Easy Classical Guitar Tab and Notation: Fernando Sor - Opus 60 No.2, Study in C

Fernando Sor - Opus 60 No.2 from "Introduction a l'etude de la guitare".
Fernando Sor - Opus 60 No.2 from "Introduction a l'etude de la guitare".

This a very easy beginners' piece by the 19th century master of guitar playing and guitar composition, Fernando Sor. It's basically just a melody but because of the well chosen notes, it implies a good harmony, too. There's only a single part (the melody) for most of the piece until a bass part comes in just a couple of bars from the end.

Read the standard notation or guitar tab from the score below. Click anywhere on the score to see that part enlarged in the HubPages Gallery. If you want to make a copy of the score for personal use, click the link below the score for a PDF file that you can easily print and study at your leisure.

To hear a software-generated audio demo of this piece click the video capsule below. It shows each line of the score in time with the audio track.

Fernando Sor - Opus 60 No.2 from "Introduction a l'etude de la guitare".

Fernando Sor - Opus 60 No.2 from "Introduction a l'etude de la guitare".
Fernando Sor - Opus 60 No.2 from "Introduction a l'etude de la guitare".

Study Notes for Beginners

For a classical guitar piece, this is about as simple as they come (apart from Study No.1 from the same Opus 60, which is about a third of the length of this one). In this piece there are 40 bars played straight through from start to finish with no repeats.

Time signature

The time signature of 34 (three-four) means that there are three beats per bar with each beat being given the value of a quarter note. The smallest note value in the whole piece is 8th notes. So bar 2, for example, would be counted |1 - 2 & 3 -|

Tempo

Sor made no mention of any tempo (playing speed) in this piece. Play it at whatever tempo you can manage comfortably, but not too fast. Keep it moderate and in keeping with the mood of the piece.

Classical Guitar Fingering Diagram
Classical Guitar Fingering Diagram

Fingering

Some fingering suggestions are given for guidance.

Fretting-hand

Everything is played in the first fretboard position and the fretting hand fingering is pretty obvious. You don't have to follow the fingering slavishly. For example, the last note of bar 2 is D. Being on the 3rd fret, finger 3 might be the obvious choice, but finger 4 is just as good especially for people with small hands. For the same note in bar 39, however, you should definitely use finger 4 because finger 3 is needed for the 4th string note F on the same fret.

Picking-hand

Picking-hand fingering using the classical guitar fingering convention is shown at the start only to give an example of how you can avoid using the same finger twice in succession, which is standard classical guitar technique to increase fluency. See the diagram for what the signs mean. There are exceptions to this rule such as when playing chords where you've often got no choice but to use the same fingers. Also, with bass runs, you may need to use your thumb on successive notes.

Key

The key of this piece, as the unofficial title makes clear, is C major, so there's no visible key signature in the notation staff. There are a couple of sharps in the music that are foreign to the key of C major, so they are placed, as accidentals, in front of the notes they affect. Those notes are:

  • C sharp in bar 8. Note that the C that follows it in the same bar needs a natural sign to cancel the effect of the previous sharp. Without that natural sign, that C would also be played as C sharp.
  • F sharp in bar 21. Again the next note, F, needs a natural sign or it would be played sharp because it's in the same bar and on the same staff line. If it had been F on a different line or space the natural sign wouldn't be necessary, although it would probably still be used as a 'courtesy accidental'. That applies only to accidentals within the music and not to key signatures, which affect all specified notes regardless of their position on the staff.
  • C sharp in bar 25.
  • G sharp in bar 34.

Although the key is C major throughout, there are hints at one of C major's closest relatives, which is the key of G major - especially in bar 24. That's a very common practice. It expands the 'tonal landscape' a bit rather than staying firmly in C major.

Musical Features at a Glance

 
 
Name
Opus 60 No.2
Composer
Fernando Sor
Key
C major
Meter
Simple Triple (3/4) Three quarter note beats per bar
Bars
40
Shortest note duration
8th note
Highest fretboard position
Pos I (fret 3)

More classical guitar pieces to try

See the links below the Hub for more classical guitar pieces in similar format to have a go at. There are pieces by Sor, Giuliani, Carulli, Carcassi and more. Apart from Sor's Opus 60 No.1, they're all more challenging than this one, but most are still considered quite easy. For a complete list of the guitar pieces available including some folk fingerstyle arrangements see my HubPages profile.

Credits

Opus 60 No.2 is composed by Fernando Sor (1778-1839) and is in the Public Domain.

The score, audio track and images are by chasmac.

© 2015 chasmac

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