Guitar Tablature: “Wild Horseman” by Schumann
Robert Schumann was a brilliant but troubled composer from the Romantic era. His wife, Clara, was a famous pianist who performed many of her husband’s works. Schumann felt that his small hands limited him as a pianist, so he devised a contraption to try to stretch out his hands. It ended up causing an injury that prevented him from performing, and many people speculate that out of bitterness he composed pieces that are fiendishly difficult to play.
This is one of his relatively easy pieces, called “The Wild Horseman,” adapted for guitar. It derives its lilting, cheerful feel from the 6/8 meter. You can almost imagine a horse cantering to the beat. The first half of the piece is in A minor and uses minor arpeggio patterns #1 and #4. The second half has the same melody but is transposed up to D minor. Rather than slide your hand up five frets, however, you stay in 5th position and use minor arpeggio patterns #3 and #1.
Even though the song is in a minor key, it isn’t composed entirely of minor arpeggios. Some major arpeggios sneak in, too. Be sure to observe the score direction D.C. (take 1st ending) al Fine. D.C. (da Capo) al Fine means to return to the beginning and play through to the Fine (“FEE-nay,” the finish), which you’ll find two0thirds of the way through the first ending.
You can practice this piece as much as you like, but please don’t overdo it as Schumann did. Don’t hurt yourself while playing the guitar!