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Classical Guitar Lessons: Bach: Prelude in C Minor BWV 999

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The Prelude BWV 999, this is an lute
prelude by Bach.
And it doesn't really belong with any
kinda suite.
It was just a s,
a single prelude that That Bach wrote once
he became inspired to write for the lute.
After hearing the great lutenist Sylvius
Leopold Weiss.
They had, they had met.
And Weiss was able to demonstrate for Bach
the lute's capability for
playing many different voices at the same
Even, even fugal counterpoint.
And this inspired Bach so much that he had
a special
keyboard made for him, a called the
Which was a keyboard meant to sound like a
It would have been strung with the same
kinda strings and
there was feather quills in the mechanism
to pluck these strings.
To give it this more of this intimate,
kinda a smaller, lutey, kinda sound.
So this this way Bach could compose this,
this little, very short prelude on, on a
keyboard instrument.
And get a sense of hearing of what it
would sound like on the lute.
So this it's a very beautiful piece full
of harmonic color.
And but I think what I want to teach in
this lesson with you
is it's also a very, it makes a great left
hand etude.
Because students can occasionally struggle
with some of the chord changes,
but there's a secret to making the chord
changes a lot easier.
Every measure, In every measure you have a
rest on beat two in the bass.
And usually there's an opportunity in the
third beat to let go
of some of the higher notes that you're
holding down with certain fingers.
So for example, in measure three.
If you find that that transition is
difficult to get the first
finger back
to the fifth fret on the fourth string
It's good, it's good to know that you can
actually let go of the first and
fourth fingers on the third beat.
Thereby leaving more flexibility and
freedom in your hand to play the last
It's much harder to play that last beat if
you're holding certain fingers
down around it.
Because then you have, it makes you have
to move your fingers around some,
something that's already kinda held fast.
If that makes any sense.
And you'll see that in many other examples
in the piece.
So if you can look for
opportunities in the third beat of every
measure of this piece.
To let go of certain notes that were in
the chord in the first two beats.
It, it makes this piece twice or I should
it makes this piece half as difficult as
it needs to be.
And so I hope you can you'll,
you'll see that in the performance lesson
on this piece.
One other thing, in measures 31, 32,
33 I have my own fingering for these
Right, so, you might like this fingering,
you may prefer the one that's printed.
In, in many editions, like the Kuntz
edition is very popular and
I highly recommend that one.
But this fingering,
just from my experience with teaching with
They, some students
find that difficult.
So I've refingered this for, for students
and for myself.
By extension.
With this three, zero, four.
So utilizing the open B string.
And then, one, zero, four, zero, one,
zero, one.
And three, two, and then back to that same
concept again in measure 33.
Two, zero, three, zero, two, zero, two,
And then carry on as, as you were.
So, steal that fingering if you like, and
there you have it.