I had to write some etudes for and end of semester project in Guitar Pedagogy, so I thought I’d share. I’m no composer, so be warned! The etudes are an intermediate level.
The first deals with music in two voices and thumb/fingers RH alternation. The melody should be a bit louder than the bass. This study also deals with staccato and tenuto markings in the bass. The staccato requires a quick return of the thumb, while the tenuto is more of an accent markinget–like a barely heard, more thought, stretch of the last beat of each measure. It’s an accent by length.
The second study deals with LH shifts. Most of the time there are guide fingers to help you along. In order to get a legato sound, you’ll have to sequence LH fingerings. I’ve indicated things like (prep 2) or (add 1) to indicate preparing a finger over a string or adding a finger after the start of a measure. The study is in 6/8 time. It’s useful to start with six beats for each measure, but you should try to move to two beats (still six counts, just group into two groups of three) per measure. The slurs to nowhere on the bass notes just mean to let them ring–don’t worry about stopping them.
The final study is a bit out there. The first chords are part of a row from Berg’s Violin concerto, and mostly just arpeggio study–an introduction. The meat of the study is at measure five where the second finger will remain on C# until measure 20. It’s really a study about pivot fingers. There’s two barres in the piece, but neither are full barres. Keep in mind that some barres don’t require all the strings to be held down. The barre in measures 9-12, for instance, requires only that the fourth and first string be held down. Musically the study included graduated dynamics. “cresc” and descresc” are used in place of crescendo/descrescendo hairpin markings. This is mostly to keep the score cleaner. You’re two increase volume or decrease it until you arrive at the next written in dynamic. Be careful not to increase tempo as the volume increases!
There are no tempo markings. A moderate tempo is fine for all of them.