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Your Weekly Dexterity and Stamina Exercise

Updated October 21, 2004



Oh, those amazing intervals redux...

Here's a chestnut from the recitalist's library. I don't know if it still curries the favor among players as it once did, but when I was in college, everyone played this piece. Played it to death. The piece? It's the Variations on a Theme by Mozart by Fernando Sor. Yeah, the Magic Flute variations.

There was a darn good reason why this piece was played to death in the 1970's -- it's a great piece. Of course, hearing it played a few hundred thousand times by neophytes will dampen the effect. Give a listen to John Williams' version on his virtuoso variations album. [I have this recording on vinyl -- is it available on CD???] This is fine music.

Here is a sample from the piece, the fifth variation. [This rendition was edited by Eythor Thorlaksson of the Icelandic Guitar School. This is a great site for free sheet music downloads and other information of merit. Visit it!] The variation here is a great daily exercise for playing long runs of thirds. It's got descending slurs. It sounds really cool when played at tempo. Impress your friends! Really, it's a great warm-up.

Practice this variation being particularly careful about two factors above all -- first, make sure the notes are clean and even in both volume as well as tone. It's very easy to play this sloppily, with lots of buzz from 'almost missed' notes. Second, be sure the slurs are articulated cleanly. Speed will come with practice. The aforementioned attributes will not come through speed, but through careful and critical articulation -- listen and PLAY SLOW!

Hey, buy the music! Here is a wonderful edition of this classic. If this piece isn't in your library already, consider adding this edition.

  Variations On A Theme Of Mozart,op9 By Fernando Sor. Edited by Bill Holab/Sales. Arranged by Segovia. Guitar segovia edition. Published by Schott - Guitarren-Archiv (guitar archive). (GA00130)
See more info...



The Classic Guitar Method: Now in one volume, much of what the novice classical guitarist will need to know to lead him or her to the recital stage. From proper instrument care and maintenance to the necessary technical skills, musical mind-set, and the standard repertoire—all is exposed and explored with enough detail and insight that the student will wish to keep this book handy years to come as a ready reference source.


With the aid of a good teacher, the student will rapidly progress through The Classic Guitar Method attaining technical proficiency and musical eloquence.

This method stems from the need to incorporate a number of schools into a single cohesive curriculum. Years of honing a logical approach to the guitar and the creation of music culminate in this volume. As a self-proclaimed Disciple of Valdés-Blain , much of that famed teacher's focus can be found in Mr. Pellegrin's method.

ISBN: 978-1-4116-9442-2

Published by PAB Entertainment Group, P.O. Box 2369 Scotia, New York 12302

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For scholarly transcriptions and free sheet music, click the following link:

The Guitar School - Iceland

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