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Click to hear "So Nice" (Summer Samba)
Lesson by Steven Herron - press
Play Pause Stop
This lesson presents a beautiful Bossa Nova fingerstyle guitar arrangement of "So Nice" also called "Summer Samba" arranged by Brazilian guitarist John Zaradin. This arrangement is from his book and CD called "Brazilian Jazz Guitar" which is fully described below. It is an excellent example of how a melody can be arranged using various compositional devices to produce a true polyphonic guitar solo! You will also notice it is written in standard notation (for those of you who can read music) and tab notation for those of you who can't. In tab notation, the highest line of the staff towards the top of the page represents the 1st string or the highest pitched string of the guitar, while the lowest line of the staff represents the 6th string or the lowest pitched string of the guitar. The numbers on the various lines tell you what fret to press down on that particular string. So if you have the number "2" on the highest line of the staff, it is telling you to press down the 2nd fret on the first string of your guitar.
Also, I am including a
sound clip from the CD that comes with this book - so that you can hear
exactly how the song should be played. You will also notice that due to
copyright restrictions, I am only presenting the first page of the song.
Here is the book description from our website:
John Zaradin - Brazilian Jazz Guitar - Book and CD
This book features most of Antonio Carlos Jobim's famous songs and contains a complete solo guitar arrangement as well as a comping version and lead sheet for each piece! Songs include: "A Day In The Life of a Fool (Manha Da Carnaval), Chega de Saudade, Desafinado (Slightly Out Of Tune), A Felicidade, The Gentle Rain, The Girl From Ipanema, How Insensitive, Meditation, One Note Samba, Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado), Sabia, So Nice (Summer Samba), and The Island".
Notation and tab / Fingerstyle.................................................Price - $22.95
You will notice that the traditional classical guitar notation for the right hand is indicated throughout the piece. P is the thumb, I is the index finger, M is the middle finger, and A is the ring finger. Be sure to follow the right hand fingerings I have written in throughout the entire piece very carefully and do them exactly as I indicate. This arrangement is a good example of classical guitar fingerings. Hopefully you have read the report I sent to you recently that talked about analyzing a piece of music one measure at a time by visualizing the left and right hand fingerings in your "mind's eye". If you haven't, here is a link to that page--> www.chordmelody.com/newpage110.htm
"Edelweiss" is played in 4/4 time, which means that there are 4 beats per measure and a quarter note gets 1 beat, a half note gets 2 beats, a whole note gets 4 beats, while an eighth note gets 1/2 a beat. This piece is in the key of E major which means that all of the F, C, G, and D notes are sharped unless otherwise indicated. Wouldn't it be nice to actually be able to read music like a professional musician? Well here's your chance to start.
I play this piece "free stroke", although you could also use "rest stroke" for the melody notes, which means that after one of my right hand fingers strikes a string, it clears the other strings and follows through into the back of the palm of my hand. This whole technique idea of "follow through" is critical to getting the maximum amount of volume and projection from each note that you play. It will also enable you to get a fuller tone out of your notes. Try to keep your right hand wrist slightly arched and elevated so there are 3-4 inches of clearance between the face of the guitar and your wrist. Keep your right hand wrist straight at all times. This alone will probably help you avoid tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Strive to keep your right hand fingers as straight as possible so that you are moving them mainly from the knuckle joint instead of the middle joint, like most guitarists do. This way you're using the muscles of your entire finger instead of just half of your finger.
Some other critical right hand tips are: play on the left side of your fingertips where the flesh and the nail meet each other. There's only one spot where this happens and it will feel like there's very little resistance at that point. Your tone will also be as good as possible at that point of impact. Also, you want to keep your fingertip segments relaxed and flexible so that they give or bend backwards as they strike the string, thereby absorbing the impact of hitting a stationary object without hooking or snagging. This whole idea of relaxation is trained as it is definitely people's natural tendency to tense up their entire body when they are trying to play guitar. The only way you will ever become as proficient as you can personally be, is to eliminate all tension from your hands and fingers as well as your arms and shoulders or for that matter, your entire body. According to the theory of muscular interaction, if there is tension anywhere in your body, it will affect your hands and fingers to a certain extent.
