How to play 'Ode to Joy' on the Classical Guitar | David Hartley | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

How to play 'Ode to Joy' on the Classical Guitar

teacher avatar David Hartley, I'm a musician based in London, UK.

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Project/Performance

    • 3. The First Two Lines

    • 4. The Second Two Lines

    • 5. Musical Ideas

    • 6. Final Thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this class, we will learn to play an arrangement of Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' on the classical guitar. This is a class for beginners, although some basic note reading ability and guitar technique will help you to make the most of this class.

If you would like to learn more about music theory and guitar technique then I have other classes available on these topics.

In this class, we will learn the notes in order to play the piece, the correct fingerings, and some musical ideas to help us play this piece beautifully. This class also includes a brief analysis of the music so you become aware of some ideas such as phrasing and structure.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

David Hartley

I'm a musician based in London, UK.


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Okay, hi everyone, and welcome to this class. How to play an arrangement of Beethoven's Ode to Joy On the classical guitar. This is a class for beginners. But if you have any basic note reading skills or guitar technique, this will help you in making the most of this class. If you'd like to learn more about those skills, I do have classes on those topics, so be sure to follow me and check out my profile to learn more. In this class, we are going to be looking at low reading in order for us to learn the piece. And then we're gonna be looking at the basic techniques in order to get the notes under our fingers from hair, we then going to be looking at more mythical skills and some further ideas to really elevate our playing to the next level. And to really make sure that what we playing is really musical and we're not just playing the notes. The project for this class is to perform the piece. I'm going to be putting the notes on the screen as I'm going along, but they're also attached to the description. So if you'd like to download them, I think that would be really helpful. I look forward to listening to your projects and now let's get into the class. 2. Project/Performance: We're going to begin by listening through a short performance of the piece. Now as well as trying to follow along with the music and to watch out for my technique. I'd like you to pay really close attention to the cadences within the music. Now a cadence in music is like an ending at the end of a phrase. In this piece, we have a few different types of cadences. Sometimes it will come to an end of a phrase and it will feel like we've reached a conclusion. Other times, we'll reach the end of a phrase and we feel like we're only halfway third, I want you to listen out for these cadences because as we're playing the piece, there'll be some musical ideas that we can think of, which will really make the most of the phrasing and the cadences in this piece. Ooh. 3. The First Two Lines: Let's now begin by looking at the notes in the first phrase, which is gonna be the first two lines of this piece. But before we began looking at the notes, we need to do a basic analysis of something musical ideas which make up the framework of this piece. We have one sharp, that means that we're in g major or a minor, but were likely to be in G-Major, considering the first Bass note is a G, And the last base note is achieved. We're in 44, so four beats in a bar, four crotchets in every bar. And the tempo is allegro, which is quite fast. So for now we're just gonna take things nice and slowly, and we can always build up the tempo later. Another thing that's really important are the number of voices. And by that, I mean, is there a baseline? Is there a top malady? Is there in harmony in between? And we can see in this piece of there's two voices. There's a baseline which has the stems pointing down. And then there's the melody which has the stems pointing up. And it's really important that we approach both of those voices independently because they're really two different music like this. And we want them to work together rather than just trying to play one single thing with all that considered, let's begin learning something notes. First bass notes, although it's on a treble string, is a G. And we're going to play all of the bass notes with our thumb. So we're starting with a G in the bass, and we're starting with a b in the melody. And you can see that this is no taste it with an m. And that refers to the finger that we're gonna use, and that's the middle finger here. So we're going to play the bass with our foam, which is the G and the B with our middle finger. So those are the first two nodes. We then have B again. And we're going to try and use alternating fingers. So instead of using the M finger and we're going to use the, I think a, which is the index. So I'm gonna play the G and the B. And the next Being with my index finger. Now we have a C in the melody, but still a G in the base. I can use the m again because we're automating that C is on the first fret of the second string. And now we're going to play D, which is on the third fret of the second string. So altogether that first bar. Now in the second bar, we have a different base that we have a d, which is the open fourth string. So I'm gonna