Bach Pour Deux Guitares Electriques

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    i

    Introduction

    This book will be very helpful to the rock guitar player who wants to learn some Bach, but doesnt

    know much of classical music. An advanced level of technique is required to play these pieces,but the interpretation has been done. In addition, I have written analytical insights which require a

    basic understanding of music theory. The purpose of this is to teach you to how to analyze. Hope-

    fully you will appreciate this music more because of it. The primary emphasis in this book is

    performance.

    All of the transcriptions contained in this book are found in Johann Sebastian Bachs The Well

    Tempered Clavier. These are not transcriptions of classical excerpts, but complete transcriptions of

    entire pieces. Since position playing is such a rare occurrence, I have included tablature.

    The upper lines are notated at actual pitch (middle C=G string, first fret) and the lower lines

    are notated in treble clef, transposed up an octave (middle C=A string, third fret). Tablature is

    included below each staff. It would be best to have a partner to rehearse with. Each player should

    learn one line thoroughly. After that, the two players should rehearse together, eventually from

    memory.

    Once you are satisfied with your performance of all of the pieces that you have decided to learn,

    the next step for you will be to transcribe a piece on your own. This will be challenging and in

    the future, I may transcribe some three and four voice fugues in a less simplified format without

    the tablature. This should help facilitate the transition from being a TAB reader to being musically

    literate.

    Why is this book better than other TAB books available? I can play most of the pieces fluidly

    from memory, they are not just possibilities, but actual performance transcriptions. I convey an

    understanding of the musical intent of the composer through notation and explanation. The nota-

    tion is at actual pitch, rather than transposed up an octave-the conventional method- and cluttered

    with octava signs.

    Why did I decide to write this book and how did I write it? While at Berklee College of Music,

    I had a project consisting of three guitars and a bass. We played keyboard music by Bach, includ-

    ing some of the pieces in this book and also some three and four voice pieces. Jon Finn, after

    hearing my solo performance of the upper voice of the prelude in D minor, suggested that I write

    out my transcriptions. I also had realized that there werent many neoclassical shred guitar books.

    In making this book, I used Finale 98/2000 to notate the music, Adobe InDesign for the text and

    layout, Acrobat Distiller to convert the Postscript file to PDF.

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    Table of Contents

    Prelude 2, C Minor

    Prelude 3, C# Major

    Prelude 6, D Minor

    Prelude 15, G Major

    Prelude 20, A Minor

    1

    7

    14

    20

    24

    ii

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    Prelude 2, C Minor

    For two six-string guitars. Because of the tempo changes and the endurance needed to get through

    this piece, it is probably the most difficult one in this book to perform.

    How to learn this pieceFirst, play it all the way through without stopping. Try to get through it five times. Second, Look

    at the whole piece. Third, work on the sections one at a time. I have notated the upper line at pitch

    and the lower line one octave higher and in treble clef.

    Looking at the pieceSee that it is divided into three main sections. The first section extends through measure 24. Ill

    call this section 1. Measures 25, 26, and 27 break up the sections. Ill call this the arpeggio part.

    The next section begins in measure 28 and extends through measure 33, Ill call this the Presto.

    Measure 34 is a kind of solo cadenza which bridges the Presto to the final section. Ill call measure

    34 the Adagio part. Ill call the final section the codetta.

    Now that you have looked at this and played through it, you are ready to begin working on the

    individual sections. Pay attention to how it sounds. You may need to spend a lot of time on a par-

    ticular measure to get it to sound right. Just as you approached the whole piece, you can approach

    each section by first playing it through and then playing groups of measures. This strategy works

    Section 1

    Use distortion

    Both guitars must play in sync

    On beats one and three, give the first sixteenth note a slightly longer dura-

    tion and a stronger attack.

    Arpeggio part

    inhale before this section to create a slight pause.

    hold first note of each measure slightly longer than its notated value.

    Your choice: solo, in unison, in octaves.

    Presto

    should be played fast and accurately at a tempo not less than 120

    Adagio

    The adagio part should be played rubato, either picked or legato

    the lower guitar part should clean up and quiet during the adagio part

    Working on the sections

    1

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    6

    &

    &

    bb b

    bb b

    T

    A

    B

    T

    AB

    Gtr I

    Gtr II

    34Adagio

    n m b

    m

    15 17 15 1314 15 17 18 18 17 15 17 15 15 17 15 14 15 17 17 15 13 12 13 15 12 13 15

    15 17 19 19

    34 b

    13 15 33 3

    &

    &

    bbb

    bbb

    T

    A

    B

    T

    A

    B

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    35 .n

    9 9 12 9

    8 11 10 8 8 8 11 10 810

    35

    .J jn( ) 43

    n b b

    6 58 5 6 6 5 8 5 6

    7 8 7 8 5 8

    n n

    35 5 5

    7 7 8 5 5 3 5 78 7 3

    3O

    n nU

    4 87 8 3

    6 3 6 6 3 55

    6

    wu3O

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    Use a clean sound for both parts

    Count the sixteenth note subdivisions when you play eighth notes and

    when you rest. This will be especially helpful in mm 63-96.

