Estudio by Tárrega

A great arpeggio workout with some challenging bar work.

Spanish guitar composer and virtuoso Francisco Tárrega wrote a number a studies for guitar. These, alongisde his more famous guitar compositions (Recuerdos De La Alhambra , Capriccio Arabe) form an important part of the Spanish Guitar canon.

This study is quite straightforward in a musical sense but it does pose a challenge for the left hand in it’s movement up the neck and also in it’s use of barre chords. Let’s explore this piece further in this tutorial.

Bars 1 – 4

The piece is in the key of E minor (one sharp – F), and in two sections (Binary form). As with all studies it focusses on an aspect of technique. In this case the technical focus is arpeggios on the top three strings played with a, m and i. These are played as tri-let quavers and also with an added bass note at the start of each bar. One can practice this technique with open strings to start to get the feel f the RH work needed:


We start with an E minor arpeggio with the melody on the first string playing E – G – G. The second bar the melody continues on the first string now over an A minor arpeggio. The chord shape looks like a D7 chord but with the A bass, it’s an A minor. The third bar is the trickiest as we now have to create a barre in the second position. We play a descending melody from A on fret 5 over a B7 bar chord. This may be difficult for some players. Remember that we only need to hold down the top three strings cleanly so focus your pressure there.The fourth bar the melody moves to fret 7 over an E minor chord.


Bars 5 – 8

This is very similar to the first four bars this time the phrase resolves to an E minor with open strings.

Bars 9 – 12

In this B section we start again on E minor. The next bar moves to position 5 playing an A minor with a half bar. The next bar is a D7 chord with the melody above moving from F# to G then to A, over which the chord voicing changes. Tis will require some control and posie not to slow the momentum. The next bar sees a G chord with the bass G playes with the first finger with the A to G to B played on the first string. The B on fret 7 poses a bit of a stretch.

Bars 13-16

The final four bars are the same as bars 5 to 8.

Play Along Track

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