play with that note with my thumb. I'm going to hold down this forefinger on the D. I'm not gonna take it off because I'm going to play a D again. And then going back to a, C, and then D and B. And now I'm going to play an a, which is on the third string, second fret. So those first two bars altogether. And notice I'm using different fingers for each frets. I'm not using the same finger again like this. Instead, each finger has its own fret place, like radio, we call this being in a position on the guitar. We have the four fingers in position and remove the whole four fingers along like that. So once again, let's play those first two bars. Third bar, we have to RPGs. But we have a tie connected to this baseline. So we're not gonna play that note, but we're gonna keep it ringing on from the previous baseline. So we just play the melody and the third bar. Now we do play the melody and the base. Again, an a and the melody. And the final bar of this line, bar four is a, b and the melody, and a, D and the base. And then an a to a is at the end. Okay, let me play through that first line altogether, and that's the end of a little phrase. Now I mentioned earlier about the idea of cadences. And here we have a cadence. We've reached the end of a phrase, a little breath, a little pause. And we've actually finished on the dominant chord, which in the key of G-Major is a D, or a D seven. So we've started on the tonic, which is a G. And we finished on the dominant's, so we haven't quite finished the phrase. The phrase will be finished when we return to the G-Major, which we started at. Now, why is it important to know about these cadences? Because this helps us structure the music. We know that there's a little pause, a little breath. I'm so we can add the idea into our plan. We don't want to come to the complete end, like when you reach the end of a sentence, think of it more like a comma, a little pause, a little breath, and then the sentence continues. The second half of this phrase is actually very similar. The fifth bar on the second line, again, starting with the G and a B. That's the same, but now we have a different base note. We're going to be playing a C, which is the third fret on the fifth string. Now this might be a bit of a stretch, especially for anyone who's a beginner. It's really important that we use the correct fingers. We can use the fourth finger for the D as we did in the first line. And we're going to use the third finger for the same. This will give us our best chance of having a smooth melodic line, but also being able to comfortably reach both of the notes. Let's have another look at these first two bars at the second line. Notice I'm holding down all the nodes as long as possible, especially the bass notes. And also I'm anticipating them. I preparing my fingers to be in the right position before it's time to actually play them. Look up my third finger, get ready to play before actually needs to. And that helps make music a lot smoother. For the third bar of this line, we have a very similar idea to the first line, but this time there's no tie, so we're going to be playing the bass lens. And then the final bar of this line, we have a t in the base and an a in the melody. And then instead of going down to an a bachelor, going down to a G, with a G in the base, which is the third fret, sixth string. Let me now play those two lines altogether. And again, notice out for the cadences, the little breath, a little pores, and how it flows. When we reach the end of that phrase. We have a perfect cadence at the end. We've gone from the dominant to the tonic. And it really flows like we've reached the end of a phrase. The piece isn't completely over, but we've definitely reached the equivalent of a full stop within the music. 4. The Second Two Lines: Let's now look at the final two lines. And we're beginning with a different idea. Whereas before we started with a G in the bass and a B in the melody. We've now changed to a D in the base, which is on the fourth string, and then a in the melody. So we're going to play those two notes together. And again, there's an M notated, so we're going to be using our middle finger and then automate things. The index finger for the second a. Then play the b with r m finger. And then a G. And just one base note in that. Let me play through that once again. The second bar is very similar. We're again in playing an a in the melody of a D in the base. Width, then going to be an a C. Now this is a quicker rhythm. You can see that we have two nodes here. We have quavers, so we can have to play this a little bit quicker. Okay, let me play those two bars altogether and you'll hear the difference in the rhythm. We now come on to the third bar and again, it's very similar, but with developing this, I did, were again playing D in the base and an a in the melody. But here we need to use our third finger. And this is because of the upcoming bass notes, which is a D sharp. And we want to have a finger available to play that and notes. So if we play this a with our third finger, we can then play the B and the C with our second finger. And then our first finger is free to play the D sharp, which is on the first fret of the fourth stream, along with a B. And then use the third finger again for that a. If you're began at This might be a bit fiddly, might have to get used to the finger movements. So happy was just going over this a few times. Make sure you're using the correct fingers and just get used to placing them at anticipating them for when the next finger is coming. Play that one small at the shop