Richard Pick: School of Guitar

The Guitar in Pedagogy, Practice, Performance.

164 pp., $39.95, Presser Order number 494-02878 (RTFT-16)

This edition is a reprint of the Richard Pick School of Guitar, originally published in 1992 as a two volume set, and reprinted in one volume under license by Mel Bay Publications a couple of years later. The original book was an extensive compendium of teaching material, lavishly embellished by a substantial amount of recreational material composed by Richard Pick for the purpose. This material consisted of the individual Interludes as well as longer pieces in the form of preludes and a fair number of transcriptions by Mr. Pick. Both editions have been out of print for many years, in spite of the constant demand for them by many. In planning this new reprint, we have decided to segregate the didactic material from the recreational. This was in fact an idea suggested to us by Richard Pick himself. Already during the planning of the original publication of the School of Guitar in 1991–92, he encouraged us to publish the Interludes separately, which we did in 1997 with his active participation. That fact was clearly noted in both our own 1992 edition and in the Mel Bay Publications reprint. Unfortunately, we were not able to complete the project before Richard Pick’s untimely passing in 2001. Now we did. See sample page:  (PDF Format, 146KB).
The recreational material is now available separately as follows: Richard Pick, Interludes for guitar, order N° PWYS–28 (published 1997); Richard Pick, Selected Works for solo guitar, order N° PWYS–28a (published 2008); Richard Pick, Selected Transcriptions, order N° PWYS–28b (published 2003).
Richard Pick’s School of Guitar is not a method book in the traditional sense. It assumes the presence of a knowledgeable teacher. Its main thrust is to provide both teacher and student with practical material which can be used in building a solid understanding of the complex symbology used in guitar music. Nevertheless, it could be used as a self–study aid in the acquisition of fingerboard harmony and sight–reading skills, provided the individual user already possesses good technical command of the instrument and a basic understanding of music theory. Book I is an overview of the problems encountered in the pedagogy of the guitar. This short text is meant to help teachers in formulating for themselves and for their students a practical strategy in organizing the teaching activity efficiently. It does not presume to tell the teacher how to ply his trade, but attempts to crystallize the main problems as they happen in the real world. The brief discussion of technique is meant to describe the basic elements of sound production on the guitar. Although the discussion of technical matters assumes the classic guitar, the musical material included in these pages is equally applicable to other instruments of the guitar family played with a plectrum. Books II and III are dedicated to the sharp and flat keys respectively. Each key is presented in a graduated exposition of basic scales in the first position, a cadence of the principal chords, an extended scale, the scale in triads in all possible inversions in both open and closed voicings, a similar treatment of all seventh chords on the scale, ending with a series of resolution studies.  See Sample page. (PDF format, 146 KB).

Richard Pick was born in 1915 in St. Paul Minnesota. His birth name was Richard Burns, and his parents were of Scottish ancestry. He later adopted the family name of his foster parents, the Picks. At the age of five, he began his musical education, learning to play both the violin and the piano, under the tutelage of his foster parents, who were both professional musicians. Throughout his early school years in Minnesota, he performed in numerous musical concerts with them. He later moved to Illinois, where he continued to grow musically by performing, singing, conducting, composing, arranging, orchestrating, accompanying and lecturing. It was then that the classic guitar caught his attention. As he investigated its possibilities as a vehicle of expression, his interest in the instrument rapidly grew. His rich and thorough education in music, and especially his love of nature, are reflected in his compositions. In 1952, Richard Pick published his First Lessons for the Classic Guitar, a book that was noted as the first American guitar method since 1924. The Richard Pick School of Guitar, was originally published by Editions Orphée in 1992.

In years past, Richard Pick has appeared on radio and television as a guest artist with Dave Garroway, Robert Trendier, Henry Weber, the WGN Symphony Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra. He worked with the Encyclopedia Britannica in producing an award winning film, entitled People Along the Mississippi, in which he played the background music. In playing the premier performance of Jacques Ibert’s Le Chevalier Errand, he was the first guitarist to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has given many recitals, other performances, and lectures in many cities of the United States: principally in Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., Seattle, San Francisco, and Aspen. Richard Pick died at the end of November, 2001.

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Last Modified: Friday, November 18, 2011 09:59 PM