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Classical Guitar Lessons: Tárrega: “Adelita"

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a mazurka by Francisco Tarrega,
a Spanish composer basically
writing a a Polish dance.
Mazurkas are most famously known in the
classical music world
from all the Chopin mazurkas and Arthur
Rubinstein recordings and
those, which I would strongly recommend
the Rubenstein recordings
of mazurkas as a listening reference for
this piece.
There may be some Spanish tinge to it, but
not really.
I mean, it's really meant to be this this
Polish dance.
And what makes this three,
four dance different than say a waltz is
that there's a stress on beat two.
And beat two when you hear it in, in when
you hear it it's actually,
it's hard to notate it because it actually
arrives a smidge on the early side.
It' s not actually a straight one and two,
three, one and two, three.
The feel of the speed is a little bit more
like one and two,
three, one and two, three like this.
Kind of the same kind of Lilter swing
similar to like a waltz we'll have, but
with the emphasis on beat two.
So I like to play the melody that happens
on beat two.
With the, the slightly fuller tone.
You can even use rest stroke if you like.
Something like that.
Now, this is another one of those pieces
that gets assigned very early on
in a student's development.
And that would be okay if it were only for
the first half of the piece.
However, the second half of the piece is
extremely difficult and
that's why I've got it placed here in more
of the intermediate section or
even at the upper edge of the intermediate
because this,
this second half of this very short,
little piece is absolutely treacherous.
because of this right here.
These ornaments, they're really quite
This one right here really historically
has given students a lot of trouble.
So what I recommend for the ornaments is
that you practice them separately first.
Step one.
the third one.
David Lissner the guitarist and, and
teacher from Manhattan School of Music.
I studied with him for a summer in Boden
and he'd given me a really great tip on,
on basically, like, ascending on ornaments
and ascending and descending slurs.
An ornament like this where you play
principal note, the note above it, and
then back down is essentially an ascending
followed immediately by a descending slur.
And he said, he told me to imagine that
the, the moving finger in this case four.
As it's on its way back down it actually
goes through the neck of the guitar.
Like a, he, he had me visualize that the
fourth finger would go actually as if it
was like a nail going through the fourth
through the neck of the guitar, and
I thought that was a really great [SOUND]
great analogy.
It helped me to really make my [SOUND]
make my descending slurs, especially
on ornaments like that, a little bit more
efficient, and a little bit stronger too.
Another thing you do when you finish the
ornament is rest
almost like you're playing a rest stroke
but with your fourth finger.
Just rest your finger into the next
which is string number two like this.
I'll do it very slowly.
Like this.
Almost like you're playing a rest stroke.
[SOUND] From string three into string two.
It's a thing to just work on and kind of
meditate on it, really.
Just each of these ornaments.
That's a really tough one,
because of the stretch.
And that one is a tough one for me too.
Musically, just interpretation, you do get
a fermata, actually, at this section here.
And then after that when you finish that
phrase and thus finished the B section,
that goes right into a tempo.
So after this,
I mean you can take all the time you want
there because of th, the fermata and also
the free, the freer nature of that phrase,
but then right after that da de da dum da
Just a straight three, four measures is,
is all you need there to be a tempo.
The last challenge in here is that this
gives a new
challenge usually, when its assigned to
in that you have to play a melody in the
middle voice of the of the instrument.
So that you're playing bass notes, and
you're playing some stuff.
you're playing some accompaniment on
the top with M and A but the main focus is
that the eye has to play a lot of these,
this the melody which happens in the
middle voice.
In the beginning of the second half we
hear this melody in the soprano.
And at this point, that melody comes down
into the middle range of the instrument.
Like this.
You can use some rest strokes,
I like to use some rest strokes in there,
like on this note.
And then the B.
But I don't get to to use the rest stroke
on the E on the fourth string because I
have to play a base note adjacent to it.
So, the key there is to really keep the
other voices very, very quiet so
that you don't have to smack those middle
voice melody notes.
It's recommended, I, I would recommend
that you play it, you cultivate it with a
free stroke.
And then as you become more comfortable
with it, if you wanna place some
emphasis on those milli notes with the
rest stroke, you can do that as well.
So that's Adalita.
It's actually a lot of information for a
very short piece but
I, I really feel this is a lot more
difficult piece than is given credit for.
So, good luck and I look forward to
hearing and seeing your videos.