I'm wondering about the difference in the process of composing a song for a Fingerstyle Guitar vs what would be considered a Classical guitar piece. Note: I'm an amature hobbiest, so please excuse my music theory ignorence or misuse of terms.
How I compose for a Fingerstyle Guitar
As I was taught by people like Justin Sandercoe and Paul Davids:
- Figure out the melody by itself (as if played with one finger)
- Choose the chords which accompany that melody best
- Figure how I want the bass line to be within the chord (I like to make Ragtime covers, so most of the time it is a Travis-picking of sorts, containing octave notes or root and 5th)
The end product is that I play regular chord shapes in the open position (many times with a capo), and there is an octave difference between the bass and the melody. Obviously the shape of the chords are being broken here and there to create the melody, but they are the foundation to my arrangement.
What I see in Classical Style arrangements
I don't see people playing with a capo or staying in the open position. Many times the person runs through the whole neck. From this I conclude that they play the melody mainly on the 2 top strings and the bass line on the bottom, thus creating a 2 octave difference for a fuller sound - did I get it right?
However, I didn't get the impression that classical players are relaying on chord shapes as the foundation of the song and an anchor between the bass and melody. It looks messy. I feel like they decided on the melody, the bass line, and try to do finger acrobatics to play them together, squeezing some fill notes in between when possible. Sometimes that results in recognizable chords, sometimes in shapes which mean nothing to me, or maybe are more exotic chords.
How much did I get right and what am I missing? I tried arranging my folk-fingerstyle songs in that "classical manner" above, but without much success. . .