Early Guitars and Vihuela

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Hi, hope this hasn't been covered yet (didn't see it in a discussions search):

I'm playing through Murcia facsimiles and slavishly following his left hand fingerings. Problem is, I still find adjacent-fret use of 2nd/3rd fingers an extremely trying stretch, especially towards the nut where the distances are far if one is trying to stop the strings right behind the frets. So, I'm tempted to use first/second or first/third fingers. Is this cheating?

I must admit that to my very uneducated ear, the seemingly capricious jumping about of the left hand  (eg.  Tells us use fingers 1,2 in a  particular measure, then indicates use 2,3 in following measure to play the same fret positions, which requires moving whole hand) does seem to accentuate the musicality of the piece, which suggests (if I'm right) that I had better stick with his fingerings and start sleeping with a wine cork in between my fingers. 

Suggestions?

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I'd say don't use the cork method... But seriously, maybe Murcia played a shorter scale guitar, or had large hands. If you believe that his fingerings have a musical impact, analyse what that impact is and try to reproduce it using your means (hands that is), instead of using a fingering unsuitable for your hands. Does that make sense?

Probably Murcia use Meantone scale, and the distance between frets a and b is shortly than in equal temperament.

Bests Regards

I think it is a bit unlikely that Murcia used meantone scale.   According to Doizi de Velasco the guitar was fretted in equal temperament.

Maybe turning the left hand to sideways 45-90 degrees to the neck may help the fingers stretch more easily. I think Santiago used a shorter scale guitar and I have also found that this stretch is facilitated by a narrower neck. 

I have not seen Murcia facsimiles, but would like to - are they available on the web anywhere? A brief search didnt find anything.

I didnt't know that he put in fingerings.

''............(eg.  Tells us use fingers 1,2 in a  particular measure, then indicates use 2,3 in following measure to play the same fret positions, which requires moving whole hand) does seem to accentuate the musicality of the piece''

Maybe errors in the manuscript?

''.....Is this cheating?''

No !!! Easy is good, if it sounds right. If its impossible we need to change something.

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