
that attracts guitarists from all over the world and
audiences that arrive from every part of Europe. For
me, this is a new world and I try to exploit its healthiest side, without allowing its insanities to sink
me.
It undeniably has many negative aspects, and the
problem to be overcome is the sheer amount of information, which is so massive that it is completely
unmanageable. We are exposed to a huge melting
pot and are unable to understand the quality of what
is being offered, the limit between amateur and professional, sublime and mediocre, oatmeal and haute cuisine. That’s why we need professional sites
that can filter the best and bring it to guitar lovers,
the way Fingerpicking.net does.
The aim of this project is quality, a love for real
music, the search for that feeling of wonder you get
when you hear a beautiful and pure piece of music,
and the technical quality of what is being offered.
Today, discussing acoustic guitar inspired by traditions (as in my case) may seem anachronistic, but
in reality the superhuman energy of the American
folk revival that continues to give so much to music
even now originated from this guitar. Acoustic guitar
has been the unstoppable engine of different musical genres, and it continues to be a driving force.
In my field, and in Italy in particular, the margin for
experimentation and research is still broad and varied, so I’m delighted that there are portals like this
that will open up new perspectives and stimulate
the growth of a new acoustic community.
Beppe Gambetta
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S. Lo Turco, The Pub,
acrylic tempera on canvas board, 2005
cits of the places that lend it a space, but that this is
the bitter reality that needs to be confronted. Places
that have been planned and built solely for music do
not exist. We always trust in the untameable power
of musical language and its ability to penetrate even
those surfaces that are most impermeable to its nature.
Furthermore, we should remember that the greatest and most prestigious places, such as stadiums,
sports arenas and theatres are commercially demanding locations, and hence reserved to those
few artists recognised by the market (rightly or
wrongly as that may be) to be rather profitable attractions. Those many artists swarming the cultural
undergrowth are left with venues such as those for
societies, clubs or pubs to perform in. These are
places, and this is especially true of pubs, where
people do not choose to listen to music but rather
they put up with it.
Is it possible that a language that is so widelyused, that is so noble and generates such an important power for gathering people has no home of
its own? A place, that is, that has been thought up
and built especially for it from every logistical and
acoustic point of view. Perhaps this is the most realistic reflection of the priorities of our collective entity
in the mirror? All things considered, there are even
ad hoc places that have been built especially to play
bowling.
Luca Francioso
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Didactics for Dummies? – 2
The shrewder ones amongst my readers
will have lapped it all up by now: I want to
speak about music teaching/learning by
imitation. This in itself is not original, either
from a practical point of view or from a ‘philosophical’ one: for a guitarist, learning the first
chords or your first simple improvisations
with the help of a more experienced friend
is a more than frequent event. From a didactic point of view, in the latter half of the last
century the Suzuki Method (v. http://www.
suzukiroma.org/ita/metodo.htm), which proposed learning by imitation, became reasonably popular (although not as widespread as
its author might have hoped). The purpose of
my argument is to propose teaching/learning
by imitation certainly not as the only model,
but as a prerequisite for theoretical study: if
you don’t know a sufficient number of everyday words and expressions in a language,
it’s highly unlikely that studying its grammar
will be efficacious.
to neo-Latin languages in Italy and elsewhere, the
only grammar that was taught continued to be Latin
grammar. On the other hand, those who studied
grammar were a select minority: an ecclesiastical
and economic élite.
The advantage of grammar and linguistic syntax
is that rules are expressed with the same material
that they are dealt with – i.e. language. Their relationship with other disciplines such as mathematics, philosophy and music is more complicated (it’s
no co-incidence that linguistic precision was one of
Wittgenstein’s nightmares.)
In the case of music, the language used has been
based not inconsiderably on that of mathematics. In
the mathematics of my day, it was said that two triangles that have three equal sides and three equal
angles were the ‘same’. However, today they are
described as congruent if they have three angles
and sides that are congruent. As far as I’m concerned, the description of a hundred broaches in a
box as ‘congruent’ doesn’t derive from the Italian
language; they are the ‘same’ (if they are!). Music
rules derive from music and not vice versa. I don’t
see how you can think of inverting this on a didactic
course.
And yet, coming back to language, I am familiar
with English grammar and I can write English reasonably well, but I can’t understand a single word
of a film, very little of what I hear in songs and even
less on the news on TV. Because that is the way I
The Rules
The birth of writing paved the way for the writing
of grammatical texts, in which the first grammarians
described the correct way of using the language,
based on what were considered to be ‘good examples’. That is to say that general rules were abstracted from what already existed, and therefore from
things that predated the enunciation of these rules.
But the decision as to ‘which’ form of language was
to inspire the rules was not without discretion.
As spoken language gradually distanced itself
from the original examples, grammar at first took
the approach of being “prescriptive” – it outlawed
anything that differed from the rules as a mistake.
Today, changes in many languages are quickly, if
not automatically, absorbed into grammatical rules
that have become “descriptive”.
In the long period that led from Latin languages
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work, I could say that there are different cerebral areas for our native language, for a second language
and for music. Cerebral activity stimulated by listening to music is predominantly in the opposite cerebral hemisphere to that where language presides.
It’s not to be taken for granted, but I would assume
that the act of reading music calls up structures that
are more similar to those activated by language
than those activated when we listen to music, with
whom in the end they will surely have to answer to.
I would say that the development of synapses in
the “listening to music” area, especially as a child
and teenager, are fundamental for what we would
call a “musical ear”. In fact, taking in a piece of music from a score requires the use of a greater number of cerebral areas, and so reading music can be
defined as a more cerebral and less instinctive activity than directly taking in a sound.
Playing a musical instrument also requires –
and this isn’t secondary – specific psycho-motor
and neuro-muscular capabilities, that goes beyond those required to perceive music. This is why
there are many more good listeners to music than
there are good musicians. But here too, imitation
and practical exercises should precede and follow
any theoretical study, as happens in the majority of
manual activities.
was taught English…
Frederick Leighton, Music Lesson, 1877
A parallel between studying a language and
studying music seems possible to me for the following reasons: if it’s true, as would seem so, that
different forms of intelligence exist, it’s also true that
different methods of learning can be considered in
relation to each one: a bird doesn’t learn to fly from
books, a child doesn’t learn to walk after he/she’s
learnt to read and nor do you learn to drive a car
without having been in one together with someone
who knows how. And this is not something that occurs at a pre-school age.
Didactics for Dummies? – 2
Pedagogical and Neurological Notes
The reasons why the Suzuki Method has been directed at pre-school aged children fall into two categories. The first concerns a child’s impossibility to
read a written text or to have an accurate idea of
fractions of time or tonal relationships in a formal
way. The second is a psycho-neurological matter
– a child learns everything by imitation; if you offer
learning in the form of a game, you get excellent
results.
From a neurological point of view, the pre-school
age is that in which the complicated mechanisms
of connection between different areas of the brain
mainly develop (to put it simply, new synapses are
created, i.e. connections between nerve cells). This
is something that according to mainstream neurological study decreases with age.
According to certain studies, it would appear that
the area for music perception in the brain is located
in the right hemisphere (for right-handed people),
which is the opposite side to that for the perception
and elaboration of language, which is in the dominant hemisphere (in this case, the left).
Amongst the neurologists and neuro-radiologists
who have worked on these studies, Prof.ssa Daniela Perani, at the Istituto S. Raffaele in Milan, has
done and is still doing in-depth research into the
location of cerebral functions (v. http://www.unisr.it/
persona.asp?id=342). The part of her research that
I consider most pertinent to my argument concerns
the cerebral areas activated in bilingualism and in
multi-linguists, and her study of cerebral activity in
newborn babies exposed to music.
Summarizing and unfortunately simplifying her
Music Genres
The definition of music genres is a road full of
traps. I advise you not to take what I’m about to
write on the subject to the letter, even though I
asked Prof. Andrea Carpi for clarification as he too
is rather prudent on this matter. He suggested the
following divisions of musicological disciplines that
could be of help:
– ‘Tout court’ Musicology: classical music.
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– Ethnomusicology: folk music or musical folklore
from European and Western countries; and ethnic
music, i.e. music (not only folk music) from non-European and non-Western countries.
– Popular music studies: music genres that has
developed from the commercialisation of music, following the birth of capitalism and hence the growth
of a cultural music industry (classical music had
been ‘economically sustained’ by the nobility and
the Church), that has developed with mass culture
following the introduction of the radio, discography,
musical comedy and cinema, television and so on.
Naturally, depending on the viewpoint you wish
to take, there are infinite possible classifications. I
need not remind you of Ennio Morricone’s definition
of music composed for films as “relative”, while music composed for its own sake as “absolute”.
The music I identify with belongs without a doubt
to popular music. This refers to an enormous mass
of pieces composed by a great variety of authors:
cultured composers who have written songs or instrumental music for an undifferentiated public;
‘popular’ composers who have had some extremely
great ideas and have made them come to life, or
have seen them brought to life, without ever having
written them down or ever having had any notion of
music theory; and composers of intermediary music
culture.
My extremely humble opinion is that a work born
in a written form is best interpreted by reading it; a
work born as a sound is best interpreted by listening to it. In both cases, the emphasis is on relating
to the “original”.
In the case of music that was created for fingerstyle guitar, we are almost always dealing with pieces that were created on the guitar and their score/
tablature was written down by the author, or someone else, after the piece’s composition and in many
cases after its recording. We could decide that the
original is the first registration of the piece, that corresponds to the idea the author/guitarist wishes to
express once the work of composing, arranging and
preparing its execution has been completed. It’s
more than likely, in fact it’s true, that in the majority of cases, within the music scene we are talking
about, the author considers him/herself free to radically change, reinterpret and modify his piece. Within our field, even a simple interpreter should have
the same freedom.
And it’s evident that this freedom leads to an evolution in terms of music pieces, if we learn by imitation; while it returns to the same starting point in the
written score, if we learn from reading music.
Even when not deliberate, change that comes
about when an interpreter shows a piece to another,
who shows it to another and so on, has come to create the so-called folk process.
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Didactics for Dummies? – 2
In my opinion, reading “La canzone del sole” [a
very popular Italian song by Lucio Battisti with lyrics
by Mogol – Ed.] makes no sense: if you’re not familiar with those three chords, you can get a friend
to teach you; the same goes for the rhythm, and
little by little you can try to introduce some personal touches without needing to have studied music
theory.
And, if you want to compose a song in the same
genre, you ‘only’ need to have a simple, genial idea
– and theory won’t necessarily help you with that.
Conclusions?
I realize that it’s not original and it’s controversial.
But… it seems to me that people do it, but won’t admit to it: my humble opinion is that the best teaching
method, for anyone who is starting to play the guitar,
is by imitation. And that’s not all – for some types of
music it may be the only truly important method.
Even though I don’t dispute that ‘studying Music’
is indispensable for professionals, or for whoever
wishes to be aware of what they are doing and why,
when they play. I also consider it indispensable in
all those cases where the complexity of the composition and the fixed nature of the musical structure
to be executed, are innate characteristics of a certain music genre or work. And it can be pleasant for
whoever loves studying.
Very often I have happened to meet musicians
who have graduated from the Music Academy, who
don’t realise that a note is wrong even though it’s
been written down; had they been accustomed to
listen first and had they been inspired from other
music examples, rather than from learning by reading music, they would most likely have noticed the
mistake. I had to personally correct my own score
for a friend of mine who had graduated in double
bass (while also being an excellent guitarist) because he couldn’t avoid repeating the written mistake, even though I had pointed it out to him.
Following the availability of a previously unimaginable quantity of written music, thanks to the Internet, a quantity of excellent didactic videos have now
also become available by the same means. Some
of these are also produced by Fingerpicking.net,
and for those who don’t have the economic or organisational possibility for a teacher, they offer the
chance to learn by imitation nevertheless.
The simultaneous exercise of analysing what we
hear, while seeking harmonic and melodic parts,
especially when guided by a skilled and generous
teacher (who always plays the pieces he/she is
teaching), is everything that is needed in my opinion
– at least for the initial phases of learning.
Bye for now!
Giovanni Pelosi
Arranging and
Revisiting a Song – 2
In this second article exploring arrangements and
cover versions we will present several examples of interpretations of well-known pieces. So we will see how
some great artists knew how to go beyond original
versions with class to create nothing less than masterpieces. We would like to pause for a moment on
these cases in order to highlight in particular the elements that were used each time to create an effective
re-interpretation. In order to facilitate listening to the
pieces we are going to look at, we have also included
a link to YouTube for each one. While obviously taking
the guitar into consideration, we thought it would be
a good idea to include references to artists who were
not guitarists since sometimes you can gather inspiration and very interesting ideas from them. Furthermore, it’s important to underline how frequently great
artists demonstrate that it’s often enough to knowingly
change only a few, simple elements to give your own
touch to the pieces you are tackling.
Among the first aspects to evaluate when taking on
a cover version is the rhythm, the speed and the accenting. In the original version of “So What” by Miles
Davis (Video – 1959) the accompaniment on the
drums during the theme played on the counterbass
follows a classic jazz style accompaniment. However,
Marcus Miller (Video) decided to give it a more energetic cut with a taste of R&B inserting a groove on the
drums with a strong beat on the 2nd and 4th crotchet
of the bar given by the snare drums. The speed has
been increased with respect to the original and the energy of the piece is emphasised by the response to the
theme on the bass offered by the wind section that’s
much more present than in Davis’ version. Staying in
the realm of bass players, the great Jaco Pastorius
created his very own, very personal version, making it
much more ‘bebob’ in character and exploiting one of
the fundamental characteristics of this style of jazz –
the speed. In this execution of the piece inserted in a
medley (Video), Jaco eliminated the presence of wind
instruments in the response to the theme, substituting
them with a keyboard (in pure ‘80s style) and consequently giving greater attention to the bass. At other
times it’s possible to elaborate on an effective cover
version of a piece exploiting the characteristics of your
own instrument you have to hand. Amongst the innumerable versions of “Blue Moon” we would like to
mention how Ella Fitgerald (Video – 1973) and Elvis
Presley (Video – 1954) gave life to their own interpretations trusting themselves to their own respectively
extraordinary voices and to the capabilities of this instrument to create tender, long-lasting sounds. Their
interpretations are undoubtedly much broader than
Tommy Emmanuel’s who in his more rhythmic and
lively version (Video – 1995) could give more space to
the possibility offered by the guitar to produce melody
and accompaniment simultaneously. And he managed really well. If we exclude that which could be created by a man of indisputable talent such as Tommy
Emmanuel, it’s difficult to think of a guitar interpretation that’s as convincing and effective as “Blue Moon”
played at the speed of Fitzgerald’s or Elvis’ recordings. While we’re at it, let’s highlight some noteworthy
recordings that it could be worth while taking a longer
look at: Stephane Grappelli (Video – 1990), The Mar-
cels (1961), Frank Sinatra (1961), Django Reinhardt
(1935, Louis Armstrong (1955), Dizzy Gillespie and
Tori Amos (1996).
A similar line of thought can be applied to the famous “Somewhere over the Rainbow”. With respect
to the original sung by Judy Garland (Video – 1939),
Eva Cassidy gave the piece new breath and air by
rhythmically stretching the phrases, exploiting her own
vocal talents to the full. (Video). The arrangement here
is bare, which helps the melody to emerge. Referring
back to Tommy Emmanuel (Video) once again, you
can see how he places his trust in effects that are
purely guitar based in order to create his own interpretation. The theme is introduced first with harmonics
and through the use of delay and then expanded in a
traditional way. The piece could perhaps be considered more of an excellent arrangement than a new
interpretation in its own right. Finally we are going to
examine what is probably the most interesting among
the examples given – the interpretation of a piece of
classical music by a modern performer. Specifically,
we are going to analyse Django Reinhardt’s version of
the famous piano piece “Liebesträume No. 3” (1850)
by Franz Liszt (1811-1886). The great Django took on
the arduous task of interpreting classical music and
he did it by adapting it perfectly to his style. Here is the
original (Video) and Django’s version (Video). The key
to the cover’s success this time lies in his picking up
on a few of his own elements in the original and using
these within the piece. He completely de-structures
the piano score, taking it apart bit by bit and adapting
it with a result that is certainly very effective. Django
has taken up the theme, modified it according to his
rhythmic and melodic point of view and then filled it
with improvised phrases. He has actually only used a
fragment of it. This fragment has taken on the function
of a ‘glue’ that holds the piece together. The introduction has been picked up on again at the end to give
a better sense of completeness to the whole piece.
The final result is a version that has lost its dramatic
and romantic character that Liszt gave to the piece (Liebesträume means ‘dreams of love’) but it has gained
rhythm and freshness. Django acted in complete liberty, demonstrating that by freeing yourself from the
original with intelligence and personality, it’s possible
to create excellent interpretations, albeit notably different from the author’s intentions for the piece.
For whoever would like to analyse Django’s version
with the help of the original score for piano, it’s possible to download it legally at the following link:
http://erato.uvt.nl/files/imglnks/usimg/2/22/
IMSLP00615-Liszt-_Liebestraum_No_3.pdf
Till next time!
Bruskers
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My Videos
How is a luthier ‘born’
Last week I was in Bologna to meet Reno Brandoni and talk about the project of recording videos
on line and other possible co-operations. After a
nice chat, in front of a tea-cup, we go to his studio,
where several guitars were aligned in stands.
Feeling the air little bit dry I ask him: «Do you have
an hygrometer to check the humidity level?» Just
some days ago, I had to move all of my guitars in
one other room of my country house, as in winter
