Welcome to Fingerstyle Boot Camp!
Almost exactly 200 years ago, Italian guitar virtuoso Mauro Giuliani published a set of 120 picking-hand studies. It remains one of the most comprehensive exercise routines ever created, and I’m using it as the cornerstone for Fingerstyle Boot Camp.
While it’s nearly impossible to study classical guitar and not be bludgeoned by these exercises, few non-classical players ever encounter them. That’s a pity – they’re great tools for any fingerpicking guitarist, regardless of musical style. And while they were created for scrawny gut-string guitars, they are 100% relevant to modern steel-string playing.
In other words: You don’t need to read music or give a crap about classical guitar to reap massive benefits from these awesome exercises.
Snag the docs here:
• A copyright-free facsimile of a century-old edition (no tab, but cool antique music engraving!)
I’m presenting them here adapted for electric guitar — by which I mean:
1. I perform the demo version on electric. (This initial video features the first dozen exercises.)
2. I’m including the score in tab as well as standard notation. You don’t need to read music to expand your skills.
3. I cover some alternate picking-hand options that depart from standard classical methods, including pick-plus-finger technique.
4. I suggest some alternatives to the unspeakably boring chord progression that underlies all 120 studies — a dismal C/G7 sequence that has bummed out ten generations of guitarists.
Here’s the video:
Using the techniques covered in the video and the music notation and/or tab, you should be able to decode the other 108 exercises. (Maybe a dozen a week for a 12-week regimen?)
Finally, a word about the scores: I downloaded the facsimile version from the International Music Score Library Project, an amazing collection of free public domain scores. Like its literary equivalent, Project Gutenberg, it features mostly pre-1900 stuff. You won’t find still-copyrighted scores by, say, Ravel, Stravinsky, or Bartok, but you can procure every note ever penned by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and that crowd.
This article was originally posted at Joe’s website, www.tonefiend.com. Check it out!