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Man Of La Mancha – Detailed Notes on the Guitar I-II Book

Music: Mitch Leigh
Lyrics: Joe Darion
Book: Dale Wasserman
Year: 1965

In this article I take a detailed look at the Guitar book for Man Of La Mancha. I provide an overview of the book, explain how to read it (it is unlike other guitar scores) and describe the playing styles required to perform it, before moving on to a song-by-song detailed review. I also identify all the errors in the book, or at least as many as I was able to find.

This article is intended primarily for guitarists who have the Guitar book and are preparing to play the show. Without the book to refer to, much of the detail which follows is hard to understand. For a general commentary on the show, a guitarist’s perspective on performing it and a run-down of the equipment I used to play it, see my companion article Playing Man Of La Mancha – Guitar.

I recommend listening to both the 1965 Original Broadway Cast Recording and the 2002 Broadway Cast Recording when preparing for the show. The guitar parts are broadly similar, but differ sufficiently that it’s worth listening to both.

Man Of La Mancha is scored for two Spanish Guitars, but all the parts are contained in one 40-page book titled “Guitars I-II”. Having said that, most numbers have only one guitar part, the idea being that the two guitars play in unison to fill out the sound, since there are no other stringed instruments (apart from the upright bass).

The book is handwritten, but neatly drafted and easy to read. Page turns are all easy, with the sole exception of the turn from Page 5 to 6 in #1A – “Man Of La Mancha”, which is very fast but just about achievable.

The book is unique, inasmuch as it is almost all rhythm notation – just headless notes defining flamenco-style rasgueado rhythms, with chord symbols. It resembles a drum part, and this is appropriate, because for much of the time the guitar rhythms closely or precisely match those of the snare drum part, as shown in the excerpt below.


In addition to Guitars 1 and 2, the book refers in several numbers to a “Stage Guitar”. One of the ensemble actors in the show is the “Guitar Player”, who features in several musical numbers. It’s not clear whether Guitar 2 is meant to be the Stage Guitarist, or whether Guitar 2 sits in the pit, with an additional Stage Guitarist playing only on the featured numbers. In the end, it probably depends on the resources available to a particular production, and the desires of the production team. It’s also impractical in most situations to expect the Stage Guitarist to memorize the entire book!

In both productions I have played, I was the only guitarist. One of the productions asked me to memorize the Stage Guitar parts and perform them from the stage, which involved scuttling back and forth between pit and stage, and wearing a costume and makeup. For the other production I played all parts from the pit.

To summarize: all numbers in the show are scored with only one part (i.e. two guitars playing in unison) with the following exceptions:

#1 – Prison Scene: Stage Guitar only.
#3A – It’s All The Same: Stage Guitar only from rehearsal mark A for 13 measures the first time through (1st verse of the song).
#8A – Little Bird, Little Bird: Stage Guitar only.
#12 – The Impossible Dream – Underscore: separate parts are scored for Guitar 1 and Guitar 2.
#24 – Aldonza – Underscore: separate parts are scored for Guitar 1 and Guitar 2.

Rasgueado Finger Style
About 80% of the Man Of La Mancha guitar book requires rhythm playing in the distinctive flamenco “rasgueado” style, which involves rapidly and percussively strumming the strings with successive fingers, to produce specific rhythm patterns. The general idea is that each successive finger starts its strum after the previous finger has cleared the strings; you don’t just flail at the strings with multiple fingers. Upstrokes are played with the thumb nail, so that you’re always hitting the strings with the flat parts of the nails. The timing of finger movements is varied to generate different rhythm patterns. This isn’t intended to be a tutorial on rasgueado; there are plenty of resources available to help you get started. I recommend the series of articles on on Rasgueado Mastery, and a quick search on YouTube will provide a lot of video tutorials.

There are hundreds of rasgueado patterns, some of which are complex and difficult to play. Man Of La Mancha uses only a few very simple patterns, so it’s not that difficult, provided you can play rasgueado in the first place. It really is necessary to have a reasonable mastery of rasgueado to play the book; it’s not possible to play it properly using a pick or fingers with traditional western strumming styles. I recommend spending most of your preparation time for the show getting the rasgueado rhythms right. After that it’s very easy to just read down the book.


