Bach Two Part Inventions for 7 string guitar


Standard & TAB notation, 98 pages

last revision 1-14-2018


preview of full book

table of contents:
Invention 1 in E (BMV 772)
Invention 2 in Bm (BMV 773)
Invention 3 in G (BMV 774)
Invention 4 in Gm (BMV 775)
Invention 5 in A (BMV 776)
Invention 6 in C (BMV 777)
Invention 7 in Am (BMV 778)
Invention 8 in G (BMV 779)
Invention 9 in Em (BMV 780)
Invention 10 in D (BMV 781)
Invention 11 in Bm (BMV 782)
Invention 12 in E (BMV 783)
Invention 13 in Em (BMV 784)
Invention 14 in E (BMV 785)
Invention 15 in Dm (BMV 786)

When I bought my first 7 string guitar a few years ago I was expecting it to be a smooth graduation from six to seven strings. It took a few weeks to become able to actually just ignore that extra string and play regular six string guitar music. Slowly I started incorporating some of the lower notes but for a long time it felt more like 6+1 strings. Jazz shell voicings were the next big step. Walking bass lines. Reading cello music at least gave some workout for that extra low string. But somehow I couldn’t find much music specifically written for seven string guitar – music that requires that low B string.

After some tinkering I thought that the extended range offered the opportunity to finally come up with decent versions of one of my favorite collections of classical music. The transcriptions in this volume are essentially transposed versions of Bach’s originals. The concept of having two more or less independent parts going on at all times gives great opportunities to explore the fingerboard. If you improvise solo jazz guitar – melody, chords, bass lines – this is especially wholesome exercise in voice independence. And some pieces do require work past the 12th position on the seventh string.

In Bach’s original work the trills, mordents and other ornamentations figure prominently. Some of them I wrote into these transcriptions but often they turn out to hamper the flow of the music because they are very hard to execute. I wouldn’t even worry about any of them before being able to play these pieces with some fluidity.

Lastly, I have never liked to deal with guitar tab unless absolutely necessary. On these pieces though, when I tried to decide how much fingering information should be written in, I noticed that the right amount would have really cluttered up the standard notation. It seemed better to add a TAB staff. One of the most annoying features about tab is that you need a lot more pages. I decided to use up even more space and provide two versions: one in just standard notation, the other with standard and tab notations. Keep in mind that my suggested fingerings are by no means the only way.