Introduction (or, Address of Potential Grievances)
To play these 24 ditties, you’ll need to navigate the neck, weaving through loads of arpeggio and scale forms, using alternate, hybrid and sweep picking, hammer-ons, pull offs, string skipping, slides, bends, double stops, harmonics—you know, all the techniques you need to brush up on.
But, you may still be asking …
Bach and Chopin? That’s classical music. Is this classical music?
Ehh, not really. The Meditations are musical compositions built around melodic themes and variations, so they might resemble classical music, but this is definitely not classical guitar, if that’s what you mean. That’s a whole other discipline.
Why “for the electric guitarist?” Can I play the Meditations on acoustic?
Sure, do what you like. The pieces were conceived for—and written on—electric guitar, so they contain notes that are difficult to reach on a typical acoustic guitar and feature techniques that are more easily executed on electric.
What about on other instruments?
With the exception of a couple of techniques, I don’t see why not. In fact, now I’m really psyched to hear some of these on marimba …
The 24 pieces of music here are, again, pieces of music. Yes, they’re meant to develop technical faculties, but the Meditations also meant to be heard. This means you should listen to the melodies as they move by and pay attention to details of tempo and dynamic. Focus your mind, in other words. That’s meditation.
Really, though—why in every major and minor key?
Part of the point of the Meditations is to explore keys you don’t frequently encounter in guitar-oriented music. Sure, D major and E minor are represented, but so are relative outliers like Ab major and D# minor. Get to know your neck like never before and go fearlessly into any harmonic situation! Get to it.