Latin songs by dobleA

Hi Tod. Thank you for looking for the information. Yes, muscle memory is a flaky friend. Good advice to apply for this one and other pieces I’m learning and future pieces I’ll learn.

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Hi Michael. Thank you for watching and commenting. I’m glad you liked it.

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Hi Andres! This is a nice spanish style piece you’re sharing , I didn’t know it and enjoyed listening!

The way you describe you’re playing is very relatable I’m afraid, check the article that @CATMAN62 linked…thanks Tod!
In my experience it’s very hard to re-learn a piece more properly when it is so strongly automated, it’s a constant struggle to go slow when your fingers want to go fast…it has been frustrating for me and I’m giving it up for the moment…But being aware of this means I’m now learning new thinghs by training my aural memory and that’s very fulfilling!

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Hi Silvia, thank you for watching and commenting. I’m glad you liked it. For Pueblito viejo I have aural and kinesthetic memory but I am working in gaining visual memory. I do not have enough musical theory knowledge to help me with the theoretical memory. For me theoretical memory would something like it cannot be that note because it’s not part of the chord or something like that.

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Mi barca (My Boat) cover

This is the second song I played for JGC OM 18. I provided an English translation of the lyrics that is not intended for singing along, it’s just for complementing the musical feeling of the song.

After my in person lessons about 40 years ago I was for some time collecting a guitar magazine in Spanish and this song was one of the songs I liked to play (and sing) from the issues of that magazine. I play it with a finger style pattern that I know as arpeggiated ballad and that I learnt first during my in person lessons.

With the help of Justin Guitar lessons I’ve bee able to revisit the song and polish it in a way that I can say to myself it’s a good version of it, either for playing it for myself of playing it for others. In this case it was mostly about better sounding chords and better synchronization of the chord changes with the bars. There is still a rough spot at the end that I have to work on it. The other huge progress was being able to listen to the recorded version and spot changes of the accompaniment that could be good to replicate with the guitar and find a way to do so. In the recorded version after the lyrics end, the orchestra goes back to what I think is playing again the introduction before fading out, but for my version I preferred to finish the accompaniment together with the lyrics. I may try the other way later and see how it works.

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Andres, I enjoyed them on the night and I’ve enjoyed watching them again today. Wonderful playing and singing> it is also nice to be able to read what you are singing.

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Hi Stefan, thank you for watching and commenting. I’m glad to read that you enjoyed it.

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Muy bien Andrés! That sounded great :clap:

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Hola Sandro, gracias por ver el video y comentar. I’m glad you liked it.

Travailler C’est Trop Dur (Working Is Too Hard) Cover

Once upon a time, there was something called Yahoo Music and I used to access it alternating Yahoo country domains and getting a different selection of music from each one. It’s likely that was doing this that I listened this song for the first time (the other option is that was listening a streaming website called Accuradio). I don’t remember which singer version was, but I instantly liked the song. At that time I searched for the guitar chords, but what I found looked to be beyond my guitar skills back then. More than a decade later, Justin Guitar lessons, a YT tutorial video in French, and a YT video with the lyrics and the chords put this song at the reach of my current guitar skills.

Un, deux, trois (one, two, three) was repeatedly said by the instructor on the video while I persistently kept on looking for the missing fourth beat until I realized it was a 3/4 song. It can be played with the same finger style pattern that I play Pueblito viejo, but I decided to look for a different sound. The tutorial explains a few options of how to accompany the song and from there I selected mine. Thumb down on all the strings on the first beat, and index down on all three thinnest strings on beats two and three. For the interludes I changed to thumb down on all the strings on all three beats and index up on all three thinnest strings after beats two and three. Justin Guitar lesson How To Strum Without a Pick is a good resource for this.

I still don’t know how I managed to play this song in the JGC OM 20 as I intended to play it. That weekend after the show I spent the rest of my practice time trying to get a take for this AVOYP. I only got three decent takes, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. Take 2 at the end was the one I liked more.

This song isn’t related to any contemporary work or lifestyle trend. It’s related to all time everyday struggle to make ends meet. It has come to us through a farmer singer called Caesar Vincent. The version I’m playing is the one from Zachary Richard’s 1977 album Mardi Grass. The lyrics on the YT video I followed are someway different from the lyrics on the album, but most of it matches the album version. For example the video uses the expression “j’ai cherché juste pour toi” (I’ve searched just for you) while the album uses “j’ai cherché longtemps pour toi” (I’ve searched long time for you). For that specific case I used the one of the video that I liked more.

As French is third language for me, I recruited Google Translate for the translation. It only failed miserably with ti-gars that is short for petit-garçons, that can be translated as little fellows, as another source suggested, and not tigers as Google translated it. By the way, there’s a Lisa Leblanc’s song called Ti-gars with somewhat similar subject that the song I played. Some other nuances of the lyrics may have not been accurately translated.

