Classical Guitar Instruction with Douglas Niedt

Douglas Niedt's
Fabulous Fingerings

Douglas Niedt, guitarist



  • My fabulous fingerings are not necessarily the easiest fingerings to play.
  • They may be easier or they may be much more difficult than other standard fingerings.
  • But, they are what SOUND BEST.

Classical Guitar Technique

FABULOUS FINGERINGS

Leyenda (Asturias) by Isaac Albéniz

By Douglas Niedt

Copyright Douglas Niedt. All Rights Reserved.
This article may be reprinted, but please be considerate and give credit to Douglas Niedt.



In measure #37, the conventional bar chord that appears in many editions of Leyenda (Asturias) is very difficult for many guitarists to play clearly:

Douglas Niedt Fabulous Fingering Leyenda Ex 1

Here it is, watch:





The version played by Andrés Segovia, Christopher Parkening, and others is actually closest to the chord voicing Albéniz wrote for the piano with the A# in the bass. Note that there are two possible left-hand fingerings for the arpeggio that follows the chord:

Douglas Niedt Fabulous Fingering Leyenda Ex 2a


Douglas Niedt Fabulous Fingering Leyenda Ex 2b

The problem with this solution is that while the A# in the bass is commendable, the rest of the chord is an octave lower than it should be. As a result, I think it breaks up the intensity and momentum that have been built up to this point.

Watch and hear what I'm talking about:





I think the best solution for those who cannot play the more difficult chord (or do not like the sound of it) is one that John Williams and other guitarists use. The chord is kept in the upper octave for intensity, but revoiced to make it more playable. Note that there are two possible left-hand fingerings for the arpeggio that follows the chord:

Douglas Niedt Fabulous Fingering Leyenda Ex 3a Williams



Douglas Niedt Fabulous Fingering Leyenda Ex 3b Williams

Watch me demonstrate John Williams' Fabulous Fingering:




Definitely give John Williams' Fabulous Fingering a try!