Mystery Lovers


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Strength and Accuracy for the Guitarist

Your Weekly Dexterity and Stamina Exercise

Updated May 25, 2005

(Check out my new recording and look for my soon-to-be-released Classic Guitar Method)

Get that Butt-ugly Thumb into Motion

Some call me an old man. Why? Because I still use Carulli, Coste and Sor as well as the Escuela de Tarrega to teach new students. Sure these works are between one hundred ten and two hunderd fifty years old. There are bars in Germany that are 500 years old and people still drink in them. Some things do not lose intrinsic value even if the world at large has moved on. Yes, there are modern studies and preludes that can be successfully used to nurture the neophyte, but why discount tried and true methods simply for their age? As a direct descendant of Segovia, who traces his lineage back through Tarrega and Llobet, I could be said to be too rooted in tradition. So be it. I have never had a dedicated student who didn't become a fine player. And what did these students practice to become the proficient instrumentalists they are today? For the right hand, Giuliani's famed 120 studies was and is a must. Equally important due their more sophisticated harmonic variety and musicality, Carulli's 24 Preludes. Composed during the early years of the 19th century, they combine pedagogy with art in a delightfully distracting way. New students actually enjoy these things! Go figure. How can one learn when one is enjoying???


Seen reproduced here from my upcoming Classic Guitar Method we have my edition of Carulli's Prelude Number 10. What I like particularly is the movement of the thumb. It doesn't just hammer away at one bass string or two adjacent bass strings, no, it skips up to the treble strings--a place where most new students are told their thumb must never go.

There are no great surprises in the music, just a good solid exercise taught in a musically pleasing albeit simple manner. What more could the new player ask for? If you are an experienced electric player who is just beginning to dabble in acoustic, this is also a great way to painlessly teach your right hand a few new tricks. So, you're an experienced classical player? Share this little gem with your students.


Okay, so I missed a few weeks of sessions. Not really. I did two weeks of sessions on keyboard to produce the following recording...

Hear selections from my new album, Reflecting Pools. A departure for me, it is a keyboard album. The music is a series of tone poems written for relaxation and meditation. Reflecting pools is the perfect companion for a rainy afternoon or a winter evening. Actually, it is a great stress-reliever at work!

Click the album cover to find links for samples of all the pieces on my album.

- Harry Pellegrin

May 12, 2005

Available soon through


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