The fingers and (the awkward) thumb.

05/07/20 - week 4


The late Spanish maestro, Fernando Sor, composed a plethora of beautiful classical guitar pieces in the early 1800s. Study No. 8, Op. 6 is a lesson in the art of diatonic lyricism - it's obvious why Sor is frequently dubbed 'Beethoven of the guitar'. I've particularly enjoyed listening to Masahiro Masuada's recording and tried to emulate some of his phrasing.

Absorbing the recordings of masters is the most direct way into jazz. I've found that adopting a similar mechanism for classical practice is also beneficial - there's only so much you can get from seeing dots on a page.


This week's classical guitar theme wouldn't be complete without a bit of Brazil. I finished off my transcription of Toninho Horta's Litoral (from Durango Kid 2) and discovered Joyce's orchestral adaptation - lush. Balancing the fingers and thumb on my right hand is definitely a work in progress. Some classical lessons at Guildhall next year should help! This is my best Toninho impression:

Here's a chart in case you fancied singing along. (I was too scared of murdering the tune with my abysmal Portuguese!)


Sometimes I forget that 'finding a balance' is a challenge in all walks of life, not just with musicians! Reading Adam Key's hilarious 'This Is Going To Hurt' was a much needed reminder of this.

Show Comments