Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tarrega

Recuerdos de la Alhambra (The Killing Fields) by Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909)
Exercise (pami) Tremolo
Time 2:30

Francisco Tarrega
Tárrega is considered to have laid the foundations for 20th century classical guitar and for increasing interest in the guitar as a recital instrument. Tárrega preferred small intimate performances over the concert stage. Some believe this was because he played without the nails needed for volume. Others say this was related to his childhood trauma.

This is one of the most popular piece from Tarrega’s repertoire. Mike Oldfield did an arrangement of Recuerdos de la Alhambra for the soundtrack of the film “The Killing Fields”. Recuerdos de la Alhambra” is globally known and it features the glimmering tremolo technique (pami). Tremolo is a musical idea that comes from the mandolin family of instruments. As the player plays the tremolo with the a, m and i fingers, the thumb plays a nostalgic melody in a contrapuntal style.

More Tremolo?

  1. Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tarrega
  2. Un Sueño En La Floresta by Agustin Barrios
  3. Contemplacion (Vals et Tremelo) by Agustin Barrios
  4. El Ultimo Tremolo (Una Limosnita por el Amor de Dios) by Agustin Barrios
  5. Ave Maria by Franz Schubert (Arranged by Jose de Azpiazu)

Guitar Demo

57 Bars. AABBC. Andante. Tremolo.
Play AABBC. Part A twice then Part B twice with different endings and finally Coda (C).
The song features the special tremolo technique (pami) for the right hand. Tremolo pattern P(ami): Thumb followed by the same 3 notes (ring-middle-index) played over and over again. Vary the volume during tremolo for a more expressive delivery.
Bar[1] Whenever a LH stretch appears, it must be followed by a LH contraction. The left hand must always be evenly balanced. Both stretches and contractions are performed with the participation of the wrist arm and shoulder. Bar[9] Part A. There is a series of shifting barre chords on the high frets.
Bar[14] has a double barre chord. Hold Barre with index as usual while simultaneously flatten your pinky to barre the higher notes.

Give it some time to build tremolo speed. Start Slow and build speed gradually. To practice, I normally mute the strings and play endlessly watching television. After a while, your brain attunes itself and automatically you can play the pattern at will and with authority. Feel the string with every strike. To vary speed and sound evenness, experiment on planting the sweeping fingers differently on the string. Once you have acquired the tremolo skill, you can use it on any given chords providing an uplifting and glimmering melody.

Guitar Pro Playthrough

5 thoughts on “Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tarrega”

  1. There is easier way to play bar 14:

    14 | | |

    1. 14 | | |

      My correction for open A that will be C#

  2. Pingback: El Ultimo Tremolo by Augustin Barrios Mangore on classical guitar including free sheet music, pdf, midi, guitar pro, gpx, tablature, tab and some playing tips | Classclef: Free Classical Guitar Sheet Music Directory

  3. I m not the only site that carry these transcriptions. These transcriptions have been free and available on various sites for years. Sheet music is free, legal or not, just google and you will find. Just like mp3s. Thats modern technology and the social network. Buy the book, if you have a guilty conscience.

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