Below is the lesson for “Adelita” by Francisco Tárrega.
This beautiful piece allows you to showcase rubato, dynamics, and the two main picking techniques of the Classical ukulele – rest stroke and free stroke. Both of these concepts and picking techniques are taught in our Classical Technique & Style Course.
This song is the capstone performance piece from the course, so it’s highly recommended you complete the course before attempting the etude, as it’ll set you up for success with learning this piece.
This song consists of two sections – an A Melody and a B Melody. In the A Melody, you’ll use Apoyando (rest strokes) to isolate the melody while using Tirando (free strokes) to play the bass and harmony notes. The B Melody will be played exclusively using Tirando.
This piece is in 3/4 time which usually means we place a slight emphasis on beat 1 of each measure. However, this piece is based on a Mazurka (a traditional Polish folk dance) which is characterized by placing the accent on the second or third beats of each measure. When playing the A melody, we’ll be placing the accent on beat two of each measure.
A useful tip when learning a piece like this is to begin by just playing the melody in isolation. Once you’re familiar with the melody, it’s easier to bring in the accompaniment while keeping the melody prominent. You’ll be shown how to do this in the lesson.
You’ll also be shown how to apply the principles of rubato and dynamics to really elevate your performance of this beautiful piece. It’s worth noting that there are many different interpretations of how to perform this piece in terms of rubato and it would be useful to listen to a range of different performances before you begin learning it. A good starting point would be Julian Bream’s excellent performance.
Part 1 – Performance & Free Lesson