classical guitar bach bourre 1010

Bach Bourree for Guitar: Full Video Lesson

This full lesson video tackles a J.S. Bach Bouree, from the 4th Suite for Solo Cello (BWV 1010).  It was originally written in E flat Major.  Luckily, we kick it up to the key of A so it plays more nicely on the guitar.

It’s perhaps surprising how well most of the Bach music for unaccompanied strings fit on the classical guitar.  The cello suites, and the violin sonatas and partitas are all just beautiful on the guitar.  Some lay easier than others, but they all sound good.  This Bourrée is a popular piece for intermediate classical guitarists, and is a wonderful study in balance and creating beautiful lines in the melody.

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Serving Multiple Masters

One of the main challenges you face in this Bach Bourrée is to make sure that the upper line and the bass line are clearly separate in the ear of your listener.  To do this, you must first know exactly which notes belong to each part, then connect the notes together in each part.  This can be a bit tricky, but by practicing the upper melody and lower bass line separately, you can learn to hear the individual lines, and to phrase each line with intention and good musicality.  After you have both lines perfected, you can then put them back together and work out the issues that arise from the pairing.

Conflicting desires….

Sometimes, the two lines want to go in different directions with their dynamics (volume, swells and fades).  When this happens, there is nothing to do but buckle down and put in the practice to be able to balance the parts.  This sort of work can be difficult and challenging, but ultimately is the work that will develop your technique, develop your “musical ear”, and bring you forward as a player.

Bach Bourree Video Lesson

Click Here for other tutorials from the RCM Bridges Series.

Also mentioned in this guitar lesson are a couple of other tutorials:

How to learn any piece, in 7 easy steps

The Five Major Scale Shapes on classical guitar

To view, download, and print the pdf sheet music and video slides for this lesson, click below.

allen mathews classical guitar

About Allen Mathews

Allen Mathews learned guitar as an adult, and has been a full-time guitar teacher for almost two decades to students age 4 to 96.  He has taught classical guitar at Reed College and Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and has been a guest lecturer and clinician at schools and universities throughout the U.S.  Allen is often praised for his creative teaching abilities, and his dedication to helping adults learn classical guitar.  He has a popular Youtube Channel offering regular classical guitar tutorials, and has gained fans worldwide for his weekly emails and articles at

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