#1
Somebody just hired me to play classical guitar at their wedding, and I've been studying it my whole life and playing gigs for a long time, but the combination of classical guitar and a paying gig is kind of new to me. they want me to play during the service, like take the place of an organ doing the wedding march and all that stuff, so does anyone know of an arrangement of that for guitar in existence and of some other wedding appropriate repertoire choices? They want me to be playing while people are like walking in and everything, so I'm wondering if lots of the pieces I know would sound too depressed or solemn for a wedding, you know what I mean? Does anyone have experience doing this kind of thing? I could use some pointers.

Because footstools are cool - UG's Classical Guitarists
#2
Canon by Pachelbel or moonlight sonata by Beethoven?
Guitars:
'11 Gibson Buckethead LP
'97 Fender Cali Series Strat
?? Samick Bass
'01 Fernandes Dragonfly Elite
#3
The sonic differences between church organ and classical guitar could hardly be greater.
Hopefully those who have asked you to perform realise this, if not the first thing to do is to make this clear to them.
I've performed at many wedding services, taking on organ repertoire is pointless, all you do is invite unfavourable comparison. For similar reasons I would never play the "Moonlight" or the well-known Dm toccata by Bach etc etc etc. I'd avoid the Pachelbel and the Mendelson wedding march as well. Merely because a piece "can" be rendered on the guitar doesn't mean it 'should" be. But this is getting off topic. The preceeding comments apply only to centerpiece performances (entry of Bride signing of register) not to any background incidental music.
For advanced players I recommend almost any of the Bach Lute works (use your common sense as to which ones) BWV 998 has a particularly nice prelude well suited to the occasion. The first movement of The Cathedral by Barrios also has a beautiful melody.

Keep in mind any timing requirements. The bride's entry seldom lasts longer than a minute you need a piece that can be wound up quickly if required (the rather cheesy but popular Cavitina by Myers is good for this purpose).
An organ has an advantage, it can play incidental music and then, on cue, can launch into a very loud and well-known bridal march. This is more difficult to do on the guitar.
I prefer, in order to make the statement clearer, to only play when the bride arrives, keeping a showpiece for any lull in proceedings (signing of register etc) and then incidental music as people leave.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by R.Christie at Sep 18, 2008,
#4
I was thinking about the sonic difference thing, the guy says he took some guitar courses "back in college" and based his decision on that so he should likely know that. I was kind of thinking of maybe Jesu Joy of man's desiring for the bridal entrance cause it'd be a crowd pleaser, and pretty easy to wrap up or extend as need be. as cliched as it is... So following your advice, you think getting around 5 or 6 pieces in shape would be enough? I really appreciate the advice R.Christie, this is my first time performing non-academically on the classical guitar and I'm real excited about it.

Because footstools are cool - UG's Classical Guitarists
#5
Quote by affinity_strat
I was thinking about the sonic difference thing, the guy says he took some guitar courses "back in college" and based his decision on that so he should likely know that. I was kind of thinking of maybe Jesu Joy of man's desiring for the bridal entrance cause it'd be a crowd pleaser, and pretty easy to wrap up or extend as need be. as cliched as it is... So following your advice, you think getting around 5 or 6 pieces in shape would be enough? I really appreciate the advice R.Christie, this is my first time performing non-academically on the classical guitar and I'm real excited about it.


You have to work with your client.

There are many different things to weigh up.
Here are some

Is it indoor or outside? Will you need amplification (surprisingly this is more likely if required to play incidental music. If you have a solo spot during lull in proceedings then you are more likely to have the undivided attention of the attendees. Also needed for any outdoor work.)
Do they want music as a special interlude or as backgound? or are they as discussed trying to get the guiatr to play the (church service) organ role.
Will there be a place in the proceeding to play a solo spot. If possible arrange for one, here is why.....

The guitar is intimate instrument. A solo spot makes your performance more of a "special event" laid on for those attending. You get heard, the audience thinks they've been treated and the client thinks they made a good decision. Everybody wins. Get your name and the piece's title etc put into any written programme etc.
If you are used just as background, especially if used before proceedings get underway properly, then everybody will probably chat over you etc and much of the possible special "kudos" is lost, the client might wonder if an organ might not have been a better investment. Better to be "special" and be first heard properly.

As the event wraps up and everybody leaves and mills about you have ample opportunity to play almost anything you like as backgound, similarly for any later reception. I try to play upbeat stuff at that time (when leaving the alter etc).

I can't second guess your choice of music for a solo spot but it should be well rehearsed and not either be of high musical merit or have some special meaning to the client.

I've found grand bridal entrances announced by the guitar to be VERY problematic. You just don't have the sonic power to make everybody stop chating and swing their attention to matter in hand. I usually advise the client to this effect. I don't see the point in making the guitar do something it's naturally unsuited to, nobody wins.

Jesu is a nice piece, its depends on quality of your transcription as to if its weighty enough for a solo spot. You can't go wrong with Bach in most cases.