Romantic Period (Guitar Lesson)

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Danny Voris

Romantic Period

In lesson 14, Danny discusses the Romantic period of music. He demonstrates a famous piece from this period commonly referred to as "Romance."

Taught by Danny Voris in Classical Guitar seriesLength: 21:11Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (09:42) The Romantic Period and "The Romance" Lesson Objectives

-Learn about the key stylistic elements of the Romantic Period.
-Learn how to play "Romance."
-Use this piece as an etude for practicing rubato, vibrato, and rest strokes.

Romantic Period

A full historical article about the Romantic period is coming soon to the "Articles" section of the website. This site feature can be accessed through the "Articles" button on the left hand side of the home page.

"The Romance"

The composer and official title of this piece are unknown. Yet, this piece remains to be a standard in the classical guitar repertory. "Spanish Ballad," "Spanish Romance" both refer to the same anonymous piece.

Note: Danny teaches an excerpt from "Romance" in this lesson. The complete score of the piece is provided under the "Supplemental Content" tab if you are interested in learning it in its entirety.

Performance Example - 03:30

Watch and listen several times as Danny performs this excerpt. Pay careful attention to how he performs a vibrato with the left hand. Also, notice how this piece is played with a "rubato" rhythmic feel.


Vibrato is a technique unique to string instruments that adds extra life and sustain to a note. This technique is performed differently on a classical guitar from a guitar that is strung with steel or phosphor bronze strings. On a classical guitar, vibrato is achieved by wiggling the desired finger in a horizontal motion rather than a vertical motion. The elbow joint, wrist, and vibrato finger must all work together as one cohesive system. The elbow propels the forearm from side to side while the wrist and vibrato finger maintain control. Watch Danny closely in the lesson video for a demonstration of this important technique.

Note: Visit David MacKenzie's 22nd Phase 1 lesson for an explanation of how to perform vibrato on a guitar equipped with steel or phosphor bronze strings.


The literal translation of the Italian word "rubato" is "robbed time." In essence, when this technique is applied, time is taken away from one section and added to another. In other words, if a small segment is sped up, then another section should be slowed down. This results in a pushing and pulling of the tempo throughout a piece. Keep in mind that rubato is not the same as "free time!"


As you listen to Danny's performance of the piece, pay attention to the balance between the melody line and the accompaniment. The melody line is played on the first string. Since it is the most important component of the piece, it is played louder than the accompaniment. Plucking the melody notes with rest strokes instead of free strokes will bring them out above the accompaniment. Adding vibrato to melody notes will also help accomplish this goal. You may find it helpful to think of the balance between the accompaniment and melody as the foreground and background of a painting. The accompaniment can be compared to the background, where as the melody is the foreground.

Right Hand Pattern

Remember that the most efficient way to learn a piece is to break it down into its individual components. At first, isolate the right hand and focus on the arpeggio pattern that is played throughout the piece. Perform the arpeggio pattern with open strings. Once you have mastered the right hand, add in the left hand component.
Chapter 2: (06:14) Section 2 of "The Romance" Right Hand Pattern Contd.

The arpeggio pattern is played in a steady triplet rhythm. A bass note is plucked by the thumb at the beginning of each measure in 3/4 time. Use a, m, i for each triplet figure. Practice the pattern slowly in time with a metronome. Gradually increase the tempo as it becomes more comfortable.

Left Hand Pattern

Play the melody line by itself to isolate the left hand component. Make sure that all of the melody notes are connected with a smooth, legato sound. Remember to add vibrato to each melody note.

Pay careful attention to the fingerings that Danny uses for the melody. These fingerings will help your hands remain as relaxed as possible.

Combing Hands

Once you have mastered the right and left hand components separately, practice the piece as written. Remember to focus on a few measures (1 phrase) at a time. Play each phrase very slowly by itself. Then, gradually begin to string each of the phrases together.
Chapter 3: (05:15) Final Section of "The Romance" Danny teaches measures 11-16 in this scene. Practice these measures in the same way that you were instructed to practice the previous measures. Isolate each hand. Then, combine them together. Play very slowly in time with a metronome and gradually increase the tempo.

The Rest of the Piece

The next section of the piece modulates to the parallel major key. Learn this section on your known by reading from the score provided in the "Supplemental Content" section.

Parallel Keys

Parallel keys are major and minor keys that share the same letter name but have different key signatures. For example, E minor and E major are parallel keys. The tonal center of both keys is the note E. However, their key signatures are different by three accidentals. The key of E major has four sharps in the key signature. On the other hand, the key of E minor has only one sharp in the key signature. Modulations from a major key to its parallel minor key an vice versa are extremely common in almost all styles of music.

Video Subtitles / Captions

Supplemental Learning Material


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

Puetz31Puetz31 replied on January 14th, 2014

Hi there It is a pity to show only part one of romantic. The dificult part is shown only in tab's.

ripleyripley replied on May 13th, 2012

This is really the only style I want to play Where else can I go ( besides jamplay ) ???

rolfi10rolfi10 replied on August 30th, 2013

Hey, you can search for delcamp, is a forum of classical guitar. I have to warn you though, this is a really hard style to learn. This lesson is way too basic and simple. I think it is only for show some of the classical guitar technique, but it is a whole world and it is beautiful. Delcamp is a french master who post an online course totally free, and you can download all the material in pdf and watch his videos if you post messages in the forum. It is aviable in a lot of languages. Finally, the course is divided in 12 levels, one for each year (a lot! right?) but for the 5th level you should be playing really well. People says that it covers everything you should learn if you could go to a music school. Have fun!

gharringtongharrington replied on April 1st, 2012

I was able to learn Part B from Pamela's lesson Part 2 Romance. Thanks to both.

BD cgullBD cgull replied on June 21st, 2013

TX for the heads up. The Part instruction is what I was looking for.

BD cgullBD cgull replied on June 21st, 2013

Part B

mailpouchmailpouch replied on October 5th, 2010

Yes this is a beautiful piece that Danny teaches, however it is not complete without the second part. Are there any plans for Danny to include this section in the future?

blackriderblackrider replied on June 30th, 2009

Nice lesson, when do we get the B is not so easy as the A section.

spectrus7spectrus7 replied on July 13th, 2010

yea, that would be really nice

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied on June 30th, 2009

Lots more Danny coming guys. The lessons are just getting started! Get those fingers workin!

gone workingone workin replied on June 30th, 2009

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, I mean Sr. Legato, I mean Sr. Anonymous. This is swell. I love it! Muchas gracias Sr. Voris.

robertmiguelastridrobertmiguelastrid replied on June 30th, 2009


Classical Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

The origins of the classical guitar date back to the fifteenth century. The vihuela, lute, and baroque guitar are the early predecessors of the guitar. With its origins reaching deep into the past, the classical guitar repertoire spans over five hundred years worth of material. Danny Voris explains the techniques necessary to mastering this timeless art form.

Lesson 1

Overview of the Classical Guitar

Danny provides an overview of the topics that will be discussed in this lesson set. He also explains the origin of the classical guitar.

Length: 5:57 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Preparing to Play the Classical Guitar

In this lesson, Danny covers proper posture and how to hold the classical guitar. He also explains how to shape the nails in order to produce the best tone possible.

Length: 19:44 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Installing Nylon Strings

Danny demonstrates how to install nylon strings on a classical guitar.

Length: 12:58 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Left Hand Technique

Danny covers the basics of left hand techniques for classical guitar.

Length: 20:19 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Finger Independence

For lesson five, Danny discusses left hand finger independence. He also discusses hammer-on and pull-off technique.

Length: 17:06 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Right Hand Technique

In lesson 6, Danny discusses and demonstrates right hand technique for the classical style.

Length: 24:26 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 7


Lesson 7 is all about arpeggios. Danny provides discussion and exercises designed to build your right hand skills.

Length: 8:43 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Lesson 8

The Importance of Scales

Lesson 8 covers scale exercises in the classical format. Danny provides a few patterns that focus on finger independence and position shifts.

Length: 6:26 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Renaissance Period

In lesson 9, Danny begins discussion of the five different musical periods of classical guitar music. He starts with the Renaissance.

Length: 40:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Robert Johnson's Alman

In lesson 10, Danny takes a more in depth look at a Robert Johnson's "Alman." This lesson contains a detailed explanation of fingering.

Length: 27:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Behind the Scenes with Danny Voris

Danny Voris discusses the major music periods and the advent of tonality.

Length: 7:19 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Baroque Period

Danny discusses and demonstrates a piece from the Baroque period.

Length: 22:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Classical Period

In lesson 13, Danny discusses the Classical period of music.

Length: 20:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Romantic Period

In lesson 14, Danny discusses the Romantic period of music. He demonstrates a famous piece from this period commonly referred to as "Romance."

Length: 21:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

The 20th Century

In this lesson, Danny discusses the 20th century influence on classical guitar.

Length: 22:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only

About Danny Voris View Full Biography

A unique guitarist in the region, Wright State alumnus Danny Voris, musically fulfills audiences with a mixture of exciting guitar playing and talented compositional skills. After graduating WSU in 1989, Danny obtained a teaching position at Sinclair Community College. In the fall of 2000, Danny obtained a scholarship to the graduate program at The University of Akron. After graduating the University of Akron in 2002 with a Master’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance, Danny returned to Dayton. There he began teaching at Jim McCutcheon Music Studios and at The Miami Valley School in Kettering, Ohio.

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