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: Tárrega -- "Recuerdos de la Alhambra"

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 beloved Recuerdos
de la Alhambra by Francisco Tarrega.
Perhaps, the most popular Spanish solo
guitar piece ever.
And it contains of course the, the, the
well famous to classical guitarists.
The technique known as the tremolo.
You, we should remind ourselves that
really what the tremolo is,
is beyond of course a guitar technique.
That it's, it's real purpose is to, is to
the sound of a continuously singing
almost as, you should imagine that the
Is almost being either sung by
a singer like a soprano or,
or continuously bow like on a bowed
instrument, like on a violin.
That should be, I think your point of
reference for, for something like this.
So the smoothness of the tremolo of course
is, is important.
And of course, what, what we all crave or
what we all seek [LAUGH] when
practicing the tremolo is rhythmic
evenness between the A, M and I.
And also dynamic evenness between A, M and
I or I should say, rhythmic evenness
between A, M and I.
And dynamic evenness, particularly between
the A, M and I.
That's probably a better way of saying,
what we all strive to achieve for
in the technically as far as just the,
the guitar playing aspects of playing the
So there's some things that you can do to,
to work on that and to, and to strengthen
your tremolo.
One thing I found that's really helpful
[SOUND] is to take
the just take small pieces or small bits
from the,
from the piece and just make little etudes
or exercise excerpts out of them.
And to play the tremolo at three,
well three general different dynamic
But play the sta, play the A, M and I
staccato, like this.
And we take
a small breather
in between each,
in between each pass.
Now what I'm listening for right now, even
as I do this in, in front of you,
I'm listening for [SOUND] that the three
notes in the A,
M, I are dynamically the same volume.
That I'm not getting something, like this.
We're not getting a particular accent or
a heaviness on one note more than the
The thing that the staccato does is that
it really you know,
by playing staccato, it gets the next
finger to the string really early.
So, it helps actually train the, the A,
the P, A, M and
I, the for a rhythmic evenness.
So that there's no gallop in it.
A lot times students or will, or
players will complain that they have a
galloping tremolo, something like this.
Whether it's just, there's some kind of
break in the rhythm that it's not even
16th notes.
Another exercise that you can do to
strengthen the tremolo and, and get the
more rhythmically even,
as well as dynamically even is an exercise
that I I
that is in the Pumping Nylon book by Scott
Where you play the tremolo just on one
string in the open E String.
And with each of the four notes, again
staccato, you try to match all four
of the notes, even the thumb, which is
really hard to do.
I can even hear that my thumb is heavier
than the A and an I, I should probably do
this exercise more often.
Here we go.
There you hear the two beats
where I doubled the speed?
That's from this exercise that Scott
Tennant had.
And it's a really fantastic exercise for
getting control and
you could, of course do that at various
speeds too.
I'll go back to my exercise I showed you
at maybe a different speed and
a different volume.
Before I played this staccato.
For the, using the first phrase from
Recuerdos and in mezzo forte at a pretty
slow speed.
Now I'll do another one, another
repetition, but
at a slightly faster speed and very soft.
And then again,
I'm listening for the rhythmic and
dynamic evenness of the, of the tremolo.
The effect as I'm doing this now,
I can hear that my M finger at this very
soft level
of dynamic is a little bit louder
than the other two fingers.
And there I can
fix it a little bit, so
something to work on.
And just that level of introspection of
going really deep in, into the tremolo
and, and it's inner workings will really
help to just strengthen it.
Why why play it at different dynamic
levels and different speeds?
Here I'll try a, I'll try an even faster
speed, but now playing loud.
Well, because each of those
dynamic levels and everything in
between are represented in that piece.
You're, you're not likely to want to play
Recuerdos all
at one dynamic level or all at one speed.
Because the larger phrases have a little
bit of a polka ritardando that's
nice to do.
And also the, the phrases rise and fall
dynamically according to their shape.
For example the second half when it goes
to A major.
There should be
a big crescendo here.
And then all
the way back down
to pianissimo.
So the command over all of those
those different dynamic extremes is, is a,
is a very good thing to develop.
So try the staccato method with your, with
your tremolo.
Practice it a lot.
It really helps to strengthen the fingers
and I look forward to seeing your videos.