In an additional twist, most of the rasgueado strumming is synchronized with the snare drum rhythm in the orchestration. It’s important to listen carefully to the snare drum to get the rhythm sounding tight and crisp. The resulting sound combines the flamenco idiom of the Spanish Guitar with the “military march” of the snare drum and gives the score an unusual texture, which reflects the idea of Don Quixote being a Spanish knight.

Once you have the rhythms right, chord voicings are low and obvious throughout.

Unison Picking Finger Style
The other technique I use for the show is (for want of a better expression) “Unison Picking”. This involves voicing chords by simultaneously plucking multiple strings, one string per finger. In general the index, middle and ring fingers are used to pluck the G, B and E strings respectively, while the thumb is used to pluck either the E, A or D string. Picking in this manner and following the rhythms given in the books produces a distinctive and lovely sound. I use this technique most notably on #6 – “I’m Only Thinking Of Him” and #11 – “To Each His Dulcinea”. I provide more details and some examples below in my notes on these numbers.

Use of Capos
The Guitar book makes no mention of capos, and it is possible to play the whole show without one. However, to do so involves playing barre chords for most of two hours and gets very tiring for the fretboard hand. Use of a capo also allows you to take advantage of some nice open-string chord voicings. Listening to the various recordings available and watching some video clips featuring the Stage Guitarist it’s clear that capos are commonly used by guitarists for the show, and I recommend using one wherever it suits you. I provide my recommendations in the detailed notes on each number below.

Man Of La Mancha’s Guitar book has numerous errors, which I identify in my commentary on each song below. There are enough errors in total that I have compiled a complete list of all that I was able to find here – there may be more.

Most of the errors fall into one of two categories:

  1. Incorrect chord names. I verified these by cross-checking against the Piano-Vocal score.
  2. Incorrect rhythm notation. I verified these by cross-checking against the snare drum parts in the Percussion score, and from my experience playing the show.

To make detailed comments on the Guitar book, it’s necessary to be able to refer to specific measures in the score. This is difficult to do, because the book has no measure numbers. However, it does have rehearsal marks (A, B, C etc.). Throughout this commentary I use a convention of numbering measures from 1 starting at each rehearsal mark. For example, starting at rehearsal mark “A”, measures will be numbered A1, A2, A3 and so on up to rehearsal mark “B”. Numbering will then restart: B1, B2, B3 etc. I include an example below. Measures before the first rehearsal mark are numbered 1, 2, 3, etc.


In this section I review every number in the Guitar book. If a number is omitted it means the guitar is Tacet for that number. The score is somewhat flexible, giving some latitude to tweak the rhythms in places, and each player will find their own way to play this score. By providing details of how I approached it, I hope to provide some useful insight that goes a step beyond the ink on the page.

Capo: 1st fret from m.D1 to end of number (optional).

After the opening fanfare, the long Overture features excerpts from “Man Of La Mancha” (Rehearsal Marks A-C), “Dulcinea” (Rehearsal Marks C-D), “Aldonza” (Rehearsal Marks D-F) and of course “The Impossible Dream” (Rehearsal Mark F to the end). Both productions I have played cut substantial portions from this number, mostly because it’s too long, and maybe because it reveals so much of the key music up front.

Rasgueado rhythms are used throughout, and this one number actually includes most of the different rhythm patterns used throughout the show. The Guitar has 4 measure of rest starting at m.C17. If you want to use a capo for the remainder of the number, this is a good moment to attach it.

m.A10: incorrect rhythm notation. Last 3 1/8 notes should be rests.
m.G5: incorrect chord name. Shown as G, should be Gm.
m.H3: incorrect chord name. The Bb chord should be Gm.

#1: Prison Scene
Capo: 1st fret.

This short scene-setting, flamenco-flavored piece is meant to be played by the Stage Guitar, energetically and freely under a “Flamenco Voice”. I usually start each chord with a rolled rasgueado strum, then continue the chord with tremolo strumming (the tremolo symbol is shown in the Piano-Conductor score). For the final F chord, I hit the rasgueado hard and dramatically, then let it ring and fade out. The “Inquisitors’ Theme” mentioned in the score is meant to be a pre-recorded piece, similar to “Knight Of The Mirrors”.

