PLAY­ING TIPS

Guitar Techniques - - Giacomo Puccini O Mio Babbino Caro -

This ar­range­ment is a per­fect ex­am­ple of a piece in three parts: melody at the top, mid­dle har­mony part (arpeg­gios and chords), and bass notes un­der­pin­ning ev­ery­thing. To help make the melody stand out from the ac­com­pa­ni­ment, use rest stroke where pos­si­ble and play the mid­dle part softer and al­ways free stroke – re­fer to Car­los Bonell’s ex­cel­lent video les­son (last is­sue and this) for a great demon­stra­tion of this tech­nique. Aim to give the bass notes their full value – for ex­am­ple, in bar 2, keep the low F# fret­ted and sus­tained for the whole bar. In bar 3, follow the fret­ting hand fin­ger­ing closely; hold down the B with the third fin­ger (4th qua­ver beat) while the fourth fin­ger comes over the 3rd to fret the F# on the fourth string. This way, you can get a sub­tle por­ta­mento on the third string with the third fin­ger from the B to the F# (mid­dle part) simultaneously as the melody hits the high D with the fer­mata. Next comes a stretch in the fret­ting hand be­tween the third fin­ger on the low F# and the fourth fin­ger on the high A melody note, com­bined with fret­ting the mid­dle A and D notes on the third and sec­ond strings. If you have large or dex­trous hands you may not find this a prob­lem; if you can’t do it, play the bass note F# an oc­tave up on the fourth string, 4th fret. The mid­dle ar­peg­gio notes can then go ADAD on the third and sec­ond strings. At bar 5, use a four-string barre for the A ma­jor chord and con­tinue fol­low­ing the fret­ting-hand fin­ger­ing for the next few bars. At bar 13, there is another quite big stretch for the fret­ting hand be­tween the first and fourth fin­gers (low G and high D), so re­lax the hand as much as pos­si­ble and straighten the fin­gers enough to achieve the stretch. In the same bar, use the fourth fin­ger through­out to play the melody and con­tinue fol­low­ing the fin­ger­ing for the next few bars.

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