"Among classical guitar pieces, we've selected some recommended solo pieces and famous compositions that are suitable for beginners. These pieces are not only easy to play but also well-known, making them great additions to your concert repertoire.
If you're just starting with classical guitar, you might be wondering what are some beginner-friendly pieces or what songs are best for solo guitar beginners. This is a common question that crosses the minds of those who have recently embarked on their classical guitar journey.
While it's essential to maintain motivation by indulging in some flashy pieces, it's equally important to practice relatively easy songs designed for beginners. Doing so can efficiently enhance your playing skills and contribute to your overall progress.
Without further ado, let's get to our list of ""Recommended Songs for Classical Guitar Beginners."" For those of you with a tight schedule, I've compiled a YouTube playlist for your convenience, allowing you to explore these pieces at your leisure."
- 1 Top 10 Recommended Solo Classical Guitar Pieces for Beginners
- 2 Afterword
Top 10 Recommended Solo Classical Guitar Pieces for Beginners
Jeux Interdits (Romance de Amor)
"The theme song of the 1952 French film ""Forbidden Games"" is a classic solo guitar piece, so even if you don't know the title, you may have heard it before.
Renowned classical guitar virtuoso Narciso Yepes arranged and performed it for the film's theme, making it famous, though the composer remains unknown.
It features a simple yet poignant melody and a gentle atmosphere when it modulates to a major key.
In terms of difficulty, it's not particularly challenging, but as you become more accustomed to it, there are plenty of opportunities for expressive and technical practice, especially emphasizing the melody on the first string. It's a piece with a lot of depth, and revisiting it after graduating from the beginner stage can help you assess your progress.
Of course, it's a well-loved piece that often finds its place in professional concert programs and may even be played as an encore.
As a side note, when you tell someone in their 50s that you play classical guitar, there's a high likelihood they'll respond with ""Forbidden Games?"" So, mastering this piece is recommended, as it can help you respond gracefully if they ask you to play a little."
Lágrima / F.Tarrega
"Among the classical guitar compositions by the ""Father of the Guitar,"" Francisco Tárrega, this solo piece, alongside ""Recuerdos de la Alhambra,"" is well-known.
What makes it a recommended choice is its leisurely tempo, which even guitar beginners can play comfortably, and its exceptionally beautiful melody. In the middle section, it undergoes a key change, transitioning to a minor key, adding a melancholic touch, which is also quite appealing.
Despite being relatively beginner-friendly in terms of difficulty, it offers a deep range for expression, making it a frequent inclusion in professional concert programs.
It's a timeless masterpiece that remains enjoyable, even as you advance, all while being considered ""relatively easy."""
El Noi de la Mare
"""El Noi de la Mare"" is an old folk song originating from the Catalonia region of Spain. It was arranged for classical guitar by Miguel Llobet, although the original composer remains unknown.
During the Christmas season, you might hear it in various places, so even if you don't know the title, you're likely to recognize it when you hear it.
The melody carries a bright and gentle atmosphere, making it an impressive and well-known piece. Llobet's arrangement is beginner-friendly, reflecting his mastery of the guitar.
As a side note, Llobet was a student of Tarrega, the composer of ""Lagrima,"" and a mentor to the legendary Andres Segovia.
Llobet arranged several Catalan folk songs for solo classical guitar, with ""El Noi de la Mare"" and the mentioned ""El testament d'Amèlia"" being particularly famous. They are often performed together in concert programs. If you're interested, I recommend mastering them as a set."
El testament d'Amèlia
"""El testament d'Amèlia"" is, like ""El Noi de la Mare"" mentioned earlier, an old folk song from the Catalonia region of Spain, arranged for classical guitar by Miguel Llobet.
In contrast to the solemn and melancholic mood of ""El Noi de la Mare,"" ""El testament d'Amèlia"" carries a different, more weighty atmosphere. Nevertheless, its melody is exceptionally beautiful, and it's a well-known piece frequently heard in concert programs.
Playing this piece allows for practice in balancing melody and harmony, and it offers an opportunity for practicing ""octave harmonics,"" a technique that you might not encounter often but can efficiently develop.
Considering them as part of the ""Catalan Folk Songs"" series, I recommend mastering ""Amelia's Testament"" alongside ""El Noi de la Mare.""
Both pieces are relatively approachable in terms of difficulty, and when you've mastered them both, you'll have a sense of accomplishment and a lovely repertoire to show for it."
F.Sor Etude Op.35 No.22 (Segovia Study No.5)
"Among the etudes left by Fernando Sor, who is sometimes referred to as the ""Beethoven of the Guitar"" in Spain, this particular piece is especially well-known.
While the term ""etude"" might convey a rather unexciting impression, Sor's etudes are characterized by their beautiful melodies and friendly atmospheres. This composition, in particular, boasts a lovely melody while being relatively easy to play, making it a recommended choice for beginners.
