In my last guitar lesson I went over a Bach piece that makes for a great study in alternate picking arpeggiated chords - Bach's Prelude in Dm (BWV 999). I guess I have Bach on the brain, because this week my guitar lesson is yet again on Bach. This time it is Bach's Sonata For Solo Violin # 1 (BWV 1001 Presto).
Whereas the last guitar lesson examined a piece that maintained a fairly constant picking pattern, this piece is a whole different ballgame. We are talking pure randomness, no rhyme or reason, total non-linearity. But don't let me scare you - these are actually good traits because pieces of this sort are guaranteed to take your coordination to a new level.
Below are the first 11 measures. Believe me, you want to digest this piece in small chunks, otherwise you'll go mad.
Having recently began classical guitar lessons (though I am learning this piece on my acoustic), I have learned to appreciate standard notation. I know some of you may be wishing that I had simply posted tab, but to play pieces of this sort, you really need to understand your stenghts and weaknesses as a player. Are you able to make rapid position changes if it means playing a simpler pattern or do you prefer to stay in a confined part of the neck? Depending on your preferences, that will determine how you should approach it.
The above notation is actually much like tab in that it indicates suggested fingerings. For instance, in bars 10 and 11, the roman numeral V and III along with the brackets indicate that you should play these arpeggios at the 5th and 3rd frets, respectively.
If you are desperate to find tab, just do some google searches. Also, I suggest you listen to how others have played this piece. The piece is absolutely breathtaking on violin and there are some good classical guitar renditions as well. If you have a Rhapsody account, you can check out several versions.