Compostion for Guitar, music theory

Study in Tenths

Tenths-a third plus an octave-can add an extra dimension to a composition by imparting depth and emotion to a melody or bass line. Tenths can even bring life and energy to a simple scale. Try playing this E major scale harmonized with parallel tenths. The upper notes add a bit of color without obscuring the… Continue reading Study in Tenths

Compostion for Guitar

Jazz Waltz for Guitar

This jazzy tune in 3/4 features a simple melody supported by some rich extended and altered chords. The pedal E in the lower voice in the beginning provides a measure-level pulse, but also creates some extra dissonance that obscures the harmony. Can you name the chord in the first measure? Maybe it's an Ebmb5#7/E (yikes!)… Continue reading Jazz Waltz for Guitar

Arrangement for Guitar

Baroque Impressionism?

Composing from a blank page can particularly challenging. Where do you start when you can start anywhere and with anything? Today though, the whole tone scale was on my mind, and as I was experimenting, a familiar Bach piece, the Musette from English Suite #3, jumped out at me. The first four notes in particular,… Continue reading Baroque Impressionism?

Compostion for Guitar

Harmonics Study

Harmonics are a natural feature of vibrating objects. For string instruments like the guitar, harmonics are played by lightly touching a string at certain places to mute the fundamental pitch (the note you ear when you play an open string), but still allowing the overtones of the string to sound. The loudest harmonics occur at… Continue reading Harmonics Study

Compostion for Guitar


Try not to read too much into the title of this study! It simply refers to its manner of execution in that pairs of strings-1st/6th, 2nd/5th, 3rd/4th-are played together throughout the piece. The easiest way to play it is to use p (thumb) for the lower strings and i (index finger) for the upper strings.… Continue reading Reflections