New video - see all my videos on YouTube
New original classical guitar composition: Astoresque (link)
New classical guitar arrangement: Je crois entendre encore (G. Bizet) (link)
newcenturyguitar.com—who is it for?
This website, NewCenturyGuitar.com, is a resource I've created for classical guitar students and teachers. The most important feature here is a collection of my original compositions for classical guitar. The guitar music that is available here is aimed at diversifying and broadening the repertoire of contemporary music for guitar.
My name is Tuomas Kourula. I'm a Finnish classical guitar teacher—you can find out more about me here. My compositional style is melodic, emotional, rhythmically alive, accessible and fun. You might call it "cinematic fusion" style. Like movies, I want to tell you a story and move you, and do it in an entertaining way.
Thank you for visiting my site! I'd really like to hear from you, and I hope to see you back here. And please share this with any of your friends who might be interested in new classical guitar music!
It's getting harder and harder to motivate guitar students to keep practicing classical guitar. There are so many other things taking up their interest and time. Diverse and interesting repertoire can help out a lot!
My compositions have had an overwhelmingly positive response from my own guitar students. I hope that also you (and your students, if you're a teacher) will like my music.
Why do we need these new compositions?
Because I'm a classical guitar teacher, I know that you can never find enough of this kind of contemporary yet accessible music for classical guitar. Classical guitar music sometimes seems to be stuck between the past or the present. I think that the most fruitful approach is to fuse different styles and sounds.
It's true that the old and familiar studies by Fernando Sor, Ferdinando Carulli, Matteo Carcassi, Mauro Giuliani etc. are great. Many guitarists really love playing them, and Leo Brouwer's music works especially well with some players. But it's also true that most guitarists will want to play something like my compositions from time to time, something that reflects both our own time and the classical guitar tradition. That's why I compose new classical guitar music that combines the many interesting and diverse musical influences of our time, the 21st century.
I've been playing classical guitar since I was a child, for over 25 years. The more I gain experience, the more important it becomes to me that the music I write, play and teach to my students should be accessible and fundamentally guitaristic. It's a top priority to me that my compositions should sound full and satisfying, but they should never fight you when you play them. The notes must fall easily and naturally under the fingers.
I know that I can never convince you to have a look and listen just by writing about music. So, here are videos that you can view and hear for yourself. There are also many sheet music samples on these pages.
If you are interested in new music for classical guitar, educational music, guitar music PDF files and gear reviews written especially for classical guitarists, you might want to bookmark this site. That will make it easier to return from time to time.
Have you read my articles? Here, have a look at some of the most recent ones:
Everything on this website, NewCenturyGuitar.com, is now free! Every composition, every arrangement, all the downloadable guitar sheet music.
Previously only my opera arrangements were free, while I charged a nominal sum for my original guitar compositions. Little by little I came to realize that the system wasn't really fair: for some people, the cost was very small, but for others, it was too much. Now that it's all free to download, I think the system is as fair as can be!
I've decided to work on donation basis from now on. There's no obligation to pay anything, but if you like my work, you can donate a small sum of your choice via PayPal.
You can find a lot of free sheet music online, legally or otherwise, but what sets NewCenturyGuitar.com apart is that all content is original. The arrangements are written by me, and they seem to be popular; at least people have been downloading them steadily for years. Also all my own compositions for guitar that you can find here are specifically written for my students and this website: you can't find them anywhere else. I try to keep the quality as high as I can - if you have any ideas on how I could improve, please let me know!Click here for the full post
I'm updating my site. Until now, the opera arrangements have been free downloads and my own compositions have had a small charge attached. From now on, I've decided to give everything away free! It will happen as soon as I can get it done, but I hope it won't take no more than a few days. See you then! 🙂Click here for the full post
Adventures in Microphone Land, Part II
This article continues the story of my pursuit of the best possible sound that can be achieved in recording classical guitar at home. Like the last time, I've also made a comparison video.
Quick recap: In the first part of the story, Microphones for Guitar (link), I compared different types of microphones ranging from several condenser mics to an active ribbon microphone. I arrived at the conclusion that a ribbon mic was clearly the best for my purposes, and very probably worth looking into, if you're recording your classical guitar at home. You should check that first article out, if you haven't already—at least see the videos!
But there were some questions left over for this second part:
- As good as my sE Electronics VR2 Voodoo ribbon microphone is, maybe there is something better for me out there?
- Is quality dependent on price in ribbon microphones? Can a relatively cheap ribbon mic be any good?
- How could I gain the ability to record in stereo—I was not ready to pay the new asking price for another sE VR2 (900€) just to be able to record in stereo.
Maybe I could get another, cheaper ribbon microphone to complement the one I already had?
Reading James Herriot's wonderful stories about his life as a vet, I came across an interesting phrase, hybrid vigor. In short, hybrid vigor means "the improved...quality in a hybrid offspring (Wikipedia)". For example, a mixed breed dog is usually healthier than purebred dogs. But how does all this relate to music?
Let's face it: guitarists often play out of tune. There are many reasons for this, from forgetful or uninformed players to bad strings and, unfortunately, faulty guitars. I've learned about these things the hard way; I've been uninformed myself, I've had plenty of bad strings and also a bad guitar or two!
In this article, I'll first tell you about my views on how to tune a guitar, and later we'll see how you can easily test your strings and your guitar for intonation (accuracy of pitch) and what you can do if something's not right.Click here for the full post