Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
CarolBe
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Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by CarolBe » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:12 pm

Hello,
I'm very new to playing the classical guitar. I've been playing piano for many years and I really enjoy playing hymns and have MANY hymnals and other piano music. I'm having a hard time finding hymns or other Christian music for guitar that is played like classical guitar, does that make sense? I'm not looking for tablature, but for melodies and harmonies. I am not anywhere near advanced, but I don't mind building up a library to aspire to. Also, would the music I have for piano work?
Thank you for your help!!
Carol

doug
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by doug » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:50 am

I have Mel Bay's, "Gospel Favorites for Classic Guitar". Per-Olov Kindgren has a good arrangement of ,"Amazing Grace"
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doug
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by doug » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:56 am

Another, and a little more "intermediate" book, is Hal Leonard's, "Sacred Songs for Classical Guitar".
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2016 Kenny Hill New World Estudio 640, cedar
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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:32 am

I have not focused on playing hymns but do so enjoy them, hearing others play, in particular, Christopher Parkening. There are 4 volumes on my shelf (1) Sacred Music for the Guitar by Christopher Parkening, Vol.2 (sorry to say, I'm missing the first volume.) These would be very challenging. Then there is (2) Rick Foster's Hymns for Classical Guitar and (3) also by Foster, More Hymns for Classical Guitar, (Mel Bay.) These are also on the challenging side. I believe, Parkening played some of Foster's arrangements on his albums. (4) Favorite Hymns for Classical Guitar by Joseph Castle, (Mel Bay,) might be slightly easier to learn. If these are no longer in print, they should appear on the used market from time to time.
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DerekB
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by DerekB » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:47 am

Try searching the Our Scores section of this website. There are some excellent arrangements of Christmas songs. Look for the Jim Giddings set of six. A quick search also came up with another version of In the Bleak Midwinter.
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Non Tabius
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by Non Tabius » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:51 pm

If you have a notation program you could always arrange the piano scores which you have, for guitar.Some might not be suited for the guitar, but most should be.Make key changes if necessary to suit the guitar.A bit of hard work but quite enjoyable if you set your mind to it.

CarolBe
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by CarolBe » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:54 pm

Thank you all so much!! These are all wonderful ideas. :-)

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Robert M
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by Robert M » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:57 am

There are many good books out there but I enjoy arranging them from the hymnal. I use tabledit. There is also a a few good Gospel fake books with hundreds of songs if you want to arrange you own. Try this link.

https://www.*** Commercial link removed ***/Gospels-Greatest ... 0634004247

CarolBe
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by CarolBe » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:34 pm

How does tabledit work?

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David Norton
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by David Norton » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:41 pm

Hi Carol,

I've played hymns on CG for over 40 years. My method of arranging from the hymnal score is the following:

(1) Make sure the hymn in mind is suitable for adaptation. Some hymns simply don't work well on a guitar, the accompaniment is too busy or the SATB writing is too precise to make for a decent guitar piece. "Just because you CAN, doesn't always mean you SHOULD."

(2) Figure out a good key for the guitar version. A, E, D (major or minor) are the best choices, for obvious reasons. Make sure the topmost melody note isn't going too high, and the lowest note is third string at worst.

(3) Once the melody is set, add JUST the bass line from the keyboard version.

(4) Determine if there are any critical bits in the accompaniment that need to be included, things people will "expect to hear" in a decent arrangement.

(5) Fill in the middle voices as best as possible. I generally stick with 3- or 4-part in total.

(6) Don't get terribly bogged down in "proper voice leading", or in avoiding parallel fifths/twelfths, and other compositional niceties. Sometimes it's just the nature of the beast for these to occur.

Since a large number of hymns are published in the voice-comfortable keys of F, Eb, or Bb, I often put a capo on the 3rd fret and play straight off the hymnal scores, following the above caveats.

Feel free to inbox me if you have questions.
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

Altophile
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by Altophile » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:43 pm

I second the comments of Eberhard about Rick Foster's arrangements: Many of them are quite challenging. Christopher Parkening described his arrangement of "Joy of Man's Desiring" as one of the most difficult pieces in all of guitar repertoire. For me, it's definitely a hand-buster!

With that said, I think that the following pieces from "Favorite Hymns for Acoustic Guitar" by Rick Foster seem quite approachable:

1. Just as I Am, arr. by Chet Atkins
2. There's a Quiet Understanding, arr. Rick Foster

The first tune is probably better known, but the second is very attractive, IMO.

You might also check out Craig Dobbins' "Hymns for Fingerstyle Guitar", which contains pieces that are probably more intermediate in character.

~Sean

ChristianK
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by ChristianK » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:20 am

One of my favorites is Jonathan Roth arrangement of "Be Thou My Vision". You can hear Taso Comanescu play it on GSI youtube channel, quite a lovely piece.

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HNLim
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by HNLim » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:34 am

Robert M wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:57 am
There are many good books out there but I enjoy arranging them from the hymnal. I use tabledit. There is also a a few good Gospel fake books with hundreds of songs if you want to arrange you own. Try this link.

https://www.*** Commercial link removed ***/Gospels-Greatest-Books-Leonard-Corp/dp/0634004247
Can you on me the link. Thanks!

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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:00 am

Altophile wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:43 pm
I second the comments of Eberhard about Rick Foster's arrangements: Many of them are quite challenging. Christopher Parkening described his arrangement of "Joy of Man's Desiring" as one of the most difficult pieces in all of guitar repertoire. For me, it's definitely a hand-buster!

With that said, I think that the following pieces from "Favorite Hymns for Acoustic Guitar" by Rick Foster seem quite approachable:

1. Just as I Am, arr. by Chet Atkins
2. There's a Quiet Understanding, arr. Rick Foster

The first tune is probably better known, but the second is very attractive, IMO.

You might also check out Craig Dobbins' "Hymns for Fingerstyle Guitar", which contains pieces that are probably more intermediate in character.

~Sean
Eberhard Mueller wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:32 am
snip... Favorite Hymns for Classical Guitar by Joseph Castle, (Mel Bay,) might be slightly easier to learn. If these are no longer in print, they should appear on the used market from time to time.
I checked the great market place, a**zon and note that Joseph Castle's book has been reprinted. However, no luck finding reprints of the Parkening and Foster "hymnals." The arrangement of "Jesu" by Castle in Gmaj is rich, a full length, yet decidedly easier than Foster's version in Cmaj. (Although, Joe Castle's arrangement can still give you a good workout! :D)

Here are the contents:
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name
Amazing Grace
Angels We Have Heard On High
Blest Be The Tie That Binds
Christ The Lord Is Risen Today
Come Thou Almighty King
Crown Him With Many Crowns
For The Beauty Of The Earth
Hymn To Joy (Beethoven)
Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring
Lead On, O King Eternal
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
Now Thank We All Our God
O God Our Help In Ages Past
O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
Praise To The Lord, The Almighty
Still, Still With Thee
Take Time To Be Holy
The Spacious Firmament On High

I'd say that those 20 pieces represent a good deal for only $10. :D
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Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
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khayes
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Re: Playing Hymns on Classical Guitar

Post by khayes » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:06 am

Check out Jim Nailon's website - he has plenty of hymn and carol arrangements, mostly free if I remember correctly.
Ken

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