This piece is well known to all guitar players, especially the classically-minded folks. You will find it in most collections of music for the classical guitar, and many guitar students have had a go at it during their training years.
The piece is a three-part texture, with a bass line played by the thumb, an accompaniment in the middle, played free stroke with the index and middle fingers, and a melody on top, played rest stroke with the ring finger (called the “a” finger in classical speak).
If you are new to mixing rest stroke and free strokes, I have included some powerful training techniques to develop the easy and flowing right hand action required by this piece. Of course, this skill will help you play any kind of fingerstyle music with more comfort and better sound. Even though rest strokes (playing the note and letting the finger come to rest on the next string, creating a more powerful sound and fuller tone) was developed for classical guitar, I use it all the time while playing steel string, as do many steel string players nowadays.
The left hand presents some considerable challenges in this piece as well, as we are required to perform numerous shifts into bar chord shapes, while keeping the 3 musical parts intact and flowing. I give you detailed guidance on exactly how to have your fingers behave to accomplish this, showing you how to prepare right and left hand fingers before each shift, which is the secret of successful shifting of positions on guitar.
At the end of the lesson, I give you instructions on how to go about systematically learning this piece, how to bring it section by section to a slow speed with accuracy, and over time, moving the whole piece up in tempo.
How well you do in learning and playing this piece will of course depend on your present level of playing ability. In any case, you will find learning and playing “Spanish Romance” to be a rewarding educational and musical experience.
One last note, I have played this piece for decades, and would always list the composer as “Anonymous” on concert programs. However, research in the last few years has uncovered the fact that it was actually composed by the great Spanish composer and guitarist Fernando Sor. Now we have even more reason to revere this great guitarist who did so much to develop our instrument in its infant years at the beginning of the 19th century.