Welcome to our concerto guitar lessons page, dedicated to providing you with comprehensive concerto guitar lessons on some of the most challenging works in the classical guitar repertoire: “Concierto de Aranjuez” and “Fantasia para un gentilhombre.”
The Concerto Lessons
Here, you will find all the resources you need to learn these concertos, including loads of extras for getting the notes under your fingers, scale extras, and the story behind the creation of the “Concierto de Aranjuez.” Additionally, we are thrilled to present an exclusive interview with, Tariq Harb, on their experience performing the “Concierto de Aranjuez.” Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, our lessons will help you master these beloved works and bring their beauty to life through your playing. Let’s dive into all this goodness below.
Joaquin Rodrigo Concertos
Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999) was a Spanish composer who is best known for his guitar concerto “Concierto de Aranjuez,” one of the most famous works in the classical guitar repertoire. He was born in Sagunto, Valencia, and lost his sight at the age of three after contracting diphtheria.
Despite his blindness, Rodrigo showed an early interest in music and began studying piano and solfeggio with teachers in Valencia. He later studied harmony, counterpoint, and composition with Francisco Antich in Madrid and eventually earned a doctorate in music from the University of Madrid.
Rodrigo’s music was deeply rooted in the Spanish musical tradition and drew inspiration from the works of composers such as Manuel de Falla and Isaac Albéniz. In addition to his guitar concerto, he composed a wide range of works, including operas, ballets, choral music, and works for orchestra and chamber ensembles.
Rodrigo was a highly respected figure in the Spanish cultural world and received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including Spain’s highest civilian honor, the Order of Isabella the Catholic. He continued to compose well into his 90s and remained a beloved figure in the world of classical music until his death in 1999. Next up, the warm-up lessons for the Aranjuez.
The Pre-Concerto Warm up lessons
In this section, we will provide you with bonus concerto guitar lessons on the story behind the “Concierto de Aranjuez,” scales, slurs, trills, and phrasing techniques, as well as a slow performance of the first 35 bars of the “Concierto de Aranjuez” to aid in your learning. Our aim is to help you bring the beauty and emotion of Rodrigo’s music to life through your guitar playing, so let’s get started!
How A Professional Approaches a Concerto
Join us for an inspiring conversation with internationally renowned concert guitarist, Dr. Tariq Harb (@TeeHarb), as we dive into the Adagio from the Aranjuez Concerto. In this interview, Dr. Harb shares his insights on a range of topics related to performing this piece at a professional level, including phrasing, conductors, and attention to detail. You’ll be inspired by Dr. Harb’s down-to-earth and humble approach as he shares his love and process for this piece. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from a true guitar virtuoso! Check out the video now.
Story Behind the “Concierto de Aranjuez”
Discovering the Story Behind the “Concierto de Aranjuez”: In this bonus guitar lesson, you will take a journey into how Joaquín Rodrigo conceived the idea for this iconic concerto. You will learn about the historical connections between Charles IV, Domenico Scarlatti, and Rodrigo, and discover how these influences shaped the creation of the “Concierto de Aranjuez.”
The Scales in Aranjuez
If you’re a guitar enthusiast looking to improve your skills and add a new piece to your repertoire, then this bonus guitar lesson is for you! In this video, we’ll be delving into the intricacies of Rodrigo Guitar Concerto de Aranjuez – Scales, where you’ll learn the 3 main scale patterns and how to finger them. Not only that, but we’ll also be covering how to practice them for speed, so you can play this beautiful concerto with ease. So, grab your guitar and let’s get started! Follow this link to watch the full video tutorial.
Slurs and Trills
Mastering Slurs and Trills: In this bonus guitar lesson, you will learn how to practice the main slur patterns for the “Concierto de Aranjuez,” as well as techniques for nailing those long trills. These techniques will help you to achieve the nuanced and expressive playing required to bring this beautiful concerto to life.
Phrasing Tips for a Musical Performance: In this fourth bonus guitar lesson, we will explore techniques for phrasing the main melody as a cadenza (bars 36-45), slurring bar 43, and the orchestral entries (bars 45-49) in the “Concierto de Aranjuez.” With these tips, you will be able to infuse your performance with musicality and emotion.
Slow Performance of the First 35 bars
Slow Performance for Better Learning: Finally, in this bonus guitar lesson, you will be provided with a slow performance of the first 35 bars of the “Concierto de Aranjuez.” This will allow you to practice the piece at a slower tempo, helping you to master the notes and techniques more easily.
Bonus Lessons Based on Rodrigo
The lessons below are based off Aranjuez, and will help you improve your timing, and your left-hand equal strength. These are extra, and will help, fuel your practice session, keeping it fun, and fresh. Check out the first one, where jazz meets classical.