Its opus number is ""Op. 35-22,"" but in the collection of ""Sor's 20 Etudes"" handpicked by the classical guitar maestro Andrés Segovia, it's recognized as the 5th etude. So, some may find it more fitting to refer to it as ""Etude No. 5."""
F.Sor Etude Op.35 No.17 (Segovia Study No.6)
"This is one of Sor's etudes, and it's quite approachable.
While the term ""etude"" may bring to mind a somewhat uninspiring image, this piece features a beautiful melody and arpeggios, making it enjoyable to both play and listen to.
Of course, it's also relatively easy in terms of difficulty, making it a great choice for classical guitar beginners.
By the way, in Segovia's selection of ""Sor's 20 Etudes,"" this piece is recognized as ""Etude No. 6.""
Segovia's chosen etude collection is sometimes considered a mark of accomplishment in the world of classical guitar. While there are some slightly more challenging pieces for beginners, they offer an efficient path to improving your playing skills. I encourage you to take on the challenge.
Additionally, aiming to ""master 20 pieces"" provides a clear, long-term goal and can help with maintaining motivation, so it's highly recommended from that perspective as well."
"""Greensleeves"" is also one of the frequently performed pieces on classical guitar, and it's a traditional British folk song.
It's often referred to as a ""song known by everyone in the UK,"" yet its authorship and origin remain a mystery. This intriguing piece is believed to have been widely sung during the 16th and 17th centuries.
With its melancholic atmosphere, the melody exudes a sense of nostalgia and approachability, making it a memorable composition that has seen numerous solo guitar arrangements.
The tempo is relaxed, and the phrases are relatively simple, but when played with care, it can have a remarkable stage presence. It's a recommended piece for beginners.
By the way, I have also arranged and performed ""Greensleeves"" for solo guitar, so I'd be delighted if you could take a look, should you wish."
Sunday Morning Overcast
"This is a composition by Andrew York, famous for ""Sunburst"" and ""Moontan.""
You might be concerned, thinking, ""It's a York piece, so is it difficult?"" However, this song lacks excessively fast passages and is relatively easy for a York piece, making it accessible for those who are new to classical guitar (although it might be a bit more challenging compared to the other songs mentioned here).
The songs mentioned so far have been slow-paced, often in a minor key, and carried a somewhat melancholic atmosphere. In contrast, this piece leaves a distinct impression with its bright and lively tempo, which might just make you want to move to the music involuntarily.
If you're someone who enjoys classic guitar pieces but also wishes to play something fun and upbeat, this song comes highly recommended."
Waiting for Dawn
"Another piece by Andrew York, this one, in contrast to ""Sunday Morning Overcast,"" carries a unique and cool atmosphere with a touch of melancholy.
It begins with chords that include M7 (Major 7th), so if you're accustomed to classic guitar pieces with a more traditional feel, this one is likely to strike you as refreshingly different.
Even in the middle section, while there are dissonances, they contribute to a pleasant and distinctive ambiance.
In terms of playability, it's relatively beginner-friendly, offering an unconventional vibe. It's a recommended choice for those who want to play a cool, medium-tempo piece with a touch of sophistication."
Un Dia de Noviembre
"This is one of the most famous pieces among the guitar compositions by Cuban guitarist and composer Leo Brouwer.
It is characterized by a quiet yet beautiful melody in the mid-range and an impressive contrast with the soaring phrases in the high range in the middle section. It's a piece that anyone who plays classical guitar is likely to be familiar with.
In particular, the performance by Yasuji Ohagi is well-known.
Many might also be familiar with ""Un Dia Despues,"" which was written by Brouwer's student, Rey Guerra, for Yasuji Ohagi.
In comparison to the previous pieces, I would say the difficulty level is higher.
Especially in the middle section, there are challenging stretches that might be difficult for those with smaller hands, and the right hand requires faster arpeggios, presenting some demanding moments. The key is to focus on the coordination between the right and left hands.
On the flip side, once mastered, it becomes a timeless piece that can be a part of your concert repertoire. If you can play this piece, it might be safe to say you've graduated from the beginner stage.
For those who want to practice a piece that may be a bit challenging but enjoyable in the long run, I recommend mastering ""Un Dia Despues"" along with the others."
"I've put together a compilation of ""easy songs recommended for classical guitar beginners.""
While there are many more songs I'd like to recommend, I'll leave it at this for now.
Also, I realized during this compilation that, apart from York's compositions, there's a surprising abundance of songs in 3/4 time signature that are recommended for classical guitar beginners (or rather, are commonly performed based on my experience).
Perhaps they are more approachable than songs in 4/4 time signature.
As for the difficulty level, some may think, ""It's not easy at all! It's difficult!"" However, with repeated practice, you will undoubtedly start to play better, even if just focusing on the same phrases for a week.
After a week, you should have grasped the technique and will be able to play remarkably better, experiencing a significant boost in motivation as you notice your progress. Initially, it might be challenging, but the time will come when you'll think, ""Practicing was worth it.""
Thank you for reading this far.