illustrations: Małgorzata Flis
editor: Marcin Kowalczyk, Jadwiga Kubieniec
number of pages: 28
When one hears the word “étude” we often think of a complicated piece of music, whose main goal is didactic. The Characteristic Études are far from this as alongside the technical requirements they demand, there is an equal stress on artistic qualities such as: melody, varied textures, and a plethora of rhythmic as well as harmonic devices. The compositions are stylistically differentiated, each audibly bringing to mind popular forms of classical and popular music (ballades, lullabies, Latin American dances, Irish folk music, ragtime etc.).
The études in the second volume are dedicated towards developing left-hand technical skills in the following areas: playing legato (Country Étude), intervallic and scale sequences (Étude – Tango nuevo, Bluesy Étude), changes of position, barré (eg. Sicilian Étude); whereas in the right-hand focus is directed towards perfecting arpeggio technique (Étude – Waltz, Rainy Étude, Reflective Étude) and tremolo (Concert Étude). The texture of the compositions is enriched by using techniques such as: harmonics, pizzicato, tamburo, glissando and other techniques.
In this second volume of Études, I have used a certain set of methodological solutions to aid the student in approaching the études. These include: introductory exercises before each piece, embellishments on open strings (excerpts from the more difficult passages of each piece), dedicated to developing proper alternating right-hand fingering technique. I encourage each student to practice these exercises before performing the études. It is my hope that the Characteristic Études will be an aid not only in perfecting the student’s guitar technique, but also in expanding their concert repertoire.