Carcassi Mini Challenge ✒

Hey tonebuddies! 🎶

We're buzzing with excitement to announce a community mini-challenge that's bound to strike a chord with all you classical guitar devotees - The Carcassi Mini Challenge! This challenge is all about paying homage to the prolific Italian guitarist and composer Matteo Carcassi, whose brilliant compositions have forever changed the landscape of classical guitar music. We believe there's no better way to celebrate his work than by breathing life into it through our personal interpretations! 🎸

🌟 The Challenge: 🌟

We're calling you to record and upload a video of yourself performing a composition by the renowned Matteo Carcassi. Dive deep into the tonal intricacies of his etudes and share your distinct artistry, passion, and mastery. Let's come together to appreciate and traverse the diverse world of Carcassi's guitar literature.

📹 How to participate: 📹

Record a video of yourself performing a Matteo Carcassi composition. Upload your video to your platform of choice (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, etc.). Share the link to your video in the comments section below. Don't forget to add a brief explanation about your selected piece and why it holds a special place in your heart.

Bonus Points: Share a link to your favorite Matteo Carcassi composition performed by a virtuoso!

🤝 Interact and engage: 🤝

This challenge presents a great opportunity to connect with your fellow tonebuddies! Show your support by leaving comments, offering constructive criticism, and expressing admiration for their performances. Let's inspire each other to delve even deeper into the rich and melodious world of Carcassi's music.

🏆 Reward: 🏆

While we don't have a physical prize, the reward lies in the chance to display your skill, gain priceless feedback, and connect with other guitar enthusiasts who share a love for Carcassi's music. You might even stumble upon a new favorite piece or form connections with like-minded aficionados!

💡 Need inspiration? 💡

If you're unfamiliar with Matteo Carcassi's music, fear not! You'll find an abundance of resources and tutorials on tonebase to guide your journey through his compositions. Allow these resources to spark your creativity.

Find more tutorials here:

🎶 Ready, set, practice! 🎶

We're eager to listen to your stunning interpretations of Matteo Carcassi's compositions. Let's unite and immerse ourselves in the captivating realm of classical guitar!

Happy practicing, tonebuddies! 🎉

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  • Carcassi – Moderato Op 60 No 5 (June 26)

    When I saw this mini-challenge posted, I thought I’d like to play something I have never played before. My first thought was to go outside of his famous opus 60, but when I started looking at opus 60, I saw that I had never played number 5, so I thought I would give it a go.

    After reading through it, I quickly realized why I had never played it – it is really difficult! Carcassi says these studies are progressive, but if I were arranging them progressively, I’d put this one much closer to the end.

    Here is where I am after about an hour of practice. The fingering took me some time to work out, as there are so many possibilities. I'll continue to work on it and post my progress.

  • Study 5 update (June 28)

    Here is an update after a couple days of practice. I’m fairly happy with the result, although it probably should be a bit faster.

  • Andantino Grazioso (Op 5 No 5)

    I found this piece in one of my Frederick Noad anthologies, and I kind of like it, so I thought I’d record it.

  • Larghetto Op 59 No 37

    This comes from Carcassi’s method. To be honest, I find most of the pieces from this opus to be rather dull. This Larghetto, however, caught my eye. I like to play it with a very dolce tone, and lots of vibrato.

      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips Very nicely played, Eric! I don't fully agree with your assessment of the material in opus 59, though. It's not concert repertoire, to be sure, but given its pedagogical purpose, I think it is of quite a high standard. A great source of sight-readable music, if nothing else!

      Like 1
    • David Krupka It is great sight reading, for sure. Maybe it was just my mindset as I was reading through it.

  • This is the first challenge I have responded to.  Partly because I am looking for something to motivate my practice, and partly because Carcassi's Andantino is a piece I regularly warm up with.  I know it is basic, but that is where I am at (see mp3 file below).  I am working on Etude no. 1, but that is still awhile away from performing.  

    • Curtis Breslin Good work, Curtis! I’m happy to have someone else posting in this mini-challenge! I find making and posting videos to be very helpful with motivation and bringing pieces to completion.

      When you say you are working on Etude 1, I assume you’re talking about opus 60? That is actually a very difficult study that I would have put much higher in a set of “progressive” studies. I hope we get to hear your performance of it.

    • Eric Phillips Thanks Eric for the encouragement.  Yes, I am talking about op 60 Etude 1, and it is challenging - and at times it has felt too challenging.  Is there any Carcassi Etude that is more challenging than the Andantino, but less challenging than Etude no. 1 that you might recommend?

      Like 1
    • Curtis Breslin Definitely. Opus 60 number 2 is much easier than number 1. Next in difficulty I’d say is number 6, as long as you take it slowly. After that, I’d go with number 4, then number 3 (which is one of his most beautiful pieces). Believe it or not, I’d also include number 16 among the easier ones in the opus. So as you can see, I don’t think Carcassi‘s ordering is very progressive.

      By the way, there are some very good lessons here on Tonebase on number 1-4 by TY Zhang. Highly recommended.

      Just to show you that I am not the only one who does not find Carcassi's ordering very progressive, check out this excellent categorization of opus 60 by martin .

  • Very helpful - thanks.  I have been using TY Zhang's lessons for Etude no 1.  I think I will skip ahead to no. 2 now!

    Like 1
      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Curtis Breslin I agree with Eric's view that the Carcassi opus 60 etudes are not arranged progressively. Arguably, the use of the term 'progressive' in the title has more to do with their purpose, which, as I see it, is to facilitate the progression of the intermediate level guitarist to a more advanced level. They are certainly not intended for beginners! In the course of twenty-five individual studies, Carcassi addresses most (if not all) of the fundamental areas of early 19th century guitar technique: scales (1, 6, 9 14, 24); arpeggios (2, 3, 7, 13, 15, 19, 20, 25); slurs (4, 8, 9, 10, 23) and so on. (Many (most, actually) of the studies incorporate more than one kind of technical problem.) If you find these studies generally beyond your present level, you might have a look at the material in Carcassi's 'Methode Complete' (op.59 - link below). There are a great number of exercises of increasing difficulty within the text itself (parts I & II) as well as a series of 50 supplemental pieces of a more or less pedagogical nature in part III. Only occasionally does any of this material reach the level of difficulty of opus 60.


  • Hi David,

    Thanks for the suggestion.  I have looked at that pdf of op. 59 and I think that is much more where I am at.  



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