The 2002 Broadway Cast Recording includes a longer piece, with a nice 16-measure flamenco-style guitar solo before the vocals. It’s in A Minor on the recording, but I transcribed it in Bb Minor, so that it can lead straight into the vocals as written. This piece was used in the most recent production I played and sounded great. My transcription can be found here. To play the solo in Bb Minor, I recommend using a capo. After this number there’s a very long scene, the longest period of the show without music.

Errors: none.

Don Quixote and Sancho

The Men of La Mancha – Don Quixote and Sancho
Photo courtesy of SecondStory Repertory / © 2019 Michael Brunk,

#1A: Man Of La Mancha
Capo: none.

This number uses rasgueado rhythm throughout. There’s a very long opening vamp for the bass and snare drum in m.1, with the Guitar joining them in m.2 to continue the vamp. There’s a big crescendo in m.3-6, before dropping to piano at m.A1, where the vocals begin. After that I play the rasgueado rhythms as written and pay close attention to the dynamic changes.

The chord changes at m.J1-J6 come too rapidly to articulate properly. I recommend playing the root notes only. The same applies to m.N9-N10.

There is a very fast page turn at m.K16, with only 2 beats of rest to make it. If necessary, drop out one measure early to make the turn. It’s more important to hit the downbeat of m.L1 on page 6 correctly.

m.C1: missing chord name. The last 1/8 note should be an A chord.
m.G2: incorrect chord name. The A7 should be an Am.
m.G8: incorrect rhythm pattern. The measure should be played with the same rhythm pattern as the 7 preceding measures. Chord is Dm throughout the measure, as written.

#2B: Man Of La Mancha – Playoff
Capo: none.

This reprise is a simple and short piece of underscore. Play the 2 measure phrase as written, muting (“stopping”) the notes slightly, then stop or fade on cue.

Errors: none.

#3: Man Of La Mancha – Underscore
Capo: 3rd fret.

This iteration of “Man Of La Mancha” brighter in feel than the main number, and should be played a little more lightly. Using a capo enables you to use nice bright voicings with some open strings.

Errors: none.

#3A: It’s All The Same
Capo: 4th fret.

I’ve tried playing this number with capos at 1st and 4th frets, and without a capo, and settled on the 4th fret. After listening to various cast recordings (particularly the 2002 Broadway Cast Recording) this appears to be a common approach. It also enables you to play open string voicings for the less percussive sections (Rehearsal Marks B-D and F-H), which suits the material well. Many nylon-string guitars suffer slight intonation issues in the middle frets (6th and above) or when capos are fixed tightly, so I recommend checking your tuning during the opening section before Rehearsal Mark A, where the Guitar is tacet.

The song proper starts at Rehearsal Mark A, and the first verse is usually played solo by the Stage Guitar (or pit Guitar 1 if there is no Stage Guitar). I play the piece slightly differently than written, to give it more of a flamenco feel. I accent some of the beats in the verses quite heavily, then play a little more lightly in the sections between the verses (Rehearsal Marks B-D and F-H). I also play a slightly different rhythm than written through most of the number; I provide an example below.

Errors: none.


#4: Dulcinea
Capo: none.

One of the most famous numbers in the show, this one is quite straightforward rhythmically, and I play it pretty much as written. It’s quite slow at first, and some productions take the tempo so slowly that it’s difficult to articulate the rasgueados – you end up rushing slightly and falling over them. It takes a little practice to get the rhythm right at a slower tempo and to play it gently. Additionally, this number is often played quite freely. It’s very slightly Colla Voce and the tempo gets a little fluid, so it’s important to watch the conductor and listen to the vocals throughout to keep the ensemble together.

Starting at Rehearsal Mark I, the tempo accelerates gradually, and I play increasingly forcefully, up to Rehearsal Mark J (where the Muleteers start their mocking song and dance). From Rehearsal Mark J to the end, the tempo is fast and the feel is more aggressive, so it’s OK to play out. Listen carefully to the brass and percussion to keep it sounding tight.

Errors: none.

#5: I’m Only Thinking Of Him
Capo: 1st fret.

