Scarlatti Sonata in A Major K. 208 Classical Guitar Lesson

//Scarlatti Sonata in A Major K. 208 Classical Guitar Lesson

Scarlatti Sonata in A Major K. 208 Classical Guitar Lesson

When I set out to create a course for this piece for members of the Classical Guitar Corner Academy, I found myself a bit lost on what to discuss. This is a grade 8 piece and a player at that level should be able to perform the piece with good tone, rhythm, and voicing.

As I dug deeper I began to identify what it was that really made this work stand out from many others in the repertoire. What I discovered were some musical gifts from Scarlatti but also some opportunities for the performer to turn something beautiful into the sublime.

Here is a performance video that I made back in 2012
It is such a beautiful piece, I hope to play it for as long as I live!

2018-07-02T21:34:07+00:0018 Comments


  1. Robert Kaplan July 2, 2018 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Good: a great inspiring lesson, a beautiful performance of the whole piece. Bad: I’ll never play like this should buy ukelele

    • Simon July 3, 2018 at 12:36 am - Reply

      Persevere! :)

  2. Virgil Franklin July 2, 2018 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    This piece is way above the intermediate level. Aren’t there beautiful pieces that are easier to play, in order to work up to this level with all its advanced techniques?

    • Simon July 3, 2018 at 12:18 am - Reply

      Hi Virgil, I agree with you! This piece is found in grade 8 in our curriculum. We have seven other grades that lead up to this piece which each have their own beauty.

  3. Tim Parkes July 3, 2018 at 12:07 am - Reply

    I’ve listened to this so many times. Just delightful, rich and full of nuance, wish I could play like that. More please.

  4. Linda Tsardakas July 3, 2018 at 4:24 am - Reply

    So very beautiful! I understand how this is a piece for life. The lesson is also excellent and very detailed.
    Thank you.

  5. joannes July 3, 2018 at 5:18 am - Reply

    Hi Simon,

    when i heard this piece for the first time played so beautiful by you i decided to join CGC at that moment.
    For me a great moment to remember as i love this piece and most of Scarlatti’s work, i am convinced your work as a teacher has the same high educational qualities as your performance.

    great to listen.


  6. Mark C2 July 3, 2018 at 6:15 am - Reply

    For me, this was the first (of many) highlights of your concert, and I found myself checking the program over & over so I wouldn’t forget which Scarlatti it was. Definitely something to aspire to, if I can manage to live long enough ;-] As always, thanks for the inspiration that sustains the perspiration!


  7. Jeff Blackwell July 3, 2018 at 6:54 am - Reply

    I’m just a beginner and I’m light years away from knowing how to play this. And the sheet music is foreign to me.

  8. Mike Cook July 3, 2018 at 7:11 am - Reply

    Thank you for this informative lesson (Scarlatti 208). Which level is this piece in the curriculum? Level 5?

  9. Kari July 3, 2018 at 8:02 am - Reply

    When Dr. Powis released Grade 7 and 8 repertoire for CGC, I jumped out of my seat to see that Scarlatti was a part of the that curriculum. If I ever have the honor of making it to this level of playing, I delight that I will have the opportunity to play such a lovely piece!


  10. Giuseppe Gasparini July 3, 2018 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Hi Simon, I joined the CGC when I heard you play this piece, Thanks for this lesson (for more with Yotube I have subtitles)

  11. TonyR July 3, 2018 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Absolutely beautiful Simon, but well above my level of playing. However you inspire me to keep on working, and one day I will be there.
    Thank you,

  12. Bill July 6, 2018 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Wonderful lesson, Simon! Thanks for sharing with non-members. While I’m not currently interested in learning this piece, (too much on my plate!), there is so much useful information that I can apply to my work on the Fugue from Bach’s Violin Sonata, which, by the way, I owe you tremendous credit for posting your YT video that inspired me to learn the piece. You mentioned (in an email response) that you were working on a lesson for the Fugue. Is that still in the works?

  13. Søren July 9, 2018 at 5:31 am - Reply

    I am more convinced than ever that it is a good idea to join the CGC. See you in August.

    Søren Ravn Andersen

  14. Freddie Manapat July 20, 2018 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Thank you for opening up for people like me a more equisite and wonderful dimension to what music is truly about. Not only do you play it so well, but you explain it very well too. I also noticed that you have a remarkable mastery of the right mix of relaxation and tension of the fingers. Often, my problem is that I have too much tension with my fingers, in my attempt to hit the right notes and make them sound brightly. As a result, often what is sacrificed is mobility and the ability to achieve subtle changes in dynamics, speed and other tonal expressions. So far I have not heard or read anything on this aspect in any of the readings that I’ve done. Perhaps you may want to share some helpful tips on this area? But for now, let me thank you again for this very beautiful and inspiring material! Wish you all the best!

    • David Carlos July 23, 2018 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      I am sure that these reflections are shared by many others
      The gently manner, the clarity as well as the inherent oraganizational
      structure is most impressive


  15. Julie watson September 1, 2018 at 8:04 am - Reply

    Thank you for introducing me to this divine piece – it’s now on my wish list to play one day :)

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