Guajiras (2 of 4) by Jose Luis (SB Sessions)

Guajira no.2 (Difficulty level - 4)

This is a great falseta that once again shows some harmonic sophistication while still remaining within the scope of a traditional Guajira in A major. He is using a few useful tools to help him achieve this ascending progression. Let's take a look at some of the outside or "borrowed" chords he uses:

Measure 4: second chord in this measure is an F#7 which is borrowed dominant with the function of adding importance to the Bmin chord. This chord change is fairly common and is called the V7 of ii. (By using the word "borrowed" I mean that this chord is borrowed out of the key of B harmonic minor not to be confused which natural minor which has no A#).

Measure 5: After resolving to the B minor chord he then makes the chord dominant (beat 3) by making it a 7th and also putting the b9 in the bass. Its function is to resolve to E and thus being what we call the famous (V of V) borrowed dominant. This chord like many others has two names, you could think of it as a B7/C, or you could just call it a C diminished chord. There's something to chew on.. If you raise the root of a dominant chord by a half step, it becomes a diminished chord.

Measure 8: We have an F7 here which is a borrowed II chord from the key of E phrygian (based off of the V of this key). Not the first time we've seen this use of turning the V chord into phrygian instead of the traditional III. After he plays the F7 chord, he then plays a D dorian scale starting on C leading into the D minor chord.

Measure 9: Here we have to outside chords that are essentially used as passing chords to lead back to A major. Where do these two chords originate you might ask? Well, a Dmin7 and an Emin7 are both found naturally in the key of A minor. (Natural minor no sharps no flats). It's really a cool idea because he already set us up for the E phrygian thing with the F7 chord so we were in the same neighborhood being that E phrygian comes from C major, and A minor is the relative minor for C major. Thats one way of thinking about it or you could just say that he borrowed from the A minor while still very much being in the Key of A major.

Measure 10: Classic Guajira lick which everyone should have learned in some form or other. Look for other places you've played or heard variations of it(hint measure 14). Its an descending A major arpeggio(5,3,1) that uses the b6 (F natural) as a passing tone to the 5th of the chord. This is a staple motif in Guajira.

Measure 11: Look at the treatment of the V chord here. Its an E7 harmony but he hints to a Bmin7(b5) and then the second chord hints to an F augmented then resolving to the F#min in the next measure.

Link to Jose’s music for download: https://www.joseluisdelapaz.com/discography

Recorded in Santa Barbara, CA by Berto Boyd for more info visit: https://bertoboyd.com/
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