    Theory Notes

    Rhythm Notes

    Emphasize the downbeat of each measure.Practice with a metronome set for qk =62-68 and feel three as one.There is a trade-off of the motor rhythm between the voices in beginning

    at measure 60, and this is where the metronome will really help.

    Performance Notes

    An inverted major third is a minor sixth, minor thirds inverted become

    major sixths.

    7

    Prelude 3, C# MajorFor two six-string guitars. I have transposed this piece down a diminished unison to the key of C.

    This is one of the easiest pieces in this book to play.How to Learn this PieceFirst, play all the way through it without stopping. Try to get through it correctly five times. You

    should not be able to do this in one session, but at most, it should take one week Second, Look

    at the whole piece. I have notated the upper line at pitch and the lower line one octave higher and

    in treble clef. Remember, notated at pitch means that it should be played an octave higher than

    guitars written pitch. (See TAB)

    Looking at the PieceThe first eight measures have been reused, transposed, inverted and modified up to measure 96.

    This reuse will make memorizing the 100 plus measures a lot easier. The keys ascend in fifths

    every eight bars and the voices, which are written in double counterpoint, trade the melody andthe accompaniment back and forth. Measure 55 begins an exact restatement of the head. Likewise,

    mm 87-96 correspond to mm 63-72.

    Double CounterpointLook at the first beat of the first measure. Notice how the lower note in the bass, C, harmonizes

    with the top note of the upper line, E. This interval, C-E, is a major third. Look at the second

    measure. D in the bass harmonizes with F in the upper line (D-F), a minor third. Look at measure

    3. See the pattern? In measure 9, the first notes are B and G, a minor sixth. Here, what was the

    lower line in measure one is now the upper line in measure 9 transposed up a fifth (C to G), and

    the upper line in measure 1 is now the lower line in measure 9 transposed up a fifth (E to B). Play-

    ing measure one, lower line and then measure 9, upper line will help you see the pattern on the

    fret board. The reason that measure 9 has a minor sixth is that G and B form a third interval, but

    inverted, you get B and G; a minor sixth. This process of reusing material where the top line and

    bottom line switch is called double counterpoint.

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    12

    &

    &T

    A

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    Gtr. I

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    6

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    13

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    Rhythm Notes

    Although it can be felt as 24/16, The upper line was originally notated in 4/4 Count each measure as four groups of six, rather than eight groups of three

    Solo Cadenza

    inhale before this section to create a slight pause

    hold first note of each measure slightly longer than its notated value

    Play this part faster than the rest of the piece

    measure 28 utilizes a Dmaj.7 Shape with tapping on each four note group

    Prelude 6, D MinorFor six and seven string guitar. This upper line can work as a solo piece, and is perhaps more

    difficult to perform than either line of the Prelude in C Minor.

    How to Learn this PieceFirst, play it all the way through without stopping. Try to get through it five times. Second, Look

    at the whole piece. Third, work on the difficult parts. Like the other pieces in this book, the upper

    line is notated at pitch. Here, the lower line is also notated at pitch is bass clef. The tablature of the

    lower line is for a seven-string guitar, but is easy enough for a bass player to learn. Remember, the

    bass line is notated at pitch, which means that it should be played an octave higher than bass usual

    written pitch. Use distortion on the upper line. Although the tempo indicated in the Bach Gesell-

    schaft edition is 76, try to play at 80 to 96 bpm. Note: the solo cadenza is the authors improvisation

    based on unplayable chords.

    Looking at the PieceThe upper line is a compound line of three voices all the way through. This creates some difficult

    fingerings on the guitar and makes position playing an infrequent option. See how measures 6 and

    7 relate to measures 8 and 9. Measure 20 has a descending diminished lick. It is very easy to play

    this by moving down one fret for each triplet figure. Pay attention to how it sounds. You may need

    to spend a lot of time with new fingerings to be able to execute these difficult harpsichord licks.

    Try to make the hardest part your strongest part. By doing this, you will be able to eliminate weak

    spots. Once you learn the arpeggio shapes, not only will you be able to play this piece more fluidly,

    you will be know some cool arpeggio shapes to plug into your own playing.