time we have more than 70% of humidity that can
seriously damage them: «Probably you might have
the opposite problem»… Then we watched earlier
videos recorded: really not bad at all! The project to
offer guitar lessons on line, could really meet great
enthusiasm from a lots of fans! So don’t thinking twice… we start recording right there!
I quickly set up a medium string gauge in one of
his Martins, meanwhile I am thinking Rod Schenk,
might not be much happy for this… but I had no idea
I was going to record a video, thus my Franco Morone signature guitar, is resting at home, but overall
playing different guitars can be good, sometime.
The first take is for “Flowers from Ayako” (EADEAE) from Melodies of Memories CD. Even if it’s
already written on the book, this song is performed
using a mixed technique of finger/flatstyle, so a video lesson finalized to show the right hand movements, the first position chords… looks fine to reach
the best execution.
Next tune is the medley “The Star of County
Down/Gaelico” (EADEAD) from The Road to Lisdoonvarna CD. Many folks asked me for notations and
tabs, so I hope a video lesson could balance and
answer, at least partially, these requirements.
Sometime after years, I use changing something
in my arrangements, in a way that a song may sound
differently from the original version on the CD. This
happens as a natural evolved, or involved way as
you better like to consider it, like a ‘folk process’
in opposition to the concept of ‘static music’. I’ve
always thought there is nothing against adding new
ornaments and variations after years, to redefine an
original arrangement.
It’s mainly the case of “Followers of Dulcamara”
recorded on the Running Home CD, which recently
has been also included on the 10 Duets for Fingerstyle Guitar book in a slow version and in standard
tuning.
The version on the video is performed with dropped D, for several reasons, mainly to get a bigger
sound on the main chorus section, there is a double-picking on basses also, with no big changes on
the melody line
.
Then it’s time for a couple of blues: “Summertime”
from the live DVD Acoustic Guitar Solos (Mel Bay)
and “Poor Boy Long Way from Home”, a first repertoire blues in open D, arranged in a version closed
to John Fahey’s one.
“Running Home” (DADGGD) from Running Home
CD, whose literal explanation could be also ‘home
that runs away’ to mean the condition of traveling
My passion for hand-made instruments goes back
to 1990 when with the help of a group of friends, I
made my first classical guitar. I used it right up to my
5th year diploma at the Music Academy. My interest
in the making of musical instruments has gradually
taken over my music studies.
In the year 2000, having finished the four-year course at the Milan Civic
School for hand-made instruments, I decided to set
myself up hand-making instruments professionally.
At the same time, I also worked for eight years at
the above school teaching workshops on making
modern plucked instruments.
In terms of my education, I specialised in the making and restoration
of plucked instruments with a thesis on the Guadagnini family’s guitars in the 1800s in Turin.
To begin
with, I concentrated on classical guitars as it was an
instrument I knew well thanks to my years of study
at the Music Academy. However, I later started making a variety of acoustic (folk) models and these
now account for the majority of my production.
musicians.
Anyway, it’s a very hard tune to play,
that requires a mix combinations of pull off, hammering on and percussions… if you really like to try it,
I’d suggest two bars daily before meals…
The “Tarantella” video lesson (EADEAE) is from
the Italian Fingerstyle Guitar (Carisch), where the
three basses in the key of A are tonic, subdominant D and dominant E, and as open strings these
make the execution easier, specially having an hard
melody to play with.
After playing several Irish jigs,
having the same 6/8 rhythm of these typical Italian
dances, someone called this ‘Celtic Tarantella’, but
really syncopations on basses and melody sounds
much more interesting. Other hand Italian folk didn’t
change a lot comparing with the Irish tradition, specially cause new generations of musicians usually
don’t play it very often.
Ok let’s end up with “Our Fireplace” in standard
tuning, a tune from my last Basic Fingerstyle (Carisch), including mostly easy tunes. I play the tune
as written in the book the first time and, on the second one, I change something on the notes value,
ornaments and other variations. It should be very
productive after having the right execution give an
example to be flexible and creative.
The day later I go back to Reno’s to check our
recordings… considered we did all in a short time,
very good!
Then I see, with pleasure, a brand-new hygrometer close his guitars… great! The right temperature
and humidity is very important to get to preserve
guitars! Even more expensive instruments could
sound badly or be seriously damaged by not having proper air conditions.
Well, I give you an Italian
‘arrivederci’ (sorry for my bad English) hoping you
have fun with these new videos. And if you like to
know more, just subscribe my channel at the page:
http://www.youtube.com/pickinonthestrings
Also, as usual, I have some new product not well
distributed outside Italy, so here my shopping url:
http://www.francomorone.it/catalog/
Thanks for watching and picking!
Franco Morone
derstand how it’s been made, read up on anything
and everything to do with lutherie and visit collections of guitars in exhibitions and museums. This
theoretical side fuels the practical part of actually
making the guitars because the curiosity and enthusiasm in seeking to reproduce what you have discovered is amazing.
Buying wood isn’t enough to start making guitars. You need a place where you can work which
isn’t the kitchen table as the dust produced is toxic.
Even those who have attended a school must find
themselves a workshop – it may be a cellar (if it’s
not too damp!), a cupboard under the stairs or a
garage. It doesn’t have to be big but it must be dedicated solely to this purpose.
We mustn’t forget about tools. Planes, files, chisels and drills are all indispensable and you will
need other tools too as you progress with the work.
At the point in which I began to feel the need to
have a teacher and attend courses, I had realised
that what I had managed to make so far were simply functional objects. They were beautiful but they
lacked personality.
Studying instruments that had been made by masters such as Torres, Hauser, Gallinotti, Martin and
others who have made their mark in the history of
guitar lutherie enabled me to appreciate how a musical instrument must have a soul, a strong personality expressed through the sensibility of whoever
had created it, influenced in turn by the cultural context, environment and musical sensibility of the era
in which the luthier lived.
The ability to grasp these subtleties allows the
luthier to create their own personality and transfer it
to their instruments, which must also and most importantly meet the needs of the musicians for whom
they have been built.
Our emotional reward, which I believe to be the
greatest satisfaction of our work, lies in fusing the
art of lutherie with the art of music.
But… how is a luthier ‘born’? Or rather, how do I
think a luthier should be born.
What follows is only my personal opinion and the
likely result of my own professional history. It is therefore open to debate and holds true only till it is
proved wrong. This article offers me the opportunity
of going back over my 20 year career and weighing
up which factors have been essential or simply significant to my personal growth.
First and foremost, there is my passion for music
and in our case for guitar music in particular. If you
allow me, I would like to add that my passion for
working with wood was also significant, something
which for others might take second place. A smile still comes to my face when I remember the first
time I went to Brianza to buy wood for my first guitars: one set to be made out of Fir and Maple and
two sets to be made out of Cedar and Indian Rosewood. Back then, going to buy wood was as exciting as going to a party, and twenty years down the
line, I’d say it’s even more so!
But passion alone isn’t enough. You also need to
be well-trained.
There’s a good chance that not everyone has the
opportunity of starting their career by attending a
school, which I believe to be the ideal solution as it
precludes a whole series of mistakes and expensive time wasting. A valid alternative however would
be to help out in an established luthier’s workshop.
Some people do take a self-taught approach to
lutherie. I tried it myself at first but I soon felt the
need for guidance and a teacher.
People who have attended a school have followed
courses on Technical Drawing, Organology (the history of musical instruments), Chemistry, Acoustic
Physics, Varnishing and Restoration.
You need to study a guitar in minute detail to un-
Aldo Illotta
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Daniele Bazzani
Luca Francioso
Fingerstyle Guitar Easy
Fingerpicking.net - Carisch
Does a repertoire exist that
has been created specifically
for teaching fingerstyle acoustic
guitar? Just as students of classical guitar can get their hands on
‘studies’ by Sor, Giuliani, Carulli
and others, can acoustic guitarists do the same thing while they
are learning the techniques that
are the basis for modern fingerstyle?
Whoever wishes to take on a
more rational and constructive
approach to studying fingertsyle,
but doesn’t yet know ‘what’ to
play must either turn to a friend
with expertise or entrust him/herself to a teacher. The latter has
been obliged to create a teaching course principally based on
personal experience and other
people’s musical references that
haven’t been specifically thought
up with a student in mind. The
only alternative is for he/she to
jump into the huge sea of tablature available on-line with the
risk of getting lost, drowning and
abandoning his/her six-string on
the first shore they are washed
up on that is prepared to accept
it and hopefully give a playstation
in exchange.
This is the second title in a
new editorial series dedicated
to acoustic guitar and produced
by Fingerpicking.net for Carisch
publishers. It sets itself the task
of supplying teachers and students with new musical material
specifically thought up for teaching, thanks to the creative vein
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reviews
of two of the most prolific Italian
acoustic guitarists who pay heed
to the melodic aspect of their
compositions.
Daniele Bazzani and Luca
Francioso, with six original compositions each, have contributed
to the making of an original repertoire with these works with which
a student can try their hand out to
find new stimuli and new ideas to
develop and deepen. In fact, the
composers write in the preface:
“We don’t claim to have written the best music you can play.
It is only an effort to provide you
with something useful and at the
same time pleasant. It is an idea
to be followed, ideally with the
help of other musicians in order
to create ‘our’ learning and studying path.”
Therefore, the melody is the
cardinal element of this manual knowing how to play it, knowing
how to interpret it, understanding
the ways in which it can be enriched and how to use the bass
notes to support and sustain it.
There are twelve example pieces – all of them in standard tuning – starting with simple arpeggi
and working up to more complex
ones and moving on to the classic ‘alternate bass’ and the use of
pull off and hammer on slides.
The whole thing has been put
together with good taste and a
no-nonsense style. The texts
are in Italian and English while
the transcriptions are on a stave
and with tablature. There is a cd
included with recordings of all
the pieces performed by their respective authors that the student
will have to listen to attentively if
they wish to understand how to
reproduce the single notes with
the right dynamics and intensity.
It is an ‘easy’ acoustic guitar,
as its title says, without frills or
unnecessary technicalities while
being breezy, cantabile and fascinating. It’s a tool that - once it
has captured you - will be by your
side for the rest of your life.
For virtuosity – there’s time!
Alfonso Giardino
Paolo Bonfanti
Bottleneck Guitar
Fingerpicking.net – Carisch
Did you know that slide guitar
was not originally from Hawaii?
And that Fred McDowell was
Bonnie Raitt’s teacher?
These are amongst the brief
historical-biographical notes on
yesterday’s and today’s slide guitarists that creates the introduction for us to the world of “bottleneck guitar”.
Paolo Bonfanti begins at the
beginning. He introduces and
describes the models to be kept
in mind during our journey. He
describes their characteristic
sounds allowing us to savour the
musical aromas of a technique
that’s difficult to master but that
offers great satisfaction for whoever interprets this music.
We proceed little by little, starting with a long series of scales
(on single strings and then on
multiple ones) to go on to arpeggi, powerchords, a series
of exercises on the use of bass
notes matched with a simple melodic phrase and examples of
how to accompany songs. After
that comes a series of twenty
exercises that are nothing less
than mini-pieces you can try your
hand at to consolidate your use
of bottleneck.
The next step is to illustrate
fifteen ‘riff’s that are typical of
several great players of slide
technique from Charlie Patton to
Derek Trucks, including Johnny
Winter, Keb Mo’ and Bob Brozman. This long path ends with a
presentation of ten original pieces that have all been composed
by Bonfanti and performed in the
same style as the Masters named
throughout the book. The idea is
that they mark a point of arrival
for whoever has been trying their
hand out studying this technique.
This manual is the first fruit of
the new collaboration between
Fingerpicking.net and Carisch,
who have got together to create
a new series of books dedicated
to acoustic guitar. The texts are
in Italian and English, musical
notations are on a stave and tablature and a cd provides recordings of all the musical examples
transcribed.
Just like the great professional
that he is, Bonfanti thought up
and created the rigorous learning
path that develops at a gradual
pace. He is conscious of the various difficulties his reader-guitarist may face - difficulties that may
only be overcome with exercise
and patient study. Step by step,
you come closer to mastering a
difficult technique that is all the
more rewarding for the player.
Born in Genova in the ‘60s,
Paolo Bonfanti began to play the
guitar in 1975 when he already
played the piano and had studied music theory and harmony. In
the early ‘80s, he specialised his
technique under Armando Corsi
and Beppe Gambetta. In the
summer of 1986 he attended a
course at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He graduated from
D.A.M.S. in Bologna with a thesis
on Blues. He has released eleven
albums and performed with Italian and foreign musicians, taking
part in festivals both in Italy and
abroad. He is a guitarist, author,
producer and for several years
now has become a leading figure
on the Italian “roots rock” scene.
Alfonso Giardino
grass. In fact, a flatpicker has a
wider repertoire at his disposal to
learn from – that is more characterized by and characterising of a
musical genre – than a fingerstyler has.
On the other hand, Alberto Caltanella has ventured down a very
personal path, putting his excellent technique to the service of
his diverse and personalised music, with precise European references. He privileges the melodic
aspect of both his compositions
and choice of standards to arrange (his interpretation of Franz
Schubert’s “Ave Maria” is truly
beautiful – would you expect that
from a plectrum player?) while he
doesn’t disdain returning to his
bluegrass origins, in a personal
way (as in the piece “My Grass”
– exactly!).
In this his second CD either,
recently released by the label
Fingerpicking.net, Alberto felt the
need to explore new limits, as is
natural that should happen with a
musician who matures over time
(the use of six different alternative tunings, in addition to the
standard one, is a proof about it),
and tried to find new sounds with
which to accompany himself: Michela Grena’s voice, Mauro Martello’s flutes, Riccardo Alfarè’s
strings and Alberto’s own overdubbed guitar are all insertions
that give his music new breath
Alberto Caltanella
L’albero della vita – Tree of Life
Fingerpicking.net
Coming from someone who is
more of a flatpicker than a fingerstyler, perhaps you would expect
greater fidelity to a North American musical style, a certain intrinsic predisposition to follow in
the footsteps of country and blue-
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chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
and variety, enabling it to live and
be free of the limitations of a solo
instrument.
The nine original pieces and the
three arrangements put forward
by Caltanella follow each other
soberly, alternating genres and
colours, full of surprises: after a
lively departure with “Festival”
and “Flat Fuga Blues”, we come
to the Intermezzo from Pietro
Mascagni’s “Cavalleria rusticana”
and then jump back to listening
to Joni Mitchell’s “Both Side Now’
(with vocals by Michela Grena);
and placed immediately after a
“Saltarello”, you remain in awe
before the “Ave Maria”.
It might perhaps be a result of
its suggestive cover, created by
the colours of woodland richer in
light than shadow, and by Alberto’s calm expression in harmony
with the nature that surrounds
him, but listening to this CD (the
quality of the recordings also
plays its part) manages to transmit a pleasurable sensation of
freshness and serenity – it places
the listener in the ideal mood for
pausing, sitting back and giving
oneself over to the stories this excellent musician wants to tell you.
Alfonso Giardino
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Davide Citrolo
Afterblues
www.myspace.com/davidecitrolo
Davide Citrolo has been dedicated to studying, playing and
teaching blues guitar, mainly
in the form of country blues, for
nearly thirty years. He has finally
reached the point of recording
his own first CD, self-produced,
in which… there is only a taste
of blues. Strange? Perhaps. But,
as he himself declares in the
cover notes, it might not be pure
co-incidence that «suddenly in a
moment of great artistic intensity
one applies himself to composing
music and discovers sounds that
are quite distinct from blues and
perhaps come closer to Mediterranean atmospheres».
Afterblues is, then, a journey
towards the discovery of his most
intimate roots. He leaves the
master’s path to explore sounds
and sensations that perhaps he
had always carried inside him.
And voilà! After his blues Davide rediscovers the colours
and images of his Sicily (“Primo
giorno d’estate”, “Monte Pellegrino DADGAD”), the ancient
rhythms with which he recalls his
childhood days (“Tempus fugit”,
“L’ozio”), anxieties in facing the
unknown and a life yet to be discovered (“L’attesa”, “Insonnia”,
“L’ultimo giorno”), a journey and
desire for adventure (“Viaggio a
Sud”, “Strade”) and the blues that
returns (“Pianeta Giove”).
No, it wasn’t Citrolo in person
who brought these images to
my mind, but the beautiful pho-
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tograph on the album cover. It is
an old sepia photo from the ’20s
or ’30s – maybe a family photo?
Of course, Davide isn’t that old! –
but seeing the album’s title-declaration coupled with a moment
from life long ago seems to me
to clearly communicate that after
blues means returning to his origins for Davide Citrolo.
This is an album solely of guitar music. It is a journey undertaken with the determined steps
of traditional fingerpicking, sometimes even like an ostinato. Yet it
evolves around unusual sounds
for a bluesman and uses tunings
that haven’t been used till now,
such as DADGAD.
The ten original compositions
have been created around articulated harmonic structures with
few concessions for the melody,
as if the will was to further underline the change of direction with
respect to a genre that makes the
music’s singability its prerogative.
The CD, released at the end of
2009, is not Citrolo’s most recent
exertion. His new CD Acquerelli
has just been recorded. It’s a
project Davide created together
with the harmonica player Leonardo Triassi. We’re hoping to listen to it very soon!
Alfonso Giardino
Paolo Gianolio
Pane e nuvole
RCA Italiana
I’ll come straight out with it:
I have strong ties with Paolo
‘Paolone’ Gianolio thanks to a
long campaign that unites us (we
have worked together for more
than ten years – all be it from
different sides of the field – with
Claudio Baglioni) as well as an
equally long season of friendship
and reciprocal esteem. However,
contrary to what someone might
be led to think – in perfectly (and
understandably) good faith – my
reflections here on his Pane e
nuvole have not been inspired or
conditioned by what we have in
common. And the reason is simple: friendship is in actual fact the
consequence – not the cause –
of a person’s and a musician’s
qualities. And the worth of his
work does not depend on my
friendship or on my words, but
both the former and the latter are
the result of what anyone’s ears
can verify upon listening to this
album.
It’s true: Gianolio is not strictly
speaking a fingerpicker. If we really wanted to, we could define
him as a multipicker. Poly-instrumentalist, arranger, orchestrator
and producer, he is to all effects
and purposes (and it’s more than
apparent in these ten tracks) a
‘total musician’ with such a complete training and such vast and
prestigious experience (Mina,
Morandi,
Celentano,
Rossi,
Ramazzotti, Battiato, Zucchero
and Pausini are amongst the
numerous artists he has played
with) that he can be rightly numbered amongst the ‘high-ranking’
professionals of popular music in
our country. However, there’s no
doubt that the guitar is his instrument. It’s the alpha and the omega of his relationship with music.
His fellowship with the six-string
is an intimate one that goes back
in time. It began in the season of
great rock (Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, Yarbirds, Cream, Led Zeppelin and company) and was followed by the ‘super jazz’ age of
