Solo performance of concert works
The films below are recordings of my solo compositions, arrangements and of the great guitar repertoire. Please scroll down for easier solo guitar music for learners.
My love is like a red, red rose (trad. scotland)
My family and I have just returned to live in France following five wonderful years in Scotland. During our time there, I learned much about Scottish traditional music and the poems of Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns. As a fond farewell to this beautiful country, I have arranged this classic. I made the film in my garden here in France. The score, in notes and TAB is available here.
Georgia (ON MY MIND)
This classic is a piece which I have played for many years, but only recently made a ‘formal’ arrangement. To record and film it, I visited the workshop of Scottish luthier Mark Burnet in East Linton. The piece is performed using his spruce and zebrano instrument. A beautiful guitar indeed. The score in notes and TAB is available here.
NIghts in white satin (the moody blues)
This is the second piece I recorded at Mark Burnet’s workshop in East Linton, Scotland using his beautiful spruce and zebrano guitar. The score and parts are available here.
ym mhontypridd mae ‘nghariad (Traditional Welsh song).
This one is a challenge to pronounce for the non-Welsh speakers! The translation is: ‘My Love is in Pontypridd’. This little mining town in the South Wales valleys holds a place in our hearts as we bought our first house there in 2001. We spent nine happy years in ‘Ponty’ before emigrating to France. I have harmonised the Dorian-mode melody in two voices before adding a small coda. The score in notes and TAB is available here.
the banks of the bann (Traditional Irish Melody)
This beautiful melody is better known as the hymn tune ‘Slane’ as used for ‘Be Thou My Vision’ and ‘Lord of All Hopefulness’. The score in notes and TAB is available here. It is the second piece I had the privilege of recording at Innerpeffray Library, near Crieff, Scotland.
ae fond kiss (after a Scottish melody) by Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns
I had a wonderful experience recording this – so much so I wrote a blog post about it which you can read here. In short, I was able to film and record at the beautiful Innerpeffray Library near Crieff, amongst the manuscripts and weight of history. Magnificent. The score in notes and TAB can be downloaded here.
The Flower Duet by Léo Delibes
I heard a lovely solo guitar arrangement of this piece by the brilliant Bridget Mermikides some years ago. Her version was aimed at learners and I wanted to player it using D tuning and a greater amount of harmonic depth. The result is something more akin to a concert work and is ever-popular with audiences. The score (in notes and TAB) is available for immediate download here.
‘Yellow’ by Coldplay, with playing tips
This song made me, and millions of others, take notice of Coldplay. Whereas the original is a bit of a rocker, I’ve always found it a rather tragic, wistful song. Consequently, I decided to arrange it as a ballad. The video has some playing tips too. If you’d like the score in notes and TAB, it’s available here.
‘sing for absolution’ by Muse
This is one of my most unusual arrangements and performances. I love Muse and their brand of hard, melodic rock. This song has such a strong melodic base and harmonic integrity, I found it perfect for solo guitar. This is challenging to play, particularly the setting of the chorus which uses a flamenco-inspired right-hand tremolo pattern. The score (in notes and TAB) is available here.
‘What a wonderful world’ as sung by louis armstrong
This is such a beautiful song, lyrically, melodically and, in particular, harmonically. Weiss and Thiele’s composition sits gloriously on the guitar fingerboard. In my arrangement, I have offered a jazz-inspired harmonisation upon the recap of the A section. If you’d like the score (in notes and TAB), you can download it here.
‘run’ by snow patrol
I am hugely enjoying creating a new body of repertoire for my beloved instrument, and demonstrating that music of all styles can be communicated to audiences of all tastes and ages via the classical guitar. The song ‘Run’ is beautifully simple, yet melodic and ambient, making it perfect for a solo arrangement. If you’d like to play it, the sheet music (in notes and TAB) is available here.
‘one’ by u2
When I was a young man, I saw U2 in Cardiff Arms Park as part of their Joshua Tree tour. I’ve always adored their music from the 1980’s and 1990’s. This song has such wonderful words, and a fantastic sentiment, I felt inspired to arrange it for solo guitar.
‘SpeED OF SOUND’ BY COLDPLAY
This arrangement is the final part of a trilogy of arrangements of songs by Coldplay which I have arranged for fingerstyle or classical guitar. The score in both notes and TAB is available for immediate download here.