Timing with Chick Corea & Rodrigo
If you’re looking to improve your internal timing and master jazz progressions, you’ll want to check out our lesson on shell voicing inspired by Chick Corea’s Spain progression, which itself was based on Joaquín Rodrigo’s “Aranjuez.” By placing the metronome on beats 2 & 4 of a bar, you’ll develop a greater awareness of the tempo and be able to spot any issues with rushing or dragging the beat. Take your playing to the next level with our jazz-inspired lessons today.
Orange Legato Workout
This short Orange legato workout, inspired by Concerto De Aranjuez, is designed to work all finger combinations in a moto perpetuo slurring exercise. It is split into 4 bar sections, with each section concentrating on common left-hand combinations.
Concierto de Aranjuez
The concerto, premiered in 1939, was inspired by the gardens of the Palacio Real de Aranjuez, a royal palace located near Madrid. Rodrigo was reportedly captivated by the beauty of the palace’s gardens and sought to capture their essence in his music.
The concerto is structured in three movements. The first movement is characterized by a distinctive, lyrical theme played by the guitar, accompanied by the orchestra. The second movement is slower and more introspective, with the guitar playing a melancholy melody over a lush orchestral accompaniment. The third movement is a lively and rhythmic dance, featuring virtuosic passages for the guitar.
The “Concierto de Aranjuez” has been recorded and performed by countless musicians, and has been arranged for a variety of instruments, including piano, violin, and flute. It has also been featured in numerous films, including “Brassed Off” and “Gattaca.”
The concerto is widely regarded as a masterpiece of 20th-century classical music, and has played an important role in popularizing the guitar as a solo instrument in the classical music world. The link below will take you to the full set of lessons, and videos, that will walk you through all the Adagio.
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Fantasia para un gentilhombre
“Fantasia para un gentilhombre” (Fantasia for a Gentleman) is another famous work by Joaquín Rodrigo, composed in 1954. It is a guitar concerto in all but name, as it is structured similarly to a concerto, but it is based on a series of themes from the Spanish Baroque composer Gaspar Sanz’s “Instrucción de música sobre la guitarra española” (Musical Instruction on the Spanish Guitar).
The work was commissioned by the Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia, who premiered it in 1958 with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Enrique Jordá. The piece was an immediate success and has since become a staple of the classical guitar repertoire.
The “Fantasia para un gentilhombre” is structured in four movements, each based on a different dance form from Sanz’s instruction book. The first movement, Villano, is a lively and rhythmic dance, while the second movement, Españoleta, is a more contemplative piece featuring the guitar in a prominent role. The third movement, Danza de las hachas, is a lively and rhythmic dance featuring the sounds of clashing axes, and the final movement, Canario, is an energetic dance that brings the work to a spirited conclusion.
Like Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” the “Fantasia para un gentilhombre” has been recorded and performed by many guitarists and orchestras. It is considered a masterpiece of the guitar repertoire, and it remains a beloved work among both performers and audiences.
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Concerto Madrigal by Rodrigo
Below is a series of extra lessons that deal with, timing, phrasing, and basic technique like slurs. These are based off Aranjuez, and the Concerto de Madrigal, for two guitars. These are all fun short lessons that will help keep your practice sessions fresh. Start with some slurs, and build on them in these four lessons below.
Tone & Slurs with Rodrigo’s Madrigal Concerto (part 1)
If you’re looking to improve your tone and rhythm on the guitar, you won’t want to miss our lesson inspired by Joaquín Rodrigo’s “Concierto Madrigal.” This tiny idea involves floating down a single string with pull-offs every two beats, focusing on relaxed left-hand fingers and even tones. Don’t rush the legato movement, and ensure that the tone of the pull-off is even with the tone of the first note plucked by the right hand. Elevate your playing with our expert guitar lessons today.
Concert Madrigal (Part 2)
Take your guitar playing to the next level with our expert lesson inspired by Joaquín Rodrigo’s “Concierto Madrigal.” Building on the first part of this tiny idea, this lesson focuses on floating down a single string with pull-offs every two beats, while keeping your left-hand fingers relaxed and not rushing the legato movement. It’s crucial to ensure that the tone of the pull-off is even with the tone of the first note plucked by the right hand.
Concerto Madrigal (Part 3)
Ready for a challenge? Our expert guitar lesson inspired by Joaquín Rodrigo’s “Concierto Madrigal” is perfect for you. This micro study is the third and most challenging part of the tiny idea, using the left-hand little finger across three strings in the bass register. Pay close attention to tone production and work on getting your fingers working in pairs. It’s a great exercise for developing your left-hand control, especially the little finger.
Concerto Madrigal (Part 4) – Guitar Duo
If you are looking for a challenge, then check out this series of lessons inspired by Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto Madrigal for two guitars. Built off a simple idea of floating down a single string with pull-offs every two beats, these micro studies will work your left-hand control and tone production while giving you and your partner a chance to shine together on the guitar. Whether you are an experienced player or a beginner, these lessons will help you build your skills and tackle this beautiful duet.