minds like Coltrane, Davis, Mingus and Evans and, ‘obviously’,
guitarists like Reinhardt, Hall,
Pass, Kessel and Christian.
But Gianolio’s language is not
simply the sum or mix-and-match
of all of these tendencies, forms
and influences. It is more authentic and more meaningful. It
represents the way in which the
light of these different traditions
and musical cultures has been
fractured (and is still being fractured) by the prism created by
an authentic and accomplished
musician’s sensibility and creativity. The resulting rainbow of
colours is well-defined, personal,
recognisable and clear. It marks
out talent, wisdom, intelligence
and taste. You can speak about
the concept of a ‘trade’ and obviously about a ‘profession’, as is
undeniably the case for so many
years of honourable career. But
they are all elements that cannot progress if not hand in hand
with passion, interest, curiosity,
professional honesty and intellect, as well as with the desire
and need to discover and learn
new things, in order to be able
to continue to say and offer up
something innovative. We have a
head, we have our hands but we
also have a heart. And above all
we have rich, dense, varied and
inspired music from a musician
who has seen, heard and played
so much. He knows how to fuse
the solidity of the earth (pane,
“bread”) that created him with
the impalpable matter (nuvole,
“clouds”) which dreams are made
of. What he hands over to us is a
precious distillate of what he has
heard, seen and played.
It narrates the legend that the
mythic Filippo Daccò (the great
master to whom Gianolio owes
the better part of his training) said
to him: «I have nothing more to
teach you». With the wisdom and
irony of a person of quality, Paolo
laughs off the comments of those
who remind him of it, but listening
to this album you realise that the
legend hides a grain of truth. «I
am music’s farmer» he declares
on his website in a measured understatement: «I like to sow notes
and harvest them when they are
ripe». They are ripe, dear Paolo, they are ripe. Thank you for
harvesting them and packaging
them for us.
Giuseppe Cesaro
Paolo Mari
Brazilian Guitar Solos
Carisch
The book-cd Brazilian Guitar
Solos is now available as part of
the series “Learn & Play” published by Carisch – it contains
original arrangements in ‘chordmelody’ created from ten Brazilian standards and has been ed-
ited by the guitarist Paolo Mari.
In the work’s preface, Paolo
clarifies the didactic decisions he
has taken very clearly, explaining
that the tonalities he has chosen
for his arrangements are those
whereby «the open strings can
facilitate the guitarist’s work».
He begins with a simple arrangement of “A banda” in D, to
make life easy, before going on
to more complex arrangements
such as “Água de beber” in B
minor, “Manhã de Carnaval” in
A minor, “Maria Ninguém” in G
and so on until we reach the last
piece “Tristeza”, which is once
again in D. There is a beautiful
version of “Mas que nada”, which
you can also find on our website
under the “Video” section.
The transcriptions have been
written down in double notation,
using both the stave and tablature, and the lyrics to all the
songs have been included in an
appendix together with indications of the chords used. The
book also comes complete with a
CD, so it’s possible to listen to the
whole of each piece presented.
The execution of each of these
pieces is deliberately in keeping
with the tempo indicated on each
score, without precipitando or ritardando as would be typical of
bossa nova music. In fact, Mari
wanted to avoid ‘imposing’ his
own interpretation – he suggests
that his readers listen to the many
variations available of these Brazilian classics, until they are able
to create their own personal interpretation.
This work is the fruit of the
Milanese guitarist’s considerable experience, accrued during
his twenty-five years of guitar
teaching; it also owes much to
the enormous passion he holds
for Brazilian music, that led him
in January and February 2010 to
stage a long tour in Brazil, playing
in numerous theatres in the open
air and festivals with the singer
Silvia Parisotto and the group
Cuore del Mondo. At the moment,
Mari is head of modern guitar at
the CMM school in Grosseto and
at the ‘Omero Martini’ Academy
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chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
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in Massa Marittima. Besides, he
holds seminars and workshops
on Brazilian guitar (samba and
bossa nova) in many institutions
including the Nuova Audio Musicmedia and Musicaperta schools
in Milan, MusicAcademy 2000 in
Bologna and the Modern Music
Academy in Milan. In 2008 he
published the book-dvd Violão –
The Brazilian Guitar, once again
with Carisch in Milan.
Alfonso Giardino
Giampaolo Radicati
with Peo Alfonsi
Lanime
Fingerpicking.net
Giampaolo Radicati is an eclectic guitarist who we could say has
almost become Swiss, as he has
lived in Zurich since 1996. He has
had a long and active career to
hand, rich with experiences and
important collaborations. While
he was at St. Cecilia’s Conservatory in Rome, he began to take
part in various rock, pop, funk
and even jazz bands. He then
began work as a session player
collaborating with musicians of
such calibre as Cesare Chiodo
(Laura Pausini’s bass player),
Karl Potter (percussionist who
also played with PFM) and the
Celtic group Rasna. He gained
further experience as a session
player after his move to Zurich,
keeping his passion for live music
intact with several local bands.
Today, he collaborates with the
singer-songwriter Pippo Pollina
as well as with many others. As
often happens during a musician’s career, multiple collaborations have given birth to the desire to put himself to the test and
discover what his own world has
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to offer. To better tackle this research, Radicati has put his faith
in the intimate sound of a nylon
string guitar, that he experiments
with and uses to create new atmospheres.
With Lanime, released by Fingerpicking.net, Radicati has without a doubt created a notable
product, homogeneous in its
sound and setting. Even though
he takes on different genres, he
never leaves the tiller and sails
straight towards a horizon of
melodies, of warm harmonies, of
subtly melancholic dances (acute
“Nostalgia”) but rich with hope
and passion (“Oltre i confini”, “I
piedi sull’ardesia”, the title track
“Lanime” and “Most beautiful” are
all exemplary of this).
Radicati is not alone in his journey. He is accompanied on the
guitar by Peo Alfonsi, a musician
who has followed an analogous
path to Radicati’s: his Classical
studies form a counterpoint to his
passion for jazz and world music; he is internationally recognised and has collaborated with
prestigious musicians – the list is
too long, we would do someone
wrong by omitting them… so it’s
enough to mention Al Di Meola,
whose quartet, New World Sinfonia, Alfonsi is a stable part of being the second guitar.
The similarity between their careers and their shared passion
for living the guitar as a sincere
expression of their own intimate
world, have perhaps been the
keys that led to the meeting between these two artists and that
has made the realisation of this
work possible. It is a level creation of ample breath, free from
any useless desires to steal the
scene for the sake of it, rich with
exchanges and intense participation.
It is a collection of thirteen original pieces, all composed by Radicati and arranged by Alfonsi. The
former wisely weaves the harmonies and suggests the melodies
to the latter who develops them,
enriches them and allows them to
reviews
grow before leading them back to
the hands of their composer.
Alfonso Giardino
Giovanni Bailo
Partial Capos
Carisch
Let’s be honest! The world –
both virtual and real – is full of
guitar manuals.
These days an aspiring guitarist, rather than picking up a generic manual for guitar, goes in
search of the manual written by
his own heart-throb, the guitarist
whose footsteps, style and frets
he desires to follow.
And so it’s a pleasing surprise
to find myself in front of a guitar
manual that earns my appreciation for its original and stimulating
contents.
“A new approach to guitar
compositions. 10 studies, 10
full tracks” – this is the objective
Giovanni Bailo aimed to reach
with his Partial Capos, a work
that has been published as part
of the Carish Music Lab series.
After a brief presentation of the
accessories used (capo for covering 5 strings, capo for 3 strings,
Transpo Capo [http://transpocapo.com], Spider Capo [http://
www.spidercapo.com], Woodies
G-Band [http://www.woodiesgband.com/html/home.htm]), the
author immediately invites the
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chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
reader to experiment. Supported
by listening to an accompanying
CD that has been well played and
well recorded, and without too
many unnecessary words, you
start immediately with the first
study recorded on the stave and
in tablature, in which the notes
played on the open strings held
down by the capo are marked by
being placed inside a small circle,
in order to better understand their
function. And to illustrate the positioning of the capo, there is a
photo to show how to equip the
neck of our guitar.
The studies have been developed in order to evoke ideas,
suggestions and musical images
in the player, as a starting point
for building his/her own digressions. All of the full tracks are
original pieces, and besides having their own compositional and
executive completeness, they
are there principally to highlight
the sounds and technical solutions that it’s possible to develop
with the various capos and by
further alternating the acoustic
guitar with a National resonator
guitar and a six-string banjo.
It’s the guitarist’s curiosity that
Bailo really wants to whet – beginning with the research into the
various capos proposed and ending with the discovery of a new
perspective with which to re-evaluate the use of your own guitar.
Giovanni Bailo, an oenological
consultant, has played the guitar
from the age of twelve and got his
diploma from Davide Mastrangelo’s Centro Studi Fingerstyle in
Arezzo. In fact, Davide Mastrangelo himself introduces the reader to this manual with his opening
presentation.
Giovanni Bailo has published
also with Carish a collection of
his arrangements for guitar of
Ludovico Einaudi’s compositions, Einaudi for Guitar, and has
released three CDs with pieces
mostly composed by himself.
Alfonso Giardino
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Luca Pedroni
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wards a bit. And the new album is a rather ambitious project in an attempt to reconcile the acoustic
guitar with the world of electronic music – that’s my
other great passion. I’m working on it together with
Luca Martegani – who has worked with Andy from
Bluvertigo, Mephisto, Don Carlos and Xeliusproject
as well as being the mention of honour at the L.
Russolo International competition of electronic music. We’ve worked together in the past in particular
for productions by Rai TV and our project is almost
ready. Owing to various editorial problems, we’ve
had to postpone the whole thing till the Autumn but
we would actually have been ready for the Summer. There will be songs – good and proper – with
female vocals.
photo by Diego Boldini and Karen Berestovoy
Born in 1979, with a varied yet structured training behind him, Luca Pedroni is one of the most
interesting acoustic guitarists of the new generation. In 2010, he took part in L’Ultima Parola (The
Last Word) on Rai TV – where he performed the
signature tune – and since then several of his pieces have been used for television programmes and
advertisements broadcast on the same channel. At
the moment, he’s in his studio tied down working on
the creation of a new album that’s a little bit out of
the ordinary and we thought we’d make the most of
the opportunity to have a brief chat and a peek at
what’s brewing.
How are you working in the studio?
Basically, the tune is our starting point together
with my writing that I create as I’ve already done in
the past using the serial method. The pieces are all
very minimal with an initial loop that is slowly developed and expanded. Luca takes these pieces and
without intervening with ‘active’ electronics – that is
without actually modifying the guitar’s sound - he
reworks the sounds, filtering them and putting them
back together arranging the piece in a completely
different key. The most incredible ideas have come
out of this process – a sort of orchestration of the
You attended a Music Academy, didn’t you?
Yes. While studying the electric guitar, I also studied classical guitar – even though I didn’t realise
immediately that the academic world could never
be the one for me. However, in order to take it up
professionally, it was necessary to have this kind
of training. In fact, I have to admit that it was these
studies that have given me the most out of all the
others. They include a rigour and a quest for technical perfection that gives you the means to go ahead.
It teaches you how to study. If the electric guitar was
the fun part of music and the classical guitar the academic rigour of the instrument, then in the acoustic
guitar I’ve found the natural meeting point of these
two worlds. And I’ve realized that this is basically my
natural calling. You could add that I’ve always been
a big fan of Michael Hedges’ music and all of the
West Coast, CSN at the front. It couldn’t have gone
any other way. The hardest thing was finding the
courage to go up on stage alone… it’s not exactly
as easy as it sounds. But having got over the first
time, I discovered that I actually quite enjoyed it.
Shall we begin with a brief run through of your
artistic history to introduce you to our readers?
I have to confess I began with the electric guitar!
I worked a lot here and there, sometimes for bands
and sometimes in the studio. Towards the end of
2005, I began to fall in love with the acoustic guitar.
In actual fact, I should say ‘fall back’ in love with the
acoustic guitar because deep down it was my starting point at the very beginning – even though I had
never delved into it. From being a rather ‘maniacal’
electric guitarist, I rediscovered a more intimate and
secluded state. At the same time, I transferred many
techniques on to these strings that I had learnt over
so many years of studying.
instrument created by the instrument itself. I myself
am often surprised by the end results. It seems incredible that it all comes from only one guitar.
It’s quite a courageous experiment and goes
against the grain for the acoustic guitar environment at the moment where the tendency is to
exalt everything in its natural state.
I have always been one to swim against the tide.
It’s an intentional attempt to come out of the niche
that in Italy over recent years has become a bit too
self-referential. Everyone knows everybody and everyone does more or less the same thing. I would
like my work to reach people ‘outside’ of the normal
circle. It’s not going to be easy but I want to give it
a try.
How do you work when composing and arranging? I’m very interested in finding out more
about your use of seriating…
It’s not a rational choice with a didactic basis. It
was derived from listening to many innovative musicians of the 20th century such as Leo Brouwer, Steve
Reich, Chick Corea and John Cage. Basically, the
starting point is a musical cell into which rhythmic
or melodic elements are gradually added, changing
Are you working on your new album at the moment?
Paradoxically, after having travelled around and
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its tonality or making small variations to reach the
overall effect of an orchestral performance.
Being the passionate fan that I am of ‘70s Prog,
I love arranging Pink Floyd pieces with this method
as well as Police amongst others that lend themselves very well to this context. The best example
in this sense is definitely the cover of ‘Run Like Hell’
that you can see on my Youtube channel. I begin
with the rhythmic peculiarity of the piece to arrive
at showing off its melodic aspects. Furthermore, I
really like working with typical electric guitar effects
that aren’t used by many of us.
though their effective return from a commercial point
of view at the moment has left me rather perplexed.
What kind of instruments are you using at the
moment in the studio and when you play live?
The main guitar I use is a Collings OM, one of the
first I bought several years ago that bled me dry –
so to speak. I got it from a private collector in Milan
and it was already several years old. It plays really
well. Generally speaking, I go to record the guitars
at Nobile’s studios that has fantastic equipment and
since he himself is an excellent guitarist his ideas
about recording are very clear indeed. The Collings
is amplified with a Schertler system that was also
the starting point for my relationship with them as
their endorser. I use their David or Unico amplifiers
depending on the size of the room I’m performing
in and I’m waiting for their new guitars with fitted
LYDiA. I also use two TC Electronics systems – the
G Natural and the G Major - as well as a loop machine and several other little boxes that are never
missing from my live set.
Will your new album be distributed through traditional channels or will you also use internet
stores? Generally speaking, what kind of relationship do you have with this new media?
The Cd should be produced by Rai Trade. The
better part of the distribution will certainly be done
through digital channels as has already been the
case for my previous albums. In fact, the physical
support has a diffusion that is directly linked to live
concerts, the various festivals I take part in and
where there is a real demand for the album itself.
Generally speaking, it’s not easy to manage to
manoeuvre this new market successfully as everything is continually changing. The potential is enormous and possibilities are opening up that were
unthinkable a few years ago. Despite the fact that I
have a rather traditional approach to managing my
business, I realise that it’s important to be present
and have the possibility of making the most of opportunities should they present themselves. Even
though to date this hasn’t happened yet! Communication and visibility are enormously facilitated even
Allow me to end with a little provocation – you
are the endorser of a company that produces
guitars and you also try out instruments for the
magazine ‘Musical Instruments’. Does this never create any problems?
The real problem is that I’m tempted to buy all the
beautiful guitars that I try out [laughing].
Mario Giovannini
Luca Pedroni with Luca Martegani
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Acoustic Night 11
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Acoustic Night 11
For us citizens of Milan who are used to seeing
only ring-roads and traffic, any excuse to get away
to the nearest seaside location is a good one. So
Beppe’s invitation to help out at Acoustic Night 11
was a welcome chance to escape from the office
and Milan on a hot Friday afternoon and breathe a
bit of sea air.
And so at three in the afternoon, I was on my way
to Genova with the intention of taking a short stroll,
breathing a bit of good air, eating a bit of focaccia
and turning up dutifully early at the Teatro della
Corte to bring Beppe and Federica the cover and
the printer’s proof for the new Trattato di chitarra
flatpicking that was due to come out in a few days’
time.
theme of this edition of the extraordinary event
that I’ve had the pleasure to see for the first time.
An amazing journey through the souls of American radio broadcasting that, apart from the biggest
and most populated cities where pop music in all
its most modern forms has invaded the ether, it’s
mostly strongly dominated by more ‘popular’ music
such as country and bluegrass. It’s difficult to imagine that the heart of America speaks a musical language that’s so different from our fantasy.
On the stage of the Teatro della Corte, the four
stars of tonight’s concert were Beppe Gambetta,
Nick Forster (voice, guitar, slide guitar, electric guitar and counterbass), the presenter and founder
of the E-Town program broadcast from Colorado,
Peter Ostroushko (voice, mandolin, violin) from the
programme Prairy Home Companion that is broadcast from Minneapolis in Minnesota, and Bryan Sutton (voice, guitar, bass guitar), excellent flatpicker
and frequent guest on Grand Ole Opry Radio Show
at Nashville in Tennessee.
For what we can imagine about these legendary
radio programmes, the atmosphere was perfectly
recreated. This was also thanks to the mix of genres
and styles that distinguished each of these shows.
The song-list ranged from Beppe Gambetta’s “Slade
Stomp”, dedicated to his friend Charles Sawtelle,
to a classic by the Monroe Brothers masterly interpreted by Brian Sutton and Nick Forster, and the
The creation of this book has allowed me to stay
in touch with Beppe for a long time and to follow
him on his travels around the USA. In fact, during
the work, Beppe has called me often via skype from
the remotest corners of the States. And my memory
took me back to my last trip on American soil, in
which the radio played the leading role accompanying me on those long journeys across California,
Arizona, Utah and Nevada.
Just like the guests who have animated this edition of the Acoustic Night, that has come and send
out their radio transmissions from the furthest corners of America. American Radio Shows was the
gospel “Turn Your Radio On” sung by all four with
an accompaniment by Sutton. And then there was
a beautiful traditional piece from the Ukraine accompanied by a short talk about Peter Ostroushko’s
family origins.
Tradition, history and life experiences as well as
the fun of thrilling “Bad Jokes”, with the musicians
taking it in turns to talk about their ‘wit’.
The group was then enriched with the presence
of Helen Forster for the voice in the classic “Listen
to the Radio”, while the beautiful scenery and skilful
audio direction provided the finishing touches.
Beppe’s joke at the end of their radio connection