There are only 2 tendons in your right hand that control all of your fingers. Your index finger and your thumb are connected to one of them, while your middle, ring, and little fingers are connected to the other. Keeping this in mind, let's work on a finger alternation exercise. I want you to alternate your index and middle fingers back and forth on the 1st string of your guitar, making sure that each finger follows through into the back of the palm of your hand after it strikes the string. Since your thumb and your index finger are connected to the same tendon, you'll probably find that your thumb tenses up and moves around when your index finger strikes the string. You'll just have to practice this enough that you can get the two of them independent and separated from each other. Since your middle, ring, and little fingers are connected to the same tendon, when your middle finger strikes the string you would want all three of them to move together in the same direction - almost as if they were tied together with a string. If they are relaxed their natural tendency would be to move as one group. Also, when you are alternating your index and middle fingers you want to get them to "directly alternate". This means as 1 finger is going back into the palm of your hand, the other finger is coming out of the palm of your hand and moving into position to strike the next note. This way you are always lined up ahead of time for the next note. "Direct alternation" is the only way you will ever be able to play single note passages fast and fluently. Train your fingers to be about 1/8th of an inch above and 1/8th of an inch in front of the string they are about to play. This will not only help your accuracy, but will also improve the tone of each note. In other words, you are always striving to keep your fingers so close to the string, prior to striking the string, that they almost touch the string before they strike it.
Your left hand wrist should be straight and slightly arched with the wrist itself being directly underneath the guitar neck. Your thumb should stay in the middle of the back of the guitar neck, opposite the first (index) finger of your left hand. Keep your thumb perfectly straight - bending your thumb is just another tension habit that should be avoided at all costs. Your thumb will contact the back of the neck slightly on it's left side. Keep your left hand fingers arched and play on your fingertips, close to the fingernails so that you are directly on top of the string. All of these technique pointers usually take months of focused thought to get them to be habits. So be patient and read all of these pointers at the beginning of each practice
I strongly urge you to work your way through a good series of classical guitar method books such as the ones on the "Classical Guitar Music" page of our website by Aaron Shearer, who was my teacher when I went to Peabody Conservatory of Music, or the series by Frederick Noad. Both are excellent, graded methods that will help you become a more confident, knowledgeable classical/fingerstyle guitarist. I also enthusiastically recommend the book/DVD by Scott Tennant called "Pumping Nylon". There's a lot to be said for being able to watch someone demonstrate all of the subtle nuances involved with playing good classical or fingerstyle guitar. You will never be sorry if you take the time to learn how to read music (standard notation), which is much more descriptive, as far as subtle nuances are concerned, than tab notation is. This skill will enable you to not just be a guitarist, but a musician as well.
Jazz Guitar Chords & Arpeggio Patterns - Stacy McKee - This unique book includes 300 jazz guitar chordformations and matching single note arpeggio patterns in a quick reference format that no one has ever done before! Cross indexing makes this manual extremely easy to use and regardless of what style of music you play, we know you will find this to be a valuable, "must have" addition to your library. Stacy McKee was the featured guitarist with "Les Brown and The Band Of Renown" and for a limited time only, we will include an exclusive copy of his book FREE with your first order!
Never B#, Never Bb, Just B Natural,
Peabody Conservatory trained guitarist, performer and teacher
P.S. It has always surprised me that your average guitarist will readily spend a lot of money buying an expensive guitar and then spend very little educating himself so that he can play it. That's probably why he is just that - an average guitarist. Whether you choose to study privately with a teacher or to educate yourself purchasing material from a company like us or both, if you set aside a certain amount each month to invest in your education as a guitarist you will eventually find yourself becoming an above average or even an exceptional guitarist. Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying "He who puts his money into his head will never go broke!"