Tiento Antiguo

This is my first youtube video with more to come.  The piece is Tiento Antiguo by Joaquin Rodrigo.  The narrative of the piece is a long lost story trying to be remembered as fragments of past are come to life.

Please enjoy.

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Tuning by Ear

Following up on last week’s post of knowing the strings on the guitar: here is how to tune by using your ear.

Start by tuning the low E string.  It is great to use either a piano or a tuning fork to match the pitch.  Here is a little trick I have found over the years, as it can take a while for the ear to develop: if the piano note is sustained, or in the case of a tuning fork it should be struck and then placed on the body of the guitar, the string will vibrate sympathetically with the initial note.  The greater the string vibrates the closer it is to matching the initial note.

These vibrations also occur when we create a unison.  Unisons (same note on different strings) are created by fretting the fifth fret of the low E string and when it is played it will sound identical to the A string.  The guitar is then tuned using the previous string as a reference to the next string and having the vibrations as a visual aid until the ear develops.  Here is a link to a diagram of the fret/string correlation for a unison and a video of someone tuning.

No matter what your level of playing, you will always sound better if your guitar is in tune!

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Tuning the Guitar

Once you have settled down with your new guitar you may have noticed that it does not sound like it did when you bought it.  The guitar’s tuning can be altered by time and air temperature so it is a daily ritual to tune the guitar.  Before we can begin we must know what the strings are supposed to be tuned to.  The strings are laid out as follows;

E (6th string) it is the lowest sounding note and the topmost string

A (5th string) located below the E string

D (4th string)

G (3rd string)

B (2nd string)

e (1st string) the highest sounding string and the bottommost string

I know that it seems odd to think of having the 6th string closest to us and the 1st string furthest away but it is labeled for pitch (how high or low the note is in relationship to one another) rather than position. To help you visualize, you can check out this image of a labeled guitar headstock.

You can tune your guitar to the appropriate pitches by using a reference pitch, such as a piano, by using an electric guitar tuner, or by ear. These tuning methods will be covered in upcoming posts.



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Classical? Acoustic? Electric? What’s the difference?

You’re interested in learning guitar. Maybe you’ve thought about it for a long time; maybe it’s a spur of the moment idea you’re acting on. Either way, you’re ready to get going. But now you’re confronted with a choice – what style of guitar is for me? And what’s the difference between them all anyways?

Wikibooks has a good introduction to different types of guitars to get you started. In the end though, it is your musical tastes and goals for playing guitar that will lead you in your choice of guitar. If you’re looking to strum along with your favourite rock anthems, then an acoustic or electric guitar is probably for you. If you prefer to follow a proscribed curriculum, such as the Royal Conservatory of Music, you may opt for classical guitar.

To talk through what type of guitar might be right for you, or to inquire about lessons, please contact me.


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Hi! My name is Scott Andrews-Brown and I am a classical guitarist located in Victoria, BC.

I provide private lessons for students interested in classical, acoustic, or electric guitar. I am also available to play weddings or other celebrations.

For more information, please see the detailed information by viewing one of the tabs above, or feel free to contact me with any questions.

I look forward to hearing from you!


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