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Classical Guitar Lessons: Barrios: “Julia Florida”

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>> Julia Florida by Agustin Barrios, the
great Paraguayan guitarist and composer.
This is a, a wonderful piece, it's a
barcarolle, which is an Italian boat song.
And so barcarolles were a type of a
swaying kind of
song meant to evoke a boat on, on the
just sort of the gentle swaying of a boat
on the waves.
so they're always written in
a six-eight meter.
With this kind of with a one and a two and
a, very gentle kind of six-eight rhythm to
And with this piece, this is a very good a
good piece for building.
In terms of building longer crescendos and
building structure.
And, and being able to use your dynamics
through structure.
And also applying vibrato and a real, and
extremely song, singing like sound to your
melody notes.
just a couple things in this to to,
to look for.
You have to look for
the notes that you can vibrato, that you
feel that you have time,
to, time to play vibrato on.
Just to give you some, a couple hints
there that the first one.
It may seem like there's not enough time
there but there is actually while you're
playing the, the open A string.
before you put down the third finger there
is enough time there.
There's another one.
And the piece is slow enough that there
are many opportunities like that, you have
Course, something like this,
you know, have a bit of time because
there's your left hand fingers are only
playing the melody.
Not unlike a violin.
And I, I try to keep the first time
through the A section fairly subtle,
And you'll notice in the, in the lesson on
on the performance that when I come back
around to the A section, after all the,
the, the middle development, the
developmental B section.
I, I crescendo with a much higher arc and
I, I alluded to this or
I covered this a little bit in the vi, in
the lesson on phrasing.
so, maybe the first time through.
I'm playing something more like.
You know, I may play with direction toward
that high B on the G major chord,
then I do what I think of as a pullback.
Like you move with direction with a slight
crescendo and
then you pull back right at the last note
like that.
It's a very nice thing David Russell
the Scottish guitarist, is a master at
And then continuing on.
But that first time through,
I'm still playing a lot of dolce sounds
around in this area.
Whereas the second time, instead of doing
the pullback, I kinda push, push upward.
and that can help give the piece a, a,
more of an overall structure,
rather than playing it the same
way twice through.
The B section is where a lot of different
key areas and new chords and
new harmonies are introduced.
And so that's, and
it's a little bit trickier to play in some
parts but generally the pieces I,
I put it in the intermediate section
because it's generally not hard to play.
The real challenge is musically carrying
your listener all the way through.
This is the kind of piece that you can,
you can basically have.
If yo perform it, you can have your
whether they're, they're five people or,
or 300 or more,
you can have them in the palm of your hand
if you really stay stay, stay focused.
And with, with as far as your,
your narrative as you're pulling them
along through the through the story.
The ending,
the harmonics.
These right here, that some,
on some guitars, that, that second
string one's a little tough to get to.
So that takes a little bit of practice.
And I've, worked with a lot of students,
when they play it for me in the master
classes I hear this result often.
Like they'll be cruising a long on those
harmonics cuz they're all natural
but then they've got to hit the two the,
the two ar, artificial harmonics so.
And then there's a big slow down or
even a pause.
Then they're finding them, and
[LAUGH] now, you can give yourself all the
time you
need on those final two harmonics if you,
if you if you execute a molto ritardando,
if you really, if you start here.
And that's,
that's my secret there.
I just do a big molto ritardando and I
start them out fairly quick.
So that I have, and I get very slowly,
with each note, progressively slower,
slower, slower, slower.
And that gives me, by the time I get to
those two,
it gives me enough time to hit them.
Also notice that,
I vibrato those two notes.
You can vibrato any artificial harmonic
that you play on the guitar.
gotta be, that's something to try, too.
The penultimate [COUGH] chord played with
I find it just more comfortable to play in
the ninth position here than the fourth
This is even though it's printed with
this, this note on the sixth string on the
fourth fret.
Just know that,
that harmonic is also on the ninth fret.
It's also here and it's also there,
incidentally, because that's the way the
string's divided into those,
into those five equal parts creating the
major third.
So I like to play it here with my third
Like this.
That makes it a little bit more
So if you're finding it's hard to hit that
that second to last chord.
And it is important cuz it's so exposed.
Try this fingering.
Try your third finger on the sixth string,
ninth fret.
There you have it, Julia Florida.