Choan Gálvez

Ukulele, upright bass - Barcelona

Ghiribizzo No. 17 - Le streghe, by Niccolò Paganini

Published on April 9, 2020

You may know Niccolò Paganini as a virtuoso violinist. Did you know he also mastered on the guitar? He performed with it and he composed many pieces for it –solo or in duet with violin.

Circa 1829 he wrote a set of miniatures for guitar he called 43 Ghiribizzi (43 whims, or caprices). No. 17 - Le streghe is based in a melody he already used in a previous piece for violin and orchestra (common theme starts at 3’03”).

The guitar version is simple, no virtuosism involved. Just as the rest of the ghiribizzi collection, it’s enjoyable to play and easy on the ears.

My ukulele arrangement (tabs at the end of this post) required some creative adjustments, though. For starters, a tonality change to keep the ‘basses’ on open strings (original is in D major, I shifted to C major). Then, melody on the second section had to be modified to stay on the ukulele range (while being true to the harmony arpeggios). On the contrasting ‘minore’ section, choices had to be made as to when shift octaves. All in all, I think the result is a great little ukulele tune.

About the performance:

  • On first section, try to keep the comping notes short. Use your thumb to stop the string just as you play the next note.
  • On second section, I’d suggest to use alternate rests in the repeats, that is, shorten the arpeggios or let them flow into the strokes. Then, play the chord strokes straight or rasgueado. Be creative!
  • Play the minore section rubato.
  • Develop the different phrases with dynamics. Crescendos on the second section arpeggios are very effective.

Grab the tabs and enjoy!

Free download via Patreon, I’d rather not donate