This page is devoted to my own videos. Videos by other nail-less players can be found on the Players page.
Marietta! by Francisco Tárrega. No-nails technique on a lattice-soundboard guitar by Juan Hernandez. I like the combination!
Happy New Year – new guitar and new gut strings:
More on those strings:
Neblina by Andrés Segovia – Segovia wrote some very beautiful miniatures, and Neblina is certainly one of his best. Very dreamy, head in the clouds stuff. I believe a direct translation is “fog”, but used in a poetic, emotional sense.
It is dedicated to Olga Praguer Coelho, a lover of his during the 1940s and 50s. There is a very nice obituary to her HERE.
Endecha a la amada ausente – by Emilio Pujol.
Here is what I consider to be Pujol’s masterpiece, the “Endecha a la amada ausente“, a lament on the death of his wife, Matilde Cuervas, who died in 1956. Matilde was a singer and guitarist of the flamenco school. They often played duet recitals together, recordings of them can be found on YouTube, and are well worth tracking down. Here they are together in a publicity photo:
The piece starts with a soaring figure, Matilda’s spirit taking flight? Two-thirds of the way through, the music breaks off with a percussive slap followed by a rasgueado, leading into an evocation of a Soleares, “the mother of all flamenco toques”. There are passages of almost ecclesiastical counterpoint to bring calm to proceedings, but emotions overrun Pujol, and the ending is marked “profound et passionnément expressif”. I was a bit shaken for thirty minutes or so after playing it. I’m surprised this is not a more well-known piece.
Oracion by Andrés Segovia. Segovia was a fine composer, though a little shy of promoting his own works. Oracion is a beautiful study, seemingly half religious, half flamenco-inspired, though not in an obvious way. It’s a homage to Manuel Maria Ponce, and near the end the music halts briefly for a quotation from Ponce’s Sonata III.
Invocación by Emilio Pujol
Preludes 5&6 and Scherzino Mexicano by Manuel Maria Ponce
No te olvido! and Amor Gitano by Estanislao Marco, pupil of Tárrega, and teacher to Narciso Yepes. Marco played without nails – like all the coolest cats! The second item shows the perils of playing by the natural light of a window…
Last Night When We Were Young
One of the most beautiful songs in a beautiful arrangement, usually played on a jazz guitar, here on a gut- and silk-strung classical guitar. Get chilled for a couple of minutes:
Desengaño (Disillusionment) by Estanislao Marco:
Becqueriana by Emilio Pujol
Madrigal, by Estanislao Marco
SloMo video of my right-hand technique, showing the pushing of the strings before release:
Triste Ausencio by Estanislao Marco, himself a no-nail player. His teacher was Francisco Tárrega, and Marco himself became teacher to Narciso Yepes.
Tu Recuerdo by Estanislao Marco:
Habanera by Eduardo Sainz de la Maza
Prelude No. 3 by Villa-Lobos. Bow Brand trebles, D’Addario polished basses.
Three videos of works by the 16th-centurt Spanish vihuelista, Luys de Narvaez. Bow Brand trebles, D’Addario polished basses.
Otros Tres Diferencias Sobre Guardame Las Vacas – Narvaez
Guardame Las Vacas – Narvaez
Mille Regrez – Narvaez/Josquin. Bow Brand trebles, D’Addario polished basses.
Dipsô by Ascensio – not a faultless performance, but it has some of the feel I was aiming for:
Five Catalan Christmas Carols, arranged by Graciano Tarragó
Short Tárrega-Llobet Recital
Lo Mestre – Catalan folksong arrangement by Miquel Llobet
Adelita! by Francisco Tárrega
Rob’s Dream, by Christian Vasseur, dedicated to me, and very nice it is too!
Three Valses by Aguado, whose music was still in circulation in Tàrrega’s time, one per video:
Lagrima and Pavana by Tarrega, on my Simon Ambridge Torres-style guitar, with gut trebles:
A Prelude in E from the Tarrega-Leckie manuscripts:
Bolero, by Julian Arcas:
Plany – Catalan Folksong Arrangement by Miguel Llobet:
A Serial Piece by Denis ApIvor:
Etude#3 by Ken Hatfield. Aquila Gut and Silk strings on a Michael Thames guitar with a turnavoz inside:
A Dream by John Dowland:
La Negra by Antonio Lauro:
Mille Regretz by Joaquin/Narvaez:
Arde, Corazon Arde, by Narvaez:
Pavana and La Negra by Antonio Lauro:
Adelita and Lagrima by Tárrega:
De Angelis by Reginald Smith Brindle:
Nocturne by Reginald Smith Brindle
Ricordo di Luigi Dallapiccola by Reginald Smith Brindle
Minuet in A by Barrios – modern classical guitar with modern nylon strings, D’Addario Pro-Arte EJ45:
16 thoughts on “Videos”
Nice work on “Last Night”. I learned to play it watching your video about 100 times. Thanks for sharing. I’ve switched to classical guitar after playing steel-string guitars for 44 years. After 2 years, I’m still adopting, but enjoy playing without fingernails. How do you keep your chording fingers from slipping off the nylon strings? As a suggestion for you, I’d bet your listeners would enjoy hearing you perform “Lullaby” by Andrew York? (please)
Hi Wayne. 100 times, eh? That’s dedication to learning piece. The publication comes with tab, if that’s what your worried about.
I use gut strings most of the time, so don’t have a problem sliding. And if I do use nylon, it will be Savarez Yellow Card, which is rectified, slightly rough to the touch, not unlike gut. Recommended.
Sorry, I’ve never really liked Lullaby.
Thanks Rob. I’ll try those strings.
Thx a lot Rob
By the way, where may I find this publication ?
Sorry, Tony, I don’t know what publication you are referring to.
Sorry Rob !
I was talking about Last Night When We Were Young sheet. Really a beautiful and peaceful piece of music.
I would really love to play it.
Or maybe it is a personal arrangement ?
Many thanks for your quick reply and your nice site.
Yes, lovely piece. My hands aren’t big enough to play the exact chords that Rob used in his video, so I modified a few. But basically you can see the chords he uses if you watch the video 50 times or so. Took me a couple months to work it out.
Haha. Just buy the book. It has many, many pieces, in tab as well as standard notation.
Hi Tony. It’s in Masters Of The Plectrum Guitar, published by Mel Bay. It’s the bible for plectrum players.
After many many years of classical guitar (with nails), and then some years of Renaissance and baroque lutes, I went back to the classical guitar and I am going to cut my nails.
What set (brand) of strings would you advice ?
Thanks again in advance.
Sorry, I did not know this page : .
This book seems interesting, but it is expensive as far as I only need one piece sheet.
I am going to use the universaly known “Rob wathching method”. 😉
As long as I play the right notes, you’re okay 🙂
Any advice concerning the strings to choose when going nail-less, Rob ?
See my Strings page, Tony. That’s what it’s there for 😉
Great reaading this
Good to know, Caitlin!