Spanish Romance


It had to happen sooner or later. After more than a year of serious practice, here is my rendition of a piece called, among other names, Spanish Romance. Who composed it is uncertain, but it’s tremendously popular among novice and advanced guitarists alike. It’s often one of the first pieces a guitarist learns, and I admit I was no exception, having spent hour upon hour trying to improve my own playing of it.

It’s not without difficulties for a beginner, especially for the fretting hand. Eythor Thorlaksson’s arrangement is given a grade four, well beyond my current level, though I somehow muddled through it from sheer persistence. There are a few shifts of position, some of them quite awkward, right up to the twelfth fret, and shifts into barres as well. The right hand is straightforward though: a descending arpeggio repeated for the duration, accompanied by a simple bass line. It’s necessary to bring out the melody with the ring finger though, while making sure the arpeggio doesn’t overshadow it.

For my first recording, I’m happy with this. There was some buzzing in the middle section, and the tempo wasn’t entirely steady: listening to it on repeat I can hear that the start was much faster than the finish (more work with the metronome required!). But it’s without doubt my most musical recording yet – and that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

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