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SIMON MAYOR - Great Traditional Tunes For Guitar

SIMON MAYOR - Great Traditional Tunes For Guitar
Acoustics ISBN: 9780952277668

This collection of tunes arranged for guitar is aimed at the ‘intermediate’ player, which directly appeals to me, and indeed some of the tunes I already perform, although not necessarily in concert pitch as these are presented. 22 tunes are delivered here, ranging from the popular (The Lark In The Clear Air), via the obscure (Neil Gow’s Lamentation For James Moray Of Abercarney) to the done to death (The Laird Of Drumblair). Twenty are in concert pitch, with the other two in dropped D, and all of them are presented with guitar tab and the corresponding music notation.

There’s an occasional error, like a missing return in John Stephen Of Chance Inn, or a mis-transcribed tab, where the wrong fret is signalled (although the notation above is correct), but these minor glitches aside, this is a brilliant book to use, and designed cleverly with a semi-stiff spine allowing it to be easily used on a music stand. All of the tracks have mp3 files associated, which can be downloaded from the Simon Mayor website. Mind you, it’s only when hearing the master himself performing the tunes that you realise that the tempo of some is beyond us mere mortals. Indeed, if I tried dancing to The Steamboat Waltz at the speed of the mp3, I would probably do myself and my partner a mischief. Similarly, the slow air Si Bheag Si Mhor is instructed to be ‘moderately fast, gracefully’ and is even faster than that in the recording.

Generally, though, this is an excellent tutor, and I heartily recommend it to intermediate players (although novice guitarists may struggle with it – it is what it says on the tin).

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 110 of The Living Tradition magazine.