When I wrote that Caesar Vincent was a farmer singer I’m not saying that he worked as a farmer and also had gigs as a singer. I’m talking about a farmer who sang all day old songs in French. For their neighbours he was a loon singing out of fashion tunes, for the ones who led the revival of this music genre in the seventies shortly after his death, he was a valuable source of material to work from. The last track of the 2018 tribute album Travailler C’est Trop Dur: The Lyrical Legacy of Caesar Vincent [YT Music Link] is a short recording of Caesar Vincent singing this song as he used to. The other ones are more contemporary versions of other songs he used to sing.

Edit: YT link has been updated a couple of times because the video was reuploaded with some spelling typos in the titles fixed.

La Bamba

This song that I played at JGC OM 24 is the second song of a Hal Leonard songbook that I’m able to play thanks to Justin Guitar lessons. I started practicing it on April of last year. I don’t remember what exactly drove me to learn it. Maybe it was watching Justin Guitar lesson for it on Grade 2.

I started with practicing the two-bar mixed flat picking and strumming pattern the songbook suggests for most of the song, but at some point I replaced it with a two-bar all strumming pattern and left the other pattern as an exercise for my regular technique practice routine. After several months of practice it suddenly started to sound like the song and I also was able to sing along.

I replaced the solo Ritchie Valens plays with playing the riff with some variations I discovered while practicing and accidentally hitting the wrong strings, but liking what I heard. If it sounds good, then is good as Justin says. The ending I used was kind of the same thing, while having fun playing with the sound and the speed I liked what I heard and looked for ways to incorporate that in my version of the song.

Some research provided me with some information about the history of song well beyond being an unintended B-Side worldwide success by Ritchie Valens. This son jarocho is an 18th century or earlier dance song from the region of Veracruz in Mexico. When played and danced at weddings the newlyweds tie a bow with a ribbon using only their feet while dancing. It’s accompanied with harp and several other stringed instruments. There are hundreds of known couplets of the song so the song can go on and on just by adding couplets.

The son jarocho songs sound very similar to the music of the plains between Colombia and Venezuela that I may tackle in a future post.


Very interesting Andres, thank you for providing context as well as lyrics in English. I know this song since I was a kid but never really knew what it was about. You look very comfortable, nice playing and singing!

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Hi Boris. Thank you for watching and commenting. The first challenge was getting the cadence right, the next one was being able to stop and restart at the no chord bars, the last one was changing from strumming to picking back and forth.

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Hola Andres,

Thank you for the rendition of Pueblito viejo. I hadn’t heard it before but my wife says rhat song is about the town of Soccoro (Santander) and my wife who is from there used to have to sing it at school.

Are you from Santander?

I have been travelling to Colombia for work twice a year since 2008 and just spent a 6 month sabbatical there travelling around by motorcycle. Such a fantastic experience.

Had to borrow guitars from people I met so that I could keep practicing during my sabbatical.

There’s so much fantastic music in Colombia.

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Hi Ian, thank you for watching and commenting. Nice you have a Colombian connection to add some images and feelings to the song.

The advent of the record industry in Colombia allowed the flourishing of then new composers and performers of music based on traditional rhythms that may be otherwise faded away. Now at 70+ years old Pueblito Viejo is kind of an anthem for Colombians. It’s not surprising for me that your wife sang it at school. For santandereanos Pueblito Viejo should be like El Bunde for tolimenses like my wife. I’m valluno meaning I’m from the Valle del Cauca. The picture at the beginning of the video is supposed to be Barichara in Santander. I haven’t been to Santander yet.

There’s a lot of Colombian music to explore. I regret having thrown away a book with about twenty scores of Colombian music I had bought when I was younger, just because at that time I was not fully capable of reading staves. It would have been a good companion for my guitar learning now.

Making great progress, Andrės.

I was recently given these as a gift from Colombia.

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Hi James, thank you for watching and commenting. Yes, it’s satisfying to see the time spent practicing yields fruits (in addition to the enjoyment of the practice itself).

Nice you got some scores of Colombian contemporary classical music for guitar.

I found this performance of the quartet:

Cuarteto para Guitarras no 2

Two very contrasting Colombian music styles the composer draws from. I would need tons of practice to do one of the parts and three buddies for the rest but it’s very inspiring to see the techniques used to produce the sounds.

I may get the other one in Kindle format.

I’m currently practicing this Colombian piece but it’s more like a dreamer one for now:

Esperanza (Hope) - Ibarra and Medina Duet

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I have a friend who is a producer of Colombian music in Bogota and has won many prestigious awards. Next time I’m there I can ask him about scores for some not too difficult Colombian music. Do you live in Colombia or abroad?

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Hi Ian, I live in Ontario, Canada. If you can check with him it would be good. Thanks.

I will ask him. I love Colombian music ( my favourite is vallenato) but I think it’s very difficult to learn the rhythms, especially as someone living in Europe and not having been brought up listening to that music. There’s so much great music in Colombia.

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