Loading the player...

Giorgio Serci - Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 5: Spanish Bells

Lesson Notes

** As featured in issue 49 **

In this column, I would like to share a short composition of mine called ‘Spanish Bells’, vaguely inspired by a beautiful Flamenco rhythm and style called Alegrias, which literally means happy. One of my favourite aspects of this Flamenco style is the rhythmic quality, which although is normally studied and counted in 12 beats, it could be felt as a 4 bar pattern in ¾ or 6/8, in places.

The technique used to play most of the melodic content is called ‘Campanella’, which means Bells-like, hence the title ‘Spanish Bells’.

The piece starts with a descending melody played ‘a campanella’ consisting of open strings in conjunction with fretted notes with the purpose to let the sound of these notes overlap like a musical cascade to create a legato, bell-like effect  (I know, I should have been a poet…).

The melody starts on the 2nd beat of the bar in a counterintuitive manner, but I quite like this effect, as it creates a little rhythmic tension and makes the piece a little more challenging and satisfying to perform.

Below is the harmonic content of the piece, described with chord symbols. I have highlighted section B.

F#m       F(#4)E           F#m       F(#4)E    F#m       F(#4)E           B7/D#    B7/F#E    F#m       F(#4)E        F#m       F(#4)E    F#m       F(#4)E           B7/D#    B7/F#E    Em        B/D#        Dm6Aadd2/C# Cmaj13Em/B          F#7 B7   Em        B/D#        Dm6Aadd2/C# Cmaj13Em/B          F#7 B7   F#m       F(#4)E           F#m       F(#4)E    F#m       F(#4)E           B7/D#    B7/F#E    

This piece provides an opportunity to improve coordination skills, playing the bass line with consistency and with the intended dynamic variations, as well as presenting the melody in a singing-like manner (cantabile), while complementing it with harmonies, often a third below.

As always, inversions have been utilised to create melodic bass lines, which act as countermelodies in the lower register. This is evident in both sections, as depicted in the example above and the transcription available to download.

As always, one of the main technical challenges of this piece is the need to keep the melody at the fore of the arrangement. To do this, it may help to sing it while playing it, to be sure we are emphasising it as needed.

As always, I would like to recommend researching the above-mentioned techniques and style in order to be able to use these to compose your own pieces. We have to allow ourselves to make mistakes and reflect on the reasons why we like, or not a particular sound, a chord progression or modulation. Eventually, these sounds will become part of your musical lexicon and we should be able to use these effectively and creatively.

The picking-hand pattern is predominantly as follows:

(Please note E=low E string, e= high E string)

‘p’ often plays the first two notes of each broken chord, as in bar 1 and ‘i, m, a’ follow.

Play each part in a relaxed and clear manner, making sure your thumb is a little forward compared to the ‘i, m, a’ fingers, in order to prevent it from colliding with the ‘i’ finger. As always, focus on attack and tonal consistency. The melody and the supporting harmonies will be played with the ‘i, m and a’ fingers, so attack is needed to outline the melody.

Next we are going to look at the left hand part (chord shapes):

Section A:

Bar 0 (Pick up bar): Beat 2: Open e, index on fret 4 of B, ring f on fret 6 of G and open B (a campanella quavers).

Bar 1:  Ring f on fret 4 of D and index on fret 2 of G, followed by open B. Middle f on fret 3 of D and index on fret 2 of G, followed by open B.

Bar 2: Beat 1: Middle f on fret 2 of D, index on fret 1 of G and open B. Beat 2: as per bar 1, open e, index on fret 4 of B, ring f on fret 6 of G and open B (a campanella quavers).

Bar 3: As bar 1, but check video for RH variation.

Bar 4: As bar 2

Bar 5: As bar 1

Bar 6: As bar 2

Bar 7: Index on fret 1 of D with middle f on fret 2 of G, followed by open B. Ring f on fret 4 of D little f on fret 4 of B, index on fret 2 of e.

Bar 8: As bar 2.

