Week 1: Welcome to the Latin American Music Challenge 🥳

Greetings, everyone! We are thrilled to welcome you all to the Latin American Music Challenge! 😀🎉

In this exciting journey, we'll be immersing ourselves in the richly diverse and vibrant world of Latin American music, a world that's deeply interconnected with our beloved instrument💪

This challenge presents an opportunity to not only enhance our skills but also to appreciate the cultural richness and musical complexity that Latin American melodies bring. From the passionate rhythms of salsa to the poignant strains of the tango, we'll explore it all!

Please remember, we have an extensive category in our library dedicated to Latin American Repertoire. This library is a treasure trove of courses designed to provide deep insights and technical knowledge about various aspects of Latin American music. Make sure to make the most of it!

We are excited to kick-start this musical journey and we hope you are too. Let's dive in!



  • Challenge Start: Kick-Off on June 24th
  • Duration: June 24th - July 24th
  • Watch Party: July 24th, 10 am PST


  1. Choose Your Piece: Select a new piece of music to work on. Share your choice in the thread below and inspire your fellow musicians!
  2. Video Submission: Submit a video of your practice this week. Highlight your favorite passage from the piece that showcases the origin of this piece!


Let’s kick things off with enthusiasm! Share your progress, encourage others, and explore new musical horizons together. Can’t wait to see what everyone chooses!

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  • Hi Martin, can i play music that are copyrighted and not in the public domain. I'd love to play a piece by brouwer like un dia de noviembre Or an etude by him. I'm also considering Julia Florida by Barrios. 

    Btw, I watched the livestream of around the world watch party. Unfortunately, my internet was very sketchy. But all of you played beautifully. Eric, Joosje, Dale, Kai, Andre. 

      • martinTeam
      • LIVE
      • martin.3
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Yes, absolutely! You just can't share the sheet music here, but of course you can play it and share a video here!

    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Great choices for this challenge. Looking forward to seeing and hearing your posts.

      Like 1
  • That's great Martin. Hoping to Sumit a video soon

  • Hi, everyone! I'd like to do Emmanuel Sowicz's arrangement for "Gracias a la Vida" (a Chilean tune by Violeta Parra) for this challenge. I'm excited to get to share this with you all and get your tips and feedback.

    This is a tune I first tackled WAY before I was technically ready for it, but it was such a compelling tune and arrangement and it provided me with SO many opportunities to practice elements of technique that I just stuck with it for ages, getting a handle on it basically one beat at a time. It was a very rewarding process for me as a learner, which I don't know if, at that time, I would have found in another piece.

    This is music I would have never found, let alone begin to learn how to play, if it weren't for Tonebase, more specifically from this lesson: 


    So, thank you Emmanuel Sowicz and Team Tonebase!

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    • Spare Machine Great choice.  Look forward to hearing and seeing your posts on this beautiful piece.  

      Like 1
    • Spare Machine Upon prepping for this challenge I rewatched Sowicz's Tonebas videos. I realize it was this Tonebase video that I first hear of Sowicz's arrangement of "Grasias" The actual lesson around it (my previous link) is new to me. 

  • martin Thanks for offering this wonderful challenge of the music of Latin America. I will continue my journey with a couple pieces from the Rio de la Plata region.

    Like 2
  • This is a pretty crumby recording. I should have turned the lights on and turned the AC off, but I was so excited to share attempt 1, I just ignored all that stuff. I’ll do better recording soon. 


    Like 4
    • Spare Machine already a good start. Looking forward to more. Quality recording has been a challenge for me. It's peak summer here in India and AC and fan noise can ruin my recording plus all the ambient noise surrounding my house . As of now, I don't have a dedicated recording/practising room. So, whenever I record, I have to turn off the AC and the fan in

      sweltering heat.

      Like 1
    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary thank you so much for listening and commenting. There is part of my folkie self that loves a noisy but sincere effort. 

      I can’t wait to hear your tune!

      • Ronnull
      • Ron.3
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Spare Machine Great start Mark, love the tone colours - I think the lighting adds to the mood of the piece 😂

      Like 1
    • Spare Machine Love it! And Ron is right - the music and the video are both very dark, which is cool.

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    • Spare Machine Good work and I also vote for the dark recording. It provides a different ambiance. I also found that most musical pieces sound better when played slow.👍

      Like 1
    • Spare Machine what a nice performance. I really loved it. You mentioned technical challenges - there are always some in every piece- but the main thing is that you kept the melody breathing,, which makes it possible for the listener to follow and enjoy the smooth, lyrical flow and nice harmonies.

      if I may give one suggestion: the moment where the melody appears in the lower voice (4th string) , you can give that some more, maybe creating a little space before, and accentuating the different, silvery colour of the wound strings. Keep us posted…
      Btw it’s a wonderful arrangement by Emmanuel.

      Like 1
    • joosje Thank you for this thoughtful suggestion. I admit I often forget to "filp" the effort of my fingers when the melody moves from the top stings to the middle strings in the second go around. The stings on my guitars are all quite old but those voices still "sing" more lovely and, your right, I'd benefit from putting some energy and effort into maximizing that effect. Thank you!

      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 2 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Spare Machine This sounds great, Mark. You are very expressive with your phrasing and use of dynamics in this piece. I look forward to hearing a 'cleaner' recording. Great job!

  • Matilde Tettamanti de Calandra – Canción de Cuña (June 27)

    I love finding composers whose music is not played very often. The last time we had a Latin American challenge, I mostly played Barrios, so this time I will try to find more obscure selections. Calandra was Argentinian and lived from 1909-1995. I could not find much about her, but I did read that she studied guitar with Maria Luisa Anido, and composition with the very illustrious Alberto Ginastera. I could only find scores to a few of her pieces, and this lullaby seemed to be the most playable. If anyone has or can find the score to her Prelude No. 1, I would love it.

    Listening back to the video, I am hearing a lot of string squeak, so I need to work on that. My tone is still hit-and-miss as I play without nails – something I may not continue that much longer.

    Like 3
    • Eric Phillips Nice calm and relaxing Eric. Well done. 👏

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    • Eric Phillips Thank you, as always, for sharing your talent with us.

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    • Eric Phillips so very nice and calm. Beautiful, Eric!

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    • Eric Phillips wonderful as always. The volume and tone you get without the fingernails is amazing.

      Like 1
  • Matilde Tettamanti de Calandra – Canción de Cuña (June 28)

    After hearing how loud my string squeaks were in the video I posted above, I really wanted to change my fingering to have fewer position shifts on the bass strings. Yesterday, in an effort to make the sound warm and sweet, I put the melody on the second string almost exclusively. But after re-fingering it, I think my nail-less ring finger keeps the melody sounding good, even when it’s on the first string (and even on the dreaded OPEN first string).

    Like 3
    • Eric Phillips That sure does sound warm and sweet.

      Thank you for sharing it! And, as a learner, I really appreciate how you "think aloud" here and share the thinking behind the choices that you make in execution, fingering, and arrangement. I get a lot out of, not only the videos of you playing, but your setting the context in the way you do for what we're about to witness. Thank you!

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips super. You’re right about the open e without nail . Gorgeous sound.

      Like 1
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