‘Fix you’ by coldplay
During this time of the COVID-19 outbreak, I, like many other artists, wanted to pay tribute to our NHS workers. Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ seemed to fit the bill most appropriately. The score (in notes and TAB) of this brand new arrangement is available here.
I originally made this arrangement in 2017 for my album Les Cerisiers. I recently expanded it and have made a new recording and film. The score in notes and TAB is available here.
‘CLOCKS’ by coldplay
The modal, melodic nature of this wonderful song makes it perfect for arrangement for solo guitar. The score, in notes and TAB is available here.
The Three Preludes on Occitan Songs are works I created from fragments of traditional melodies. The first tells of the garments a spinner makes through the journey of life: a christening gown to a confirmation dress; a wedding dress to a shroud. The second is a lullaby and the third, a comic song telling of the antics of a particularly stubborn and spoiled donkey! In performance of these works, the guitar is tuned (from low to high) DADGBD.
The sheet music in both notes and TAB can be downloaded here.
We all love a bit of romance do we not? I arranged You Are The Reason for solo guitar when I saw my daughter choreographing it in her bedroom. This is a perfect choice for weddings, concert encores or background music. A score (in both notes and TAB in one download) is available here.
In creating solo guitar arrangements of traditional music, I’ve been concerned with making works suitable for concert performance. I have added elements of ‘classical’ culture and tradition such as counterpoint, reharmonisation and modulation. To download sheet music for Scarborough Fair in notes and TAB click here.
I made this solo arrangement of Carrickfergus for concert performance. I love performing it and it is very popular amongst audiences. To download the sheet music and TAB please click here.
A classic virtuoso Spanish work of the guitar repertoire, recorded in Bridge of Earn, Scotland.
I wrote this piece as I was seeking a fugue which was a combination of intellectual composition and accessibility for an audience. I was keen to create an analytical video for my teaching and simultaneously create a substantial concert work. A score can be downloaded here.
Upon arrival in Scotland in 2017, I began discovering the local song repertoire. I love this classic and have enjoyed the opportunity to arrange it as a concert work, with reharmonisations, countermelody and revoicings. To download sheet music in notes and TAB for The Wild Mountain Thyme click here.
This composition was written in 2012 when I was teaching at a guitar festival in The Chateau de Ligoure in Central France. This recording was made in a beautiful church in the village of Montagrier in the Dordogne. The piece is included on my album, Les Cerisieres.
The Welsh folk song Heno Heno Hen Blant Bach is a throwback to my roots. A score, presented in both notes and TAB can be downloaded here.
To download sheet music in notes and TAB for Heno Heno Hen Blant Bach click here.
solo guitar music for learners
Paul Simon’s masterpiece The Sound of Silence is one of the iconic melodies of the 20th Century. It seems perfect for arrangement for solo guitar, but I have noticed that many versions are technically awkward for the learner. This is often because the chosen keys mean that barre chords will be encountered (such is the case with the often-chosen keys of A minor and D minor). This version avoids these difficulties. It is in two halves – the second half being slightly more challenging than the first, but newer players can find a complete performance in playing the first half twice. the score in both notes and TAB (on separate sheets) are available here.
This is an arrangement of Auld Lang Syne. I feel passionately that learners should learn music which they can perform for friends and family. This arrangement presents the new year’s song in two keys. The video below gives a performance and a lesson. The score, in notes alone or TAB (in one download so teachers and players can choose) is available here.
Here is an arrangement of a lovely Scottish song Annie Laurie. It is suitable for players of around grade 2 standard. You can download a score in both notes and TAB here.
Many learners enjoy playing pieces in a blues style. This original composition, Blues for a Rainy Day uses a range of techniques for the left hand but, for the most part, keeps the melody on string 1 which helps the player focus on some of the other challenges within the piece. It’s very playable for plectrum players as well. The level is around grade 1-2. The score in both notes and TAB can be downloaded here.
This is my arrangement of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman). I’ve set this hugely popular tune (not least because of it’s use in the beautiful animated film ‘Coco’) in a way to avoid many technical difficulties which I feel are unnecessary. After the performance there is a short lesson where learners can pick up detailed tips. The score, in notes and TAB is available here.