Slur Exercises, Trills, and Chromatic Octaves

By Cannon, Andrea | American Music Teacher, February-March 2015 | Go to article overview

Slur Exercises, Trills, and Chromatic Octaves


Cannon, Andrea, American Music Teacher


Slur Exercises, Trills, and Chromatic Octaves, by Andres Segovia and revised and edited by Larry Snitzler. Columbia Music Company, Inc., 2014. www.presser.com; 14 pp., $9.99.

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Slur Exercises, Trills, and Chromatic Octaves is a collection of technical studies for the guitar, which were used by Maestro Andres Segovia (1893-1987) in his own personal practice. Last published in 1970,

Larry Snitzler's 2014 revised edition relates the story of how his teacher, "Sophocles Papas asked Andres Segovia what kind of legato (or slur) patterns he practiced," and he "dashed off a few examples and handed them over to his friend. These became the basis of this publication."

The original Slur Exercises and Chromatic Octaves has long been a valuable supplement assisting the advancing student toward "greater strength and fluency in his fingers," stated Segovia. His explanations were sparse and straightforward, and they comprised less than a half page of text at the very end of the book. The slurs utilized neighboring tones in half and whole steps in duple, triple and quadruple groupings. The trills section was not included in the first edition and the chromatic octaves section, which he deemed as "excellent for achieving independence of the left hand," were offered as diads in first position only.

Snitzler adds biographical information and anecdotes in this edition, which serve to clarify the intended usefulness of the exercises. …

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