Tariq Harb – Harb Plays Sor Studies: An Educational DVD
I just thought I would let everyone know about a new set of DVD’s I got by guitarist Tariq Harb from Canada. The DVD is focussing on Sor’s 20 studies as collected by Segovia and goes through each study with an educational section for each study followed by a performance of each study. I have watched most of it since I have had it and I think it has plenty of great insights into these studies. He gives advice on dynamics, fingerings, context, interpretation, technique and just overall musicality when approaching Sor and music in general. You can watch the sections for each study by itself from the DVD menu, or watch them one after the other in order. They are probably better watched first in order, because they do tend to build on each other a little and he talks about “as we discussed before” in the later studies, but that doesn’t stop you from jumping around a little and getting the idea of what he is talking about. I think anyone who buys this will find themselves watching numerous sections over and over again to really get the most out of this DVD set.
The educational sections of each study are great because he just sits there with his guitar and explains little problem sections or interesting parts and gives you good examples of how he interprets the studies. It is like you are getting a little masterclass on each of the Segovia’s collected Sor studies.
The performance sections of each study are pretty self explanatory. He just plays the piece and exemplifies his interpretation that he just finished explaining in the educational section.
These DVD’s are not for the beginner guitarist, as they don’t teach you “how to play” the studies, or give you the tab or anything. These DVD’s assume you can read the music and have the Segovia Sor studies book with the 20 pieces, as it doesn’t include the music. My opinion is that this DVD set is worthwhile for anyone studying, or wanting to study, these Etudes and those likely in the Royal Conservatory grade 4-5(likely Delcamp level D04 or higher) for some of the pieces, a little higher for others. But, it might be worthwhile for those in lower grades if you just want to follow a great guitarist and see how he “thinks” about these pieces. It would definitely be something to look forward to in your playing. I also think this set might be good for advanced guitarists to really get new interpretations of the Sor studies, or some interesting interpretations to bring to students if you are teaching lessons to newer guitarists. He does have some different ideas and fingering suggestions from those of Segovia, and he gives his reasoning for each.
In total the 2 DVD’s are 221 minutes and are $30US plus shipping. So, given that these might save you having to spend too much time in lessons on these studies, they are well worth the small investment. Likely if you were to pay for private instruction on each of these pieces you are talking into the hundreds of dollars. These DVD’s you can watch over and over and never exhaust until you have mastered each piece.
I can’t say that I agree 100% with ALL his suggestions of fingering and everything. But, I would say that they all make sense and are a very valid approach. If you follow his advice, you won’t go wrong. Some things are just personal opinions on whether to follow Segovia’s original fingerings, or take a new approach. So far, I think this set was one of the best investments I have made for DVD lessons. There is so much material to learn in a good format that isn’t talking down to you and is just clear, concise and to the point. I give this set a strong recommendation.