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Arranged by David Jaggs : Classical Guitar Music for the Solo Performer : Hal Leonard

SIMON: The Boxer; Bridge Over Troubled Water: SCHONBERG/KRETZMER/ BOUBLIL: Bring Him Home: JOHN/TAUPIN: Candle In The Wind; Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word; Your Song : WILLIAMS: Classical Gas: RICE/ WEBBER: Don’t Cry for Me Argentina; I Don’t Know How To Love Him: COHEN : Hallelujah: SILVER/ MACLACHLAN: The Dark Island: NYMAN: The Heart Asks Pleasure First: ANDERSSON/RICE/ULVAEUS: I Know Him So Well: GIMBEL/ FOX: Killing Me Softly With His Song: WEBBER/BLACK/HART: Love Changes Everything: ARLEN/HARBURG: Over The Rainbow: MERCER/MANCINI: Moon River: MCLEAN: Vincent: KING: You’ve Got A Friend: CLAPTON: Wonderful Tonight.

20 Popular Songs arranged in Standard Notation and Tab with available audio

Hal Leonard: 104 pages

This extremely well – filled book has many of everyone’s favourite tunes in it, and so guitarists who are playing gigs at weddings, parties etc, are usually on the lookout for these sorts of pieces; I know I was when I did those gigs for more than 3 decades. I also know that when I started doing those gigs I went into town, bought 5 or 6 books that were, without giving too many details away, current songs, from the charts or famous writers, or shows, arranged for classical guitar, and with two exceptions, the ones by Laurindo Almeida, and Stan Ayeroff, I threw the rest away, because they were simply awful, and what about all the famous riffs or accompanying parts that made the melody? Not there. Everything watered down to such an extent that they didn’t sound like the pieces at all. So I ended up doing 200 of my own arrangements and used mostly them instead.

Now here comes a book that really goes for it. All the melodies and harmonies and riffs and complex little parts that you remember are here for all to play, and hear. Mind you, they are far from easy because in putting all those famous bits in, it does largely complicate the arrangements so that you have to be a really good player to get along with them fine. However you can’t have it both ways, because you either go for the easy arrangements, where the songs sound like Three Blind Mice, as arranged by Fernando Sor, or you go for the proper arrangements with all the melodies and harmonies you want to hear, and accept that that is going to make these pieces difficult to play.

I have to confess that there was only one piece I didn’t know and that was The Dark Island from a BBC series of the same name. As for the rest you get 8 songs from famous shows or films, and a bunch of other beautiful pieces that you will get great pleasure in playing. The tunings are usually normal, with a few having a dropped D 6th, and occasionally a dropped G 5th, but that is all, and should you want to hear David Jaggs’ recordings of these pieces a link in the front of the book lets you access part of Hal Leonard’s site with all of them on, via an entry code in the book.

So in summation, this is a difficult, but beautifully prepared book that lovers of this material will not be disappointed with, and I can see this book really doing well with audiences and players alike.

Chris Dumigan

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