Gilbert Isbin

Gilbert Isbin is one of the most interesting, dynamic and poetic composers writing for guitars and lutes today. As his website informs us, “Isbin’s compositional and performing style defies genre, blending elements of contemporary classical, jazz, early music, world music and improvisation.” He lives in Brugges, Belgium.

When I asked Gilbert if he had any compositions for plectrum guitar, he immediately enthused about the project, writing me no fewer than 24 pieces! They have now been published by Mel Bay HERE. The book contains score in both standard notation and tab – in different sections in order to cut down on page turns. There is also an interview with the composer.

I have recorded every track, downloadable from the Mel Bay site with a key printed inside the book. But you can listen to the files below:

or via this YouTube video:


Here is the last piece in the book, Yes Love:

Quite Blue:

A Satisfied Mind:


I asked Gilbert if he would write student-level compositions for plectrum guitar, and he responded with the following beautiful pieces – all included in the book:


Here are some older tunes by Gilbert which are not included in the book. See his website for details:


All Our Yesterdays:


And something Gilbert describes as a sort of Blues, Troubled: