Lesson Plan

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Lesson notes

This is a great guitar exercise that everybody should add to their toolbox. It consists of an arpeggio pattern played through a series of chords, some pleasant and some dissonant. I usually have students start with just working on the right hand pattern over some familiar chords before taking on the entire piece as a project. That is the approach I am using in this video lesson, starting with the basics, with the rest to follow as interest dictates.

Part 5 of the lesson on Villa- Lobos’ Etude #1 picks up where the E/G# transitions to the Am chord, barred at the fifth fret. The continuing theme of placing your fingers in playing order is emphasized through the next few changes, including the jump to the descending diminished chords at the twelfth fret.

In Part 6 we have a completely different technique, which will probably require as much time and work as you have been spending on the arpeggio. This time it is rapid half-step hammer-ons flying down the neck. There are a few tips to help this but controlled repetition is the main approach.

The last few measures of Etude #1 are easier than most of the rest, really just alternating between a couple open chords before a set of harmonics and a couple closing chords. Part 8 contains a few closing thoughts and a bit on the structure of harmonics.