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Classical Guitar Lessons: Albéniz: "Sevilla"

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In this lesson, we're going to cover
the various aspects of practicing and
performing Sevilla by Isaac Albeniz the
piano transcription.
The version that I generally use is is the
Manuel Barrueco
transcription with just a few minor
For example, in the A section
the fingering there that Barrueco uses
where he's slurring in his arrangement
I play those,
I play those over two strings.
So there's no slurs in it.
I'm basically playing them over
two strings.
It's a complicated fingering.
I like the sound of it, but you don't have
to play it.
I, I mean I can play it a couple times
slowly so
that if you wanna cop it you certainly can
in the right and left hands.
So I'll play it very, very slowly.
I'll actually just start it from the
Then one
more time.
Like that.
Other than that,
there may be some other ones that's at,
if, as I go along in the lesson
that I'll remember that I'm doing
something different from,
drastically different from the Barrueco
Generally, I highly recommend Manuel's
Well, his arrangement of anything but
particularly the Albeniz.
Any of the Albeniz, they're really super
[SOUND] So that's the first of many
hurdles in this veritable obstacle course
challenges is the very opening two bars.
This right
here, the
In fact, when my, when my Sevilla here
gets rusty, first thing that happens is my
bar starts coming off and I, I start
buzzing a couple of the notes.
That's the biggest challenge with this,
with this arrangement.
Right here,
you have to really squeeze the third
finger in tight into the bar.
[SOUND] So again, lots of slow practice,
making sure your slurs are very crisp and
(MUSIC) Then moving on.
(MUSIC) Again, in the Barrueco version,
I think those are
those are done with some rolls, but
I like to use my thumb, either one is
Okay, and back to my
to my treatment of that passage.
Then it repeats, and
then we have going to G-minor.
Then we have the next one that
can sometimes be a challenge for some
I, I,
the important thing there is to have a
firm bar but not so much of a vice
grip on it that it restricts the movement
of your left-hand fingers.
Practicing at various different speeds to
sure that your, your moving fingers in
your left
hand are very close to the strings
as advised.
then this
this basically a recap of the opening
two measures, but an octave lower.
Again, the challenge there is to,
is to really snap those slurs really good.
In fact, both there and the first two
measures, it's not a bad idea to,
in some of your slower repetitions, to, to
over play the slurs,
over play the descending slurs.
Like that, where you get that
kind of a nasty [SOUND] slur sound.
Just to get your those,
the fingers that are performing the
descending slurs
to really be aware, to really, really feel
Of course, you wouldn't want to play them
that way normally.
But it's, it's not a bad idea to throw a
few repetitions
of some really solid snapped descending
slurs there.
Okay, now we come to the next the next
part, this next phrase.
And this is something, again,
where I deviate from just about every
arrangement I've seen.
usually there's some slurs on the,
on the alto voice of this passage.
I actually play it over three strings so
that there's no slurs in it at all.
So I'll show you that fingering.
And, and the right hand fingering for
the whole passage is M-I-P-M-I, M-I-P-M-I.
Like this.
So I'll, I'll, I'll play it a couple
Like that
The last one, the last figure
I play as the same general fingering and
approach that the traditional,
arrangements, suggest.
But everything on the way up there
It's, it's, it mutes some, some of you
players that have a really long fourth
finger and not a super short one like I
[SOUND] Like I can't even get my fourth
finger over there
I use my third
because, again,
I have this sort of weird hand that I
showed you in a, in a previous lesson.
And my third finger sorta bends this way.
And, but,
it makes a move like that really,
really easy, so if you find it easier to
use your fourth
on that specific move, feel free to,
to use your fourth finger.
Once again, very slowly on that passage.
there you go.
Moving on from there we come to the,
the famous Sevilla scale.
And there have been many lessons and
many other pieces in the curriculum cover
how to break down scales,
and with groups of five and groups of nine
and such.
I find that breaking this scale into five,
groups of five and
13 since the scale is 12 16th notes per
There is three measures of 12 16th notes.
In this scale passage I find it's really
So I'll just play the scale slowly, so you
can hear.
So you can hear what it sounds like.
I'll play just at a sort
of medium tempo,
like that.
And some other, some other tips to help
you get some nice right-hand,
left-hand synchronization and control.
[COUGH] You can add a little bit of a
detache kinda articulation to it,
a little like a mild staccato.
And that actually gives it a really nice,
highly articulated sound.
And then as far as the breakdowns you can
break, like I said,
you can break them down by measure, the
three measures, with a dovetail.
I put a slur on the last two notes
so I can kinda prepare my octave.
But again, not, not necessary.
You can play them all articulated if you
like and then the extra breakdown for
those of you who really wanna see, see the
scale from every angle.
you go.
So that's playing it in fives, with, with
the the fifth note of
the grouping sort of dovetailed as this
first note of the next grouping.
[COUGH] You may also notice that my
fingering deviates
is a different fingering, is in less
Kind of the same thing I showed you in the
capriccio alavey lesson where rather than.
Instead of playing a shifting positions on
one string, I like to play it in just one
Same thing here.
Rather than the, the shifting on one
string, it's basically all.
All in one or two positions.
[SOUND] Okay, then it, it's relentless.
It, it's just one thing after another.
Very tough shifting section here.
You really have to study and visualize,
I would recommend a visualization exercise
If you can actually see all the chord
shapes in, in your mind and
what frets they're on.
You have a lot more
success with that,
with that pass.
Let's see then moving on with the rest of
rest of the piece it basically repeats
here, the A section.
And then we come to the end of that of
that, of that part of the story and
then we enter the middle section.
What I love about this piece is that it
just it's a wonderful piece to start a
concert with, because again, it has so
many so many colors and so many textures,
even just in the A section alone.
But a very lively A section, very with a
lot of vitality.
And then it goes into this gorgeous middle
So, this is an opportunity to really just
again, make the guitar sing.
Some things, a lot of these things, with
bravado we've covered in other lessons
such as the fact that if you, you pick the
right notes of vibrato,
if, and you play with a lot of good
phrasing and crescendo and
decrescendo, can make it sound like the
whole line is signing.
Just like this line here.
Just like that.
So I'm just basically
vibrato-ing two notes, a D,
and I kind of let my finger drag there.
And then play the the high C with some
So, a lot of that kinda thing has been
covered in other lessons.
In the performance lesson on Sevilla
you'll, you'll get
more of an overview of what I'm doing with
the, the lyricism in the second movement.
There there's a, a tough section or a
tough spot,
run, the octave run in the middle section
right here.
Again I, I,
my fingering is slightly different.
It's just something that suits my left
So I'll play that slowly.
you'll know that
I'm playing P,
I, M, A.
So P, I, sorry, excuse me, P, I, M and
then P, A.
So it gives it a little bit more of
a arpeggiated-like feel in the right hand
and you could play it very fast that way.
And for the rest of it, these octaves is
an alternation on the top and then thumb
on the bottom.
And so I've, I've,
myself have had to break that down many
lot of different ways to break that down
[SOUND] If you wanna practice your shifts.
[SOUND] See, if we get the.
Those are examples of some
very quick breakdowns on that passage.
And that's pretty much the, the bulk of
the, the tough things in,
in Sevilla, in the first, the A section
and the middle section.
Of course the piece just repeats the A
section and and that's it.
So enjoy the, the video and
the performance, and and try to pick up
some things like that.
I look forward to seeing some of your
videos on Sevilla.