To Live

This is the very first song I ever actually wrote for classical guitar. I wrote it during my college years I think in 1998-99.  That was around the same time that I really started applying myself to Spanish and classical guitar techniques.  I don’t remember if there was anything in particular that inspired me to write the song.  I do remember that the writing process went fairly quickly, which is rare for me.  I actually wrote it out on paper in one afternoon.  Over the years the ‘B’ section has changed slightly as I have adjusted some of the notes to fit the meter better.


The structure of the song is very simple–basically its  an ‘AABA’ form.  The ‘A’ section is in 4/4 meter and played in triplets through out.  Each ‘A’ section is the same without variation.  At the end of each ‘A’ section I play a strumming part, also in triplets.  The first pulse of each triplet stum is a percussive hit to the stings and fretboard. I drag my fingers down for the second pulse and then drag my thumb up for the third pulse.  The chords for the strumming section are Dmin-Bbmaj-C7-Fmaj.

The B section changes meter to 6/8 and it uses a rapid picking technique called “tremolo.”  I’m not sure when it was first used, but but Fransisco Tarrega’s beautiful piece called “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” used tremolo for the entire duration of the song, and is probably the best known song using the technique.  “Recuerdos” was a big inspiration to me for useing tremolo in this song.

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