Russian Guitar

After recently acquiring a Russian guitar I’ve gone through a number of pedagogic resources to find those that might help others interested in learning this instrument.

The Russian guitar has little exposure outside of Russia, but here are some of the best players and resources in English:

Oleg Timofeyev

John Schneiderman

Mårten Falk

Stefan Wester

Rob MacKillop – Sarenko and Co

In Russian there are quite a few resources but the language barrier can be quite immense. The Russian national libraries contain a large amount of digitized music (and surprisingly so do the Rischel and Boije collections in Europe). The most comprehensive site for music and methods is Sheet music for Russian Guitar.

There are many methods for the Russian guitar. I have focused on the 19th century publications rather than the Soviet ones. Most follow similar patterns with many introductory pages on how to read music and where the notes fall on the 7 string neck. Some continue with very difficult or very easy practice pieces. The V. Morkov School for Guitar (Moscow 1862) is similar to these other methods but takes more care in fingering for both the right and left hands in the pieces, has a wider variety of styles and eases from easy through to difficult in a better manner than most other methods.

I engraved pieces from the Morkov method and converted the finger numbering to modern pima format and also added tablature. Both in PDF and Soundslice there are versions with and without tab so you can use tab to get the hang of note positions and techniques, then switch to the non-tab PDF or disable tab in Soundslice. I will be releasing pieces from Morkov’s method a few at a time.

  1. Pages 13-14, Exercises for Both Hands PDF Soundslice
  2. Pages 14-15, Exercises with Double Notes PDF Soundslice
  3. Page 15, Exercise in Chords
  4. Page 18, Exercises PDF Soundslice
  5. Pages 19-20, Preludes
  6. Page 21, Preludes
  7. Pages 22-23, Etudes
  8. Pages 23-26, Etudes
  9. Pages 27-28, Caprice and God Save the King
  10. Pages 28-29, Songs by Yavkovlev
  11. Pages 29-30, Songs by Pashkov and Gurilev
Russian guitar keyboard layout built from Morkov’s Method and other methods.
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