photo 7

photo 7

Friday, August 25, 2017

Technique Exercise: Octaves

Here is the sixth of a series of technique exercises I've dedicated to the
guitar. This is a combined warm-up exercise for both hands, but I would
suggest starting off with the R hand first (see below exer. 3 and 4).
Nervertheless I sometimes might start my daily warm up with the L hand.
In this case I would work on exer. 1 and 2 making sure my thumb is always
opposite finger 2, and moving my fingers and not my hand.
Exer. 5-8 are variations for the R hand that may inspire you to find
different formulas for different musical/technical needs.
After combining both hands, I would recommend varying the tempo,
dynamics as well as the position you practice the octaves in with the help
of a capo.

Saturday, May 13, 2017


After having recently won a scholarship at San Francisco State University, where I am
working on a two year Master of Music program(emphasis in Classical Performance),
SFSU Master-Music Program I had the pleasure of performing on campus
at the Knuth Hall. I must admit that my Alvarez guitar responded wonderfully in an
authentic auditorium. I will be performing my own guitar recital next semester which
I'm looking forward to already. April 28th was the official premier of David Gonzalez's
Preludio en Forma de Rondó.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Fantasie in d minor - S.L. Weiss (1686-1750)

Sylvius Leopold Weiss (born in Germany), contemporary of J.S. Bach, was a prolific
composer for the lute and was one of the most technically accomplished lutenist from
the late Baroque period.
The piece comes from the Sonata no. 11 in c minor (Dresden) and has been transcribed
to guitar (d minor) with a drop D tuning.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


This is a  follow-up to my previous post on the Juan Álvarez Concert Classical
Guitar. On this occasion I'll take the opportunity to point out mentionable aspects
that make this guitar unique in sound, quality and playability. I have provided
photos detailing the 20 frets, the maker label, close-up of the bridge and the heel.
Photo 1 Front view of the guitar showing the 20 frets reaching a C on the 1st
string and a G on the 2nd. The addition of this extra fret changes the appearance
of the soundhole area. I believe this innovation is a step forward in the evolution
of the instrument because it has increased the sound of the B on the 1st string
19th fret substantially.
Photo 2 Detail of the maker label with the luthier's signature indicating serial
number and year of construction:2016.
Photo 3 Detail of the bridge. Notice how the string passes through the hole,
comes back around and through again (there are 2 holes -near the saddle- and
another one on the other end per string). This contributes to great sustain and
facilitates tuning.
Photo 4 Detail of the heel. The "neck joint" where the neck meets the body is
considerably smaller allowing easier access to the lower bout, thus adding to the
guitar's wonderful playability.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


In this post I will describe some of the basic features found on my recently (July)
acquired Juan Álvarez Concert Guitar. J. Álvarez (born in 1960-Madrid, Spain) is a
second generation guitar maker located in Madrid, Spain.,-3.6969049,17z/data=!4m8!1m2!2m1!1sCalle+San+Pedro,+7+Calle+San+Pedro,+7,+28014+Madrid,+!3m4!1s0xd422628370696f9:0x28ad7e91684dc32a!8m2!3d40.4119603!4d-3.6947228?hl=en
He learned a lot from his father, Juan Álvarez Gil (1932-2001), a very respectable
luthier who is a follower of the tradition of the Madrid School of Guitar Making
dating back to Marcelo Barbero who was a disciple of the famous Manuel Ramírez.
Juan makes both flamenco and classical guitars and are hand made using traditional
methods. For more information visit
I'm very satisfied with this instrument for many reasons but I would like to point out
a few, namely its excellent sound quality (very noticeable on the 3rd string and in the
higher register -most guitars' weak-points), great balance between bass and treble
strings, playability and abundant volume when playing both ppp and fff

Make: Juan Álvarez Concert Classical Guitar
Model Year: 2016
Model Number: 1904
Soundboard: Canadian Cedar
Back & Sides: Indian Rosewood
Scale: 650 mm
Neck: Cedar
Fretboard: Ebony

Thursday, September 1, 2016

"Torre Bermeja" Isaac Albéniz for Guitar

Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), Spanish composer and pianist, was an important
representative of Spanish post-romantic music. He is positioned within the
Nationalist trend, but at the same time represented the Spanish vanguard of
the 20th century.
Torre Bermeja (published in 1888) was originally written for piano. It  was
released in a set of piano pieces, his "12 Piezas Características, Op.92". It
has been transcribed for guitar by many after Miguel Llobet's version.
After years of studying this piece I have come up with this version, which I
consider to maybe not be the best, but very practical with right and left hand
I have noticed that most transcriptions deviate from the original score (E/Em),
and this is the reason I'm posting my version in the key of D/Dm. Here's a link
to the original piano version: so you
can compare and notice the many differences found in most versions,
for example, the change in the direction of the opening arpeggios (bars 2-13).

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


This is the first of a series of simple melodies and traditional songs for guitar. Only E,
F, and G will be played in the first position (I), with the exception of F# and G#.
Over the last 15 years I've been collecting melodies which you'll encounter through
various post. As a guitar/music teacher I have yet to find an attractive group of pieces
for my beginner students located all in one place. This is my objective as well as
sharing my findings with both teachers and students alike.
Some examples have a Guitar 2 part and others don't. I usually accompany my pupils
in class as soon as it is musically possible.
If you decide to play the melodies, I suggest singing/humming them first.
Important note to the guitar teacher: there are no indications for right and left hand
fingerings, tempo, musical phrasing, timber, etc. The musical parameters that need
to be worked on should be determined by the professor.