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The 20th Century (Guitar Lesson)

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Danny Voris

The 20th Century

In this lesson, Danny discusses the 20th century influence on classical guitar.

Taught by Danny Voris in Classical Guitar seriesLength: 22:43Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (10:10) Introduction to the 20th Century Lesson Objectives

-Develop right hand arpeggio skills by playing Leo Brouwer's "Etude VI" from "Etudes Simples."
-Learn key stylistic elements of the Modern Period.

Modern Period of Western Art Music

Note: A detailed article pertaining to key stylistic elements of modern music as well as the most influential composers in Western art music will soon be added to the "Articles" section of the site. This area of the site can be accessed through the "Articles" button on the left hand side of the homepage.

Leo Brouwer

For biographical and musical information pertaining to the life and works of Leo Brouwer, please check out the following link.

Etude VI

Danny teaches Brouwer's sixth etude from the collection of "Etudes Simples," or "simple studies" in this lesson. This piece may sound familiar to heavy metal enthusiasts. Randy Rhoads quoted this piece in the introduction section to "Diary of a Madman."

Performance Example

Watch and listen to Danny's performance example at 03:30 several times before you begin to practice the piece. Notice how he plays in a rubato rhythm similar to "The Romance." Also, pay close attention to Danny's left hand technique. Notice how relaxed his hand remains and how close his fingers stay to the fretboard.

Right Hand

Brouwer's sixth etude is an arpeggio study. It features a simple repeating right hand pattern. As discussed in previous lessons, it is always easiest to learn a piece if you can break it down into its individual components. First, isolate the right hand arpeggio pattern. Remove the left hand from the equation altogether by practicing the right hand pattern with open strings.

Use the following right hand fingering for the arpeggio pattern:

Beat 1: P, A, M, I
Beat 2: A, M, I, P
Beat 3: A, M, I, P

This is the most difficult arpeggio pattern that Danny has covered thus far in the series. Play VERY slowly in time with a metronome until the right hand pattern becomes totally automatic and natural.

Left Hand

Isolate the left hand element of this piece before combining both hands together. Simply strum the chords when they change along with a metronome. If you find a particular chord change to be difficult, use the following tips:

1. Do not deviate from the left hand fingerings Danny demonstrates in the lesson video. These fingerings ensure maximum relaxation and economy of movement.

2. Practice the reach development / finger independence exercises presented in lesson 5 of this series.

3. Using the left hand only, simultaneously hammer the left hand fingers into place when making a chord change. This will train the individual fingers to move as one singular unit. Danny demonstrates this practice idea at 04:17 in the following scene.

Combining the Hands

When you can successfully play through the piece as described above, begin to practice the piece as written. Remember to begin at a very slow tempo such as 60 bpm. Focus on small 4-5 measure segments at a time.
Chapter 2: (07:08) Etude VI Danny teaches measures 5 - 10 in this scene. Practice these measures using the guidelines presented under the previous scene.
Chapter 3: (05:25) Etude VI Right Hand

In measure 11 of the etude, the right hand arpeggio pattern changes (m. 11). The time signature also changes from 3/4 to 2/4.

Isolate this new pattern with open strings. Use the fingering listed below:

Beat 1: P, A, M, I
Beat 2: P, A, M, I

Left Hand

Strum the chords as they change to isolate the left hand component. Drill any difficult chord changes using the hammer-on practice method that Danny demonstrated in the previous scene. In addition, use the pinky as a "guide finger" in measures 12-14. Do not lift this finger from the third string! Simply release pressure from the string so that a string squeak or slide is not inadvertently produced.

Musical Road Signs

Notice that measures 15 and 16 are not repeated!!!

