Friday, August 22, 2008

An old Carulli Prelude gets that Butt-Ugly Thumb moving like a champ!

Get that Butt-ugly Thumb into Motion

I still use Carulli, Coste and Sor as well as the Escuela de Tarrega to practice. Sure these works are between one hundred ten and two hunderd fifty years old. There are bars in Germany that are 500 years old and people still drink in them. Some things do not lose intrinsic value even if the world at large has moved on. Yes, there are modern studies and preludes that can be successfully used to nurture the neophyte, but why discount tried and true methods simply for their age? As a direct descendant of Segovia, who traces his lineage back through Tarrega and Llobet, I could be said to be too rooted in tradition. So be it. I have never had a dedicated student who didn't become a fine player. And what did these students practice to become the proficient instrumentalists they are today? For the right hand, Giuliani's famed 120 studies was and is a must. Equally important due their more sophisticated harmonic variety and musicality, Carulli's 24 Preludes. Composed during the early years of the 19th century, they combine pedagogy with art in a delightfully distracting way. New students actually enjoy these things! Go figure. How can one learn when one is enjoying???

There are no great surprises in the music, just a good solid exercise taught in a musically pleasing albeit simple manner. What more could the new player ask for? If you are an experienced electric player who is just beginning to dabble in acoustic, this is also a great way to painlessly teach your right hand a few new tricks.

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