Etude No. 1 - Heitor Villa Lobos

Etude No. 1 - Heitor Villa Lobos


This is Etude No. 1 from the famous collection of 12 etudes written by Heitor Villa Lobos during the 20th century. It is without a doubt a collection of fine etudes that happily combine beautiful compositions with an aesthetic and didactic appeal. These etudes are aimed at the dedicated student that is already quite far along as they are of exceptional difficulty and pose numerous technical and interpretative challenges throughout.

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This particular etude is aimed at strengthening the right hand. The pattern is very repetitive with only two departures from the established patter in the middle and end of the piece. The pattern is as follows:

P, i, P, i, P, m, i, a, m, a, i, m, P, i, P, i

Although most guitarists tend to play this piece as if the house is on fire the actual tempo indication is 'Allegro non troppo' which basically translates to 'Fast but not too much'. The real idea is just to develop nice independence between you fingers. For me the real challenge lies in the 'i - a - m - a' segment of the pattern.
The diligent student could try accenting every note played with the 'm' finger if this is proving to be an area of weakness.