This 233-page book is an important work for composers for the guitar. It systematically documents technique (from fundamentals to more obscure extended techniques) in a single volume.
It’s divided into 5 parts:
1) Guitar Basics – covering tunings, notation, left hand & right hand technique
2) Guitar Harmonics – explaining what they are, how to produce them, examples from compositions and notation
3) Guitar as Percussion – from tapping, tambour, golpe, string buzz (yes!) to prepared guitar
4) “All in the Family” – The Acoustic Guitar’s Relatives – discussing related instruments like Terz guitar, ukulele, steel string guitar and even the Ebow.
5) Appendices – with technical notes and bibliography
There is SO MUCH material in this book. As a guitarist & composer, I was very fascinated with the amount of extended sounds I’ve not used in my own work. Also, I really admired the amount of detail included in the book. The writing is very clear & provides a strong guide for composers.
For me, I see two viable audiences for this book.
One: the serious classical guitarist or contemporary guitarist (coming from other musical background) who are interested in exploring the wide range of sounds from the guitar.
Two: composers who are curious about what their options are when writing for guitar & how to notate clearly & efficiently.
All in all, I find that the book is a valuable resource and reference that I come back to from time to time. It’s a worthwhile addition to any composer’s bookshelf.
Pros: Great work, lots of detail – very educational.
TLDR: If you compose for guitar or you’re curious about composing for guitar, this book provides a strong foundation to understanding the instrument from a classical guitar lens. Definitely a worthwhile investment!
You can get the book here: https://www.baerenreiter.com/en/shop/product/details/BVK2243/
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