Video Subtitles / Captions

Supplemental Learning Material


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

jet3rryjet3rry replied on January 7th, 2016

I really enjoyed these lessons, and especially love this piece by Leo Brouwer. Thank you so much for these, your teaching is clear and thorough and your playing is beautiful!

jbjpjbjp replied on July 15th, 2014

Hi Danny, You organized and presented a fantastic Jam packed package of tools, practical techniques, skill building practices insights, and more____ sharing so much in depth knowledge for us to work on for a long time to come. So much of value, so much for me to keep busy. Thank you very much, John

old proold pro replied on January 28th, 2014

Danny , Really a GREAT lesson! I'm really looking forward to more, you have an excellent teaching approach.

gert maasgert maas replied on March 14th, 2013

where's that bar with the f sharp

joradjorad replied on August 8th, 2009

Nice lessons! I appreciate that the classical genre is covered well, and I am looking forward to more advanced pieces too. Any plans on teaching Koyunbaba, by any chance? Or other more modern and advanced pieces?

currannicurranni replied on July 7th, 2009

i hope u will go through more pieces in depth into the older periods and so on, including modern classical style pieces, different phases and more difficult stf i m looking forward to my classical guitar when i finally get one, i can do these lessons proper :D

Classical Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

The origins of the classical guitar date back to the fifteenth century. The vihuela, lute, and baroque guitar are the early predecessors of the guitar. With its origins reaching deep into the past, the classical guitar repertoire spans over five hundred years worth of material. Danny Voris explains the techniques necessary to mastering this timeless art form.

Lesson 1

Overview of the Classical Guitar

Danny provides an overview of the topics that will be discussed in this lesson set. He also explains the origin of the classical guitar.

Length: 5:57 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Preparing to Play the Classical Guitar

In this lesson, Danny covers proper posture and how to hold the classical guitar. He also explains how to shape the nails in order to produce the best tone possible.

Length: 19:44 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Installing Nylon Strings

Danny demonstrates how to install nylon strings on a classical guitar.

Length: 12:58 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Left Hand Technique

Danny covers the basics of left hand techniques for classical guitar.

Length: 20:19 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Finger Independence

For lesson five, Danny discusses left hand finger independence. He also discusses hammer-on and pull-off technique.

Length: 17:06 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Right Hand Technique

In lesson 6, Danny discusses and demonstrates right hand technique for the classical style.

Length: 24:26 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 7


Lesson 7 is all about arpeggios. Danny provides discussion and exercises designed to build your right hand skills.

Length: 8:43 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Lesson 8

The Importance of Scales

Lesson 8 covers scale exercises in the classical format. Danny provides a few patterns that focus on finger independence and position shifts.

Length: 6:26 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Renaissance Period

In lesson 9, Danny begins discussion of the five different musical periods of classical guitar music. He starts with the Renaissance.

Length: 40:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Robert Johnson's Alman

In lesson 10, Danny takes a more in depth look at a Robert Johnson's "Alman." This lesson contains a detailed explanation of fingering.

Length: 27:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Behind the Scenes with Danny Voris

Danny Voris discusses the major music periods and the advent of tonality.

Length: 7:19 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Baroque Period

Danny discusses and demonstrates a piece from the Baroque period.

Length: 22:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Classical Period

In lesson 13, Danny discusses the Classical period of music.

Length: 20:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Romantic Period

In lesson 14, Danny discusses the Romantic period of music. He demonstrates a famous piece from this period commonly referred to as "Romance."

Length: 21:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

The 20th Century

In this lesson, Danny discusses the 20th century influence on classical guitar.

Length: 22:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only

About Danny Voris View Full Biography

A unique guitarist in the region, Wright State alumnus Danny Voris, musically fulfills audiences with a mixture of exciting guitar playing and talented compositional skills. After graduating WSU in 1989, Danny obtained a teaching position at Sinclair Community College. In the fall of 2000, Danny obtained a scholarship to the graduate program at The University of Akron. After graduating the University of Akron in 2002 with a Master’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance, Danny returned to Dayton. There he began teaching at Jim McCutcheon Music Studios and at The Miami Valley School in Kettering, Ohio.

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