Learn Flamenco Guitar: The Ultimate Guide

Learn Flamenco Guitar: The Ultimate Guide

Course materials and PDF for this can be downloaded here: https://z9w5n3j9.stackpathcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/FE_LFG_UltimateGuide.pdf

Welcome to Learn Flamenco Guitar: The Ultimate Guide, Flamenco Explained’s comprehensive course for learning what you need to know about flamenco guitar. We know why you’re here, and that you want to get started right away, so we’ll make this as quick as possible, but we’ll also encourage you to read this now to get a few things out of the way before you start.

This booklet is meant as a companion to the video course. By itself the information here will not be enough to give you a real sense of how flamenco works. Flamenco has traditionally been taught by rote - you sit with a teacher who shows you what to do and corrects you if you do it wrong. Our course is designed to replicate this system, to the extent possible without direct interaction. We recommend you always watch the videos first.

Once you’ve watched the video for a given lesson, the material here will serve to remind you of what’s been covered. Occasionally we’ll have some additional information here, but the great bulk of the instruction is contained in the videos, and not here in this booklet. You’ll also notice that some of the videos, notably most of the first few, have no chapter here, as I see no benefit in notating the information in those videos.

Almost all of the material in the course is included in the notation and TABs in this booklet, but in many cases it’s in condensed form, so that it will only make perfect sense after you’ve watched the video. And in some cases the material contained here represents the component parts of what you’ve learned, but not every possible variation - this is on purpose!

Flamenco is different from classical music in that you are not expected to learn to play a piece as written. In fact, until very recently flamenco was not written down in any way at all. One of the goals of this course is to teach you to play real flamenco, and not just to learn a piece that might be considered flamenco.

Because of this you will learn how to put things together on your own. For some this will come easily, and for others it will not be so easy. We could have made life a little easier by handing you a piece to play, but that’s just not how flamenco works. Our commitment is to teach real flamenco and to not cut any corners or dumb anything down. So it may take a little more work, but we believe it will be worth it, as you will come out on the other end with a real understanding of how flamenco does work.

One last thing - Enjoy the process! Learning something new can be frustrating at times, but it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do. So commit to the learning process and if you run into trouble, give yourself some time and don’t get down because you can’t get something right away. As I say throughout the course: “it’s not that you can’t do this - you just can’t do it YET.”

Cheers,
Kai

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Learn Flamenco Guitar: The Ultimate Guide
  • Learn Flamenco Guitar: The Ultimate Guide - Introduction

  • Lesson 1 - Part 1 - Guitar Anatomy

    In this video we look at the guitar itself - how it works, what we call all of the parts of it, and how we talk about where you put your fingers. Everything you need to know to get started!

  • Lesson 1 - Part 2 - String Names

    In this video we look at the strings themselves and their names. We also look a little bit at whole steps and half steps. This is a good video to watch if this is all new to you. You don’t need to memorize any of this just yet, but it can’t hurt to know.

  • Lesson 1 - Part 3 - Tuning

    We look at tuning your guitar. You’ll probably want to use a tuner, so w take a look at some of those, too. Being in tune will make everything sounds better - we promise!

  • Lesson 1 - Part 4 - Capos

    Though we don’t use a capo in this course, the capo is used all the time in flamenco. So here we take a look a how some of the different kinds of capos work, and what you need to know to use one.

  • Lesson 2 - Part 1 - Holding the Guitar

    There are lots of ways to hold the guitar. Here we look at some of the options and how to choose which one might be best for you. You may want to try more than one option to see which is best for you, and you don’t necessarily have to always use the same way.

  • Lesson 2 - Part 2 - Playing A Note

    In this video we look at how both hands come together to play a note on the guitar. There is some very important information about the mechanics of both the left and right hands. This is hugely important not only for your sound, but for learning to play with ease and without hurting yourself.

  • Lesson 2 - Part 3 - Chords

    Once we’ve learned to play a note we have to learn how to play chords. Again, learning the proper mechanics of it will help you sound better and also play with less effort.

  • Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Time

    In this video we look at some abstract, but very important, concepts of time and rhythm. First we look at how measures and compass are organized, then we look at how beats are subdivided.

  • Lesson 3 - Part 2 - Feeling Compás with Palmas

    We look at how to feel the compás of Soleá before even picking up a guitar learning some palmas (handclap) patterns. Palmas are the original percussion instrument in flamenco and an essential part of the music and the culture.

  • Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Feeling Compás Intro to Chords

    We learn some of the chords that we’ll need to start playing flamenco!

  • Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Feeling Compás with Chords

    Now that we’ve learned some chords and we’ve learned the basic compás of Soleá we start putting it all together on the guitar!

  • Lesson 4 - Part 1 - Important Reminder

    A word from Kai about what we’re about to do, and how to proceed if you’re a little overwhelmed at this point. Also how to proceed if you’re working from the Flamenco Explained book (https://flamencoexplained.com/shop/flamenco-explained-guitarists-survival-guide-book/) and aren’t sure how to inco...

  • Lesson 4 - Part 2 - Soleá Compás

    We start playing flamenco! First we talk about Soleá, the Palo (style) that we’ll be using to learn flamenco throughout this course, and then we dive in to playing compás.

  • Lesson 4 - Part 3 - Syncopation

  • Lesson 4 - Part 4 - Escobilla & Rasgueado

    We look at a very important element of the Soleá compás called the Escobilla and we dive into one of the most distinctive and fun techniques in flamenco - the rasgueado. By the end of this lesson we’ll really sound like flamenco guitarists!

  • Lesson 4 - Part 5 - Escobilla Arpeggio

    We look at another one of the main Escobilla melodies used in Soleá and we introduce arpeggio technique, which is the basis for much of our right-hand technique on the guitar. Then we recap the Escobilla material we have learned so far, and we look at how we can use some of the new material to ma...

  • Lesson 4 - Part 6 - Falsetas

    In this video we look at a great traditional falseta that’s often used as an introduction for Soleá and we use this as an opportunity to look at the technique of slurs, which are more commonly known as hammer-ons and pull-offs. We also include a slightly advanced version of this falseta for those...

  • Lesson 4 - Part 7 - Thumb Technique

    We learn another traditional falseta involving rest-strokes in the thumb, and we get into the finer points of using our thumb for flamenco. Proper thumb technique is essential to sounding flamenco, so this is a really important le

  • Lesson 4 - Part 8 - Picado Exercises

    In our third falseta we look at Picado technique. These are the rest-stroke scales you’ve heard played at blinding speeds, and as with all technique we ned to learn some good fundamentals before we get going too fast, so we look at the mechanics and a few exercises before getting to our picado fa...

  • Lesson 4 - Part 9 - Picado Falseta

    In this lesson we apply our new picado technique to a new falseta that uses nothing but picado.

  • Lesson 4 - Part 10 - Arpeggio Falseta

    In this lesson we review arpeggio technique and add a new arpeggio exercise. Then we learn a great traditional intro falseta that really let’s us use our arpeggio to full effect.

  • Lesson 4 - Part 11 - Alzapua Falseta

    In this lesson we look at another of the techniques unique to flamenco - Alzapua. We break down the technique and then look at a falseta so that we can apply this great new sound to our Soleá.

  • Lesson 4 - Part 12 - Bar Chords

    In this lesson we look at how to make bar chords without stressing out your left hand. If you’re new to bar chords or if you’ve ever had any tension or pain from playing bar chords you’ll want to check this out. Plus it’s an important preparation for the falseta in the next lesson.