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  • chrisdumigan

Scott Tennant : Pumping Nylon Repertoire: Books 1 and 2 : Alfred Music

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Volume 1: 36 pieces by Tennent, Sor, York, Zoufonoun,Tarrega, Carcassi, Milan, Giuliani and Pritchard.

Volume 2: 13 pieces by Dowland, Milan , Narvaez, Giuliani, Coste, Vinas, del Monte, Diorio, Rivera, Head, and Rodrigo.

Alfred Music Publications: Both books 64 pages each (and including a CD of entire contents )

The original tutor book Pumping Nylon came out in 1995 and was renowned for Scott Tennant's individual approach to friendly and humorous encouragement and the help it gave to a player’s technical training. Many have therefore found this volume extremely useful. Now here are two volumes of repertoire that one can use as a supplement to that round – breaking original work, divided into easy to easy intermediate, and intermediate to advanced.

The table of contents in both volumes is very useful in that it shows the player exactly which areas of technique the particular piece helps to strengthen, from a list of:- Arpeggios, Ascending and Descending Slurs, LH Finger Independence, Planting , RH Walking , Scales, Tremolo, Chord Balancing, Speed Bursts and Thumb, all of which are in both volumes and Shifts and Rasgueado that only appear in Volume 2 .After the usual introduction and Preface about Scott Tennant, there is an extensive Glossary of Signs and Terms before the pieces enter.As you can see from the list of composers each volume is a mixture of the old and the new, but all are carefully picked for their content, and usefulness to the player and each one is encouragingly annotated to show the approach one should have with each piece. The Tennent pieces are very useful and pleasant to play, and there is a nice arpeggio piece from Andrew York, (one of his 8 Discernments) called Snowflight. A new name to me is Omid Zoufonoun whose piece Crispin’s Spin is one of the highlights with its RH arpeggios that may prove somewhat of a challenge, and another very pleasant piece is David Pritchard’s A Pale View, that closes the first volume, but indeed one must point out that the 19TH Century works by Sor and the others are also very useful and picked out to (hopefully) not be too boring for the new players.

In Volume 2 some (not all) of the pieces from the Renaissance era now include the 3rd string tuned to F#. Dowland’s Frog Galliard is always a fine piece to play, as are the 16th and 18th Fantasias of Luis Milan. Giuliani’s Variations Sur Les Folies D’Espagne is full of the usual technical wizardry that this composer often includes, and then Etude No11 from Napoleon Coste , which is the one full of triplet slurs and chords that need to be smoothly and quickly planted in between the slurs , is an appropriate and lovely piece to include. Then there are a number of Spanish/Flamenco styled pieces that get the player involved with Rasgueado and other similar techniques, before the book ends with no less than the complete Cadenza from the 2nd Movement of Rodrigo’s Concierto De Aranjuez.

All in all these two volumes are lots of fun, very useful and nicely done throughout and so if any teachers out there are looking for some volumes of varied music to introduce to their pupils that will be fun to play but also work as pieces of music then these two books fit that bill admirably

Chris Dumigan

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