I use the “Unison Picking” fingerstyle described above throughout this number. Rasgueado doesn’t really fit the feel of the number, whereas the precision of Unison Picking suits its “primness” very well indeed. The rhythm as written has the guitar resting on the downbeat of every chord change, with the bass playing root notes and fifths in the rests. I find that adding in the bass notes on the guitar (instead of observing the rests) makes the rhythm flow more easily and naturally, and doesn’t step on the bass part. So, you end up plucking the bass notes with your thumb, then simultaneously plucking the three treble strings with your fingers to give the chord voicings. I provide an example below.

m.1: this measure has half a beat too many. Delete one of the pair of 1/8 note rests in the middle of the measure.


#6: We’re Only Thinking Of Him – Tag
Capo: 1st fret.

This short piece is a reprise of the previous number. The same advice applies regarding playing style.

Errors: none.

#7: I Really Like Him
Capo: none.

In this breezy and cheerful number, Sancho tries to explain to Aldonza why he follows Don Quixote. The guitar plays rasgueado, but with a gentler, more relaxed and easy feel than the usual, more driving rhythms. I play obvious, low chord voicings throughout, mostly omitting the low E and A strings. I play the piece mostly as written, with one notable exception: wherever F6 and F6(add 9) chords are written, I omit the 6th note (D), and play F and F(add 9) respectively. I find that these fit the arrangement better. Most of the recordings I have listened to seem to do the same.

For the vamp at m.C10, I play 2 beats of F(add 9), and 2 beats of F. For the F chords at the end of the song (m.F11-F14), I play a higher 5th fret voicing, then drop back to the 1st fret voicing for the final buttons in m.F15.

Errors: none.

#8: What Does He Want Of Me
Capo: none.

This is another quiet number where I use Unison Picking throughout, mostly plucking the E,B and G strings, plus one bass string with the thumb. The number is in 7/8 time, and it’s important to keep a steady, warm, gentle “pulsing” feeling going. Avoid the temptation to push the tempo in the second half of each measure (this is surprisingly easy to do).

The rhythm as written has 1/8 notes on every beat of every measure through most of the piece. I find this to be a bit robotic, and play a slightly different rhythm, more closely matching the vocals. I provide an example below.

m.B2: incorrect chord name. The change from Bb to C is shown at beat 4, but should be at beat 6.


#8A: Little Bird, Little Bird
Capo: none.

This number is meant to be played by the Stage Guitar, and is a kind of “campfire singalong”. It’s meant to be played rhythmically but freely with a slightly relaxed feeling. I tend to stick mostly to the rasgueado rhythm as written, but with occasional departures to follow the vocals. For example, in m.B5 I play rolled chords on each beat then resume the rhythm. At m.B8 I play the downbeat Tenuto, then gently slap the body of the guitar on beat 2 and rest for beats 3 and 4, letting the vocals pick up the melody into m.C1.

I also find some of the chord changes as written to be a bit odd, and have simplified those (most recordings take a similar approach). I made the following adjustments:

  • m.15: I play G instead of G6.
  • m.18: I play G instead of G6.
  • m.A1: I play G7 throughout (no change to C on beat 3).
  • m.A5: I play Bm throughout (no changes to C and Am).
  • m.A9: I play G7 throughout (no change to C on beat 3).
  • m.B4: I play Bm throughout (no change to C on beat 2).
  • m.C3 & C4: I play G instead of G6.
  • m.C7: I play G instead of G6.
  • m.C14: I play G instead of G6.
  • m.C16: I play G instead of G6.

Errors: none, but see notes on the chord changes above.

#9: Barber’s Song
Capo: none.

I play this short simple piece brightly, crisply and not too percussively, with simple chord voicings. This is the only number in the show where I use standard strumming (i.e. not rasgueado style). At m.B6 and B7 I roll the G and F chords. The notes given for these chords in the score indicate the top note to be played for each chord.

Errors: none.

“I Really Like Him…”
Photo courtesy of SecondStory Repertory / © 2019 Michael Brunk,

#10: Golden Helmet of Mambrino
Capo: none.

This is a comical highlight of the show. Don Quixote mistakes the “hat” (really a shaving basin) of a passing barber for the mythical golden helmet of Mambrino, a fictional, ancient Moorish king. The song changes tempo and style several times, as follows:

m.1-B8: driving rasgueado rhythm, with urgency (you can imagine knights riding on horseback across the plains to this).

m.C1-C19: a reprise of #9: “Barber’s Song” – the barber and Sancho discuss Don Quixote’s eccentricity. The guitar plays strummed rhythm (non-rasgueado).

m.D1-D11: a pantomime-like dance in 3 – Don Quixote is crowned with the “golden helmet”. The guitar plays a sort of “cartoonish” rasgeuado rhythm.

m.D12-E7: driving rasgueado – back to the rhythm of the first section.

m.E8-F8: a triumphal, majestic march.

