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Achieving Guitar Artistry: Contemporary Baroque Etudes


The arts flourished in the Baroque period.  Music from that time is still performed worldwide by symphonies, opera companies, choirs, chamber ensembles and soloists on many instruments.  The period was characterized by the works of such great artists as J. S. Bach (b. 1685), Handel (b. 1685), Telemann (b. 1681) and many others. These composers defined the rich, ornate and melodic Baroque style of music which we categorize in the classical realm.  There was another genre of music flourishing during this period, and that was the “common” or folk music style exemplified by such composers as Ireland’s legendary harpist, Turlough O’Carolan (b. 1670).

In composing music for this book the author recreated harmonic and melodic elements of this great musical age, while adding some contemporary twists.  All of the etudes are original and will serve to enhance guitar technique, phrasing, expression, note- reading ability, and knowledge of the entire guitar fingerboard.  Fingering and string markings are included where appropriate. In addition to facilitating the many technical and aesthetic aspects of performing at an advanced level on the guitar, these etudes may be used successfully in concerts or recitals. This book is an ideal companion for the other books in the Mel Bay Achieving Guitar Artistry series, which is designed to condition and guide the developing guitarist to an advanced level of proficiency, regardless of the style of music performed.

Achieving Guitar Artistry – Linear Guitar Etudes


This is the flagship book in Mel Bay’s new “Achieving Guitar Artistry” series.  Herein you will find an extensive collection of linear pieces with interesting melodic content.  Frequent performance of these etudes will not only enhance technique, but offer the guitarist a wonderful opportunity to improve tone, touch and lyrical phrasing.   We suggest playing each etude at a slow tempo at first, the goal being to achieve a clear and beautiful tone on every note.  The next objective is to develop a sense of lyrical completeness to each musical phrase.  Make the phrases sing!  Once you have achieved the desired quality of tone and expression, increase the tempo to work on the technique.  Mel Bay’s Guitar Journals – Mastering the Fingerboard: The Reading Book (ISBN 9780786613687) would make an ideal supplement to Linear Guitar Etudes as it presents etudes in all keys and positions.  The pieces in Linear Guitar Etudes are multi-positional.  That is, the player will be required to move from position to position on the fingerboard.  The music is presented in standard notation only, with left-hand fingering included on the more complex passages, and circled numbers to indicate the strings where certain notes and passages are to be played.   These etudes sound good on both nylon and steel-string guitars, and will be a valuable addition to the music library of any guitarist, enhancing their abilities regardless of the style of music played. 

Achieving Guitar Artistry – Concert Solos

“Achieving Guitar Artistry – Concert Solos” is a collection of 56 solos reflecting a wide array of colors, textures and moods. These were originally written for plectrum or flatpick guitar but may be played by the classical or fingerstyle guitarist.  The solos range in difficulty from intermediate to advanced and will work wonderfully in recital or concert settings.  Many of the solos encourage creativity with tone, expression and phrasing. Others are up-tempo and utilize Latin, jazz, bluegrass and Celtic rhythms.  An ample amount of fingering and string markings are presented on each solo. This is the third book in the Mel Bay “Achieving Guitar Artistry” series. It follows “Linear Guitar Etudes” and “Triads”. The goal of this series is to present material able to develop the serious guitar student into a very accomplished player. 

Achieving Guitar Artistry: Odd-Time Etudes

Unusual or odd time signatures often seem to be an enigma to the understanding and phrasing of the Western musician. This book will greatly enhance the ability of any musician to feel comfortable playing odd time signatures. It contains 48 etudes in 5/8, 7/8, 9/8, 10/8 and 11/8 time. In addition, “mixed etudes” are presented, featuring numerous traditional and odd time signatures within each piece. These studies will not only enhance familiarity with unusual time signatures, but also facilitate note-reading ability and fluency in playing the guitar in various positions. The etudes are applicable to the jazz, classical and contemporary guitar genres. The Mel Bay “Achieving Guitar Artistry” series is designed to condition and guide the developing guitarist to an advanced level of proficiency, regardless of the style of music performed. 

Achieving Guitar Artistry – Triads

This is a book for the ears and for the hands.  Playing harmonized scales in triad form is extremely helpful for the progressing guitarist.  First, the guitarist will become acquainted with the harmonic sound of each key.  A sense of harmonic and melodic voice leading will also be developed. These studies were written to be fun to play and interesting melodically.  The studies are presented from tonic major to tonic minor instead of from tonic major to relative minor. It is helpful to play one key per day as a part of a daily practice routine.  This is the second book in Mel Bay’s Achieving Guitar Artistry Series and follows the initial Linear Etudes text.  Mastery of this book will do much to enhance the guitarist’s sense of voice leading, note reading and improvising.

Trumpet Partitas

This is a collection of 17 unaccompanied trumpet solos.  All are lively in nature and will serve as good technical studies.  They are fun to play and are intentionally evocative of the baroque trumpet style.  This book is a sequel to William Bay’s “Trumpet Chants”, “Trumpet Tone Poems”, “Trumpet Ballads” and “Hymns for Unaccompanied Trumpet”. 

Trumpet Chants

This book contains 30 original “chants” composed for solo trumpet.  The pieces are lyrical in nature and may be used in a variety of settings.  They work well as a prelude or call to worship or even as recital selections, concert pieces or as encores to  performances.  These chants require  sensitivity in interpretation and phrasing, a full, rich tone and control over breathing and volume.   They also serve as good daily practice pieces.  I hope you enjoy these solos as much as I have in writing and performing them. 

Trumpet Tone Poems

This is a collection of 20 lyrical, contemplative trumpet solos.  They may be played in a variety of settings and will enhance the ability of the trumpeter to play long, lyrical phrases.  These solos are also ideal for developing a rich, broad, singing sound.  I love playing them in a large room like a church sanctuary.  They seem to come alive in those kind of settings.  I have always loved the lyrical side of the trumpet and these pieces will appeal to both the classical and jazz trumpeter. 

Trumpet Ballads

The trumpet can be a beautifully lyrical instrument. Often not enough emphasis is placed on making the instrument sing. The 20 ballads contained in this book are designed to develop a lyrical sense. Play the pieces in a relaxed and free manner. Avoid playing too loud. On these pieces, when in doubt, play a notch softer than you might think normal. Strive for long phrases and let the melodies sing freely from your trumpet. I think that if you play a number of these ballads as part of your daily practice you will see a definite growth in your ability to play in a beautifully free style.


The trumpet is a brilliant instrument which shines brightly when playing proclamatory pieces.  However, the trumpet also has a wonderfully lyrical side.  The sound of an unaccompanied trumpet causes people to take note.  It is a sound that announces something to come, or as the case may be, a poignant memory of what has gone before.  I wrote the enclosed 41 arrangements and compositions to capture the beauty of solo, unaccompanied trumpet.  Two of the selections are written for two trumpets.  Some are well known hymns and some are lesser known lyrical pieces from early American hymnody.  There are ancient chants and an original communion setting called The Lord’s Supper.