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Hallo to my students!

Because of some unexspected problems i have to delay my flight back to Shanghai and will arrive some days later. I am very sorry for all of you who are waiting for me! Probably we can start with the classes after the 24th of September.

As i didn’t bring my computer to Germany there is only some old video i can post today. Please keep on practice your guitar and enjoy your life! Best Regards…..

Christmas Songs in the Guitar Class

The Christmas time is here and every guitar teacher know, that a lot of children every year wants to play their favorite Christmas Songs with the guitar.

To make this activity as successful as possible, I want to tell you some possibilities and reasons to play these songs with the kids.

First of all: even if you already get tired to practice „Jingle Bells and Co..“ you have to admit that these melodies are beautiful and easy to remember.
1.) Like other children and folk songs you can learn with them how our western music is working . That is because these songs have mostly an easy structure and using the most common musical language
2.) The most important things in these songs are the famous three chords: Tonic, Subdominant and Dominant. It is very important to learn listening this basic chords and changings.
3.) In these songs you can hear the changings of the chords very clear even if you have no experience .
4.) And because the children already mostly knows the melodies, they can pay more attention to things like : playing clean, playing by heart, playing with feeling and so on.

So I am using the Christmas Songs to let my students learn the basics of our western musictheorie. And because this musictheorie is like the grammar of western music, it helps so much to deepen the knowledge and the ear of the students.
– Let them learn the melodies by heart and
– transpose it in other tunes or octaves.
– Use easy grasp chords to accompany the melodie and
– let the students accompany by ear.
– Let them find the same melody, but in another barree…and so on.
– Explain what is a scale and let them improvise to the chords or find the „second melody“.

At the German School I have to teach big groups with young beginners. For the beginners who just have started in September I use a song with only three notes and another song with only two chords. I let the eight year old beginners play the three notes song in two different octaves. One is on the sixth string and on is on the first string. Of course they learn to read and write the notes they are playing. The other song I made with them, has two chords. I use G and D7 with only three strings, so that they already can sing and accompany this song even if their fingers are still not accustomed to play chords.

Why I tell you that? Because I know that a lot of guitar teachers are afraid of the Chritmas time where they always have to practice the same songs with their students. I think we teachers should take that more possitive!

And what I am writing about the Christmas Songs today, count for other Children and Folk Songs too and also for a lot of Pop Songs.

F.Tarrega: Marieta

As I suddenly have to go Germany, I don`t have time to put all the current pieces of my students here. Just one, because I already have a recording. Here is the Marieta from Francisco Tarrega. Important: Don`t play the second part too slow (in comparison with the first part). See you!

Tarrega: Marieta.mp3

Siegfried Behrend: Peternas de la Mancha

This weekend one of my students has birthday and I decide to make him a small present. He is playing Peternas de la Mancha from Siegfried Behrend and so, I ve recorded his music for him and made an exercise and analysis.

Peternas de la Mancha is an easy piece played mostly in the first Barree and with only a few chords: Am, E, G, F, Dm, C and G7. It is a good piece for learning something about form and improvisation. And it has a nice rhythm changing between 3/8 and 3/4 .

The Form:

Am E Am| G F E|
Am E Am| G F E|

Am E Am| Am E Am|
Dm Dm E

Am E Am| Am E Am|
Dm Dm E|

C G7 C| C G7 C|
G F E|
E E A| Dm Dm E

Am E Am| Am E Am|
Dm Dm E|

C G7 C| C G7 C|
G F E| G F E

Am E Am| Am E Am|
G F E| G F E

The Improvisation:

you can use the material of the C-Major scale for the whole piece. But if you already have a little bit experience you will feel that it is more the Phrygian mode in E and the Aeolian (and Harmonic) mode in A .

My improvisation is not perfect – I know it sounds a little bit too classical.
The fact is, that I am always thinking in motives and don`t use the scale like a jazz-guitarist. But it is just an example. Hope you will make it better and most important: you have fun!

First listen to the original version (without improvisation): lamancha.mp3

and then listen for the improvisation example: manch1.mp3

And now your exercise: use my form notice and your ear to play the original version. If you already have the sheet music you can try to make your own improvisation after recording the piece by yourself. And you can use colour to make the form more evident. The same parts with the same color. Then try to make a new piece with the same chords but changing the succession.

Holidays are over in Shanghai now

Holidays are over and I hope, everybody had a nice, relaxed time! The guitarclasses will start again next week. For those who are coming to Lakeside, the day will probably change from Wednesday to Tuesday. But the first time is on Wednesday the 27th of August.   Frome the week after it will be on Tuesday. The other students can call me to fix the time – if they not already did.

See you soon!