with Rai Radio 3 is memorable: «Now we’re no longer live, I can say: “Oh, fuck!” [in Genoese dialect]»
Shame that they were still on air…
It’s difficult for those of you who don’t go to acous-
tic festivals to imagine that such an event can bring
so many different kinds of people together. The
crowd was made up of young musicians, fans and
family groups and the whole thing was sold out for
three consecutive days in a theatre of this size. For
me it was one more confirmation of the success of
acoustic music in Italy, that’s demonstrated by the
quality and passion that you’ll find in the pages of
the magazine you’re leafing through.
Of course, Italian radios could learn a lot from
those American ones made up of passion, quality,
variety, originality and a meeting point between their
own choices and a consideration of general popularity.
Germano Dantone
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An Italian Miracle
Diane Ponzio on the main stage
And so as promised from Wednesday 18th to
Sunday 22nd May, Alessio Ambrosi and the cultural
association Armadillo Club transformed the delightful historical centre of Sarzana and the austere
Firmafede fortress into nothing less than a ‘Guitar
City’. In a moment to go down in history such as
the one we are living, characterised by an economic
crisis that is gnawing at families and by indiscriminate cuts that are killing any revival in production, it
seems impossible that the world of acoustic guitar,
still considered to be a niche within a musical sector
that’s no longer as prosperous as it once was, could
create an event such as the Acoustic Guitar Meeting. It’s a superabundant festival full of articulated
ideas and presentations, with top-notch guests capable of attracting over a hundred exhibitors with
a strong international participation and a faithful
public that still throngs to pay the entrance fee to
the evening concerts. In its field, it’s a sure benchmark not only for our country but also for Europe. It
seems impossible but it’s happened – a small Italian
miracle that we hope will soon be followed by many
others.
the Meeting opened its doors on Wednesday, immediately indicated the new direction that had deliberately been imprinted on this fourteenth edition.
In fact, it was indeed beyond the guitar. Because
the title instrument of this event has been united in
this training course, and in one in particular of the
evening concerts, by two other stringed instruments
typical of string-band acoustics from the United
States – the mandolin and the banjo. And the affair was done with true style. The luthiery teachers
were: John Monteleone, one of the most prestigious makers of archtop guitars as well as flat-top
guitars and mandolins; Australian Steve Gilchrist,
the most renowned maker of North American style
mandolins; and Greg Deering, the greatest maker
of banjos in the world. They were joined by Carlos
Michelutti for a seminar on the fine-tuning of the
instruments. The instrumental teaching was also of
the highest quality. Traditional and contemporary
fingerstyle by Davide Mastrangelo, the co-ordinator of courses in Sarzana since 2005; ‘global’ flatpicking by Beppe Gambetta; ‘universal’ mandolin
by Mike Marshall with Massimo Gatti as his assistant; and transcendental banjo by Jens Kruger.
The Training Course. The title “Luthiery and didactics for the guitar and beyond”, that was given
this year to the traditional training course with which
New Sounds of Acoustic Music. The idea of
adding other instruments alongside the guitar re-
AGM Sarzana 2011
sponds to the desire of not considering the latter
only in the light of a solo instrument and encouraging its scope within a group. This also more generally helps to communicate with a vaster public that’s
not only made up of specialists. In a similar spirit to
last year, a section dedicated to singer-songwriters
“in memory of Stefano Rosso” was introduced into
the New Sounds of Acoustic Music-Carisch Prize
that was in the past traditionally reserved for guitar
solos. This greater breadth has also been favoured
by a unique system of multiple selection, so that
the participants for the final round at Sarzana are
chosen separately from different networks, by the
cultural association Armadillo Club that organizes
the event, by the teaching centres of the Lizard Musical Academies and Centro Studi Fingerstyle, by
the magazine GTR & Bass and our gateway Fingerpicking.net. These and other networks have been
represented in the jury, that despite its heterogeneity curiously ends up consistently producing results
that are substantially balanced. The prize has been
awarded jointly on the knife’s edge to the fingerstyle
guitarist Lorenzo Favero and the singer-songwriter
Enrico Esma, who have respectively received a
Godin 5th Avenue and a B-Band amplification system coupled with an SR Technology amp. Everyone
else received self-study publications by Carisch and
John Pearse strings.
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A lesson with John Monteleone
Germano Dantone’s Carisch rewards Lorenzo Favero
Young Night. The performance and award ceremony for the emerging young artists was crowned
by a concert in their honour. The first artist to go up
on stage for the occasion was Giulia Millanta, winner of the last edition of Carisch Prize in the singersongwriter section. Giulia offered us a very positive
image, demonstrating she knew how to make the
most of the success she had obtained and to have
cultivated her own considerable personal growth
with dedication and determination. On stage, the
understanding reached with second guitar player
Paolo Loppi allowed her to focus the more on her
own vocal expression and on an efficacious rhythmic use of the guitar, with significant results. Hussy
Hicks also demonstrated exponential growth. Since
they made themselves known at Sarzana in 2008,
they have got better year by year and become the
public’s favourite at acoustic festivals throughout
Italy. The guitarist Julz Parker appeared right from
the beginning as the most representative personality of the group. She is an excellent guitarist with
astonishing energy and an incredibly personal style
Giulia Millanta
Hussy Hicks
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Andrea Braido
Guitar Republic
Roberto Dalla Vecchia
and taste as well as being a talented composer and
evocative singer. But we have to recognise that
the singer Leesa Gentz has somehow managed to
equal her partner over these last two years, thanks
to extraordinary work on her vocals and her force
of presence and energy on the stage. The bass
player Tracy Stephens was with them again this
year and she seemed to be more ‘included’ in the
group with respect to last year, even though with
discretion. Accomplished Andrea Braido has presented several personal projects in different styles
and forms over the last few years. The AGM was a
good opportunity to keep his Duo Acustico Mediterraneo alive. On this occasion he was backed by
guitarist Marco Brusa. The evening ended with Pino
Forastiere, Sergio Altamura and Stefano Barone’s
Guitar Republic. I feared. for a moment, that their
music was too near the boundaries of ‘contemporary acoustic guitar’ to be suited to closing the concert and it might suffer from the incipient nocturnal
chill and the public’s tiredness after a long show.
But their sonorous alchemy between tapping and
electronics was well done in its compositions and
arrangements for a trio, that won the hearts of Sarzana.
complete. And so next it was Beppe Gambetta’s
turn, already warmed up by his Acoustic Night and
used to stimulating musical synergies. He slowly
took the evening by the hand and pulled the trigger for a whirl of duets and trios, calling that other
exceptional musician Mike Marshall to his aid. In
his solo set, Marshall went from new acoustic music to Brazilian music, from Bulgarian dances to
Bach, and won his public over forever by playing
a whole composition by Napolitan Raffaele Calace.
And praise goes to the grand finale entrusted to the
Kruger Brothers, with bassist Joel Landsberg
and guitarist and singer Uwe Kruger next to brother
Jens. The brothers grew up in Europe in a family
of German origins that migrated to Switzerland before moving to North Carolina. Perhaps the group’s
particular musical depth is due to these wanderings.
They cross old and new directions in bluegrass to
the full with classical and Bach reminiscences. They
received a very warm welcome from the public, with
nothing less than an ovation for their “Appalachian
Concert”, a well-structured suite performed in a trio
although it was originally conceived with the backing of a string quartet, where a section of dance music goes so far as recalling the rhythm of tarantella.
Bluegrass Night. If you can tell a fine day from
the morning… the set by Roberto Dalla Vecchia
created an excellent opening for what was definitely
one of the best concerts that I’ve happened to attend over the years at Sarzana, and anywhere for
that matter. As can be seen, Roberto follows in the
footsteps of Beppe Gambetta who has been his
teacher in many ways: his music is a kind of flatpicking that mixes country-bluegrass roots with open
tunings and European melodies; in his city he organizes the event vicenzAcustica with international
guests, and he also teaches courses in summer
seminars. But he does everything with his own personal touch – with a superb sound coming from his
Manne, he presented some of his trump cards and
pieces from his new Hand in Hand. And then it was
time for the musicians whom we had already seen
spinning around the guitar, mandolin and banjo
during the training course. Massimo Gatti was the
first with guitarist Leo Di Giacomo and the counterbass played by his son Icaro Gatti, who were his
companions in the Bluegrass Stuff band, for an introductory full immersion to the tradition as led by
Bill Monroe. When extraordinary Jens Kruger was
called onto the stage, the bluegrass band became
Strings & Voices for Dialogue & Rights. From
the United States to Latin America. After having
awarded the prize in Woodie Guthrie’s memory and
last year to Jackson Browne, the festival wanted to
commemorate Victor Jara and Violeta Parra, two
of the main representatives of the Chilean movement nueva canción aimed at recovering traditional
folk songs. As a frame for this important event, there
was a long evening dedicated to music of different
peoples, that began with participants connected
with World Music – a duo made up of Soumik Datta, who played the sarod, a jewel of classic Indian
luthiery not dissimilar from the banjo, and Nico Di
Battista, an expert of ‘DB Guitar’, a nylon-stringed
guitar with a very long diapason and the two bass
notes an octave lower, on which he often adopts
thumb & slap techniques with touches of funk-jazz.
Datta was trained for a classical Indian repertoire,
but he also studied composition at London’s Trinity
College of Music, and he manages to adapt with
natural talent to Di Battista’s interventions, that are
rhythmically and harmonically more contemporary.
We then returned to North American tradition with
Canadian David Essig, who is very much linked to
the years of folk music revival, and Diane Ponzio,
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Jens Kruger, Mike Marshall and Beppe Gambetta
Kruger Brothers
Soumik Datta
a representative of modern songwriting. Then it
was Mauro Di Domenico’s turn. He is closely connected to the world of Latin music and has worked
for years with the Inti-Illimani, as well as in the past
with Musicanova and Nuova Compagnia di Canto
Popolare. He introduced and accompanied the per-
Massimo Gatti, Leo Di Giacomo and Icaro Gatti
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formance of Angel Parra, the son of Violeta. Angel
played several pieces on a guitarrón that belonged
to his mother. It is a traditional Chilean guitar that
was designed to accompany el Canto del Poeta,
with twenty-five different strings divided in different
groupings. It will be he who receives the prize on
behalf of Violeta as well as that awarded to Victor
Jara, on behalf of the Victor Jara Foundation.
After the ceremony, the South of Italy came into
the picture with the Francesco Loccisano Quartet,
a true revelation of the evening. Loccisano is a guitarist from Calabria, who trained in classical guitar
as well as flamenco guitar. He comes from Eugenio
Bennato’s Taranta Power and plays and composes
for the ‘battente’ guitar, in a style that is both faithful
to the tradition and full of innovative elements and
superior technique. The singer Mico Corapi knows
flamenco very well too and his extraordinary voice
manages to express the subtle links between Calabria’s peasant singing and the cante jondo. The
quartet is completed by Vincenzo Oppedisano on
the bass and Vincenzo Gagliani on percussion. At
the very end Eugenio Bennato himself came out
on stage, to give the by now jubilant public all the
hymns connected to his idea of ‘Taranta Power’.
For the first time over the space of the Firmafede
Fortress, spectators transformed themselves shyly
at first and then more decisively into ballerinas and
dancers, entranced by the intense rhythm of tarantella. Should this be a sign to pick up on for the future?
Angel Parra with the guitarrón
Francesco Loccisano
And nor is everything over after the training course,
Carisch Prize and the evening concerts. There are
still many other parallel events which here we are
only able to give a brief mention to. We’ll start with
the free concert on Sunday during the day, that
has its own line-up in every respect: Due chitarre
per L’Aquila, a performance by musical schools in
L’Aquila, using guitars built on the luthiery course
last year under the guidance of experts Leo Petrucci and Franco Di Filippo; Paolo Bonfanti, coming
from the presentation of his new book Bottleneck
Guitar (Fingerpicking.net); Marco Poeta, expert in
Portuguese guitar and demonstrator for the splendid Martin 12-string Pete Seeger model; the ‘master’ Pietro Nobile; Riccardo Zappa, the pillar of
Italian acoustic guitar; Giovanni Palombo, who has
presented several pieces from his new solo CD La
melodia segreta / A Secret Melody (Acoustic Music Records); the welcome return of the Dago Red,
Eugenio Bennato
Banjo Clan
with their atmospheric blues; Banjo Clan, amusing
ensemble of banjos and much more besides, made
up of mostly retired musicians with a repertoire of
swing and typical music from the ’30s.
So as to emphasise the idea of accompanying the
guitar with other instruments, encourage music as
a group activity and reach out to a non-specialist
public, it’s worth remembering Ukulele Village’s
persisting achievement, that has promoted performances and seminars with Max De Bernardi &
Veronica Sbergia, Ken Middleton, Lorenzo ‘Ukulollo’, Luca Cocchiere & Marta Terribile, Jontom.
And we mustn’t forget the performances in the Fortress’s dry moat of youth orchestras and much more:
the Suzuki Guitar Orchestra conducted by Maria
Grazia Citterio; the Acoustic Ciac Orchestra conducted by Giovanni Palombo; the ukulele orchestra
Sinfonico Honolulu. And the street concerts in the
historical centre with Max Prandi, Giulia Millanta,
Max De Bernardi & Veronica Sbergia.
To end with the traditional contribution of guitar
associations. The Centro Studi Fingerstyle has
organised seminars with Davide Mastrangelo,
Paolo Mari, Micki Piperno, Simone Valbonetti
and Pino Russo. The ADGPA has presented four
guitars characterised by exceptionally high-quality
sound and aesthetics, in collaboration with the shop
Prina Musical Instruments in Milan – a Gibson 225
from 1955, a Gretsch Country Club from 1969, a lefthanded harp-guitar built by Massimiliano Monterosso and a Taylor 914 CE Custom Shop presented at
NAMM in 2005; these instruments were played by
Daniele Bazzani, Stefano Barbati, Andrea Valeri
and Fabio Casali, and the film of the event will be
visible from September on www.adgpa.it. And lastly
Fingerpicking.net animated the ‘Tower Stage’ for
the whole of the festival: besides it founders Reno
Brandoni, Giovanni Pelosi and Alex Di Reto, the following people played there (hoping not to have forgotten anyone…): Lorenzo Favero, Giuseppe Porsia, Luca Francioso, Giulia Millanta & Paolo Loppi,
Gabor Lesko, Giulio Redaelli, Socrate Verona,
Andrea Fascetti, Daniele Bazzani, Massimo Valli,
Marco Montemarano, Giovanni Palombo, Andrea
Valeri, Rolando Biscuola, Simone Ferrari, Matteo
Gobbato, Alberto Ziliotto, Roberto Dalla Vecchia,
Filippo Cosentino, Paolo Mari, Micki Piperno, the
Southside Blues Boys, Girolamo Sansosti, Stefano
Barbati, the Hussy Hicks… Without forgetting the
memorable performance by Francesco Buzzurro,
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Orchestra Suzuki
Sinfonico Honolulu
Francesco Buzzurro, photo by Alex Di Reto
who had such a great success. Massimo Varini said
of him: «He has Tommy Emmanuel’s right hand and
Andrea Braido’s left hand!» We’ll speak more about
that later.
Andrea Carpi
Photos by Tiziano Gagliardi
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AGM Sarzana 2011: the Exposition
Everyone is going crazy about the
Chatelier brothers this year – particularly for the OM with back and sides
in maple wood that you can see in the
photo’s background.
And in fact… it’s a stupendous instrument. In this case too, we’ll be sure
to come back to it in greater depth.
Photos by Tiziano Gagliardi
A new record has been
reached for attendance at the
AGM exhibition in Sarzana
with a good 112 stands. The
event consolidates its position
as a ‘guide’ to the acoustic guitar market segment. You can
see its relevance rightly recognised not only on an Italian
level but also internationally,
as was testified by the presence of Monteleone, Larrivée, Gilchrist and Derring
(in the photo on the left with the patron Alessio Ambrosi). There is a separate mention for Roy McAllister (see
photo above) and his guitar dedicated to the festival that
we spoke about at length in no. 2.
Bachmann has been present since the very
first editions and is one of the very few Italian
luthiers to work only with wood of his own production. His guitars with their characteristic
rounded forms created by carving and not by
bending are as interesting as ever.
in
Janet and Greg Deering, who were as
nice and helpful as ever, were amongst the
stars during these days in Sarzana. They
are quite the news of the year with excellent
instruments and an extremely varied range
both in terms of finishes and in terms of prices.
As if the guitars themselves weren’t enough
to make us too excited to go to sleep…
Borghino and Illotta are among the most
interesting ‘young’ Italian luthiers. In particular,
Borghino’s Shakti, a copy of the historical Gibson by John McLaughlin – with 7 resonance
strings over the top and a soundbox made out
of birdseye maplewood – has made its mark.
We will go into more depth shortly.
Gottschall too has taken part in the
AGM for several years now and never
ceases to surprise us with his original
‘megaphone’ project of the soundbox,
that he applies to instruments of various kinds.
One of the new things this year and
the nth confirmation of the increasingly
international coverage of this event is
Rozawood. This is the standard-bearer
of traditional Czech luthiery.
They are impeccably made out of the
highest quality materials – to the point
of not seeming real – and the result is
truly interesting instruments.
Liuton’s Tulip Series has enriched itself with a new shape this
year – the jumbo – while maintaining those characteristics that
make these instruments unique.
You really need to try them once
to understand.
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AGM Sarzana 2011
AGM Sarzana 2011
Finally Taylor has arrived at AGM with new
things for 2011. His new baritones are really interesting both in their traditional 6-string versions
and even more so for the innovative 8-string version with central double strings.
in
Aramini has put Lakewood, his strong
point now for several years, next to the
distribution of Larrivée guitars, and he
received a special blessing from Jean in
person this year who visited the festival.
Another consistent presence in the Festival
is the French importer of Yairi, with ‘wild’ Giorgio Mazzone in the guise of the demonstrator
for these excellent Japanese guitars.
We’ve already spoken about it but it’s
worth underlining it again. Walden builds
excellent instruments at an exceptionally
good price. They are distributed in Italy by
Casale Bauer.
Man doesn’t live on guitars alone (1)…
and the Ukulele Village, year after year, is
continually attracting a bigger crowd. Full of
colours, fun and irreverent, with the ‘excuse’
of involving the littlest ones it sure doesn’t
miss the opportunity of making ‘victims’ out
of guitarist parents.
We’ve already spoken diffusely about EKO Mia
Varini, but seeing them all together on exhibition is
a great eye-catcher.
Man doesn’t live on guitars alone (2)… the assortment of string instruments presented by Musikalia is astonishing. They are made in Italy but
designed to reproduce sounds from every corner
of the globe.
At Martin’s stand, next to the novelties that
had already been announced over the last
few months – the P series, the new Performer, the SP strings – it was possible to admire
the new Pete Seeger Signature, a most particular 12-string long-neck. We will look into
it more closely soon.
Matteo and Daniele from the Frenexport presented various novelties for
the Italian market. These included Bedel Guitars and Great Davide and most
significantly Gary Leavinson, the historical founder of the Blade in the ’80s,
that launched a series of very interesting products in the acoustic sector.
At the Carisch stand, besides the new
editorial presentations that never ceased
one after the other, the new Godin 5th
Avenue did not go unnoticed. It is a semiacoustic that’s noteworthy for its excellent
value for money. Once again, a detailed
test is in the pipeline.
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Classical Guitar
SCHERTLER CLASSIC CP
instruments
Classical Guitar
SCHERTLER CLASSIC CP
weighs it down slightly and inevitably
given its size. It’s one of those instruments that immediately feels good
when you pick it up and which it’s easy
to make friends with. It can’t exactly be
spoken of as a classical guitar, owing
to its body shape as well as to its set