Repeat Section A

Bar 16: As bar 8 but with pick-up phrase: open e, middle f on fret 2 of and little f on fret 3 of e.

Section B:

Bar 17: Middle f on fret 2 of D and little f on fret 3 of e. Countermelody alternating open B and index on fret 1 of B. (Check specific rhythm on the video and in the transcription)

Bar 18: Index f on fret 1 of D and little f on fret 2 of e. Countermelody alternating open B and index on fret 1 of B.

Bar 19: Open D with index on fret 1 of e. Countermelody, alternating middle f on fret 2 of G and open B.

Bar 20: Little f on fret 4 of A with open e. Countermelody, alternating middle f on fret 2 of G and open B.

Bar 21: Ring f on fret 3 of A with open e. Countermelody, alternating middle f on fret 2 of G and open B.

Bar 22: Index f on fret 2 of A with open e. Countermelody, alternating open G and open B.

Bar 23: Barre on fret 2. Ring f on fret 4 of A, middle f on fret 3 of G.

Bar 24: Barre’ on fret 2 and ring f on fret 4 of D and little on fret 4 of B.

Next repeat section B

Section A with Ending:

Bar 33 to 41: As from bar 1 to 8 but with final E voiced as follows:

Open E, 3/6 barre’ on fret 9 (of G, B, e) and little f on fret 12 of e.

Congratulations, you have completed ‘Spanish Bells’!

As always, you will be able to download a transcription by selecting the menu option in this page.

I strongly recommend experimenting with a few picking variations, changing the chords as you wish in terms of voicing (higher or lower), as well as trying the same picking pattern on a different chord progression, or using a ‘capo’ on fret 2 for a brighter outcome.

When repeating any section twice or more, you may want to play ‘sul ponticello’, (closer to the bridge) or ‘sul tasto’ (over the frets) for more contrasting results.

Make sure you highlight the melody (singing is a great strategy to play the melody in more assertive and singing-like manner)

Focus on minimum-movement approach, as this will help delivering the piece in a more accurate and consistent manner, while saving energy.

This will complete this creative fingerstyle lesson.

I hope you will enjoy playing this classic tune arranged for solo guitar and that this will give you some ideas on how to write your own solo guitar compositions and re-arrangements.


Up Next

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 17: Englishman In New York

Learn how to play this amazing fingerstyle guitar arrangement of Englishman In New York by ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 18: Lullaby

Take this fingerstyle guitar lesson and learn how to play the beautiful solo classical guitar ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 16: Yesterday

Giorgio Serci teaches you how to play The Beatles classic Yesterday as a full fingerstyle ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 15: The Lonely Man

Giorgio Serci teaches you how to play The Lonely Man for classical guitar; made famous ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 14 - Momentum (aka Matteo)

Giorgio Serci takes you through his fingerstyle guitar composition Momentum in this creative acoustic guitar ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 13: A Walk In The Park

The jazz influenced fingerstyle solo guitar piece A Walk In The Park is taught by ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 12: The Archer

Giorgio Serci teaches the jazz inspired fingerstyle guitar piece The Archer in this acoustic guitar ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 11: Theme From Cinema Paradiso

Learn how to play the amazing film score fingerstyle guitar piece Theme from Cinema Paradiso ...

Giorgio Serci - Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 10: Travels

Learn how to play the melodic solo fingerstyle guitar piece Travels in this acoustic guitar ...

Giorgio Serci - Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 9: Clouds

Learn how to play a fingerstyle guitar piece with a stunning chord progression in this ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar - Inspirational Pieces Part 19: ‘Dancing in The Ocean’

Giorgio Serci teaches the great Bossa Nova piece Dancing in The Ocean in this fingerstyle ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 8: Paco

Master a Paco DeLucia style fingerstyle guitar piece in this Giorgio Serci acoustic guitar lesson ...

Giorgio Serci - Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 7: Infant Eyes

Learn how to play Giorgio Serci’s original classical acoustic guitar piece Infant Eyes in this ...

Giorgio Serci - Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 6: Spanish Sunset

Giorgio Serci teaches you how to play an easy fingerstyle composition of mine Spanish Sunset in ...

