I’ve rambled more about my own ideas recently, so I wanted to get back to talking about Russian guitar a bit. Campanella is a technique that is typical of the guitar family, but is most idiomatic of the reentrant tuned members, like the ukulele and baroque guitar. The close tuning of the Russian guitar also allows for some beautiful campanella playing, particularly when you have a chance to exploit an open string or two.
So, for my practice journal this week, I’m working a bit on campanella with a piece that I really enjoy, though it’s not Russian at all. It’s Arrietty’s Song from the animation The Secret World of Arrietty. This is a song I enjoy but hadn’t started practicing much on my classical guitar. I decided to do an experiment and see how it would feel on Russian guitar. This one actually fits really well on Russian guitar, and I discovered that if you play in a high position, it’s really suited for campanella passages.
I honestly still feel like I’m just fumbling around on Russian guitar, but at the same time I do feel I’m making progress. I have to remember that I’m an adult with a full time job and a home to take care of, so I don’t get to just play guitar all day even though I want to. I hope having a goal with a focused practice like this will help me make good use of the time that I do have for guitar. Luckily, it’s a long weekend here, so I hope to do a little more recording if I have the chance. Or perhaps I’ll just get more practicing done since I’d like this to be one of my go to songs I can play when I pick up my guitar. But for now, I hope you enjoy today’s practice journal, which is only the first section of the song.
If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli and Joe Hiyashi’s soundtracks, there is a wonderful book of classical guitar arrangements, and I’m slowly discovering a lot of the music I can read straight off the page for Russian guitar. Some of them the arrangements are beautifully smooth on Spanish guitar, so it’s a little counterintuitive to try and play them on Russian guitar. I might try and transpose some of the simpler pieces to a different key and see how that feels, well I say that but I was just complaining about not having enough time as I’d like for guitar, haha, such is life. I’m not totally sure if this book is available worldwide, but here is a link on Amazon and Amazon JP to get you started if you want to try and find it.