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  • Paganini Caprice #16, Part 3

    Here's part III of Mike's arrangement of "Caprice #16" by Niccolo Paganini, including an explanation of the techniques and concepts used, measure by measure.

    Part 1 of Mike's series about the Caprice can be found HERE
    Part 2 is located HERE

    Due to the many letters I've received asking whether I'll be featuring more of this piece, I've written this lesson in which I will cover Part 3 of the Paganini Caprice #16.

    It is a great challenge to take this Caprice apart in sections, to analyze it and practice it. You will notice the use of many techniques in this piece including chromatics, intervals, arpeggios, pedal points and string skipping. All of these areas are great for building your technique and improving your sense of harmony. I added some fingerings were necessary, but use the ones that are most comfortable for you.

    To hear a soundfile of Mike playing this part of the Caprice at a slow tempo, click 16slow.mp3
    To hear the fast version of that, click 16fast.mp3.

    This whole caprice is based in the Gm scale, except for some accidentals - take a look at bar 1 you will notice the C# leading to D.

    Throughout this piece Paganini uses a lot of targeting to chord tones by a half step above and below. Bar 2 is a pedal point line off the high C on the E string which is little tricky to pick accurately, so take your time with this and be sure to alternate pick. There will be many more wide skips to come.

    Bar 5 and 6 has a real neat chromatic line that moves down the neck. This is pretty much a trademark of Paganini for the beautiful use of chromatics. Be sure to follow the fingering on this.

    In bars 7,8, and 9 we have a series of arpeggios picked twice.

    Bar 7 is a Eb major arpeggio, Bar 8 is a Ab major arpeggio and bar 9 is a A Dim 7th arpeggio leading nicely to Bb.

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