Spanish Romance

To be hon­est, I’d nev­er heard of Spanish Romance until this year. Once I found out it was a clas­si­cal stan­dard, I start­ed see­ing it on all these CDs by respect­ed gui­tarists and com­pi­la­tion albums of “clas­si­cal greats”. It seems like any­one learn­ing clas­si­cal gui­tar will try to tack­le it at some point, seduced by such an ele­gant melody. I have no clas­si­cal aspi­ra­tions, and even I fell for it.

I fig­ure I’d record this before I cut off my nails cause I’ve been grow­ing them for about two months1 and I’m com­plete­ly sick of them. They clack on my key­board and iPad, and I always have to be annoy­ing­ly care­ful about not break­ing them. Unfortunately, this song also sounds way bet­ter with some bright­ness to it when it’s not played with actu­al nylon strings; I’m still using a set of Silk and Steel, and there’s a cer­tain fat­ness to the sound when you real­ly dig into them.

I’ve only had Larissa for six months now, but it feels more like six years. There’s so much famil­iar­i­ty in the wood and glossy curves. Even when I’m try­ing out a gui­tar sev­er­al times the price of what she would cost, it nev­er feels as nice.

  1. Although halfway through I cut them down to 1/4 length and lost a lot of growth cause I thought they were inter­fer­ing with my rest-stroke. Turns out the prob­lem was actu­al­ly in my tech­nique. Oops. []


  1. That was nice. You seem very com­fort­able!

    • Thanks! I imag­ine it looks some­what com­fort­able cause I’ve prob­a­bly played this song a few thou­sand times. There’s still parts I’d like to clean up, but I fig­ure I’d take a break from this song and wait until I’ve had a some more time to prac­tice.

  2. Love the look!

    • I bought the cas­quette on my last day in Chartres. I was look­ing for a sou­venir that would fit in my already full lug­gage, and was shop­ping with Misun when we walked into a St. James nau­ti­cal cloth­ing store. The cap was on a man­nequin and I thought it was per­fect. It was ridicu­lous­ly expen­sive (for a hat), but appar­ent­ly the brand is known to be extreme­ly well-made and durable. It’s also fit­ted, so it sits per­fect­ly on my head.

      I wore it every day since I got back, but that’s cause it was win­ter and I start­ed cut­ting my own hair. Now that it’s so hot out (and I’m get­ting more pro­fi­cient at the self-cut) I don’t wear it as much any­more.

      • Good pur­chase, it’s a great look for you.

        High five for home hair­cut­ting. It is one of the best-kept secrets of peo­ple who retire ear­ly.

  3. I’m so pleased you’re attempt­ing such dif­fi­cult things so soon. It has a cou­ple minute hes­i­ta­tions, but sounds very good, and your fin­ger posi­tions tell me you’ll be more and more com­fort­able with time.

    Just a thought: Now that you’re not work­ing with gut-string clas­si­cal gui­tar, why not invest in a set of steel fin­ger­picks? You can cut your nails and learn to use them instead — they make every­thing RING. And don’t be daunt­ed by the shift: You can play only with your fin­gers at first, then you try to play with the fin­ger picks and that gets bet­ter and then you can’t play with either your fin­gers alone or your picks (your brain has to get used to the change) and then final­ly you can play with either with­out a prob­lem.

    Try it : )

    • A lot of my hes­i­ta­tions are actu­al­ly on pur­pose, to give a bit of lan­guish­ing life to the piece (though there are def­i­nite­ly parts where I just need extra time to fret a barre chord cor­rect­ly, in the mid­dle part espe­cial­ly). I think I need to add more con­trast between the fast and slow move­ments so peo­ple don’t take those hes­i­ta­tions as mis­takes.

      I def­i­nite­ly want to try fin­ger­picks again, but I tried them once and boy was it strange!

  4. I think Buck 65 sam­pled a ver­sion of this piece for a track on one of his free Dirtbike albums? He would have chopped it into 4/4, though.

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