Lesson: Nocturne Op.4, No.3 by Mertz

Nocturne Op.4, No.3 Maestoso-Vivace by Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806-1856) – This performance and lesson comes from my book Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 6 – Five pieces at the grade six level with dedicated lessons preparing you for each piece.

Jump to a section: Intro (3:33), Arpeggios (5:40), Bars 11 & 19-21 (9:57), Walk-Through (13:58).

There are no new techniques to learn for this Nocturne (night music). It’s also not a particularly difficult piece when played at a slow tempo. However, once you approach faster tempos for the Vivace (fast) section you may find this piece a good challenge. The introduction is marked as Maestoso which is an indication to play in stately, dignified, or majestic fashion. You can play this with a relatively slow tempo but fast enough to keep the phrase moving forward. Add a little rubato, a push and pull to the rhythm, for expressive effect. When you reach the vivace section, aim for a steady and fast dance feel of two beats per bar. More musical ideas will be covered in the video lesson. There are a few triadic arpeggios in this work which can serve as an excellent technique preparation for arpeggios, shifts, and jumps across the fretboard. Here’s the YouTube link if you want to watch it there.

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