up that is decisively for ‘racing’. Let’s
say that it fits authoritatively into the
crossover section half-way between
acoustic and classical, ideal for many
different musical genres. We spoke
about authority deliberately, given the
quality of this CP. Its definition along
the whole range is considerable - full
of body and structure. The sustain –
and here the size of the head-stock
comes back into play – is long, defined
and enriched by a touch of natural reverberation. Even going up into the high registers,
these characteristics are maintained alongside the
keyboard’s perfect intonation. For once, the cutaway body isn’t only ornamental. Definitely suited to
fingerstyle jazz, to bossa and everything that comes
from South America in general, it’s also the ideal instrument for whoever loves Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed
and the like who, not by chance, all played on these
kinds of guitars.
Let’s look a bit more in depth at the LYDiA on
board. It’s a top-notch pick-up system, just like all
the other ones made by Schertler, based on an
ultra-linear condenser microphone with a solid diaphragm. The ‘air-chamber’ technology owned by
Paraphrasing the historical column of a wellknown puzzle magazine, ‘maybe not everybody
knows that’ Schertler, the Swiss brand that is synonymous for detectors of high quality in acoustic instruments, has put a new line of guitars on the market in their name for some time now. We’re talking
about some very special guitars that have been created with a great deal of thought to their design as
well as to the quality of materials used and naturally
their amplification on board. Their design was entrusted to Claudio Pagelli. That may well be enough
said already and I could end the article here but let’s
go on. The production of the steel-stringed guitars
took place in selected factories in China while the
classical guitars were made in Bulgaria. The materials were chosen directly in Switzerland and the
instruments pass through Head Office for quality
control and a final set up before being put on the
market. There is a luthier on site specifically for this
purpose.
The model that makes a fine show of itself on
the cover-page this month is the Classic CP. This
instrument’s design is both enticing and original.
Amongst other things, the reduced, ergonomic
shape of its body is almost identical for the acoustic
and nylon-stringed guitars. It’s a simple, effective
way of creating a stylistic image tied to the brand
that is also functional in terms of production.
The sound-board is in Swiss fir wood of excellent quality. The wood is extremely pale coloured
with tightly-knit veins and the frequent presence of
‘bear scratches’ (although that’s not the case in the
example we’ve received to try out). The back and
sides are in dark rosewood with beautiful patterns.
All of this is solid wood, naturally. The join between
the sound board and sides has been decorated
with a triple black and white purfling while the rosette is embossed ebony in relief. The same material has been used for the fingerboard, which has
no circles or decorations, as well as for the bridge,
which has been very originally designed and has
a sophisticated tuning mechanism and a small and
slightly oval hole. The play of curves and resonances between these elements perfectly matches
the cut-away shoulder and back of the body that is
slightly asymmetric. Truly beautiful. The headstock
(that is the same for the acoustic guitars, as should
have already been made clear) is sizeable and incorporates six machine heads with ebony pegs all
designed exclusively by the Swiss company. They
have an above-average ratio – 1:18 – and are precise and well graded. The Schertler logo stares out
of its inlay in pearloid on the rosewood veneer. The
in
the company guarantees an extremely natural and
highly dynamic result. It has been put on sale on the
public market in this version for 500 euros - that’s
almost half the price of the guitar, just to duly give
you an idea of its share.
The market sector in which the CP is to be found
is rather competitive but the ‘girl’ has all the right
cards to make herself noticed. Schertler distributes
directly in Italy through special selected centres.
The list is continually being updated.
Mario Giovannini
TECHNICAL DETAILS
Type: Classical guitar
Production: Bulgaria
Distributor: Schertler
www.schertler.com
Price: € 1,308 + VAT
Top and bracing: Swiss fir
Back and sides: Rosewood
Handle: Mahogany
Keyboard: Ebony
Bridge: Ebony
Rosette: Ebony
Pickguard: no
Binding: B/W/B
Mechanics: Schertler
Amplification: LYDiA Dual with Resocoil
Scale: 650 mm
Keys: 18
amplification mounted on the entire line is obviously
LYDiA Dual On Board that is the pride and joy of
this Swiss company. Although I’m not especially
enthusiastic about the controls being on the upperside of the guitar, in this case you have to admit that
it’s a pardonable crime given the plate’s dimensions
that are relatively small. The instrument’s manufacturing is impeccable without any kind of flaws or imprecision.
The guitar is comfortable and a pleasure to hold.
The insertion of the neck at the XIII key and the
body’s limited dimensions almost give the illusion
of having an instrument with a short scale in your
hands. But on a guitar with nylon strings… It’s very
light and well-balanced although the headstock
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Amplifier for acoustic guitar
SCHERTLER DAVID DELUXE
in
Amplifier for acoustic guitar
SCHERTLER DAVID DELUXE
The wait for the Deluxe series of Schertler amplifiers to be released has been a long one for their
fans. Announced and then postponed, it finally
came about at the Frankfurt trade fair. This is no
coincidence, given that the Swiss company is in fact
a point of reference in the sector of amplification for
acoustic instruments. Their products have represented a benchmark for comparison on the market
for several years now. It’s difficult to imagine that
you could improve what was already excellent… but
they’ve managed to.
The test-piece that arrived for us to try out was
one of the very first to reach Italy but, by the time
we’ll have ‘gone to press’, it shouldn’t be difficult to
find them available in the various specialised centres trading for Schertler. Just as usual, we have
‘sacrificed’ ourselves to try out the new David Deluxe without wasting time in useless comparisons
with its predecessor that will always remain an excellent product.
The new David has 150 Watt power on two independent channels with Class A pre-amplification.
The whole thing is contained in a Bakelite box of
rather modest dimensions (31 x 37 x 27 cm) but
quite considerable weight – 12 kg. The controls
have been placed on the upper panel and ordered
in three different rows. Starting at the top, there is
the Master Volume, Master Reverb, volume for the
headphones line out and volume Aux as well as
sockets for Line Out, Aux Out, Insert, and DI Out.
There is also a switch on the Master for diminishing
the bass.
The two channels, one for the instrument and one
for the microphone, both have controls for Gain,
Volume, Reverb, Bass, Medium/Bass, Medium/
High, High. On the first, it’s possible to create phantom alimentation at 10 V that’s ideal for all systems
produced by the company. On the second, there’s
the standard 48V necessary for microphones of various kinds. Furthermore, on the instrument’s channel, there is a notorious little button called Warm to
emphasise middle notes. It’s an accessory that has
always created debate amongst fans of these products. You either love it or hate it. Hardly anyone’s
indifferent. We’ve spoken about the instrument
channel deliberately. Schertler amplifiers are excellent for acoustic guitar but they come designed for
broader usage and aren’t tied to this context. It’s no
coincidence that they’re systems that are loved by
counter-bass players – Stephan Schertler plays the
counter-bass – and the scope of the controls has a
range that’s much much broader than the spectrum
normally covered by a six-string.
The main peculiarity of the Deluxe is its ex-novo
design that has been created by the Swiss company. All of its internal circuit is the fruit of years
of study and experimentation that has been carried
out entirely without the use of integrators. Even the
TECHNICAL DETAILS
pre-amplifier for the headphones socket has been
designed ad hoc. The logo that lights up on the front
when you turn the amp on is truly a touch of class.
Once the guitar has been connected… it’s useless
to deny it, the result is thrilling. The sound has an incredible depth that’s almost three dimensional. The
instrument’s characteristics are conveyed transparently and effectively. The controls, as mentioned
earlier, have a scope that goes far beyond the guitar’s range of projection and allows significant alterations of the incoming signal whenever needed.
When coupled with the company’s own products the
result is of course excellent. Having the Schertler
CP with LYDiA on board (another test-piece) available, we were able to appreciate the linearity with
which these systems integrate each other. But even
with other companies’ products, it’s not difficult to
find the optimum setting. Not even the use of a baritone guitar creates problems for David, which on the
contrary seems to have an excellent predisposition
for the ‘bass’. We should only point out the imperfect silencing of both channels when the volume is
at zero. You can make out a light ‘bump’ when you
insert the jack into your instrument. But it might just
be a defect of the test-piece we had to try out.
Quality has its price and the David Deluxe doesn’t
exactly come on a ‘popular’ budget, but its cost is
absolutely right for the product’s level amongst the
best of its sector and of serious professional value.
Schertler distributes directly in Italy through special selected centres. The list is continually being
updated.
Type: amplifier for acoustic guitar
Made in: Switzerland
Distributor: Schertler
www.schertler.com
Price: € 1,608 + VAT
Alimentation: 220 V adaptable
Controls: Master Volume, Master Reverb
Features: Reverb on both channels
EQ: Gain, Volume, Reverb, Bass, Medium/
Bass, Medium/High, High
In/Out: Line Out, Aux Out, Insert, and DI
Out
Mario Giovannini
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Acoustic Guitar
FENDER CD280 SCE NAT
instruments
Acoustic Guitar
FENDER CD280 SCE NAT
has this particular
vocation. More than
in fingerpicking, the
CD 280 is well suited to a mixed technique, with good results, especially as
an accompaniment
to vocals.
The
Presys,
which replaced the
glorious Fishman
Classic, is a more
affordable system
but one that still offers guarantees. It is versatile,
effective and comes complete with onboard tuner
and inbuilt guitar mute function. The control plate
is small, but the tuner display is clearly visible and
easy to use. Once connected to the amplifier, the
essential characteristics of the sound are reproduced accurately and mirror the original tone. The
laminated sides and back and the lack of microphones in the preamp help to reduce the risk of
feedback, which is always a potential problem for
anyone who plays in a crowded setting.
Overall the guitar is spot on. It might not be destined to become one of the icons of the century, but
it is functional and offers excellent value for money.
It has a clear plug & play vocation, especially on
stage, without too much fuss. Even just a decade
ago, it was simply unthinkable to have an instrument of this standard at such a low price.
Mario Giovannini
Unlike its successor Gibson, Fender has never
managed to leave its mark in the acoustic guitar
market. Of course, in this market the descendants
of Orville can boast an unparalleled excellence and
more polished experience. But Leo’s ‘heirs’ have
never lacked stubbornness and perseverance,
which in this sense have certainly been an inspiration. At the same time, production standards in the
Far East, and in China in particular, have progressively improved over recent years to reach levels
worthy of note. It is no surprise then that the Fender acoustic catalog currently includes a very wide
range, with decidedly affordable prices. There are
some interesting experiments in terms of design,
such as the Sonora or Dick Dale Malibu series.
To experience the Corona-based manufacturer’s
revamped series hands-on, however, we opted for
the ‘classic’ model - and it doesn’t get more classic
than this. The CD 280 is a classic design dreadnought, with a cutaway and Fishman amplification
as a standard feature. We played it safe in choosing the woods: solid spruce for the top in two parts
joined together, very light and compact, and mahogany – laminated – for the sides and back. With
its rich dark colour and grain, this provides a nice
contrast to the top, highlighted by flawless binding
with triple BWB purfling. The bridge, linear in shape,
is made of rosewood like the fingerboard, which is
fitted with 21 well-positioned frets with mahogany
finish. The fingerboard has classic dot position inlays. And the upper side has a pin for attaching the
strap. One less worry if you have to play standing
up. The headstock, with the manufacturer’s traditional shape and immortal logo in abalone, has a
mahogany finish. The machine heads are unbranded, chromed and perform their task very well. You
can find the truss rod access inside the soundhole,
where everything is absolutely neat. The standard
features are rather spartan – no case, so you get
the drift – but still a notch above average: the box
contains a spare bridge pin, an extra saddle and a
jack cable.
Overall, the feeling you get is very reassuring: this
instrument is made to very traditional standards,
built with care and with good quality materials at an
attractive price.
The guitar is very light and the weight distribution is optimal. It is easy to hold, both seated and
standing. The D-shaped neck is substantial, but not
bulky. It sits well in the hand without causing problems. The tone is precise and accurate all along
the fingerboard. The sound reproduces the original
project idea faithfully: it doesn’t get more ‘dread’
in
TECHNICAL DETAILS
Type: Acoustic Guitar
Manufactured in: China
Imported by: Casale Bauer, Via IV Novembre 6-8, Granarolo dell’Emilia (BO)
www.casalebauer.it
Price: € 415,50
Top: Spruce
Back and sides: Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Bridge: Rosewood
Pickguard: Black
Binding: B/W/B
Machine heads: Fender
Amplification: Fishman Presys
Width at nut: 44 mm
Width at bridge: 56 mm
Scale length: 650 mm
Frets: 21
than this. Middle notes are pronounced, low notes
full-bodied and clear, high notes a little held back
and not too sharp. Very sensitive to the dynamics
of the right hand, which makes this guitar particularly suited to flatpick, bluegrass and country music.
Without being ‘boomy’, it has a frequency range that
gives it great presence especially as part of a band.
In addition, the standard-feature amplification and
the cutaway are further proof that the instrument
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instruments
Achille De Lorenzi
Achille De Lorenzi
in
Personally, I think that a guitarist interested in finding his/her own personal and original sound that
can make him/her stand out should consider a guitar from a luthier. On the other hand, if you put it like
this - ‘a guitar from a specific model that has made
history’ – that’s a very different kind of choice that I
would agree with. I believe that in America there’s a
culture for luthiery in acoustic guitars on a level that
just doesn’t exist in Italy. After all, this instrument’s
origin was in America, so guitarists are ‘used’ to luthier’s guitars. For this reason, I admire those luthiers that make a lot of extraordinary guitars.
Graduated at the Milan Civic School for Luthiery
in 2001, Achille De Lorenzi – after the almost ‘dutiful’ rising from the ranks – has commenced the profession of luthier in 2006. His production, focused
on acoustic guitars, is varied and articulate. Even
though inspired by the historic production in the
field, he likes to experiment and find new solutions.
His instruments stand out for a high-level achievement and competitive prices. I would like to allow
you to take part in a chat I had with Achille Besides
being a close friend, he is also an excellent luthier
who lives and works in Bannia di Fiume Veneto in
North East Italy.
What’s your opinion of the situation for luthiery
in Italy?
It’s difficult to be a luthier by profession. In Italy, in
my opinion, there are some very good luthiers who
do their work really well, but unfortunately there are
an equal number of others who improvise and consider themselves luthiers simply because they’ve
stretched a trussrod…
Because of this, I believe in the relationship between luthiers and musicians, and that beyond being a professional relationship it should be a friendship or at least a sharing of similar ideas!
Achille, tell us about yourself and your history.
How did you begin? Who inspires you?
I trained at the Civic School for Luthiery in Milan
where I got my diploma in 2001. I’ve shared experiences with several luthiers as their assistant and
collaborator in various sectors – from the making
of guitars to the restoration and reproduction of antique instruments and the making of mandolins and
snare drums. Since 2006 I’ve worked professionally
as a luthier. Music has always been my passion.
I’ve enjoyed playing the bass guitar ever since I was
little. Then I realised that what I really wanted to do
was make musical instruments.
I began by making acoustic guitars, taking the first
triple zeros built by Martin as my model and bringing in my own personal modifications to try out new
solutions.
of my job. I think that it’s experience in the diversity
of making that enriches a luthier and thus also his/
her instruments.
What types of guitar do you make?
I make acoustic guitars in the form of 000, OM
and Medium Jumbo. At the moment, I’m working on
a semi-acoustic archtop. But I’ve also made electric
guitars and acoustic bass guitars in the past. I really
enjoy making different types of guitars. I believe that
experimenting with different shapes is the best part
What woods do you use for your instruments?
Tell us a bit about your instruments in terms of
how they’re made…
I normally use the most traditional materials –
rosewood and mahogany for the back and sides,
Italian fir wood for the soundboard and mahogany
for the neck. I use ebony for the keyboard. I’m very
open to finding and using the most sought-after
stock and experimenting with new combinations of
soundboard, sides and back.
As far as the bracing is concerned, I follow the
standard ‘X’ modifying a few small things that make
the difference on a hand-made guitar, such as the
opening of the X or the thickness of the braces. The
neck is glued on after having made the body.
Do you have any endorsers? What do the guitarists say who have tried your guitars?
At the moment I don’t have any endorser. As I
said before, if I were to have an endorser, I would
like it to be something that came about naturally,
from an exchange of opinions between maker and
musician to find the instrument most suited to the
tastes of one and the ability of the other. I’ve learnt
that the sound of the guitar changes radically depending on who plays it. So one guitarist can tell me
that such and such a guitar plays well for fingerpicking and another person can tell me that the same
guitar is perfect for strumming. Some of my clients
say that my instruments have particular sounds that
make them similar and differentiate them from other
guitars!
Where can we try out your guitars? What’s your
price range?
You can come and visit me in my workshop in
Bannia di Fiume Veneto or you can try them out
at most of the well-known acoustic guitar festivals.
You can find something on-line too. The average
price I market my guitars at is around 2500 euros,
which varies according to the wood inlays and personal touches.
Alberto Ziliotto
You can contact Achille on his mobile 338
7007578 or write an e-mail to [email protected] A
website is coming soon!
Which is the guitar model you like best?
In my opinion, I think that the triple zero guitars
with the neck joint at 12th fret and a cutaway body
have an excellent sound, in terms of volume, depth,
balance between high and low notes and ease of
playing.
Why should a guitarist buy a hand-made guitar
and not a guitar from one of the sought-after
brand names? What do you think of American
luthiery?
Well, at the end of the day, it’s a question of taste.
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Condenser Microphone
DPA 4099 GTR
in
Condenser Microphone
DPA 4099 GTR
EQ were used, so everything
could sound even better than
this.
Danish company DPA produces superior quality micro-
The Audio Files
phones for a range of purposes.
The small DPA 4099GTR (€
Martin D-28
480 including VAT) is a su-
Larrivée OM-10
percardioid condenser micro-
Tozzi nylon
phone, designed for acoustic
guitars, dobro and the like,
The position recommended
and offers exceptional perfor-
by the manufacturer is in front
mance. With its modern design
of the fingerboard, between
and impeccable craftsmanship,
the 12th fret and the hole, but
it is small but perfectly propor-
there is scope for experiment-
tioned in all its components: the
ing as the support can be attached in different positions
tiny microphone is enclosed in
along the body, on both the
a protective rubber foam that
upper and lower sides. We
makes it look larger than it re-
found the recordings very
ally is, the capsule measures
faithful to the instruments,
half a centimetre across and is
the DPA is quite brilliant but it renders the various
4.5 cm long. It is attached by
mental’ positions, such as fitting it to the lower side
tonal nuances very well. The microphone requires
a black rubber clip to a 14 cm
pointing towards the bridge: the overall sound will
phantom power and if you were to buy it for live per-
long gooseneck that allows it to
be more midrange but very strong. Try it!
formances you would still have a good microphone
be positioned in front of the in-
for home recording, so you have a “dual purpose”
strument. Joined to the goose-
Conclusions
microphone. As above, we connected the DPA to
neck is a 180 cm cable with a tiny connector at the
