The ensemble pieces below were written or arranged specifically for my students, keeping both their technical ability and aesthetic enjoyment in mind. From that perspective, these works are sort of a collaboration between my students and myself.
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 not a single pdf of the Guitar Ensemble book, but all the pieces are below.
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.
(Note: Most of the quartets below also work well as large ensemble pieces.)
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)
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.
GUITAR QUARTET & STRINGS