The ensemble pieces below were written or arranged specifically for my high school students, keeping both their technical ability and aesthetic enjoyment in mind. Since I have first through fourth-year students in my program, you should be able to find pieces to match the skill level of your particular high school or college guitar ensemble.
Almost all of my students enter the guitar program with no music-reading skills. Therefore, the first semester of the first year is spent building reading skills in the context of learning guitar duets. A few of these duets are listed below. The rest are in the beginning book. By the second semester, students start learning the beginning quartets below. These can be played as student quartets or as a large ensemble. I've listed them in the order they are presented in the book. The advanced duets and quartets are for my second through fourth-year students. These are not listed in any progressive order or level of difficulty.
Below, you can listen to a recording of the pieces and download the score and parts to fit your needs. *All gratis. If you are a guitar educator, keep in mind that the beginning quartets and duets are already contained in the beginning book, which can be downloaded or viewed on the eBook, both on the Curriculum page. The advanced curriculum is separated into three books – Classical, Rock, and Guitar Ensemble. There is no longer a single pdf of the Guitar Ensemble book, but all the pieces are below.
Guitar Ensemble Library
Click on the + sign next to the title to listen to a recording of the piece and download a pdf of the score and parts.
Bouree (j.s. bach)
Ave Maria (F. Schubert)
In the context of my beginning curriculum, this duet served as an etude, introducing the p-i-m-a-m-i right-hand pattern.
Note: Below are two versions of this arrangement.
First Position Version: When arranging this duet, I had to consider a couple of factors. First, at the time I introduce this piece, my students are still playing in first position. Therefore, I reluctantly had to utilize the open E string, which I find rather expressionless. Secondly, these students will have not yet learned bar chords. Therefore, the intro an outdo sections, which contains bar chords, are optional.
Version 2: This version is identical to the first-position version with the exception that it will move out of first position on occasion in order to avoid some open strings.
INTERMEDIATE - ADVANCED DUETS & TRIOS
GYMNOPÉDIE NO. 1 (SATIE)
A LITTLE FUGUE (Lou WARDE)
Suite for two (Lou Warde)
SOUTH AMERICAN DUETS
A Que Has Venido, Forastero
Caminito de la Sierra
Quisiera Que Se Muera
El Condor Pasa
NON-CLASSICAL INTERMEDIATE DUETS & TRIOS PLAYED WITH A PICK (*Pick is optional)
NEW INTERMEDIATE – ADVANCED QUARTETS
first snow (LOU WARDE)
Étude (LOU WARDE)
long road home (LOU WARDE)
GESTURES suite (Lou Warde)
Gestures is a collection of four miniatures for guitar quartet, each less than two minutes long. The imagery and feelings each piece evokes in me are very poignant, and I was going to title each piece accordingly. However, in the end, I didn't want to influence the listener's own response, so, I kept the titles neutral.
Obviously, these four pieces were intended to be performed together. But of course, you may want to perform less than all four. To accommodate that, I provided the score and parts for each piece, rather than one file with all four pieces.
*Please note that while you are free to download these scores and parts, you are strictly forbidden to repost, distribute, publish or sell this music in any form or context. This includes the selling of audio and/or video recordings made of this music. (This does not include posting a video recording of your student's performance on social media, such as Facebook, YouTube, or on your school's website. Feel free to do so.) However, if you are interested in recording any of this music for the purpose of distributing and selling it, please contact me and I will be happy to send you a license agreement. Thank you.