THIS IS THE TABLE OF CONTENTS, AND DESCRIPTION OF EACH CHAPTER OF:
Pepe Romero’s book: “La Guitarra: Comprehensive Study of Classical Guitar Technique and Guide to Performance”; Tuscany Publications; 2012; (143 pages; ISBN 978-0-9859451-0-7) --- Which is a revised and expanded edition of Pepe Romero’s book: “Guitar Style and Technique: A Comprehensive Study of Technique for the Classical Guitar”; 1982
The book is spiral bond; size: 12 X 9 inches = 30 X 23 cm
Despite my very busy life, I spent considerable time on this post, because I respect those who love classical guitar, and I know many CG lovers are curious about this book. After a lot of back-and-forths in my mind, I finally decided to buy this book; the book is now available online for about $23.00, so not a big deal. I was very curious to know what the contents are, but could not find a clue anywhere online. So, I am going to provide you with a detailed table of contents (which includes my description of each chapter/section) so you can decide if this is a book for you to purchase or not. I do not believe this is violation of copyright; I am not copying anything or disclosing the exact text. I believe Pepe has put a lot of effort in this book, and the text should be kept only for the people who pay for the book.
I will avoid evaluation or expressing personal opinion. You can post replies with your opinions/evaluations though!
Below is the table of contents. NOTE: what is in parenthesis is MY description of each chapter/section.
DEDICATIONS, INTRODUCTION, FOREWARD – page 6 to 12
THE RIGHT HAND – page 15 to 45
- Awareness Excercises (3 pages- explanation of some basic anatomy of right hand and how to do some basic exercises with right hand to avoid tension. This section does not have any notes/scores to practice on, it’s just text and couple of pictures of right hand)
- The Nails (2 pages- text and few pictures, about how nails have to be)
- The Free Stroke (4 pages- explanation of how to do free stroke, including half page text from Sor’s guitar method book on this subject, 1-2 picture showing fingers position and which part of nail plays free stroke. No notation/scores for practice).
- Chords and Arpeggios: (1 page- text only, how to play chords and arpeggios)
- The Plant (1 page- text only, about how do “full plant”, and definition of “sequential plant”)
- The Thumb (2 pages- text only, about different types of movements of the thumb, there are also 5 schematic drawings, showing the direction of thumb movement in different types of thumb strokes)
Giuliani Right-Hand Studies (13 pages- the 120 Giuliani right hand studies. It tells which right hand finger is supposed to play each note. The notes/chords are different to the ones I have; Pepe has modified them to his taste)
- The Rest Stroke (1.5 pages- text about how to play rest stroke, with 2 pictures. No notation/scores for practice)
- Exchange (half a page- definition of “exchange of motion between alternating fingers”, but no explanation about how to do it. No pictures, no notation)
- Playing Without Nails (one paragraph, nothing specific)
- Diatonic Scales (one paragraph- general description of how to practice diatonic scales without any details)
- Descending Scales (one paragraph- describing how fingers move to play descending scales)
- Pizzicato (2 short paragraphs, with 2 pictures, explaining in very short two techniques to play pizzicato)
THE LEFT HAND – page 46 to 72
(Chapter starts with 2-page introduction to left hand positioning, etc with one picture)
- Left-Hand Exchange (1 page text, how to handle playing a note with finger of left hand)
- Left-Hand Pressure (1 page text, how to exert and release pressure by left hand fingers)
- Shifting Positions (1 page text, with 1 picture, about how to change positions)
- Slurs (half a page text, very short description of how to play slurs)
- Vibrato (half a page text, very short description of how to play two types of vibratos: “horizontal vibrato” and “vertical vibrato”)
- The Barre (one page, with two pictures. Very short description of how to play barre)
Harmonics (2 pages, with 6 pictures, short description of how to play “natural harmonics” and very short description of how to play “artificial harmonics”)
- Giuliani Left-Hand Studies (16 pages of notes, 1-line exercises for right hand, each line a different exercise. Total of about 150 lines of notes, which means 150 different exercises. Pepe has intentionally omitted the left hand fingering from the notes for the student to use own creativity, so there is no left hand fingering specified on scores)
GYMNASTIC EXERCISES – page 73 to 83
(This chapter contains about 50 1-line practices. Each practice contains relevant fingering for left hand, and a few of them also have right hand fingering included. The practices seem to be mainly/mostly for left hand. There are also very short how-to-play explanations for some of these practices.)
TREMOLO – page 85 to 89
(This chapter has a 1-page explanation of what tremolo is. There seems also to be a bit of explanation of how to play tremolo, but I do not see detailed finger mechanics of playing tremolo, it seems the write assumes you already know how to play it, so gives you some more insight.
After the 1-page explanation, there is the score for “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” edited by Pepe. There is NO explanation as to how to play the piece, so the book does not teach you how to play this piece, it just provides the score.)
FLAMENCO – page 91-98
(Chapter starts with 1-page text, which basically is a simple introduction that Pepe says why he is also bringing Flamenco in this book.)
- Rasgueado (2-pages, each page has half-page of text, and half-page of pictures, total of 6 pictures; text/pictures explain how to play Rasgueado. I am not flamenco player, so don’t know how detailed this is, but seems to me he is explaining 1-2 Rasgueado techniques. Next is a 5-page score for a flamenco music named “Alegrias”. The score is nicely laid out with fingering, etc, but there is no explanation of how to play the piece, it just provides the score, assuming you know how to play flamenco)
ESTUDIOS & COMPOSITIONS by CELEDONIO ROMERO – page 101 to 120
(This chapter provides scores of 12 musics written by Pepe’s father, Celedonio Romero. They mostly seem to require high-intermediate to advanced level of playing expertise, though a few are more simple. Here is the list of the musics:)
Nana, Estudio No 1: La Mariposa, Estudio No 2, Estudio No 3: La Abeja, Estudio No 4, Preludio granadino (Variaciones), Estudio No 5: Preludio, Estudio No 6: El Gaditano (Preludio), Estudio No 7: Estudio de concierto, Cancion al alba No 1, Cancion al alba No 2, Oracion.
THE CONCERT ARTIST – page 121 to 124
(This chapter is text about performing as a concert artist, etc. Nothing technical or educational. It seems to be some description about performing music, etc, just something general. It also has detailed (2-page) description of something called “automatismo”.-sorry, I am not a professional, so do not know what automatismo is!!
DEVELOPING VIBRATORY SENSE – page 126
(One page about how to develop vibratory sense when you play.)
THE METAPHYSICS of MUSIC – page 127 to 128
(One page about metaphysical aspects of music.
One page sort of “conclusion” of the book, nothing technical or educational.)
PHOTOS from the ROMERO FAMILY ALBUM – page 130-143
(Nice black-and-white pictures of Pepe and family, some old and some more recent pictures)