The alto guitar was developed by Dr. Niibori, and it is turned 5th higher than the prime guitar. (…@=B …A=#F …B=D …C=A …D=E …E=B) Length of strings is 530mm, and the role in a guitar orchestra is like the violin in a string orchestra.
The writing below was which Dr. Niibori wrote for "The viewpoint of an educator" corner of 'The Guitar Music' magazine January issue in 1986. But it doesn't look old and the method is effective still now. ("The viewpoint of an educator" corner was intended for instructors of the guitar) Later, the corner was edited as a book series and has published till the second volume by now.
In the first half of it, there was a story about the development of Niibori group, but we intentionally left out the part today.
... To activate your school, the alto guitar must be one of the keys. If you place an importance on the prime guitar till now, introduce the alto guitar to your school right away. Then, your school will be surely developed further more.
By now, 25 kinds of original guitars by Niibori Method have been developed. But they all have the same characteristics like …@ 6-strings (6 courses) …A Perfect interval between each string …B Intervals based on the prime guitar. Therefore, every guitar can be played by the same method with the prime guitar, and everyone from a child to a professional guitarist can play any guitar at ease. We don't take them "the guitars especially for ensemble" but "the guitars of every kind". Because the guitars I developed can be used irrespective of the performance style. Among them, the alto guitar will be the main guitar before long.
If you've been teaching all kinds of music from music in the 16th century to modern and contemporary music only by the prime guitar, try to introduce the original guitars to your school from today. The alto guitar and the cembalo guitar are much more suitable for music of preclassics than the prime guitar. The bass guitar matches "Suite for Cello" by Bach very much, and the cembalo guitar is suitable for homey sound like gavotte. You can choice the best one according to the music style or characteristics of the age.
If you still keep on using only the prime guitar, your school must be covered with gloomy mood. If you use the original guitars, the colorful sound will fill your school up with pleasant atmosphere. For beginners, it is better to recommend the alto guitar because the range of the alto guitar is easy to listen, and the short scale are easy to play even by a child and people with small hands. The alto guitar's cheerful sound is very suitable for music by Carulli, Giuliani, KŸffner and Carcassi that beginners are likely to learn. As a result, students come to like the guitar more and more, and they will practice the guitar positively.
Moreover, if you accompany a student by the bass guitar which is 1 octave lower than the alto guitar, he will enjoy the duet and acquire the sense of harmony rapidly. He will feel a drama in the sound and will know the real attraction of a variety of music. People who starts with the alto guitar, are shortly interested in other original guitars like the bass guitar and the cembalo guitar. It will be the shortest way to be a lover of music through the life. Such people seldom give up or are tired of the guitar. Using the original guitars increases guitar fans, and at the same time it activates the whole guitar world.
After experiencing the original guitars, lead the student to the prime guitar. If you instruct your students like this, they will realize the excellence of the prime guitar once again. At that time, never recommend a student a cheap prime guitar even if he is just a beginner. It will make him think that the prime guitar is very boring and let him quit the guitar. It is the worst way of instruction and the worst result for both of an instructor and a student.
This is a reliable data I collected in Niibori group. This year, let's have a great dream with the alto guitar.
Up to now, 25 kinds of original guitars by Niibori Method were developed. If you are interested in the guitars, please refer to back numbers of this magazine and a bilingual magazine 'The Guitar Orchestra', and a web page 'Niibori Guitar World'.
Niibori Guitar Music Academy, Editorial Office
143-14 Fujisawa, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa-ken,
Phone: +81-466-23-8338 / Fax: +81-466-23-9337
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