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Invention XIII

arranged by Craig Wagner

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As I come from the jazz tradition of the 7-string guitar, I tune the7th string to a low A. This arrangement also requires that the 6th string be dropped to D, a scordatura tuning which fingerstyle players know well.

In regards to performance notes for this piece, perhaps the most unusual fingering element of this arrangement can be found in measure 9 where the double high "A" (from the original right-hand of the piano score) is fingered with the side of the left thumb over the neck.

The right-hand fingering throughout is almost exclusively an alternating m a m a pattern on the high part (especially when playing the sixteenth-note phrases) and an alternating p i p i pattern in the bass. Repeating fingers gets very sloppy, especially with contrapuntal pieces such as this.

I usually play this piece at about 75-80 bpm (to the quarter note) although it works both slower and faster than that as well. The original manuscript indicates the tempo as a contradictory allegro tranquillo. Glenn Gould's classic recording clocks in somewhere around 116 bpm, but I have heard this invention played much slower and it still sounded beautiful.

After all, this IS a guitar arrangement and most importantly- Bach is dead. Make it your own while still respecting what's on the page; Everything else will take care of itself. Everything, that is, except the practicing part.


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