In today’s tutorial we will look at a fun and challenging J. S. Bach piece that will help kick your lead guitar playing up a notch or two.
There are many different ways to improve your lead guitar playing. One of the most enjoyable is learning challenging pieces that originally were not composed for the guitar.
When you learn or arrange a piece for guitar that wasn’t originally composed for guitar, you will often find passages that don’t sit under your fingers very well. By this, I mean that you will often encounter passages that incorporate unusual fingerings and or position changes. This is a very good thing. This will expose you to non-guitaristic phrases and open your eyes and ears to new melodic possibilities when improvising. In addition, you’ll often find these pieces will improve your guitar technique too!
Bach’s Badinerie from Orchestral Suite Number 2 was originally composed for flute, 2 violins, viola and basso continuo. Basso continuo usually refers to two instruments: one chordal accompaniment instrument; usually harpsichord; and a cello, or viola da gambo for the bass line.
The arrangement we will be looking at is for solo guitar. I have arranged the piece for pick style guitar. Here you will get a good alternate picking, sweep picking, hammer-on and pull-off technique-building workout.
J.S. Bach’s Badinerie is in binary form. This means there are two main sections in this piece. There is an A section and a B section. Each section repeats so the form of the piece is A A B B.
You will find several position shifts in this piece. If you are not sure how fretboard fingerings and positions work on guitar, check out my article called: Want to Play Better Country, Rock, Blues, Folk, or Jazz Guitar? The last third of the article explains the basics of fret-hand positioning on guitar.
In Bach’s Badinerie, you will also encounter a frequently used ornamental device from the Baroque Period (1600-1750) known as the trill. Just in case you need it, you will find an explanation of how Baroque trills should be performed here: A Fun Way to Improve Your String Skipping and Alternate Picking Technique.
Well there you go. Here is the PDF guitar tab sheet music for J.S. Bach’s Badinerie from Orchestral Suite Number 2.
If you want to check out some additional really cool alternate picking exercises, you’ll definitely want to check out my guitar hanon course called—Mega Chops: Scale Mastery Beyond Hanon.