end, and we already had an XLR adapter to connect to the microphones we used for the test. The
gooseneck is in turn mounted on a frame, again
nected it to a dedicated acoustic guitar amplifier to
a dedicated acoustic guitar amp and tested its per-
A high quality product, if you are going to buy it
assess its immediate response. We will report back
formance. As with all very sensitive microphones,
the output is fairly low when compared to the apti-
you should thoroughly test it. No matter how well
to you soon!
you play, this type of microphone is likely to be more
tude for audio feedback. We note, however, a su-
made of black rubber, which fixes it to the body of
The Test
the guitar. This frame is very lightweight and will
of a problem than a solution on stage, especially if
perior resistance to feedback compared to studio
First of all, what we can do is play you recordings
microphones. The positioning is crucial, moving it a
you are not alone. You will need a high quality sound
of several instruments, so that you can hear how
few centimetres or putting it too close to the hole of
system and a very capable engineer to troubleshoot
it sounds ‘indoors’: you can find the guitars used
the guitar radically changes the response and the
the initial set-up. We could test its performance by
in many other similar tests on this website (so you
overall timbre, as is well-known. The best result we
provide a wide range of options. It is designed to be
pairing it with a traditional acoustic guitar pickup,
can compare the features of many different micro-
achieved was by moving it away from the finger-
used on stage and its features make it perfect both
phones). These include a Martin D-28, a Larrivée
board, giving it the chance to capture more sound.
for mounting on a single instrument and for moving
OM-10 and a classic Bruno Tozzi from 1982. Every-
Putting it very near to the strings did not produce a
between different guitars if necessary. The locking
thing has been recorded using a Presonus Firebox
good result, but all positions are worth trying, and
system is easy and very quick to use. We have not
soundcard on a PC with Cubase SE. The audio files
changing instrument means you will have to change
had the chance to test it live, though we have con-
have not been edited in any way and no effects or
the position again. You could even try a few ‘experi-
not damage the instrument. It also has an effective
locking system that adapts to a specific instrument
with sizes ranging from 3.5 cm to 12.2 cm, which
as is done with a microphone inside the body. This
would produce much better results.
Anyhow, thumbs up for the little guy!
Daniele Bazzani
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Samson Studio GT
USB Studio Monitors with Integrated Soundcard
instruments
Samson Studio GT
USB Studio Monitors with Integrated Soundcard
When we, who have not been part of the ‘important’ circle until now, see our little dreams finally
start to come true.
Really? So what has happened to make the
dreams come true?
The answer is simple: an innovative product with
really interesting features, all useful for home-recording enthusiasts.
The problems of space that plague our lives are
now the order of the day: on our desks (the real
ones, not the computer desktop...) we want everything and more, from the right kind of speakers to
the soundcard - and space for links between various devices - this is when Samson had the idea to
combine everything into a single product.
The USB Samson Studio GT active speakers
(275,50 Euro) are not only a pair of two-way active
monitors, but also have an integrated soundcard
capable of providing phantom power to two microphones, with two headphone outputs and can also
receive an external audio signal (an MP3 player, for
example).
Let’s be clear from the start, we don’t like to pass
off one thing as another, and we know that manufacturers are keen for us to be honest: at this price we
have to assess carefully what we’re talking about. A
pair of studio monitors can cost much more, so pay
attention because we will write not only about the
product, but also the market segment it belongs to.
This does not mean that there is no quality – quite
the opposite.
Product Features
Beautifully finished in black and featuring a 4”
woofer and a 1” tweeter, the Studio GT looks sturdy
and feels heavy, in fact the active speaker weighs
just over 4 kg, and the other one about 3 kg. They
don’t use traditional audio inputs, but connect to the
computer via USB. Once connected they configure
themselves making the integrated soundcard immediately available, with no particular installation
requirements. Just select them from the PC control
panel as devices for listening and recording or from
system preferences for Mac users. Now we’re ready
to go.
Summary of the Main Features
The soundcard lets you record and monitor in real
time - with no latency - up to two signals at the same
time, of any type, from a dynamic or condenser microphone, to an instrument recorded live, keyboard,
guitar, or whatever you like. The two inputs are
multi-function, we can connect a standard instrument or microphone jack.
Phantom power is automatically supplied when
you connect a condenser microphone. All controls
are on the front panel of the active speaker and allow you to adjust the level instantly. There are several controls: each channel has its own, with a LED
that lights up when the input signal is too high, each
in
headphone also has controls that allow you to mix
input and output (you can listen in Mono or Stereo).
The monitors turn off if you connect headphones.
On the back we have the USB connection, connectors to take the second passive speaker, the
power outlet for the first monitor and an additional
input via RCA connectors.
The Test
Once connected to the PC, the Samson produces
a beautiful sound, full of nuances for a product in
this price range. Sometimes we spend a fortune
on monitors that don’t sound that good (and these
are much more than just simple speakers). We will
certainly not base our professional assessment on
these, but they are a great starting point to help anyone new to the world of recording understand that
even for just listening to music on your home computer, you can do much, much more.
We obviously have no way of letting you hear
them, so you will have to look for them and ask for
a demonstration, or take a risk and buy them sight
unseen. However, we can let you hear the result of
some test recordings with two very different microphones, because it is important to demonstrate the
quality of the soundcard and share this with you.
The test is unique because we have recorded
different guitars with two microphones at the same
time, using the two channels available on the Studio
GT: in front of the fretboard we placed an AKG 414,
while we connected a small DPA 4099 GTR (which
will be reviewed shortly on this website) attached
to the guitar body and placed in a similar position.
What you hear are exactly the same notes from two
separate sources, passed through the integrated
Studio GT soundcard.
We used a Martin D-28, a Larrivée OM-10 and
a classic Bruno Tozzi from 1982: the sound differences between the two microphones are very noticeable like in real life, a sign that the soundcard
works well and clearly captures the nuances of the
different input signals.
possible the real tonal differences between the guitars and microphones, so all the sounds can be improved in the editing stage.
Conclusions
If you are thinking of buying something more
than just a couple of PC speakers and if you need
a soundcard and don’t know what to buy, maybe
we’ve just given you the answer. At this price, you
normally find either one product or the other, and
we’re not even in the premium range, so it really is
worth thinking about.
Many, too many, people listen to music from
speakers of such poor quality that they don’t understand what ‘listen’ really means, and if the files are
in MP3 format the problem is made even worse. It’s
like watching a good film through a keyhole.
We hope we have made it clear that this is a really interesting and innovative product. We believe
that many manufacturers will follow this example
and launch their own all-in-one versions. Technology nowadays makes it possible to do things that
were previously unthinkable, so get ready because
it’s going to be fun!
Martin D-28 (AKG-414)
Martin D-28 (DPA)
Larrivée OM-10 (AKG-414)
Larrivée OM-10 (DPA)
Tozzi nylon (AKG-414)
Tozzi nylon (DPA)
As usual we have not applied any kind of EQ or
effects to the recordings, to bring out as clearly as
Daniele Bazzani
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chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
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Amp Modelling Software
IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3.5 Free!
instruments
Amp Modelling Software
IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3.5 Free!
Despite its brand name and Anglophile website,
IK Multimedia is an entirely Italian company based
in Modena. In recent years it has grown to be one
of the leading companies in the world, for its guitar
amp modeling software. To the point where IK competes for first place in the market with the benchmark for this sector: Guitar Rig. With the success
of the iPhone and its various forms, IK has focused
a lot of attention on developing Apps and making
its applications suitable for mobiles. Encouraged
by consumer feedback, the company has now
launched a very interesting promotional campaign
for AmpliTube on PC (or Mac). The 3.5 version of
the software, which is free, comes with a limited
number of amp models, stompbox and rack effects
included. You can buy additional ‘parts’ individually
– the prices and conditions are similar to the Apps
on iTunes. So you have the chance to expand on
the standard package at a very reasonable price
and choosing specific options that meet your needs.
The program works either standalone or as a VST
plug-in. Just go to the website, register, log into the
members area and start downloading.
in the free version! Even more in fact: parametric
EQ, noise gate, different amps or preamp stages, a
tuner with adjustable pitch and the ability to set up
a very detailed routing configuration. For free. So,
even if this program is not ‘tailor-made’ for acoustics
(I wonder if anyone will ever come up with one) it
definitely deserves a look. Obviously in a targeted
way to meet our needs.
Once you have registered on the website and
downloaded the installer, all it takes is a few clicks
and the program is ready to use. You will receive
an activation code by e-mail. Assuming that whoever owns a ‘high-function’ soundcard is also able
to set it up to function optimally, our unbiased advice for ‘basic’ users of integrated hardware is to
immediately install the Asio4All, adjusting the buffer to maximum. Without going into too much detail
about what they are and how they work – it would
require a mini thesis – they make it possible to get
the best out of AmpliTube (and many other music
programs) without going crazy with various settings
and tweakability. They are easy to find online with
a simple search, and with freeware licenses. So the
guitar is connected to the PC via Line In – if present
– or the microphone input taking care to adjust the
input gain (control panel – audio – microphone). All
of this takes half an hour tops.
Without going into detail about the considerable
potential of this program, even the basic version,
the best results are obtained with the SIM of the
Ok, but what does it offer us acoustic players…
Usually, if we connect directly to the amp, all we
need is a reverb. If we really want to go all out, we
can add a preamplifier, an equalizer and a compressor. If we’re feeling particularly adventurous we can
also add a chorus and a delay. All this is included
in
bass amp. The others are a bit too Hi-Gain for our
wooden guitars. Once you set the input and output
gain, you’ll find a world of effects to explore at will,
including pedals and rack effects. As well as the
chance to try out two amplifiers and/or two effects
chains in parallel. Of course you can also create
endless setups and recall them at will.
In general, the sound quality is good, even just
using the integrated soundcard in an older laptop.
The problem of latency, given the rather modest
resources required, is virtually non-existent. AmpliTube can be a useful starting point for trying out and
playing with different effects, which would normally
be prohibited by the cost of buying those effects.
There are guitarists who could spend days on end
experimenting with a long delay.
The program also has an integrated 4-track recorder, which can import tracks from an external
source and slow them down for study. Also, once
a track is recorded, you can adjust the effects until
you are satisfied with the result.
However, as the performance quality is not bad,
on a par with many medium/low cost pedals on the
market, you might want to use it when playing live.
Maybe with a netbook, those little laptops with a
battery that lasts a long time, so you don’t have any
wiring problems.
It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it, so we
did some tests. The program runs very well even
on machines that are not top of the range, retaining
performance quality. The best result is obtained by
splitting the signal, perhaps with a dual output DI,
and sending both the raw signal from the guitar and
the PC signal. With some attention to volume setting, you get good results.
Connecting to an amplifier, even for acoustics,
however, can create some problems: we must be
careful to switch off the simulation of speakers and
microphones and ‘tweak’ a little to find the optimum.
The only thing that worries us a little is how to use
the wah-wah with your mouse…
Did we mention it’s free?
Mario Giovannini
Info:http://www.amplitube.com
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chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
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instruments
News From the Companies
Walden Paolo Gianolio Signature
Walden guitars have enjoyed considerable market success thanks to their excellent value for money. The Paolo
Gianolio Signature has now been born in collaboration
with the Italian importer Casale Bauer. This highly regarded artist describes the instrument as follows: «a good
character that goes well with melodies and chords. It has
refined calibration that gives it excellent intonation and
manageability as well as an excellent versatile sound that
whets the appetite in whoever plays it as much as in whoever listens to it. The Walden Signature Paolo Gianolio
is an acoustic guitar I would recommend to all my colleagues». Its features are: Grand Auditorium format with
soundboard in red cedar, back and sides in mahogany,
everything is solid wood the capo is bone, nut is 44.45
mm, scale of 650 mm, double action truss rod; graphite
strengthened neck. Price to the public: 1095 Euros (VAT
sales tax included).
Gas Addiction
Peerless Acoustics
The Korean manufacturer is expanding its product range
to include acoustic guitars, introducing to its catalogue
three classic dreadnought shapes, also available with cutaway and in electric versions. Given the quality of the their
semi-acoustics, both in terms of materials and finish, these
are ones to watch. The features in detail:
– PD 50E: electrified dreadnought; solid spruce top;
laminated mahogany sides and back; mahogany neck with
rosewood fingerboard; ‘Lady Lips’ headstock; natural gloss
finish; Fishman Classic 4T preamp; case included.
– PD 55CE: electrified dreadnought cutaway; solid spruce
top; laminated rosewood back and sides; mahogany neck
with rosewood fingerboard; ‘Lady Lips’ headstock; natural gloss finish; Fishman Prefix Plus-T preamp;
case included.
– PD75: dreadnought; solid spruce top; solid rosewood back and sides; mahogany neck with rosewood
fingerboard; ‘Lady Lips’ headstock; natural gloss finish; case included.
Peerless celebrates this year its fortieth anniversary.
www.peerless.it
Furch in Italy
These guitars from the Czech Republic have
finally arrived in our country. And it was about
time because they are top-notch instruments
that are well-made and excellent value for money. They are distributed by Charon Custom Guitar Gear – Distribution of musical instruments
made in USA.
http://www.charoncabs.com
Greg Bennett 12-string
The Greg Bennett D2 12CE, 12-string acoustic guitar
with cutaway, is an instrument that draws on the great
traditions of the early twentieth century, with classic
shapes and combinations of high quality woods. The entire Regency TM series features traditional X-bracing and
good build quality, for instruments giving excellent value
for money.
The features of the D2 12CE include: nato wood Back
and sides and back; selected spruce top; rosewood fingerboard; single cream binding; Grover machine heads;
two-band active AT3000 EQ; natural finish.
www.gregbennettguitars.com
ESP AC-30E QM
True to its roots, ESP also launches high impact instruments
with a very distinctive design, which are clearly intended for use
on stage. The new series comes with the trademark LTD Xtone
and has full plug & play features with its own amplifier system
with built-in tuner.
These are AC-30E QM features: electrified cutaway; set-neck
construction, 25.5” scale; quilted maple back & sides; quilted
maple top; mahogany neck; rosewood fingerboard; 42mm
standard nut; Thin U Neck Contour neckshape; 20 frets XJ;
gold hardware; ESP machine heads with amber pearl knobs;
rosewood bridge; B-Band Electret Film transducer; B-Band
T-55 4-Band preamp with tuner; HN, STR, DBSB finish.
www.espguitars.com
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chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
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Cort New Range
New colours and new models for Cort acoustics. The whole range extends the palette of colours available, and launches two new models. The SFX E has a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard, Cort CE304T electronics, and is available in natural, black and
three-tone sunburst. The MR-E has exactly the same features and colours, but with dreadnought body
shape. They are made in.
www.cortguitars.com/acoustic_guitars
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chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
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technique
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A Spanish Tinge in New Orleans
A Spanish Tinge in New Orleans
Solace - a Mexican Serenade
Scott Joplin (1909)
Guitar arrangement Lasse Johansson
It is interesting to discover that
the impact of traditions other than
African or British, were so strong
in New Orleans and all through
the southern states of USA.
Jelly Roll Morton states in Alan
Lomax’s Mr. Jelly Lord: «[…] all
my folks came directly from the
shores of France, that is across
the world in the other world, and
they landed in the new world
years ago».
In New Orleans there was
definitely a fierce competition between the ‘more sophisticated’
music supplied by those with
French/Spanish ancestry and
those with a pure African background. Jelly Roll Morton often
talked about some of his compositions as having a «Spanish
Tinge», meaning that the rhythms
were different like in the habanera rhythm that we have discussed
earlier.
So where did this Spanish or
Latin ingredients come from?
It is clear that there was a lot of
Cuban-Latin music being played
in New Orleans at the turn of the
century. For instance the danza
genre. If you compare Joplin’s
“Solace” to the scores of Ignacio
Cervantes “La Celosa”, they are
very similar in style and rhythm.
Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s contradanza “Ojos Criollos” also has
the same essential rhythmic figures. Ignacio Cervantes was a
wellknown Cuban composer who
died 1905, and Gottschalk had
written “Ojos Criollos” in 1895 in
Martinique.
It is very possible that Scott
Joplin had listened to famous pianists like Gottschalk, who toured
Cuba, the French Carribean,
New Orleans and other American
cities. Mexican military bands
F maj
1
played up and down the Mississippi in the 1880’s, and they became very famous. In 1885 New
Orleans hosted the World Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, to which people from many
parts of America came to witness
inter-cultural fare at the many national pavilions. The band of the
Eigth Regiment of the Mexican
Cavalry were a success at this
Exhibition.
Many of the musicians in the
first jazz bands had started out in
military bands and were veterans
of the Spanish-American War.
Buddy Bolden’s trombonist Willie
Cornish was one, he had spent
months in Cuba; as had ‘the father of the blues’ W.C. Handy,
who had travelled to Cuba in
1910 with the US Army. In his
world famous “St. Louis Blues”,
Handy incorporated a habanera
section.
The music that arose in the
New World is a complex of music,
not only a distinct set of nationally
defined musical genres. It can be
explained by the common cultural
origins of the people transported
from West Africa, who populated
the entire Caribbean basin, a
vast region extending from Brazil
to Tennessee: «[…] it is the historical experience of conquest,
enslavement and repression and
not just the original West African
place of origin, that accounts for
the coherence of neo-African
modes of expression».*
In this gumbo of cultural influences from Africa and different
parts of Europe, jazz, blues and
ragtime evolved, and the echoes
can be heard to this day in the
music we call modern and up to
date.
I have included the last sections of Joplin’s “Solace (a Mexican Serenade)”, as an example
of the habanera rhythm being
used in the bass line of a fingerstyle ragtime guitar arrangement.
Good Luck with it!
Lasse Johansson
* Timothy Brennan, Secular
Devotion: Afro-latin Music and
Imperial Jazz, 290 pp., Verso,
2008
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A Spanish Tinge in New Orleans
Solace - a Mexican Serenade - Scott Joplin (1909)
Guitar arrangement Lasse Johansson
Solace - a Mexican Serenade - Scott Joplin (1909)
Guitar arrangement Lasse Johansson
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A Spanish Tinge in New Orleans
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St. Thomas
St Thomas - Tradional
Arranged by Eric Lugosch

