SOLO: Bourree in Em (Bach) | Hub Guitar

SOLO: Bourree in Em (Bach)

One of the most famous pieces of classical repertoire for the guitar, Bourrée in Em was originally written for the lute, an early fretted instrument similar to the modern guitar.

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Video Lesson

Adaptations

Because it was written for an instrument so similar to the guitar, it is particularly well-suited to play on the guitar today. While other music by Bach has been adapted or modified to be playable on the guitar, Bourrée in Em can be played well with no adaptations.

Frettings

There are many ways to fret given notes; for example, in mm2 we have an “E” on fret V of string 2. That could of course be played as an open E string on string 1. Give this tune to 10 players and you may well end up with 10 different ways to play it—some smoother than others, but all more or less correct. This is a great example of why it’s very important to learn the guitar fretboard. Doing so will help you to examine each note or chord, and see simultaneously all of the different ways in which it can be played.

Until then, it is best to find one good source to learn from and stick with it.

Key Points

  • There is a mordent written in mm7. This is a single hammer-on and pull-off to the higher note. So the 4 hammers on to 5 and pulls back off rapidly.
  • Many learners find this music very hard. But that’s okay. It will continue to slowly mature for months or even years after you learn it. This is the beauty of learning a skill (guitar) that other people don’t know how to do. After enough years have passed, they can’t even catch up with you.
  • The ending from mm20 to mm24 is exceptionally challenging, especially at a fast tempo. A ritardando is written here, giving you license to slow down. But actually, no such mark was found on the original score, and the ending is played quite fast in concert.

Tablature


Click here to download the pdf.


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