It’s important to capture the changing feel in each different section of the piece. I play the rhythms exactly as written for all sections, except for the “driving rasgueado” in m.1-B8 and m.D12-E7. For these sections I play a slightly more complex rhythm which more closely matches the snare drum part. I provide an example below.

Errors: none.


#11: To Each His Dulcinea
Capo: none.

This atmospheric and reflective number is my favorite moment in the show. It’s a simple but utterly beautiful melody, set to a gently pulsing guitar, bass and woodwind arrangement. It has an almost lucent quality to it and which I find deeply moving. The lyric offers a simple but profound insight into male psychology…but I digress! I always look forward to playing this number, and wish it could be longer, although it is exactly as long as it needs to be.

I play this number exactly as written, using Unison Picking, mostly on the E, B, G and D strings with voicings in the 1st to 3rd frets (I provide an excerpt below). I go up to the 5th fret for the Am and Dm7 voicings between Rehearsal Marks C and E. For the Colla Parte section at m.G4-G6, I roll the chords gently; the notes indicated in the score are the top notes of the required voicings.

The 2002 Broadway Cast Recording makes clever use of the two guitars, with each playing similar finger-picked arpeggios, but slightly offset from each other to create a rolling, almost circular effect to the accompaniment. It’s clever and very pretty, but does require 2 guitars.

Errors: none.


#12: The Impossible Dream – Underscore
Capo: 1st fret.

“The Impossible Dream” is the most famous number in the whole show, and it’s another unusual feature of Man Of La Mancha that the song’s entire melody is played as underscore, immediately before the main number itself. Don Quixote gives a rousing speech about his motivations during this number before launching into the song.

This underscore is one of the two places in the show where Guitars 1 and 2 have separate parts to play. Guitar 1 takes the “Impossible Dream” melody, while Guitar 2 takes the rhythm. If you have only one guitar a choice has to be made, and that will depend on the needs of the production. The first time I played the show I was asked to play the melody line while piano covered rhythm very lightly. The second time I was asked to play rhythm, and the clarinet took the melody.

If playing the melody I “play the ink” as written, and try not to make it too expressive – this is underscore and you shouldn’t be distracting from the stirring dialogue. If I’m playing the rhythm, I play it as I would the main number (see notes on #13 below), but with my volume pedal backed off and a little more lightly.

Errors: none.

#13: The Impossible Dream
Capo: 1st fret.

Don Quixote’s big moment – audiences always go nuts at the end of this one! I play the rasgueado rhythms exactly as written throughout. The key to playing this number effectively is to keep close to the snare drum, and to build the volume and intensity as you move through the piece (depending on the precise requirements of your music director). The tempo is mostly a steady bolero. Typically, the build really starts with a crescendo into Rehearsal Mark C, getting louder again at Rehearsal Mark D, before gradually dropping off as you approach Rehearsal Mark E. At measure E6 the volume builds rapidly towards the finale, and the piece becomes allargando (broad, slow and full). There’s a big tremolo Bb chord at the 6th fret to finish, and although a fermata is not written in, you can pretty safely assume there will be one. Much of this expression and dynamics is actually written into the score, and again it will vary from production to production, but the take-away is that dynamics and expression are very important in bringing out the emotion in this highlight of the show.

Errors: none.

#15B: Knight Of The Woeful Countenance
Capo: none.

This is a short “brisk march” at the point in the show where Don Quixote is dubbed a knight. It’s a comedic moment, so the feel is one part triumphal military, one part light comedy. The guitar only plays in the last section of the song (Rehearsal Mark E onwards). I play this as written, energetically and with a crescendo leading into the last measure.

Errors: none.

