As with most guitar students, you may be looking for premium classical guitar courses on pieces by Francisco Tarrega.
The good news is, it’s easy to find his free sheet music online. Plus, you’ll find tips, tricks, and some other vital information about Francisco Tarrega below.
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Who is the Classical Guitarist Francisco Tárrega?
Tarrega was a Spanish musician who dominated the romantic period. Deemed the ‘Father of Classical Guitar,’ he composed the ever-famous Recuerdos de la Alhambra.
Tarrega’s compositions were inspired mainly by 19th-century European guitarists. They’re said to be more sophisticated than the works of his contemporaries like Julian Arcas or Magin Alegre.
Despite his popularity, the sarasate of the guitar preferred playing in smaller venues.
Thanks to Tarrega’s efforts, musicians started to take great interest in the classical guitar. Eventually, it was included as a recital instrument.
Francisco Tárrega’s Sheet Music: What to Download
Although only 19 of his compositions were published, the musician authored at least 80 pieces and 120 transcriptions.
The composer favored character pieces throughout his life, such as caprices, mazurkas, etudes, preludes, exotic dances, and serenatas.
Most of them were for his personal use, while some served as practice lessons for his students. His later works were often edited, if not altered.
If you’re looking for a new piece to play, then go ahead and download any of these famous pieces:
Lagrima is a simple romantic prelude published by Ildefonso Alier.
It’s a very short miniature with only 16 bars. It follows the A-B-A structure, which critics describe as melancholic yet straightforward.
Section A is famous for its predictable tab, which includes quarter notes and dotted half notes.
Despite being less predictable, Section B features eighth notes on the main voice.
What’s great about this free sheet music is that it’s perfect for beginners. In fact, you can play the entire song in under two minutes.
If you want to have a great time playing the guitar, you should go for the Capricho Arabe.
Created in 1888, it is known to be the first composition of Francisco Tarrega. He dedicated it to his good composer friend, Tomas Breton.
Tarrega penned it in Valencia, where Castilian, Christian, and Muslim cultures were known to intermingle. The composition was eventually published in Barcelona the very next year.
The guitar masterpiece features a single theme that starts with D minor before progressing to D major. This peculiar modulation gives it a unique style. After all, the melody returns to the original pattern by the end.
Truly popular, the Capricho Arabe has been performed by both Andres Segovia and Julian Bream.
Study in C
Estudio in C follows the exercise pim-ami-ami-ami. It features a right-hand pattern, where guitarists have to blend the melody and accompaniment through the strings.
Because of its open strings, Study in C is relatively easy to play. It’s a 16-bar song with two parts; each played twice.
It has one barred chord, bar 13, and three partial barred chords – 6, 10, and 14.
Because of its tempo at the andante, you need to play it slowly yet even. Remember to pluck the beat uniformly while keeping the volume undulating.
When practiced routinely, Study in C can help bring about all the tonal possibilities in your handy classical guitar.
Adelita is a mazurka or a triple-meter stylized folk dance. It’s very simple, which is why many beginners continue to be interested in this piece.
The song’s first half is easy to do, though you may find the 11th and 12th measures more challenging.
That said, if you want to perfect its key, make sure to improve your barres beforehand. Likewise, it will help if you’ve built enough strength in your little finger.
Recuerdos de la Alhambra
If you’re an advanced player, you need to try this popular sheet music by Francisco Tárrega.
Written in 1899, it used to go by the name Improvisación ¡A Granada! Cantiga Árabe. As with the Capricho Arabe, it’s dedicated to another person—Tarrega’s patron Concepción Gómez de Jacoby.
Recuerdos is known for its tremolo, where a single melody is played consecutively by the index, middle, and ring fingers. It’s done so in rapid succession, which then produces a long, sustained note.
The thumb, on the other hand, plays the arpeggio pattern simultaneously.
As a very popular piece, Recuerdos has been played by various artists using different instruments:
- Ruggiero Ricci – violin
- Luiza Borac – piano
- Alex Jacobowitz – xylophone/marimba
- Xavi Ganjam – sitar
Recuerdos has also been used as soundtrack music for the French war drama ‘Forbidden Games’ and the British biographical film ‘The Killing Fields.’
Where to Find Francisco Tárrega Lessons
When it comes to practicing Tarrega’s sheet music, it’s best to get professional lessons.
You can get this and more through the Classical Guitar Shed website. Here, you get to learn from masters who can help you perfect your playing style, so you get to avoid mistakes along the way.