Student Zone

I consider myself a student of the 19th-century Russian 7-string guitar, and will use this area of the website to discuss my encounters with this instrument and its repertoire, giving technical advice where I can.

Your comments are welcome, either to help solve a problem I am having, or to join with me on this wonderful journey.

If you do want to study with me, I am using the Method by Morkov, a student of Sychra, and member of the St Petersburg School, which favoured campanellas and ligados, to give a light flowing sound.

Download the Morkov Method and let’s get to work!

Morkov Method Pages 12-16

Here is a video covering a few exercises (not all of them) on pages 12 to 16. Future videos will have no talking, but as I am using another Russian guitar for the first time, I spend some time talking about it, and also about the context of the Method. In other words, it rambles a bit, but future videos from the Method will be more focussed.

Go to page:

Morkov Method Page 13 Exercise in C Major

This is a very interesting and instructive study, with lots of little details worth paying attention to, as they appear in more advanced works by most Russian guitar composers. Hopefully this video will help. Feel free to ask questions.

Go to page:


Technical Considerations in Performing

“As from Beyond a Forest” by Sychra

Oleg Timofeyev has given permission for his “letter to a friend” to be published here. In it, Oleg gives advice to a fellow guitarist about interpreting Russian guitar scores. The article is illustrated by a video performance by Rob MacKillop, though you are well advised to find a copy of Oleg Timofeyev’s own recording of the piece, the opening track of his Golden Age of the Russian Guitar (Volume 1, Dorian Recordings).

Go to page:


Morkov Method Page 18 – Vivace

Video: fast and slow versions, and analysis. And Bach’s phone number is revealed!

Go to page:


Morkov Method Page 18 – Allegretto

Video: Fast and slow versions, technical and harmonic analysis, in which Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones gets a mention!

Go to page:


Sychra Journals

Sychra published a number of volumes of “Journals” in St Petersburg, principally aimed at post-beginner/intermediate-level players. There are some fine tunes in there to complement your Morkov Method studies…

Go to page: Sychra Journals


More to come!