5 Pieces Every Classical Guitar Student Should Know

Learning to play an instrument isn’t just about practicing – it’s also about listening and enjoying. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 classical guitar pieces every student should know, featuring only works originally written for the guitar.

5. “GRAND OVERTURE” BY MAURO GIULIANI

For centuries, Mauro Giuliani’s exercises, etudes, and pieces have guided students learning to play the classical guitar. “Grand Overture” is the definitive example of Giuliani’s concert repertoire.

Want more Giuliani? Give a listen to: Rossiniana No 1 and Harmonious Blacksmith

4. “LA CATHEDRAL” BY AUGUSTINE BARRIOS

Paraguayan guitarist and composer Augustine Barrios didn’t receive the recognition he deserved during his lifetime, but he’s since ascended to the top of guitar repertoire. Inspired by a mix of classical and South American folk music, “La Cathedral” is as much fun to listen to as it is to play.

Want more Barrios? Give a listen to: Vals Op 8, No 3 or Julia Florida

3. “INTRODUCTION AND VARIATIONS ON A THEME BY MOZART” BY FERNANDO SOR

Fernando Sor’s Etudes are a standby for any budding guitarist. Don’t be fooled, because “Introduction and Variations on a Theme by Mozart” is not a work to be taken lightly.

Want more Sor? Listen to: Grand Solo and Study in B minor

2. “RECUERDOS DE LA ALHAMBRA” BY FRANCISCO TÁRREGA

No list about the guitar would be complete without at least one work by Spanish guitarist and composer Fancisco Tárrega. We’ve chosen “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” for it’s beautiful melody and use of the tremolo technique.

Want more Tarrega? Listen to: Capricio Arabe and Gran Vals

1. “CONCIERTO DE ARANJUEZ” BY JOAQUÍN RODRIGO

Not only does “Concierto de Aranjuez” top our list of classical guitar works, but it would top any list for best concertos ever written. Known for it’s stunning 2nd movement, this work has been a mainstay of guitar since it’s premier in 1940.

Want more Rodrigo? Listen to: En los trigales and Invocación y danza

Have any favorite piece to add? Add it in the comments!