(Beginners Guitar Tutor Volume Two - Guitarobics) Cover

Beginners Guitar Tutor 2 Cover

Review by Linda Keisali-Barnett for Classical Guitar September 2012

Eleftheria Kotzia has produced a very attractive package here (58pp plus CD). With a strikingly artistic cover in pastel shades and containing a wealth of useful material for the early grade student.

Text is in French and English thruughout. A brief introduction outlines the three sections in this volume and advocates having the help of a professional guitar teacher, and also the importance of taking things slowly.

Fifth position is introduced at the opening using familiar methods: simple melodies encompassing the fifth to eighth fret including Ode to Joy and El noy de le Mare. Fingering is usefully kept to a minimum. Throughout this section, pieces which introduce new techincal requirements, such as shifting carry warning signs. 'do not proceed until you have practised Guitarohics no. 1' (etc). referring to the separate technical section at the end of the book. Here, the exercises relate closely to the pieces, aiming to prepare the student mechanically for what is required.

Continuing with the musical selections. Vivaldi's Winter, and Packington’s Pound are presented in fifth position in duo form with straightforward accompaniments. Little Donkey shifis between third and fourth positions. Second position is developed through the shuffling Bluestyle. Ferrer's Ejercicio in D major, and an attractive arrangement of Skye Boat Song. Greensleves introduces three note chords and another well-known selection is Vivaldi's Danse Pasterale, arranged by Kotzia in A Major in first and second positions. Higher postitions are introduced as for fifth position, through melodic lines. Kotzia's Sans Titre develops this new work with parallel thirds moving down the first two strings - and aso requires harmonics. La Gitana a little out of place in first position. broadens the outlook in a flamenco idiom with rasgueados. This section closes with the attractive Feulles d’Automme by Jim Skinger which returns to the position work and is perhaps over fingered in the light of what has been presented beforehand.

The Repertoire Section contains 13 individually characterful pieces in a wide range of styles. Forlea‘s Valse en Sol is very accessible, developing the student's shifting ability. The Asturias theme is presented in seventh position, a good work-out for triplets in the right hand. Mardi Gras by Kotzia is a fun blues-style offering using shifting half-barrés Vivaldi’s Largo from the Lute Concerto is very usefully presented with a guitar accompaniment. As to be experted from a Greek guitartst there are excursions into the Greek sound world with Danse Grecque, an effective duet of melody and drone accompaniment, and the evocative Three Simple Greek Studies by Kostas Grigoreas which require delicate articulation and musical shaping - The Dolphin is particularly attractive with its campanella effects.

I will be using this volume frequently with my students - highly recommended.

Critique de Guitare Classique September 2011

Sous-titré "Guitarobics", ce recueil d'Eleftheria Kotzia, professeur de guitare‘au Royal Welsh College of Music, se destine aux éléves de fin de 1er cycle. Aprés un premier coup d’ceil, notre attention a particuliérement été retenue par les codes couleurs utilisés et les nombreux conseils sous forme encadrés distillés ici et la. Mais c'est la troisieme et dernitre partie qui nous asemblée la plus intéressante. Derriére le jeu de mot “Guitarobics"se cache des exercices techniques basiques classés selon des thématiques intelligemment pensées ("Changement deposition", "enchainements", "arpéges”, etc). Lauteur a d’ailleurs eu 1a bonne idée de mettre en relation les pices proposées avec ces exercices. A découvrir.