Giorgio Serci - Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 5: Spanish Bells

Learn how to play the great flamenco acoustic guitar piece Spanish Bells in this fingerstyle ...

Giorgio Serci - Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 4: African Sunset

Learn how to play this African rhythms inspired fingerstyle acoustic guitar piece, composed by Giorgio ...

Giorgio Serci - Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 3: Dreamer

Giorgio Serci teaches you how to play his fingerstyle piece Dreamer in this acoustic solo ...

Giorgio Serci - Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 2: White Christmas

Learn how to play a fantastic fingerstyle acoustic guitar arrangement of White Christmas with the ...

Giorgio Serci - Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 1: ‘Peppin’ Blues

Giorgio Serci teaches this Peppino D’Agostino style solo acoustic guitar piece in this essential fingerstyle ...

You May Like

Andy James - Metal Edge Part 1: 10 Pentatonic Shred Licks

Andy James teaches 10 ground breaking fast pentatonic shred guitar licks in this metal guitar ...

Nick Jennison - Creating Drums On Acoustic Guitar

In this percussive acoustic guitar techniques lesson, Nick Jennison shows you how to emulate drums ...

Sam Bell - Extended Range Secrets Part 2: Seven String Guitar Approaches

Sam Bell continues our series of 7 string metal guitar lessons, stepping into the world ...

Nick Jennsion - Extended Range Secrets Part 1

Nick Jennison steps into the world of extended range guitars with this exclusive 7 string ...

Nick Jennison - An Introduction To Slide Guitar

Get started with slide guitar playing in this beginners guide to slide guitar with Nick ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 17: Englishman In New York

Learn how to play this amazing fingerstyle guitar arrangement of Englishman In New York by ...

Sam Bell Rhythm Guitar Concepts Part 11: Using Simple Syncopated Rhythm Parts In Arrangements

In this rhythm guitar lesson, Sam Bell shows you how to create space within your ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 18: Lullaby

Take this fingerstyle guitar lesson and learn how to play the beautiful solo classical guitar ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 16: Yesterday

Giorgio Serci teaches you how to play The Beatles classic Yesterday as a full fingerstyle ...

Sam Bell Rhythm Guitar Concepts Part 9: Chordal Tapping Extensions

Learn how to play the fundamentals of chordal tapping guitar techniques with this great guitar ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 15: The Lonely Man

Giorgio Serci teaches you how to play The Lonely Man for classical guitar; made famous ...

Danny Gill - Pentatonic Sequences That Can Be Used Anytime, Anywhere, And On Any Song Part 3

Rejuvenate your pentatonic guitar soloing with these great guitar exercises, sequences and routines in this ...

Chris Buck - Rock & Soul Part 5: Play With Repetition Part 2

Chris Buck presents you with more reasons to use repetition in your guitar solos as ...

Danny Gill - Pentatonic Sequences That Can Be Used Anytime, Anywhere, And On Any Song Part 2

Uncover some game changing pentatonic sequences and guitar licks with the help of Danny Gill ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 14 - Momentum (aka Matteo)

Giorgio Serci takes you through his fingerstyle guitar composition Momentum in this creative acoustic guitar ...

Sam Bell Rhythm Guitar Concepts Part 8: Using Triads To Create Melodic Movement Within A Part

Add a sense of melody and movement to your rhythm guitar parts using triads. In ...

Danny Gill - Pentatonic Sequences That Can Be Used Anytime, Anywhere, And On Any Song Part 1

Play more interesting pentatonic guitar licks and runs with the power of scale sequences. Danny ...

Giorgio Serci Creative Fingerstyle Guitar Inspirational Pieces Part 13: A Walk In The Park

The jazz influenced fingerstyle solo guitar piece A Walk In The Park is taught by ...

Sam Bell Rhythm Guitar Concepts Part 7: Spread Triads

Sam Bell gives you an insight into modern guitar chord voicings using spread triads to ...

1 2 3 18
Top magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram