A tranquil beginning and ending frame a more extroverted middle section. The difference in character in the middle section is achieved by the more vigorous rhythms and by a change in dynamics. The tempo should be fairly consistent throughout the piece except for the places where indicated otherwise. This piece requires considerable left-hand finger coordination and finger independence, and you will need to be comfortable with left-hand slurs. You will also work with syncopated rhythms in this piece.
The following left-hand exercise can help you develop finger independence:
I recommend that you spend a few minutes a day, 5 or 6 days a week on these exercises until they feel easy and familiar.
The exercises shown below can be used to improve your slurs and further develop left-hand coordination.
Download or print this slur exercises
If these kinds of demands on your left-hand are new to you, be patient and work slowly. If this exercise is very frustrating, consider doing more basic work before spending much time on it, and perhaps delay working on Autumn Sky until you've had some time to absorb these techniques. There are several excellent classical guitar methods that you can use to supplement your training. (e.g. The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method, volumes 1 and 2; Solo Guitar Playing, by Frederick Noad)
The middle section has a great deal of syncopation. Count the rhythms carefully. Spend a lot of time playing the piece slowly, and make sure that your rhythm is accurate. I hope that the recording is enjoyable and helpful, but when you are learning the piece for yourself, don't just try to imitate the recording--be sure to always feel the beat and understand how the notes relate to the beat.
Download the free printed music for Autumn Sky.
Listen to a recording of Autumn Sky.