Approaching Etude No. 1 Villa-Lobos

Approaching Etude No. 1 Villa-Lobos

This post deals with how to approach learning the awesome Etude No. 1 by Villa-Lobos. It has a series of videos that will walk you through how to learn and effectively practice this study. It is the first lesson in the #villalobos12in12 challenge.

Get the Study Guide

All the video lesson below correspond to this guide below. So why not challenge yourself today with etude No. 1.

#villalobos12in12! what is that?

I bet, like me, you want to play all 12 of Villa-Lobos’ awesome studies? And not just kind of perform them, but actually play and understand them!

Have you found it a little tough to get some of them started, or even finished? Well I have created a unique method for learning these awesome studies. Check out The intro below.

If you haven’t got it already, here is the best edition to buy currently for Villa-Lobos’ 12 Etudes.

Zigante Edition on Amazon

If you’re wondering why! Check out this detailed post on all the current editions available, and why I have chosen this particle one.

Full of detail and long post on editions

Short Cut Tip

So, the video below gives you the short cut tip to learning this piece: separate hands. It is really that simple. Do not practice this as written when learning it. It is very challenging, and is better to practice the RH pattern on its own. Learn the chords in a folk style, strumming style, separately.

RH Pattern

The video below walks through learning the RH pattern. It does this with an open string micro study and various rhythmic options for solidifying the material: the mighty five rhythms. (Again all example are fully tabbed out in the free study guide, get it now in your inbox and follow along)

LH Chords

The video below helps get those chord shapes under your fingers. It shows you how to correctly finger the passages, which anchor fingers to use, the best guide fingers. It also deals with the key shifts in this Villa-Lobos study.

The Short Version: LH Chords

Maybe you don’t want all that talking and explanation! Or maybe you have viewed it already. Well this video is for you, it walks through the chords slowly so that you can either play along with me, or just check out the fingerings for yourself, Either way it is the whole piece, just chord shapes.

That Chromatic Run Bit

This video below details how to learn and play the 2nd main technical focus of this study: the chromatic run in the middle. It is what most teachers, and examiners, are watching for, can you negotiate it cleanly! It also shows you how to turn that tricky passage into the LH equal strength practice idea from hell. Your fingers will be forever strong afterwards grasshopper!

The Final chords, Harmonics and Ending

This is the last video in this Villa-Lobos Etude 1 lesson. It deals with nailing the final few barre chords, correct fingers etc., and the goes on to the harmonics and the final two chords. More importantly though, it gives you a variety of tips for actually turning what could be viewed as a dry monotonous study into actual music that your Mom would want to listen to! So check out the tips at the end for that

The end?

Etude No. 2 Next

Next in the series is Etude No. 2 by Villa-Lobos. It is the perfect extension of all you have learnt above, as it it goes deeper into coordinating arpeggios. The two etudes are 2 sides of a coin, and when played together they will greatly enhance your arpeggios ability, shifting and barre chord strength.


Classical guitarist who strives to share a little #6stringinspiration.

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