Nigel is a performing guitarist, classical music composer, and educator. He completed an Honours degree at Colchester Institute, specialising in performance and composition under Alan Bullard, and has since worked extensively as a chamber musician and an accompanist. Nigel is the author of the best-selling series of publications The Beginner Guitarist, and his second book of preludes for the guitar is to be published in the Spring.
The entire series has the goal of being a measured and progressive tutor. Ideas are usually introdued one at a time to avoid overloading the student.
Basic right-hand technique is the foundation of the early part of book one. The ability to strike the string effectively and produce a clear sound is paramount. Left-hand technique is then addressed with notes on the top three strings in first position. Use of the thumb is also covered briefly.
Light relief comes in the form of small amounts of glissando and percussive work.
Dynamics are then introduced onto a stable base of notes, followed by accidentals (key of G). The book is rounded off with chords and arpeggios , giving the student a chance to "swap seats" with the teacher and play the role of accompanist. Elsewhere the teacher may accompany the pupil with the suggested chords either playing the root note or the full voicings as notated.
A daily practice session for the completion of book one, extra repertoire and other helpful information are all available at www.thebeginnerguitarist.com.
The musical language of these preludes is unashamedly tonal yet these pieces are filled with interest; the use of multiple time signatures and, above all, modes brings variety and colour to the set. The 1st is in E dorian, the 2nd in D lydian, the 3rd in E mixolydian whilst the 4th and 5 are D aeolian and E ionian respectively. All the pieces have been thoroughly annotated and once learnt fall naturally under the fingers and make a wonderfully accessible addition to a solo concert. Duration 12 minutes.