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Classical Guitar Lessons: Villa-Lobos: Prelude No. 4

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Prelude Number Four
by Villa Lobos.
And this is I,
I remember the first time I heard this
piece was on a Julian Bream recording.
And I was just completely knocked out by
And Bream was very much able to
the atmosphere of this fea, of this piece,
in a, in a wonderful and
very convincing way, and I, I immediately
wanted to play this piece when I,
when I was a kid, I must have been maybe
12 or 13 years old.
Haven't, I've never actually performed it
in concert.
It's just one of these things that's, I
feel like, well,
someday I'll get to the, the Five
but, of course I teach them all the time,
because they're just one of the most,
they're, they're some of the most
important pieces in the literature.
And this one each, each of the Five
Preludes, of course, are different.
But this one is, is probably has a,
the darkest kind of sound or atmosphere
of, of, of the five.
And, and I think what really gets across
that, that atmosphere,
the vibe of the piece is a, is a, just a
subtle use of vibrato.
Not too much.
I mean, I think Villa Lobos was fairly
in the way that we wanted the rhythms to,
to sound.
And the space between the rhythms.
I mean, he has written in there, for
measure three, one, and a two, and three,
and a one.
Not that you have to play it that
literally, of course, but.
Or maybe a little more rubato,
something like this.
Something like that.
But again, there's not really a a whole
lot you can do with that without
distorting that, that proportion of,
between when you're playing some, some of
those rhythmic groupings, or those melodic
groupings and this space between them.
So it's good to really preserve that.
Then of course, you know, measure two,
four, and six.
Have this, you know,
You know, so that should be played in a
nice regular, kind of rhythm.
You can poco ritard some of those at the
end if you like, you know.
Particularly the, you know,
Just very, ever so slightly with a
decrescendo and
that makes it quite nice if you wanna add
a little bit of rubato there that is
not incidentally written in the score.
With the harmonic section.
[SOUND] There's a lot of [SOUND]
sometimes I, with students,
I encounter that they have trouble with
this note.
[SOUND] And [SOUND] more often than not,
when they have trouble with getting that
note to sound in this,
in this phrase here,
It's, it's often because they're on a node
They are plucking with their thumb, the,
the place on the string that they pluck
with the thumb is another one of,
is the same spot as another one of those
So if we look at [SOUND] that note, it's
the major third harmonic.
[SOUND] Of the fifth string, C-sharp, and
[SOUND] if we look at the harmonic series
the property of the string
here [SOUND] we see that that's [SOUND]
where the string, the major
third is where the string is split [SOUND]
into five equal parts [SOUND].
Here, again, at the 16th fret, and then
even over here.
[SOUND] Right there.
So check to see that your thumb is not
plucking there, because if your thumb is
plucking on the same spot where another
one of those harmonics, those same
harmonics, those C-sharp harmonic on the
A, A string is located, it will,
no matter how how well you're doing it in
the left hand, it won't come out.
Because you're striking it on a node point
so [SOUND], see.
I'm right on that.
I'm plucking it right where that other
harmonic is.
So, all I have to do is move to the left.
[SOUND] See?
Over to the right.
[SOUND] Especially, and the harmonic comes
out really clearly.
And that holds true for any harmonics, if
we take the seventh fret,
well let's take that same string and play
the seventh fret where we hear the fifth.
[SOUND] All right?
Now the other place where that, that's
where the string is divided into three,
[SOUND] excuse me, four equal parts
[SOUND] no, three, excuse me,
three equal parts.
[SOUND] There's the other one on the 19th
fret, 19th fret and seventh fret.
[SOUND] Again, likewise, if I, if I try to
pluck that string and
my thumb is over the 19th fret [SOUND] it,
it just won't come out.
[NOISE] So, again right to the right of
[NOISE] Just fine.
And to the left of it even sorry, to the
left of it.
[NOISE] It comes out just fine.
And if I pluck to the right of that other
harmonic [SOUND] even better.
So, always note that when you're, that's a
little bit of a harmonics,
a natural harmonics lesson there.
And then it's the middle section.
Of course some quick PIMA arpeggios.
And [SOUND] just give yourself
a little bit of time at the top.
If you want.
[SOUND] I mean
If you're feeling brave you can basically
do a gradual a gradual accelerando through
the whole thing.
Then when you get to the bottom, of
course, you can maybe start again,
when you get to here.
You can take a little bit of a pause and
then start to accelerando again.
So there's, there's many different
approaches for that, but
if you need a little, a lot of players
need a little bit of time up there,
and that's okay to kind of,
make a there, on this E.
And then continue on your way.
As the middle section nears its close and
we're finishing with the PIMA arpeggios.
Try and keep crescendoing throughout.
So that really arrives at that low bass E.
[SOUND] And that's Prelude Number Four by
Villa Lobos.