    14

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    Prelude 15, G MajorFor six and seven string guitar. The upper line works well as a solo piece. The lower line is more

    difficult to play than the upper line. The upper line is notated at pitch and the lower line is notated

    one octave higher an treble clef To play the arpeggios at the speed required (q .=96), I use botheconomy and alternate picking. As with the other pieces, I recommend first playing through thepiece entirely.

    Looking at this PieceThe first thing to be noticed is that there are two time signatures. The upper line has a time signa-

    ture of 24/16 while the lower line has a time signature of 4/4. This is an old notation style which I

    have chosen to preserve from the original copy. This notation shows the relationship between the

    two time signatures.

    24/16 Time Signature24/16 can be felt as four groups of six. I have separated each beat with a dotted

    line. This is how the measure is divided.one two three four

    Economy PickingWhen two consecutive notes fall on adjacent strings, pick the strings with the

    same picking direction and stroke.

    & #

    T

    AB

    #v

    v

    v

    v

    v

    v

    77 8 10 10 87 6 7 9 6 7 6 7 6 7 6 7 6 7 6 7 6 7

    String Crossing

    Outside string cross

    Inside string cross

    &

    &

    #

    #1624

    c

    j

    j

    Picking Techniques Used

    Lets face it, Alternate picking doesnt always work. Try the picking I have indicated. If you find

    another way that works better for you, then use it.

    20

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    Prelude 20, A MinorHow to Learn this Piece

    First, read this. Next, try to play through it once or twice. To be able to do this, youll have to know

    how to feel 9/8. If youre not sure about how to feel 9/8, then first read the 9/8 time signature

    explanation in the box below. I have notated the upper line at pitch and the lower line one octave

    higher and in treble clef.

    Looking at the PieceYou have noticed by now that this piece is in 9/8. Another thing that will catch your ears attention

    is sound of the pedal on A with the G# neighbor tone in the Bass of the first three measures. This

    pedal point is held against other harmony. The harmonic rhythm is one harmony, or chord per

    measure. The first measure outlines A minor, important for establishing the A minor tonality, or

    key of the piece. The second measure outlines B diminished harmony with A in the bass, which

    makes it B half diminished, in third inversion. But look at the bass clef, the arpeggio figure on

    beat three has been changed to a D minor triad (D,F,A). Is this a polychord? No, the note A workshere because it is suspended and treated as a pedal point, and the notes D and F are a part of the B

    diminished harmony. The third chord is G# diminished with the A pedal in the bass. Beat three of

    measure three still has the A pedal, but it also has two chord tones D, the diminished fifth, and F,

    the diminished seventh. After the cadence, or harmonic resolution to the tonic occurs in measure

    four, the piece modulates to the key of the fifth scale degree, E minor. Another four measures of

    repeated material, this time in the key of E minor, takes us to the development of the piece,

    where the head motives are used in new ways.

    Performance Notes

    Make sure to play this fast enough, qk=72-80, otherwise, each measure will havea tendency to sound like three measures of 3/4 and the piece will drag.

    Use a clean sound

    24

    one e and a two and a three and a& 89

    9/8 Time Signature9/8= three groups of three, like triplets in 3/4, with the strongest beat being one.

    Count, One and a, two and a, three and a, placing the most emphasis on the beat

    one. The next thing to count are the sixteenth note subdivisions, which I will call

    e. Set your metronome to 3/4, and try to tap or clap your way through the rhythms

    in time. Its not as easy as it sounds, but is very helpful in learning this piece.

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    27

    &

    &

    T

    A

    B

    T

    A

    B

    Gtr I

    Gtr II()

    16

    12

    1513 1213

    12

    16 j

    j

    5 35 4 2 2

    2 5 3 25 3

    1

    b

    17

    17 15

    14 15 17 15 14 14 15 17 15 14 14 15 17 15 14

    #

    4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

    &

    &

    T

    AB

    T

    A

    B

    Gtr I

    Gtr II

    18 b # .. .

    1514 12 11 1212

    18 j b #

    j3 1

    3 2 3 3 2 05 4 5 0

    3

    1212 10

    9 10 12 10 9 9 10 12 10 9 9 10 12 10 9

    #

    4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

    &

    &

    T

    A

    B

    T

    A

    B

    Gtr I

    Gtr II

    20

    .

    15 18 171510 14 14 1716 141415

    20

    7 75 7 8 8 5 5 8

    5

    .# # n 16 17 19 1716 1917 1817 15

    17 16

    #

    6 65 7 8 8 5 5 8

    5

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