Dubbing Of The Knight Of The Woeful Countenance

Dubbing Of The Knight Of The Woeful Countenance
Photo courtesy of SecondStory Repertory / © 2019 Michael Brunk,

#16: The Abduction
Capo: none

This dramatic music underscores a scene where Aldonza is beaten and raped by the muleteers. It’s a long scene and very unsettling. A lot of contemporary productions cut sections of the number to shorten the scene. Musically it’s dominated by tricky percussion and brass parts. The guitar enters at Rehearsal Mark D and plays a kind of “twisted rasgueado” through to Rehearsal Mark G. Some of the triplets are difficult to fit in correctly. I generally play this section as written, as far as possible. At measure H1, guitar has a solo rasgueado G chord, which is usually cued by the conductor, so it’s important to watch for that. From measure H3 to I6, the guitar plays flamenco chords freely. The chord names are given but no rhythm is specified. You can play whatever you like, but it should be aggressive and percussive. The brass blares dissonantly over the top.

Errors: none (although, who can tell in this number…?)

#17: The Impossible Dream – Reprise
Capo: 1st fret.

A short reprise of “The Impossible Dream” (there are several more to come!), in the same key as the original number. I play this exactly as written. See notes on #13 above for more detail.

Errors: none.

#17A: Man Of La Mancha – Reprise
Capo: none.

A short reprise of “Man Of La Mancha”, in the key of C minor. I play this piece exactly as written. See notes on #1A above for more detail.

Errors: none, although for some reason all the orchestration is in the key of C minor, while the Piano Conductor score has the piece in D minor, with a footnote saying that it is scored in C minor.

#18: Moorish Dance
Capo: none.

This long, very repetitive instrumental number underscores a whole scene. Don Quixote and Sancho are travelling again. They encounter a group of Moorish gypsies who steal all their belongings. The music has a kind of ersatz middle eastern flavor to it. It’s very important to pay attention to dynamics in this number. Louder passages underscoring action sequences alternate with quieter sections beneath dialogue over and over. The conductor will dictate these dynamic changes.

I roll the low chords in m.1-8, which are quite a stretch on the fretboard. I play the brief melody motifs exactly as written each time they occur (m.A1-A4, m.D13-D14 and m.F19-F20). The rest of the number consists entirely of chords in a single-measure rhythmic pattern. I modify this slightly, changing the 2nd 1/8 note of each measure to a pair of 1/16 notes, as shown below.

Errors: none.


#18a: The Dubbing – Underscore
Capo: 3rd fret (optional).

This very brief reprise of “Knight Of The Woeful Countenance” is marked as “optional tacet” for the Guitar, so it’s worth asking your Music Director if you are required to play it. It underscores a scene change and is usually cut off before you get the end. Some of the chord changes come very quickly and can be tricky. It’s easier to play with a capo at 3rd fret, but the piece is so brief it almost isn’t worth it. I play the rhythm for this number exactly as written.

Errors: none.

#19: Aldonza
Capo: 1st fret (and option 2nd fret from Rehearsal Mark I to the end).

Aldonza sings bitterly and angrily about her life. This is a sort of “flamenco march” and because it’s played “angrily” it is easy to start rushing. Listen to the snare drum and keep the tempo steady. A capo at the first fret makes playing it straightforward. The key goes up half a step in the vamp at m.H7, at which point you can either move the capo to the second fret (quickly), or just play barre chords to the end of the number. I play this number as written, including all of the rapid chord changes.

Errors: none.

“To Each His Dulcinea…”

“To Each His Dulcinea…”
Photo courtesy of SecondStory Repertory / © 2019 Michael Brunk,

#23: A Little Gossip
This is a brief comic number, sung by Sancho, and has a light, breezy feel. I use both a gentle rasgueado and Unison Picking in this number, as follows:

  • m.1-2 and m.A1-A8: rasgueado.
  • m.B1-B9: unison picking.
  • m.C1-C2 and m.D1-D8: rasgueado.
  • m.E1-E9: unison picking.

I play the rasgueado rhythm slightly differently from the written rhythm as shown below. Straight 1/8 notes makes the piece sound very mechanical. The rhythm I use suits the feel of the number better. The unison picking sections need to played crisply and tightly.

Errors: none.


#24: Aldonza – Underscore
Capo: none.

This is the second and final number where Guitars 1 and 2 have separate parts. It’s a short piece of underscore, which should be played gently and expressively. The first 16 measures (m.A1-B8) are a reprise of “Aldonza”. Guitar 1 strums rolled chords under a clarinet solo. The notes written in the score indicate the top note for each chord voicing.

