This is a public version of the members-only Classical Guitar with Jason Vieaux, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Classical Guitar with Jason Vieaux.
Join Now

Basic Classical Guitar
Classical Guitar Reference Topics
Intermediate Classical Guitar
Advanced Classical Guitar
Special Guests
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Classical Guitar Lessons: Bach: "Bourrée"

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials Quizzes
information below Close
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Basic Classical Guitar

+Intermediate Classical Guitar

+Advanced Classical Guitar

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   
Classical Guitar

This video lesson is available only to members of
Classical Guitar with Jason Vieaux.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Classical Guitar with Jason Vieaux. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Classical Guitar Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
The Bourree from the first
lute suite by JS Bach.
This is a piece that's often prescribed
to students very early in their early in
their development.
It should prescribed later, it's really
quite a difficult piece.
I would say it's more of a intermediate
piece, and intermediate counterpoint
example, because you have course you're
playing two lines at the same time.
You'll see on your score that you have a
line with a stem up, and
then a line with stem down.
In other lessons in the curriculum,
I've recommended just playing these lines
And, then playing them and then
reinserting the, the,
the line stem up for example, playing it
And, then playing it with the,
with the other line.
Same thing with the bass line,
it's very good to play the base line,
especially alone.
We tend to hear the top line, or the stem
up more prominently.
And, so in order to get the same kind of
clarity of hearing in the bass,
it's it's very good to play the bass lines
And, so that you get more clearly,
and more easily get a sense of the melodic
nature of the bass.
And, then over time as you're practicing,
you re-insert that in the texture again,
The idea is that you're more actively
hearing the bass line as you're
playing it.
Rather than experiencing it as just a set
of a series of finger movements.
So, that's a very important thing to
And, a great way with any kind of counter
point to practice to extract the line and
then in, and then insert the line back in,
see if you can hear it more actively while
you're playing.
So this, this is this is a good counter
point piece for
intermediate players, but it's still quite
I'm going to recommend some some different
kind of fingerings.
Not the traditional fingerings that, that
you normally see in this piece.
I really think they help open up the left
they really make the piece a lot easier.
And I'm referring specifically to bars.
And, also damping basses and, and, and,
by using closed fingerings, or fingerings
on rather than say play an open A,
which you will have to damp immediately
later, because it's in a bass line.
Playing that A, or using a fingering that
plays the bass A on the sixth string,
there, thereby allowing you to not have to
damp it with your right hand.
You can simply lift your left hand
This makes the piece a lot easier, and
allows you to inject the, the music with a
lot more flow.
So examples, examples of that.
Examples of taking out some of these,
these bars.
The very first three notes.
This really is, it's not super difficult,
but really, I, I like to play this really
just with my fingers,
without any bar at all, so,
This is three zero rather than two zero.
Three on the base, zero open string on
And then instead of using the bar just
playing one and two.
And then, and then closing that, that
rhythmic grouping with open E string.
Open sixth string, and four on the first
So, and another example of that is in the,
in measure 16.
in measure 16 instead of playing the
this, this line here on the bass in
the fifth string, I have an opportunity
just before there to shift and
play it on the sixth string, or in sixth
As I am in sixth position right here on
the sixth fret.
And, then rather than use a bar for
this which is the traditional fingering.
[SOUND] I can go right into just placing
my fingers four, two, three and four.
[SOUND] And, then shifting into one and
three on,
on the the fifth and second string.
This really helps me to free up my hand.
And, then that, and it just allows me to
play the piece with more rhythmic
direction and, and flow and make, give it
more of a dance like feel.
An example of using a closed fingering
rather than open string for
basses is is right in measure nine and,
let's see, measure ten.
Measure nine and ten there's two
instances, actually it's in measure ten.
The traditional fingering that's
prescribed there, calls for an open A,
open fifth string.
But, the problem with that then is then
you have to,
after you've played that, you have an open
D as your next bass note.
And, of course, in order to play good
counter point,
you have to damp strings that are ringing
over each other in the same line.
So, rather than have to do double duty
with my right-hand thumb,
I simply,
I simply shift from the second beat of
measure ten into a closed base on the
sixth string for
the A on the third beat of measure ten.
when I go to play the ensuing D, on the
open fourth string,
I simply lift my second finger off the
sixth string, the line is connected.
The basses then, the, the, those notes now
which belong,
which are part of the same line are not
ringing over each other.
So, there are other instances which you'll
see in the performance lesson
on the Bourree from the, from the first
Lute Suite by Bach.
So good luck and send in your video with
any questions you might have.
Thank you.