What is Cante Play-Along?

We designed this series to provide a tool that I feel is missing for aspiring accompanists, which is a place to experience accompanying a singer. I’ve written about how I learned by playing along to all of my records (which I still recommend), but the downside to that is that you’re always hearing the guitarist on the record, too. We wanted to provide the cante without any guitar, so you could get as close as possible to the experience of playing for a singer without a safety net.

How do I use it?

If you know how to accompany Cante already then you can skip to the Play-Along videos and jump right in. If you’re unsure of what to play where, you can check out the tutorials for that Palo for that info. And you may still want to check out the videos for accompanying in alternative Tonos, however, and try your hand at some of the less common keys.
If you’re new to playing for Cante, then we recommend you watch the first tutorial for the Palo you’re wanting to learn. Here I go over the chords progressions and give some guidance about how to accompany. You’ll want to make sure that your compás (I.e. your right-hand patterns) is solid for the Palo you’re accompanying. Here are links to just a few of the videos covering the basics of the Palos we’re covering in this first Cante Play Along series:
Fandangos de Huelva – Our Fandangos de Huelva Survival Guide 
Of course we have tons more information on all of these Palos (just type the Palo name into the search bar for more videos), but I tried to choose the single most important video to get you going in each of the Palos.

Start with Tientos

We started the series with Tientos because while Tientos isn’t necessarily the simplest Palo, I think it’s one of the most straightforward for learning to accompany. Tientos is in 4/4 time, most of the letras Por Tientos follow a predictable structure, and things don’t go by too quickly. Because of this I’ve always recommended it as a good Palo for getting your ears accustomed to places the Cante is likely to go when playing in Phrygian keys. It won’t prepare you for everything else out there, of course, but it’s a great place to start.

Find the other Palos

You’ll notice that when go to the Cante Play-Along landing page, at first you only see Tientos. In order to find the other Palos, just look for the little dropdown menu above the first video in the series. Click on that menu to see all of the available Palos for our Play-Along series.



 

Drop Down menu for Cante Play-Along

Why That Chord??

If you’re wondering why in the tutorials I play a certain chord in one place and another chord in another place, then you might want to check out our Chords and Voicings in Flamenco video. In it lay out why so many of the chords are interchangeable and therefore why it’s totally fine to use various versions of certain chords in flamenco. Understanding this concept can be very liberating, and it’s one of the keys to developing your own voice as a flamenco guitarist.

More Resources

If you’re all-in on learning to accompany Cante, be sure to also check out our Cante Explained course with singer Juan Murube. This course goes into lots of detail about accompanying Soleá, and is another great way to get your ears accustomed to the places a singer will take you in the Phrygian keys. We also get into Tangos and Bulerias accompaniment, so if you’re new to accompaniment it’s a great place to start before tackling the Play-Along videos.

Questions?

And if you have any questions at all please feel free to ask. You can post questions here or on the Forums. Our goal is to provide tools and to help answer the questions that players have when they start this journey, so ask away!