At the pickup into m.C1, the clarinet drops out, Guitar 1 picks up the melody line and Guitar 2 picks up the chords. The tune changes to “Man Of La Mancha”.

If there is no Guitar 2, it’s not too difficult to play both parts simultaneously. To do so requires playing the melody an octave higher than written from the pickup into m.C1 to m.D5.

Errors: none.

#25: Dulcinea – Reprise
Capo: none.

A short reprise of “Dulcinea”. See notes on #4: “Dulcinea” above. This iteration is sung by Aldonza to Don Quixote as he lies dying, and is quiet and a little slower. I play the piece as written. There are fermata at m.B6, m.D6, m.D8 and F6. I play a rolled chord at each of them. For the final Ab6 chord I play a rolled voicing at the first fret.

Errors: none.

“Dulcinea” and Don Quixote

“Dulcinea” and Don Quixote
Photo courtesy of SecondStory Repertory / © 2019 Michael Brunk,

#26: The Impossible Dream – Reprise
Capo: none.

This is the 5th version of “The Impossible Dream” in the show, including the Overture, and there are two more after this one. From #24 to the end it’s reprises all the way in this show! This version is played the same as all the others, although it’s in a different key than usual. See notes on #13: “The Impossible Dream” above. I play this number as written.

At the end of the number, quickly fit a capo at the 3rd fret (if you’re using one), and turn the page quickly to be ready for the next reprise.

Errors: none.

#27: Man Of La Mancha – Reprise
Capo: 3rd fret (optional).

A short reprise of “Man Of La Mancha”. This can be played with a capo at the 3rd fret, but it isn’t really needed. See notes on #1A: “Man Of La Mancha” above. I play this number as written.

Errors: none.

#29: Finale
Capo: none.

And of course it’s “The Impossible Dream” again (the 6th time in case you are counting). This time no capo is needed, because it’s a short number, and the key changes twice, making a capo redundant. I play this piece as written. The only tricky part is m.A8, where the number modulates from E major into F major starting at beat 6. This 9-beat measure has 8 different chords in it, so it’s easy to make a mistake. It’s worth practicing the changes a few times to get them in muscle memory. Alternatively this measure can be simplified by playing B7 for beats 1-3, B9 for beats 4-6 and C9 for beats 7-9. Really dig in from the end of m.B6 to the end for the big finale.

m.B2: missing chord name. Beats 7, 8 and 9 should be an F chord, not Fmaj7.

#30: Bows
Capo: none.

This is a reprise of “Man Of La Mancha”. Play loudly and with energy. See notes on #1A: “Man Of La Mancha” above. I play this number as written.

m.A8: incorrect rhythm notation. The last three 1/8 notes of the measure should be rests.

#31: Exit Music
Capo: 1st fret for m.L1 to P3 (optional).

The Exit Music comprises reprises of three numbers:

  • Little Bird, Little Bird: m.A1-G5.
  • Dulcinea: m.G6-K8.
  • The Impossible Dream: m.L1-P3

Inevitably, the show sends the audience on its way with a 7th and final blast of “The Impossible Dream”. I didn’t find any errors in this number, although some of the chords used in the “Little Bird” section are a bit odd, but they work. I play the number as written. The “Little Bird” section is breezy and relaxed; the “Dulcinea” and “Impossible Dream” sections should be played in the same style as their original numbers. There is a quick page turn at m.K6, near the end of the “Dulcinea” section. If you plan to use a capo for the final “Impossible Dream” section, the page turn is a good moment to stop playing briefly to attach the capo. You have 2 measures complete the page turn and fit the capo.

Errors: none.

List of Errors in Man Of La Mancha Guitars I-II Book
#1: Prison Scene (Incorporating Additional Music From 2002 Broadway Cast Recording)

Man Of La Mancha Wikipedia entry
Concord Theatricals Man Of La Mancha page (licensing information)
List of available cast albums (there are many…)
YouTube: Original Broadway Cast Recording (playlist)
YouTube: 2002 Broadway Cast Recording (playlist)
Nylon Guitarist Rasgueado Mastery articles
SecondStory Repertory

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Chris K #

    Just a note to say how helpful this guide was for me. Thanks for offering such a great resource!


    June 13, 2022

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