Largo BWV1056 by JS Bach Lesson

In this article, Simon offers a lesson and performance on Largo BWV1056 by JS Bach.

This small section is from a keyboard concerto by J.S. Bach originally written for harpsichord. The thin texture of the original score lend itself to the classical guitar and with this small excerpt we can partake in some of the great music written by this beloved composer.

Download the sheet music  here

Largo BWV 1056 Performance:

Largo BWV1056 Lesson:


We have sixteenth notes right at the beginning of this short excerpt. As a result it can be easy to rush and establish a tempo that is a bit off. So I recommend using subdivision to establish a very firm pulse without rushing. This is especially important in places where there’s some syncopation and the sixteenths start on the upbeat.


Next, you might work on playing each voice separately. Just playing the bass line can help you develop rhythm and pulse but also tone. We can imagine cellos or double basses playing this line. And it’s important to try to capture that soundworld. Playing the part separately and getting it into your ears can really help.

Then we would do the same thing with the melody. What we’re listening for here is phrasing and shape. Again, try to keep the tone consistent and not allow open strings to stand out too much.

Download the sheet music  here


This lesson is one part of a five-part course on this wonderful short piece of music at CGC Academy. Join CGC Academy today to get access to the whole course.