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Classical Guitar Lessons: Tárrega: "Capricho Árabe"

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In this lesson,
we're going to work on the very famous and
beautiful Capricho árabe, by Francisco
Possibly, one of the most popular pieces
in the guitar repertoire.
In this work
there are several scales and
passages that, in my experience, have,
have given other students some, some some
And I found that for my own practice
and,and for you I think there are some
things that can help in terms of breaking
those scales down and
putting them back together.
There's a, there's another lesson in the
curriculum that will cover generally
how to break down scales, and put them
back together, piece them back together.
And this is a very good way to, to
approach and, and to work on,
and to get to feel really comfortable with
all the scales in Capricho árabe.
Probably the first one, that comes to mind
is the big chromatic scale right smack
in the middle of the piece at the around
the, the two minutes 30 seconds mark.
The, the scale that bridges the F major
section to the D major section.
So that you can really break down very
easily with
what I refer to as my fives and nines.
Any scales that are grouped in
four-sixteenth notes and
in this case the Capricho árabe scale has,
this chromatic scale here has [SOUND] one,
two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight,
nine, ten, 11,
12,13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22,
23, 24, 25, with the bass note, the D, on
the bottom.
All can be broken into five note
groupings, one, two, three, four, five.
Five, six, seven eight, nine.
Nine, ten,11, 12, 13.
13, 14, 15, 16, 17.
17, 18, ni, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 21,
22, 23, 24, 25.
Wow, that was a mouthful.
[SOUND] so, with that notice that I am
dovetailing the last note of the previous
grouping and, and then making that the
first note of the second grouping.
And this will actually help, in your mind,
be able to piece this back together and
it's very good.
Make sure that your hand is playing the
correct fingers, though.
So I-M-I-M-I, I-M-I-M-I, I-M-I-M-I.
Then you can expand into that into nines,
essentially nine note groupings.
Which are basically eighth note grouping
with the extra note added on and
then dovetailed to the next the next eight
notes, like this.
And that really works perfectly for
the chromatic scale cuz then it's
broken into just three very tidy sections.
When you're practicing this, also remember
that it's, that it's not merely
an exercise or a technical thing to help
you to be more comfortable, but
also try to work in the musical details as
That this scale starts out very slowly and
also much more softer and
then it crescendos a little bit at the
end, if you like.
I think that's marked in the score.
So something like this.
So even, even in your technical practice,
you can imbue the passage with something
more realistically like,
like it would be if you were to perform
Same goes for the opening scale.
That's a long one, too.
This one that goes
Now that's grouped in six note phrases if
you look at the way that it's
the rhythmic groupings are printed in the
So I like to group, I like to break that
up, one up like this.
So in that one, you have the pick-up which
we'll call note number one [SOUND].
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
eight and
then eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, and
then 14,
15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, [SOUND] 22.
So once again, without my counting.
And again, just like the other scale,
there's gonna be a bit of accelerando and
crescendo in this scale.
So, you don't even, I mean initially you
may wanna practice it quite slowly to get,
just to get the hang of breaking it down.
But as it starts to become comfortable and
you do this daily for a few days,
you know, five, after about five to seven
And practice each of
the segments separately.
And you'll find that after about a week
you'll be able to do it with some speed.
But really in a scale like that, the
really fast notes are,
there's only a few of them.
It's really at this, sort of between the
second segment and
the third segment of the scale
It's really only on the G, F,
E of the fourth string that you really
have to apply some speed.
And then immediately after that,
you can slow down.
So if you approach it this way, the scales
become less intimidating.
And this holds true for
a lot of the the faster scale passages in
much of the standard repertoire.
In this lesson we're gonna cover
some of the more expressive and
musical aspects of practicing and
performing Capricho Arabe by Francisco
There are two other lessons on breaking
down the scale passages and
then there's a lesson on the actual
Much of the, the challenge musically with
Capricho Arabe is to really make
the melody sing and to, and to bring it
out, in front of an accompaniment.
Basically there are three layers at play
here, or three textures.
Three layers that make up the texture.
We have a bass line and a bass and chord
alternating texture.
Which serves as the accompaniment
throughout the piece.
Don't forget that this accompaniment
continues to play
as the melody is introduced.
I would like to encourage you in your
study of the A section,
the one where that melody is introduced,
to, to even play,
the score slowly, as if the melody weren't
there at all.
In fact, it starts out, after the
it begins with this kind of vamp.
And then the melody is on top.
But you, if you can imagine that.
You can hear that that accompaniment
actually is playing, that you're playing
that accompaniment all the while while the
melody is being floated over the top.
Like this.
Sometimes there's some chords on the off
beats in there, but mainly it's,
it's just, the bass notes that are
supporting underneath.
So it's good to get to know that as
actually like a separate entity almost
from the melody, as if it were another
as if it was a, as if it were two players,
a guitar duo playing.
I like to imagine that when I'm, when I'm
trying to make it sound as if there's two
players playing.
Same thing goes for playing the melody.
It's a very healthy thing, always to, I
think, to extract the melody and
sing it on your own, in your practice
It really helps get it into your ear, and
then also just to play it on its,
on its own, the melody on its own, on any
string that you like.
So I'm even just using some fingerings
that I wouldn't even use in the piece.
I mean I could play that melody on the
second string if I wanted to.
The fingering is not so important as much
as the, the act of actually playing
the melody away from the, the music, gives
you a much deeper sense of the melody and
then when you put it back in and you're
actually playing the music.
You will here it that much clearer while
you're playing.