Malaguena (or Malagueña)

Malaguena is a great piece for quickly developing both right and left hand technique and improvisational skills. Even complete beginners can start to develop an early sense of musicianship and improvisational art by using the skills found in this work by Ernesto Lecuona.

Go straight to the free downloadable Malagueña No.1 Tab PDF

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Performance notes for Malaguena

As in always if you want to make your life easier follow the right and left hand fingering for this arrangement. There are almost always alternatives for fingerings and technique but I have suggested these exact fingering placements  for a reason. They work and they follow the human hands' natural mechanical efficiency. 

First if you are a total beginner familiarise yourself with the standard fairly universal labelling of fingers for guitar music.


The right hand (picking hand) is labelled like so:

                                                p= pulgar (thumb)

                                                i= indicio (index)

                                                m= medio (middle)

                                                a= anular (ring finger)

(c or sometimes e= meñique is not used as much)

The Left Hand is numbered 1-4 with the index finger being number 1and the "pinky" or small finger number 4. 

The thumb when counted is T and a 0 (zero) or o or O (letter o or O) is used to show no finger or "open" string which has no finger on it at all.

 Using the left fingering numbers work out the chord "shapes" that are formed with finger 1 and 2 in the first two bars and the first two beats of bar three.

You should aim to keep these two fingers on the strings together at the same time for as long as possible for each chord. Only remove a finger if it is either needed somewhere else or it is stopping a string from ringing open that is meant to be ringing open. 

Once you have got the left hand fingering sorted be sure to use the correct right hand fingering to play the notes! This begins your journey using only (your thumb) p. Once you have mastered the melody in time with a pulse add your (middle finger) m on the high E string to get the accompanying ostinato. After getting good at that you then try adding the triplet feel with fingers m then i of the right hand to complete this Malaguena study arrangement No1.

Happy Playing!

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