is really nice. So I'll play those three bars from that line altogether. Now, you can hear that, that simple idea, that little motif just being developed and it's building up. And now we're actually going to finish with a little bit of a different idea. We're gonna conclude that phrase. And we're going to play an a in the base, which is the second fret of the fourth string, and open G string for the melody, followed by Octave, a sow in a in the base string, and a in the melody, followed by a t. Now you can see that we actually have the same note next to each other. One for the base, one for the melody. That just means that both of the ideas are playing a t, but we only need to play one t. It opens a string and use the thumb. And then we're going to play a bay to finish that line. Okay, I'll play that line in its entirety now. Okay, so if there's any fiddly bits there that you're unsure of, just spend some time getting used to the finger movements. Make sure you're using the correct fingering in the left-hand and the right-hand, or make it a lot easier to have one idea. Rather than constantly changing fingers. Your brain will be a bit unsure of exactly what to do. Let's now go on to the final line by 13. And that b from the previous bar is a tie. So that's gonna be ringing on into this bar. So we can begin with a G in the bass. And then the second beat is a B in the melody, just like in the first line and the second ins is very similar. Now we're going to play the G and the C, D without full finger. Reaching back to the sages this before. So in that second bar we have C in the bass, or the melody. C and D. C and B. We now have quavers again, so we're gonna play these in a faster algorithm. C and a, leading us into the final two bars, which are exactly the same as the final two bars of the second line. So you can see in that second half of the piece and that's second phrase, we really have a new idea. We develop it. We take the music on a little journey, and then we return back to where we started, which is the tonic, the key G major. 5. Musical Ideas: So by this stage, we've learned all of the nodes, whether we might not be fluence and too familiar with them. So it may take some time. You may need to practice things a bit slower and just break things down into smaller parts too, so it's easier to think about and to process the different phrases and the different notes. But let's start to think about some of the more music light is that we can use in this piece. Well, first of all, the most important thing is this is really melodic. In fact, in its original form, this would have been sung by a choir. So we really need to take that singing idea and apply it to the guitar. So how can we do that? How can we make the guitar sing? While we need to think about the elements of the human voice, the way that the human voice works, and how we can apply that to the guitar. So firstly, when we're speaking, when we're saying we have paths, we have to stop, we have to pause. And so as we're playing, we're going to do the same thing with the music. We're gonna play a little phrase, little pores. And again, a little pause. It doesn't need to be a complete stop. We don't want there to be a gap in the music. We just want that to be a little relative tango, which means to slow down, gradually come to the end of the phrase. So that's one way we can think about them. Secondly, let's look at dynamics. This is meant to be played 40. This is meant to be ready projected either by voice or by the guitar. So don't be afraid to give some volume to this pace. Now this doesn't mean that we're going to tear the strings off. We don't know we moving away from the strings. We just want to be playing with little accent, a little more force or Livermore dynamics so that we can just add some strength to the music. Let me see if I can demonstrate a nice forte sounds. And you may want to add the occasional crescendo or diminuendo just when you want to add a specific acceptance that just allows you to kind of push and pull on the music a little bit. Again, similar to how the human voice to say. One other thing when it comes to phrasing is to make sure that we're really playing with legato. And legato means that the notes are played smoothly. We don't want to get between each of the nodes. That will be staccato. So let me give an example of both. This is not what we want. This would be staccato. And this is what we do want the Gerta. Because if we were to be singing and good will come from one breath, there wouldn't be any break between the notes. To do this, we need to make sure that we're firstly and anticipating the finger placement. If we need to place a finger down to play notes. So you will see that the first note that I have to fret is a c. So I'll get my finger ready to play that. There's no gap because I'm ready to play. I'm gonna do the same with the day. And that also I'm going to hold down this see, for as long as possible. I may even be able to hold it down whilst I'm playing t at the same time. That way there's no break in between the nodes because everything is being held down. When it comes to the right hand, we again want to be using minimal finger movements. So we're not going to be swinging at the string like this, which is can be placing the very tip of the finger, the corner between the nail and the flesh. And then just smoothly moving the finger in towards the hands. 6. Final Thoughts: Thank you very much for taking this class. I look forward to listening to all of your projects. Don't forget to follow me and to check out all my other classes.