Study Note, Study in B Minor
There is much barring in this piece, but fortunately the bars are alternated
with unbarred passages that give the hand a chance to relax. Be sure to check your
bar position, and although only five strings are involved in many of the chords,
bar all six—the position is more reliable.
The particular beauty of this piece can be brought out by giving special attention
to the melody notes—those marked with upward stems. Rest strokes may be used to
give a fuller sound, and very occasionally vibrato may be used, for instance on
the D that begins the last measure of the third line. This is a moment when the
hand is released from holding a full chord so a moment may be snatched to make a
really good sound.
A. The second finger is used here because it is very difficult to move the first
finger from playing a note on the the first string right across the guitar to make
a bar for the next note.
Advanced players use what they call a hinge bar. The E would be played by the
first finger but right at its base as if in bar position. The rest of the finger
would be raised at an angle to enable the open B to sound. Then the finger slides
forward to the second fret and drops to form the bar. This is tricky, but used extensively
by the pros.
B. Be sure to place a full bar here in preparation for the next measure. It is
awkward to jump from a half bar to a full bar.
C. The first finger has a long jump from the C down to the E in the next measure.
The secret is to take the chord off just before the end of the measure—the open
G ringing on covers the gap.
D. This line needs special practice. First, it is an awkward move for the first
finger to go from the top string to barring the fourth fret. However, there is no
reasonable alternative, so just repeat the movement a few times, and try to ease
gracefully into the bar rather than grabbing at it.
E. A touch of vibrato on the B is attractive here, and even a small hesitation
marking the end of the upward climb.
F. The half bar here rather breaks the rule of trying to avoid going from half
to full bars on the same fret. However, there are no reasonable alternatives, since
most players would find a full bar here uncomfortable.