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New YouTube Series: Classical Guitar Excerpts by Matt Kaplan

I'm very excited to announce my new YouTube Series I'm making called Classical Guitar Excerpts.

The idea for this series was inspired by orchestral musicians who often need to perform excerpts in their auditions for the orchestra or band. This is not very common in the classical guitar world unless maybe you are auditioning for or playing for a graded learning curriculum like NYSSMA or the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Usually in auditions as such, musicians are required to play excerpts of larger works that are standard repertoire that they need to know well for programming purposes, demonstrate technical prowess, or musical understanding.

I really like the idea of bringing this concept into the spotlight for classical guitarists! We have so much great repertoire that does not get explored as often as it should in my opinion - especially chamber music.

My aim for my excerpts series is to show case small chunks of larger works so that you can walk away with a new technical exercises to add to your regiment, maybe learn a new musical concept, or perhaps even just learn about a new piece of music you might not have listened to otherwise!

My focus (at least to start) will be mostly on chamber music. Here in NYC I have the privilege of playing so much chamber music with a variety of musicians and ensembles (guitar duos, guitar and cello, piano, string quartet, you name it!) that I think could be good for these excerpts for your practice. I'll of course also explore some solo music both with standard repertoire new pieces as well!

Excerpt No.1 - From Tango, Milonga, y Final by Máximo Diego Pujol

CGExcerpts No .1 - Tango, Milonga, y Final
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My first excerpts comes from Máximo Diego Pujol's Tango, Milonga, y Final. M.D. Pujol is a great Argentinean classical guitar composer with a wide ranging output for solo guitar and guitar ensembles.

I was preparing this piece last month for a concert with Pierre Ferreyra-Mansilla for Nicoletta Todesco's Plucked Horizons concert series at the 33 Seaport Hotel in Manhattan which got me thinking about starting this series. I realized that in this section in particular, it was kind of impossible to perform this passage while still looking at the music due to all of the shifts. This happens often when I play chamber music - I'll use the music mostly but there will usually be a section or two that I'll need to memorize due to technical difficulties.

With the excerpt you get to learn a lot about shifting cleanly with the aid of open strings, right hand planting and preparation, and varying your dynamics while maintaining a fast tempo.

Pierre and I recorded this piece 7 years ago when I was still living in Harlem. This video looks a little dark so maybe we need to record it one of these days! Anyway, the video below I have set so that it opens up right to excerpt in question in case you want to check it out in context.

Thanks so much for your time and interest! If you have any ideas for some pieces you'd like me to break down, send me a note at

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