Kitharologus: The Path to Virtuosityhis technical workout manual for guitarists provides a systematic approach to the gymnastic aspects of guitar technique, in nine progressive levels of difficulty. The book also includes a suggested daily practice plan and an appendix dealing with virtuoso techniques and special effects.

This highly successful manual has been added to the catalogue of Mel Bay Publications, who have just published a new edition available at music stores everywhere.


Publication Info


$22.95 + shipping & handling

About this Item

It is said of Porpora, the great voice teacher and composer of the Eighteenth century, that for five years he had his student Cafarelli working on a single sheet of exercises, to the exclusion of all other material. At the end of this period, Porpora dismissed his student, telling him: "I have nothing else to teach you, go and sing, for you are the greatest singer in Europe." Indeed, Cafarelli's success was a testament of this approach.

The spirit of this story is at the "core" of this Kitharologus (or guitar book). It is my conviction that technique is made up of a limited number of procedures with an unlimited number of applications. Therefore, as Porpora early understood, a sound technical methodology is not one that tries to cover all possible forms of a given procedure, but rather one that identifies and trains the essential mechanism which makes the procedure, in all its forms, possible.

Therefore, this book addresses the essential mechanism (the gymnastic capabilities) which is the foundation of guitar technique, through a collection of 101 graded gymnastic exercises.

Technique, however, is only achieved when gymnastic capabilities are combined with expressive intention. In this context, it must be emphasized that this book is not intended to be an alternative to the traditional tudes composed by the great masters of the instrument (from Sor to Villa-Lobos). Indeed the author considers the study of the didactic literature fundamental and irreplaceable.

Although Kithrologus offers a systematic approach to the attainment of the gymnastic fitness necessary for a professional-level guitar technique, it may also be used by guitarists and teachers as quick-reference for concrete solutions for specific technical maladies (weak slurs, faulty tremolos, inconsistent finger alternation, etc.). In addition it may serve as a catalogue of procedures that may be particularly useful to composers.

Ricardo Iznaola, 1997

Notes & Credits

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0-7866-1774-8
Publisher: Mel Bay
Publication Date: July 1997


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