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TP #3: Capos, Women, and Jobim

TP #3: Capos, Women, and Jobim

Composition techniques, Women of the Guitar, and a Jobim transcription.

Dr. Jonathan L. Smith
Dr. Jonathan L. Smith

The Pluck: a simple newsletter designed to inform composers, guitarists, and producers about the latest guitar discoveries.


A Solution for ♭ and ♯ Keys on the Guitar

Ever struggle with composing, arranging, or playing in flat or obscure sharp keys on the guitar?

I found a solution I'd like to share with you. By retuning the guitar and applying a capo system, a guitarist can now access any key with ease.

Read further on my fully barred blog post.

Similarly, check out Thalia Capo’s post called, “How to Use a Guitar Capo Chart.”


Women of the Classical Guitar

In my pursuit to find like-minded people, I stumbled upon a fantastic project entitled, “Women of the Classical Guitar.”

Heike Matthiesen (Archiv Frau und Musik, Frankfurt, Germany) presents a database which includes female composers, luthiers, and players, in a concise, organized way.

Likewise, Dr. Candice Mowbray, author of the thesis, Ida Presti as a Solo Performer and Composer of Works for Solo Guitar, is hosting a series of guitar history videos. Dr. Mowbray and I are each Shenandoah University alum (2012 and 2020, respectively).

See her first episode, Tarrega and Torres, on YouTube. Here is a quotation from the video:

There is no one comparable to him. The guitar, when Tarrega plays it, is something more than an instrument; it is a living being which vibrates in accordance with the feelings of the musician. Tarrega knows the secrets of his instrument in such a manner that not a single chord, harmony, sonority, hidden nuance or unaccustomed sound escapes his marvelous genius. — J.D. Roberts

Heike, Candice, and many other female guitarists are paving a richer and well-needed history for women of the guitar. Find both of them contributing to Women of the Classical Guitar on Instagram, Twitter, and Spotify.


Bossa Nova #2 — à la Jobim

Antônio Carlos Jobim and his Bossa Nova style has been a huge part of my repertoire and listening playlists for many years. Something about this particular style feels timeless.

See my latest Soundslice where I play the chords to The Girl from Ipanema along with chordal, rhythmic, and tabulated notations. On the site, you have options to play, pause, change tempi, and transpose with easy controls.

  • Bossa Nova Style
  • Chordal Accompaniment to The Girl from Ipanema
  • à la Jobim
  • Key of F Major
  • Brazilian, Jazz, and Latin jazz.

If you like this style, you may like my duo’s excerpt of Pujol’s Nubes de Buenos Aires.

/The Pluck, Wrap Up

Thank you for reading. If you like what you see or know someone else who would, please subscribe and share the news.

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If you have questions or feedback, send me a private message or leave a comment. I will get back to you.

Until next time, keep plucking.

Dr. Jon