Tradional
Arranged by Eric Lugosch
2/3 II
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21
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T
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5
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2
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1
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2
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2
H
H
3
2
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               
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1
1
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4
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20
0
Sl
1
0
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H
3
2
H
4
3
0
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    
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3
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1
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1 0
T
2
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22
Sl
0
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1
3
2
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2
0
2
0
4
Page 2 / 3
62
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chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
1 0
4
3
0
4
 

 
1
2
3
3
23
6 7
6 7
5
5
3
4
0
0
0
4
5
6
tc
St. Thomas
St Thomas - Tradional
Arranged by Eric Lugosch



24
T
A
B
    


2
1
1
2
2
0
2
1

3
3
2
0

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
4
2
3
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2
1
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1
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1
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3
B
8
7
9
7
B
10
9
11
9
8
B


2
1
3
2
1
1
H
28
T
A
B
0
2
2
4
3
7
7
7
9
B
B
5
7
7
0
5
6
7
B


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3
1
2
T
3
3
6 7
6 7
5
5
3
4
0
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0
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5
6
B
2/3 II
         
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1
   
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27
8
7
9
7
2/3 II

4
26
7
6
7
5
0
0
1
1
1
3
1
25
3

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2
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3
1
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29
2 3
0
2
3
2
4
2
4
0
2
4
0
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1
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30
2
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1
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
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  

