Prelude (BWV999) by Johann Sebastian Bach

Prelude (BWV999) by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Exercise (pima-mimi-pipi)

johann sebastian bach Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity.

BWV999 is written originally in Cm for the lute. Many of Bach’s work include arrangement for the violin (BWV1014–1026) GDAE tuning, cello (BWV1007–1012) CGDA tuning and finally the Lute (BWV995–1000). Note how different each string instrument is tuned. Since the lute’s tuning intervals is similar to the guitar EADGBE, works like Prelude BWV999 became popular pieces for the guitar. Guitarists who are interested in Bach work should definitely check out the Lute works first (BWV995–1000).

42 bars. played once. This song is in the key of Dm. This prelude is left hand dominant as there are over 30 chords changes. For the right hand, there is only one plucking pattern (pima-mimi- pipi). Once you play this 12 note pattern a couple of times, it becomes automatic. Focus more on the left “chord” placement hand. Bar [15] has the hardest chord stretch with a double barre (Index and pinky) and Bar[31]-[34] has a series of wide chords requiring a maximum stretch for the hand.

There’s a difficult passage at Bar[31]-[35] which require the left hand to make wide stretches. For people who have small hands may struggle here, check out the alternative left hand fingering included in my tab. This easy version is identical verbatim “note for note” as the original but comes with a small price: you will have to break the song’s main (pima-mimi- pipi) pattern and substitute it with (pimi-mimi-pipi) during these 4 bars. I urge you take the easier route only when there’s no other choice. ie. your hands are too small or hand’s starting to hurt.

Category: Baroque, Germany, Johann Sebastian Bach, Plucking Patterns

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