1
31
T
A
B
3
  

  
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32
2
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0
Here’s one of my favorites: the famous Sonny Rollins tune called St.
Thomas. I include three variations,
each of which I play through twice on
the MP3 before proceeding to the end.
Please take your time in learning this
piece: it’s well worth the practice. Remember that the right hand is just as
important as the left. I hope you like it,
and please let me know if you have any
questions.
Best,
Eric Lugosch
Page 3 / 3
64
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technique
Fingerstyle Rock
In recent years, acoustic fingerstyle guitar has moved out
of its typical folk or folk-blues
genre, and many guitarists devoted to this technique have
extended their repertoire with
pieces from other musical genres
such as jazz, pop, funk and rock.
It’s clear that rock music is essentially based on a rhythm section of drums and bass and aggressive electric guitar sounds,
so it’s important to identify those
features that can convey the idea
of ‘rock’ when transferred to the
acoustic guitar. In my opinion,
these features are primarily attributable to the right rhythmic
approach. You only have to listen
to acoustic ‘masters’ like Michael
Hedges, Don Ross, or even Tommy Emmanuel or Tuck Andress
to realize how important groove
is in their playing.
Rhythmic Approach
1. Backbeat. This is the simplest percussion that sounds like
a ‘snare drum’ and is positioned
in the second and fourth quarter
of the measure. The simplest version involves striking the strings
over the soundhole with the back
of the fingernails on your righthand. You can vary the percussive technique of your right hand
by doing the same percussion
with just your thumb over the low
strings to make the high strings
resonate(ex. 1).
2. Double Percussion. An interesting rhythmic variant to the
monotone backbeat is to double
the second percussion of the
measure (that of the fourth quarter) by adding another on the preceding eight by hitting the strings
at the twelfth fret with your left
hand (ex. 2).
3. Melodic Percussion. Percussion sometimes has to be
played together with a note of the
melody. In this case, the percussion is played with the thumb on
the low strings (as in ex. 1) while
the note of the melody is played
simultaneously with the back of
the fingernail of the index and/or
middle finger (ex. 3).
Harmonic Approach
In most cases, rock music involves immediate and simple
harmonies, created predominantly with power chords.
Tuning and Power Chords
These chords (consisting of the
root note and its fifth and octave)
can be played on acoustic guitar
in a very efficient way, taking advantage of some open tunings
(DADGAD or Dropped D and others) by playing a half barré with
just the tip of your index or middle finger on the fourth, fifth and
sixth string (ex. 4). This method
of playing power chords leaves
your other fingers free to play
other notes.
Harmonics
Natural or artificial harmonics and slapping can be used to
enhance not only the melody/
harmony but also the rhythm of
music. In this example we see
how natural harmonics can be fitted into a simple series of power
chords (ex. 5).
The ‘slapping’ technique is a
very effective way of playing natural and artificial harmonics. This
technique involves using your
right index finger to firmly tap the
strings at the twelfth fret relative
to the power chord you are playing (es. 6).
Melodic Approach
At this point it is interesting to
combine rhythm and harmony
with a simple melodic line that
has a rock style.
The Riff
Riffs are the clearest examples
of this approach: a riff is a melodic figure (i.e. a sequence of notes
which are perceived as a single
entity) that is often repeated frequently within a musical composition and is normally used as an
accompaniment.
In rock music, the riff is very
important as it is the signature
tune of the whole song (in general a rock song is successful and
‘catchy’ if it has an effective riff).
Hundreds of riffs have made the
history of rock, but guitar riffs in
particular are mostly composed
and played on distorted guitars.
Our goal is to succeed in getting
the same riff effect on an acoustic guitar. There are several tricks
that can help us achieve this and
many of them go beyond the staff
as they relate to the sphere of
dynamics, touch and intention.
We can summarize them in three
points: 1)a sharp attack on the
strings; 2) doubling the riff with an
open string note; 3)using octaves
and slapping.
1. “Purple Haze”. The acoustic transposition of this famous
and important Hendrix riff provides an ostinato accompaniment of bass crotchets which the
melody fits into. It is important to
try and make this riff as aggressive as possible by trying to play
it ‘roughly’ (ex. 7).
2. “Voodoo Chile”. Hendrix
again, giving us the inspiration
for this riff in which the first notes
were doubled with the first open
string note (ex. 8).
3. “Smoke on the Water”. The
famous Deep Purple riff (like others in this style) can be enhanced
by ‘slapping’ (ex. 9).
… More Percussion
Once we are a little more famil-
Fingerstyle Rock
iar with percussion on strings (ex.
1-2-3) we can embark on giving
a musical sense to percussion
on wood. There are obviously no
rules for this ‘unusual’ way of using the guitar, but by and large
there are some areas of the guitar body that produce sounds like
a drum kit. I’ve identified a few:
– striking the soundboard under the bridge, with the part of
your right hand between your
wrist and palm, produces a sound
similar to a bass drum;
– striking the lower side with the
fingers of your right hand, however, produces a higher sound
similar to a snare drum;
– striking first the top (at the
height of the upper shoulder)
and then the upper side with your
right hand brings to mind tom tom
drums;
– finally, you can also use your
left hand for percussion on the
side of the lower shoulder or on
the top next to the upper shoulder.
It is important to remember that
percussion should not be overused (the guitar is not a tambourine)! Try to use those elements
that make sense for the piece
that you are arranging (you don’t
have to use them just for the sake
of it).
“Sunshine of Your Love”
Now I will show you an analysis of my arrangement of the
riff “Sunshine of Your Love” by
Cream, which sums up everything we have talked about.
“Sunshine of Your Love” is one
of the most representative rockblues songs of the late 60’s and
early 70’s. Jack Bruce is said to
have composed the famous riff
after attending a Jimi Hendrix
concert in 1967. The song was
completed with a chorus composed by Eric Clapton and lyrics
by Pete Brown.
The open DADGAD tuning
lends itself to the arrangement
because, in addition to making it
simpler to play the power chords,
it also allows you to use many
open strings.
The main riff is divided into two
major sections: the first in D and
the second in G (es. 10.1).
As a first step I thought I’d double the riff at the low octave to ensure a sharper attack and to play
it without using the right hand,
but just with the left hand to make
the most of the hammer-ons and
pull-offs (es. 10.2).
The right hand, then, can be
used to create an effective percussive accompaniment on the
wood to mimic a rock groove.
Let’s try and play it together. To
avoid complicating the notation
on the staff and tab, I decided to
add a staff with a notation typically used for drums to transcribe
the percussions of the right hand:
the x on the F (first space) represents the bass drum; the x on
the C (third space) represents the
snare drum (es. 10.3).
66
67
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
tc
The next step involves varying the techniques (even if the
riff already works well) with little
tricks that are intended to break
the monotony: First of all, let’s divide each of the two parts of the
riff into 2 parts, so we will have a
first and a second part in D, and
the same in G.
The first part in D involves tapping with the right hand while the
left hand does the percussion on
the body. The second part involves percussion with the right
hand and ends with slapping on
the last two notes. In G, instead,
the first part involves strumming
and the second part percussion,
ending with tapping with the right
hand.
So let’s try the complete riff (es.
10.4).
That’s all for now, have fun
and… keep on (acoustic) rockin’!
Stefano Barbati
tc
Fingerstyle Rock
ESEMPIO
Example 1
1
percussione
semplice
Simple percussion
no qr
p s
Traccia 1
Dropped D Tuning
=E
=D
=B
=A
=G
=D
P
Q
B
c
l
Q
B B
L
!
no qr
p s
Q
perc
!
1
: 44 P
c
l
Traccia 1
l
c
B
Q
B B
L
!
Q
P
k
Q
Moderate
1
l
!
power chord with percussion
4
: E4
$
$
$
P
Q
Q
perc
Q
B B
L
!
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P
perc*
Q
perc
P
P
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perc
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perc*
BB
B
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L
&
&
&
!
Q
perc*
B B
L
!
Q
P
perc
k
1
4
: E4
!
l
Example 3
B
B
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c
h = 100
B
B
B
!
$
!
$
$
$
h = 100
B
perc
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!
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perc
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B
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Q
perc
Q
P
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B
Page 1/1
(
k
: E 44
l
BB
B
BB Q BB
B
B
&
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&
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L
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=
L
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Slapping
Example
6
slap
UU
U
T.H.
c
H
perc
Esempio 5
Moderate
1
H Q
perc
slapping
Traccia 1
Dropped D Tuning
=E
=D
=B
=A
=G
=D
perc
perc
power chord with melody
!
no qr
p s
Q
Q
BB
B
!
!
!
percussione melodica
Melodic percussion
perc
Esempio
Example45
no qr
p s
Q
Q
Q
Power chord e melodia
Moderate
h = 100
Q
Q
perc
BB
B
c
h = 100
Traccia 1
Open Dsus4 Tuning
=D
=D
=A
=A
=G
=D
Esempio 3
Moderate
: 44
Q
perc
Double percussion
!
no qr
p s
1
P
Q
!
Traccia 1
Dropped D Tuning
=E
=D
=B
=A
=G
=D
k
P
perc
ES 0 2
Example
B
Tra ccia 1
k
Q
!
Traccia 1
Dropped D Tuning
=E
=D
=B
=A
=G
=D
Moderate
Q
P
perc
Trac cia 1
: 44 P
h = 100
T ra ccia 1
1
no qr
p s
POWER
CHORD
Example
4
Traccia 1
Dropped D Tuning
=E
=D
=B
=A
=G
=D
Traccia 1
Moderate
Traccia 1
k
tc
Fingerstyle Rock
!
!
!
12
h = 100
BB
B
H
Q
slap
UU
U
$
$
$
Q
H
slap
UU
U
T.H.
T.H.
&
&
&
17
!
!
!
12
68
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chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
Page 1/1
tc
Fingerstyle Rock
no qr
p s
Purple
Haze
Example
7
no qr
p s
Purple
riffHaze riff
c
l
4
Traccia 1
k
4
:4
B B B B A
B
B
B
)
&
(
!
!
&
B B B B A
B
B
B
l
$
!
&
!
B
!
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!
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&
$
!
&
B
$
!
&
!
(
!
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!
B B B B A
B
B
B
!
B B B B A
B
B
B
$
!
&
!
(
$
!
!
BB B BB BB AA
B
B
B
B
B
&
&
!
!
!
!
&
&
(
(
!
!
B
!
!
U UU UU
U
U
L
T.H.
c
!
!
12
no qr
p s
$
$
15
&
k
BB
!
&
h
BB BB BB
= 90
!
$
!
!
!
$
B
B
B B B
$
$
&
$
!
BB
!
&
BB BB BB AA
!
$
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!
L
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!
12
l
k
B B B B Q BH Q E BH
c
"# "# "! "#
!
&
Page 1/1
l
4
: E4
c
T.H.
T.H.
&
!
&
L
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$
15
&
$
&
17
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15
!
12
h = 100
(
'
Q BH Q H
&
BB B
H
B B B B Q BL Q E LB Q BL Q B B B
!
&
$
!
&
$
&
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&
)
&
Sunshine
of your
Example
10.2love
riff octave
Moderate
1
'
18
L
U
U
riff single
note love
Sunshine
of your
riff single note
4
: E4
no qr
p s
'
$
15
H
U U
U U
Sunshine
of your
Example
10.1love
Moderate
1
Q H
U
U
U
U U QU
U
U
U UU DDUU FF AA
U
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17
H
H
Sunshine of your love
riff octave
Traccia 1
Open Dsus4 Tuning
=D
=D
=A
=A
=G
=D
Traccia 1
Tracc ia 1
l
c
Q H
Q U
riff
Moderate
4
:4
4
:4
h = 100
Traccia 1
Open Dsus4 Tuning
=D
=D
=A
=A
=G
=D
Example
8
Voodoo
Chile
Voodoo Chile riff
no qr
p s
1
Smoke Onriff
The Water riff
T.H.
B
Traccia 1
Open Dsus4 Tuning
=D
=D
=A
=A
=G
=D
k
Moderate
1
l
Traccia 1
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B B B B A
B
B
B
k
Traccia 1
1
T ra ccia 1
k
h = 100
Smoke
on the water
Example
9
Traccia 1
Dropped D Tuning
=E
=D
=B
=A
=G
=D
Traccia 1
Open Dsus4 Tuning
=D
=D
=A
=A
=G
=D
Moderate
tc
Fingerstyle Rock
h = 100
B B B B Q BH Q E BH
B B B B B EB
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Q BH Q H
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EB Q B Q B
B B B B B EB
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70
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chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
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Fingerstyle Rock
Vieni a visitare il nostro sito
Unisciti alla comunità della Chitarra Acustica online
Sunshine
of your
Example
10.3love
riff+perc
no qr
p s
Sunshine of your love
riff with percussion
Traccia 1
Open Dsus4 Tuning
=D
=D
=A
=A
=G
=D
1
Percussi.
Traccia 1
k
Moderate
l
BBBBQ
BBBB
: E 44
c
1
h = 100
"# "# "! "#
H
H
Q
B EB
'
(
^ ^ ^ ^
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bd
sn
bd
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5
bd
sn
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T
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Q EE BB
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B
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Traccia 1
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U BBBB
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Q B Q BH B B
B
Example 10.4
S
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H
SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE
no qr
p s
1
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B
^ ^ ^ ^
sn
Traccia 1
Open Dsus4 Tuning
=D
=D
=A
=A
=G
=D
k
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&
H
B B B B Q BB Q EE BB
BB B
B
B BB B BB
B EB
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73
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
T
T
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B
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B
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tc
technique
Exercises for the right hand
When we play, just as when we
speak, it’s fundamental to make
ourselves understood. The musical topic that we have in mind at
times however may not be perceived with the right intensity. In
some cases, this lack of clarity in
performance may be caused by
the fingers on the right hand that
are not satisfactorily independent.
I’m proposing some exercises
for you that I use with my students. They are aimed at improving this independence. The
aspects that you need to seek
to improve are the awareness of
pressure that each finger must
place on each string and a better
control over the intensity of each
touch. I think it’s really important
to make it clear that teaching literature for guitar (both classical
and modern) is full of exercises
of this type. I simply hope to do
people a favour by putting forward my version that I’ve found
useful on several occasions.
So here are several arpeggios
based on fixed fingering for the
right hand in which the disposition of the accents should vary
according to the different cases.
The left hand uses only one position brought forward on the keyboard. I advise you to begin the
study of these arpeggios using
simple open strings or maintaining a fixed position with the left
hand. The fingering is shown on
the stave while the symbol > indicates a note with an accent.
The first exercise, the simplest and the most intuitive, in
compound time 6/8, is aimed at
developing the thumb’s independence in terms of the pressure it
should apply to the string. The
way in which the arpeggio has
been structured in the simple
succession of thumb, index finger and middle finger means that
the two strong accents present in
each bar always fall on the note
played using the thumb. This
should be clearly distinguished
with respect to the accompaniment by the index and middle
fingers (and where necessary the
ring finger) that should be completely unaccented. It’s advisable
to repeat this exercise again with
the alternative fingering given.
This is certainly less natural for
the hand but is anyway useful for
our purpose. This exercise has
its practical application in pieces
where the melody is found in the
bass lines.
An aspect that I consider absolutely fundamental is that of
‘preparing’ the fingers that are
going to play the strings after the
thumb. This preparation (with reference to the first fingering) consists in placing the thumb, index
and middle fingers simultaneously on the respective strings in the
instant immediately before the
thumb’s movement. The preparation must be repeated each time
you come across the sequence
of thumb, index finger, middle
finger. In this way, you will obtain
greater stability in your hand and
the arpeggio will become clearer and more fluid and with time
more agile and quicker.
The second exercise, in groups
of four notes, is almost the same
as the first exercise but is subdivided in the duple time of 4/4. This
leads to the strong accent falling
every time on a different finger
and here lies the usefulness of
the exercise. It falls first on the
thumb, then on the index finger
and then on the middle finger to
return to the thumb. The heart
of the exercise lies in developing the left hand’s independence
necessary to allow only the first
note of the four to be clearly accented. The most common mistake is to accent the correct note
but simultaneously to give too
much weight to the thumb even
when it’s not playing an accented
note. Once again for exercise 2,
I recommend dedicating yourself
with patience to developing the
alternative fingering suggested.
The ‘preparation’ of the index and
middle fingers is still fundamental
(I refer back to what has already
been said for the first fingering).
In exercise 3, the first two arpeggios have simply been united
in succession. It’s important to
accurately develop this exercise
in order to acquire the ability to
agilely position the accents according to irregular schemes so
that you are then able to apply
them with ease to pieces that we
will go on to play.
I have recorded three musical
examples to help you better understand what I mean. I hope that
they can be of use to you.
I hardly need to say that we
begin slowly to accelerate gradually. In my opinion, it’s not necessary to take this kind of exercise
to extreme speeds. On the other
hand, it’s better to concentrate on
the correct performance and clarity of the positions of the accents.
Here is a brief technical/musical consideration concerning why
I believe it’s particularly important to insist on these exercises
that are often considered rather
boring. Sometimes I happen to
listen to pieces that are incredibly beautiful, played by talented
guitarists of great musicality and
creativity. However, in my opinion, they have performed the
pieces without fully emphasising
their melodic or rhythmic potential. Here are some examples to
explain what I mean: the melody
doesn’t come through properly,
the bass is exaggeratedly present or the accompaniment becomes the principal part and the
whole thing sounds confused and
undefined. I believe that often
the performer has the feeling of
what they are playing perfectly in
mind but at times, owing to some
technical weaknesses in the right
hand, the message doesn’t come
through clearly in all its beauty.
Studying exercises based on
the arpeggios like those presented here allows you to begin
to develop the fingers of the right
hand independently. This allows
the melody or the bass to come
through clearly according to necessity. It’s a starting point that
must then be adequately developed.
I hope these exercises can be
of use to you and above all that
they help you express your ideas
to the full as they can be immediately applied to your music.
Bye and have fun studying!
Eugenio Polacchini
Bruskers
Esercizi per
mano
destra
Exercises
forlathe
right
hand
1.1.Tempo
ternario
accento
Ternary
time - -accent
onsul
thepollice
thumb
Eugenio Polacchini
>
diteggiature: 1) p i
2) p m
3) p i

  


T
A
B
4
 
 


7

 


 

0
0
 

0
0
 

0

7

12
0


0


0
m
a
a

4
>
p
p
p


0
5
 
12
m
a
a






 

2
4
 
7
i
m
i
2
4

0
0
2
5
7

0
10
12
10
0

10
0
0
Eugenio Polacchini - Bruskers - 2011
74
75
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven

12
10
0


0




5
7
0
  
2
  


0
5
7
     


4
0
  
0
  


0
2
4
0
5

0
     

  
   
12
10


tc
tc
Esercizi per la mano destra
2
2. Tempo binario - Quartine*
>
>
>
>
diteggiature: 1) p i m p i m p i m p i m p i m
2) p m a p m a p m a p m a p m a
3) p i a p i a p i a p i a p i a
 
  
10

 

0

 
13

 

0

 
0
16

 

0
0
0

7

12

4

0

0

0
7
p
p
p

         

4
2
4

0
2

0
0
2
5
10
7
12

0
5
10

0

0
0
5
10
7
0
0

12

0
 
2
0
 

7
0

0
>
>
i m p i m p i m
m a p m a p m a
i a p i a p i a
4
0

0
5
10
 

0
2
4
          

          

12
0
 
5
0
 

12
 
10
0
0
0


12


4


7

0

0

0
  
4
2

  
7
5

   
12
12

* Prima di affrontare l'esercizio 2 provare lo schema di questo arpeggio utilizzando solamente 3
corde vuote adiacenti, senza introdurre subito i cambi di corda.
Eugenio Polacchini - Bruskers - 2011
Exercises for the right hand
Exercises
the right
Esercizi perfor
la mano
destrahand
2
>
>
>
>
diteggiature: 1) p i m p i m p i m p i m p i m
2) p m a p m a p m a p m a p m a
3) p i a p i a p i a p i a p i a
  
  
10


 
 
 

0
13



 
 

0
0
16


 

0
0
0

7

12

4

0

0

0

         

4
2
4

0
2
2

0
0
2
4
7
5
7

0
5
5

0
0
7
12
10
12
10

0
10
0
0

12
2
 


7
 

0
12
0
 
5
0

0
 
0
0
10
 
4
0
5
>
i m p i
m a p m
i a p i

0
          


0
          

p
p
p
3. Mix!
3. Mix!
Esercizi per la mano destra
2. Tempo
binario
- Quartine*
2. Binary
time
- group
of four notes*
 
10
0
0
0


12
>
m p i m
a p m a
a p i a


4


7

0

0

0
  
4
2
5
12
12



 

0


4
0
0
i
m
i
m
a
a

    
 

2
4
4

0
2
2
  

0
0
4
>
>
>
>
diteggiature: 1) p i m p i m p i m p i m p i m
2) p m a p m a p m a p m a p m a
3) p i a p i a p i a p i a p i a

  
22


   


 
  
>
p
p
p
m
a
a
19


  
7
>
diteggiature: 1) p i
2) p m
3) p i
3



  
 

0
0
 

0

4
25



0
0

7

         

4


0
2
2
4
 
7
5

0
0
2
0

4
p
p
p

0
2
0

    

7
5
0

5
0
0
* Before
attempting
exercise
2, trylothe
pattern
of this
arpeggio
by using
only three
* Prima
di affrontare
l'esercizio
2 provare
schema
di questo
arpeggio
utilizzando
solamente
3
corde vuote adiacenti, senza introdurre subito i cambi di corda.
adjacent open strings, without introducing string changes yet.
Eugenio Polacchini - Bruskers - 2011
Eugenio Polacchini - Bruskers - 2011
76
77
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven


0
2
0

   


2
4
>
i m p i
m a p m
i a p i
>
m p i m
a p m a
a p i a
 


4
 
2
0
0
  

7
5
0

4


0

 
   
2
4
0


   
7
5


tc
Esercizi per la mano destra
4
 
  
28


  
  
 

0


7
0
0

31



  
 

0
34


 

0
0

12

7


12
0
          
0

0
5
5
7
 
12

0
5

0
0
7

12
10
0

12

0
10
10
0
10

0
10
0
0

12
0
0
  

0
10
12
10
 
5
7
     
10
12

0
5
          

 

0
0
Eugenio Polacchini - Bruskers - 2011
78
chitarra acustica 3 twothousandandeleven
0


7

12
 
10
0
0
7
0
5


   


0
 

   
10
12


12

0


  
12
12



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